Golden Sands is a prominent seaside resort town on the northern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, neighboring a national park of the same name in the municipality of Varna. Situated 17 km north of downtown Varna, it’s virtually connected to the city by a continuous stretch of resorts and villa communities.
Golden Sands is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from various countries across Europe and the Persian Gulf. The area is renowned for its pure quartz sand, old trees, landscaped gardens, and pedestrian malls. Along with hot mineral water springs and lush woodlands cascading from the Franga Plateau, forming the Golden Sands Nature Park, the town has become one of the most popular tourist spots in Eastern Europe.
The resort has also seen significant development, with numerous hotels, villas, spa centers, restaurants, clubs, and attractions, including a yacht marina, horse riding school, and the Aquapolis water park.
Table of Contents
Attractions and Things to do in Golden Sands
1. Golden Sands Nature Park
Golden Sands Nature Park is a lush woodland area cascading from the Franga Plateau. It’s one of the most popular tourist spots in Eastern Europe, offering a blend of hot mineral water springs and beautiful landscapes. The park turns the town into a family-friendly, green, and largely pedestrian place.
Travel Tip: Enjoy a leisurely walk through the park’s pedestrian malls and landscaped gardens, and don’t forget to explore the nearby Holiday Club Riviera luxury resort.
2. Aquapolis Water Park
Aquapolis is a renowned water park in Golden Sands, offering a variety of water attractions, slides, and pools. It’s a fun destination for families and thrill-seekers alike.
Travel Tip: Visit during weekdays to avoid large crowds, and remember to pack sunscreen and swimwear.
3. Aladzha Monastery
The Aladzha Monastery is a historic grotto located in the vicinity of Golden Sands. This ancient monastic center offers a glimpse into the religious practices from antiquity through the Second Bulgarian Empire.
Travel Tip: Consider taking a guided tour to learn about the rich history and significance of this unique site.
4. Golden Sands Beach
Known for having the purest quartz sand on the coast, Golden Sands Beach is a must-visit destination for beach lovers. The beach is a part of the larger resort area, offering various amenities and water sports.
Travel Tip: Arrive early to secure a good spot on the beach, and explore the nearby villa communities like Panorama and Chaika.
5. Eiffel Tower Replica
Travel Tip: Enjoy a meal at the restaurant for a romantic experience with panoramic views of the surrounding area.
6. Golf Courses
For golf enthusiasts, Golden Sands offers three 18-hole golf courses designed by Gary Player and Ian Woosnam. These courses are located around Balchik and Kavarna, a short drive to the north.
Travel Tip: Book your tee times in advance, especially during the peak season, to ensure availability.
7. INTERNATIONAL Hotel Casino & Tower Suites
This towering structure is the tallest building in Golden Sands and houses a luxurious hotel, casino, and tower suites. It’s a symbol of modernity and luxury in the resort town.
Travel Tip: Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, consider visiting the casino or dining at one of the on-site restaurants for a taste of luxury.
Unique Activities in Golden Sands
There are currently no activities. New activities will be planned for the 2024 season.
Day Trips from Golden Sands
1. Balchik Palace and Botanical Garden
Journey to the enchanting coastal town of Balchik to explore the historic Balchik Palace, also known as the Quiet Nest Palace, and roam the nearby botanical gardens boasting over 2,000 plant species. Revel in the blending of Bulgarian and Oriental architecture and soak in the mesmerizing views of the Black Sea.
Travel tip: The gardens are at their most beautiful during the spring and early summer when the majority of plants are in full bloom, making it an ideal time for a visit.
Delve into the maritime city of Varna, known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and the stunning Varna Cathedral. While here, don’t miss the Archaeological Museum which showcases the oldest gold treasure in the world.
Travel tip: While Varna can be visited year-round, it’s especially lively in the summer months with festivals and events on the Sea Garden promenade.
3. Cape Kaliakra
Embark on an excursion to Cape Kaliakra, a stunning nature reserve on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, known for its steep cliffs and rich history. Tales of legendary battles and tragic love stories echo through its winds, and you might even spot dolphins dancing in the sea below.
Travel tip: Wear sturdy shoes as you’ll be walking along rocky paths and cliff edges, and don’t forget to bring a camera for the breathtaking views.
Where to stay in Golden Sands
Golden Sands is a popular tourist destination in Bulgaria, known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. The city offers a wide range of accommodation options, catering to various tastes and budgets. From luxurious 5-star hotels to budget-friendly stays, Golden Sands has something for every traveler. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, the city’s hotels provide comfort, convenience, and a touch of Bulgarian hospitality.
1. Best Reviewed Hotel
Hotel Continental (★ ★ ★ ★)
- Short Description: Situated in Golden Sands, Hotel Continental offers accommodation with a garden, private parking, and a bar. It is known for its excellent service and comfortable rooms.
