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Albena, Bulgaria

Location map: Albena
Distance to district city: 32 km.

Price Category: 1 What's this?

Sightseeing nearby: Botanic Garden

Location: The resort of Albena is situated 32 km north of Varna and just 12km south-west of Balchik on a long sand stretch in the open northern part of Varna Bay. The resortís errection was started in 1968, which makes it one of the most modern holiday cities along the Bulgarian coast. The complex lies beneath a relatively high hill and is given particular charm by the near-by forest of Baltata, a part of which is declared a protected area. The latter is also called Batova Gora (Batova Forecast) after the Batova river, in the valley of which it grows. The resortís architecture resembles one of Walter Gropius' urban models as most of the hotels have a terraced structure aimed at providing as much sun as possible in summer days. To the north the coast is steep, featuring yellow sandstone and limestone typical of the area. It is in fact this stone slope that was the main source of construction material for the resort.

History: According to some legends, Ovidius came here on his way to the country of his exile - Tomi (present Kyustendzha in Romania). The resort was given its present-day name by Albena, a female protagonist of the great Bulgarian writer Yordan Yovkov, gifted with extraordinary beauty.

Places of Interest: Besides the nearby village of Obrochishte with its well-preserved fortress dating back to Ottoman times, the village of Kranevo with remains of the ancient fortress used in Roman times and the Middle Ages is also located close to the Albena resort. Beside the fortress, Kranevo is also attractive for its mineral springs. The coast between Albena and Kranevo is high and extremely picturesque with steep rocky formations. Kranevo can be a good accomodation alternative to Albena with its prices being far lower and its great capacity of private lodgings. At the same time, its proximity to Albena makes it easy for holidaymakers to bask in the sun at Albenaís beautiful white-sand beaches during the day. Besides Kranevo, there are also three big camping sites located on the way between Kranevo and Albena and offering accommodation to tourists in bungalows and tents.

Infrastructure: The resort has modern sport facilities that apart from summer holidaymakers, are used by local and foreign sportsmen around the year. The complex is rich in tennis courts, swimming pools, children playgrounds, golf courses, etc. Places where tourists can rent bikes, cars, cutters, sail-boats, yachts, waterwheels an jets, or take a horse ride also abound.
The resort boasts with its well-organised spa and medical centres, staffed with highly qualified personnel. The mineral water springs in the resorts are hypothermic with temperature of around 300 C and low level of mineralisation (calcium, magnesium and sulfur compounds being its main elements).

Accommodation: At present the resort has about 40 hotels open for tourists, with ccategories ranging from 1 to 4 stars. Albena is one of the most expensive places in terms of accomodation along the Black Sea coast, alongside with Duni and Roussalka. On eof the most popular hotels there is the Dobroudzha Hotel, built in Swiss style. The newly erected Maastricht Hotel, built with joint Bulgarian and Dutch financing, is also notable. Other famous hotels are Dobrotitsa, Drouzhba and Zdravets. There is an accommodation bureau and small private reservation agencies.
The holiday city has a number of tennis courts, bars, casino, restaurants with night shows, children playgrounds, swimming pools, and a golf playground. One can hire a bike, cars, cutters, sailboats, yachts, waterwheels and jets or give it a try with horse riding. The whole range of water sport facilities is on offer with instructors available for those in in need of them. There is an annual auto-rally called Albena and held at the beginning of May, a folk festival for singers and dancers from the Dobroudzha region, the Zlatnata Antena (Gold Antennae) Festival for TV programs, a bridge competition (in June), beach volleyball competition (in June or July), Vladimir Grashnovís Annual Football Tournament, etc.

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Catering: Apart from the numerous restaurants at the hotels, there are many restaurants and bistros offering various dishes - from continental European and traditionally Bulgarian to Indian and Chinese cuisine. The most popular and visited places offering entertainment and excellent food: Picnic Orehite, Slavyanski Kut, Starobulgarski Stan, Flambe Restaurant, Stariyat Dub, Ribarska Hizha and especially the Arabella ship-restaurant, which serves delicious seafood.

Transport: There is regular bus transport from Balchik, Varna, the Golden Sands resort and Dobrich to Albena, comlpemented by private minibuses, route and ordinary taxis, and even sea transport from and to the small port in the resort.

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