The Black Sea Coast was virtually unknown a few years ago but, due to the fall of Communism and the opening of its borders to foreign visitors, the tourism industry has grown far beyond expectations and is now a major contributor to Bulgaria’s economy.
The Black Sea is very calm and has virtually no tides, making it a very safe place for swimming, especially for children. It is not very salty as it is surrounded by land and the only salt water that reaches the sea comes from the River Bosporus which forms the only connection to the Mediterranean Sea.
The beaches face eastwards, offering a wonderful view of the sun rising over the water. All resorts are within easy access to Bulgaria's many inland attractions, which include Roman ruins, ancient castles, monasteries, and many vineyards in beautiful countryside.
The Black Sea coast is also one of the best spa areas in the country where the combination of sea climate, mineral baths, hot springs, and curative mud adds to the possibilities for holiday enjoyment.
Every kind of water sport is available in the area, including scuba diving, waterskiing, parasailing, paraskiing, boating, jet skiing, fishing etc.
One of the main attractions of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast is its variety of nature while over 100 areas are declared protected zones and nature reserves.
To the south, the coast flattens and the thick forests of the Strandzha Mountains contrast with hundreds of small beaches between the jutting rocks. Towards the coast’s northern end, the mountains seem to role steeply into the sea and the thick forests offer cool relief during hot summers. The coast here, though steeper, is more developed in terms of tourist facilities. The north boasts a concentration of key tourist destinations such as the seaside resorts of Albena, Zlatni Pyasatsi, Slanchev Bryag and the Bulgarian Riviera.
The city of Varna is the capital town of the Black Sea area and is the third largest city in Bulgaria.
Varna was inhabited even before the Greeks established the colony of Odessos there about 580 B.C. Later, under the Romans and their successors, the Slavs, Varna became a major port trading with Constantinople, Venice and Dubrovnik. In 1393 it was captured by the Turks, who made it an important military centre. It is therefore an important historical town and boasts an abundance of museums, historical buildings, art galleries and cultural entertainment.
Varna is the biggest city on the Bulgarian coast, with a population of 314,539. It is widely known as the seaside capital of Bulgaria. Varna lies in the Bay of Varna which nestles in a deep valley between the Frengen Plareau and the Avren Plateau. Varna is over 11 km long and nearly 9km wide. The city's structure resembles an amphitheatre as it follows the curves of the Bay of Varna.
Varna is also a centre for communications in Bulgaria, with the area's international airport located nearby. It is also the main port for both naval and commercial shipping.
Bourgas is the fourth largest city in Bulgaria and is situated in the western most part of Bourgas Bay. A good selection of shops, bars, restaurants, entertainment and sightseeing can be found in Bourgas, catering for all tastes.
Bourgas has three large lakes; the Atanasovsko, the Poda and the Mandra which form the most important wetlands in Bulgaria.
One of the city's main attractions is the Sea Garden Park, as is the central beach that is set below, with a beautiful forked staircase leading directly to the beach.