IV. BLACK SEASIDE



      The Black seaside … used to be a beautiful area … But, in the last decade many new resorts and hotels have been built along the shoreline. The shoreline is now covered with concrete and overcrowded by tourists especially July and August. The traffic on the road between the Romanian border and the Turkish border is terrible.  There are many narrow road segments, drivers drive madly, and often multiple car accidents happen. The road between Varna and Burgas is even signed as forbidden for bicycling.  Although if you decide to tour there, nobody will stop you to do it.


 

BLACK SEA

 

      The Black sea is an unique one. It is almost isolated from the world ocean by 2 narrow channels: Bosporus and Dardanelles. The salt concentration in the water is 18/1000, which is 2 times less than concentration in other seas and oceans, it makes very pleasant to swim in it. 80 – 100 meters below the sea surface water contents SH2, so, only anaerobic live is possible in the sea depth. Industrial fishing in the sea finished in the end of sixties of the last century – citizen of the countries surrounding Black sea ate all the fish in the sea.

      The appropriate period for touring the coastline is between June and August, although September and a part of October offer good touring, too.  Water temperatures June thru August often are 24 – 26 deg. above freezing. Typically, anywhere along the Black Sea coastline, it is windy, especially in its northern segment, with prevailing winds from the northeast.

      An interesting information for the Black sea can be seen here:

      https://www.britannica.com/place/Black-Sea

      http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Black_Sea

      http://www.nationalgeographic.com/blacksea/


Black Sea Coastline

      I do not recommend touring the coastline, but, myself included, many bicyclists love to explore this area. So I will describe a route beginning at the Romanian border to Durankulak, to the southernmost point of the Bulgarian coastline segment to Rezovo.

      Everywhere there are hotels, resorts and private guest houses available.  Finding overnight accommodations is not a problem. That said, the description below is intended to serve bicyclists loving to camp in the wilderness.

      The first my advice is:

1) ALWAYS BRING AND DRINK ONLY BOTTLED MINERAL WATER;

2) Repellent against mosquitoes. 

      In Bulgaria, we do have a big choice of very nice and inexpensive bottles (1,5 liters) of mineral water – it can be bought in any small village. For beer lovers the situation will be even much, much better.  I will not speak about it, they will found it out for themselves.

      When camping in the wild, often around first summer darkness (usually 9 – 10 PM), strange whirls can be heard: jackals … many jackals. Do not be afraid, they are not dangerous.

      Be aware that there will not be a border checkpoint in Rezovo !!! Coming from Turkey, you can enter Bulgaria at the  border checkpoint at Malko Tarnovo (E87).

See also:  Chapter III. Crossing Bulgaria from north to south (from Romania to Turkey & Greece), Point 14. Burgas - Border Checkpoint Malko Tarnovo

      To make place and route descriptions easier, I will part the coastline into five segments, after which I will give more details for each of the segments.


Content

      Segment IV - A  

Romanian Border - Topola

      1. Durankulak

      2. Krapets

      3. Shabla

      4. Kamen Bryag

      5. Kaliakra Cape

      6. Kavarna

 

      Segment IV - B  

Topola - Varna

      7. Tuzlata

      8. Balchik

      9. Balchik - Albena

      10. The lighthouse next to Kranevo

      11. Towards Varna

      Segment IV - C 

Varna - Emine Cape

      12. Kamchia river

      13. Shkorpilovtsi

      14. Kara dere

      15. Obzor

      16. Irakli

      17. Emona

 

      Segment IV - D  

Emine Cape - Burgas

      18. Emona - Nesebar

      19. Nesebar

      20. Aheloi

      21. Sarafovo

 

 

      Segment IV - E  

Burgas - Rezovo

      22. Sozopol

      23. Arkutino

      24. Primorsko - Ropotamo river

      25. Kiten

      26. Veleka river

      27. Ahtopol

      28. Rezovo 

 

 

 

 


Segment IV - A

Romanian Border - Topola

 

      1. Durankulak

      2. Krapets

      3. Shabla

      4. Kamen Bryag

      5. Kaliakra Cape

      6. Kavarna

 

      The shore line here is still not covered with concrete, this part of Bulgarian seaside is still not overcrowded by tourists. Here are several of the best beaches as well, so, I recommend to bicyclists to explore the area I describe further.

      E87 is the road coming from Romania: several kilometers south from Mangalia (in Romania).  The Bulgarian border can be crossed at the border checkpoint at Durankulak. You can head toward Kavarna along E87, but my suggestion is in Shabla, head east and reach the seaside (toward Tulenovo and Kamen Bryag). This road is without traffic, there is the scenic place at Kamen Bryag (The Cliff).

      Crossing of the Bulgaria/Romanian border can be done at the Border Checkpoint at Iovkovo, as well.

 

      More information concerning the same area can be seen in Chapter III. Crossing Bulgaria from north to south (from Romania to Turkey & Greece),  point 8. Negru Voda – Kardam (Border Checkpoint Iovkovo)


 1. Durankulak

 

      The first village on  road E87, after the Romanian border, is Durankulak. Here a local road is available to the seaside (3-4 km to east). Near the beach is located Camping Cosmos and a little restaurant; there is a free access to a fountain with fresh water as well.  North and south from this point there are beautiful sandy beaches. I love this place.

 

      Behind the beach can be found a big lake, with very low salt content, which is a home of many species of birds, and mosquitoes as well. This lake is on the route of migrating birds between Africa and northern Europe, so it is one of favorite places of the ornithologists. The entire zone is a saved area.  The sand dunes on the beach offer a perfect and legal place for wild camping - nobody will stop you for setting up your tent there for a night or 2, or for that matter, for a week.

