Author: Misty Bennett (page 1 of 1)

Cruise the Black Sea

Sailing around the Black Sea on a cruise ship could be the ideal way to see history-filled towns and cities in countries such as Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine.

The Black Sea is connected to the Mediterranean Sea via the Aegean Sea and as such is a hive of cultural activity, thanks to its long history.

If you choose to take a Black Sea cruise you will likely need to travel to Istanbul before moving on to your port of departure.

Istanbul is an amazing city to see on any holiday and is known for its fusion of eastern and western culture due to its unique position between Europe and Asia.

You may get the chance to see the Turkish metropolis on a night-time tour – which could be even more fascinating than a daytime equivalent.

Nesseber in Bulgaria is a common departure point for Black Sea cruises and offers a vast array of historical and cultural sights.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the resort city is one of the oldest in Europe and is packed with things to see, including buildings and monuments that date back centuries.

The first stop on your cruise will probably be Tulcea in Romania, an ancient city with a plethora of historic buildings to gaze at, including the Azzizie Mosque and St Nicholas’ Church, as well as a number of interesting museums.

You will likely go through several port stops across the Ukrainian coast, each offering a different experience. Odessa is perfect for those who love architecture, as well as sun-worshippers eager to relax on a white sand beach.

Yalta has some intriguing religious buildings that are a must-see, including the Armenian Church, the Sacred John Zlatoust church and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

The shops and restaurants of the bustling quay and the town’s impressive Lenin monument are also worth a visit.

Sevastopol is another popular stop on Black Sea cruises thanks to its parks, beaches and a number of museums. Kherson may well interest those with a penchant for military history, as it was originally founded in the 18th century as a fortress.

Zaporizhya – which is claimed to have one of the best Ukrainian orchestras and is packed with museums – is likely to be the penultimate stop on your tour before you wind up your cruise in Kiev, the endlessly fascinating Ukrainian capital.

For deails of over 400 cruises sailing from the uk as well as excellent cruise search features go to cruises from southampton

Sunny Beach

Along with Golden Sands, Sunny Beach is probably the largest and most popular summer holiday resort not only in Bulgaria, but on the Balkans. Sunny Beach is located some 35km north of one the busiest Bulgarian cities on the Black Sea coast – Bourgas. It’s 8km long fine sand beach, numerous hotels, restaurants, two large water parks and endless entertainment facilities make it a perfect destination for all ages, although Sunny Beach is especially popular among young people with its enormous number of lively bars and nightclubs along the promenade.

More than 500 hotels offer accommodation for hundreds of thousands holidaymakers wishing to unwind and have a memorable holiday. The resort’s flat terrain and the fact that all hotels have been built along the coast, make the golden sandy beach easily accessible from any hotel. The seaside promenade has some 150 restaurants and plenty of bars, all offering a high standard of service at low prices. The southern part of the resort is practically built together with the northern parts of one of the jewels on the Black Sea coast – the ancient museum town of Nessebar. Also know as the “Pearl of the Black Sea” it is a must on anyone’s holiday to Bulgaria.

Another great reason to choose Sunny Beach as your next holiday destination is that you will discover that holidays to Bulgaria are incredible value for money. According to the latest new Holiday Costs Barometer of 15 European and mid-haul destinations by Post Office Travel Money, Bulgaria is this year’s best holiday bargain. Key findings include that meals, drinks and other tourist staples are cheapest by far in Bulgaria.

Apart from the numerous activities available in resort (horse riding, buggy, bungee, archery, various music events, different kinds of water sports, such as yachting, windsurfing, kiteboarding, water ski and many more), there are also a number of excursions and interesting things to see in the area around the resort. From birdwatching in the world famous national reserve Atanasovo Lake, to traditional Bulgarian folklore nights in local villages or even a shopping and sightseeing trip to Istanbul in next door neighbour Turkey.

This summer saw a number of temperature records – in some places of the country the temperatures rose above 40C. The high number of sunshine hours (1700 hours from May to October) in Sunny Beach, the hot weather and warm sea water will make your summer holidays to Bulgaria ones you will not forget.

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Visit Bulgaria

Many people will admit it – Bulgaria is probably not at the top of their list of countries that instantly appeal to them as a holiday destination. With the abundance of great, low cost all inclusive holidays to hotspots such as Tenerife, Majorca and Greece, why choose to go to a place that they know nothing about?

The truth is, however, that Bulgaria is a country that is rich with culture, history, exciting activities to enjoy and a fantastic climate. With that in mind, here are the top five reasons why this Eastern European destination should definitely be a strong contender for your next break, whether you are traveling with family, friends, or even on your own.

The first reason that Bulgaria is worth visiting is that it boasts a beautiful Black Sea coastline that has all the amenities and facilities of a Mediterranean resort, but without the associated expense or huge hoards of Western European tourists that the latter attracts.

Bulgaria is a holiday destination of choice for many Eastern Europeans, but its seaside towns and stunning beaches have not quite caught on yet with the vast majority of Western holidaymakers. What this means is that there is still chance to take advantage of some truly unspoiled beaches and avoid the crowds that can be a nuisance when visiting Spain, Greece or the Canary Islands.

This leads to the second key reason why you should consider travelling here – it is a great deal less expensive that other major resorts. Despite not having European hotspot status,there are several companies offering low cost all inclusive holidays to Bulgaria, which means that it is possible to get a real bargain in addition to enjoying the peace and quiet and the pristine white sands on offer.

The cost of living is low here too, which means that you can afford to fill up on tasty local dishes and the local brews of Kamenitza and Astika for very little cost. Hotel accommodation, entry to attractions and prices in local supermarkets are also low when compared with those in Western Europe, which means your holiday budget will stretch a lot further here.

The third reason why you should consider making Bulgaria your next holiday destination is that it boasts some fantastic natural wonders. Although the beaches are sublime, most people like to do at least a little bit of exploring on their holiday, and you do not have to go far from the coast to discover some unforgettable sights.

There are two stunning nature reserves not far from the Black Sea, which means that anyone on an all inclusive holiday to this region can benefit from some excellent variety on their break. The nearby Ropotamo and Kamchia parks feature dense forests, an abundance of wildlife, unique rock formations and organised boat trips to discover virtually untouched parts of the country.

Bulgaria is also rich in history and culture, and is a favourite with holidaymakers for its impressive monasteries, including the vast Rila Monastery, the equally huge Bachkovo Monastery and the 700 year old Aladzha Monastery. These fantastic feats of architecture are fine examples of the country’s religious history, and are also mostly in easy reach of popular Bulgarian resorts.

Our final reason why this beautiful country should be next on your list of places to visit is due to its healing mineral waters and spas. Regardless of whether travellers are on low cost all inclusive holidays or expensive tailored tours, everyone likes to indulge in some serious relaxation on their break, and with its 200 mineral water springs, Bulgaria is the ideal location for this.

Dotted throughout the country – including in key locations such as Sofia, Velingrad, Varshets and Sandanski – each and every holidaymaker is sure to find a spa close to them so that they can experience a slice of Bulgarian tradition and also the soothing effects of the steaming hot mineral waters that draw locals all year round.