Is it because Bulgaria is so famous for its long sandy beaches and ski peaks, that many don’t realise how green a country it is? Feedback received by Balkan Holidays reps often includes surprise at how lush and vibrant guests find towns and resorts.
One top attraction is the Sea Garden in Bourgas. However, when flights for the coast come into Bourgas, guests are whisked off to Sunny Beach, Nessebar or Aheloy or other popular resorts. So a good day trip is to take the local bus the one-hour journey back to Bourgas to see the Sea Garden. (About 6 Leva, available from our southern coast resorts).
The Bourgas Sea Garden is a pristine and colourful park between the city and the sea
The Sea Garden is a pristine and colourful park between the city and the sea. It’s also known as The Seaside Park. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful parks in Bulgaria, it was established in 1910 by Georgi Duntev. Full of exotic plants, there are also sculptures of famous people dotted around. In total it stretches for 5km and along the promenade there is a good choice of food and drink and ice-cream stands for those with a sweet tooth.
It is possible to stay in Bourgas, at the 3* Hotel Luxor, which is on offer from £420 per person for a week, flight inclusive. Staying here would enable exploration of the four lakes in the area: The Bourgas Lakes. These are Pomorie, Atanasovsko, Mandra and Burgas. This is the largest wetland system in Bulgaria, a haven for abundant bird life. In fact, the lakes are home to about 60% of the country’s bird species.
Hotel Luxor is located just a short stroll away from the sea garden and beach
Elsewhere seen everywhere, figs thrive; a fruit known to mankind from the very beginning of civilisation. It is assumed that the fig tree was cultivated for the first time in ancient Egypt, and today it is spread all over Asia, the Balkans and the Mediterranean coast.
As they grow poorly in the UK, figs are a lovely sight when you’re on holiday where you see the trees and fruit flourish. The most popular fig varieties in Bulgaria are Pomorieyska 24, Michurinska 10, Brunswick, and others.
Commonly known is that the fig tree can reach three to ten metres in height, its leaves are large and its fruits look like small pouches of different sizes, usually about five centimetres large, but also smaller and larger in size. The colour of the figs changes – at first they are bright green, then dark green and finally brown, when at full maturity.
Moving north, a good day trip for those staying in Varna is the town of Balchik. Pretty in its own right, it is home to the Summer Palace of Queen Marie and Botanical Gardens. The gardens took five years to complete in the 1950s and in summer, they are a riot of colour from rose beds and Mediterranean plants. There are about 600 different species of flora here, including a large collection of cactuses.
A good day trip for those staying in Varna is the town of Balchik
Finally, the Ravadinovo Castle in Sozopol is worth a visit for its stunning flowers, swans and peacocks. The Castle itself gets mixed reviews, but do come and wander around the breath-taking gardens.
The last blog in this series, next week, takes us to Rila Monastery, offered as an excursion for those staying in the mountains in the summer with Balkan Holidays. It’s a ‘must-see’.