Blue Flag beaches, nightlife and towns crammed with history – holidays to the Bourgas region of Bulgaria set the summer break bar high.
Blue Flag beaches
Primarily, it’s the beaches that make the Bourgas region tick. This pocket of land on Bulgaria’s eastern side lays claim to some of the best swathes of sand on the country’s 378-kilometre coastline. Sunny Beach is the place on most tourists’ lips. The Blue Flag beach here is 8 kilometres long and complemented with more than 600 cafés, restaurants and bars. Obzor follows hot on its heels in the popularity stakes. The 6-kilometre sandy beach here sidles up to thatched beach bars, mini golf courses, and fun fairs.
The Bourgas region’s cultural clock chimes loudest in Nessebar. Just 10 minutes’ drive from Sunny Beach, the old part of this town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Three millennia of history are accounted for here. There are Byzantine churches, 19th-century town houses and the ruins of Roman and Middle Age forts.
Nightlife with a capital N
The Bourgas region’s after dark scene gives night owls something to really get their beaks into. No-one keeps time in the bars and clubs in Sunny Beach. The party starts with booze cruises at lunchtime, continues with bar crawls before tea, and ends when the sun rises the next day.
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Dubbed the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea’, Nessebar is a Balkan beauty spot with a spectacular old town poking out from its coastline. Over 3,000 years of civilisation have left their mark here, from the Romans to the Ottomans. But you won’t just find ancient history. It’s a bubbling beach town, too. Its seafront has a row of modern hotels stretching out in front of a pristine beach.
Sunny Beach is a lively spot on Bulgaria’s little-known Black Sea Coast. This purpose-built, modern holiday town has rolled out brand-new restaurants, bars and energetic nightclubs across its high rise waterfront. It’s got a spotlessly long beach, too. But it’s not all purpose-built newness here – UNESCO-certified Nessebar is just up the road.
A millennium ago, Roman emperors came to Obzor, on Bulgaria’s Black Sea Riviera, for some much-needed R&R. The idea caught on, and today this up-and coming small town is really popular for its laid-back appeal. The lush backdrop of the Stara Planina mountains and the long, sandy beach keep the relaxed feel going, though there are plenty of bars and restaurants to pick up the pace in the evenings.
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