At the same time oldest and traditional, timeless and modern, simple and spectacular – Sozopol is ideal for beach holidays and so much more.
Located on the Black Sea coast some 35 km south of Burgas, and 410 km from the capital city of Sofia, Sozopol attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. The resort offers a fine blend of beautiful beaches, ancient architecture and comfortable hotels.
The most famous cultural forum in Bulgaria, called Apollonia, takes place each year in the beginning of September. With fast and convenient access to Burgas airport, Sozopol can be easily reached from any point in Europe between May and September.
The air temperature in summer ranges from 25 to 35 degrees while water temperature is around 27 degrees.
Short historical survey
Sozopol is the oldest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. The first settlement here dates back to the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC. Undersea explorations in the region of the Sozopol port reveal relics of dwellings, ceramic pottery, stone and bone tools from the Bronze Age.
Numerous stone anchors and stocks were found in the Bay of Sozopol, dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. They are a proof of active shipping since ancient times. In 610 BC, the Ancient Greeks established a Hellenic settlement (“polis”) and named it “Apollonia Pontica”. The city established itself as a trade and naval centre.
It kept strong relations with the big centers of Hellas: Miletus, Athens, Corinth, Heraclea Pontica, the Rhodes Islands, Chios, Lesbos, etc. Its trade influence in Thrace was based on a treaty with the rulers of the Kingdom of Odrysian, dating from the 5th century BC.
An expression of the significance of the trade and navel activities is the anchor, which is the symbol of the town and is present on all coins in Apollonia since the end of the 6 century BC. The rich town became an important cultural centre. Its contemporaries called it Apollonia Magna. (The Great).
Reasons why you should visit Sozopol
Houses in the Old Town are built of stone and wood and conform to the so-called Black Sea school of architecture. The best known are The Marieta Stefanova House, The Kreanoolu House, The Todor Zagorov House, The Kurtidi House, and The Dimitri Laskaridis House, among others.
Two of Sozopol’s most attractive tourist destinations are the city’s archeological museum and art gallery. In 2010, during archeological excavations of the nearby Saint Ivan (Saint John’s) Island, researchers unearthed holy relics of Saint John the Baptist.
Today these invaluable relics are in the care of authorities at The St. Cyril and St. Methodius Church and attract pilgrims from all over the world. Old Sozopol and the relics of Saint John the Baptist were voted the most important of “Bulgaria’s Wonders” in 2011.
The uninhabited St. Ivan Island in the Black Sea off the coast of the resort town of Sozopol is the place where the relics of St. John the Baptist were discovered on July 28, 2010, by archaelogists.
They investigating the Sv. Ivan (St. John) island of Sozopol found the exquisite reliquary a relic urn, built in the altar of an ancient church bearing the name of St. John the Baptist. This is the oldest church on the island and it dates back to 5th century BC
Sozopol has two beaches- the Central Beach, situated in the Old Town and the “Harmani” Beach in the new part of Sozopol. In the vicinity a couple of camping sites are situated. The “Golden Fish”, the “Garden”, “Kavacite” and “Smokini” (the “Figs”) camping sites have wide and quiet beaches, and the sea water is so pure, that you can see the colour of the shells at the sea bottom.
How to reach Sozopol
The fastest way to reach Sozopol is to fly to Burgas, then take a taxi or a bus to Sozopol.
By bus from Burgas to Sozopol
There are regular buses from Burgas to Sozopol which leave every hour during the day (from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.) from just outside the central railway station in Burgas – the travel takes no more than 40 minutes. You can take a taxi, but keep in mind that the prices for taxis can be a bit higher around this time of year at the seaside.
By plane from Sofia to Burgas
Burgas has an international airport which is 12 km north of the city. Contact your travel agent to get more information about possible charter flights to Burgas.
There are buses that will take you from Burgas airport to the same place (in front of the central railway station) where the buses Burgas-Sozopol operate. If no flights are available the nearest possible Bulgarian airport is Varna. Look at VarnaBourgas bus route. Look also at Sofia-Bourgas bus route and Sofia-Bourgas train route.
By train from Sofia to Burgas
Below you will find a timetable for trains running between Sofia and Bourgas. The letter E stands for “express” and the letter R stands for a “rapid” train.
The central railway station in Sofia is easy to get to; just ask for directions at any information desk. To get from Sofia airport to the central station by public transport, take the airport bus No. 84 and change at the Pliska Hotel stop to any of the following lines: No 213, 313, 305.
All of these buses terminate at the central railway station Sofia. You need to buy tickets for these buses in advance at the bus stop kiosks and validate them when you get on board.
Bars and restaurants
Numerous of bars, restaurants, fast-foods, grill– and toast-bars are scattered along the alleys of Sozopol. They offer diverse Bulgarian and international cuisine.
The resort is famous for its night life, the multiple clubs, discotheques and bars. Morski Skali and Milet sea-facing streets are dotted with small bars and restaurants.