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The Black Sea isn't black, it's crystal-clear. Julie Firth overturns a few prejudices on a family beach break in Bulgaria. Bulgaria's Black Sea coast might not bask in the warm glow of praise from tourist reviews on the travel websites, but it will put more power into your pound than most resorts. Still trying to establish itself as a destination of choice, the country continues to suffer from a rather grim, grey reputation, almost as though nothing has altered since the Communists ruled the roost. But beggars can't be choosers. We set aside the reviewers' prejudices and headed, hopefully, in the direction of Golden Sands, eight miles north of Bulgaria's second largest city, Varna. Our first glimpse of Bulgaria came by dawn's early light. Our family party, including a two-year-old and a four-year-old, transferred to Golden Sands from Burgas airport, which involved a three-hour minibus ride in the dead of night. Normally, you would fly to Varna, which is much closer. Our hotel was the Helios Spa and Resort, a sumptuous modern building set among Golden Sands' coastal forest. We noticed that online moaners have berated the food, the 120 concrete steps down to the town and occasional surliness of the staff. The steps were, indeed, a problem when we returned to the hotel one night with a load of shopping and a sleeping toddler in the pushchair. Looking for a way round, we walked for nearly two hours, got lost and ended up trying to use the position of the moon to find the quickest way back. Otherwise, we were perfectly happy. Our stay was on all-inclusive terms and the food, though different to our usual fare, was absolutely fine. There was a big choice of dishes, many of them geared towards German visitors, by far and away the biggest group in Golden Sands. Our room was huge, and the view of the Black Sea from the balcony was to die for. Golden Sands is essentially one seaside street about a mile in length, packed with shops, stalls, restaurants and bars. To one side lies the beautiful, crystal-clear Black Sea. To the other, the resort's hotels are set in idyllic, dense, rising woodland. Some of these hotels aim for top-end Germans and Israelis with plenty of money in their pockets, but many other outlets lure the Brits abroad with impossibly cheap cocktail deals and "Sky Sports shown here" signs. Repeated attempts to persuade you into bars and restaurants can irritate, but there are some very good cocktail bars and restaurants if you take the time to explore. A beer is typically about three levs, but the quantity of ale you get for your money can vary. You'll always get at least a pint, but on some occasions we were presented with huge, foaming two-pint pots, a la Munich Beer Festival. Cocktails are always two-for-one and you'll usually pay about ?2 for a good quality one. A family of four can eat very well for about 60-70 levs in total including drinks, with all tastes catered for. Pizzas are a speciality, often made right in front of you and costing ?5 for a large one. Varna, 20 minutes away, gives the visitor a refreshing flavour of Bulgaria's history. Varna Archaeological Museum is one of the city's best treasures. It houses the Gold of Varna, jewellery and gifts which were found in a mass grave underneath the city and said to be the oldest gold found in the world. Varna's dolphinarium, the only one in Bulgaria, is a bit run-down but well worth the entrance fee. The jewel in Varna's crown is its sea garden, a vast space containing an open-air theatre, aquarium, museum, zoo and ice-skating rink. Despite the stray dogs and strange men trying to sell you currency, this is a very friendly city, unspoilt and with plenty to interest families. The weather for our stay was hot, with thunderstorms at night, and the sea is easily warm enough to play in. Golden Sands is a first-class resort, pitched perfectly for either a family or a group of younger holidaymakers. But it could lose that charm if it gives in to pressure to become the new Faliraki with hordes of rowdy visitors.
Hi, Have Poco Loco in Golden or Albena an homepage or something? Im looking after two girls, Yani and Maja. They worked in Poco Loco. Have someone a number or an email address to one of them? I lost my phone with my numbers on.
it was really the best holiday!! i had night life there!i waked up at 6 p.m! i come back to my sucks hotel horizont at 8 a.m from night clubs! i found many new friens) (ukraine, russian, german, pollen, italian, french and bulgarian) i am from russia)who was at golden sands in 2007
I have been 5 times and enjoyed my stay each time except when being short changed on the first holiday, when changing money. You will always have a good time if you use your common sense and plan. Change your money at at Bull Bank or other bank not at any of the kiosks you might get less than you thought in exchange.
