Many foreign tourists arriving on charter flights to Bulgaria's southern Black Sea coast know this town better than the Bulgarians, for over the last few years it has become one of the largest – and most overbuilt – tourist destinations.
The town appeared on the southern tip of the Bay of Burgas in 610 BC, when a group of migrants from the Greek polis of Miletus established a colony there. It experienced consecutive periods of decline and prosperity over the years until, in the 1970s, its picturesque beaches and houses attracted the first foreign tourists: East Germans, Czechs and Poles.
The new residential developments, hotels and restaurants have devoured some of the most charming parts of the place in this photograph, such as Paradise Bay, now ominously dubbed Hell's Bay.
However, the town has preserved some of its allure, which includes the Apollonia Festival of Arts and the hard-nosed elderly women in its Old City. Famously, they will not rent you accommodation in their houses unless you stay for at least three days – to economise on washing bed linen.
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