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Ahtopol, Bulgaria

Location map: Ahtopol
Known also as: Achtopol

Distance to district city: 87 km.

Price Category: 3 What's this?

Sightseeing nearby: Silistar Protected Area - Veleka River

Location: The town of Ahtopol has population of about 1,500 people and is situated over a sharply jutted cape 87km southeast of Bourgas. It has two long and beautiful beaches, the second one (further to the north of the town) being used mostly by nudists.

History: The town occupies the place of a Thracian settlement. It was probably colonised in the 6th century BC. The Romans called it Peronticus while the Byzantine leader Agaton reconstructed the town after barbarian invasions and gave it his own name, Agatopolis. The town frequently changed hands between the Byzantine Empire and the Bulgarian state. With the arrival of the Ottoman troops at the end of the 14th century, it was called Ahtenbolu. It was burnt down and devastated by sea pirates many times with the most recent fire being in 1918 when the town was completely destroyed. Remains of the town's fortress and a fountain with a carved horseman are the only traces left from old times.

Places of Interest: The Assumption Church and the St. Yani Monastery are interesting sights for tourists. In the afternoon and evenings, romantic visitors enjoy walking to the town's lighthouse and crawling over the nearby rocks next to the quay, beneath which one can see a lot of crabs and fish. Five kilometres south of Ahtopol is the mouth of Veleka River, one of the most beautiful rivers, which flow into the Black Sea, together with Kamchiya and Ropotamo. The mouth of the river is barred by a strip of sand stretching from one shore to the other, where some holidaymakers prefer to sunbathe and take turns in swimming in the river (which traditionally has a much colder water) and the sea. The village of Kosti, famous for its 'nestinarski' dances (barefoot dances on glowing embers) is situated nearby the river mouth. Further south to the border, holidaymakers can sunbathe at the beautiful beaches of Sinemoretz, Silistar and Rezovo (the latter though being a rather small one).

Accommodation: Prices in Ahtopol are rather low due to the plenty of private lodgings and bungalows outside the downtown. While some of the bungalows fall in the lowest category, others are luxurious family villas, hidden among flowers and trees. Yet the latter class usually has to be booked beforehand. Besides, one of its key assets is the highest number of sunny and hot days during the season. The resort is preferred by young people (with the most dominant group being hard rock and heavy metal fans due to the few specialised rock cafes in the town such as 'Tsunami' and Durvenoto - the latter literally meaning 'The Wooden One') and Bulgarian families with children and pets for the plenty of low-price accommodation in bungalows and villas.

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Catering: Among the most popular restaurants in the town are Morsko Oko, the Valdi Hotel's restaurant, Chetirimata Kapitani (the Four Captains), Sveti Georgi and Sirius. There is a large number of pubs down the two main streets in the town and close to the quay, offering fish specialties and traditional Bulgarian cuisine. Prices are generally low. Fishermen also sell freshly caught fish around the quay, while one can buy fruit and vegetables from local growers with improvised stalls all over the town.

Transport: There is regular bus and minibus transport to Bourgas (passing through most of the towns and villages in the southern part of the coast) and the nearby towns of Sinemoretz and Rezovo (the latter being already a part of the border area) to the south.

More information about Ahtopol:
The Southern Beaches of Bulgaria's Black Sea Coast

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