Balchik is located on the North East part of Bulgaria. Balchik is one of the 14 municipalities located on the Black Sea coast. It spreads on 524 sq km, 419 256 decars of agricultural land, 64 000 decars of forests and 30 km fine beach line. The municipality is formed by 19 settlements with a center the town of Balchik.
The town is located 530 km from the capital Sofia, 36 km from dobrich,48 km from Varna and 57 km from the checkpoint with Romania Durankulak.The municipality borders with the municipalities of Varna, Aksakovo, General Toshevo and Kavarna. The territories of the municipality are roughly divided in two parts:
The first one comprises the beach line and the valley of the river Batova. It is characterized with relief with heights from 0 to 150 meters above sea level. It has slightly higher average temperatures, shorter snow season and less rain fall.
The second region comprises part of the Dobrudzha plain characterized with heights from 150 to 250 meters above sea level. They are with lower average temperature levels. The Dobrudzha plateau has a slightly hilly relief.
The relief of the coastal line is diverse with steep and rocky hills, terraces sliding down to the coast. The old town stands in tiers on a big old landslide. Characteristic white rock formations define its unique look.
The municipality of Balchik has a population of 23 000 people with more than 55% of it living in the town itself.
Balchik is also called the silver town and the pearl of the Black Sea coast. It stands in tiers on several terraces on the Dobrudzha valley. The town has been established by Greeks 26 centuries ago. Its first name was Kruni (Greek word for spring) which was given because of the many karst springs in the area. During the VI century B.C. the settlement was already a lively place. It was renamed to Dionisopolis after the god Dionisius. Some consider that the town was given this particular name because of the statue of Dionisius thrown out onshore.
The image of this god was on the coins minted here, and the town was also the most important centre after Odessoss (Varna) on the northern Black Sea coast till the beginning of the new era. Other remains show that apart from Dionisius a cult to Demetra was widely spread. This makes us think that agriculture and vine-growing were one of the main economical fields.
For a short time Dionisopolis was a border town between the Thracians and Skits.
Till the third century the town flourishes and uses all privileges coming from the protection of the Roman Empire.
Soon after a sequence of invasions make the town to decay and it stops minting coins.
There are proofs that Dionisopolis was a member of the hexapolia - a military and religious union between six cities on the Black Sea Coast.
The creation of the Bulgarian Kingdom in 681 is a turning point for the town's history. After a significant battle near Ongyla the Byzantians were forced the leave all coastal fortresses. One of those was Dionispolis.
In 13th - 14th century the settlement moved to Dzhina Bair, a natural fortification. It was ruled by the Boyar Balik, and so it was called Balchik. After the Crimean War (1853 - 1856) the town flourished and grew into a big corn-trading centre. After the Balkan War in 1913 it was included in the territories of Romania. Struck by the natural beauty of the place Queen Maria decides to build her summer residence here. One of the best Italian architects work on the project and combine elements for many different cultures - Byzantium orthodox chapel, Arabian rotunda, Mavritanian style columns, Turkish style roofs and Bulgarian mills, Transilvanian wells and so on. They built an oriental-style palace with minarets 2 km from the center of the town and a variety of gardens and parks. The whole complex merges with the scenery without affecting the nature.
The town turned into a luxurious resort at the time. After 1940 Balchik was again included in Bulgarian territory.
The quiet Nest palace became a holiday home and the area around it turned into a botanical garden with a multitude of rare plants. Nowadays the biggest university - Sofia University takes care of the garden.
It is open for tourists through the whole year.
Apart for the plenty parks and building you can rest in one of the many restaurants and coffe bars in the complex.
- Quiet Nest Palace and the biggest botanical garden
- St.Nicholas' Church
- Remains of the antique fortress and of the late-Roman and Medieval settlement
- The old school
- Ethnographic and Archeological Museum, Art Gallery. It is a restored old school in typical Revival style.
- Balchik Tuzla (Turkish for salt) Mud Sanatorium. It is situated 5 km from Balchik and since 1955 has functioned as a sanatorium for the treatment of diseases of the respiratory system and the peripheral nervious system, the bones, the joints, the tendons, and the skin,urological and gynecological diseases etc.
- Muslim sanctuary Teketo near Obrochishte
- Ethnographic resort in Sokolovo village demonstrated more than 15 cratfs
Throughout the years Balchik has developed as a port, industrial and resort town.
Contemporary Balchik hosts two of the best golf courses, a yacht marina and a number of luxurious five star complexes.