The waves, the seagulls, the scorching sun at noon and the cool breezes at night... the seaside is delightful in all its incarnations, and people are inevitably drawn to it as soon as hints of summer appear. There's no need to resist the temptation. In fact, it's not like you can even try – not with all your workplace colleagues discussing which destination is going to be the hottest place to head off to for a week.
You should definitely consider the Black Sea coast. The Bulgarian coastline is shaping up to be a top destination this year, prompted both by economic constraints and the rediscovery of its beauty. What happened to Spain's Majorca is now slowly transforming the notorious Black Sea resorts as well – cheap three-star concrete structures are giving way to elegant and exclusive holiday complexes that provide a truly relaxing vacation under the sun. Thanks to the well-regulated tourist flow through the two seaside airports, the trip to the beach will never take you too long. Destinations along the coast vary from very remote and quiet places, such as Kavarna in the north and Rezovo in the south, to the colourful entertainment of the biggest resorts such as Sunny Beach and Golden Sands. It is up to you to tune in for the beach party – just remember to plan ahead.
The Black Sea has everything you could desire, from spa centres and golf clubs to cruises and horse riding, so all you need to do is make plans for the summer. The booking season is well under way, even though the last clouds have yet to clear from the sky. To escape the disappointment of missing out on the holiday of your dreams, make a reservation as soon as possible. Do not rely on last-minute vacancies, since well-managed and popular hotels will not have any of these, and instead try to convince your boss, partner, or friends that this is a life-or-death situation – you really must go now, it is your only chance of a full week of relaxation and sunbathing.
If you want to go all out on your summer holiday, choose the active route – swimming, cycling or surfing are a natural choice at the seaside. You will return with great memories and your batteries recharged for months to come. Practical difficulties are easy to resolve. If you want to bring along your surf board or bicycle, trust Econt's couriers to deliver it to you safely at any location in Bulgaria. With a two-way service, you even get 10 percent discount, and Econt's large network in the resorts can be useful on other occasions – for example, sending a postcard or a bag of seashells to your friends, or even an invitation to join you at the beach.
Choose your destination with an eye to comfort, since a holiday is that time of the year when you feel entitled to just do nothing. Luxury and intimacy are this season's bywords, and you can find both at the splendid Riviera Holiday Club in Varna. This complex has its own beach strip, four outdoor and two indoor pools, tennis courts, entertainment for the children and parking. Accommodation is a matter of choice here – you can take a stately apartment in the five-star hotels, enjoy the intimate atmosphere of smaller, more cosy hotels, or have an idyllic stay at the boutique hotel, designed to invoke thoughts of the Mediterranean. Guests are spoilt for choice in the areas of entertainment and eating out, with a choice of ten restaurants and various entertainment programmes. Just in case you need that little extra care to release all the tension, visit one of the three spa centres and surrender yourself to the experienced hands of masseurs and body therapists, working with mineral water from the complex's own spring.
You don't feel like taking a break away from the city? You can have both, blended into a neat package for you at the Classic Hotel in Varna. Just five minutes away from the centre, the hotel is actually within the Sea Garden, so you can enjoy a quiet and restful place while receiving impeccable, up-to-the-minute service. You are only twenty minutes from the airport, and if you feel like getting in touch with the world, you have to only get out and take a walk and absorb the holiday-festive mood of the Bulgarian sea capital.
Children should get to enjoy summer too, even while they fit in the dreaded extra study classes and take part in courses. With knowledge born out of experience and practice, the British Summer School in Arkutino manages to combine both learning and games for better English language skills, helping the children to gain knowledge in a practical environment with native speakers – during sports, leisure time, or cultural tourism trips. Besides the 20 hours of structured classes each week, students get into the spirit of the camp very quickly and start enjoying it – and the learning – without noticing.
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers