Bulgaria has a relatively small coast with only 378 km, but out of these, 130 km have sandy beaches. That’s a lot of kilometers of beaches for you to choose from! After traveling extensively through the coast, we decided to compile some of the best beaches in Bulgaria.
We want to help you choose where to go to the Beach in Bulgaria and what to expect from each Bulgarian Beach.
Trivia fact about the Bulgarian Beaches: Prior to 1989, the Bulgarian Black Sea coast was internationally known as the Red Riviera! We are pretty sure it had nothing to do with the sand or the water! 🙂
In general, the best beaches in Bulgaria are sandy (golden or white), with warm water and very few waves! The Black sea makes quite a good beach destination, and Bulgaria isn’t an exception… In fact, Bulgaria probably has some of the best Black Sea beaches!
7 Best Beaches in Bulgaria
Urban beach of Burgas
Burgas is the 4th largest city in Bulgaria and the second biggest hub on the coast (behind Varna). It has an international airport, so it’s very easy to reach. The urban beach of Burgas is a classic example of a Bulgarian Beach, with soft sand, warm seawater, and a beautiful garden right in front of the beach.
Burgas beach is 3 km long, all clean and safe, and patrolled by lifeguards in summer. However, we suggest you go to the northern part of the beach as it is nicer. The beach is lined with bars and restaurants, with umbrellas and loungers that can be hired. Surprisingly (or not), it’s the cheapest beach on the list.
The sea garden separates the city from the beach, making the beach much more pleasant than it would be otherwise. Furthermore, the garden is also very pretty with trees, lawns & gardens, plus play areas, monuments & events!
This is a lovely family beach where kids can play freely.
Varna’s Urban Beach
Varna is the third biggest city in Bulgaria and the biggest on the coast, with an international airport and railway connections to make your life easier.
In many ways, Varna’s beach is very similar to Burgas! It’s a lengthy beach (yet smaller than Burgas) with many restaurants and bars serving local food and fish.
The sand is soft and reasonably clean, although it could have fewer cigarette buts! And the black sea is… the black sea – warm water, small waves, and lots of fun! It’s also very kids friendly, with the water remaining shallow and relatively clear for a good 30-40 yards!
Alike Burgas, Varna’s beach has a sea garden separating it from the city. In fact, this park is the most extensive sea garden in the Balkan region and makes a great addition to the beach with beautifully landscaped areas and others that are more rugged and natural. Here you’ll see people jogging and dancing or children playing and eating ice cream! We really enjoyed Varna’s Sea Garden!
You should note that when people talk about having a beach vacation in Varna, they are usually referring to the Golden Sands beach/resort a few km north of Varna!
Golden Sands Resort, close to Varna
The Golden Sands resort is usually dubbed as in Varna, although you should note that it’s a few kilometers to the north. You can quickly drive there or take the daily buses. It is considered the largest resort on the Northern Black Sea coast.
Despite being a vast resort, the beach in golden sands is kept clean and pollution free. This region is famous for having the purest sand on the Black Sea coast, making it one of the best beaches in Bulgaria.
The resort is abundant in lush vegetation and numerous bushes and trees, resembling a real park.
On the other hand, Golden Sands is entirely full of hotels, bars, restaurants, pools, massage parlors, supermarkets, piercing and tattoo shops, carts, casinos… etc, etc, etc. It’s everything you need to relax, have fun and forget about the rest of the world for a while.
You can easily spend a week without ever getting bored
Are you looking for a lively beach? The most lively you can find? Well, in Bulgaria, that’s Sunny Beach! It’s the largest and biggest sea resort in Bulgaria. In fact, it’s so big that we actually should refer to it as a town and not a resort! Two factors contribute to being such a big resort:
- The beach itself is huge (8 km long and about 50 meters wide)!
- Besides being huge, it’s all around excellent, with fine sand, clean water, and a soft sloping sea bottom!
This is the party beach, where all the fun is, and young people go! But you can also find a fair share of families. Even during the day, there is a tremendous variety of cool things to do both on the beach and very close to it.