Bulgaria is a beautiful wonderful country would recommend to anyone.
I HAVE JUST RETURNED FROM GOLDEN SANDS! it was great. i went to Bulgaria with teenager`s group we live in a fucking hotel Horizont 2*, but it doesn`t matter for your holidays!if you are 14-25 years old. you don`t need a good hotel, because for example:i returned from night clubs nearly 8 o`clock a.m! there are the best night clubs: MALIBU, PR.CLUB, ARROGANCE, BONKERS AND ROXY! WHO WERE ON GOLDEN SANDS?
i'm from england and i've just came back from bulgaria golden sands. and i've never enjoyed a holiday so much. advise any one 16 or over to go to club malibu best club there. and go to palm beach hotel's sky bar were the barman is the canniest man i have ever met and dont forget to visit the golden lion karaoke bar : )
hi all, i have had some great holidays in golden sands, staying at admiral and lilia, i have now bought an appartment in Iglika1 and would like to here from any one who has maybe done the same. I would just like to find out how things are going, hope to here from you soon
Don't forget to visit the dance restaurant POCO LOCO when you come to Golden Sands. Fantastic people, fantastic food and the best dancing show in Bulgaria. You will like to spend your evenings there.
Great Contry! Now, I just can't imagine my life without Golden Sands! I have decided to go there every summer, because I think it is the best place in the whole wide world! Beautiful clean sea, yellow sand, fresh breeze, hot dancing nights at MALIBU, PR CLUB, ARROGANCE... See you all next summer!=)
MY PARTNER, MYSELF AND TWO FRIENDS HAVE VISITED GOLDEN SANDS FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS AND HAVE BOOKED AGAIN FOR 2007. BULGARIA IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE AND THE LOCALS ARE VERY FRIENDLY, WOULD RECOMEND GOLDEN SANDS TO EVERYONE. ALI BABAS, CHINESE RESTUARANT AND THE STEAK HOUSE HIGHLY RECOMENDED FOR FOOD. MONKEYS BAR AND THE MUPPET BAR GOOD FOR ENTERTAINMENT. THE BEACH AND LOTS OF SUNSHINE HAS TO MAKE IT THE BEST FOR HOLIDAYS.
I have just come back from Bulgaria. It was a teenage trip and went there with my friend.
Every day we went on the beach where the water and weather was really hot!! There were many beach bars and clubs, but THE BEST ONE WAS "POCO LOCO" RESTAURANT. We discovered it 5 days before our departure and we went there every night untill i went home. It was a dance restaurant, so we could watch dancing waiters and we could also dance ourselves. It was very nice and amazing :)
I was in Golden sands 7 days ago.
It is Mallorca of east europe.
Super funny, nice bulgarian girls ...etc. I will back to Bulgaria next summer.
im from holland and heve been to the golden sands for 2 weeks. its the best place for a holiday, clubs are great!!! the beaches also but dont go to slavei hotel. that sucks but further it is really great Malibu club is the best.
Just returned from Bulgaria and even with the greatest knowledge was ripped for £20 at a Golden sands beach currency changer. Got desperate to get £100 changed to get gifts and went to one that apparenly was offering 2.84. After they took cash and asked my wife to sign ... silly I know ... they gave her 2.29 and said the 2.84 was "selling price". Please make sure before you hand over cash that its the rate for "buying".
