Eco-friendly travel guide to Sunny Beach advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria.
- Air quality: 4.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 5 / 5
- Public transportation: 3 / 5
- Parks: 4 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3.5 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$30 - $100
- Budget per day: US$60 - $180
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Sunny Beach is a tiny resort town, present on the Black Sea coast in the country of Bulgaria. The town was created in 1958, and at the time, it was built mainly for Bulgarian families. Later on, as thi started facing a lot of development, it became the largest tourist and vacation spot in the country. The main reason why this town has become so famous is because of its water sports, beaches and nightlife. Also, it's quite safe to wander around at night. The town's afforestation involves shrubs, roses, and dunes worth about a million Bulgarian Lev. You can fly down here with the help of neighboring airports like Burgas Airport and Varna Airport and later by a National Highway known as The Black Sea Highway. After the establishment of this highway, Sunny Beach has been converted into various social-economic centers. It is a spotless town; therefore, you are strongly advised to maintain its cleanliness. Whenever you visit the beach, dustbins are placed at short distances where you can dump your waste. Also, there are different accommodation options out of which green hotels are the best, and they will help you reduce the carbon footprints. It would be best if you did not use wastewater of any kind.
Air Quality and Pollution
Sunny beach is a small town with a minimal population. This limited population one of the main reasons why there is barely any air pollution in this town. As it is mainly a beach resort, hundreds of trees surround the area, and the fresh sea breeze also purifies the air. Most people here prefer local buses to move around in this small town, as these are used as an alternative to their own vehicles. You will find less traffic on the streets here. However, during the peak season, which is generally the summer season, this resort town experiences many tourists who enjoy its bustling nightlife, lavishing resorts, and water sports. It is an immaculate town; therefore, you will find negligible water pollution as well. Nevertheless, during the peak summer season in which this town experiences many tourists, pollution increases. A lot of tourists contaminate their surroundings because of their thoughtless attitude. Being a responsible tourist, it is your duty that you must make your visit to this town eco friendly and have significantly fewer toxic wastes.
Respect the Culture
We must respect the culture of the place we are visiting. A culture is denoted by a group of people who share beliefs connected by the same religion or perspectives. Different religions follow different cultures. And these different cultures have various festivals, which act as a showcase for their cultural richness. The festivals are celebrated with different styles, attires, and cuisines. Some of the festivals have their own performances, dishes, and music. While you are visiting, you can learn a lot from the locals, such as their history, ethnicities, and celebrations. We should not disrespect any religion because they are deeprooted within people's sentiments, so not giving them its due respect will only result in grudges towards you. Most countries have a fine for defaming any religion/culture/faith, resulting in either imprisonment for a particular time or penalty.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Action Aquapark: Bulgaria's first water park, Action Aquapark, has been around since 2001, which only gets bigger and better with each new year. There are about 30 water attractions here, from extreme diving to more relaxing rivers and pools. If you want to get some action, you'll want to reach the Free Fall directly, the ominously named Kamikaze, at a speed of up to 70 kilometers per hour or 18 meters high. The Kids Zone is where little girls and boys enjoy splashing water around in the shallow pools or launching into the pirate-themed Adventure Island's various rope bridges and nets.
- Sunny Beach Luna Park: Sunny Beach has a huge amusement park with a range of funfair games and rides. Older children and adults can indulge themselves in white articulated cars like the Booster, where they enter one of the two hives and swing at high speed at the end of one of the rotating arms. There is a roller coaster with a loop, the kind on which we all have screamed at the top of our lungs during the classic fairground games from our childhood. There are also caterpillar-themed Family Apple Coaster and Carousels for the little ones.
- Dive Angel Divers: Nesebar is home to the five-star PADI dive facility Angel Divers. The center offers courses and excursions for everyone while organizing tours on all of the Black Sea coasts. So whether you are an experienced diver or just someone who wants to get under the waves for the first time or explore the foreign waters, you will always find what you are looking for. If wreck diving is your thing, tons of ships are on the seabed near Sunny Beach, including at least three German u-boats.
