Travel

Polya Pencheva: Great places to visit in Bulgaria that are NOT Sunny Beach

Bulgaria is a great tourist destination because it has something to offer everyone, young and old. As we all know, most tourists tend to visit Sunny Beach which isn’t a bad destination per se. Yet, it is full of hotels, clubs and you can barely escape the noise and the big crowd to enjoy some solitude and peace.

As a native Bulgarian, I had discovered some places which can offer all of it – the peace of the secluded beach town but also some of the vibes of the busy touristy resorts.

This is a post about the places that are great destinations, just not as well-marketed as Sunny Beach.

Nessebar

Nessebar

First of all is Nesserbar, my personal favourite. I’ve been there only a couple of times, but it stole my heart in a second. Located in the southern part of the Bulgarian seaside, it is very close to Sunny Beach. This allow visitors to dive into the vibe of Sunny Beach while enjoying a less crowded place.

The city is divided in two parts – the old town and the new town. There you can explore how the Bulgarian coast looked years ago while at the same time enjoy modern culture. It is very important to mention that nearby you could also find Aquapark Nessebar.

Being the biggest aquapark in Bulgaria, it offers attractions for everyone and promises an unforgettable experience. Aquapark Nessebar recently added a number of new water slides and other attractions. And of course, there are hotels, restaurants and other amenities for multi-day stays.

Personally, I’ve been there once, and I can’t wait to go back. But keep in mind that it is could get busy and sometimes it may take some time and patience to get to the attractions.

Cape Emine

Obzor

While Obzor may not be the place for crazy parties, its cosiness makes it definitely the place for relaxation. Depending on your personal preferences you could opt for staying there or go to Varna, which is not too far away.

Varna’s big city charm and buzz makes it perfect for enjoying clubs, shopping centres, and getting immersed in the Bulgarian big city vibe. As an alternative to Varna, Obzor allows you to settle down and escape the hustle and bustle of the city, making the resort the perfect getaway for a long-desired vacation spot.

Not far away from Obzor is Cape Emine where the Balkan Mountain, stretching through all of Bulgaria from west to east, reaches the Black Sea. Close-by is the secluded and one of the very few wild beaches in Bulgaria – Irakli. I would say that this is a place for nature lovers and those who are not afraid to embark upon a bumpy ride to discover these secluded places and escape civilization.

Balchik

Cape Kaliakra and Balchik

Located in the northern part of the Bulgarian seaside, Cape Kaliakra and Balchik are the most visited Bulgarian locations by Romanians. Beside being close to the borders, they also offer a lot of things to do while you’re there.

In Balchik, for instance, you can visit the Botanical Garden and marvel at the different plants there. To escape the summer heat, you could visit the Balchik Palace (also known as the Quiet Nest Palace which was constructed in the beginning of the last century). This palace was constructed for Queen Marie of Romania during the Romanian control of the region.

I loved going to Cape Kaliakra because there are not only different things to do, such as exploring caves or having dinner next to the beach but also because you can get farther into Black Sea and just enjoy the scenery.

These are top travel destinations when in Bulgaria. They give a small glimpse into the marvellous nature that the country offers as well as a real local feel.

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Read more about Bulgaria here in Dispatches’ archives.

Read more from Polya here.

Polya Pencheva

Polya Plamenova Pencheva is a young Bulgarian journalist based in Groningen, Netherlands. Polya holds a Master's degree in journalism from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and loves writing and telling the untold stories of interesting people. You can find her dining at cute café, shopping at markets, scouting second-hand shops or just chillin' at home with something great to read.

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