Bulgaria has a rather 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 our favorite beaches in Bulgaria. We want to help you chose where to go to the Beach in Bulgaria and what to expect in 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 Beaches in Bulgaria are sandy (golden or white), with warm water and very little 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!
Best Beaches in Bulgaria
Urban beach of Burgas
Burgas is the 4th largest city in Bulgaria and the second biggest hub in 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 sea water, 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 can be hired. Surprinsingly (or not) it’s the cheapest beach in 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 nice family beach where kids can play freely.
Varna’s Urban Beach
Varna is the third biggest city in Bulgaria and the biggest in 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 long beach (yet smaller than Burgas) with many restaurants and bars serving local food and fish. The sand is soft and fairly clean although it could have fewer cigarette buts! And the black sea is… the black sea! AKA, warm water, small waves and lots of fun! It’s also very kids friendly with the water remaining shallow and fairly clear for a good 30-40 yard!
Alike Burgas, Varna’s beach has a sea garden separating it from the city. In fact, this park is the biggest sea garden in the Balkan region and makes a great addition to the beach with beautifully landscaped areas and others more rugged and natural. Here you’ll see people jogging and dancing or children playing and eating ice creams! 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 easily drive there or take the daily buses. It is considered the largest resort on the Northern Black Sea coast.
Despite being a huge 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. The resort is abundant in lush vegetation and with the numerous bushes and trees, resembling a real park.
On the other hand, Golden Sands is completely full of hotels, bars, restaurants, pools, massage parlors, supermarkets, piercing and tattoos 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 amazing, with fine sand, clean water, and a soft sloping sea bottom!
This is the party beach, where 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 or 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 alley, mini-golf, bowling, fitness halls and so on…
One other 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!
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 golden fine sand, the water is clear and very warm. You can play in the water for hours.
The South Beach has a few restaurants and bars but again nothing compared with 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 on 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 enjoy 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 having an amazing (yet not overcrowded) beach on walking distance.
Sozopol Central Beach
Sozopol is quite similar to Nessebar… It’s an old Thracian town, built in a peninsula with nice beaches nearby and a cool historical center to explore!
Sozopol is located about 30km south to 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 and 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. From the beach, you can enjoy the views of the old town which makes everything even more
Although the old town is somewhat less interesting (with fewer attractions and old buildings), it’s also slightly less crowded than Nessebar. During the peak season, there’s a lot of people, but there’s always a place for you. It’s never completely overpacked and that’s a big advantage.
Obzor is conveniently located between Varna and Burgas making it a very nice 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 kind of stress.
The city has some well preserved historical sights, the temple of Jupiter, the
Ozbor’s beach is huge, with 8 km long. It’s usually divided in north, south and central. Ozbor is popular among Bulgarian families as the beach is very children 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 Beach in Bulgaria?
The best time to go to the in Bulgaria 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 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 to just have a drink by the beach relax and do some people watching…
Which 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 one of the best beaches in Europe at amazing prices! What are you waiting for? Book your next trip to Bulgaria 🙂
You want a beach vacation but aren’t convinced with Bulgaria? We suggest:
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