 

      For your information, there is an off-road between the sea and Durankulak Lake, south from Camping Cosmos, but this off-road does not go to the next village Krapets.

 

      Information for Durankulak and the Lake can be seen here:

      http://shabla.be/en/pictures/durankulak/

 

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durankulak

 

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durankulak#Lake_Durankulak

     

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/419

 

      All that I have mentioned above can be recognized easy looking next photos.

The local road toward Camping Cosmos.
The seaside.
The off-road between the sea and Durankulak Lake, south from Camping Cosmos
The sand dunes on the beach offer a perfect and legal place for wild camping - nobody will stop you for setting up your tent there for a night or 2, or for that matter, for a week.


2. Krapets & Ezerets  

      Pedaling south, the next village is Krapets. It is 4 - 5 km east from the main road E87. Again all the coastal seaside area is wild and perfect for camping - I point out the area with the green arrows on the map. No fresh water and food near the beach, but in the village everything can be found.

      Information for Krapets:

      http://www.krapets.com/

 

      An useful information for overnight accommodation in Krapets:

      http://www.krapets.com/hotel.html

 

 

      Leaving Durankulak, you will pedal along a road still without intensive traffic; here you will see the first signs forbidding pedaling along this road, but as I have already mentioned, nobody will stop you to do it. At your left is the lake of Durankulak, look the next site - an interesting information about archeology in the region of the lake is available in it:

       http://shabla.be/en/pictures/durankulak-lake/

     Krapets is a little village, it is still not popular tourist destination which makes it a favorite spot for lovers of wilderness. In it is available overnight accommodation, there is a camping 2 kilometers north from it. Restaurants and food shops are available in it. 

But the best of the area near Krapets is its beautiful beach.

      An approach to the same beach is possible from the next small villages Ezerets. Just before entering in it you will see a workshop - you can seal your flat tires in it (the first photo below). A food shop is available in the village, but overnight accommodation. Follow the signs in the village and an off road will lead you to the seaside.

      Soon you will be on the beach - again beautiful spot, you will se there no more than 50 tourists. I am surprised to see that Google map shows camping on the beach, but I have never seen such a camping. The last time I visited this place was July '18. But you can find a little restaurant on the beach and you can set up your tent in the forest behind the beach.

      Bring water with you - buy it in Ezerets, no a tap there and in the little restaurant it is expensive.


3. Shabla 

 

      The next little town to the south is Shabla. There is nothing interesting in Shabla, except the possibility to buy provisions. Information about Shabla is available here:

 

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/en/article/details/421/Shabla

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabla

      http://shabla.be/en/

 

      To avoid the traffic along road N9 (E87), and reach the sea shore, in the town center you have to head to east (if my memory serves the direction is signed).

 

      Just after leaving town, turn to the left and after 3-4 kilometers is the beach and camping "Dobrudzha". Near the beach there is a little restaurant. There are no places here for wild camping.

 

     There are 2 lakes in the region, here is the information for the lakes:

 

      http://shabla.be/en/pictures/shabla-lake/

      http://shabla.be/en/pictures/shabla-tuzla/

 

      On the map in left I have shown an off road crossing the wine yard, but the last time I explored this area it was overgrown by weeds.

      Several photos of the road N9 (E87) toward Shabla and Shabla.

      To avoid the traffic along road N9 (E87), and reach the sea shore, in the town center you have to head to east (if my memory serves the direction is signed). Just after leaving town you will see a sign showing directions toward Shabla Lake (Camping Dobrudja) or Shabla Cape. Several next photos illustrate it as well as beaches you will be there soon. You can miss the visit of Shabla beach and head toward Shabla Cape - the east most point of Bulgaria.

      You can miss the visit of Shabla beach and head toward Shabla Cape - the east most point of Bulgaria. Years ago this region was a field for mineral oil. No more oil there, but some of the pumps are still working, pumping thermal water smelting of oil, I do not know why.

      There are located the light house of the cape and Karia - a little fisher's village. Overnight accommodation food shop and restaurants are available in it. I have heard they prepare very nice fish dishes in Karia. Some information for all that.

      http://shabla.be/en/sightseeings/cape-shabla/

      In the center of this small village there is something like a bath - a huge flow of thermal water spout out from 2 tubes. The water is beautiful, although it is smelting if oil. Never mind, I always use this nice opportunity visiting this place. Several photos of this place.

      Heading toward Tulenovo to south, two to three kilometers south from the lighthouse I always spend a night on the shore. Make sure you bring your own food and water here. The last time I visited this place exactly at this place there was a sign saying that camping here is forbidden. But nobody take care for such a signs here.


      The first small village you will pass by pedaling to south here is Tulenovo, I do not like it so much and always miss it. Some information for it:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyulenovo

      http://tyulenovo.info/en/

      Several photos - the road toward Tulenovo:


4. Kamen Bryag

      Pedaling further to the south, the shore ascends gradually. The  next amazing place is Kamen Bryag (The Cliff).  Information for Kamen Bryag:

      http://kamenbryag.info/en/

       http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/422

      Google Map is enough detailed and shows restaurants and places for overnight accommodation in it. The writing ("Ogancheto" on the next map signs a natural spring of gas which is flaming permanently - the youth love to sit near the fire singing and drinking all the night)

 

      My choice here is always to spend a night just on the cliff; for it just before entering Kamen Bryag (when you are coming from North), take the off-road to the left, where soon you will be on the cliff. In Kamen Bryag, there are little shops, restaurants, and rooms to rent. But, nothing compares with a night on the cliff just above the sea.

      The "Area for wild camp" I have pointed on the map above is a saved zone called "Yailata".  If you camp here, it is possible police will come by and ask for your documents, but nobody will stop you from spend a night there.

       http://kamenbryag.info/en/yailata-2/


5. Balgarevo & Kaliakra Cape

 

      Our tour is going to south. Next village along the road is St. Nikola, a restaurant is available near the road.

