Three kilometres of gorgeous
Yes, the name of the resort is in reference to the Blue Flag award-winning beach here and also yes, the beach is undoubtedly the main attraction. Stretching out for more than three kilometres, the beach at Golden Sands features plenty of wide open spaces with a waterfront promenade at the back. It extends for more than a kilometre, and features restaurants and bars.
The beach here is rife with spots to kick back and top up your tan, plus watersports and diving opportunities in the waves. There are also bars stashed right along the sand, so we predict cocktails in your near future.
Getting outdoors and staying there
As a beachfront destination, Golden Sands is especially wealthy in the ways of outdoor activities. The resort is home to the Aquapolis waterpark, the very first in all of Bulgaria. It's set with pine trees at its back and the sea at its front, with kiddie pools, a lazy river and a network of waterslides in between.
Golden Sands also boasts an eponymous nature park wedged at the back of the resort. It's comprised mostly of deciduous forests that hide a number of bird, mammal and reptile species, including some that are rare and endangered. To explore the park, there are hiking trails and water fountains that tap into the area's natural water, renowned for its low mineral content.
Located three kilometres above Golden Sands is the Aladzha Monastery, a mysterious place of worship carved into a cave. It's believed to have been built in the 12th century, and consists of a monastery and nearby catacombs, the former of which is decked with elaborate mosaics and frescoes. The woods surrounding the monastery were believed to have been sacred and protected by a demon, but nowadays they're demon-free and visited by holidaymakers keen to see the small museum and light shows during the summer.
Big plates and even bigger parties
When it comes to dining in Golden Sands, you can take your pick from the area's huge array of cuisines. There are classic Eastern European bites local to the resort, plus a selection of steakhouses and barbecue food, Chinese, seafood, European and Mexican fare. Many restaurants are gathered right along the waterfront with views of the sea, but others will require a little bit of a walk into town and away from the action.
Once night falls, the energy doesn't slow down. Quite the opposite – there are a number of bars and big time clubs where neon lights and dancing into the wee hours of the morning are a regular deal. Aside from colourful cocktails and pints of beer, you'll also find onsite swimming pools and themed parties to keep your nights nothing short of interesting.
Much of the shopping in this corner of Bulgaria can be found in the city of Varna, just a half hour drive away. There are two big malls called the Varna Mall and the Grand Mall, each of which feature a number of stores both designer and local. There's also the Central Market held in the centre of town. There, you'll find fresh produce along with souvenirs, clothing and textiles.