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Latest update: 17 May 2023

You can make amazing road trips along the Black Sea coastline in Bulgaria. There’s plenty to see! There’s plenty to see! Drive from Varna to Kavarna and admire the Balchik Palace, look for truffles, and try Bulgarian wine.

Short Bulgarian coastal route

If you think about the Black Sea and beaches in Bulgaria, you probably think of Sunny Beach: the party beach. I would have loved that when I was 18, but now I prefer to explore the area. I’m in the Varna area for a wedding and, luckily, also have time to go on a mini road trip. The stops on this itinerary are all near to each other. So count on a day, depending on how often you stop and whether you do tours – in total, it is just over 60 kilometers.

Lavender fields in Bulgaria

If you drive from Varna to Kavarna in the summer months, take a good look around. You will spot beautiful lavender fields. I always thought you had to go to France for that. But Bulgaria also has them. They’re worth a short stop! Please make sure you park your car somewhere along the road where it is safe.

Varna Winery

One of the stops is the Varna Winery, where you can do a tour and wine tasting. If you want to be sure of a tour or tasting, it is best to contact them in advance. Although you can often just pop in and get lucky.

Google Maps location

Truffle tour

I once did a truffle tour in Italy, which was so cool! You go into the forest with the truffle hunter and their dog searching for truffles. You can also do that in Bulgaria. Who knew?! Book in advance via the site.

Google Maps location

Visit Balchik Palace

Balchik (or Baltsjik) is a small seaside town with an impressive old seaside palace. Friends of mine got married here, and it is a beautiful, romantic location. Balchik Dvoretsa Palace and Park consists of the palace and a botanical garden. Most flowers bloom between May and July. The palace was built at the beginning of the twentieth century as a holiday home for the royal family. It is quite simple for a palace; it is more like a villa.

Please note that you must buy two tickets, one for the palace and one for the garden. And honestly, a guide can’t hurt either, but that is a bit more expensive. You can book a visit with a guided tour here and buy individual tickets at the box office. Then, after a visit to the palace, you can walk along the boulevard and maybe have something to eat at one of the restaurants.

Google Maps location

Ziplining over the Black Sea

You have now arrived in Topola. “Fly” over the ocean from a cliff. At Topola Skies, they offer a short zip line. Not an entire course, just down in one go. There is also a water park at the zipline.

Google Maps location

Luxury golf on the cliffs

Below Topola lies Kavarna, the Gulf Riviera. There are several luxury resorts. The Thracian Cliffs Resort has a beautiful golf course. You can also golf as a non-guest of the resort: buy a day pass or take a golf lesson. All details and prices can be found on the site.

Google Maps location

Thracian Cliffs resort Black Sea

Overnight in Kavarna / Topola

If you decide to spend the night at the Gulf Riviera before heading back to Varna or perhaps continue to explore the coastline, I can of course recommend the Thracian Cliffs Resort. Super luxurious; I believe it’s even the most luxurious resort in Bulgaria. And it’s stunning too, with that golf course and two beautiful private beaches. But maybe it’s a little over budget. Check the rates.

Who knows, just like me, you will be just as happy with a stay in Topola, located on the rocks above the Gulf Riviera. You won’t be directly on the beach but in an affordable luxury resort with sea views. Check out the Kaliakria Resort. I spent a few wonderful days in a spacious apartment with a balcony. The pool is huge and cleverly designed. If you stand in the right spot, it is an infinity pool.

The restaurants at the resort are also good. At Terrazza, you eat Italian, and at El Balcon del Mundo you drink delicious cocktails and eat delicious fish and meat dishes. This is where breakfast is served in the morning, with a very extensive buffet. Love it!

Check the availability.

Overnight stay in Varna

If you drive back to Varna, I recommend the Urban Style apartment in the center of Varna. This spacious apartment has two bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. The shower is a slightly weird cabin but works fine. The kitchen is well-equipped, and you will find funny design details everywhere in the apartment. A big advantage is free parking in a private parking lot. In addition, the hosts are very cooperative and helpful: we accidentally leave something in the apartment, and they help us get it back before our flight home.

Check it out on Booking.com

More Bulgaria travel inspiration?

  • Accommodatie. Favorieten blijven toch Booking.com en Campspace. Ga je liever voor een hostel? Check HostelWorld.
  • Activiteiten. De leukste tours en activiteiten boek je bij GetYourGuide en Viator. En Freetour.com en GuruWalk bieden ‘gratis’ wandeltours aan. Bij WithLocals vind je ook leuke thema-tours.
  • Attracties en musea. Bij Tiqets krijg je trouwens 5% korting op musea en attracties met de kortingscode: KIMOPREIS22
  • Autohuur. Ik huur het liefst bij EasyTerra en Sunny Cars vanwege hun all-inclusive / worry-free aanbod. Eventueel kun je ook nog prijzen vergelijken bij Discover Cars.
  • Bus en trein. Met NS International reis je naar Sofia. Reis in en naar Bulgarije met Flixbus en vind betaalbare bussen en treinen ter plekke met Trainline, Omio of Busbud.
  • Geld. Op sommige plekken wordt je Nederlandse bankpas misschien niet geaccepteerd, regel daarom een prepaid creditcard bij Revolut.
  • Reisgidsen. Ik houd van de praktische gidsen van Lonely Planet, te koop bij onder andere Bol.com en Amazon.
  • Reisuitrusting. Koop je gear bij Bever of Decathlon, of gewoon bij Bol.com.
  • Simkaart. Pas op voor onverwachte hoge bel- en internetkosten. Koop een lokale simkaart ter plekke of regel er eentje online via Airalo.
  • Verzorgde reizen. Liever compleet verzorgd op vakantie? De keuze is reuze: van ANWB vakanties tot Tui, of liever Vakantie Discounter, Sawadee of Shoestring? En dan heb je ook nog Sunweb en D-Reizen.
  • Vliegtickets. Vergelijk altijd je opties! Check in ieder geval MomondoSkyscanner, en Kiwi.
  • Yoga retreat. Of, trakteer jezelf op een fijn yoga retreat!

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