It isn’t the most gorgeous spot on the planet, but I enjoy it! This is a statement that anyone may make without making a mistake or being accused of lying. Because we all have favorite spots to visit, even if they aren’t the most beautiful in the world. Such a categorization is highly subjective.
With the arrival of summer comes the anticipation of departing for a vacation destination, as well as the eagerness to get to a location we enjoy as quickly as possible. Most of the time, I’m at sea. I am consistent, and I prefer to visit the same few areas that I am familiar with.
I’m not much of an explorer. I know people who can’t conceive visiting the same spot twice, people who have traveled to hundreds of locations around the world. I like to visit the same few areas that I am familiar with. I keep wondering where this tendency started from…
Perhaps from our youth, when we only went on seaside vacations in Romania, where I dwell. On the Black Sea, there were several resorts, but we only visited two: Mamaia and Vama Veche. When we were young, Romania was a totalitarian communist regime, and we were not permitted to go outside of the country. I was compelled to spend decades of my holiday time just at the two resorts.
We have been free to go wherever we choose for about thirty years now, and we have decided to go to the Black Sea, but in neighboring Bulgaria, for two solid reasons. The water is more gorgeous, and the vacation costs less for higher-quality services. In Bulgaria, I have visited two resorts for decades: Balchik, which is closer to my home and has a historical and cultural setting, and Sozopol, which is further south. Sozopol appeals to me because of its Mediterranean-like atmosphere.
I landed in Balchik this summer, in the middle of June, and I believe I’ve been here ten to fifteen times.
I’ve written several travel posts on Balchik. I hope I didn’t duplicate and present the same things; I always attempt to convey the sites and events from new angles; each trip was unique.
Balchik is a tiny Black Sea port city. A city created in antiquity by the Thracians and later inhabited by the Greeks, who named it Dionysopolis after the deity Dionysus, the god of celebrations and wine. The Turks occupied it for many hundred years, and the Romans occupied it for around forty years, until the end of World War II.
Queen Maria of Romania was drawn to this small village and erected a vacation residence here, which she referred to as a castle. The city’s primary tourist attractions are Queen Maria’s castle and the Botanical Garden, which is set in the former queen’s grounds.
I always look forward to visiting Balchik. It is a tiny and tranquil resort that caters to more elderly visitors, but there are also many young people who do not want to go to a club or disco. Balchik appears to be a spot built for wandering, which is what I like now that I can’t stand the powerful rays of the sun as readily, and, presumably, going to the beach.
Assuming that there are still many individuals who prefer walking to going to the sea, I will continue to demonstrate what may be observed during a walk through Balchik.
The city is modest, with a population of around ten thousand people. I did not explore the residential neighborhoods or the famed Tatar district and will return on my next visit. I’m looking for a place in an old town that’s close to the sea. I enjoy something about the city. That is, it is built on a hill.
The sea may be seen between the houses and above them. The most stunning view.
The parks, the little parks, are basically terraced lanes. I truly admire the luxuriant greenery that is typical of this area, vegetation that has been influenced by its proximity to the sea.
The sea, of course, is the most powerful attraction that brings us here!
The Black Sea is not a beautiful sea, and it cannot compete with its Aegean and Mediterranean neighbors, let alone exotic tropical waters. Everyone has what it takes, and I’m grateful that I can visit her frequently. The Black Sea, which was most likely a large lake, behaves similarly to a lake and has no tide. The water is not crystal pure due to its low salinity and the fact that many rivers, particularly the Danube, pour into the sea. However, the blue sky and some algae can occasionally make the water appear incredibly lovely…
Even if we do not go to the beach, most tourists go. Balchik doesn’t have many beaches, and those that do exist are modest. Those who want to lie in the sun or take a swim in the seawater are unaffected by this.
Some people come up with more inventive ways to get the beach as near to the water as possible. It’s great when you can come up with straightforward ideas and don’t have too many pretensions. Happiness is a recipe!
The municipality realized that there are still many people who want to be in the sun or shade, so they set up a few beaches near Queen Maria’s castle. The major drawback is that the beach is separated from the water by the main entrance and a walking alley; however, the view of the castle and gardens is spectacular.
