The warm and strong impressions of last weekend made us quickly catch the pen and the brush (or in modern language, write a new blog post and prepare photos and videos). This empty sheet is to be filled with the emotions we experienced for three days only in Kavarna region, in a beautiful but sometimes underestimated place, namely the northern Black Sea coast of Bulgaria.
We love to take the road to places, people and experiences that are exceptional and memorable. When we travel long time and distance and finally it turns out to be worth it, we are in a hurry to share this with the world! That’s why we’ve made this article about the hospitality and adventures in the Kavarna region.
When it comes to extreme experiences, outdoors activity and unspoiled nature, hardly the first association of most of the people is Bulgaria. In the following lines you will read why the first association of the above may actually be the Northern Black Sea coast of Bulgaria.
Fisherman’s Village and Shabla Lighthouse
The lighthouse in Shabla proudly heads east, so east that it is the easternmost point of Bulgaria. And the surrounding fishing village of Karia is the home of fairly wealthy fishermen, judging by the two- and three-storey cottages.
Caves and hideaways
Only local people can show you the thousands of hidden caves, holes, noses and cliffs along the coast. Some of them can even be used for sunbathing! For those who seek privacy and solitude, there are a lot of secret passageways to shelters hidden in the rocks. In some of them, you can even spend the night, provided you carry your sleeping supplies and keep the surroundings clean.
Tyulenovo jumps out of some photographic masterpieces, especially at dawn. The arch formed by the rocks is not only photogenic, but also allows you to descend on it and get down at sea level. They call it the Bulgarian Azure Window, we hope that Tyulenovo will have better future than the beautiful formation in Malta which collapsed earlier this year.
The Fire (Огънчето) near Kamen Bryag
An emblematic place where not only does eternal fire burn, but many concerts have happened. And if we want to greet July Morning properly, that’s one of the best places to do that! Who has been on fire? 🔥
Yailata is an archaeological reserve. Its name means “high pasture”, so you can imagine what views it can offer. We will not mention archaeological remains, because they may not be the most impressive thing there. But the wild peonies are in the swirl here. In groups of several or in whole passages, we can enjoy these wonderful flowers from the Red Book of Bulgaria if you come during their blooming period. On May 12, 2017, we were lucky to catch up with this period. We wish them no one to break them and entertain the senses of other visitors for all the forthcoming years.
Bolata beach is known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Bulgaria. It has the form of a horseshoe, further reinforced by concrete quays on both sides. Photogenic it is – mostly from the top – if you hike up for about 40 minutes, you will see the horseshoe, and in good weather the brilliant waters of the bay.
A secret sunset spot
Having a local guide has a lot of advantages. For example, he can take you to special places, somewhere in the distance, to have a view of the sunset, the sea, the rocks. But that’s not all – you can sit in a secret cave, which is hidden beneath the ground, overlooking the horizon.
Riding a bike
Landscapes and roads contribute to cycling opportunities. On the asphalt or on the dirt road, those views do not stop!
It is no secret that the region is quite windy. The winter wind can be piercing and force you to stay at home. In the summer it brings coolness and shaggy hairstyles. But when the planet gives you wind, why not put wind generators? The area hosts more than 1000 generators that work tirelessly. A large part of our company has a natural attraction to watch and photograph them. They are addictive!
Exactly strength and direction of the wind decide whether we are going to be kayaking or not. Sea kayaking is a very interesting kayaking branch because light waves diversify the experience. The wind had decided it was a kayak day. Everyone got to know their kayak in the bay of Bolata, and then we rowed into the sea for a 5-kilometer tour. For the biggest enthusiasts, kayaking distance was doubled.
We dived into (only figuratively speaking) the world of sea kayaking, helped by our instructor Galin from Trip Kavarna. He helped us transform from beginners to pros. We started slightly uncertainly in the bay after some instruction, getting used to kayaks, and balancing with our… centers of gravity. After a few hundred meters of rowing, we have already mastered our kayaks and even asked how to refine our techniques.
