These days, Bulgaria is not such a well-kept secret, with its gorgeous climate and hearty cuisine enough to tempt many holidaymakers. However, aside from the idyllic coastal lifestyle and the appeal of the sun, sea and sand, what may be lesser known are the country’s diverse cultural attractions.
Wait – you want both? Well, one destination that can well and truly lay claim to ‘having it all’ is the delightful holiday resort town of Elenite, which may lure you with its beauty but will make you fall in love with its surprising depth of character. While it still affords all the high quality amenities you’d want – including great dining, superb beaches and traditional restaurants – due to its modest size it still maintains an authentic Bulgarian charm.
For those looking to get a little more out of their holiday experience, the best news about Elenite is that it’s in a perfect location to explore.
Slip Over to Sunny Beach
Elenite is just ten kilometres from one of Bulgaria’s most famous resorts, Sunny Beach. While it is renowned as party central for hordes of young European revellers, it’s not all beer and bikinis.
To get all the benefits of the wonderful beaches but none of the crowds, head over past Cape Emine to the gorgeous (and deserted, if you’re lucky) Irakli Beach. You can stroll along the shores, where the forest comes right down to meet the sands, and take in the horizon’s far-reaching views. Other activities to consider:
- Get pampered in a traditional Hamman
- Take a day cruise on a luxury catamaran to a remote beach
- Try some authentic Balkan cuisine from one of the many local restaurants
For culture lovers, the UNESCO tick of approval is always a good sign and Nessebar certainly doesn’t disappoint. Its lovely Old Town still displays its history in vivid, tangible detail, with some wonderful traditional stone houses, several ruins of ancient fortifications, an amazing old windmill and several magnificently-preserved churches dating back to the sixth century. Places of interest that shouldn’t be missed include:
- The Ethnographic Museum (in a 150-year-old house)
- The Archaeological Museum
- Saint Sophia Church
Top Tip: Just 20 kilometres from Nessebar, in Pomorie, you can visit the Salt Museum to explore the salt pans and learn about the process of extracting salt from sea water.
While its main attraction is the absolutely stunning beach, Byala also has a very appealing side attraction – its renowned wine industry! And if there’s a better combination than relaxation and wine, I don’t know what it is. But I digress – back to the beach.
The town’s main beach is a sprawling six kilometres long, with fine white sand and crystal clear waters. With a backdrop of wooded hills, Byala is located near the northern portion of Balkan Mountains. If you’re willing to explore, there are also plenty of other neighbouring beaches that you’ll more than likely find completely deserted.
Top Tip: Don’t miss the ruins of the fortress dating back to the third century and, if you’ve got the time, you can keep heading up the coast to Varna to visit the excellent Archaeological Museum.
Where to Stay
Hotel Zornitza Sands: Hotel Zornistza Sands is set in a superb location – the beautiful beach is right on your doorstep. With spacious rooms and stunning sea views, the hotel is a wonderful place from which to explore Elenite and its surrounding areas. Along with a swimming pool and sun terrace, guests can take advantage of the onsite spa and restaurant, which serves up delicious Bulgarian food.
Garden of Eden Complex: This is one place that lives up to its name. Set in an idyllic location right on the beach and featuring stunning views, the Garden of Eden Complex offers spacious, contemporary rooms with all the mod-cons, as well as expansive facilities that include seven pools, three international restaurants, 24-hour room service and an onsite spa. You may never want to leave!
Panorama Fort Beach: Panorama Fort Beach is very close to the beach and ensures a relaxing, comfortable stay in spacious, well-facilitated accommodation. Offering air conditioning, cable TV, a kitchenette and a fabulous balcony to take in the views, guests are also invited to make use of a wellness centre, a library, sports facilities and a beauty centre.
How to Get There
If you’re keen to plan a getaway to Elenite, getting there isn’t too much of a problem. From the UK, a direct flight to Burgas Airport (BOJ) from Luton will take around three hours and 25 minutes. There are numerous other flights available from Heathrow or Gatwick, but expect them to take longer.
Once you land, I’ve found the easiest way to get from Burgas Airport to Elenite is by pre-booking a convenient airport transfer with Shuttle Direct. You’ll be met at the airport by a friendly local driver who’ll then drive you straight to your accommodation.
- UK to Burgas Airport (BOJ) Flight Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
- BOJ to Elenite Distance: 37 kilometres
- Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: 40 minutes
About Shuttle Direct
At Shuttle Direct we pride ourselves on our reputation as one of the most trusted providers of airport transfers throughout Europe and North Africa. With a range of shared and private transfers, we’ve got something for every traveller and every budget. Simply make an easy online booking before you leave home and we’ll be there to meet you and take you wherever you need to go.