Hiring a car in Bulgaria

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Hiring a car in Bulgaria

Pick up your hire car and head for the king of all Bulgarian holiday resorts. You name it, Sunny Beach has it.

60-second guide to Bulgaria

in its own head

"The clue's in our name - it's sunny and there's a beach. A massive one, actually."

but more realistically

Yes, Sunny Beach has a massive beach and great climate, but you won't be the first to discover it. Over a hundred hotels, 130 restaurants and countless bars, pubs and discos make up this fun-filled Black Sea resort.

the vibe

A busy, buzzing resort - Brits, Germans and Bulgarians return here year after year to de-stress in the sun.

the natives

The laid-back locals like to gather on street corners of an evening and have a good old chinwag about the day's events. Many, of course, work in tourism: you can't fail to notice the lively restaurant callers and their practised patter.

the weather

Guess what? It's sunny. The resort enjoys a Mediterranean climate and some 1700 hours of sun from May to October.

the local speciality

Traditional Bulgarian smorgasbords are loaded with locally produced meat - try the kofte (meatballs) with a Shopska salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and fresh cheese) on the side. And don't try coming here on a diet!

the celebrity

Bulgarian footballer and Man Utd striker Dimitar Berbatov likes to dodge paparazzi at the five-star Helena Sands hotel in Sunny Beach. His fiancee Elena Shtilianov takes a separate car to fend off the snappers.

did you know?

One of the local landmarks is a period frigate, which has been turned into a restaurant, Fregatata, with a themed menu.

they say

"The biggest resort, with the longest and widest beach strip, with hotels spread along the beach and among the dunes, the sunniest resort for the sunniest people." - www.sunny-beach.com

1. Troykata Square, Burgas

Missing the bright lights of the big city? Make a beeline for Burgas, Sunny Beach's nearby metropolis. Perch up by the famous fountain in the square, take in the charming historical buildings and watch the world go by.

where to park?

Park at Parking Metro Burgas on the outskirsts of Burgas and then take public transport down to the square.

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2. The marina, Sveti Vlas

The coastal village of Sveti Vlas nestles at the foot of a mountain and is Sunny Beach's calmer, quieter sister. Head to the marina to rub shoulders with Bulgaria's richest.

where to park?

Sunny Beach resort is only five minutes away so use the parking facilities there.

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3. Old Bishopric, Nessebar

There was once more than 40 churches but there are only a few left now. Highlights include the Old Bishopric which is thought to date back to the 6th century.

where to park?

Street parking is available outside the church.

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4. The Pier, Burgas

You can't come to the beach without taking a stroll along the pier. There's a great view of the port and city and not a kiss-me-quick hat in sight.

where to park?

Park at Parking Metro Burgas on the outskirsts of Burgas and then take public transport down to The Pier.

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5. Action Aquapark, Nessebar

Nobody just takes a dip in Sunny Beach - there are much more creative ways to get wet, such as Action Aquapark's 13 pools and slides.

where to park?

There is a free onsite car park.

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1. Sozopol

Bulgaria's "town of salvation" was founded by Greek settlers over 2,000 years ago, and boasts a charming collection of Black Sea houses: stone-walled basements with wooden first floors.

how to get there?

Follow the 99 south east around the coast. It should take around 40 minutes to get to Sozopol.

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2. Zheravna

Set in a small valley at the foot of the mountains, Zheravna village defines quaint Bulgarian charm. It's basically one big museum with exhibitions and handicrafts galore.

how to get there?

From Kotel take the 48 for about ten minutes, then head into the mountains towards Zhervana.

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3. Varna

This one's the biggie: the Black Sea coast's largest city, with art galleries, museums, stunning maritime gardens and the piece de resistance: a Dolphinarium.

how to get there?

Head north from Sunny Beach on the E87, it should take around two hours to get there.

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4. The Ropotamo river

Fancy a spot of twitching? Rare birds flock to the Arkutino swamp in the Ropotamo river reserve - as do savvy tourists keen on pretty beaches, dunes and dramatic looming cliffs.

how to get there?

From Burgas, head west onto E87, then continue straight onto 99 which will lead you to the river. It should take around 50 minutes.

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