курортен комплекс Албена Albena resort, Varna
Photo: Juliana NikolovaSource: The Daily Mail

Bulgaria is far cheaper than Nice, and nearly as nice!

The Black Sea has deep blue waters and golden sand.

Varna? It’s in Bulgaria, the third largest city in the former Eastern bloc country and its main beach resort, writes Vincent Graff for The Daily Mail on 15 January 2018.

German and Polish holidaymakers have been coming to this part of the Black Sea for decades, but Varna now wants to open itself to the British — which explains why it’s so excited about easyJet’s arrival.

In a world where every city is rebranded the Venice of the North or the Paris of the South, this stretch of Bulgaria reckons it may just be the new Riviera.

‘Varna is as sunny as Nice, the beaches are as nice, but Varna is a third of the price,’ says a tour guide. And you can fly here from the UK for less than £60 return.

So how does it stack up? The Black Sea isn’t the Med, but it does a passable impression. There are tree-lined boulevards, the sea is warm and deep blue, the sand is soft and golden and the deckchairs are laid out in neat rows, just like in France.

There are really two Varnas. The city itself — a place of cool clubs, pretty people and plenty of history; it has, over the years been ruled by the Etruscans, the Romans, the Ottomans and the Iron Curtain bureaucrats — and then there are the resorts a few miles outside.

The hotels are sleek and modern with a focus on families (unlike the town centre, which has a more adult vibe). It’s the best-value beach holiday I’ve found in Europe.

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