Bulgaria is not exactly the first place that comes to mind when planning a summer beach vacation, but its location on the Black Sea offers miles of decent beaches to choose from. During communism Bulgaria was actually the top holiday destination for beach lovers in Eastern Europe. Of course, very few could travel to Spain or Greece at the time, so they really didn’t have much of a choice if they wanted sun and sand. Now that these ‘captive tourists’ have other options, many are still returning to their old Bulgarian seaside haunts and today are increasingly joined by Westerners just now discovering the charm and affordability of Bulgaria.
A recent article in The Times (UK) takes a quick peek at what the Black Sea has to offer for those venturing to Bulgaria for the first time. Recommendations are nicely tailored towards couples, families, culture seekers, spa monkeys, active souls, or partiers. While I have to admit that I was depressed by the soulless Soviet atmosphere I encountered when I visited Bulgaria’s beaches in 1991, The Times article paints an entirely different picture these days. Higher quality resorts have emerged and better restaurants and bars as well. It’s certainly not the coast of Spain, but a summer vacation on the Black Sea will still be rewarding, and far cheaper.