      From the village you can head to east and visit a little scenic resort called Rusalka. Years ago it was a French resort, Bulgarian were not allowed in it.  I have never visited it, next 3 photos illustrate it.

      The next village towards Kaliakra Cape is Balgarevo. A nice restaurant and other food shops can be found entering Balgarevo.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balgarevo

      Leaving Balgarevo toward Kaliakra in left you will see a sign toward a small private interesting museum as well. July '18 I spend hours speaking about Bulgarian history with the owner of the museum (the history is something like my hobby). You will hear a lecture in English, German, French or Romanian walking in the museum.  Information for the museum is available here:  

      http://followthesisters.com/ongal-super-cool-interactive-history-lesson/

      One more place I have pointed on the map above is a nod big scenic spot called "Bolata" (the left photo). It is very little beach often overcrowded by tourists. I did not visit it.

       Kaliakra Cape is one of the best places along the seaside. A walk behind the fortress wall would be very nice.

 

      Information for Kaliakra Cape:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaliakra

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/35

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/35

      The place played an important role in our mediaeval history. A little museum and a small restaurant are available on the cape. Presently, there is not access down to the sea.  Up to the time of the mid '60s, this area was the last seal habitat. 


6. Kavarna

      The next small town along the road is Kavarna. Sitting on the plateau, to visit the beach, you have to bike down to the seaside. The beach is not one of my favorite places to visit.  So, usually I do not visit it.  Information for Kavarna:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kavarna

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/319

 

Several photos fron the road toward Kavarna and the town.

      Three -  fore km. south from Kavarna  bicycling again along E87 is Topola - the end point of segment IV - A. 


Segment IV- B

Topola - Varna

 

      7.  Tuzlata

      8.   Balchik

      9.   Balchik - Albena

      10. The lighthouse next to Kranevo

      11. Towards Varna

      The next road segment along the seaside is Topola to Varna.

      All the area south, from Balchik to Varna, is a built up resort area: Albena Resort, Golden Sand Resort, and Konstantin & Elena Resort. The area is overcrowded with tourists and traffic. Following my description, this traffic may be avoided to a big extent.


7. Tuzlata

      To avoid the traffic, at Topola, turn to the left towards Tuzlata, a neglected former small resort. A little restaurant can be found there, as well as a fountain of fresh water which is not easy to find.  You will have to ask natives about its location.

      On the next map I have shown two approaches to Tuzlata: from Topola and from Balchik.

      Soon after you head toward Topola, you will enjoy of a great view down to the sea, Kaliakra Cape to North and Albena Resort to South.

      The beach nothing to get excited about.  But because the place is wild, I love to camp here for a night. This place is known for a lake and the magic mud around and in it. Since ancient Roman times people spread this mud over injured bones and joints, believing it will release their pain. So, if you love wallowing in the mud, this is your place.

      A restaurant and taps of water are available in Tuzlata.

      The last I will mention here is when pedal down the hill after Topola, you will see a sign towards White Lagoon. It appears to be a rather scenic place, but, it is my suggestion to avoid it.  I will mention here, without any pleasure, that the owners of the place are great red necks.


8. Balchik

        Five km. south from Tuzlata is Balchik. It is a small city located in tiers above the sea. It is a touristy place. Rooms for the night are easily found, along with more luxury hotels. I love to stay here for a day or two.  Information for Balchik:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balchik

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/307

      In the town there is a small residence of the Romanian queen with a lovely botanical garden. (This area was under Romanian control 1918 – 1938). Information for this spot:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/4

      I like this garden and can not avoid to post more pictures :)


 9. From Balchik to Albena

      There was a lane between Balchik and Albena resort which was very nice for bicycling, but a very strong storm in the winter of 2010 pretty much ruined it.  Do not try it if there are waves in the sea. It is only possible to use this lane when seas are calm. There are segments where you have to carry the bike and panniers.

      

      Although the dike was built to save the cliff because of see wave erosion, it has a broken section, no longer than 100 - 200 meters, which can be seen on the photos. On the broken section, you will need to remove your panniers and carried one by one to the other side. Photos are taken June 2015.

      So, to go to Albena Resort, it is better to use the panoramic road between them (the map above). Views towards Albena resort (right) and Balchik (left) can be seen here.  Photos are taken on the scenic Balchik to Albena road.

      (The description in the next point 10 below is concerning just the hill on the horizon at the right photo).


      Albena resort is a beautiful place:

 

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albena

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/16

 

       There is an endless beach (south towards Kranevo) and the beach sand maybe is the finest all over beaches along BG Black seaside.

 

      There are fountains and showers on the beach, you can wash your equipment.  Because of the lack of facilities I stay here for an afternoon, and then move on. Here, I love to walk along the beach.

 

      The entrance road into the Albena Resort has no exit.  So, you will have to leave the resort the same way you came in.

 

      Pedal to the roundabout, then pedal on the main road towards Kranevo. Be careful riding this segment because there is heavy car and bus traffic. The road cannot be avoided, fortunately it is only 3 km long to the crossroad toward Varna.

 

      In Kranevo, the beach can be visited as well.  It is the same beach I mentioned above. Along the lane towards the beach there are a lot of restaurants and shops.

 

      Overnight accommodation in Kranevo is not a problem.

      http://bulgariatravel.org/en/object/423/Kranevo

 

      Next several photos are Albena and the road from Albena toward Kranevo.

10. The Lighthouse next to Kranevo

 

      Leaving Kranevo, the road climbs a not very long hill. After several turns you will see a lighthouse (between the road and the sea). Two hundred to  300 meters further is the only nice place for wild camping, between Balchik and Varna. I signed it by "X" on the map.  The place can be recognized easy looking the first photo below.