- Karting Track: Sunny Beach has a go-karting track just off the Burgas-Varna road outside the property. The track is quite family-friendly than you might think as there are speed limits on kid carts so that the kids can join even at the ages of eight and nine. Interestingly, in a day, the Karting Track appeals to about 20 individuals looking for an alternative to the beach and water park. While the staff is accommodating and looks after the 400-meter track pretty well.
- Off-road Tours: In the countryside, it gets easier to move around by contacting someone who knows the land. Several businesses in Sunny Beach offer four × four excursions along the beach and at the village's top. If you are not to rent a car during your trip here, these tours are the easiest way to see the sights around the resort. You can visit the windswept lighthouse, a medieval orthodox church, or you can swim in an uninhabited bay and can explore the rugged and undeveloped promontory just above the resort. The whole trip will consist of various activities like hiking, archery, and horse riding.
- Bulgarian food and Mehana: Sunny Beach is full of kiosks and food joints with international cuisines, where kebabs appear alongside pizzas and burgers. Food is a bit more affordable in Bulgarian resorts than in the Mediterranean. If you may be in the mood for an authentic dinner night, you can go for it in the Bulgarian taverns or the small towns or villages around Sunny Beach like Nessebar with Mehanas. A meal here will include lots of meat sourced from hot charcoal and served with a rakia or Bulgarian Marvrud wine.
- Nessebar: This seaside town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and just a few minutes away from Sunny Beach. Nessebar is full of churches, some of which date back to the years when Christianity spread from the Roman Empire. The Hagia Sophia Church hails from the 400s and is often lists as one of Bulgaria's top tourist destinations. Although three sides of the building are destroyed since the 700s, the church is still breathtaking as ever. You might want to take some time out to explore the rest of the city, soak in the sights of the old fortifications and the original windmill that marks the entrance to Nessebar.
- Pomorie: A short drive or a bus ride south of Sunny Beach will allow you to get to Pomorie, another seaside town with a picturesque location at the end of the peninsula. Of course, you will find the hallmark of a resort with beaches and beach bars here. But if you look a little bit closer, you might see bits of great history here. There is a 200-year-old Thracian tomb, and the old town has houses built in traditional wooden style. Also, there's a monastery named the St. George Monastery, as well as a lake known as the Saline Pomorie Lake that is a paradise for birdwatchers.
- Burgas: In the south of Sunny Beach, the city of Burgas is bordered by the largest lake area in Bulgaria. This lake's shores have been settled since the Bronze Age when they became a crucial Thracian trade center. On Lake Mandrensko, there is the ancient Deultum with mostly Roman ruins, including a bathing complex's detailed hypocaust. Poda Conservation Area in a land column between Lake Mandrensko and the sea, wetlands support 46 nesting bird species (with large heron colonies and egret colonies) and many more migratory species.
- Varna: If you have a car, you can also spend the day in Varna city, about 90 minutes from Sunny Beach to the Beach. Varna is generally described as the "Summer Capital" of Bulgaria. The coastal town of Sofia, where the average temperature rises in July and August. What you get is all the fun of the seaside resort, including the waterfront seafront garden with some bits of the culture and lots of attraction. If you cannot seem to get your itinerary in order, start by visiting the Varna Archaeological Museum, where Varna Gold is on display. Varna is the oldest gold treasure globally and dates back to 6,000 years to the beginning of the Thracian civilization.
Exploring new places, cities, or countries is always an amazing way to enjoy yourself, and it is quite a boost for mental health. It will also encourage you to eat healthy food, and it will help you indulge in more and more varieties of cuisines and meals. Analyzing new things and visiting places you've never been to before will help you get out of your comfort zone that might make you happy. Sunny Beach has numerous places to spend some quality time with your loved ones or by yourself.