I decided to take a photo of the place which is on The beach promenade just in from far left of Golden sands. I tried to take cashiers photo, but after 1 minute I was approached by a by a bulgarian thug who said "NO CAMERA" and "not my problem" and left in no doubt , ( gun inside his shorts ) to leave.
what a great holiday a week is not long enough to spend in golden sands wicked time met some great people the arabella hotel is fantastic great friendly service we even get the staff to come clubbing at night going back next year hopefuly for about a month i wish
i have had a holiday at goldensands for the last 3 years going again in 2 weeks i im nearly 11 lol. people are really nice there are bungie jumps, you take a picture then hand it in to the street artists to paint your portrate. there is a bowling alley, there is a theme park, there is a show of dolphings that do tricksthere is a kids club, there is a mini golf court it is the best place ever i have been lol, there is a belley dancers (my dad expecilley likes the belley dancers ha ha) from daisy
this is the best place on earth to have your vacation, im a canadian citizen, born in bulgaria and i use every chance that i have to go back there. it is just the perfect place for relaxing. i recently went there with my girlfriend, and she loved it. now her parents are going there for a whole month. there is even articles in the local newspapers about it.
hi my name is ali 20 years and i am from lebanon. I just want to say that i went to varna goldensands in summer2005 and i have known that its the most amazing city in the world cause in this city u can live ur life freely and what ever i want i find and iam going this summer also because this is the best city i like it . goldensands is my dream city that i like to stay in it but i cant for many causes.
I HAVE HAD HOLIDAYS AT GOLDEN SANDS FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS. MADE SOME NICE FRIENDS THERE POLISH, BULGARIANS, ENGLISH.
LOOKING FORWARD TO BE GOING THERE AGAIN IN JULY THIS YEAR.
I have just returned from my 5th holiday in 3 years to Golden Sands. It really does feel like home. The people are warm and friendly, the weather was beautiful and the beach was clean. I stayed at the Astoria Palace this year, which mainly catered for German tourists but it was clean and tidy. I have previously stayed at the Iberostar Izgrev and Obzor Beach. All in all, Bulgaria really is Heaven on Earth. Enjoy your holiday there and I'll be back next year for my 6th and 7th visits!!!
For the third time a very wonderful summerweek at Golden Sands. We will return next year. Thanks to everybody for making a perfect week for us. See you all next summer
We have just returned from the resort and would compare it to 1960's Turkey, The beaches are clean, the toilets are frequent and clean (although the cost is now 1 lev, 40p). The food is good but you have to watch out for the extra's as you only get what you ask for (one restaurant charged 40p for using the ketchup). The pretty ladies of the night will take no for an answer but can be a little persistant down "Party Street". An ideal resort for 18/30 single groups, but not for a quiet family. A purpose built holiday town with no old world charm (no local houses/shops etc. only souvineer/clothing/food outlets. Agree prices with taxis before a journey (10 lev within the complex, 30-40 lev to Varna return) and don't be browbeaten into an extended journey - you decide! all in all a nice place but been there, done it, but did not buy a T-shirt.
i've been the second time to Golden Sands in august 2005 and the last time, me and my friends made the deal to meet again in august 2006... this place has a secret effect on you, that normaly when you visit a place, the next you try to see another new places, but as for the Golden Sands, you just go there unwilling to leave it... the music of Papaya, Malibu is still in my ears... for a coming date Golden Sands...
hi! i'd just like to say that golden sands is the best place to go on vacation, not only golden sands is great but all of BULGARIA. And one more thing anyone who insults my country should screw himself!!!!!!!!!
i have been 5 times it is pure mint and am going back cant wit till i go back 1 lev for a pint 33 pince
We went to bulgaria for the first time june 04 it was fantastic the food good the lager even better and the beaches were heavenly, the people were really nice we felt so at home so much so my family and i booked for july 05 two weeks after our return last year, in 6 days we are to return we can't wait....
I have been to bulgaria six times. Golden Sands. Yes it is very beautiful.
I have just returned yesterday from Golden Sands, it was my 4th trip to the resort. I just cant express my feelings, cause i miss it so much, people are so friendly, all r smiling in the street, food is so tasty and cheap, portions are enormous! The resort itself is really beautiful, night life is GREAT. Big THANX to Bulgaria and my favourite lovely place of Varna, i wanna live there. I wanna be BACK!!!