The hotels have then set out some modest platforms with loungers and umbrellas where there is no room for a beach.
There is no room for beach games, which some people enjoy, but they can find large beaches at resorts close to Balchik, such as Albena, which is only seven kilometers away.
I also got to enjoy my favorite pastime, walking. There are some nice areas to walk, such as the Boulevard along the sea, which lists all of the resort’s attractions. This few-kilometer-long street is ideal for long hikes and may be reached on foot to Albena if you have strong legs.
The walk allows you to quietly watch and admire everything around you, including hotels, terraces, beaches, the castle, and gardens…
Typically, the hike began near the little harbor.
On one side, there is the sea and terraces, and on the other, there are hotels, shops, and booths. I mean, there’s something for everyone. The breathtaking view of the sea, as well as the food and apparel options. Because, after all, tourism is a big industry, isn’t it?
Wonderful promenade built with European Union funds, a very good investment that changed the face of the resort and now draws a lot more people. New hotels were constructed, and existing ones were renovated. What appeared to be a dusty and out-of-date resort ten years ago has evolved into a modern destination.
The old section is also highly intriguing, particularly for Romanians. Because these are the vacation homes of some notable Romanian painters from the interwar period. Some villas have been rebuilt and are now inhabited, but the most exquisite, which belonged to the Stork family of painters and sculptors, is on the verge of collapse. However, there is optimism that it will be repaired as well.
Parking is often an issue in this area, so tourists take advantage of any available space. It’s free for the time being, but I doubt it will be for long.
Then there’s the garden complex and Queen Maria of Romania’s castle. The city’s biggest attraction. Every day, hundreds of people visit. The castle may also be seen from the promenade, but you must go to observe how a queen spent her vacation in Balchik.
You don’t even notice when you approach the resort’s edge because you’re still looking to the right and left. The final is a well-known hotel called Regina Maria.
From here, you can stroll to the Albena resort along the same promenade, which is less aesthetically pleasing. Few people, especially the most athletic and well-trained, do this.
We return to the resort’s center because we do not fall into this category.
We pass one of the decent restaurants on the way back, which reminds us that we need to eat. We do not stop here, despite the fact that the proximity to the sea provides a unique perspective. We don’t stay because the meal is a little too “touristy.”
I want to eat the local cuisine in the places where I travel, so I look for restaurants that are not in the tourist area. I discovered a little patio in the city’s historic quarter that served extremely nice, fresh meals at a reasonable price.
My wife had schnitzel with french fries, and I wanted to experience something unique to the area. People consume a lot of eggplants in this Balkan region, which has a lot of Turkish influences. I wanted to try baked eggplant loaded with minced beef and goat yogurt, and I didn’t regret it.
Everything was sprinkled with a local beer, which was delicious. Except when you’re tired and sweaty, a beer never tastes so nice.
For me, the most pleasant and peaceful moments were when we had lunch, but especially when we drank coffee in the morning (and not only). The resort is modest, and the most anticipated time after breakfast was heading to a neighbouring patio for coffee and juices.
Even after multiple attempts, finding a nice place is relatively challenging. That coffee should be delicious, the service should be kind and pleasant, and the terrace should be appealing. I discovered it and was quite pleased.
During these hikes, we took many images and even recorded short videos that we watched while drinking coffee. Some of them are depicted below.
My wife was particularly fond of a statue, or rather, a series of statues depicting a poor guy climbing a rope to steal the moon from the sky. She was enthralled by the metaphor! We can say that this is quite typical.
I claimed I didn’t comprehend the significance of this sculpture; not another one, but I’m sick of heights!
It was a short three-day trip that turned out to be great; it had been a long-awaited vacation, and I hoped that by telling the story, I would motivate people to visit these locations.
If this piques your interest, let me tell you how to travel to Balchik. Those who live in Bulgaria’s surrounding nations have the alternative I utilize, which is to travel by automobile. If you plan on flying, the nearest airport is in Varna, around 40 kilometers from Balchik. There are numerous ways to go to Balchik from Varna, ranging from cab to coach.
I retraced the exquisite moments of this vacation while writing this travel blog, and I immediately want to go back as soon as possible, perhaps in the beginning of September, if the fourth wave of Covid does not derail our plans again.