Nessebar – Bulgaria
The coastal drive from our hotel to Nessebar was an eye-opener! Sunny Beach (Slunchev Bryag) boasts of being the largest holiday complex on the Black Sea coast. Along its six kilometer stretch of beach, there are about 150 hotels, apartment blocks, villas and campsites, more than 120 restaurants, night clubs, bars and discos. Now, where might this remind you of .. yes, Toremolinos in Malaga, Spain!
FOR SALE signs were everywhere, and from the British and Bulgarian flags on the ads, one could deduce that the target market is the Brits. For as little as €50,000, you could buy your little patch of paradise by the sea. Quite scarey really when you think of the prospect of this place being totally thrashed out by cheap mass tourism. Our local tour guide who works as a receptionist in one of the resorts confirmed that drunkenness is a problem! Dotting the landscape were also a number of failed or stalled apartment blocks, where money had obviously run out.
Nessebar is situated on a small rocky peninsula in the northern section of Bourgas Bay. It is one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria and is on the UNESCO listing of World Heritage Sites. The churches of Nessebar include some of the most remarkable church architectural monuments that have survived to date. These churches date back to medieval times and the most well preserved of these churches is the Christ Pancrator Church.
There’s a maze of small roads and alleyways that take you around town but every which way you turn, you’ll come across stalls selling thrashy stuff. The only thing of interest is the rosewater products that are famous here. The group is always looking for souvenirs to buy home, but I don’t think anything came away with anything.
There are lots of little cafes and restaurants where you can stop for a drink or meal. Walk towards the sea-facing side of town and you’ll also find lots of restaurants where you can enjoy views of the Black Sea.
It’s sad that the authorities have allowed the town deteriorate into one big junk market and it appears that Nessebar’s World Heritage status is not taken too seriously.