Balchik

Balchik is picturesque, the old town situated at the foot of the faded, white limestone bluffs, 47 km northeast of Varna, where Dobruja meets the Black Sea. Greek traders, who moved here in the 5th century. p.n.e., due to the source of drinking water, they named this place Rrunoi (gr. source), and then Dionisopolis (even a fragment of the statue of the god of wine was found, Dionysus). The Roman Carbona Legion was stationed here. The Romans fortified the city. It took its name from its owner, Balika, in Turkish times. In years 1913-1940 Balchik and the rest of southern Dobruja belonged to Romania. It's here, w 1931 r., the queen of Romania had a summer residence, built in an oriental style, lying right by the sea, in a park with an area 10 ha. Supposedly, Queen Maria received her lovers there.

It's good to go to Balchik from Varna; you can also arrange accommodation in nearby Albena.

Orientation and information

From the port to the bus station, you can walk along Czerno More Street 10 minutes (northbound from the ferry). The bus to Albena departs from a small bus stop near the port, and buses to Varna depart from the main bus station.

Post and telecommunications – The post office is located at Ivan Vazov, from Czerno More, behind the hotel Balchik.

Sightseeing

Upstream from Czerno More, from the port towards the higher part of the city, you can see the DSK bank. There is a gallery of icons in the church behind the bank. The building above houses the local Historical Museum (closed on days off).

Queen Maria's palace is located approx 2 km east of the ferry (access by the waterfront). It can be visited during exhibitions of works by local artists. The palace and a dozen other buildings are located in the botanical garden, which collects over 600 various mediterranean plants and cacti. Unfortunately, the garden is not very well kept.

Accommodation

Dionisopolis one-star hotel (tel.2175), at ul. Primorsko near the port, costs approx 15 $ from person.

The small hotel Esperanza (tel.5148), Czerno More 16, it costs 8 $ from person. Usually there are no problems with finding a room here. If the hotel is overbooked, staff for a similar price can arrange private accommodation. Information at the bar, under the hotel. The cuisine at the Esperanza restaurant is excellent.

Kavaci Restaurant, opposite the port, serves seafood.

In the summer, when the artists occupy the villa of Queen Maria, the city becomes extremely lively, tables of cafes and bars appear in the streets, offering seafood dishes. You can also watch spontaneous street theater performances.

Journey

From mid-June to mid-September, a hydrobus runs daily from Varna to Balchik, course from Varna approx 8.30, sails from Balchik to Varna, Fr. 15.00. In two hours you can enjoy the cruise on the open deck, admiring the wonderful seascapes of the coast. A cruise on the Black Sea, from Varna to Balchik costs money 4 $. Some hydrobuses also go to Golden Sands.

You can go back from Balchik to Varna by bus, changing in Albena and Golden Sands. In summer, local buses to Albena (18 km) run what 20 minutes. The bus to Golden Sands leaves just as often (#2, 16 km). From Golden Sands, Varna can be reached by bus #9; runs quite often. Driving further north, it is worth using direct connections to Kavarna (18 km); Departure from the bus stop in the upper part of the town.

Spas

The Tuzłat health resort is famous for its peloid, treating rheumatism.

At the site of today's Kawarna, there was first a Thracian settlement (V w. p.n.e.), then the Greek colony of Bizone, which in the first century. it was destroyed by the earthquake. It was rebuilt by the Romans, the Byzantines were also here, who were constantly at war with the Bulgarian state. From the sea, the Nos Kaliakra Cape was once separated by defensive walls. There are still remains of these fortifications. The Greeks named this place Tirizis, then the name was changed to Accra and in the Middle Ages to Kaliakra. Seals live here. Sometimes they go ashore. There is a monument dedicated to the legend here, or maybe the truth, about forty girls, whom the Turks spared their lives after murdering the inhabitants of Accra. They were beautiful and would go to the harems. The girls lined up, tied up with braids, they took their hands and jumped into the sea.

The Rusałka health resort has an original one, although modern, architecture and lies in the beautiful scenery of coastal rocks. Two battles took place here: Varnah captured the Turkish fortress, Admiral Ushakov in 1791 r. crashed the Turkish fleet.