- Planeta Hotel & Aquapark
- Flores Park Apart Hotel
- Sunny Beach Amusement Park
- Royal Palace Helena Park
- Camel Park
- Stone Eagle Falls National Park
- Harmanite Beach, Sozopol
- Smokinya Beach
- Bolata Beach
- Camel Park Sunny Beach
- Black Sam - Pirate Ship
- Casino Kuban
There are no museums in Sunny Beach. You can travel to nearby cities to see beautiful and unique arts on display in the museums to learn more about the city and its culture. Cities nearby have some fantastic museums with eye-catching buildings and crafts. Therefore, if you want to visit a museum, you have to travel outside Sunny Beach.
Bulgarians usually love to eat meat, such as Kyufteta(meatballs) and Kebapcheta(meat sticks). Bulgarian yogurt is quite famous all over the world, and it is one of the favorites here in Sunny Beach. Also, it contains less fat and tastes fantastic. Another traditional thing that you would love to try is Ayran- it is yogurt mixed with salt and water, which is very refreshing, especially in summers and available in bottles in the supermarket, or you can also make it home. It would be best if you tried the traditional Bulgarian salads, which are quite delicious as well.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Pork and chicken are the most common types of dishes that people have every day here. Seafood, fish, and veal delicacies are also popular, and lamb has a unique traditional touch and a special place in the locals' hearts. In Sunny Beach, there are so many traditional restaurants where you can dine for an array of conventional dishes. Trying out particular foods of a region is crucial for developing greater knowledge about the city and country. Some of the famous traditional restaurants of Sunny Beach are given below:
- The Hadjidragana Tavern
- Moma Bulgarian Food and Wine
- Manastirska Magernitsa Restaurant
- Chuchura Restaurant
Vegetarian and Vegan
- Euphoria Bar & Grill
- Restaurant Marina
- Restaurant Bolero
- Hawaii Restaurant and bar Sunny Beach
- Morris Restaurant
Street Food is also very popular in Sunny Beach, which consists of ready to eat foods and drinks. People here purchase street food for numerous reasons, such as for their convenience as you can get delicious food at very reasonable prices, prompt service, and try ethnic cuisines. Sunny Beach serves some of the best street foods, which you must try if you ever plan on coming here for holidaying. Here given is the list of some of the best street foods you can find in Sunny Beach:
- Barbecued Meat Galore
- Sopko Sirenje
- Steamed Corn
- Ciao Italia
There are quite a few bars and pubs in Sunny Beach that serve various alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The locals here love to have a drink every day, either with their meals or after dinner. Many bars are open late for those who want to enjoy drinks late at night after dinner with the snacks they serve. Bars, Pubs, and restaurants in Sunny Beach are family-friendly as well. Some of the well-known drinks are given below, which you must try.
- Turkish-style Coffee
Tap water is clean, and you can drink directly from the tap without any further filtration, but it does not taste the same everywhere and is not pleasant in taste or appearance. You can buy the packed drinking water instead. Also, it is very cheap and affordable. Some of the places here at Sunny Beach deliver high-quality water that is safe to drink and other purposes. Safe, clean, and readily available water is the most important thing for public health, whether used for drinking, domestic use, or food production.
Sunny Beach has so many organic cafes also where you can enjoy your meal with ease. Those who love to eat organic foods and drinks must visit these restaurants to enjoy their meals to the fullest. These cafes offer several benefits also, as they are environment friendly, help maintain a sustainable atmosphere, and allow for some creativity in the menu. You must try various delicious organic foods and drinks to please your palate. Some restaurants and cafes here serve pretty unique and mouth-watering dishes, a few of them are given below:
- Restaurant Danny
- Cascadas Italian Restaurant
- Lapa Lapa
- Bousa Brewing Company
- Gravity Brewlab
- Hollywood Brewing
- Lauder Ale Brewery
Sunny Beach's bars and restaurants are generally reserved with party-goers. Here you will see that travelers frequent clubs and bars in July and August. You can enjoy the long and vast golden beach scenes here that also attracts numerous travelers. You can also enjoy the Turkish bath here. The Emma Spa is the center of attraction in this town. Sunny Beach has Water Park to enjoy with your friends and family members, with a kids zone where little guys and girls can make a splash in shallow pools. You can also explore amusement parks here with a host of funfair rides and games. Diving is another exciting activity you can indulge in Sunny Beach.
