A fine sandy beach five kilometres and up to 100 metres wide, stable temperatures between 25 and 30 °C and a UNESCO World Heritage Site right next door. This is Sunny Beach, Bulgaria’s largest and one of the most beautiful resorts on the Black Sea. If you’re looking for a family-friendly, affordable alternative to the classics on the Mediterranean that can be reached by plane in a relatively short time, then this is the place for you! Here I present the holiday paradise to you in more detail.
Where in Bulgaria is Sunny Beach?
I want to clear up one misunderstanding directly: Sunny Beach is a place name and not a name for the beach itself. In Bulgarian, this place is called Slanchev bryag, literally translated: Sunny Coast. It begins north of the town of Nessebar and stretches for several kilometres along the beach to Sveti Vlas (Saint Vlas). The rather chic neighbouring town is known for the largest marina in Bulgaria.
The nearest major city is Burgas, 35 kilometres to the south. Here you will also find the international airport, which will take you to Bulgaria and Sunny Beach after a flight of about two to three hours. Theoretically, it is also possible to travel by car, but it would take two days driving time one way from the UK, so it’s not an option.
Why travel to Sunny Beach in Bulgaria?
Sunny Beach is the oldest resort in Bulgaria, where the first accommodation for Bulgarian weekenders was built in 1958. Sunny Beach experienced a real boom after the fall of the Iron Curtain in the 1990s, when numerous new accommodations and attractions were created. Today, the resort is correspondingly modern and fresh with its generously designed resorts and without the building sins of earlier decades on the Mediterranean. An absolute hit for kids are hotel resorts with their own aqua park like the TUI BLUE Nevis, which has several large slides and a colourful play area for smaller children. Here, the little ones can run around for hours while you relax in a deckchair.
Things to do in Sunny Beach Bulgaria
There is of course plenty to do in Bulgaria around Sunny Beach. Here are some tips for beautiful destinations in the region that you can experience with a rental car or as part of an organised tour:
- The UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Nessebar, with its early Christian Church of St Sophia, often praised as the Pearl of the Black Sea;
- Bulgaria’s fourth largest city Burgas, with its important museums and the Monastery Island of St Anastasia;
- The nature reserves in the lake district of Burgas;
- The enchanting Pomorie on the Black Sea with its healing mud;
- The Balkan Mountains with original villages, waterfalls and caves.
If the hustle and bustle of Sunny Beach is too much for you, you never have far to go to quiet beaches where hardly any tourists stray. Our tip: the hardly developed Iraklio Beach, which you can combine with a detour to Cape Emine. But be careful, the rocky cape, which drops 60 metres vertically into the Black Sea, is considered particularly stormy. Be careful where you move if you want to immortalise the unique beauty of this stretch of coastline in photographs.
What else can you do in Bulgaria in Sunny Beach?
The seaside resort of Sunny Beach itself has everything a modern holidaymaker’s heart desires. You can please your kids with a visit to one of the large water parks such as the Action Aquapark and the Luna Park, an amusement park with roller coasters and merry-go-rounds.
On the Blue Flag beach itself, you can rent surfboards and SUP boards, race across the water on a jet ski or banana boat, or explore the tranquil underwater world in the Black Sea while snorkelling and diving.
Last but not least, in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria, you can shop to your heart’s content and sample the regional cuisine in quaint restaurants. Try the Bulgarian national dish Bob Chorba (a hearty bean soup) or the meat stew Kavarma. The schnitzel you often see on plates, on the other hand, could be a sham: It is usually kashkaval, a Bulgarian cheese that is breaded and fried as a schnitzel.
Holidays in Bulgaria: Sunny Beach or Golden Sands?
The second major resort on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast is Golden Sands (Zlatni pyasatsi – literally translated: Golden Sand). It is located north of the city of Varna and can look back on a similar development as Sunny Beach. In terms of tourism, the two places do not have much in common, as Golden Sands also has a beautiful long sandy beach, a variety of tourist attractions and a number of attractive excursion destinations.
