The jewel of Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast, Varna is a hopping-off point for some of the best beaches in Eastern Europe. Top up your tan and soak up a little culture at the same time with a holiday to Varna from Glasgow Airport.
Life’s a beach
The beach resorts of the Black Sea Coast rival the Mediterranean for comfortable hotels, zingy nightlife and shimmering sands. If you’re keen to escape the youthful crowds who descend on this sun-soaked coastline during the summer months then the leafy resort of St Konstantin, with its Blue Flag beach and scattering of secluded rocky coves, is just a 17km drive from Varna Airport. Another lesser-known gem is Albena: its 5km-long white-sand beach and sleepy atmosphere make it ideal for families with small kids in tow.
In need of some serious R&R? The coastline surrounding Varna is famous for its mineral springs, which are said to cure everything from stress and neurosis to asthma, arthritis and bronchitis. Combine a soothing thermal bath with some beach action at Golden Sands, one of the coastline’s largest and liveliest resorts. There’s watery fun of a different kind to be had at Aquapolis (k.k. Zlatni Pyasaci), Golden Sands’ famous waterpark, while a sparkling constellation of clubs and bars offers plenty of after-hours entertainment.
If you can drag yourself away from the beach then Varna itself is fraught with historical and cultural interest. It’s easy to while away a day exploring the ancient churches of St Michael the Archangel (ul 27 Yuli), St Anastasios (ul Graf Ignatiev) and St Sarkis (ul Han Asparuh 15) or wandering around the Varna City Art Gallery (ul Lyuben Karavelov 1). Don’t miss the 2nd-century Roman baths, which are the largest in Bulgaria: part of the complex still stands at the corner of Han Krum and ul San Stefano.