We've fallen in love with this Decathlon snorkeling mask after our trip to Greece last month, and we've been dying to try them again. So last week, we packed our things and went to Tyulenovo, Bulgaria for a 4-day snorkeling holiday. The weather sounded perfect, but what we didn't account for is the wind and the waves, which made it risky to dive and snorkel around the rocks at Tyulenovo. Not to mention the water was so cold. So we decided to wait for calmer water and make the most of our time exploring some of our favorite sandy beaches near Tyulenovo.
1. TOPOLA BEACH
How to get here: This sandy beach is located on the Northern coast of the Black sea in Bulgaria, between the cities of Balchik and Kavarna, 39 KM from Tyulenovo (half an hour car drive) or 13 KM from Balchik (15 min car drive)
Every year for the past 7 years we've been going to this beautiful beach in the summer. When we first discovered this beach at Topola we were blown away by how private, peaceful and natural it was. We would camp at St. George under its pine tree forest and would wake up in the morning with this breathtaking view, the sea sparkling all the way to Cape Kaliakra. And we did explore every part of it, the hills above, the forest near its other end, we swam, we ran, we dived and we sometimes even got sun burns.
There are two main ways to get to Topola beach, the most popular is the one through Hotel Saint George and Camping in Topola. The other one is closer to Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort and if you're lucky, you can find a free spot and leave your car close to the beach. There are two bars where you can buy ice cold Bulgarian beer, ice cream and grab something to eat.
2. KIBELLA BEACH
How to get here: This beach is a bit harder to find. It's close to Topola Beach and Kavarna, at 42 KM from Tyulenovo (40 min car drive).
Kibella beach is a lot smaller than the one at Topola, but it has its own unique charm. This tiny beach is hidden by the rocky wall near the Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort and it's a bit harder to find. You can access it by car coming from Topola towards the Beach Resort mentioned above and by foot, coming down the steps that go through the forest and over the hill, all the way to the hotels at the top.
We discovered this beach by mistake, one evening, when we were walking off the delicious food we had at St. George restaurant. The beach has a tiny restaurant and bar and you can rent umbrellas and sun beds right there, on the spot. It's an intimate location but will get crowded during weekends.
3. BOLATA BEACH
How to get here: This private beach is near Cape Kaliakra, on the Northern Bulgarian Black Sea coastline, Bulgaria, 21 KM from Tyulenovo (about 20-30 minutes car drive).
There are thousands of tourists visiting Cape Kaliakra, yet only a few get to discover this beautiful beach. We first spotted this place while visiting the Kaliakra fortress and it took us 6 years to finally return to this beach.
Bolata beach is one of the most beautiful places in Northern Bulgaria and can be quite intimate during the week. As for the weekends, you will find it is pretty crowded. There are two roads that permit car access all the way to the sand. Kids are having a blast here, the water isn't deep and they make the most of the waves that enter the tiny golf. If you're into adventure and enjoy water sports, you will love it here. You can go snorkeling just outside the golf, canoeing or fishing. Just bring everything you need with you.
There are no restaurants or shops open around the beach, or on the beach, so better come prepared with water and snacks (cold beer too). Bring your own umbrella, beach towels and whatever you think you might need and get ready to make a full day out of it. The closest town is Balgarevo and while that's only a couple of minutes away, you'd be surprised how fast your parking spot is going to disappear.
This summer, it was the beach at Shabla Lighthouse that offered the most intense experiences and beautiful sights. In our previous trips, we went at the other end of the beach, near Camping Drobuja, a place we liked but didn't exactly loved, being a bit too populated for our taste. However, this other end, near the lighthouse was perfect. It was a Saturday and we were only 10 people scattered across the sand! The Shabla beach is one of the longest and wildest I've seen and it's quite the place for bird watching. We also had two unhappy events, having found a beached dead dolphin and an abandoned tiny baby bird.
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I'd love to hear your thoughts. You can use the comment form below. And if you've been on the on any of these beaches, I'd love to hear your story. Share your links or pics below or on Instagram with hashtag #iamrestless.