Few are the ones who, in full autumn, decide to embark on an adventure to the beaches of Bulgaria, and somewhat flattered, you might ask: Why should I visitit Bulgaria during fall? What to do in Nessebar in autumn? I wondered the same thing the other day when, after a strong emotional event, I woke up one morning and said: Today we are going to Nessebar. Diana, a good friend, told me that this old town is so beautiful that it could be renamed the Black Sea pearl. The city is a UNESCO heritage site and is filled with traces of trace civilization: churches and old houses, ruins, a windmill, and a Turkish bath.
How to get to Nessebar
In the hot summers, when cars form endless queues at the border with Bulgaria, the road may seem long. From Bucharest there are about 380 km. We left Constanta in the middle of September, one morning, at about 10 o’clock and about 3.5 hours later we were admiring the Black Sea from the small resort. I left Romania at Vama Veche then, crossing the beautiful city of Varna, I arrived in Nessebar. The road is nice, you see the sea from place to place, and if you get tired of it, you suddenly stop braking and give priority to bold pheasants who have a job on the other side of the street.
Where to stay in Nessebar
If your trip takes place in autumn, as in our case, I recommend that you leave things in the will of fate. Do not waste your time in the country searching for accommodations on different sites, once you get there, you will have the surprise to find many places you would like to spend at night. We arrived in Nessebar shortly before 14 o’clock on a heat that you rarely meet in September.
We left the car in the port at the entrance to the city and started our searches. It did not take long until we met Nikolai, a Bulgarian who was very good at managing his family business, and we immediately realized that that was where we wanted to stay A cozy seaside pension with an indoor flower garden and located in an area very close to the resort center but quite quiet.
Even though in Bulgaria it is autumn too, the parking lots were full, so Nikolai gave us his parking place in front of the pension, we took the luggage in the room and left to explore the area.
What awaits you at Nessebar
A summer in full autumn, that’s what we found there, and when I say this I’m not just referring to the degrees of thermometers. We chose to stay in the old town – an island where you feel like you’ve been back in time, among houses with stone walls and old fortresses.
The first sensation was that I was somewhere in Prague. The town of Nessebar was full of effervescence.
It is important to mention that, as we learned from discussions with some locals, the owners of the hostels are waiting tourists until the end of October, then put the locks on the doors for a short while and even if in Bulgaria the winter leaves with the one in Romania, our neighbors open tourists’ gates always ahead of us and always well prepared.
The resort was full of tourists strolling along the narrow and extremely elegantly decorated, streets. Some were looking for souvenirs, others a place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine, others took photos and shared smiles, while some lived a normal day in their home life in Nessebar. But they were all cheerful and you could read on their faces the joy of being in such a beautiful place.
Almost every home has a small shop downstairs where merchants expose their goods, but everything is perfectly synchronized with the history of the city.
You do not find many modern places, store shelves and showcases where products are exposed are very well harmonized with the old idea.
The gates of the houses are as old as the buildings themselves, and a walk through the narrow streets takes you beyond time. You expect at any moment a lady to appear to a knight’s arm and make their way to the seashore where they will declare their love.
That’s how I can describe Nessebar.
What to do in the old town of Nessebar
- Walk and enter into the atmosphere of the distant past on the old streets that breathe history.
- Admire the old churches and stroll through the ruins that once were the Turkish Bath
- Visit the place where the old windmill is located
- Go to the beach, in the old town you will find two small beaches, but you can go to the new town or Sunny Beach for spacious and arranged beaches
- Sit on one of the dozens of seafront terraces, enjoy a local dish and accompany it with a quality wine
- Admire some photo or painting exhibitions you find all over the old town. It is amazing with a seemingly banal space that could not have another utility, it has been turned into an art gallery
- Participate in an event taking place in the city. We arrived in Nessebar in full swing of the ifdoturkey, hosted by the International Folklore Dance Organization: Turkish, Bulgarian and Greek dances
- At night, watch the magic lights in Sunny Beach, the resort close enough to Nessebar
- It’s almost imperative to have a cocktail at Eco-Bar by Michael, an absolutely superb bar, set up like a cave, with stalactites and waterfalls. It’s pretty dark, but the small shelters that shelter tables and stone chairs are discreetly illuminated. It is a place you should not miss and where you can have a very good cocktail with 5-6 leva
Where and what to eat in Nessebar
The small town of Nessebar is full of terraces, many of them set on the cliff, with the sea on their feet. I recommend you try fish and seafood. We enjoyed the turbot at Cacadu Terrace 🙂
If the fish is not on your preference list, then you can try pizza with natural ingredients at the Uncle George Restaurant, or you can order a lamb with rice at The Old Sailor, another restaurant on the Black Sea.
For just 5 leva you can have a portion of mussels with rice at White Rose, a stylish restaurant with extremely friendly staff, and for about 50 leva you can also order a good wine that combines perfectly with the culinary dish.
Some tips and prices At restaurants it is good to have a leva on you, the local currency, not all terraces have the possibility to accept card payments.
- If you have not changed your money in advance, it’s not a problem, you can find opened exchange offices until late at night, or some ATMs that you get easily (1 leva = 2.4 RON / 1 leva = 0.5 Euro)
- Park the car in a permissible location because the local government locks the wheels frequently, in case you have entered an unacceptable perimeter
- Use Romanian or English with confidence
- With 5 leva you can buy a souvenir, a doll dressed in bulgarian dress, or with 10 leva you can have a wall clock with painting on wood, while for a big seahorse you out of your pocket 1 leva
Have you ever been to Nessebar? Have you come to the area in the autumn? What did you like in Nessebar?
I leave you with more pictures of the event here.