I have been to Bugaria on three occasions and each time it improves (even though it seems they could never improve perfection!), it is a wonderful place with lovely people. there is lots of things to do and the food is great. cheap alcohol too. The hotel i've stayed in on all occasions was the hotel "Rodina" the staff there are so kind and helpful. i cant wait to return. A LOVELY PLACE.
For the second time a most wonderfull holiday in Golden Sands. First time week 36 in 2003. Second time week 36 in 2004. Third time must be in 2005. never will we find a better place for our holiday. Thank you Bulgaria.
i went to golden sands six weeks ago with a group of us i loved every thing about the place food is lovely and so cheap im booking again for next year with my daughter because i know she will love it
I returned to my country 10 days ago, and i am still depressed.. i can't forget the great moments we spent there. we were 7 guys and we had lots of fun and we are defenitly going back there at the first chance we get! the girls are so cute, everyone is nice and they are all smiling to you. this place is heaven for guys and girls who are just going for fun. i give it 10/10 !
Lots on offer at very low prices but the number or scams and people trying to rip you off really does get a bit much at times. The 50 Stotinki (about 20p) toilet charge is a farce, about 75% of the faclities we used were a disgrace and only 2 actually had toilet paper! We noticed numerous people just wading into the sea just to spend a penny, some still holding their cigarates. Nature has blessed the resort with a wide sandy beach and shallow sea water, that makes the resort excellent for sun worshippers, children and bathers. Shame that for all the lovelly sand every bucket full that my 4 year old filled contained a cigarette end. The daily charge for two comfortable sun beds and an umbrella on the beach is £8. Shame you can't have half day charges especially when the weather is changeable late in the season. The cafe's and bars all offer lovely cakes, great grilled food, fresh vegatables, cheap drinks and good friendly service. The streetscene is quite lively and lined with cheap souvenirs, takeaway foods, imitation branded clothing, portrait artists and retro photographers. A lot of happy experiences but tainted by too many negatives to make a return in the near future.
Hi All! I have just come back from Golden Sands, that was my 3d visit there, and what conclusion I have come to - it becomes better and better!!! whatever places and countries I see, no metter how beautifull they are, I'm in a deep love for ever with Bulgaria!!! This is the only place in the world, where I feel life in a full meausure! What disco's I like - ZIG ZAG and PR Club - it's greta - GO AND ENJOY!!!
Greetings from Russia!
Hi, I was in the golden sand beach one week ago (From 12 Aug. 2004) and in the Helios hotel. The Golden sand area is very beautiful but it is not recommended for singles. Take care about girls around GoGoGirls Disco (They are dangerous).
Let's close your eyes and imagine you are in Paradise..... In one word let me say you that Bulgaria is MAGICAL !!!!! I thought I was dreaming... but when I opened my eyes, I realize everything was true.... hot weather, beuatiful Black Sea, sunny beaches, delicious food, warm people.......The best place for your holidays.... THANK YOU BULGARIA !!!
I really enjoy staying in Golden Sands! I was there from 2 to 10 July and I was so happy when I was there! I want to come back this summer, beacouse in Poland we have really ugly wheater. The best disco's - Malibu, Bonkers and Blue. The best teaquilla in Blue. The best vodka - Flirt. I've meet so many greate people, that I want to go back as soon as possible. See you in Golden Sands!!!!! Ewa - Wroclaw
Hello just got back from Golden Sands thought it was fantastic. Beautiful country, the people are so friendly and there was loads to do it was fantastic.
Hello. I just want to let you knowe that my time in Bulgaria- golden sands was the best time of my life. I´we had so much fun. I´we meet a wery nice boy there... and I only have good memories of this country. ;) I will go back there as soon as posible. //Annicka- sweden
Bulgaria is the best country in a whole world!!! I was there this summer from 4 till 18 of august. Very kind and friendly people, delisious food, bright sun and .... I have no enough words to discribe all my impressions...
