Bulgaria is one of Europe’s best value beach destinations, and Sunny Beach is the party capital. This modern, purpose-built resort on the country’s Black Sea coast has all the things we love about beach holidays: sun, sand, sea, fantastic hotels and waterparks nearby. However, don’t feel you need to stay by the beach all holiday – add variety to your trip with one of these five excursions from Sunny Beach.
Sailing to St Anastasia Island, Bourgas
Located in Bourgas Bay in the Black Sea, St Anastasia island is a tiny little place surrounded in mystery. Once home to a monastery, for centuries it was visited by pirates looking for treasure. Vikings are also thought to have reached the island, which some people speculate has a system of underground caves. Today, there is a small church on the island that you can visit, with murals that date from the 14th Century, and you can even stay overnight in a medieval monastery cell if you wish to extend your day trip! There’s a lighthouse on the island, too.
Bulgaria Jeep Safaris
Tour the eastern slopes of the Balkan Mountains on a jeep safari departing from Sunny Beach. As well as seeing some amazing scenery off-road, you’ll get the chance to hop off the jeep and take part in traditional wilderness pursuits. Bird watching, fishing, archery and horseback riding are all popular activities on a Bulgarian jeep safari.
Day Trip to Veliko Tarnovo
Sunny Beach is big, bold and a little bit brash – and a lot of fun, of course. The beach is more a place for sunning itself than it is for history, but there are plenty of day trips from Sunny Beach a history lover can take. Venture out on a stunning trip across the Balkan Mountains to Velio Turnovo, the medieval capital of Bulgaria. The town, which was once the cultural and intellectual centre of the country, is full of things to see. Visit Tsarevets Hill and walk the old fortress walls, or view some of Bulgaria’s finest monasteries, such as Patriarsheski and Preobrazhenski.
For another sharp contrast to Sunny Beach, jump on the bus for a short ride to the ancient harbour town of Nessebar. The town has a history that dates back more than 3,000 years and was a Thracian settle for several centuries before Greek rule in 6 BC. The best ruins in Nessebar date from the Hellenistic period and include a temple of Apollo, an acropolis and Thracian fortifications. Nessebar town centre is a charming collection of cobbled streets, traditional wooden buildings, souvenir shops and restaurants.
Go on a Bulgarian Wine Tour
Bulgaria may not be a name you associate with wine, but this is all about to change when you visit Sunny Beach. People have been making wine in Bulgaria since Thracian times and it’s good stuff! The Medovo area is located around 12 kilometres from Sunny Beach and is a brilliant place to get an introduction. Try red and white wines, brandies and rakias – a local spirit made from fermented fruit. Recover the next day on the beach!
Fancy a holiday here and a few Sunny Beach day trips? Browse places to stay in Sunny Beach and find out more about this attractive destination, and then make the most of your location to explore more of Bulgaria.