Black Sea Coast - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Black Sea Coast

Black Sea Coast

The Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, stretching for 236 miles (380km), is a popular destination for thousands of Bulgarians as well as foreign visitors every summer, with warm sea temperatures, a sunny climate, picture-perfect white sand beaches, modern resorts and a favourable exchange rate.

Although the coast has long been associated with large characterless complexes catering to European package tourists that are far removed from the reality of Bulgaria, there are plenty of little hotels with private beaches and holiday villages offering a villa-style Mediterranean holiday. Seaside towns invite a more independent vacation with plenty of family-run guesthouses and a wealth of bars and restaurants that add local flavour and character. The coast is also one of the best spa regions in the country and resorts offer the added attraction of mineral baths, mud treatments and thermal springs.

Clean beaches, safe swimming and wide sandy beaches characterise the northern Black Sea Coast with the lively town of Varna a good base from which to explore the surrounds. To the south lie picturesque bays and unusual rock formations, and the trawler port of Bourgas flanked by the old Greek fishing villages of Sozopol and Nessebur.

Information & Facts


The Maritime climate along the coast is characterised by warm, sunny days from May to October with mid-summer air temperatures averaging 83°F (28°C) and sea temperatures ranging from 73-77°F (23-25°C). The wettest months are June, October and December. Winter is cold, although milder than the interior of the country where the snow falls heavily, and many of the resorts shut down for the season.

Bulgarian is the official language, which uses the Cyrillic alphabet, but English, German and French is spoken in resorts, hotels and restaurants.

The official currency is the Lev (BGN), which is divided into 100 stotinki. The Lev is tied to the Euro at a fixed rate of EUR1 = 1.955 lev. Bulgaria has strict currency regulations. If you enter Bulgaria with cash of any currency amounting to the equivalent of 8,000 leva or more, you must declare it to customs officials. Foreign currency may be exchanged in banks, hotels or at one of the numerous bureaux de change, however due to a common practice of misleading rates of exchange it is better to go to banks or hotels to change money. A receipt called a bordereauxis issued when exchanging currency, indicating the amount that will be given, and it must be kept until departure. Not all banks accept travellers cheques and those that do usually charge a 5% commission. Major international credit cards are increasingly becoming accepted by tourist hotels, upmarket shops and restaurants, travel agents and car rental agents, but Bulgaria is still largely a cash economy. There are ATMs in the main cities and at Black Sea resorts.

Local time is GMT +2 (GMT +3 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).

Just 13 miles (about 20km) west of Varna, Pobiti Kamani (the Petrified Forest) makes for an interesting and worthwhile day-trip. A natural rock phenomenon, the origin of the stone columns - which measure up to 23 feet (seven metres) in height, and 10 feet (three metres) in girth - remains a mystery, with geologists holding differing opinions about how they were formed. Regardless of their origin, however, Pobiti Kamani's columns are unique, and make for a fascinating, photo-filled excursion from Varna. Occupying an area of 27 square miles (70 square kilometres), the Petrified Forest is a wonderful place to spend the day, exploring the strange terrain, and enjoying a picnic in the sun. Go in April or early May, when the weather is idyllic.

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