Sozopol, a historic seaside town piled up on rocky peninsula jutting into the Black Sea, has become one of Bulgaria’s most stylish resorts. It has fabulous beaches, a beautiful historic quarter, plus great restaurants, shopping and a huge range of things to see and do. Watch the colourful boats bob in the harbour, wander through the twisting streets of the romantic old town, or just soak up the sun on one of the gorgeous sandy beaches. The beaches have excellent facilities, and you can try your hand at a host of water sports, from water-skiing to parasailing.
Sozopol is one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria, and the cobbled streets and distinctive wooden buildings of its historic centre attract thousand of visitors every year. Most of the hotels are located in the modern part of town (called Hermanite), right by the beaches, which are the focus of the resort’s summer action. Around the beaches you’ll find scores of bars and restaurants, plus amenities for a wide range of water sports. As well as the beautifully preserved historic town, you could explore some fascinating archaeological sites in the area, or take a river boat trip through the Ropotamo Nature Reserve.
Wine and Dine
Sozopol has lots of fantastic places to eat and drink, both in the new town (Harmanite) and the historic quarter. There are plenty of places offering international cuisine, but you won’t want to miss the tasty local specialities. The Bulgarians like to tuck into refreshing salads during the summer months, including the ever-popular shopska, which is made with pepper, cucumber, tomato and onion topped with the feta-like local cheese. There’s lots of fresh fish on menus, along with tasty soups and stews, musaka (layers of meat, potatoes and boiled egg), and fresh vegetables stuffed with all kinds of delicious fillings. Finish your meal with some sticky baklava, a scrumptious pastry with honey and nuts.
The gorgeous beaches keep families happy in Sozopol. These tick all the boxes, with perfect sand for making sandcastles, crystal-clear waters, a nice shallow slope, and great amenities from lifeguards to convenient cafes and restaurants. Older kids and teenagers will be happy to find all the usual water sports and fun activities, from windsurfing and snorkelling to jet-skiing and banana boats. Even the youngest children will be delighted by the charming old wooden buildings in the historic quarter of Sozopol. At the Ravadinovo Castle, located just inland, there is a petting zoo and extensive gardens. During the summer, you could drive up to Burgas (35 minutes away) to see the amazing sand creations sculpted for the annual Sand Fest.
Action and Adventure
Sozopol’s boasts a fantastic range of water sports that will keep the adrenaline pumping throughout your holiday. The Golden Fish beach, located about 3km from the centre of town, is a well-known destination for wind surfing and surfing. There’s a school on the beach that rents out equipment and offers courses for people of all levels. On Harmani Beach, which is the biggest in the area, there are amenities for a host of fun activities, including parasailing and water-skiing. And of course, there are the holiday classics – jet-ski safaris and banana-boat rides around the bay. If you like hiking and wildlife, head to the Ropotamo Nature Reserve, about 10km south of Sozopol, which is home to eagles, wild boar and myriad bird species.
Life's a Beach
Sozopol boasts two main beaches: the central beach and Harmani Beach, which are both beautifully set overlooking shallow bays. The central beach is a picturesque (although narrow) stretch of golden sand that is located very close to the Old Town. Harmani Beach, in the modern part of town, is longer and wider, and features outstanding facilities from lounger rental to beach bars. Harmani Beach is also the focus of the The Golden Fish beach, about 3 kilometres north of Sozopol, is a popular hangout with surfers, and has a school that offers equipment rental and windsurfing and surfing courses.
Sozopol has a vibrant nightlife scene, particularly in the peak summer months of July and August. There are plenty of big bars and clubs near the sea in the new part of town, along with some quieter and more intimate spots to kick back in the atmospheric historic centre. Most of the club action is concentrated along Harmani Beach, where things really heat up after midnight. You could start the night at one of the stylish cocktail bars and cafés in the pretty historic quarter, sitting out on a charming square and watching the people around you ebb and flow, before heading down to the beach to hit some of the livelier bars and clubs.
The historic heart of Sozopol is a romantic tangle of cobbled streets and traditional wooden buildings. It is easily one of the most captivating spots on the Black Sea for a holiday with your partner. You can spend the day lazing on the beach, relax with a glass of wine on a charming square in the evenings, and enjoy delicious meals with sea views from one of the intimate restaurants in the old town. There are often free outdoor concerts and performances held during the summer months (and during the fabulous Apolonia arts festival held here in September), so you can cosy up with your partner and soak up some tunes on balmy summer evenings.
Sozopol is one of the oldest cities on the Bulgarian Black Sea, and full of fascinating ancient ruins and historic monuments. The peninsula has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and discoveries from the 7th-century BC Greek settlement (called Apollonia) can be seen in the town’s excellent archaeological museum. The historic quarter, a captivating maze of meandering streets, is full of traditional wooden houses from the 18th and 19th centuries. You’ll also find the remnants of a 10th-century monastery, and a medieval basilica. In early September, Sozopol hosts the Apollonia Festival of Arts, which features concerts, performances, and all kinds of free cultural activities in the streets.