July Morning (Джулая in Bulgarian) is one of the few things that happen in Bulgaria only. If you’re lucky and you really want it – you will be able to experience it. Some say that July Morning is a hippie fest, others add that it started as a protest against the Communist authorities. The name of the holiday is associated with the legendary song of Uriah Heep July Morning. For many people, the first day of July is not a holiday occasion, but hundreds of people welcome the sunrise on July 1st because they believe in the cleansing effect of its very first sun rays.
Without believing in the historical, political, or religious aspect of the event, we recommend you to feel the magic of July Morning at least once during their stay in Bulgaria. We are convinced that the celebration of the first sunlight and this tradition help us get closer to nature, to get together with our beloved ones, friends and ourselves, and to feel the vibrations of the planet.
You will ask, “Where can we celebrate July Morning?”. We asked some travel bloggers and we gathered the best places to greet July Morning. Below you will read and see recommended and tested places so you have the choice and inspiration for several years to come.
P.P. Do not limit yourself to greeting the sunrise on July 1st only. Those places we recommend are good options to celebrate other days of July, or even other summer months. 🌅
The caves near Kamen Bryag
You can always join the crowd in the Oguncheto area right next to Kamen Bryag. If you are lucky, John Lawton himself will sing to you. There is also a chance to meet many people to tell you how the fest has evolved over the years. And you will also enjoy many new friends and crazy fun until the morning.
Not long ago we explored the northern Black Sea region and the locals took us through various hidden caves in the rocks overlooking the sea. For those who prefer the celebration of July Morning in a narrower circle, we recommend one of the caves north of Kamen Bryag and south of Shabla. You will not only feel the serenity, but you will be able to transcend into modern cavemen (if you take your sleeping bags) or in authentic cavemen (if you do not take a sleeping bag). The important thing is to not contribute to the 16th-century rock paintings by tagging the name of your favorite / hated football team.
Is there another legendary place to greet July Morning? Let’s find out together with Alex from travelbetter.bg:
Varvara on the seaside is the most common place to celebrate July Morning. Unlike Varvara in the Rhodope mountains, which has more than 2 000 inhabitants, not more than 300 people live here. When July Morning was celebrated here for the first time in 1993, there was merely one place in its center to eat and drink. Nowadays in Varvara you can find a couple of hotels, few guest houses and enough charming restaurants and places to spend your time.
The very place, where people meet the July Morning sunrise, is a big meadow on the edge of the Black sea with an iron-made tree on it. This tree was specially designed for shooting the famous Bulgarian motion picture “The great night swim” in 1980 and as the morning comes the title of the movie is usually turned into reality from the people, who come to celebrate July Morning.
You can reach the meadow on a black road, starting from the very center of the village. North of the place there is a small unknown beach for those who are not keen on rocky beaches underneath the meadow.
We asked Eli from Drumi v dumi what her favorite spot for greeting July Morning is. Here’s what she answered:
Honestly speaking, so far I have not celebrated July Morning formally – it almost always falls on a business day.🙂 But I can recommend you a beautiful place at the sea, where I’ve greeted not just one or two late-July and August sunrises – that is Kamchiya Beach.
For me, Kamchiya beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of the Bulgarian seaside. I like it because it’s wide, and the landscapes that you can see from the beach are very interesting and beautiful – a large bay, a multitude of sand dunes overgrown with dry-grassy plants, overlooking a green forest. There Kamchiya River flows and its mouth is like a giant funnel (estuary). There is no concrete and many restaurants on the beach, there are no huge hotels to smash it. It is no coincidence that the bungalows along the beach are named Romance and Paradise, which accurately describes the area.
Kamchiya Beach is located about 25 km south of Varna.
We asked Moni from OM TRIPS Blog where she would celebrate July Morning. Here’s her favorite place:
When it comes to welcoming the 1st of July somewhere on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, somehow all the paths are leading to Kamen Bryag. My opinion is that the sea coast is hiding other magical places that still keep their virgin nature and invite guests to share the natural beauties and to have enough time for meditation. Even though the Northern Black Sea Coast hides its mysticism with the rocky beaches, the South also offers something special for the July Morning. One of them is at Camp Delfin a few kilometers before Ahtopol. Combining fresh pine air mixed with sea salt fumes, it is a good place to meet the first ray of light in peace and tranquility, standing still for meditation, relaxation, and connection with nature’s regenerative forces. And since I share a very special place for me, I will rely on those of you who choose to visit it to preserve the nature, because that is the way nature will pay us back.
On the hill above the vineyards of Villa Melnik
We are moving away from the sea because the vineyards in the region of Melnik attract us. Villa Melnik has been organizing for several years in a row the July Morning festivities on the hill over their vineyards near the village of Harsovo. You bring a tent and a good mood, and the party all night and the July sunshine coming from Pirin mountain are guaranteed.
For all who like to combine wine drinking with unexpected new encounters, indulging in delicious local food, and entertainment in the open air. You can greet July Morning by just opening the tent to the east. Cheers! 🥂
We asked Viki and Pepi from Sunrising Life if there is a nice place to celebrate July Morning away from the coastline.
One of our favorite places for July Morning is Vihren peak in Pirin mountain. We spend the night at 2914 meters above sea level and in the morning we saw the sun rising – that’s something that couldn’t be described – it has to be experienced. We love mountains and every single experience in the mountain so that was one of the best places for welcoming the first July rays. The reasons are so many – it’s in mountains, it’s hard to get there and it’s so beautiful that you definitely will fall in love with it. It is one of our favorite places and will remain like that because it was a big challenge for us – to get to the top with two backpacks over 18 kg, to crucify the tent right on the top and to spend the whole night under the stars. You won’t regret it because the morning views are spectacular.
We were wondering if you can greet July Morning at the seaside and in the mountains at the same time.
The answer came as one of our favorite places in Bulgaria, where we’ve met a lot of sunrises in the summer. The area near the village of Emona, a.k.a. Emona Balkan. This is where the mountain ends and turns into high cliffs over the sea. The encounter between Stara Planina and the Black Sea. Cape Emine and around. Though the road is a bit thorny and it seems to you that all kinds of bugs are laughing (most probably true), when you feel the first rays of sunshine on you, you will forget about all kinds of troubles. We love waiting for the sun low on the horizon and catching it with our hands, breathing deeply and smiling. And we keep going until it rises high above us and invite us to move under the shade on the beach or back under the blanket.
So, we leave you with these wonderful places to celebrate July Morning, recommended by travel bloggers. Have you been to some of them? Have you met the sunrise? Let us know in the comments below! 🌻🌞🌊