Sozopol is a town on the southern Black Sea Coast, in the Burgas region. It’s an administrative centre and one of the most preferred sea resorts.
Sozopol is a fishing town, situated between two wonderful beaches and a favourite place for summer holiday. The crowd of Bulgarian tourists with foreign mixes and forms a unique cosmopolitan atmosphere on the streets of Old and New Town in Sozopol.
The town is about 150 km from Varna, 30 km from Bourgas, 50 km from Pomorie and 70 km from Sveti Vlas.
The landmarks of the resort are so many and so different – from archeological and architectural sites, artistic events, restaurants and amusement parks to harbour services, yacht-clubs, eco-tourism and underwater phenomena. But none of these can be mixed with the other, because they all impress the visitors like a beautiful ensemble.
The atmosphere of Sozopol is ancient and artistic. This is due to the stone-paved streets, high fences of the houses, in front of which elderly women chat, make lace and sell homemade jam. Another interesting thing about Sozopol is the exotic fruits – pomegranates, olives and figs that can be seen in front of almost every house.
There are more than 45 architectural monuments, which includes two old churches from 14th c. – “St. Zosim” and “Holy Virgin”, as well as many other buildings from 17th c, some of which has social functions today, providing lodgings for the art gallery, restaurants, medical centre and national periodical.
Other interesting sites for the visitors are the Archeological museum and the Art Gallery, which are situated in the Old Town and the excavations of the antique necropolis in Harmani beach and “Budzhaka” district, which is in fact the newest part of Sozopol.
Since the town has a 2 600-year-old history, it’s kept the spirit of different historical periods and cultures: antique Greco – Romanian buildings and architectural monuments of the Bulgarian Revival Age. The strategically location of Sozopol between the Black Sea and Strandzha mountains, which has been a source of raw materials for its inhabitants in their trading with Greek colonies and Thracian tribes. Culture and art has flourished. Churches, public buildings and sculptures were erected, bringing the print of the Classical Greek Art.
Every year in September Sozopol becomes a centre of the famous international art festival – Apolonia, which attracts artists and men of art from Bulgaria and abroad. This event is the first and still the best choice for cultural tourism in Bulgaria. The festival includes various events like international theatre performances, jazz concerts, fashion shows, chamber music and book reviews.
The most attractive places are the Windmill, “Sozopol” tavern, “Atina” tavern, “Xanta” and “Neptune” restaurants, “Druzhba” fishing boat, “Orpheus”, “Olymp”, "Stenata“("The Wall”), “Kladenetsa" ("The Well”), "Liliya
(“The Lilly”). Some of them are built in very interesting way, on the place of ancient sites after thorough research and restoration.
Among them are: "Stenata" restaurant, whose basement has been used as a wine-vault, and “Kladenetsa”, which is built on a spring that provided drinking water for the town in ancient times.
Many formations with fjord-like shapes can be seen to the south of Sozopol. There the high rocky coast is cut by the waves. There are many caves there.
20 km in south is the mouth of Ropotamo River, where there are two natural resorts – “Water Lilly” and “Velyov vir”. Here is also the route for the birds, which migrate in south called Via Pontica. Every year, in the end of the summer, thousands storks, pelicans and more than 30 types of birds gather there before heading to the African coasts.
There are thousands places for fishing, which are attractive even for the masters. Individual fishing quotas are offered in radius up to 15 km and 3 nautical miles. One can angles from a boat, a rocky coast or underwater. There is sea, freshwater, demersal or shoal fish.
The windsurfing conditions are very good in Sozopol. One of the national regattas is performed there in the gulf of Sozopol every year. The best places for surfing are in this gulf around the camping sites “Chermorets”, “Gradina” (“Garden”) and “Zlatnata ribka” (“The Golden Fish”). There are also surf-schools and hire surf shops.
All water-sports can be practiced on individual schedules or depending on the offer of every safeguarded beach in Sozopol.
In the so-called “VIP Zone” is the hotel complex, which is situated on “Golyam borun” Cape, where are the Central and “Harmanite” beach.
The complex includes all facilities, as well, as service center with outdoor piano bar, night club, art gallery, swimming pool, fitness and sauna. There are no buildings on the cape itself and that’s why the view there is so beautiful.
There’s a parking lot and many benches, from where everyone can enjoy the view.
A new house complex is built at the moment. It’s called “Sozopolis” and is near the end of Kolokita Cape, which is the replica of the Old Town. It consists of about 56 two-storied, two-family and apartment houses and about 21 individual houses – spacious and luxurious with view to the sea.
Building in the complex is conformable to the relief and is amphitheatric with many green fields and attractive details. A luxurious SPA center is being built there, having a modern fitness equipment, outdoor pools, Jacuzzi, solarium, sauna, healing baths and massage area.
Other attraction near Sozopol is “St. Ivan” Island. It’s the biggest island in Bulgarian part of the Black Sea and is only 2 km from the Old Town. A sonar lighthouse together with the lighthouse of Emine Peak shows the way of the vessels to the gulf of Bourgas.
The island was a pirate’s shelter in the ancient times and there was built “St. Ivan Prodromos” monastery. There’s a unique underwater phenomenon around the island, known as “The Stone Forest”.
The harbour of Sozopol is used for passenger and cargo-carrying. It has seven terminals ships and terminal with checkpoint for travelers. Moreover, Sozopol offers docks and quays for fishing boats. There’re also excursions to Chernomorets and the Dunes resort.
Sozopol is one of the most ancient town in Bulgaria, which combines the ancient culture and the facilities of a modern resort. Sozopol brings heroism from a past epoch.
In 610 BC about 800 Anatolian Greeks found a new polis on the Sozopol island, which they call Apollonia, after the name of Apollo, worshipped as a healer.
Sozopol, which from Greek means - „The town of salvation”, preserves the millenary history of the Black Sea with many archeological excavations and monuments. There are fortress wall remains found in Varshilovo village, in the Roman fortress – “Kaleto” in Krushevets village, as well as many fortress remains near the sea coast. There’re necropolis found in Veselie village and pre-historical tombs in Rosen village, Sadykovo village and Bakyrlyka district.
There is rare Greek cookware from 4-6th c. like stone, stone coppersmith from 2nd c., a collection of 120 amphoras and many other things in the archeological museum in Sozopol.
The legacy of architectural wealth is presented by significant buildings like churches, monasteries and chapels. The Church of Holy Virgin from 7th c is preserved by UNESCO; the Chapel of St. Zosim from 19th c., the narrow streets and picturesque bay window houses from the Bulgarian Revival Age bears the mark of the characteristic Black sea architecture.
Opposite the Old Town are situated three islands: St. Ivan, St. Peter and St. Cyril, which make the place uniquely beautiful.
There can be seen the remains of the monastery of St. John the Forerunner, devastated entirely in 14 – 15th c.; an ancient Greek temple of Apollo, an ancient lighthouse and ancient smelter.
High-frequency bus lines connect Sozopol to Bourgas. Route taxis, minibuses and ordinary taxis run along the same route as well.