Yoga and Retreats
You can have a wonderful time here by doing yoga by the sea. Here you will get so many yoga classes to join to maintain your healthy lifestyle. The trainers are very skillful and will teach you various yoga styles with easy to follow instructions. You can book yoga retreats in Sunny Beach according to your choice. Some of the famous yoga retreats and gyms here are given below:
- Varna Province
- Vict Fitness Center
- Fitness Chateau Valon
As this is a famous beach resort, therefore there are a lot of accomodation alternatives with different pricing. The resorts and villas offer premium facilities with compulsory private pools. Other such complimentary services such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be of your choice, and you can customize them later as well. These resorts and villas are quite expensive; therefore, if you want to spend your holiday lavishly, you must plan your budget accordingly. If you don't want to spend too much on accommodation, there are hotel rooms available, which are cheaper and have some of the aforementioned facilities. There are two types of hotels available in this town: the usual hotels and Green Hotels. Most of the tourists who visit this town prefer the latter. Moreover, there are backpackers hostels available for an even cheaper stay. There are apartments if you want to spend more than a few days here. Beaches are available for camping purposes. As the population is scarce here, there are limited hosts for Couchsurfing.
Green hotels are different from standard hotels as they are known for their eco-friendly measures while serving and providing comfort to their customers. Most of the green hotels have their garden and trees, giving it a unique and attractive look. Other than this, it also helps in keeping the hotel fresh and cool. You can easily make friends with the locals as they often come out to walk in the gardens here. Green hotels follow rainwater harvesting programs and save water as much as they can. These are generally clean and hygienic. The hotels' rooms do not have air conditioners; instead of air conditioners, it uses electric fans. In toiletries, these hotels provide cosmetics such as shower gel, soap, and shampoo that are completely free from those chemicals harmful to the skin. The hotels' solar panel generates the electricity which they use regularly. These hotels cost slightly higher than regular hotels, but they are still the priority of many tourists. You can choose Green hotels to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible. Some of them are named below:
- Hotel Barcelo
- Boulevard Boutique Hotel
- Chaika Beach Hotel
- Hotel Azuro
Hostels and Guest Houses
For those traveling to this town alone and are comfortable with basic facilities, hostel rooms are perfect for them. Hostel rooms shelter you and help you to engage with other tourists from different nations. With these tourists' help, which will be your roommates, you can expand your knowledge about different countries, cultures, and ethnicities. You can learn their language or even teach them your own so that the both of you or your entire group do not have any communication problems. You also get a kitchen attached to cook your own food by bringing fruits and vegetables from the nearby grocery store. Mostly there are backpackers' hostels available. These hostels do not have any time restrictions, and you can check-in and check out at any time. Backpackers are those tourists who visit different places with only one bag with all their required luggage in it. Also, there are guesthouses for those who miss their home and want to feel at home. You can have an entire house on rent. These guesthouses cost lesser because there are other people of your kind present in them. These guesthouses are best when you are traveling with a large group. Guesthouses have their cafes where you can have dishes of your wish. The costs of these dishes are billed separately, and it is not included in rent.
- Four fifteen Hostel
- Hostel Arena
- Golden Fort
There are apartments present in these towns. Apartments are flats available at the event either for a short term or for a longer-term. Apartments are best when you want to stay for a longer time, and short-term apartments are best when you want to have some privacy. You can accommodate in an apartment to enjoy complete privacy with premium security as the entire premises is covered with security cameras and guards. Along with this, there are other facilities of flats like a kitchen, where you can cook your food. Some of the apartments are present on the side of the sea or beaches therefore if you don’t have any plans you can run to those beaches and relax there. Also, the view from those apartments, such as sunrise or sunset, is magnificent. It would be best to pre-book the apartments during the summer season as it is the peak tourist time.
