LCY → BOJ
Freedom of movement
Lunch ≈ 2.80 £GBP
Dinner (for two) ≈ 15 £GBP
Espresso ≈ 1 £GBP
Bottled water ≈ 0.30 £GBP
Sunny Beach, on Bulgaria’s relatively unknown Black Sea Coast is a vibrant, purpose-built, holiday town that has rolled out modern bars, restaurants and electrifying nightclubs right across the high rise waterfront. It’s got beautifully clean 8 kilometre-long beach as well. However it is not just all purpose-built and new here – the UNESCO world heritage site, Nessebar, is also nearby.
The beach is Blue Flag certified meaning it is clean, well-kept and safe. The clay coloured sand is very fine. Sand dunes separate the beach from the promenade which is lined by rows of sun-loungers. However, wander a few minutes along the coast, and you will soon find a place to put down your towel free. The beach comes with the full range of watersports as well. By night there is plenty of live music venues and discos to frequent.
More than 800 hotels are lined along Sunny Beach and it is a more affordable – and just as sunny - alternative to similar Mediterranean resorts, Sunny Beach holidays are a popular for everyone – from single travellers to whole families. Sunny Beach also has a water park, an amusement park and a small zoo.
Temperature: Averages daily highs of 30 degrees Celsius throughout summer.
Best time for holidays to Sunny Beach: Mid-June or mid-July and September.
The “middle season” months are no less warm but are less crowded than the high season which is from late-July through August. Hotels and restaurants are closed from October until May.
Only 15-minute’s by car away is Nessebar, a UNESCO world heritage-listed town that was founded by the Thracians, then taken over by the Greeks and the Romans who put up temples to Apollo and fortress walls. Known as the “Pearl of the Black Sea”, Nessebar is a beauty spot in the Balkans with a stunning old town poking lining the coast. More than 3,000 years of civilisation has left is mark but it is not limited to just ancient history. It’s a vibrant beach town, as well.
Burgas (or Bourgas) is the Black Sea coast’s second largest city and the largest port in Bulgaria and it includes a Duty Free Zone. The beautiful Sea Garden offers a quiet place to walk on Sunny Beach holidays. With abundant flowers, shrubs, trees and statues, the park runs down the hillside toward the sea. Inside the park there is an open-air theatre, a casino and even a small zoo.
No one talks about Sunny Beach without mentioning that it is one of the Black Sea coast’s top party destinations. The nightlife is amazingly affordable, club entry costs about $10 a head, and beer or spirits with mixers all cost less than $5. Join one of the city’s famous pub crawls on your holidays to Sunny Beach, which offer everything from party boat to foam parties during the summer season.
Bulgarian are an age-old tradition that survives from Thracian times. Located 12 kilometres from Sunny Beach is the Medovo Winery where visitors can indulge in white and red Bulgarian wines made from the vineyard’s own grapes. There are two separate wine tasting sessions for the premium and classic wines, and one for brandies and rakias (a traditional spirit made from fermented fruit, usually grapes). The winery is also an ethnographic complex consisting of houses built in old Bulgarian style.
If lounging on the beach all day on Sunny Beach holidays is not what you should head to Marinka village just south of Burgas and go on a day safari. The British hosts offer guided river tours where visitors experience the Black Sea coast and go into areas where they can see rare reptiles and other animals.
Experience some sea air speeding along the coast on a scenic tour, Fastferry Hydrofoils offer full-day, twice-weekly excursions on a Kometa hydrofoil. Guests are picked up at 8:30am from Sunny Beach and driven to Nessebar harbour where they get on board the fast ferry. From it sails to Sozopol, where visitors spend the afternoon exploring the old town, before returning by evening.
One of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast’s secrets are the mud baths, which formed over millions of years naturally and are believed to cure skin and joint conditions. Hitler himself spoke of their healing properties in 1942 and ordered three truck-loads of the mud to be transported to Germany. Besides, the mud baths is a shallow rust-coloured pool with such a high salt content that swimmers float on the surface much like the Dead Sea. They are situated by Atanasovsko Lake which is just north of the coastal city, Burgas, and are only 30 minutes’ drive from Sunny Beach.
Family groups have a raft of activities to choose from without even leaving the resort. There is an excellent range of water sports including waterskiing, banana-boating and parasailing on Sunny Beach holidays. Away from the water there is volleyball on the beach, or tennis and horse riding lessons nearby. At the resort’s exit there is a go-kart circuit. All of these activities, like almost everything at Sunny Beach, cost only a fraction of what you would pay at other resorts in Europe.