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in Bulgarian: Златни пясъци , also known as: Zlatni Piasatci, Goldstrand, Nisipurile de Aur
Golden sands resort is 17 km North-East away from the third largest town in Bulgaria Varna. It is a magnificent resort with richly wooded hills, white golden beach and clear blue sea.
The resort is situated in the area, which is a Bulgarian National park which stretches over 1,320 ha. The resort’s beach strip is almost 4 km long and up to 100 m wide. The coast region is elevated and forested and slopes down the terrace-like to the sea. The average air temperature during the Summer is 27-30 degree and the water temperature is 25-28 degree, throughout the Summer season makes it a wonderful place for a Summer holiday. Luxury hotels, restaurants, sports and entertainment sites, swimming pools, seaside treatment, bungalows.
The resort of Zlatni Pyasatsi (Golden Sands) is the largest one on the Northern Black Sea coast as it is built on more than 1,800 hectares of land. It is bordered on the North by Kranevo and on the South by the St. St. Constantin and Elena Resort. The Frengenskoto Plato (Frengen Plateau) of limestone structure, liable to landslide and erosion, is perking just above the resort. The area is famous for the purest sand on the Black Sea coast and also abounds of trees and bushes. Mineral water springs, as well as the marvellous wood bordering the Frangen Plateau turn Golden Sands into one of the pearls of the Bulgarian coast. Several hot-water mineral springs are used for healing and curative purposes. Golden sands suits both sun-worshippers and sightseers being near by Varna the third largest town of Bulgaria with a great number of places of interest.
History The name Golden sands come from an old legend: “Pirates diged in huge golden treasure in the seaside north of Varna. The land took revenge on them and transformed the gold into wonderful sand”. The old-growth forests between ancient Odessos and Dionysopolis were first mentioned by Pliny as the home of mythical dwarfs, visited by the Argonauts. Byzantine sources name the local fortress Gerania; there are 4-7 century AD remains of massive stone ramparts and a basilica along the edge of the Frengen plateau. The cave Aladzha Monastery, 3 km to the West, was a monastic centre from antiquity through the Second Bulgarian Empire. In the days of the Ottoman Empire, Uzunkum (Turkish: long sands) was known as a hideaway for outlaws. Golden Sands urban development took place within a protected area declared in 1943 (its original name was Hachuka State Forest); some nature landmarks were lost in the process, such as beach freshwater ponds abounding in tortoises and snakes and beach nesting bird habitats. But the bulk of the nature park was preserved. It was largely uninhabited until the year 1950, although used for outings.
Development Resort development started in 1957 and in about two decades, the place was transformed into a modern holiday complex with numerous hotels, villas, apartment buildings, spa centres, restaurants, clubs, casinos, attractions, shopping centres, and sports facilities, including a yacht marina, a horse riding school, and the Aqua polis water park. Currently, most hotels offer all inclusive vacations but there are also concerted efforts to reposition the resort as a high-end destination. The area is labelled to have the purest quartz sand on the coast and abounds in old trees, landscaped gardens, and pedestrian malls. Golden Sands authorities resist demands to provide more automobile roads and parking lots, citing the resort's reputation as family friendly, green, and largely pedestrian place. Hot mineral water springs and lush woodlands cascading from the Franga Plateau, forming the Golden Sands Nature Park, turn the town into one of the most popular tourist spots in Eastern Europe. Just north is perhaps the best known gay beach in the nation. Three 18-hole golf courses designed by Gary Player and Ian Woosnam are currently (2007) being developed around Balchik and Kavarna a short drive to the north. In the 2000s, although Golden Sands managed to a large extent to avoid being overdeveloped as other large resorts were, parts of the protected forest adjacent to the urban area were cleared for the construction of the Aquapolis water park. In 2007, a large-capacity water purification plant was also badly needed. The scenic route Varna-Golden Sands, ruptured by a small landslide caused by over development in the Lipov Kladenets villa district in 2004, remained closed and all traffic redirected to inland roads. In 2007, all roads proved inadequate to handle an unexpected surge of Romanian motorists looking for all inclusive deals during the Easter and May Day vacations, causing massive traffic jams and accidents.
Transport The transport between Golden Sands and the big city of Varna is well organised. Apart from the bus lines connecting the resort to the city and to the airport as well, there are a lot of minibuses and private taxis. Because of the big competition the prices of the tickets are moderate. Golden Sands is served by several regular bus lines of the Varna public transit system. Bus 109 connects the resort to Varna Railway Station, bus 409 connects to Varna International Airport via the city centre and buses 209 and 309 connect to other areas of Varna.