- Sunny Fort Apartments
- Pension Cappucino Apartments, Sunny Beach
- Deluxe Apartments Gallery 2
- Venera and Anastasia Palace Apartments
- Apart Sweet Home 5
- Boutique Aparthotel Versis
- Sunny Residence Complex
Couchsurfing involves staying at locals houses without any charge, and in exchange, you can help them in their daily chores. You can easily acquaint yourself with the locals you're living with. Moreover, they can teach you a lot of facts about the town. These might involve the town's history, famous tourist spots, and some money-saving tips. You can learn how to be street smart with their local knowledge so as to avoid being victims of various scams and robberies. There are barely any hosts present here because many other accommodation options are affordable by just about anyone.
Camping is an adventurous and recreational activity that involves sleeping under the night sky. When on a beach, it is more beneficial than on the free ground. The beach's sand helps relax the body, and the calm sea breeze refreshes the mind. There are no open campgrounds; however, there are many beaches where camping is allowed. Such as:
- Camping Aheloy Lozana
- South Beach Camping
- Camping Aheloyska Bitka
How to Get There
It is a tiny town with limited transportation as there are only two ways to reach this town. You can either fly down here or take the seaway. There is a small airport present near Sunny Beach where a lot of airlines operate. The other way of traveling is by waterways as this town is located near the Black Sea. However, the cruise will take a lot of time to reach here. Also, it is limited to only a few of the countries.
Sunny Beach is a prominent tourist destination in Bulgaria, but no airport is present because of its compact size. However, you can take a flight which will help you to reach the nearest to this town. The nearest airport to this town, that is Burgas Airport, is at a distance of 17 miles, covered with different transportation options. In 2016-2017, this airport handled more than 3 million passengers.
This town does not have any international bus facilities which connect it to other neighboring countries. You will have to choose either from a private cab or a bus to reach this town from the nearby airport, which is about 17 miles away. There is intercity buses present which would help you get to this town within 30 to 40 minutes. Private taxis are also available in other cities that you can book to get to Sunny Beach.
There are no international trains and no intercity trains available in Sunny Beach. There's not enough land for establishing railway tracks also, the population of this town is not enough to generate a satisfactory revenue from trains. These reasons make buses the most preferred transport means.
This town is connected through a National Highway with other neighboring resort towns such as Varna, Burgas, and other nearby cities. It means that you cannot hitchhike from international borders; however, you can get a free lift if you are somewhere close to these nearby cities. It might take some time to hitch a ride because there are mostly buses that run on these highways.
The only other way to reach this town is through the water. Traveling by cruise will give you a lot of memories and refresh your mind. However, fetching a ride on cruise ships can get really tedious; therefore, you must use this option only when you have enough time to enjoy your stay thoroughly.
Moving around in this town is very safe, even at night. You can wander around the entire city on cycles or on foot because of its smaller size. There are minibusses and taxis present to help you reach any tourist spot in the shortest time.
As this is a tiny resort town, therefore you can cover all the tourist spots by walking. It also helps you stay healthy and help reduce your carbon footprints as it is arguably the most eco-friendly way to travel around this town. There are two parks and gardens where you can visit for a morning or evening walk.
There are a few bicycle rental shops available in this town. You can even get a cycle from the resort or hotel you are accomodating in. If you're planning on staying here for a longer duration, you can purchase a second-hand cycle, and it could help you save a lot of money. There are various roads where you can cycle on and explore this town. It goes without saying that cycling allows you to remain fit and helps reduce your carbon footprints.
Electric vehicles are the ones that consume electricity as a fuel. These vehicles help in cutting off pollution as they do not emit smoke. Other than this, they also reduce the use of fossil fuels. Electric cars are easy to maintain. There are no such vehicles present in this town. It is because the city already has very controlled pollution.
There are minibuses present in the town, which is quite different from the ordinary buses. They are compact, and the number of seats is less. The buses are pretty comfortable and clean, but cheap. The only drawback to these minibuses is that they might take longer to get to places as they have their fixed routes.
Tram, Train and Subway
There are no trains in this town. There is no metros present here. Metros run faster than regular trains. The reason is straightforward to understand. This town neither has a population nor a larger area; therefore, there is no need to have trains.
