Golden Sands is the oldest of the biggest three Bulgarian sea resorts. It is located in the North part of the Black Sea coast. It is part of the municipality of Varna, region Primorski and is about 13 km North-East from the center of the town. The resort is accessed through a first class road along the coast.
It is also 488 km east of Sofia and reaches on the north to the village of Kranevo and on the south to Riviera and Chaika Villa Areas. Through the years it merged with the St. Konstantin and Elena Resort and Sunny Day resort.
The beach strip is 3500 meters long and in places it reaches 100 meters in width. The average summer temperature is 27-28 degrees and the water temperature varies at about 24-25 degrees.
The resort is just below the Frangensko Plateau at the foot of the National park Golden Sands. The resort itself is surrounded by the thick forests of the park forming a rather pleasant breezy atmosphere.
The National Park Golden Sands preserves a number of animals and coastal plants threatened with extension. It also has 5 tourist routes passing by various monuments - old fountains, ancient remains and resting places with fascinating sea view. The cultural and historical heritage preserved in the park includes artifacts from antiquity to medieval times.
The mineral springs in Golden Sands are unique with their balneological and healing qualities. With a debit of 150 cubic meters per second, they are a main supply for several treatment centers. Apart from the specific climate the Spa centers in the area use curing mud, sea water with microelements, sea plants extracts and local plants for their spa procedures.
Hotels offering balneological services in Golden Sands include
- 5 star - ::Admiral ::Hermitage
- 4 star - ::Iberostar Izgrev & Obzor ::Helios spa
- 3 star - ::Ambassador
There is very little known about the areas around the resort. For certain the region was inhabited by Thracians and Romans. The National park Golden Sands is full with monuments dating from that time. However we can't say for sure whether there were settlements in the area or just recreational facilities.
As for the name of the resort, it is derived from the long beach strip and the specific gold color of the sand. There is a legend saying that pirates dug in huge golden treasure in the seaside north from Varna. The land took revenge on the bandits and transformed the gold into wonderful sand.
In Turkish times the area was called Ouzoun koum or the long sands in Turkish.
However as a resort area, it was developed no later than the 1950s. The design was carefully planned to allow a lot of green areas, parks and coastal alleys. Unlike the resorts on the south coast, Golden Sands is built in one architectural style and blends with the nature.
Nowadays the resort has about 80 hotels and 20 villas. It is also of closed type with security cabins at the front.
The cultural and information center in the complex offers a rich and versatile concert program, folk music performances and open shows.
It organizes exhibitions of Bulgarian artists, courses in the Bulgarian language, folk songs and dances, vanguard fashion shows. You can take part in beauty contests, beer festivals, a parade of retro cars and many others.
You can enjoy the performances at the International Varna Summer Festival of opera, ballet, theatre and jazz music, folklore and others.
The nightlife is quite dynamic with a number of disco clubs, bars and life performances.
Roulettes, slot machines, black jack and many more games of luck will provoke the gambling spirit you have never suspected you have.
The complex also offers bowling, darts, mini golf and billiard. For the water sports fans, there are jet skis, surf, parasail and a yacht marina.
If you are a gourmet lover then do not miss to visit the fancy traditional and modern restaurants in the resort - Vodenitsata (The Water Mill), Tsiganski Tabor (Gypsy Tabor), Kosharite (Sheepfolds), Zlatna Ribka (Golden Fish), Kriva Lipa (Crooked Lime-tree), Dionisus and many others.
An interesting thing to experience is the horse - drawn carriages and the tour shuttle mini trains.
Another intresting site is the Aladzha Monastery - a medieval cave monastery 3 km west of Golden Sands beach resort. The monastery caves were hewn into a 25m high vertical carst cliff near the upper edge of the Frangen plateau on several levels. The complex also includes two small nearby catacombs. The name comes from the Turkish word Aladzha or colourful. It refers to the colourful paintings on the walls of the caves.