Burgas, the fourth-largest city in Bulgaria attracts people not only with its beaches. Hot springs, lakes and a large park in the city centre give people some relief from the clamour of Black Sea resorts.
CITY OF CHURCHES
The most important monuments in Burgas are the beautifully preserved churches. The largest and most impressive is the Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Cathedral. This massive building is situated in the heart of Burgas and has a large, wooden iconostasis as well as gorgeously executed frescoes. In this church you can take photos for free, but you must remember not to shock those who are praying with how you’re dressed. Women are expected to wear a scarf or kerchief on their heads. The beauty of Armenian sacred architecture can be admired in the Holy Cross Church located next to the train station. It’s also worth visiting the St. Virgin Mary and St. Ivan Rilski churches.
ISLAND OF SECRETS
In Burgas Bay we can find Saint Anastasia Island. It holds a dark secret. During the time when a monastery still existed here, pirates attacked the island in search of missing treasure which had allegedly been hidden here. The terrified monks hid in the church and fervently prayed for Saint Anastasia to rescue them. A storm began on the sea, which broke the ship in half. The Ascension Church still stands today and is the only Bulgarian church located on an island.
Burgaski Mineralni Bani - Burgas Mineral Baths - are located near the city’s centre. The health spa is situated in a quiet neighbourhood full of orchards, vineyards and gardens. It is surrounded by picturesque landscapes. A trip there by city bus takes under 20 minutes. And when we get there, we’re welcomed not only by water that is rich in minerals (reaching a temperature of 41 degrees Celsius), but also mud baths. A spa and sanatorium are available year-round for all visitors. Remember to bring a swimsuit - or maybe even two.
After looking at sacred monuments, on a hot day one can enjoy some cool drinks in one of the numerous cafes near Sea Garden Park (Morska Gradina). The hill on which the park is situated offers a rich selection of pubs and restaurants. In the park there are many statues, including one of Adam Mickiewicz. This writer from the Romantic period spent the last weeks of his life in Burgas. The park's ideal surface attracts rollerbladers and cyclists. The entrance is near the train and bus stations, not far from the port, and the park itself stretches all the way to the northern end of the city. Amateur cyclists will find paths running through nearly the entire city.
Dobrata chrana sama se chwali -meaning, in Bulgarian, "good food speaks for itself". The cuisine of Bulgaria has borrowed all the best from its neighbours. Coffee from a cezve, baklava, kadayif and triguna (sweet desserts) came from Turkey. Many meals have origins in Greece. Tarator - a cold cucumber and garlic soup with a yogurt base - is refreshing in the summer. Meat, especially mutton, and fish or seafood are very common, but vegetarians can also find something here. Nobody can refuse the famous shopska salad - tomatoes, hot peppers, parsley and cheese that is similar to Greek feta. Vegetable pastes dominate the food culture - one must sample spicy ljutenica, ajika, delicate kyopolou and the more popular ajvar. Some of these flavours are sure to stay in your memory.