One thing is clear: Bulgaria has many different faces.
So you think you’ve discovered Varna? Perhaps you’ve taken selfies in front of the Cathedral, been to see the oldest processed gold in the world and enjoyed the walk in the Sea garden.
Then it’s time for something different. Get out and explore the region of Varna and the Bulgarian Black sea coast - different stories, undiscovered places and a side of Bulgaria you’ve never seen before!
There are some ideas for trips around Varna.
Aladzha Monastery is the most famous medieval cave monastery on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. It was inhabited by hermit monks during the XIII- XIV centuries. The cave monastery is situated in the central part of Golden Sands Natural Park (about 18 km north of Varna). For a century now, Aladzha Monastery has been recognized as one of the most interesting destinations on the Black Sea Coast and it is included in most of the world travel guides. Audio- visual show named “Legends of Aladzha Monastery” is being performed in the summer as well.
Daily from May to Oct: 09:00- 17:00; Tue- Sat from Nov to Apr: 09:00- 16:00 / Nature park “Golden Sands” / Tel: +359 52 355 460 / www.archaeo.museumvarna.com
Bus № 9, 409 (get off at bus stop "Chayka") + 40 min walk (2 km); Bus № 29 (get off at bus stop "Aladzha manastir")
Nature Park “Golden Sands”
“Golden Sands” Nature Park is the smallest nature park (13.2 sq.km) in Bulgaria. The park was declared as protected area for conservation and protection of valuable habitats, flora, fauna and specific landscapes in 1943. It is situated 18 km north-east of Varna. The area is parallel to the coastal line, it forms the west border of Golden Sands resort and reaches the village of Kranevo in north.
Mon – Fri: 08:30- 16:30, weekends- only with advance bookings/ Golden Sands resort (18 km north of Varna)/ Tel: +359 52 355 591/ www.parkzlatnipiasaci.com
Bus № 9 (get off at bus stop "Zora")
University Botanical Garden- Eco Park Varna
Daily in Apr: 08:00- 17:00; From May to Sept: 08:00-19:00;In Oct: 08:00- 18:00/ St. st. Constantin and Helena resort (8 km north of Varna) / Tel: +359 52 361 941/ www.ubg-bg.com/
Bus № 9, 409(get off at bus stop Botanicheska gradina)
The natural phenomenon “Stone Forest” is better known with its Bulgarian name “Pobiti kamani” which could be translated as “stones beaten into the ground”. Seven large and several separate small groups are located on the north and south from the Beloslav Lake. These are numerous limestone pillars as high as 10 m, hollow or solid cylinders, truncated cones and single rocks and cliffs. “Stone Forest” is the only place in Bulgaria where the archaeologist found evidence of human life in the Mesolithic.
Tue- Sun from May to Sept: 10:00- 17:00; Mon- Fri from Oct to Apr: 10:00- 17:00/ 3 km away from the village of Slanchevo (20 km west of Varna)/ Tel: +359 888 544 506/ www.nature.museumvarna.com
Bus № 43 (get off at village of Slanchevo, Busstop "Razklon Banovo") + 40 min walk (2-3 km)
Architectural park- complex “Dvoreca” and Botanical Garden – Balchik
The palace and the botanical garden in Balchik, joined in an architectural and park complex, are a piece of heaven on earth and a must-see tourist attraction on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The complex appeared as a summer residence of the Romanian queen Maria (1875-1938). As part of the residence, a park complex had been built in 1926. On a later stage the Sofia University “Sv. Kliment Ohridski“ created at this place a botanical garden with an area of 65 decares. Today, it has more than 2 000 plant species from 85 families and over 800 genera.
Daily in summer time: 08:00-20:00; Daily in winter time: 08:30-17:00/ 1 Akad. Daki Yordanov str., Town of Balchik (38 km away from Varna)/ Tel: +359 579 768 48/ www.dvoreca.com; www.ubg-bg.com
Bus from the Central Bus Station in Varna