13 places near Varna that you must visit
There are many interesting places around Varna and you can spend a week, even two touring them, but most of them remain known only to locals.
That is why we will try to make a list of the sights around Varna that you can visit. We will focus on those that are about an hour or two drive in the direction and you can visit during the day.
1. Aladzha Monastery
The rock monastery is one of the most interesting and attractive landmarks around Varna. It is located next to Golden Sands, only 10 minutes by car, you can visit and walk, thanks to the eco-trail, leads right to it.
The name of the monastery comes from Persian and means "colorful". It was established in the 13th century and served as a shelter for monks and hermits. It is carved into the rock on several levels.
Distance: 4.2 km from Hotel International
2. Botanical Garden (ECO PARK Varna)
The park is actually the botanical garden at Sofia University and is the first Ecopark in Varna. There are many exotic trees, cacti, shrubs and other rare plant species. There is also an exceptionally beautiful rosary (the most beautiful in June). You will be able to enjoy large outdoor areas and meadows, wonderful for a picnic. There is also a Roman villa, a Roman tomb and others.
Distance: 8.3 km from Hotel International (10 min by car)
One of the masterpieces of palace art stretches over 900 acres and is located only 10 km from Hotel International.
This is the oldest suburban residence of Prince Alexander Battenberg, the kings Ferdinand, Boris III and then Todor Zhivkov. Today it is a representative residence.
In recent years, it is open for visits with a guide, but only upon prior request. It is good to plan this in advance. You can do this at the following e-mail address: Euxinograde@government.bg, as the standard visiting hours are 09:00, 12:00 and 15:00.
In fact, the residence was named Sandrovo, but Princess Maria Louisa insisted that the name be changed to Euxinograd, which means "hospitable sea".
Distance: 10 km from Hotel International
4. Golden Sands Nature Park
The smallest of the eleven nature parks in Bulgaria is located near the resort of Golden Sands. Its length is 11 km and for most of the year offers a wonderful opportunity for a walk in nature.
Golden Sands Nature Park offers five tourist and five specialized routes. Apart from hiking, they are also suitable for nature - cognitive tourism, cycling, children's tourism, photo tourism. Each walk is accompanied by an introduction to the biological and landscape diversity of the park.
The only desert in Bulgaria is located a few kilometers from Varna and is of great interest to both foreigners and locals. There is no clear data on how exactly it formed, but the most interesting theory is that thousands of years ago it was part of the seabed.
Another interesting fact is that most stone columns have names and you will receive a booklet with them when you pay the entrance fee.
Distance: 40 km from Hotel International (40 minutes by car)
6. The Ovech Fortress
The fortress towering over Provadia will leave you breathless with its incredible view. Its old name is "Provat", whence comes the name of the town at the foot of the mountain - Provadia.
Here you will find some of the most beautiful views near Varna, but you can also "talk" to a well 80 meters deep. You can also walk the devil's path, visit a knight's prison.
Distance: 70 km (1 hour by car from Hotel International)
7. The salt pans near Provadia
While you are in the area around Provadia, be sure to visit the ancient salt pans. They were discovered in 2005 and have no analogue in the history of Europe. It is believed to be an ancient settlement at least 7,600 years old, making it the oldest in Europe. Unfortunately, this incredible landmark near Varna is rarely open for visits, because archeological excavations are still underway.
Distance: 76 km
8. The palace in Balchik
The former summer residence of the Romanian Queen Maria Alexandrina Victoria de Edinburgh is one of the most popular landmarks near Varna and Golden Sands. It was designed in 1924 by Italian architects and is decorated with beautiful terraces, a butane garden and is located meters from the beach of Balchik. The palace is a compilation of traditional Bulgarian, Byzantine, Roman-Arabic, Moorish, Transylvanian, which makes it unique.
Distance: 20 km
9. The nose of Kaliakra
One of the most beautiful, romantic and inspiring places in Bulgaria is the rocky peninsula Cape Kaliakra. Here you will enjoy an endless sea view, an ancient settlement or at least its ruins, as well as several interesting legends. Its name comes from Greek and means "beautiful nose".
The fortress has been declared an architectural cultural monument of national importance.
Distance: 56 km from Hotel International
10. The Sea Garden of Varna
One of the symbols of the city - the sea garden in Varna is located by the sea. Long and green alleys, garden areas, many interesting places, cultural monuments, and a rosary will enchant you.
It is best to start your walk from the main entrance, decorated with beautiful columns. Here are concentrated the biggest landmarks and attractions in the sea capital - the Palace of Culture and Sports, the amphitheater, the summer theater, the stage "Shell", the Dolphinarium, the Children's Corner, the Natural History Museum of Varna, the Rock Garden, the Pantheon, the Coast The Sea Casino, the Planetarium and many others.
Distance: 15 km from Hotel International
11. The Archaeological Museum in Varna
This is one of the most valuable treasures of Varna and Bulgaria. Here is the oldest golden treasure in the world! It was discovered by chance in 1972 and is dated between 4000. and 2000 BC. The exposition in the museum is arranged chronologically, showing materials from different historical epochs, tracing the development of human society for thousands of years in the region of Varna - prehistory, Thracians, antiquity, Middle Ages, Ottoman period.
Distance: 17 km
12. Roman baths
The baths were once part of Odessos - the Roman city and are one of the best-preserved ones - in 4th place is Europe and first in the Balkans. The complex was built in the second century and was a popular gathering place for locals. It had a heated pool, changing rooms, a place for sports and exercise. Today the thermal baths have been restored and are a great place to visit. They are located in the center of Varna and you can combine the visit with a walk in the Sea Garden.
13. Varna Cathedral
This is the second-largest Orthodox church in Bulgaria, impressing tourists with its amazing architecture, beautiful museums covering its walls, and beautiful lighting at night. The cathedral is located in the center of Varna and its visit can be combined with a walk around the center or the Sea Garden.
Distance: 17 km