The resort of Golden Sands is the largest one on the Northern Black Sea coast (more than 1800 hectares). It is situated 13 km north-east of Varna, 490 km east of Sofia. North of the resort is the village of Kranevo and south is Chaika holiday village. Golden Sands merges with the St. St. Konstantin and Elena Resort and Riviera resort. The area is famous for the purest sand on the Black Sea coast. In Turkish times it was called Ouzounkoum - the long sands. The resort is abundant in lush vegetation and with the numerous bushes and trees it resembles a real park. The mineral water running out of several big pipes onto the beach, as well as the marvellous wood bordering the Frangen Plateau turn Golden Sands into one of the pearls of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.
The construction works commenced in the around the year of 1950, and is still going on. Most of the alleys are tarmac-covered, the shore is paralleled by small streets, nice cosy hotels with beautiful parks around them, steps leading to small bays on both sides of the resort. The constant temperature of about 27°C and the microclimate of Golden Sands throughout the season make it a wonderful place for having a rest and fun.
The park has been established on February 3rd, 1943 and it was then named Golden Sands Netional Park. Its total area is 1 320.7 hectars. The park has been further developed in 1956 - places to relax among the nature, restaurants and places to stay, fountains and hiking tracks were build.
There were many snakes in the area and it turned out to be a problem for the tourists visiting once lavish and virgin forests. To solve the problem the local officials have found a simple and nature-friendly decision - thousands of hedgehogs were brought with special trucks and released in the park. For a very short period of time the problem was solved and the lovable saviours are still inhabiting the park along with a great number of rare and protected vegetation and animal species and birds.
The climate is very similar to the Mediterranean and the average summer temperature does not exceed 27 degrees. The first tourist arrive in April. The beachline is approx 4 km long and is covered with fine golden sand, which gave the name of the resort. The sandy sea-bottom is flat and slopes gradually. The lack of sharp rocks and dangerous sea inhabitants provide good opportunity for the lovers of scuba-diving and fishing, and the beach is safe and pleasant place to relax.
There is a casino, many bars, mini- golf playground, horse-carriages and attractive carts, water slides, good conditions and equipment for practising all kinds of water sports.
A number of famous events take place here: the Strongest Man Competition, Miss and Mister "Golden Sands" Competition, competitions for all breeds of dogs, Satellite Tennis Tournament, Old-fashioned Auto Rally, International Festival for Standard and Sport Dances, etc.
Golden Sands Resort offers 61 hotels and 10 luxury villas. The 4-star hotel category includes Yavor Hotel, Morsko Oko Hotel and Zlatna Kotva Hotel. The following hotels are of premium quality - Mars Hotel, Zora Hotel, Riviera Complex, Ambassador Hotel. Some of the hotels have swimming pools and fitness halls; most of them have currency exchange offices.
As usual, each hotel has a snack-bar or a restaurant. There are many various restaurants offering different kinds of specialties and entertainment in different styles. As a rule the best artists of the northern Black Sea coast dance and play here in Golden Sands. The following establishments are interesting for their architecture, entertainment programme and cuisine: Vodenitsata (The Water Mill), Tsiganski Tabor (Gypsy Tabor), Kosharite (Sheepfolds), Zlatna Ribka (Golden Fish), Kriva Lipa (Crooked Lime-tree) and Dionisus. The Indian restaurant has a chef from India and is of special interest to the visitors. There are a lot of snack-bars, fast-foods, grill- and toast-bars and various other ways to service the tourists.
The transport between Golden Sands and the big city of Varna is well organised. Apart from the bus lines connecting the resort to the city and to the airport as well, there are a lot of minibuses and private taxis. Because of the big competition the prices of the tickets are moderate.
Some interesting places to visit near Golden Sands are Alaja rock monastery. It hosted Hesychasts in 12th century and has an interesting history. Nowadays only a small part of the frescoes are preserved but the experience of being in a monastery nestled on a high steep rock is unforgettable. The monastery is declared a cultural sight and houses a small museum.
Because Golden Sands is an internationally famous beach resort it gets very busy from May till late September.
Bus-lines: 9, 109, 209, 309, 409
Text and pictures: Mirela - Varna office