Travel

Black sea pearl: Varna and the region – part II

After you visited Varna, it’s time to explore the region. I am going to start with my favourite places.

The number one place is for Pobiti Kamani (Bulgarian: Побити камъни, “Planted stones”).

It is a rock phenomenon and looks like the Bulgarian Stonehenge, located on 18 km north-west of Varna. The place consists of sand dunes and natural rock formations on a total area of 13 km². This magical place is well-known for its positive energy (according to the local superstitions) and if you lay down for a moment on a stone formation, you’ll feel the positive energy flow in your body and soul. Personally, I did it, I laid down on a big stone and I really felt a wave of serenity and calmness flowing into me. Who knows, maybe I was simply influenced by the local legends ):

Pobiti Kamani.pngThis picture is made by my brother-in-law Milen Dimov. Thanks Milen for the lovely picture!!

Number two: Balchik (42 km northeast of Varna)

Balchik is an absolute must-see! The little hilly town has a lot to offer in terms of surroundings, culture, seaside and attractions. The highlights of Balchik are the Botanical garden (Bulgarian: Ботаническа градина) and the Palace of Queen Marie of Romania (known as Balchik Palace, Bulgarian: Двореца). Both sites are close to each other. A botanical garden is a fairy-tale place – if you are into the photography, this place is the perfect spot for you. No matter the season, you’ll make awesome pictures. The garden is very big, so take half a day to visit it. The palace is tiny, but when there, pay it a visit too. Balchik is located in a hilly region, so walking in the town, means most likely climbing. Be prepared it’s a long street that goes up and down.

Balchik

Next stop: Albena (30 km northeast from Varna and 8 km southeast from Balchik)

The best beach resort EVER. This is my favourite place to go to the beach. Albena has the broadest coastline on the Bulgarian Black Sea and the beach is very clean. It’s a family resort and is not so noisy as Sunny Beach. The best place to relax and lay on the beach all day long.

Albena.pngThis picture is made by my friend Tsvetelina Yankova. Thanks Tsveti for the lovely picture!!

Aladzha Monastery is the next attraction on our way (stop number 4)

Aladzha Monastery (Bulgarian: Аладжа манастир): is a popular tourist attraction 17 km north of Varna and 3 km west of Golden Sands beach resort, located in the protected forest area of the Golden Sands Natural Park. it is a medieval Orthodox cave monastery that represents catacombs hidden in a big rock. To explore the catacombs, you have to climb the stairs.

Aladzha monastery.png

Number five: Cape Kaliakra (60 kilometres northeast of Varna)

Cape Kaliakra is one of the biggest national symbols of Bulgaria. It’s a legendary place as many legends are told around. The most popular is about 40 Bulgarian girls, who preferred to tie their hair together and jump into the sea rather than becoming Ottoman slaves. At the entrance to the cape, you’ll see an obelisk called “The Gate of the 40 Maidens” inspired by the legend. Nowadays Kaliakra is a nature reserve, where dolphins swim freely and can be admired from the cliffs. The remnants of the fortified walls of an ancient residence are well-preserved and you will walk through them during your visit.

Cape Kaliakra.pngThis picture is made by my friend Tsvetelina Yankova. Thanks, Tsveti for the lovely picture!!

Number six: Kamchia biosphere reserve (25km south of Varna)

Kamchia is a river running through a Longoz forest. It’s a UNESCO protected area. Take a boat to admire the natural reserve on a sunny day and you will be amazed by the beauty of the forest and the virgin beaches…

Kamchia.pngThis picture is made by my brother-in-law Milen Dimov. Thanks Milen for the lovely picture!!

Number seven: Devnya (25km to west from Varna)

Devnya is a small industrial town, but there is a hidden gem that you don’t want to miss out. The Museum of Mosaics (Bulgarian: Музей на мозайките) is a museum built on top of a Roman villa’s ruins and shows mosaics from the Roman and Byzantine city of Marcianopolis. The mosaics cover the ground floor and are very well-preserved. You can distinctively see the ornaments and the colours of all of them. There are buses on a regular basis to and from Devnya. Check the Tourist Information Centre of Varna for more information on the bus schedule.

Museum of Mosaics Devnya.png