      The spot for wild camping is next to the road and hidden behind the bushes.  The location is a bit noisy, but there is very little night traffic.   Many times I have camped there. The place is amazing when the moon is full.

      Summer 2015, I spent a night here. I have noticed that the lighthouse is not there.  It seems they replaced it with a radio tower or something like it.  Several antennas can be seen there. Each next year the place is more and more brushy.


11. Towards Varna

 

      Next to the place I mentioned above is next big resort "Sunny Beach"(Slanchev Bryag). Information for it:

      http://www.bulgaria-sea-holiday.com/sunny-beach/

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/288

      There is not intensive traffic on this local road segment.

      I hope the next more detailed maps will be useful to you. Do not use the lane which is right next to the beach.  In the end, you will reach a stairs up to the road ... many stairs. 

      Reaching Point B, you will see signs directing traffic out of the resort. Do not pay attention to it and enter in the resort.  You will avoid the traffic. If my memory serves me, signs are just before the first street light crossroad.

   Entering in the resort you will pedal in an area without traffic, you may go down to the beach, at point C you will leave the resort.

      A little further (Chaika Resort) you will see the reason the road is closed. For more than 20 years nobody has repair the road, is perfect for bicyclists.

      Pedaling along this road, you will reach the motor road (E 87).

      If you pedal in the opposite direction, follow the sign toward Golden Sands Resort - the closed is not signed here (the next photo is just at Point E).

      Pedaling along the panorama road E 87 you will reach the City.

      Approaching Varna, on your right is the Sea Garden (the green area on the map above).  It would be very nice, if you pay attention on the circle crossroad (point F) along your route - in fact it is the first one you will see coming from point E, and turn left - the photo below); you can pedal further along a lane next to the sea shore, or along lanes in the Sea Garden almost to Varna Port.

      If you are pedaling from south to north, move next to the Line Station and you easy will reach the sea shore and the lane next to the sore respectively.

      The next several photos are the lane next to the shore.

      Varna is a nice town, we call it “the Sea Capital” of Bulgaria. Below are several photos of Varna; the City, its walking zone, the Cathedral, the City Garden, and the Sea Garden. In Internet there is a lot of information for Varna, here are the 2 best sites I like:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varna

      https://www.britannica.com/place/Varna-Bulgaria     

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/205

      Several years ago on the region of Varna was found a burial, with some of the world's oldest gold jewelry, dating back to 4,600 - 4,200 BC.

       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varna_Necropolis

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/varna-bulgaria-gold-graves-social-hierarchy-prehistoric-archaelogy-smithsonian-journeys-travel-quarterly-180958733

 

      The artifacts can be seen at the Varna Archeological Museum.   

     http://archaeo.museumvarna.com/en/

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varna_Archaeological_Museum

 

      Obviously the question is for some very important person . . . I would not proceed with my gold in such a manner . . .

      Eighteen kms west from Varna along the road N2 there is an interesting place called the “Petrified forest”.

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/337

 

      In fact the rock are not petrified trees, they are formed by gas springs in the sand below the sea water. The mechanism of rock formation is explained in the next link.

http://varna-bg.com/museums/pobitikamani/st_f_uk.html



      The next segment in my description is the route from Varna to Burgas, on the left map down I have shown 2 routes: route a - along the coast, and route b - inside the country.

      Route a: I have mentioned and I will say it here again, that in the tourist season E87 is extremely busy. The traffic here is crazy, a lot of cars and busses are driving madly. There are several extremely unpleasant narrow road segment, I really am afraid to pedal there; there are several signs pointing that pedaling here is forbidden. But many times I have seen bicyclists exploring this area, so further I will give information for it. So, my suggestion is to avoid it, especially it will be dangerous for a group. Needless to say, that it is very noisy, and there is not any pleasure to pedal here at all.

      Route b: It would be much better choice for you. In the right map I have pointed places, where you can visit some places at the seaside: Shkorpilovtsi, Obzor, Sunny Beach Resort, Nesebar. Along this route there is no any traffic, you will enjoy a nice countryside. Here I will not write about it. A very detail information for it you can find out in:

      - Chapter I.  Passes in Balkan, sector I. C

- Point 16. Dyulinski Pass,

- Point 15. Aytoski Pass, Sector I. C - 15. a

 


Segment IV- C

From Varna to Emine Cape

 

      12. Kamchia river

      13. Shkorpilovtsi

      14. Kara dere

      15. Obzor

      16. Irakli

      17. Emona

 

      Again, describing this road segment, I will try to avoid the main road E87 as much as possible.

 

      Even though the road is next to the sea, it is not a flat plains area. There are several hills no longer than 3 – 4 km.

      In addition to Pomoriiski Pass, with an altitude is 440 m. and the high Avren plateau south from Varna.

 

      More information concerning the east part of Balkan (Dyulinski and Pomoriiski Passes) can be seen in:

 

        I.  Passes in the Balkans,  Sector: I. C,  points:

- 15 Aytoski Pass,

- 16 Dyulinski Pass, 

- 17 Pomoriiski Pass

 

12. Kamchia River mouth

      Just after Varna (When you cross the hudge bridge over the chanel connecting the sea and the Lake of Varna) locate the old road (road N9) towards Burgas. Road N9 is to left just after the huge bridge over Varna port channel, look for a sign towards Asparuhovo Suburb.

      Choosin to climb along road N9, you will do it on a shady road.

      Several words for the Lake of Varna can be seen here:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Varna

The road profile charts from Varna to Bliznatsi

 

The bridge over the Channel

      Unfortunately, there is no way, after 9 – 10 kilometers of climbing, you will be on the main road  E87 again. The next road section is narrow and dangerous, and it cannot be avoided if you want to visit Kamchia.