Moving from zigzag to linear, we could already enjoy the multicolored rocks, the mystical caves (if there are no waves, you can get closer and have a look), the empty beaches and the endless blue seas on the other side. In addition to the kayak-enthusiasts group, we were also accompanied by hungry cormorants and chaotic jellyfish. When you are in the kayak, jellyfish is not a threat and you can appreciate its beautiful colors and shapes.
The rugged cliffs, the reddish shades, the scenery of stones, sand, green bushes, the endlessness – all this can be experienced by boat. We will meet the remains of a sunken ship as well as many hardworking cormorants. We will see Cape Kaliakra from sea level. We’ll have a Cuba Libre just in time.
Kaliakra Cape goes 2 kilometers off the coast. Remains have been found on it since Thracian times. Today we can see arcades, fortification walls, gates, we can even enter a cave. Cape Kaliakra is perhaps the most known and visited place in the region, but even with many people walking around the 70-meter-high cliffs, the views of the jagged coast remain stunning. Legends and history are interwoven, and lucky ones can see some playful dolphins in the sea.
When it comes to Bulgaria, the first things that come to your mind are often hospitality and a warm welcome. And there’s a good reason for that! In the following pages you will find some of the brightest examples of the hospitality of the people from Kavarna and its surroundings.
Balgarevo is probably a small village, but for a small village there is a lot going on. Currently 1000-2000 people live in the village. Interestingly, there are some Gagauz people living there. The Gagauz people are a Turkish-speaking ethnographic group with Orthodox faith.
Guest house “Levana” welcomed us with its romantic-style rooms, a garden with many places to chill and relax, and amazing scents from all the flowers and bushes. It was a meeting point for us and many interesting people who made our stay memorable.
The singing grandmas
The singing grandmothers from Bаlgarevo have a rich repertoire of Dobrudja (and not only) songs, use wooden spoons to keep the rhythm and are accompanied by a talented accordionist. After their performance with impressive complexity and harmony, the grandmas also demonstrated their dance skills. That’s how we filled the hall and gave ourselves a few minutes of our beloved speechless communication – by dancing!
There are quite a few rakia-making facilities in the village so we had to try the fresh produce – fig rakia (rakia is similar to brandy but better). The tasting was successful, and later at dinner we continued with wine tasting. It was even more successful. But we know that it is not good to drink without appetizers. Typical fresh appetizers for the village are tomatoes and melons. They are grown by a hardworking family in the most bio and organic way.
The seafood dinner
Seafood dinner is meant not only to demonstrate a few ways of preparing mussels from the area but also the variety of fresh fish. In fact, all that food had another purpose – to get together the people in Levana guest house and to start a conversation. There are no better acquaintances than those born over fish soup.
Kavarna is the biggest town of the region. It is known for gathering annually (and in fact more often) rock and metal music fans. If you have not been to a concert in Kavarna then you can not claim to be a fan of the wire.
In Kavarna they also know how prepare delicious food, so that everyone can absolutely overeat and then spend days talking about the pleasures of the table.
Festival “Bulgaria in your heart”
Other musical styles and festivals take place in Kavarna, too. We were fortunate to enjoy the festival “Bulgaria in your heart”, where little and grown fans of Bulgarian folklore are performing. Guests and participants are also many Bulgarians living outside of Bulgaria – in Moldova and Ukraine.
We experienced all of that for just 3 days! And if we had more time – can you imagine what secrets would be revealed for us on the northern Black Sea coast? How much more would we have felt from the hospitality of Kavarna and the region? Would we ever leave that place?
In spite of the stunning nature that facilitates walks and adventures, our stay on the northern Black Sea coast would not be so special without the invitation and intervention of some very active people who along with their businesses want to develop the entire region. They were our hosts and tour guides, and they made more than possible to welcome us and our colleagues from ASTOM properly. They managed to make us fall in love with their hospitality, the beauty of nature and, above all, their inner beauty!