Food There are numerous first-class restaurants, folk-style taverns, snack-bars and cafeterias scattered all over the resort and along the coastline where everyone can have a meal at reasonable prices. Meals and specialities of the national Bulgarian cuisine as well as of the European and other kind of cuisine are served. The rich collection of Bulgarian red and white wines and brandies are a part of the menu.
Shopping Visitors can enjoy browsing in the numerous shopping arcades and outdoor bazaars while on holiday in Golden Sands. While Golden Sand's shopping opportunities are fairly commercial, most of the hotels have large gift shops.
Events A number of famous events take place here: the Strongest Man Competition, Miss and Mister "Golden Sands" Competition, competitions for all breeds of dogs, Satellite Tennis Tournament, Old-fashioned Auto Rally, International Festival for Standard and Sport Dances, etc.
Places to visit In the town of Varna you can visit: Archeological museum , where the oldest gold in the world can be seen, Historical museum, Museum of Renaissance, Ethnographical museum, The Cathedral, the Maritime garden, The Aquarium, The Dolphinarium, The Aladja rocky monastery- the best known medieval rock monastery on the Bulgarian Black sea coast is located at some 14 km North-East from Varna and about 3.5 km west of the resort “Golden sands”, The Roman thermal complex - the public baths of Odessos count among the most preserved monuments from the Roman presence in Bulgarian lands. Varna is also known with it’s lovely Maritime park three km long. During the Summer a lot of Festivals are held in Varna use the Sport Palace with 5000 places and open air Summer theatre located in the Maritime park – folk and pop music, opera performances and symphony concerts.
Rent a car Excellent car rental service in Golden Sands guarantees you an amazing holiday. Car rental would let you drive comfortably to any part of the resort and more away. It is necessary if you're staying at a hotel that is not in the centre of the resort, so hiring a car and you will be able to get quickly to the various entertainment and sport centres around.
Entertainments 'Aquapolis' - “You are not wet , you are a part of the water” Attraction Park 'Aquapolis' is the first one in Bulgaria, established in a unique Mauritian Mediterranean style. It is located in the North Western section of Golden Sands resort, on the main road from 'Riviera' resort to 'Albena' resort. The water park is situated in the forest, sporting a unique sea-view and the whole resort.
There is a fun at: An open slide with a width of two meters, imitating a river torrent called the Wild River, down the curvy and knobby path of which visitors descend with the help of rings; A straight slide with a width of two meters, called Niagara, down the knob by path of which visitors descend with a maximum speed of 50 km/h with the help of rings; Two completely closed dark pipes – the Black hole, down to which visitors descend, passing through unexpected curves, glimmering at some spots with pulsating lights; The quadruple-track slide – Slalom is a major entertainment for a group of friends that had been challenged to compete. The most exciting experience in Aquapolis is the high-speed slide type "Kamikaze". It is for people who enjoy extreme sensations. The launch occurs from a platform with a height of 18 meters and a maximum speed of 60 km/h. As per the opinion of the Spanish specialists and of the foreign tourist operators, Aquapolis – Golden sands is the most beautiful entertainment park in Europe, due to the unique combination of nature and water attractions.
“Aquapolis” had been divided into several zones: “For adults”, “For children”, “Extreme zone”. The adult section accommodates the so-called Slow River, 300 meters long, passing by a water temple with a waterfall, water streams, rock fragments and temple ruins. This zone also accommodates a large pool for adults – a recreation spot, where the visitor can enjoy the magnificent park view. A bridge and a waterfall connect the pool to the balneology zone, in which several Jacuzzi and hydro-massage are located. At the children's shelter the attraction for kids is the pool with a large dragon, whose mouth sports a slide. The pool also accommodates a turtle and two small dinosaurs and several slides of varied length. A fast-food establishment – restaurant “Ambrosia”, restaurant a la cart “Arcadia”, pool-bar “Neptune”, panoramic snack-bar “Alcazar”.
Yachting Yacht tourism in Bulgaria is an exciting experience which the holidaymakers should try. The beautiful virgin sides of the Bulgarian coast, combined with luxury hotels, clubs and restaurants offer the best entertainment. Besides yacht cruises, you can also enjoy the beauty of the unique Bulgarian magnificent nature. You can join: Yacht picnic with visiting of solitary beach, animation , lunch , games, sport, fishing with all necessary equipment; Yachting to Balchic town with visiting of the famous Botany garden and the Romanian queen castle; Fishing on the North Bulgarian coast with a lunch; Row sunset with drinks, champagne, coffee, tea, nuts. The Yacht trips offer an excellent possibility for a great sea pleasure.
