About three weeks ago, as a spur of the moment on a rainy Sunday afternoon, Dan and I booked a last minute getaway. We’d spent the last few months pretty much on opposite ends of the globe, as Dan ventured around New Zealand and I was holed up in Cardiff working endlessly on my Masters, and it felt like an age since we’d last properly spent time together. We’re also in the process of applying for jobs and internships that will likely leave us on opposite ends of the country, so two weeks later we found ourselves heading off on a jet plane to the Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria.
|Views of the sunset from the Old Town of Nessebar.|
Why Bulgaria, you ask? Honestly, I’m not quite sure. Neither of us had ever been to the country, or had heard much about it, but we desperately needed a holiday that wouldn’t break the bank and would guarantee some sunny weather! We also love exploring new places so were really excited to go to a country that wasn’t as widely visited as the likes of Greece or Spain (though these are two of my absolute favourite countries!).
|Our beautiful hotel.. SO relaxing.|
|Cooling down in the clear blue swimming pool.|
We stayed in the Premier Fort Beach Hotel in St Vlas, which is about a ten minute bus ride from notorious Sunny Beach, the Magaluf of Bulgaria if you like. The hotel was an absolute dream, with delicious food, spotless facilities, blue swimming pools, and the beach and views of the clear blue Black Sea right on our doorstep. There really is nothing better than waking up and opening the curtains to sunshine and a sea view. It’s so calming and makes you really appreciate how beautiful our world is.
|Nothing better than waking up to this beautiful view…|
Days were spent lounging by the pool or going for little strolls along the seashore, and EATING. I think the thing we spent the most time doing this holiday was eating, and the food was fantastic. Delicious pasta dishes, yummy pizza, pancakes for breakfast, ice cream for lunch – it was all about the carbs and quite frankly I didn’t care. I eat so healthily throughout the year that I just indulge on holiday, though this is probably the worst time as I’m waddling around in a bikini. I did manage to go for a quick run for four mornings of the holiday, which made me feel a little less guilty about eating so much. And with views like this (below) running in the morning sunshine really ain’t that bad…
|Can’t beat a run with a view of the sea!|
In the evenings we ventured out to explore our surroundings. Sveti Vlas was one of our favourite places to visit. It’s a tiny little town with a street of quaint shops selling souvenirs and handmade Bulgarian gifts, as well as lots of ice cream parlours and restaurants, that opens into a town square where you can find watercolour paintings and little stalls selling trinkets and bits and bobs. Just down from the centre of the town is a beautiful yacht port and marina, and this was where we spent most of our evenings.
|Exploring St Vlas on the first night of our holiday.|
|Pretty Sveti Vlas – the marina was unreal!|
The marina was beautiful with classy cocktail bars and restaurants and a cracking view of the sunset. We sat in a rooftop bar overlooking the sea with a cocktail in hand, watching as rich Bulgarians drove through the marina in their Ferraris and Range Rovers to their private yachts. It was unreal to see the difference in wealth within the country. Parts of it were poorly kept, but Sveti Vlas was absolutely beautiful, with towering villas overlooking the coast and even a VIP yacht port. It really was the perfect place to relax.
|Sex on the Beach is my go-to holiday drink!|
One of our favourite places to visit was the Old Town of Nessebar, which was situated at the opposite end of the coast and a twenty minute bus ride that cost 2 Bulgarian lev, or 85pence to you and I. Seriously, the prices out there were so ridiculously cheap, not that we were complaining! Nessebar is made up of a “new” and “old” town, the latter of which is formed as a little island at the far end of the Black Sea coast.
|Nessebar was simply beautiful.|
It’s really stunning and as soon as we stepped off the bus we fell in love with Nessebar and all it had to offer. The town is made up of traditional houses and winding cobble streets with cute little stores selling gorgeous Bulgarian artefacts. Cafés spill out into the streets so you can sit out and eat or drink in the sunshine, while old churches and ruins pop up at every corner you turn. We loved how traditional and cultured the town was, which was a huge contrast to the rest of the Sunny Beach resort as it tries to establish itself as a modern place for tourists to visit.
|Nessebar was definitely a favourite evening location.|
|Cute little boats docked at the harbour in Nessebar.|
We spent our time in Nessebar poring over the pretty watercolours and street painters, admiring the views and taking (too many) sunset photographs, eating ice cream sundaes and strolling through the streets taking it all in. We even spent our four-year anniversary there, eating a delicious meal overlooking the harbour, and watched an Eastern European dance competition that was held in one of the ancient monuments. Like I said earlier, I just loved the culture and how traditional it was.
|All dressed up for our four year anniversary dinner!|
One of my favourite moments of the holiday though, has to be going on a sunset cruise which we booked through Thomson at our hotel. We caught a double decker bus to Nessebar, before hopping on a beautiful catamaran yacht and sailing the Black Sea as the sky turned from blue to deep shades of pink. We had a free bar and a yummy platter of meat, cheeses, salad and bread to accompany our drinks, and were also given a bottle of champagne to share.
|Cheers to a fantastic holiday!|
I absolutely loved spending time looking at the beauty of our world as the sun set with my favourite person by my side. As cheesy as this all sounds, it made me feel so at peace and getting away from all my worries and the stresses of the past year really put everything into perspective. Life really is too short to stress, and I’m determined to make the most of every opportunity and to live life to the fullest without worrying (too much).
|Rocking my Topshop playsuit as I watch the sun setting behind the hills.|
While Bulgaria was not on the top of my travel bucket list, and honestly I’m not sure it was even on the list at all, I’m so incredibly happy we went and so grateful for our time there. I feel like I really needed this break as my mind and body needed to just shut down and relax, and it was also amazing to have a week away with Dan. We love exploring and adventuring so much that we’re already planning our next getaway. After all, adventures really are the best way to learn!
Have you ever visited Bulgaria?
Lots of love,