       Next 3 photos illustrate the traffic here. Pedal as close to the path edge as possible. Food, water, and drinks can be found in Priseltsi.

      After Bliznatsi, I would recommend turning left and visit one of my favorite places at the seaside, Kamchia River Mouth.  There are several little restaurants and little food shops, fresh water, an endless beach, and overnight accommodations.  The longest beach area (a reserve) is from Kamchia River to Shkorpilovtsi. If you have time, I would recommend the beach walk to Shkorpilovtsi (to the south) and back.  Unfortunately, it is at least an 4 hour walk in each direction.

 

        All this area is perfect for camping. Have in mind, late in the evening, you will hear the singing of the jackals.

      Information for Kamchia Resort:

http://www.beachbulgaria.com/kamchia/

 

http://www.kamchia.com/bulgaria.php

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamchia_(biosphere_reserve)

 

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/263

      To return to the main road, E87, pedal along Kamchia River – an off-road will lead you to the main road (called "red bridge" - years ago it was painted in red, here you cannot be wrong. Have your dog repellent handy, just in case. I think that in the back direction you will find very easy the off road toward Kamchia River Mouth just after the Red Bridge.

      The right picture down corresponds exactly to the place in Google map, where a road is not shown.


13.  Shkorpilovtsi

 

      From the red bridge to Staro Oriahovo again bicycling is along the main road E87. Be warned that there can be really heavy traffic, which can not be avoided.

      Further towards Rudnik you will be pedaling again along E87. After Staro Oriahovo, the road is wider and not so dangerous, but I think it would be better to turn left towards Shkorpilovtsi.

      Because of the rocks in the surf, and the action of the waves along the beach, it is not safe to enter the waters in front of Shkorpilovtsi.  I have seen badly injured swimmers here. A kilometer to north from Shkorpilovtsi it is safe because there are no more rocks in the surf.

      Little restaurants and food shops, along with rooms can be found in Shkorpilovtsi, but in general, I pedal past this area. information for Shkorpilovtsi:

      http://www.beachbulgaria.com/shkorpilovtsi/

 

      The road profile chart from Bliznatsi to Byala. There are two hills here, each 4 kms long, just after Staro Oryahovo and after Fandakliiska rivet toward Goritsa. Both they are in a woody area, there are a lot of tedious flies especially along the second hill. Adding that to the crazy traffic, the climbing here is not a big pleasure.

      Next three photos are the endless beach between Shkorpilovtsi and Kamchia River Mouth.


14. Kara dere

      One of the safe spots in this area is so called "Kara Dere", east of Goritsa. An off-road begins from the village down to a 4-5 kilometer long beautiful beach. July and August many young people loving to camp in the wilderness there. You will need to bring your own food and drinking water for your stay on the beach.

      Next are the possibilities to reach Kara dere from Skorpilovtsi.

- Pedal back to Staro Oryahovo, to Rudnik, to Goritsa, and down to the beach (Kara dere). 

- route a: it is an off road from Shkorpilovtsi to Kara Dere: Many years ago I tried to find this road, but in the end I lost in the wood an had to pedal back to Shkorpilovtsi. The road is not labeled, it is in the wood, there is not any visibility. It is easy to lose the road.

- route b: again it is an off road from Shkorpilovtsi to Samotino to Goritsa and down to Kara dere. I did not pedal it, but according to my daughter Maya, there is not any problems to find this road. Have in mind that Samotino is leaved. Nobody living in it.

- route c: an off road west from Shkorpilovtsi along Fandakliiska River back to the road E 87. Google map does not show this road, but it is not a problem to find it. I pedaled it.

      To return to the main road E87 (from Kara Dere), pedal to south through the vineyard, there is an off-road towards Byala (the first photo below), or you can return to Goritsa.

      Pedaling towards Byala, (from Kara Dere) after approximately 1,5 to 2 km, there is a perfect fountain of fresh water (one of the not so many water fountain along the seaside I would drink water), but it can be a little hard to find as it cannot be seen directly from the dirty road. It is placed in a low place, which I have pointed out on the map.

      Some information for Kara dere:

      http://www.bulgariansearesorts.com/beaches/karadere/

      http://bgbeaches.com/en/Karadere

      Several photos of this spot. I love to spent a day here. Have in mind there are not shops, restaurants, and fresh water on the beach.

      Next little town is Byala. I do not love this place and usually pass it by. Information for Byala:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byala,_Varna_Province

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/406


15. Obzor

      The road from Byala to Obzor to Banya to Sunny Beach is one of the terrible segments of E87. The traffic is very poor, the road is narrow. Here are 2 passes crossing the Balkan: Obzorski Pass and Pomoriiski Pass. The first one cannot be avoided, but the second - Pomoriiski Pass - yes, it is possible, and I recommend doing it. (see also Chapter I. Balkan Passes, point 17. Pomoriiski Pass).

      Sorry, but again you have to use road E87.  As you are leaving Byala, a perfect view is revealed ahead.

      In Obzor, at the first street lights, there is an open market and water fountain.  A perfect place to wash equipment.  Turning left at the street light is the direction to a very nice beach where equipment can be dried, while you are cooling and enjoying the sea waves.

 

      I love this place and almost each summer spend 10 - 12 days of leisure. Here you can find an overnight accommodation of each kind - very inexpensive room in private homes and a luxury hotels. The beach is perfect.

 

      Information for Obzor:

 

      http://www.beachbulgaria.com/obzor/

 

      http://www.bulgariansearesorts.com/resorts/obzor

 

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/275

 

 

 

 

 

      The road from Obzor toward Burgas is one of the terrible road segments of E87; heavy traffic and the road is narrow. Just after Obzor you will find Obzorski Pass (not so high) crossing the Balkan. It cannot be avoided. Next is the road profile chart.