Nightlife Golden Sands' nightlife features a wide range of beach bars, discos and nightclubs where holiday visitors can keep the action going until the early hours. A casino will satisfy the gambling spirit and there are always a variety of shows and entertainment to be had, ranging from live music and deejays to floor shows, cabaret, and a go-go bar. Pleasant and popular casinos situated in excellent and smart four and five star hotels. There are Jackpot Slots/Video Machines; Live table games: American Roulette, Black Jack, Caribbean Stud Poker and many more games.
Hotel International Casino: If you want to catch a Freebie Show! The Hotel International's casino is the most prominent one on the strip. It has the usual gaming tables and loads of slot machines, all designed to part you from your hard-earned cash. During the season the casino offers nightly entertainment in its lounge bar ranging from acrobats and jugglers to live music. Drinks are cheap and the eat-as-much-as-you-like buffet is supposedly great value for money. Another thing to note about the casino is that you'll get the best exchange rates in town at the cashier's desk there.
The Muppet Bar: Party Golden Sands Bulgaria. There ´s a place on Party street called Muppet Bar. It´s a karaoke place with all the new songs and the best of the older stuff. They have a huge song selection! This place is for people who don´t like to listen to techno the whole trip, you can go there sing along, sing for everybody else, dance, drink and have a great time.
Discothèques • Disco Club ARROGANCE Music Factory – location Hotel Astera • Disco PAPAYA(ex ZIG ZAG) – located next to Hotel Vladislav • Disco "PR Club Admiral"- on the beach, next to Hotel International • Disco BONKERS - next to Bar "Playboy" • "ROXY DISCO"- next to Hotel Helios • Dance Club "MASAI" Golden Sands - next to Hotel Vladislav , next to Disco PAPAYA and Scandinavian Disco Baren • Disco Club "MALIBU" - next to McDonalds, on the beach • Disco Night Club "GILDA"- Hotel Admiral • Disco "ALARMA"- at Hotel Vladislav, next to Papaya Disco
Activities The holiday resort of Golden Sands offers a huge array of activities for visitors of all ages, both in and out of the water. Some of the options available are indoor and outdoor swimming pools (including mineral pools and waterslides), tennis and volleyball, bowling, mini-golf, fitness centres, horse riding and cycling. A wide range of water sports includes yachting, jet skiing, water skiing and a scuba diving centre. For the more adrenaline-seeking, hang-gliding and parasailing are offered. The wellness centres provide natural spa treatments and medical programmes for those seeking healing, or just avid for a bit of pampering.
Wellness There are four particularly valuable mineral springs with a flow of 150 m3/Sec. Several wellness and fitness centres have been established on the basis of their curative properties which offer over 100 different kinds of services, combined with various treatment and recreation programs. The resort's natural factors are utilized here all year round - specific climate, clean air, sea water, abounds in salts and microelements, curative mud and different kinds of herbs. Arthritis, stress, neuroses, chronic pharyngitis , bronchitis, asthma, etc. are successfully treated at the wellness centers.
Besides traditional methods, treatment with apian products - propolis and beesvenom as well as ancient Chinese medical methods are also used.
The hotels which provide balneotherapy services in the Golden Sands resort are: • 5 stars - Admiral , Astera , Imperial, Riviera beach, Melia Grand Hermitage • 4 stars - Obzor beach&Izgrev, Helios spa • 3 stars - Ambassador. The wellness hotels are well equipped with all facilities for the health services.
For children Golden Sands resort organizes for your children many sports competitions, games and other pleasant occupations, discotheques and unforgettable meetings with their favourite characters from puppet shows. At the children’s sports centres they can ride ponies and shoot with bows. There is also a Slalom slide, mini golf, computer and electronic games, children’s railways, inflatable castles, Rolba slide and water toboggans.
Sport Located next to “Admiral” hotel: Scuba diving For beginners from the beach, Diving course For diving from the beach, Dive with the boat, Wreck diving. Location between “Melia Grand hotel Hermitage” hotel and “Astoria” hotel - Mini Golf. Location Hotel “Bolero”: Tennis court, Volleyball, Mini Football, Basketball, Jeep safari. Located in front of the Morsko oko hotel on the beach: Fly with a parachute, Jet, Flying Banana, Banana Rings, Water ski