Home Lifestyle This ‘fairytale’ European beach resort is a great alternative to Croatia —...

This ‘fairytale’ European beach resort is a great alternative to Croatia — and now is the time to visit

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Look how stunning Sozopol is (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Bulgaria might not be the most popular holiday destination among Brits, but it has plenty to offer – and there’s no better time to visit.

From March 31, the Balkan nation will be joining the Schengen Area, which travel experts say could see prices go up, as more tourists flock to the country thanks to relaxed border controls.

But if you don’t fancy the Magaluf-esque vibes of Sunny Beach, there is another lesser-known beach resort in Bulgaria, that’s certainly worth a visit.

Sozopol, along Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, boasts white sand beaches with picturesque architecture, an Old Town of cobbled streets, as well as beach clubs, bars and restaurants.

TripAdvisor reviewers have described the destination as ‘stunningly beautiful’, ‘magic’ and a ‘hidden gem’.

Tempted? Here’s everything you need to know about Sozopol…

This is quite the hidden gem (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

How to get to Sozopol

Sozopol isn’t the easiest destination to get to – but it’s worth the journey.

The best option is to fly from any UK airport to Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, and then making the journey to Sozopol from there.

From London airports, you’re looking to pay around £27 for flights to Sofia, depending on time. For other UK airports, prices vary: Birmingham to Sofia for £48, Dublin, £89, Bristol, £31, Liverpool, £63, and Manchester for £95.

Then, once in Sofia, you’d have to either drive to Sozopol or take a bus or train.

A car journey will take you four hours while a bus journey (costing £20-35) will take six hours and 45 minutes, and a train ride (costing £7-£15) will take seven hours and 25 minutes.



Jet2Holidays launches new deal to Sozopol

Jet2Holidays have recently launched new packages to Sozopol with flights and accommodation included.

This is one for holidaymakers based in Scotland, as the options includes flights from Glasgow airport.

One of the new Jet2Holiday deals include an all-inclusive stay at the 3*+ Martinez ApartHotel leaving Glasgow on June 18 for £739pp.

With the deal you’ll also get transfers to and from the airport, with a 22kg baggage allowance, and deals are available to book now for trips from the end of May.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: ‘We are delighted to be offering package holidays to Sozopol in Bulgaria for Summer 2024 and expanding our offering in the region.

‘The addition of this charming resort comes in response to strong demand for getaways to Bulgaria and gives holidaymakers even more choice.’

See jet2.com or jet2holidays.com for more information.

Sozopol has stunning architecture (Credits: Getty Images)

Best time to visit Sozopol

According to First Choice holidays, Sozopol has a warm temperate climate with idyllic summers and short cool winters.

The best time to visit Sozopol is between June and August. The hottest month of the year is August with an average daily maximum of 29°C and an average low of 19°C.

The coolest month of the year is January with an average daily maximum of 5°C and an average low of -2°C.

Brb booking flights now (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Things to do in Sozopol

Sozopol has some stunning beaches that make for good beachy days tanning under the Bulgarian sun – the most popular spots are Kavatsote, which is popular among families, and Harmani beach.

There’s also Cape Agalina, a collection of small bays and rock formations, where you can take in stunning views across the Black Sea.

Sozopol Old Town is a favourite among tourists. The ancient site dates back to the Thracians, Greeks, and Byzantines – who once inhabited the land. There are also preserved Renaissance homes, which you can take in as you wonder through the maze of quaint streets. It’s also got boutique hotels and independent shots to mooch around in and escape the heat.

Nature lovers can visit the Ropotamo Nature Reserve, which is loftily described as ‘Bulgaria’s Amazon’. There’s also the Neptun Aqua Park – if you haven’t been to a water park on holiday, have you really been on holiday?

In the summer there are concerts and festivals that happen in town and in early September, culture lovers can enjoy the Apollonia art and film festival.

Tourists can also check out the archaeological museum, Southern Fortress Wall and Tower Museum, 15th century churches, chapels, and you can also make private excursions to nearby islands.

If you fancy a trip on the water, you can visit Sveti Ivan, the largest Bulgarian island in the Black Sea.

The island’s history dates back to Thracian and Roman times, and includes a monastery from the 4th century AD.

The town might sound familiar to you as Sveti Ivan made international headlines in 2010 when it supposedly discovered the remains of St John the Baptist. There are no scheduled excursions to the island, but private trips can be arranged along the Fishing Harbour (from around 60 lv – £23).

Or you can, of course, stay in Sozopol and enjoy its beach clubs, water activities and tanning under the sun.

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