Sustainable shopping is mostly preferred by people all over the world because they are eco-friendly products. Other than this, there are a lot of sustainable stores which are present in every city. Even Sunny Beach has some stores offering sustainable options. These products might involve handcrafted household items. Moreover, second-hand stores come under sustainable products. One of the main reasons why is that these products cut down pollution at a high rate. The waste is further reduced by eliminating products sold as second-hand products such as old mobile phones, which can be refurbished and sold from the landfills. Products such as the organic food market, which sells fruits and vegetables, are best for those travelers who have their own kitchen and cook for themselves. The flea markets here are popular among tourists who love to shop as they sell the products in bulk. You must think about sustainable shopping as these are not only beneficial for health but are also cheap.
- Supermarket Vanya
- Janet City Market
- ALDO Supermarket
- Supermarket Miladost
- Commodity Market
- Janet City Market
- Janet City Market 3
Second Hand Stores
- Second hand outlet boutique Vasilisa
- Second-Hand Clothes
- Vulcanizer Black and White
- Humana second-hand shop
- Humana second-hand shop
- Royal Beach Mall
Recycling is a very beneficial activity not only for humans but also for the ecosystem and its maintenance. It reduces the number of raw materials and also decreases its demand. Paper is the most recycled element. Recycling paper reduces deforestation as a lot of trees are being cut down regularly to make papers. Cutting down trees and deforestation has significant changes in the environment and increases global warming. Deforestation also disturbs the lives of wild animals. Recycling plastic eliminates the production of new plastic items and reduces the use of precious fossil fuels from which it is made. Recycling tin and iron reduces the process of their mining, which is harmful to nature as well as for land. Tin is recycled by casting it into different shapes and sizes, such as empty beverages or containers. Recycling also saves a lot of waste from getting dumped into landfills and incineration. There are recycling centers present in this town, which mainly recycles paper, tin, and plastic. They do not recycle glass; therefore, you must dispose of them correctly in the garbage cans.
Products that cannot be recycled or are of no use are known as waste products. There are mainly three standard waste management and treatment methods: recycling, landfills, and incineration. However, the inefficiency of waste treatment can cause a few severe problems. Some waste can be sent for recycling and can be reused further. The landfill area depends on the waste; therefore, larger land is turned into a landfill, which would have been used for better purposes if more waste is generated. Waste from factories such as smoke from chimneys causes a lot of air pollution. Some irresponsible locals dump their waste in water bodies, which sometimes choke the drainage system while polluting the water. As a result, the polluted water disturbs the marine life as well as the people consuming it. Waste, which is dumped under the land, creates soil pollution. Large landfills are open to many harmful insects and pests that can cause various skin infections and severe complications. The waste management policies of this town are good enough to keep it clean.
Work and Study Abroad
There are not many universities present in Sunny Beach. As this is a beach resort town, schools and other educational institutions are significantly less. There are only a handful of students who visit this town to study. For jobs, you can apply at the small-scale organizations and some glass industries present in this town. You might get the job based on your skill-set. There are other jobs available such as English speaking tutors, waiters or guides, that could be taken up as part-time.
The student exchange program is beneficial for students as it helps them explore a different nation and their education pattern. The program might boost the students' self-confidence and motivate them to become independent as they would have to live away from their family and friends. Apart from their previous universities, this time will also give the students the ability to adopt changes. They will have to adjust to an entirely new city or even country within a different environment. It might be a time for personal growth as these young adults start a new life here.
Au pair does not involve an exchange of money; therefore, it is not considered under the category of a job. It helps to be humble towards the family and the child. As it is very responsible work, therefore you must keep your mind and body active. There is no such work for au pair in this town. The reason is this town's scarce population, and even though the locals work night and day, there's always family member staying back at home, which is mostly females, which nullifies the need for an Au Pair.
Volunteering generally involves social work such as working in the pet care clinic or non-governmental organizations. There are very few organizations present in Sunny Beach where you can do volunteer work. Mostly, the volunteers help in cleaning the beaches regularly.