Sozopol Guide

Sozopol is one of the most popular seaside resorts on Bulgaria's southern Black Sea coast. It lies just 35 kilometres south of Bourgas which makes it easy to reach by both road and air. Perched on a rocky promontory overlooking St. Ivan island Sozopol old town is very picturesqe with beautifully maintained traditional stone and wood buildings. With the growth in tourism and the decline in fishing many of the old fishermen's houses have now been converted into bars, restaurants and art galleries whilst along the cobbled streets local women sit by their stalls selling delicate hand-made lace and other handicrafts. Of the galleries, Bissera is worth a special mention for the variety and quality of it's collection of local art on sale at competitive prices.

Thanks to Sozopol's large natural harbour fishing was once one of the main activities of the town's residents and although today most of the fish is destined for the local restaurants it can still be bought fresh from the fishing boats as they dock in the harbour.

Since the middle of the 20th century Sozopol has grown extensively along the shoreline to cater initially for Bulgarian holidaymakers and subsequently for international visitors. Sozopol new town with modern hotels, guest houses shops supermarkets and tourist attractions, runs south from the old town along the main beach.

Although the tourists are still predominantly Bulgarian the number of international tourists is growing every year. Sozopol's Apollonia Arts Festival, which takes place in the first week of September, is an important cultural event in the region and attracts many foreign visitors who come to participate in it's diverse activities which include music, dance, theatre, film, and art exhibitions.

Even though Sozopol has much to offer culturally it is the beaches that are the main attraction for most visitors. The North (Tzar's) beach is the closest to the old town and, just beyond the next headland but still in the town, is the longer Harmanite beach. Both beaches become crowded at the height of the season and so many prefer to sunbathe on the rocks by the old town. If you are looking for a quieter beach then go about 3km north to Gold Fish Bay which is popular with surfers and can be accessed for a small fee via the Gold Fish Bay camp-site.

Sozopol at a glance
  • One of the oldest Bulgarian towns on the Black Sea
  • Lively tourist scene for all ages
  • Home to the international Apollonia Arts Festival
  • Just 30 minutes from Bourgas airport
  • Sun, sea and culture
  • More resort guides
Sozopol hotels

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