Summer Holidays

Bulgaria has been a well known destination for summer holidays for several decades. Even in the cold war era the tourism was a major source of revenue for the government. Having this in mind, the government developed a wide range of tourist infrastructure such as hotels, serviced beaches, entertainment and historic venues.

The Shoumen Fortress

The Shoumen Fortress

After the fall of communism this infrastructure was preserved, however it was less maintained in the early years.

Free Zone Label

A "free zone" label near a Bulgarian beach.

The property of the once state-owned hotels was partitioned between multiple private owners, who were not cooperating with each other thus neglecting the common infrastructure. During the last decade there was an intensive construction activity all over the Bulgarian coast. Some calm touristic resorts became crowded with large concrete building. The beach lines around these resorts also started to overcrowd with people who came for holidays in these buildings. The good thing is that although the beaches look overcrowded, there is still plenty of space on them. Another good side effect is that the news owners, who have invested into property, want to make profit, and the local authorities started to realize that they must work together in order to make the touristic product more competitive. New infrastructure gradually appears in order to serve all the new buildings.

Black Sea Wave

A crystal Black Sea wavelet washing the Bulgarian beach

Of course there are other benefits of having many people gathered together. There are nice night bars where the alcohol is cheap and many people who want to party. Lately there are strict regulation on the noise during the night, however there are many bars and discotheques which are specially designed to keep up without interfering with the regulations till the morning hours. This fact brings a lot of young people to spend their summer holidays in Bulgaria.

As a geek type of person, I do not like the overcrowded places. However I have a family who adores having summer holidays at sea. Last year we were about to skip the supper holidays when a relative told us about an all-inclusive offer in hotel on the coast strip in Bulgaria. It was a good last-minute offer, which was cheap, and was a good compromise between being on the beach and having a calm vacation. The offer was for an all inclusive holiday in a hotel near Varna, Bulgaria. The hotel had its own beach strip. The nice thing was that there was free wi-fi internet, free cable TV, free food, free drinks, free towels, everything basic was free as much as each person can consume.

Sozopol Moon

Sozopol Moon over the Black Sea

The room was situated to the east, overlooking the sea and the beach. It was clean and well equipped with a phone, cable TV, and nicely arranged.

Sunset from Sozopol

A sunset from my hotel room in Sozopol

The room was cleaned and the sheets were changed every day. The consumables were also changed every day. There was a central air conditioning which was crucial if I wanted to have calm hours off the beach with my laptop off the beach. There were some mosquitoes distributed with the central air conditioning, but this was a guarantee that no poisonous insecticides were influxed. We had to apply our own well known insect repellent. This ultimately solved the problem with the mosquitos.

The wifi coverage was sparse inside the hotel room, however I had brought with me a 5-meter USB cable and an 802.11g dongle. I was able to be in my bed or sitting at the table, while the dongle was deployed on the balcony or near the window. I was not the only user of the laptop. My wife was also using my laptop from time to time.

Lonely Beach, Bulgarian Coast

Lonely Beach, Bulgarian Coast

The personnel was very helpful and responsive to a small remark of mine about the shower support in the bathroom which was about to break. The problem was fixed as soon as we had left the room for a while on the very first day.
The food was distributed regularly. It was convenient to get a plate, and put everything you like in your dish, as much as you wish. The queuing for the food was very well organized and there was no delay at all. Most of the times there was no queue at all. Every time it was possible to find a table which was not occupied. The free food was low-end, but it was well balanced, abundant and sufficient.

Zargan Fish Dish

Zargan fish dish served near Rezovo

There were places where drinks were distributed. Some of the beverage handout places were working during specific hours of the day, while others were working non-stop. Around the drink distribution places on the beach there were a lot of honey bees and wasps during the day. It was a bit annoying when I was getting a drink, but it was inevitable. It is good I was not bitten or stung by any wasp or bee. It is worth to mention that although everybody was able to receive as much drinks as he or she wanted, there were no obviously drunk persons who bother the others.

Ethnic Restaurant Near Stara Zagora

Ethnic Restaurant Near Stara Zagora

There were various entertainments offered to the children while their parents spend time on the beach. The childkeeping option was included in the ultra-all-inclusive offer. There were some byproducts, as the child discotheque, which was running every evening for about an hour, and was free to be attended by everyone. It was fun to see my daughter to dance with the other children. One day, before the child discotheque, there was heavy metal music coming out of the loudspeakers, and I taught my daughter to dance heavy metal. It was like a magic to see how a two and a half years old child dances heavy metal and knows exactly how to shake her head 🙂

As a conclusion I have to say that I was extremely satisfied with the all inclusive holiday which we had in Bulgaria despite some insignificant downturns. It is crucially important to stay calm, be positive and not ruin your otherwise nice holiday and the calm grace of the hotel personnel with small problems. This year I am considering to book a holiday with an early reservation. I don’t want to miss having such nice all inclusive holiday in Bulgaria.

It is worth mentioning that Bulgaria is in the CNN’s World’s top 10 destinations for 2011. If you book an all-inclusive holiday you will probably want to stay near your hotel, however you can split your holidays into an all-inclusive part, in which you stay near your hotel, and sightseeing part, in which you travel around the country and visit archeological sites and historic places.

The Madara Rider

The Madara Rider on a rock wall near Madara, Bulgaria

Keywords: all inclusive, Bulgaria, holidays, hotel, early booking, last minute, offers, bargain, deal

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