16. Irakli & Emona

                                    

      My next description is aimed to avoid Pomoriiski Pass, where the traffic is very heavy and I do recommend avoiding it. 

      Information for Pomoriiski pass is available in Chapter I. Balkan Passes, point 17. Pomoriiski Pass      

      Just after Obzorski Pass is the crossroad towards Irakli and Emona. Irakli also is a desert area, although next to the beach.  There you will find a small shop and fresh water. Many people summer time camp on the beach.

 

      Information for Irakli:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/295


 

17. Emona

 The road towards Emona is a relatively nice one (the map above). Reaching the village, a nice view is revealed to Burgas Bay (village attitude is approx. 200 m).

      In the village there is a little shop, my advice is to load up and have with you bottles of mineral water, because the area further is perfect for wild camping, but is an absolutely dry area. All the area towards Elenite Resort is untouched area. Several words for the Cape can be seen in the next links:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Emine

 

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/377

 

      There is a dirty road down to the sea coast and little beach.


Segment IV- D

 

From Emine Cape to Burgas

 

 

      18. Emona - Nesebar

      19. Nesebar

      20. Aheloi

      21. Sarafovo

 

 

 

      Soon you will leave the wilderness and arrive in the most crowded  tourist seaside zone. Here will be found the resorts of Robinzon, Elenite, St. Vlas, the biggest resort south from Balkan - Sunny Beach, and the towns of Nesebar, Ravda, and Aheloy.  It is extremely, highly touristic, built up area.


18. From Emona to Nesebar

 

      All the area towards Elenite Resort is untouched area. Note, even in the summer, when there is very little rain, if the weather is wet or rain is in the forecast,  the off road from Emona to Elenite will be muddy.

      If you choose to camp in the wilderness here, do not be afraid hearing the jackals songs - you will heat it 9.30 - 10 pm.

      Elenite Resort (I point it on the map above) is a luxury place. Information for it:

      http://www.beachbulgaria.com/elenite/

      http://www.bulgariansearesorts.com/resorts/elenite

 

      For bicyclists exploring the seaside in the opposite direction, from south to north,  my suggestion is heavy loaded bicyclists and all recumbents, avoid this road. There are many steep and rocky segments in this road, especially in the beginning just after Elenite Resort. Below, is the experience a friend of mine had riding a recumbent on this section of road:

        "As was shown on Boris Bob’s site, at the dead end of the road (actually the gated and guarded entrance to the upper level of that gaudy resort) there was a dirt road, of quite a sever up grade we needed to take to start our adventure. We had 3 days of provisions, for what measured out to be maybe a day and a half of pedaling, just in case the road was slow going. But, we didn’t get to test the “slow going” part because the first 200 meters of the road involved one of us helping push the others trike up the grade or dealing with truly uneven ruts in the dirt road. We had about 12k to pedal, and it took us an hour to just get through the first 200 meters.  After a couple of these “push me” exercises I went for a walk up the road to see if there was any improvement in the road condition. I found nothing but a continuation of the same. So, with the intention of having Susan see what I saw, I set up a duck in the middle of the road where I stopped, came back and told Susan I wasn’t interested in going any farther than what we had done (but she was welcome to walk up the road to or farther than I had walked and check it out). Without a second thought she agreed with my decision.  This was the end of this detour for us.

           That decision made we turned around pedaled back to E9, and started pedaling up E9 to Varna."


19. Nesebar

      All this area is a tourist zone, it is overcrowded by tourists, again it would be better to avoid the main road. On the map I have pointed local roads - use the lane next to the shore in Sunny Beach Resort. The velo lane will lead you to Nesebar.

      Beginning from Elenite, next to it is located Robinson Rezort, again a luxury place. It seems there is not an available information for it.

      Next to it is St. Vlas. Information for it:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sveti_Vlas

      http://www.beachbulgaria.com/svetivlas/

      http://vlas.com/en/St_Vlas.html

      Just to it is attached Sunny Beach Resort, the biggest one south from Balkan. If you love absolutely crowded place - it is just the place for you. Information in details for Sunny Beach Resort:

      http://www.sunny-beach.com/     

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/387

      The place I love in this region is the old history town Nesebar, You may visit the peninsula with the old part of Nesebar, it is  protected by UNESCO (next photos). A lot information for Nesebar is available in the next sites:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nesebar

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/198

      http://www.beachbulgaria.com/nessebar/

      Next place is Ravda. To avoid E 87, enter in it and keep you as close to the shore as possible pedaling to south. Information for it:

      http://www.beachbulgaria.com/ravda/

      http://www.bulgariansearesorts.com/resorts/ravda/


20. From Aheloy to Sarafovo

 

      After Ravda it would be better to pedal next to the sea shore as much as possible. To reach Camping Aheloy, you have to enter in it. Information for Aheloy:

      http://www.beachbulgaria.com/aheloy/

      http://www.bulgariansearesorts.com/resorts/aheloy/

 and the history battle near Aheloy many years ago:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Achelous_(917)

 

      From Point 9 on the map above there is a local road to the camping Aheloy. There you will find restaurants, a food shop, free Wi Fi, toilet and bathroom facilities.

      Usually I stay for a night a little further - I have point this place in the dike between Pomorie Lake and the sea. It is next to an old military bunker from WW 2. Next to the bunker is the mouth of a small, fresh water river, which is ok for bathing and washing equipment, but really not safe to drink. .

      Unfortunately, to reach this place from Camping Aheloy, you have to walk along the beach, which is not so nice especially for your heavy loaded rig.

      On the dike there is a nice place for wild camping, down the dike is the perfect beach. 

