Varna Beach

Sandy white beaches as far as you can see. Deckchairs and parasols and a cocktail in hand. Where are you? Spain? The Caribbean?

How about Bulgaria?

It might not immediately come to mind, but Bulgaria has some of the loveliest beaches perfect for an affordable getaway.

Varna beach, on the Northern Bulgarian Black Sea coast, has sands that stretch for 20km, perfect for picking just the right spot to sunbathe. Quiet most of the year round it can be suited to a more peaceful retreat, or during the summer season tourists love to visit Varna, where the temperature can hit 30 degrees, making the city bustling and the beach full. All the people around mean there is always something going on there so expect a busy atmosphere and maybe even spotting some parasailing or other watersports in the distance.

The front is lined with restaurants and bars my favourite being the Cubo Bar; open day and night the lounge is lined with chairs and tables stretching out towards the sea giving you the perfect view to accompany your cocktail or quick bite to eat. If the sun gets too much there are also plenty of parasols around or you can take shade close by the bar. The music is well chosen throughout the day giving Bar Cubo a chilled vibe throughout.

For classy but affordable food there’s no shortage of places to choose from, each serving up a mix of traditional Bulgarian food or more versatile but lovely meals such as freshly caught fish dishes like sea bass and bluefish – not your average battered cod from the chippy up the road. If you’re fancying something a bit fun there’s even a novelty pirate ship restaurant, great for keeping the kids entertained.

Ideally located, the beach bars and restaurants are only a 10 minute walk from the pedestrian main square and street. This area is lined with cute cafes and shops, leading you back to the city centre which holds a variety of attractions and museums and galleries to keep you busy throughout the day.

If you’re looking for an even livelier evening a trip to the resort town Golden Sands is about a 20 minute drive with a beachfront promenade that’s packed with bars and clubs. Famous for having the purest sand on the Black Sea coast there are hundreds of hotels ranging in price, very popular with tourists as there are lots of activities available such as shopping, water sports and a separate aquapark.

However, the resort is not quite comparable to the history and culture that Varna has to offer. On your next holiday maybe you’ll see for yourself.

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