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How to spend a week in Golden Sands - Bulgaria

The largest resort in Bulgaria's northern Black Sea coast, your week at Golden Sands will be a mix of beach time and exciting nightlife, with natural parks, waterparks and health spas thrown in. Though there's easily enough here to fill seven days, neighbouring towns and cities also add to the variety and appeal.

Day one

The four kilometres of Blue Flag Beach in Golden Sands will provide hours of relaxation during your stay in Bulgaria. A shop-filled promenade, ample beach bars and watersports complete the formula for the perfect beach holiday.

With sea temperatures between 18 and 24°C in summer, water-skiing and surfing are all the more tempting, or head under the water with diving or snorkelling at Harry's Dive Centre. Of course, you might just like to stop at one of the beach bars, like Mojito or Baywatch, and get the party started early.

Day two

On your second day, Aquapolis waterpark will surely be calling you. So head over towards the forest on the edge of town where you can get involved on the Kamikaze, Niagara or Black Hole slides and chill in the big hot tub or on the slow river.

You can stop here for lunch too, or head back into town to dine. One of the places that, quite literally, stands out is the 1:10 scale replica Eiffel Tower of Paris. At 32 metres high it houses Coffee Bar Paris' terrace six metres above ground.

Day three

It's time to leave Golden Sands today, but not too far as a five-minute drive inland is the leafy Golden Sands Nature Park with walking trails and water fountains flowing with natural spring water. Roe deer and wild boar wander freely through this huge park, which has been a protected area since 1943.

Then after a little siesta back at the hotel, make your way to Megapark Dolphin for some of Golden Sands' famed nightlife. This 2000-capacity, open-air bar has pool and foam parties, backed by electronic dance music, and hosts club nights every evening with music from RnB to hits from the past.

Day four

After a long night having fun, you might want to chill out today. Luckily, Golden Sands is blessed with natural mineral springs that are put to good use at the many spa centres in town, which are said to have healing properties. Places like the Climato-balneological Center at the Ambassador Hotel use the mineral water in combination with curative mud to relieve conditions from arthritis to stress.

Day five

Adding a dash of historical intrigue to your visit, on the outskirts of Golden Sands is Aladzha Monastery, which is carved into a cave. Believed to have been built in the 12th century, the site also contains mosaic-adorned catacombs, the remains of a basilica and ancient fortress. There's a small museum to look around and in summer you'll be treated to light shows in the woods.

Day six

You're so close to the port city of Varna, it'd be rude not to take a look. A modern shopping mecca, it retains its coastal charm and has interesting museums like the Maritime museum and Archaeological Museum. Or for a pretty seaside town on a much smaller scale, Balchik just north has a scattering of white buildings and beautiful botanical gardens.

Day seven

There's still one more day to enjoy in gorgeous Golden Sands. And it can be a lively one as there's a go-karting track in town and the opportunity to head off-road on quad bikes. The kids can burn off some energy before they get back on the plane at the children's sports centre, which is a hub of action from pony rides and archery, to inflatables, slides, mini-golf and even a children's railway.

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