      Again, here you will see people greased by healing salt lake mud (The first photo below) - the same as the mud around the lake in Tyzlata.  I have even tried it ... it was not easy to wash off, and gives off an unusual smell ... hahaha ...

 

       Information for the lake of Pomorie:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/126

 

https://niume.com/post/252916

 

         In the opposite direction you have to pass through Pomorie, find Pomorie Lake and you will see the dike - the next photo.

   The off-road on the dike will take you in Pomorie. Next photos: the off road on the dike, the sea in left and Lake of Pomorie in right.

      Information for Pomorie and several photos:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomorie

      http://www.beachbulgaria.com/pomorie/

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/150

      Leaving Pomorie, 2 - 3 kilometers along the main road there is a unique Thracian tomb, if you have a time you may visit it, it is labeled:

      http://daytripsbulgaria.com/excursion/218/Pomorie--The-Thracian-Tomb


21. From Sarafovo to Burgas

      The road on the other side of Pomorie, which leads to Sarafovo and finally Burgas, is again on the awful main road. Reachin Sarafovo, enter in it via round cross road, avter leave it along the off road next to E 87.

      Information for Sarafovo and Burgas Airport next to Sarafovo:

      http://www.sarafovobg.net/bulgaria/sarafovo.html

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgas_Airport

 

 

 The beach and the yacht port after Sarafovo

     

      Sarafovo is higher above the sea and leaving it a beautiful view to the Bay of Burgas is revealed.

      In the end of the off road you will be surprised to find a velo lane - just between Atanasovsko Lake and the Sea.

      Atanasovko Lake is an important place for the bird migration, it is a reserve, often you will see many people near the Lake observing the birds; over more again in its region there is a lot of healing mud so, it is a zone where you will see hundreds of people greased by healing salt lake mud as around the lake above ... a mass madness in action ...

      Information for the Lake:

http://www.sarafovobg.net/bulgaria/sarafovo.html

http://gotoburgas.com/en/places-to-go/view/17

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/61

http://saltoflife.biodiversity.bg/en/Atanasovsko_Lake-c137

The velo lane will lead you to Sea Garden of Burgas, it ends at the Burgas Line Station if my memory serves.

       Burgas is the next big Bulgarian town at the sea coast. I love its Sea Garden. Sometime my tour ends in Burgas and I go back by a train. Information and photos for Burgas:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgas

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/283

      West from Burgas is placed the Lake of Burgas:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/120

      And the last big lake west from Burgas - it is Mandra Dam and reserve "Poda" (I have not photos from this lake):

      http://burgaslakes.org/en/Mandra_Poda_complex-c99     

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/177

      Use this route from Burgas toward Sarafovo - it is very appropriate to leave Burgas to north as well !


 Sector IV- E  

from Burgas to Rezovo

 

      22. Sozopol

      23. Arkutino

      24. Primorsko - Ropotamo river

      25. Kiten

      26. Veleka river

      27. Ahtopol

      28. Rezovo 

 

      This is the last road segment along the Bulgarian seaside: from Burgas to Rezovo, a distance of approx. 100 km. Bicycling this route leaves the rider with not many alternatives, I will mention only some features, here Iwill show 2 opportunities: route a and route b. Route b will give the possibility to avoid the crazy traffic from Burgas to Primorsko

      Please, have in mind that there is not a border checkpoint in Rezovo !!! Coming from Turkey, you can enter in Bulgaria at the border checkpoint at Malko Tarnovo (E87).

 

      See also:

      Chapter III. Crossing Bulgaria from north to south (from Romania to Turkey & Greece);

      Point 15. Burgas - Border Checkpoint Malko Tarnovo (road E87 or road N 99): Burgas - Malko Tarnovo - Kirklareli)


      Most of this area is Strahdzha Nature Park. It is the largest protected area on the territory of Bulgaria that stretches over 1161 sq km. It was declared a protected area by virtue of Ordinance No. RD350 of 14 July 2000. It is located in the southeastern part of country, its southern border coincides with the Bulgarian sovereign border with Turkey, and it spreads as far as the Black Sea Coast to the east. The Nature Park lies on the territory of Strandzha Mountain which spreads in both Bulgaria and Turkey. More information for it can be seen here:

       http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/95


Route a

      Above I have mention that the traffic from Burgas to Primorsko is crazy, I would say, it is more than crazy. My suggestion is to avoid it. There are several very dangerous road segments, the pedaling here is not a pleasure. Next information is for bicyclists who will not take my opinion in mind.

 

22. Sozopol

      The road from Burgas to Sozopol is wider but traffic can really be a problem. Bicycling along this section of road is not a pleasure at all. There is an old narrow road, running parallel to the main road (the left side going to south), but is not pleasant to bike it because of bushes. 

      Sozopol is an ancient town and it is worth spending an afternoon walking the area, relaxing, and having a beer or coffee. A lot of information for Sozopol is available here:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sozopol

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/259

      http://www.beachbulgaria.com/sozopol/

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/339

      Entering in the old part of Sozopol, you will see a church holding relics of John the Baptist. They were discovered several years ago during archaeological excavations of the old Byzantine church remains under the authority of a prominent Bulgarian Professor and Archaeologist. Two independent tests of the bones were carried out in Universities of London and Copenhagen. DNA analysis showed that these were the bones of  a human - a man who lived in the Levant at the beginning of the new era. More information for it can be seen here:

      http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2015/02/22/st-john-the-baptist-relics-found-in-bulgarias-sozopol-could-be-authentic-oxford-archaeology-dating-expert-finds/

      http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/08/12/bulgaria.john.baptist.relics/index.html

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beheading_of_St._John_the_Baptist


23. Arkutino

 

 

     

      After leaving Sozopol there is a local road which leads to Arkutino, it is not necessary to go back to the road N99. There is a village and a resort at the point in red on the map in left (the first photo below). The road is closed to motor traffic, but nobody will stop bicyclists to pedal this area by.

