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Bourgas beach offers great conditions for wind surfing

© Creative Commons / dasmartyrium

Bourgas Beach

The fourth largest city in Bulgaria and largest port on the Black Sea, Bourgas is a lively, compact city, its pedestrianised boulevards and outdoor cafés giving it a distinctly Mediterranean ambience. It is a great base to explore the nearby resorts, and for bird-watching at the peaceful lakes. Bourgas also boasts a long beach, with Marine Park alongside it being a popular strolling area. The season kicks in around early June, from when the city fills up and hotels are full, and winds down by late September. Although not renowned as a beach destination, Bourgas is exceptionally popular as a seaside city, with plenty of attractions and entertainment.


Although not the most beautiful beach in the area, the stretch of sand is long and situated next to the pleasantly laid-out Sea Gardens. The beach is a low-key place for swimming and strolling, and the strong winds make good conditions for windsurfing, although there are few places to rent equipment. Kite-surfing is possible on the less crowded northern end of the beach.

Beyond the beach

The small town with its pedestrianised streets makes it easy to explore, with a few pleasant museums and galleries dotted around. Petko Zadgorski Art Gallery, housed in the old synagogue, has three floors of paintings including 17th-century religious icons and Bulgarian contemporary artists. The frescos inside the gloomily-lit Sveti Sveti Cyril and Methodius are stunning. The Bourgas Opera House has performances year-round, and during the summer the city hosts a plethora of festivals including the Annual Summer International Folklore Festival at the Open-Air Theatre.

Family fun

The attractive and well-maintained Promorski Park (also known as Sea Garden) is always popular with families, with a small fairground at the southern end, with dodgems, a merry-go-round, a bouncy castle and a helter-skelter. Towards the middle of the park a decent kids playground includes tiny battery-operated cars for very young children, a sand-pit and swings. There are plenty of wonderful ice-cream stalls for children of all ages!

Exploring further

Many people use Bourgas as a base to explore the gleaming resorts, like Sunny Beach, 30km (19 miles) north and quaint Sozopol, 34km (21 miles) south, and UNESCO-protected historical town Nesebar, 20km (12 miles) north. In high season, Hotel Bulgaria plus many travel agents around that area, arrange bus tours to the Bourgas Lakes for their superb wetlands and the great bird-watching opportunities they offer. The historical treasures of Varna, 134km (83 miles) north, make a good day trip, and halfway between the two are the (so far) peaceful beaches of Obzor, 73km (45 miles) north.

Splashing out

For local contemporary art, plus exquisite ceramics and sculptures, the tiny Luna Gallery sells high quality, tasteful goods. In stark contrast to the clunky, chunky silver and golf-ball-sized rings on offer in most other stores, there is elegant jewellery made from unusual designs and materials. Some of the ceramics (all original) are huge, others delicate, and all paintings and prints are by local artists.

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