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Introducing Black Sea Coast

For most foreign package-tourists, the Black Sea coast is Bulgaria, and the big, purpose-built resorts here are becoming serious rivals to Spain and Greece in attracting international holidaymakers. Many, of course, simply fly in, splash about at their Sunny Beach (Slânchev Bryag) resort and fly out again without seeing anything beyond the parasols and jet skis, but independent travellers will find plenty of places to explore, including empty beaches to the south and north (visit Sinemorets before the developers gets their paws on it!), the bird-filled Burgas Lakes, beautiful ancient towns such as Nesebâr and Sozopol and one of Bulgaria’s most attractive cities, the unofficial regional capital of Varna. Those with their own transport will have even greater choice, with the wild Strandzha Nature Park in the south and the picturesque Kaliakra Cape and Dobrudzha region in the north theirs to discover.

More so than any other region of Bulgaria, however, the Black Sea coast has been heavily targeted by property developers in the last few years, and almost everywhere you look, construction work on massive hotels, apartment complexes and holiday homes is ongoing, scarring what were once pristine, open stretches of sand and putting pressure on local wildlife. Environmental campaigners have voiced their concerns about the pace and scale of the development, but as long as the money flows in, the building goes on.