 

      Along this local road you will find nice places to camp on the beach (see both photos 2 and 3 down are at point B on the map). Food and a perfect beach can be found at camping Kavatsite.

 

      Here are:

      - Dyuni Resort:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/367

      http://www.beachbulgaria.com/dyuni/

 

      - Reserve Alepu (the last two photos):

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alepu     

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/308

 

      - Arkutino area is a reserve because of some special spices and relics. It seems there is not available sites for it.

 

      - St. Thomas Island (the snake Island):

      http://www.fixstay.com/en/article/53/snake-sland-bulgaria.html

 


24. Primorsko & Ropotamo River

      The next road segment toward Primorsko is really a very dangerous segment, especially just near the Ropotamo River. The road is narrow, and the bushes near the road are just like a wall, making it impossible to shift out onto the road quickly when needed. The traffic here can also be a huge problem. But, there is no alternative way to go. I really hate this road section. Information for Primorsko:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/382

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primorsko

      http://www.beachbulgaria.com/primorsko/

North and south from Primorsko there are perfect beaches.

      A possibility here is to visit the saved area north of Primorsko to the  Ropotamo River mouth.

      http://www.greencorridors.burgas.bg/en/objects/view/15     

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/190

 

      On the hill, above the mouth of the river, there are ancient megalith structures so called "Beglik Tash".

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beglik_Tash

      This area is a protected zone, cars are forbidden. Be warned, here and now: FIRES OF ANY KIND are absolutely forbidden – There are “green” patrols searching for fires.  This is a great place to spend a night on the beach in a sleeping bag. Bring your own food and water with you.

    Megaliths above and Ropotamo River Mouth next photos.


25. From Primorsko to Kiten

 

      Next town to the south is Kiten; again nice beaches. To reach Kiten – use the local road between Primorsko and Kiten.

      Information for Kiten:

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/363

 

 

      South from Kiten the traffic is lighter.  Just after the bridge crossing at Karaagach River, leave road N99,  the pedaling along the local road toward Lozenets and Tsarevo will be safer.

      I am not sure if camping Yug and camping Koral are still operating.

      The last photo above is of the mouth of Karaagach River.

      Information for Lozenets:

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/500

 

 


26. From Lozenets to Carevo to Ahtopol

      Bicycling toward Tsarevo, many small gulfs can be seen, and dirt roads to reach them. The most scenic place here is Arapya.

      Just after Tsarevo, road N99 leads directly to the Turkish border. (in the end of the chapter I will give a little more information for it). This road is appropriate for pedaling to or from Turkey, and there is not any traffic on it.

 

      Information for Tsarevo:

 

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/176

 

      Relatively nice beach is south from Tsarevo, the place is named Nestinarka. Next several photos are taken from Arapya, Tsarevo and the last one is Nestinarka.

 

      The last small town is Ahtopol. I love this scenic place. Ahtopol is still not over  crowded with tourists, but I see many new hotels appearing over the last few years. North from Ahtopol there is a nice beach.

      Information for Ahtopol:

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/398

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahtopol

 


27. Sinemorets and Veleka River mouth

      Sinemorets is a small village high over Veleka River mouth. Information for Sinemorets:

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/248

      Nine to ten kilometers south of Ahtopol is the mouth of the Veleka River (see the map above), a place worth seeing.  But, make sure you have mosquito repellent.

      There are 2 possibilities to approach Veleka River Mouth

– To the left just before the bridge on the road N 990.

–  Down the off-road from Sinemorets (the green line on the map -  the last photo down).

      The sea is dangerous here, with a strong undertow, in the surf, pulling you out to sea. Not far out from the shore, there is an immediate drop off, causing the undertow.

 

      The river Firth, behind the dune is a safe, fresh water area to play.

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/112


28. Rezovo   

      Here are the last ten kilometers to Rezovo and Bulgarian/Turkey border,  the end point of Bulgarian seaside.

 

      Along the seaside there are dirt roads which will lead you to small gulfs and desert beaches just fine for camping on the beach. Bring bottled water and food with you. DO NOT DRINK WATER from the taps in Silistar.

 

 

      The most scenic and popular place here is “Silistar”. DO NOT DRINK WATER from the taps in "SILISTAR" !!!

      Just before enter in Rezovo, the border police will ask you for your passport. Information for Rezovo:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/427

      http://www.bulgariansearesorts.com/resorts/rezovo/

      Along the seaside south from Sinemorets there are dirt roads which will lead you to small gulfs and desert beaches just fine for camping on the beach. Bring bottled water and food with you. To avoid

Route b

      To avoid the terrible traffic from Burgas to Primorski, my suggestion is to follow the route:

      from Burgas to Marinka to Novo Panicharevo to Yasna Polyana to Primorsko

      Here you will not see any traffic, the pedaling is much more pleasant and save.

      If you want to visit Sozopol, my suggestion is to stay 2-3 days in Promorsko and use the public transport for this purpose. The public transport here is well arranged.

The countryside toward Yasna Polyana and Primorsko.

      The routes on the next map are for bicyclists entering in Bulgaria from Turkey (Border Checkpoint Malko Tarnovo).

      Three are the routes if you enter here in Bulgaria:

- route a: to head to Burgas directly;

- route b: to head to Tsarevo;

- route c: to pedal toward Vizitsa, Pismenovo, Primorsko.

 

     

      If you follow the route c, have in mind that in Vizitsa you will not find food and coffee, but a tap of drinkable water is available.

The countryside toward Pismenovo. The road from Vizitsa and Pismenovo is dirty.

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