Last two weeks in August, and first time in Bulgaria. After travelling through Sunny Beach, when I return it will be to Golden Sands. Pleasant surroundings, hills and trees. Spotlessly clean, and friendly people. Hotel Perunika was basic, but being rebuilt for 2004 season. Not the best if you want quiet evenings, as it is across the road from Bonkers disco (until 05.00am), and Muppet kareoke bar under the hotel. Ask for a rear room. Hotel bar staff very friendly, other staff (waitresses, reception) should try harder. Will I go back??? Yes, yes, yes. Try it for your self.Bye.
We are recently back from Golden Sands and we had a great time. It was my sons first holiday abroad and everyone there was so nice to us. Like most places you get the odd one or two who are not so nice. The cafes were really good and so cheap and had a great choice of food and drink on offer. The food at the Hotel Palm Beach is not so good and often cold so it is better to eat out. The street artists are brilliant to watch and I know have a beautiful portrait of my son on the wall. It is a great place to pick up souveniers as well as there is a good range of items to suit all tastes. My suitcase was bulging by the time I left. We had great weather only 20 minutes worth of rain and that was in the evening so it didn't really matter. All in all I would happily go back again and recommend it to anyone.
this year from 4 to 18 of august i had been in Bulgaria . You know what , i fell in love with this country . i was very pleased with food , treatment of people and their mentality .particulary i liked bulgarian and macedonian guys .No comments........
as for discoes , the best is Malibu!!!!!!it is super!!!!
if i have opportunity next year i will surely go there again!
hi everybdoy! I just like to remind all of you once again that Golden Sands is the best place for youth and for enjoying especially disco's like Malibu and Boonkers, so please dont forget to come next year again ............
I've been 2 times at Golden Sands now. I go there witrh my best friend, we're both from Oslo, Norway. Its the best holiday we can imagine, and we've been to many other places throughout Europe as well.
Its so much fun!! The beaches are impeccable, the people are the most hospitable we've ever met, the cuisine is interesting, the nightlife is so much fun and its so insanely cheap compared to Scandinavia!!
We love Bulgaria! Thats why we're going to be at Golden Sands again this summer in August, and I'm gonna meet there my very good friend from sofia, shes so cool, alll in all, she's a very cool person and from her we've learned so much about this small, yet very interesting and beautiful Eastern European country!
me my wife and two children stayed at the morska zvezda hotel from june15 till june 29 and had the most wonderful time the hotel was brilliant and the staff were marvelous the resort itself was great with plenty to do our regular port of call in the evenings was lagunas across the road from our hotel the resident live band were very talented and catered for all tastes of music so all in all we had a brilliant time. bye for now
I have been back from my 2 week holiday in Bulgaria - Golden Sands for 6 days now! I'm missing it so much! I was at Hotel Astoria Beach, which was Lovely. It was so good over there that I am already in the process of booking for next year! and I cant wait there is so much to do!!
Its my boating place for 4 years now. I keep my trailer and boat there for my annual summer vacation. We just bought some land there this summer overlooking the black sea. In two or three years I might move there, its beautiful there. 7 years ago met my beautiful wife there in Varna. Bulgaria is new and open. Can be wild and dangerous, but its a free & striving country with less or different bounderies just like its sea, the black sea. Have fun in Bulgaria!!!
G'day all! I've just got back from a 2weekholiday in Golden Sands and I'm missing it already! Hotel Serdika was amazing, people were nice and Vodka cheap! who can forget Bonkers'... If you have a chance to go and listen a liveband called D.2, I recommend that you do. anyways, great place; been there twice and might go again.
we went to bulgaria last year to the resort golden sands it was the best holiday we ever had. we stayed at the hotel Varshava, which was a very good hotel. it was clean and tidy at all times. the resort itself was also amazing with plently of things to do. we are going back to golden sands again this year but to the hotel tsarevets and would be grateful for anybodies comments on this hotel.
Just close your eyes and feel the freshness of the morning sea breeze on your face, breathe the intoxicating fragrance of flowers, your ears full of the gentle murmur of the waves smashing against the shore.
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