The big difference between the two: In Golden Sands, the party is raging in the summer months, comparable to the notorious German Ballermann on Mallorca (whose most famous clubs and bars have now opened offshoots in Bulgaria). So if you want to party, this is the place to be. But if you are looking for peace and quiet or are travelling with small children, you should choose Sunny Beach for your holiday in Bulgaria.
What is the weather like in Bulgaria in Sunny Beach?
The Bulgarian Black Sea coast is located on the same latitude as the northern Adriatic Sea and southern France. In the summer months, temperatures between 25 and 30° C await you in Bulgaria’s Sunny Beach for wonderfully lazy days in the deckchair and leisure activities in and on the water.
However, it rains more often here than on the Mediterranean. Even in July and August, you can expect four to six rainy days per month. Your holiday packing list should include rain jackets or ponchos and an umbrella. It’s also helpful to have a plan B for rainy days. Take games with you to play in the spacious family suite at the TUI BLUE Hotel, or let the kids run around with their peers in the Kids Club.On the plus side, the water temperatures in the Black Sea are almost bathtub level at 25° C in high summer. Perfect for relaxed snorkelling and running around with the little ones in the shallow water.
Is Sunny Beach Bulgaria good for families?
Sunny Beach in Bulgaria is an attractive destination that scores with excellent value for money and plenty of variety. Modern, spacious hotels such as the TUI Blue Nevis offer first-class comfort, a wide range of childcare facilities for children of all ages and much more. Keep fit with various sports programmes or join excursions to the surrounding area, for example to the cobbled streets of Nessebar or the wild Balkans, to get to know your holiday destination better. One thing is for sure: you will return home with many unforgettable impressions!
FAQ about Sunny Beach Bulgaria
Is Bulgaria a cheap country?
Bulgaria is one of the cheapest countries in Europe, especially for those who want to visit the beach. The average monthly salary is 400 euros, which is much lower than other European countries such as France or Italy. However, the exchange rate is favorable, making it easier to spend money.
Is Sunny Beach Bulgaria safe?
Yes, Bulgaria is considered one of the safest countries in Europe. However, you should be careful about pickpockets and other criminals who may try to scam tourists. Use common sense as you would do at home.
Where do you fly to for Sunny Beach Bulgaria?
The best airport for traveling to Sunny Beach in Bulgaria is Bourgas airport. It’s served in the summer season by charter airlines from all over Europe. The airport is located at a distance of about 15 km from the city center.
Where is the strip in Sunny Beach?
The strip in Sunny Beach Bulgaria is located at the end of the beach. There are several restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels along the strip. If you want to go shopping, then you should visit the “Strip Mall” which has all kinds of stores.
What is the nightlife like in Sunny Beach Bulgaria?
The nightlife in Sunny Beach in Bulgaria is great because there are plenty of bars and clubs where you can dance until dawn. If you want to party after midnight, you should go to one of the nightclubs such as “The Club” or “Cacao Beach Club”. There are also some restaurants that serve food late at night.
What is the beach like in Sunny Beach Bulgaria?
The best beach in Sunny Beach Bulgaria is called “Sveti Vlas”. This beautiful beach has golden sand, crystal clear water, and a lot of restaurants.
What language do they speak in Bulgaria?
The official language of Bulgaria is Bulgarian, although English is also widely understood in tourist areas. Bulgarian is a Slavic language spoken by about 7 million people around the world.
How is the climate in Sunny Beach Bulgaria?
The climate in Sunny Beach Bulgaria is great because it has mild winters and hot summers. However, the best months for traveling to Sunny Beach Bulgaria are from May through September.
Do I need a visa to travel to Sunny Beach and Bulgaria?
British passport holders don’t need a visa to enter Bulgaria. Holders of other national passports are advised to check at their respective embassies for any visa requirements.