A Closer Look at Nessebar
Sunny Beach is the most popular resort on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, however so many people say ‘You must visit Nessebar’ – so we did, and this is what we found..
Nessebar is just round the bay from Sunny Beach, if you stand on the middle of the beach and look across there is Nessebar in all its splendour. To reach there you can catch a boat, bus or taxi, alternatively you can walk along the beach as it curves round into Nessebar itself.
Often referred to as ‘The Pearl of the Black Sea’ it has a rich history stretching back over three thousand years. This history combined with so many historic buildings and places of interest prompted UNESCO to make it a ‘World Heritage Site’ in 1983. It’s easy to see why as Nessebar is full of beautiful churches, including the famous Christ the Pantocrator church which is just beyond the city gates. Some churches are built into the ground, this is because during Turkish occupation a church couldn’t be higher than a man on a horse, so the ever ingenious Bulgarian people dug down first before building.
To reach the ‘Old Town’ of Nessebar you walk across a causeway connecting it to the mainland, halfway is the iconic old style Balkan windmill, then it’s through the old city walls and onto cobbled streets lined by old wooden gabled houses, here you really do feel you’ve stepped back in time. Do take time to visit some of the churches and museums where you get a taste of Bulgarian history, especially the 500 years of Turkish rule and then being liberated by Russia in the late 19th century. All this walking means you work up a thirst, which is the perfect opportunity to sit in one of the many pavement café’s and bars where you can enjoy a cool drink while watch the world go by. We also recommend a walk of the perimeter of old Nessebar which is well worth it due to the wonderful views across the Black Sea.
Nessebar also has a ‘new town’, which is before the causeway. It’s actually very pleasant with its shops of all kinds plus cafes, bars and restaurants. Here you will also find Nessebar’s hotels, there’s the wonderful Sol Nessebar resort, stay here and you really don’t need to leave (although do visit the old town!) plus it’s the only hotel we’ve ever known where you catch a lug flume to the beach! There are also numerous hotels on the small beach with wonderful sea views. Here you can finish breakfast on the hotel terrace then walk down a few steps to the beach for a refreshing dip in the sea, sounds a perfect way to spend a day doesn’t it.
Well a holiday in Nessebar offers this and so much more. Now we know why people say ‘You must visit Nessebar’ – In fact we’ll be saying that too from now on!