Places to see
EUXINOGRAD RESIDENCE AND PARK
The Euxinograd Residence is a former late 19th-century Bylgarian royal summer palace with a beautiful park. It is located at a distance of 10 kilometers south of International Hotel Casino & Tower Suites, in close proximity to the “St. Contantine and Helena” Resort.
Built in 1881-1885, the complex used to be a royal summer residence for the monarchs ruled Bulgaria after the liberation from the Ottoman Dominion (1878) – Alexander Battenberg, Ferdinand and his son Boris III. The palace`s significant gable – part of the roof structure of the French Chateau de Saint Cloud – is brought in pieces to Bulgaria in 1890.
The Euxinograd park and its Greenhouses are home to over 310 plant varieties from Asia, South America, North Africa and Southern France. With more than 50,000 trees - from black oak to Atlantic cedar – the park occupies an area of over 550 decares, which fertile soil was brought from the mouth of the Kamchiya River.
The most elegant and representative part of the park is the space in front of the palace with the lake full of lilies and the bronze statue of Neptune, delivered from France. The Sundial is a gift from the British Queen Victoria to the Royal Family.
Another landmark in the area of the residence is the ruins of the late ancient fortress Kastritsi in the northeastern part of the park.
In 1891 a palace winery was built as a part of the complex and a successor of the old monastery cellar. Nowadays the wines of Evksinograd are known for their excellent quality.
Euxinograd is currently a governmental and presidential residence and its beach is not accessed for public but it has special hours when it opens doors for visitors.
THE STONE FOREST
Only 18km west of Varna you could see and exceptionally rare geological phenomenon - stone columns standing as high as 7m, known as "pobiti kamani" ("standing stones", a.k.a. "the stone forest"). These strange formations were created around fifty million years ago when fragments of two chalk strata gradually boned together in the intervening sand layer, by a process analogous to stalactite formations. Nowadays the area is a popular spot for picnics and leisurely hikes.
You could go for a short walk from International Hotel Casino to the medieval cave monastery - Aladzha Monastery, situated just 2 km west of the hotel in Zlatni Pyasaci Nature Park.
The monastery name "Aladzha" comes from Persian-Arabic and means "motley", "colorful".
Its premises - the church, cells, refectory, crypt and kitchen - are carved and arranged on two levels in a 40m high limestone rock. About 600-700m to the west of monastery is located a group of caves known as the Catacombs, that were inhabited by people during the early-Christian Age (5th – 6th centuries).
Nowadays it is a cultural monument and a popular tourist attraction.
Open everyday form 9am till 6pm
* When visiting Aladzha Monastery go for a walk around to see some rare tree species and beautiful scenery.
* In the summer evenings you could see the unique audio-visual show called Legends of Aladzha Monastery that has been taking place in the monastery.
* Better reach the location by car or by bus - Aladzha monastery is 5 minutes walk from the road and the bus stop as well.