Spoilt for beaches and activities on a family holiday in Bulgaria
With the flight taking just over three and a half hours and balmy summer temperatures, Bulgaria is an attractive destination for a family getaway.
Along the wide stretches of sand at Sunny Beach, Bulgaria’s largest tourist area, you’ll find all the shops and restaurants you need within easy walking distance for little legs. There’s also a go-karting track nearby and the Action Aquapark waterpark is a great family-fun day out.
Another area with a bustling waterfront and plenty of activities is Golden Sands. As well as a sizeable beach, this region is home to the Aquapolis waterpark, with kids’ pools, a lazy river and a network of waterslides in between. Another interesting place to explore is the Aladzha Monastery, a mysterious place of worship carved into a cave, about three kilometres above Golden Sands.
Best family-friendly beaches
The main attraction of eastern Bulgaria has to be the beaches. Stretching out for more than three kilometres, the beach at Golden Sands features plenty of wide open spaces plus watersports and a promenade, lined with bars and restaurants.
Cacao Beach, the main one in the Sunny Beach area, is a Blue Flag stretch of over eight kilometres of sand. You’ll find a friendly atmosphere here with the happy buzz of families, sunbathing, and splashing about in the warm, shallow water. It’s the ideal location for laid-back beach days and lots of ice-cream or choose from a range of watersports, including windsurfing, waterskiing and hang-gliding. Another beach popular with families is the Blue Flag winning Central Beach at nearby St Vlas – the calm sea and clean sand are perfect for paddling and sculpting sandcastles.
Best family activities in Bulgaria
Away from the beaches, there are plenty of activities for a family day out. At Sunny Beach Luna Park, you’ll find a good old-fashioned beachside funfair, with a selection of rides including a rollercoaster and dodgem cars. Just south of Sunny Beach is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nessebar, an old town with ancient fortress walls, medieval churches and narrow cobbled lanes. Other popular family days out are sailing trips out of Nessebar to explore the coastline or biking the trails through Bulgaria’s stunning woodlands.
Other popular family holidays
If you haven’t quite decided where you want to go have a look at our family holiday suggestions. You might want to consider mainland Spain, with many Costas and beaches to choose from, plus family-friendly hotels and fun waterparks. Or Cyprus, which offers a wealth of history, Blue Flag beaches and rugged mountain scenery. And if you want a fun family holiday meeting Disney’s most famous characters, head to Florida, bursting with theme parks, as well as sandy beaches and excellent shopping.
But if Bulgaria is still your winner, take a look at our travel guide to help you plan your family holiday and see below for some of our most popular family hotels.
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This large 4* hotel has its own waterpark, with pulse-racing waterslides as well as more sedate ones. If you can drag your kids away from those, head to the beach and town centre, which is within walking distance, or take the free hotel shuttle bus. At the hotel adults can relax by the pool or in the sauna, while their kids are kept busy in tailored children's clubs. As well as a programme of daytime activities, you can also participate in aqua aerobics or water polo or be pampered with a massage or facial, payable locally. Activities continue into the evening, with themed nights, karaoke and quizzes.
Sandwiched between Sunny Beach and St Vlas, this 4* hotel is well-placed for views of the Black Sea and a 10-minute stroll from the beach. Kids can enjoy their own pool with splash zone plus three waterslides or join in with kids' club activities. With the children occupied, there's plenty to keep the adults busy – from water polo to the gym and aerobics or join the fitness or yoga class for an additional charge. You'll find a good choice of dining options, from the buffet restaurant to three a la carte eateries and a coffee shop.
This 4* All Inclusive hotel packs in plenty of activities for all the family, with its own aqua park and three pools. Positioned between the seafront and the town centre, it's only a few minutes' walk to the beach and about 10 minutes on foot to the centre of Golden Sands. There's plenty to entertain little ones with the kids' club, set in a pirate ship-shaped building, a playground just footsteps away and a kids' pool. This hotel provides a wide choice of dining options with buffet and grill restaurants and a la carte places serving Asian, Bulgarian and Mexican cuisine.
With a prime location in the centre of Golden Sands, just a minute from the beach, this 4* hotel has an excellent range of facilities for all the family. The kids have their own pool with slide and a hotel-run club with a playground, while the adults can join in with tennis, archery and aqua aerobics. Even fussy eaters are catered for with a buffet restaurant, three a la carte eateries serving Italian, Asian and Bulgarian dishes, as well as a coffee shop for cookies and ice-cream. The evening entertainment programme kicks off with a mini disco for the kids and the adults can enjoy Balkan dancers and live music.