Golden Sands is a popular touristic destination at the shores of Black Sea, a few kilometers from the coast city of Varna. A privileged climate, the best beaches on the Bulgarian coast, and a beautiful natural park, makes Golden Sands one of the best resorts in eastern Europe, that receives thousands of tourists from around the world each year. Golden Sands is a great place to enjoy delicious Bulgarian cuisine, a lively nightlife, a picturesque landscape, and fantastic beaches.
At 40 meters high, hidden among the trees and sculpted from the same stone of a vertical cliff, stands this interesting monastery. Thanks to some stairs you can access its two levels, and visit the rooms, common areas and a chapel. Inside, still remain a colorful frescoes which once covered almost all the walls of the building. Its splendor came during the Ottoman occupation of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, when the construction of new churches was forbidden. The monastery was inhabited by monks until the eighteenth century, when it was forlorn.
Palace and Botanic gardens of Balchik
A little over 10 kilometers north of Golden Sands you can visit the town of Balchik, where stands a beautiful palace, formerly the favorite residence of Queen Marie of Romania. The adjacent Botanic Gardens are a perfect place to relax and enjoy the calm and beauty of this place.
Many Bulgarians call Varna the “Jewel of the Black Sea”. Aside from its beaches, busies in summer, Varna is an attractive town with elegant churches, buildings and parks. One of the biggest highlights is the Cathedral, the second-largest church in the country after that of San Alexander Nevsky, in Sofia. This remarkable building has a beautiful Byzantine design, and is profusely decorated on the inside, which also has stained rose windows. It was constructed in 1884 to honour the independence from the Ottoman Empire.
The Church of the Virgin Mary, made of wood and adorned with Orthodox icons, and that of Saint Nicholas, where sailors go to ask for protection from their patron, are two of the most beautiful churches in Bulgaria.
Another symbol of the town is the Clock Tower, which rises up above the other buildings. It is situated in the heart of a wooded park, behind the elegant Varna Theatre, another interesting site.
The Evksinograd palace, which was once used by Tsar Boris III, contrasts with the city's predominant Byzantine style. Its architecture and fantastic gardens are similar to the 18th-century French style.
The Maritime Garden lies opposite the beach. Apart from the naval and natural history museums, there is also an aquarium here, with species from the Black Sea, plus a planetarium and a dolphinarium. This park is a good alternative to the extensive range of culture on offer in Varna. Another interesting place is the lake, the deepest on the Black Sea coast. Separated from the sea by a strip of sand alone, it is one of the most visited places in town.
You can also visit the Museum of Art and History, where you can visit an archaeological collection of exceptional value: the world's oldest gold artifacts and manufactures, dating from the 4.000 BC. To the north of the town you will find the necropolis, with objects dating back to 5000 BC. Here you can see tombs and ceramic and copper decorations. These sites are some of the most important in Eastern Europe.
Golden Sands offers a varied range of nightclubs, discos where you can dance and have fun, and terraces where you can enjoy the warm nights of the Black Sea coast. And if you feel lucky, why not visit one of the glamorous casinos of the area?. If you are lucky, you may leave richer than you came!
Bulgarian cuisine is tasty, spicy and very similar to that of its Balkan neighbours. The Turkish influence is considerable. At times, the difference between a Bulgarian, Greek, Turkish or Serbian dish resides solely in its name or just one ingredient. With the huge variety of bars, cafes and restaurants present in Golden Sands, there is no excuse to taste the excellent Bulgarian cuisine.
- Meat: Highlights are kavarmá, a kind of stew containing pork, leeks, wine, chilli and fresh herbs; méshana skara or mixed grill; and sarmí, well-spiced minced meat wrapped in vine or cabbage leaves.
- Yoghurt: Without doubt this is the culinary symbol of Bulgaria. In fact, the microorganism that transforms milk into yoghurt is called 'Lactobacillus bulgaricus' or ‘Bulgarian milk bacillus’. Yoghurt is an indispensable component of the cold ‘tarator’ soup, which also contains cucumbers, garlic, oil and walnuts, and is eaten like gazpacho. Another popular dish is ‘airán’, diluted yoghurt with a little salt.
- With regard to cheese, ‘sírene’, made with cow or sheep milk, is used in many dishes like the ‘shopska salata’, a salad made using tomato, cucumber, green pepper and onion.
- Desserts: Ottoman influence can be felt in the typical sweets such as ‘baklavá’, a pastry gateau filled with walnuts and honey; ‘tolumba’, a fritter with syrup; or ‘kadaif’, vermicelli with walnuts, cinnamon and syrup.
- Wines: Although Bulgarian wines have lost their splendour and the markets they had during the Communist era, they are still very good quality. The country has many local grape varieties such as Mavrud, Gamza, Pamid and red Misquet, among others, which produce excellent wines. The crisis in the sector saw the introduction of international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Rkatsiteli, of Georgian origin. We should also mention the Rakia or the Mint, typical liquors in the region.
In Golden Sands is possible to practice many sports, highlighting the offer of golf courses, minigolf, horseback riding, tennis and volleyball, and a large variety of water activities including windsurfing, diving and canoeing. You can also make beautiful excursions across the natural surrounding areas.
“Aquapolis” Water Park
"Aquapolis" is the most beautiful water park in Eastern Europe. It was the first to be built in Bulgaria, with a Mediterranean style. It is located in the northwestern part of Golden Sands resort, on the main road. Surrounded by lush forests and near the sea, from there you can enjoy a beautiful view of the coast, while you have fun for the whole family.