- Price: €60 per night
- Rating: 9.1 (Superb)
2. Most Luxurious Hotel
International Hotel Casino & Tower Suites (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)
- Short Description: Located on the beachfront in the center of Golden Sands, this 5-star hotel offers luxurious amenities and top-notch service.
- Price: €140 per night
- Rating: 8.4 (Very good)
3. Budget Hotel
- Short Description: Hotel Noy is located directly at the Kabakum Beach, offering affordable and comfortable accommodation with great sea views.
- Price: €30 per night
- Rating: 8.1 (Very good)
4. Hotel for Family
BSA Holiday Park Hotel – All Inclusive (★ ★ ★ ★)
- Short Description: Set amidst a lush park and flower garden, this hotel is a short walking distance from the center of Golden Sands Resort, making it ideal for families.
- Price: €74 per night
- Rating: 7.8 (Good)
5. Hotel for Couples
Havana Hotel – All Inclusive (★ ★ ★ ★)
- Short Description: Havana Hotel & Casino is the ideal place for couples looking for comfort and pleasure in sunny sea resorts, with night entertainment and gambling thrills.
- Price: €58 per night
- Rating: 8.3 (Very good)
6. Hotel for Solo Travelers
- Short Description: Offering air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, Hotel Exotica is located near Golden Sands Sea Resort, providing a great location and excellent service for solo travelers.
- Price: €25 per night
- Rating: 8.7 (Fabulous)
Did you know? Facts about Golden Sands
- Golden Sands is a major seaside resort town on the northern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, adjacent to a national park of the same name, located 17 km north of downtown Varna.
- The resort is popular among tourists from various countries including Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, Scandinavia, France, and the Persian Gulf.
- The area around Golden Sands is known for having the purest quartz sand on the coast and is abundant in old trees, landscaped gardens, and pedestrian malls, making it a family-friendly destination.
- Golden Sands is served by several regular bus lines, connecting the resort to Varna Railway Station, Varna International Airport, and other areas of Varna.
- The resort development began in 1957 and has since transformed into a modern holiday complex with numerous hotels, villas, spa centers, restaurants, clubs, casinos, attractions, and sports facilities.
- The Golden Sands Nature Park, with hot mineral water springs and lush woodlands cascading from the Franga Plateau, makes the town one of the most popular tourist spots in Eastern Europe.
- In 2007, a 1:10 replica of the Eiffel Tower with an observation deck and a restaurant was erected in Golden Sands, adding to its attractions.
- The area’s history includes ancient forests mentioned by Pliny, Byzantine fortresses, and a monastic center from antiquity through the Second Bulgarian Empire, adding to the historical richness of the region.
- Golden Sands urban development took place within a protected area declared in 1943, preserving much of the nature park and expanding its area to over 1,300 hectares.
- The resort has seen significant investment since privatization in the 1990s, with concerted efforts to reposition Golden Sands as a high-end destination, offering all-inclusive vacations and luxury resorts.
FAQ about Golden Sands
What Are the Transportation Options to Reach Golden Sands Resort in Bulgaria?
Golden Sands is served by several regular bus lines of the Varna public transit system, including buses 9, 89, and 109 that connect to Varna Railway Station, and bus 409 that connects to Varna International Airport.
What Are the Main Attractions and Facilities at Golden Sands Resort?
The resort offers numerous hotels, villas, spa centers, restaurants, clubs, casinos, attractions, shopping centers, and sports facilities, including a yacht marina, horse riding school, and the Aquapolis water park.
How Has Golden Sands Evolved as a Tourist Destination Over the Years?
Resort development started in 1957, and it has transformed into a modern holiday complex. It was privatized in the 1990s and attracted considerable investment, with efforts to reposition the resort as a high-end destination.
What Makes the Beach at Golden Sands Unique?
The area is known for having the purest quartz sand on the coast, and it is surrounded by old trees, landscaped gardens, and pedestrian malls.
What Are the Environmental Efforts and Challenges at Golden Sands Resort?
Golden Sands authorities resist demands for more automobile roads and car parks, maintaining its reputation as a family-friendly and green place. Some parts of the protected forest were cleared for construction, but the bulk of the nature park was preserved.
What Are the Accommodation Options and All-Inclusive Vacation Deals at Golden Sands?
Most hotels offer all-inclusive vacations, and there are concerted efforts to reposition the resort as a high-end destination, with over 30,000 hotel beds reported in 2007.
What Are the Nearby Historical and Cultural Sites Near Golden Sands?
Nearby sites include the cave Aladzha Monastery, a monastic center from antiquity, and the historic grotto of Aladzha Monastery. There are also remains of massive stone ramparts and a basilica from the 4th-7th century AD.
How Can Golf Enthusiasts Enjoy Their Time at Golden Sands?
Three 18-hole golf courses designed by Gary Player and Ian Woosnam are being developed around Balchik and Kavarna, a short drive to the north of Golden Sands.