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Highlights of Bulgaria
Friday 20 October 2017
I was selected to take part in an educational trip to Bulgaria in June. It was my first time visiting the country and the truth to be told, my expectations were not too high just based on what I have read or heard. I think that people are a bit afraid of Bulgaria and would rather stick to Spain or Portugal as their family holiday destination. Maybe they have some prejudice towards the country or maybe they don’t have enough knowledge. I was exactly the same. Now that I’m back I’m glad to admit I was wrong, and I will try to show you that Bulgaria is a nice country that has a lot to offer!
Getting There & Where I Stayed
Direct flight from Dublin to Bourgas is about 4 hours and Sunny Beach, Bulgaria’s most popular resort, is a mere 30-min transfer from Bourgas Airport. I stayed in 4* Laguna Park Sunny Beach Hotel on an all inclusive basis and it was good. In fairness though, I have stayed in better 4* hotels and I can imagine some people would not be satisfied with the food. I think the level of cleanliness in the main dining room could have been better and the staff more proactive. The hotel facilies for kids however, especially water slides, were amazing. The beach is about 5 mins walk away and it is fabulous. I liked our modern bathroom and the room was spacious enough.
Other Accommodation Options
During our trip we visited several hotels and apartment complexes in Sunny Beach. I really liked 4* Hotel Neptun Beach and next time I would stay there. It is a modern looking property right on the beach that offers all you would expect from a 4* hotel. 3* hotels in the area are superb value and I can recommend Hotel Karlovo or Sunny Victory Appartments. Both are very family oriented and feel nice and homely. Practically all hotels in Sunny Beach are located close to the white sandy beach so you don’t have to worry about being too far out.
What To Do in Sunny Beach
The resort is lively and has all amenities that you need – shops, bars, cafes, restaurants– for a very friendly price. If you are a water sports fan, you won’t be disappointed. Nearby Aqua Paradise Water Park offers great fun for the whole family. The entrance is about €20 per adult and €10 per child for the full day and there is a free shuttle bus from Sunny Beach. My favourite slide was Tsunami - absolutely crazy experience! Moreover, I highly recommend visiting Khan’s Tent – great restaurant with live music and carabet shows on top of the hill overlooking the coast. We had a fantastic evening and the service was just spot on! The price is about €35 per adult and half for a child which includes a 4 course dinner + all the entertainment.
Trip to Nesebar
Last day we visited the ancient town of Nesebar and that is a must-do day trip. It is easily accessible from Sunny Beach by bus or taxi and the ride is only about 15 mins. The place offers stunning views of the turquoise sea and you can buy some nice local souvenirs. Cobbled streets with traditional architecture give Nesebar a special vibe and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit.
Tips & Recommendations
I recommend exchanging some local currency as not many shops and restaurants accept Euros or payment by card. July and August are the best months to go as we had a few cloudy days in mid-June. Bulgaria is two hours ahead of Ireland so beware of the time change. There are ongoing constructions in some parts of Sunny Beach but nothing major that would ruin your holiday feeling. Overall I really enjoyed our trip and the value for money is just incredible – from clothes shopping to eating out. I would recommend Bulgaria to families or couples who are looking for a cheap and cheerful summer holiday. Don’t be discouraged by what some people say and just give it a go. I honestly think that Bulgaria is worth a try! If you have any questions, please get in touch and I will be happy to assist you!