Some of these include surfing, parachutes, water-skiing, hang-gliding, banana boats, yachting, sailing, paddle boats, scooters, cutters, rowboats, beach volleyball, tennis courts, playing grounds, skittle alleys, mini-golf, bowling, fitness halls and so on…
Another great thing about Sunny Beach is that it’s located very close to Nessebar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nessebar’s old town is beautiful, with cobbled streets, old buildings, and an incredible history to explore. It was founded by the Thracians before the Greeks and Romans put up temples for Apollo and chunky fortress walls! Easily one of the most famous landmarks in Bulgaria.
When going to Sunny Beach, it’s mandatory going to Nessebar for at least a day!
South Beach of Nessebar
Sunny Beach isn’t the only incredible beach around Nessebar. The South Beach on the south side of Nessebar is very worth mentioning! It isn’t as big as Sunny Beach, and it definitely isn’t as developed but the beach is as good as it gets!
It has a long stretch of fine golden sand, the water is clear and very warm. You can play in the water for hours.
South Beach has a few restaurants and bars, but nothing compared to Sunny Beach Resort in the north. You can still rent shades and sunbeds for 8 Lev or go to the free zone and pay nothing! You should also note that South Beach is within walking distance from the new part of Nessebar, making it very comfortable for people who rented apartments nearby (as we did).
If you want to spend a few days in Nessebar, I would strongly suggest staying in the new town and enjoying the south beach. From there you are very close to Sunny Beach, Nessebar old town and even a day trip from Burgas and Sozopol!
It makes a great and inexpensive base to explore the area and has an amazing (yet not overcrowded) beach within walking distance.
Sozopol Central Beach
Sozopol is quite similar to Nessebar… It’s an old Thracian town, built on a peninsula with lovely beaches nearby and a remarkable historical center to explore!
Sozopol is located about 30km south of Burgas, so if you don’t want to spend the night here, you can easily visit it on a day trip from Burgas or even Nessebar/Sunny Beach.
In Sozopol, we particularly like the central beach. Similarly to other Bulgarian beaches, it has nice, clear, warm water with soft sand. Note that this is a more southern beach, so the water is even warmer…
On the beach, there are a few bars and restaurants, and they sell sunbeds and shades for your comfort. You can enjoy the views of the old town from the beach, making everything even more
Although the old town is somewhat less attractive (with fewer attractions and old buildings), it’s also slightly less crowded than Nessebar. During the peak season, there are many people, but there’s always a place for you. It’s never wholly overpacked, and that’s a significant advantage.
Obzor is conveniently located between Varna and Burgas, making it a lovely stop for a few hours or days. Obzor is different from the other beaches on this list. Not everyone is looking for packed, buzzing beaches. Obzor is more relaxed, without hassles or any stress.
The city has some well-preserved historical sights, the temple of Jupiter, Kozjak castle, and some other ruins of the Greeks and Romans.
Ozbor’s beach is enormous, 8 km long, actually. It’s usually divided into north, south, and central. Ozbor is popular among Bulgarian families as the beach is very child-friendly because of the gentle slope into the sea.
Note that the central beach is the most popular, so if you really want to be alone, go to the north or south beach.
When to go to the best Beaches in Bulgaria
The best time to go to the Bulgarian Beaches is between June and August. This is both the peak season and when the weather is better for going to the beach. It’s hotter, and it barely rains in Bulgaria during these months.
The most famous Bulgarian Beaches are crowded in this season, but it’s still manageable and easy to find nice spots. Moreover, you can do some people-watching.
Don’t forget that Bulgaria has much more than BeachesCheck the best things to do in Bulgaria!
Final remarks on a Bulgarian Beach vacation
The beaches in Bulgaria are great, but in summer, the vibe around the beaches is even better, with so many things to do and see. It’s pleasant just to have a drink by the beach, relax and do some people watching…
This leads us to another thing we can’t really miss in Bulgaria: the Bulgarians are probably some of the most beautiful people in the world, which is always easy on the eyes.
Finally, and if all of this wasn’t enough, Bulgaria is one of the cheapest countries in Europe. Yes, going to Bulgaria means going to some of the best European beaches at excellent prices! What are you waiting for? Book your next trip to Bulgaria 🙂
Do you want a beach vacation but aren’t convinced about Bulgaria? We suggest: