Just 30 km from the famous resort of Varna is another tourist center of Bulgaria - Albena. This is a cozy city where people go for a vacation in a mild climate. The peculiarity of Albena is that it was built exclusively as a resort. The infrastructure has been actively developing here since 1969, so today the city surpasses the "competitors" in many respects.
Climate of Albena
The mild healing climate played an important role in the development of Albena as a popular resort. According to environmental indicators, its air is ideal: it is saturated with iodine, salts, calcium and ozone. The best swimming season begins in May, and ends by October. The average temperature in summer reaches +28 ° C - a light breeze softens the heat. In high season, the water is warmed up to +25 ° C.
Holidays in Albena
First of all, Albena was created for a beach holiday. Its coast stretches for 7 km, in width - for 150 m. In the resort area, the sea is always warm and calm, and its shallow depth is suitable for swimming safe for children. The beach is covered with fine golden sand, which makes the coast ideal for a comfortable stay. If you want to diversify your stay in the sun, you can go surfing or waterskiing.
Albena is known as a balneological resort. Every year it takes thousands of people who want to improve their health. For this purpose, there are several special centers. Hotel Dobrudja has a spa center, where mud and wellness treatments, thalassotherapy and massage are offered as wellness and wellness programs. And in the medical center "Medica" spa treatments are accompanied by treatment under the supervision of doctors. The main healing factors in Albena are estuary mud, mineral water, Bulgarian herbs and sea salts.
For active tourists, Albena offers bicycle rental, which is convenient to explore the picturesque surroundings of the resort, tennis courts and volleyball courts. There is also a large equestrian base - horseback riding along the sea and in the vicinity of Albena are available.
Sights of Albena
There are not so many attractions in Albena itself, because it was founded as a tourist city. But vacationers will not be bored. You can visit the Arat-Teke Monastery - a revered place 3 km from Albena, to which both Christians and Muslims make pilgrimages. It was founded 500 years ago as the residence of the Order of the Dervishes. Inside, the main shrine of the monastery is stored - a huge sarcophagus 4.5 meters long and 2 meters wide. Next to the tomb are the ruins of the kitchen, where the monks had meals for pilgrims.
The main attraction of Albena is of natural origin. This is the reserve of Baltata, which, from the point of view of botanists, is of extraordinary interest. On its territory 250 species of trees, flowers and climbing plants, 15 species of amphibians, 40 species of mammals and almost 180 species of birds are registered. The reserve acts as a living museum of nature, where signs are placed on all walking trails with information about the animals and plants of the park.
Excursions from Albena
From Albena it is convenient to make excursions to neighboring Balchik, where there is something to see. For example, a collection of the Historical Museum with a collection of exhibits from different eras. The oldest dates back to Roman times. No less interesting is the botanical garden at the palace of Queen Mary. There is also an Art Gallery and a rich Ethnographic Museum in Balchik.
From Albena you can go to Shumen, which does not know the shortage of monuments. Of interest in it are the Shumen fortress, the monastery of Directorate, built in the rocks, and the fortress of Madara. In the area of Shumen is the Thracian tomb, which served not only as a burial place, but also for rituals.
Shopping in Albena
There are no outlets or shopping centers in Albena. All shops and souvenir shops are concentrated on the central streets. Therefore, it is better to go to Varna for clothes, where there are 2 large shopping centers. The first is Varna Mall, which presents brands Esprit, New Yorker, Puma, Triumph, there are shops of equipment and accessories. The second shopping center is Grand Mall. Here are the stores Bershka, H&M, Guess, Liu Jo, Reserved, Stradivarius, Tally Weijl, Terranova.
Bulgarian wine should be brought as a gift from Albena. Popular varieties include Riesling, Misket, and Mavrud. Bulgarian cosmetics is no less popular, most of which is made from rose oil. The assortment includes shampoos, soap, cream, rose water, scrubs. Also, do not forget about fragrant pink jam and herbal preparations that are beneficial for the body.
Local shops are filled with pottery. To take home a product with truly Bulgarian color, you need to choose decorative plates, dishes or vases with traditional patterns. Local traditions are reflected in clothes and accessories covered with Bulgarian ornaments. Especially worth paying attention to hand-woven bags, tablecloths or cosmetic bags.
There are several artisan shops in Albena that specialize in copper products. You can buy a Turk or a plate in them. And sometimes they are made in front of the buyer.
Albena is tourist oriented - it is not a traditional Bulgarian village. Therefore, there are almost no authentic restaurants in the resort. Mainly presented beach bars, steakhouses, restaurants serving European cuisine. Among the best local establishments is the restaurant Kaliopa. It is located near the beach, in a place protected from the sun. This is a great choice for a relaxing dinner with your family. Here you can try dishes of Greek and French cuisine, seafood, traditional Bulgarian salads, desserts.
Another popular restaurant is Rai. To relax in it, you do not have to go far from the beach. The restaurant's menu includes barbecue, Bulgarian wine, seafood and traditional desserts. There is a restaurant in the center of Albena Garden palace with a wide variety of seafood, dishes of Bulgarian, Mexican and Scandinavian cuisine.
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Baltata Nature Park
On the Black Sea coast near the village of Obrochishche, near Albena, there is the Baltata Nature Reserve, which was founded in 1978 to preserve the natural dense forest at the mouth of the Batova River, which flows into the sea between Varna and Balchik. A suitable type of soil, consisting of sand and clay, and high humidity are favorable conditions for the growth of dense forest in these places. In the Baltata nature reserve, two types of trees prevail - elm and acanthus ash. They reach 30-35 meters in height. Also in the forest there are trees characteristic of broad-leaved forests: oaks, maples, wild pears, hornbeams, white poplars, white willows, etc. The average age of these trees is 45-50 years. Walking between the trees is not at all easy, because everything is overgrown with shrubs, among which are hawthorn, dogwood, blackberry, rose hip, hazel and the like. There are special trails for moving around the reserve. You can go to it right on the beach. They do not charge money for entering the territory of the Balta.
Beaches of Albena
The main treasure of Albena, founded in 1969 on a long spit, outstanding in the sea, are its beaches. The coast, intended for recreation by the water, is about 6 km long and 150 meters wide. This means that there are never so busy beaches as in Yalta or Sochi. The sea off the coast of Albena is calm, rather shallow, so you can often meet families with small children here. The absence of pitfalls, unpleasant algae, poisonous inhabitants of the sea guarantees an excellent vacation.
For the convenience of vacationers, many beaches are equipped with open-air libraries. Right on the seashore, white wardrobes are installed, in which there is literature in 15 languages of the world. The book of Bulgarian Yordan Yovkov, the main character of which is the same Albena, in whose honor the resort got its name, occupies an honorable place in beach libraries. This book has been translated into 6 languages.
A few kilometers from the resort of Golden Sands, which is adjacent to Albena, in the rocks are the remains of the Aladzha monastery dating from the XIII-XIV centuries. Several caves of natural origin were adapted for the monastery premises. The monastery, located on two levels, is led by high stone steps. To climb to the cave churches and cells of the monks, you will have to spend 20 minutes.
The name of the saint to whom the Aladzha monastery was dedicated has not been preserved by history. The name "Aladzha" is translated from Turkish as "bright, colorful." Most likely, the monastery received this name because of the colorful rocks surrounding it. Or maybe he was called so, thanks to the bright murals that have survived to this day on the walls of the local cave chapel.
There is a museum near the Aladzha monastery, and about a kilometer from the monastery there are several more caves where Christians gathered in the 4th-6th centuries. You can not inspect them, but they offer a great view of the surroundings.
Dervish Monastery in Obrochishte
The village of Obrochishte is located just a few kilometers from the resort of Albena. We can say that the resort was built near the village. It is not surprising that tourists first of all set off to explore this nearest Bulgarian village. On its outskirts, the remains of the former Dervish monastery, where the Turkish saint Akyazil Baba lived, were preserved. Christians came here to pray to St. Athanasius.
Little has been preserved from the monastery: the ayurbe (mausoleum) of Akyazyl Bab and imaret is the place where the monks once performed their rituals and received pilgrims. It is believed that the monastery was built by Alevites, a religious group that still exists in some Muslim countries. It happened in the XVI century. The tomb of Akyazyl Baba is a heptagonal structure with a small extension, built of stone. Inside, it is decorated with paintings, probably created in the late XIX - early XX centuries. Now these murals are a valuable monument.
In 2015, the Aquamania water park was opened in Albena, built according to the project of a Canadian company specializing in the construction of water amusement parks. Pools with various slides are located in an area of 30 thousand square meters.
For adults, there is an extended “Tantrum” slide, an almost vertical slope for “Free Fall” descent, and a “Pro Racer” high-speed hill, where you can arrange fun races and go down into the water for a while. There are also more quiet areas, for example, a theater on the water. Children will be able to appreciate a walk in the company of their parents along the “Lazy River”, enveloping the islands with fountains, and independently explore the depths of space, meet with not at all scary space aliens on children's versions of adult attractions.
Luna Park in Albena
Travel agencies position Albena as a resort for families. This means that there are enough places in Albena where the child can feel happy. One of them is an amusement park with various carousels, attractions, swings for the smallest. For older children, inflatable slides and trampolines of various shapes are installed. On one of them you can jump with an elastic band, however, under the supervision of adults, so as not to get injured. Kids of different ages are happy to drive around the park on two- and three-wheeled bicycles for rent.
There is entertainment for adults in Luna Park: for example, an attraction called “Rodeo”. You need to get used to the role of a cowboy and stay on the back of a spinning bull for as long as possible. It does not hurt to fall, because the bull is trying to throw his rider over soft mats.
There are many stalls in Luna Park where various sweets are sold.
Botanical Garden in Balchik
Just 10 km from Albena is the famous resort of Balchik, where the Botanical Gardens, the largest in the Balkan countries, which today belongs to the University of Sofia, and the palace of the Romanian Queen Maria, which, in fact, turned Balchik into a popular holiday destination of the Romanian nobility, are located. The palace adjoins a landscaped park with terraces, arches, green tunnels, viewing platforms, marked by elegant arbors, shady paths. The palace is dominated by a minaret. Around the mansion are built baths and a power station.
The botanical garden, founded in the middle of the last century, covers an area of 35 hectares. It planted more than 3 thousand plants donated to Balchik by botanical gardens from around the world. Gorgeous local rose garden and cactus collection.
The ruins of the fortress in Kranevo
The resort of Kranevo is 3 km from Albena. If desired, tourists can go there directly along the beach. The ruins of the ancient fortress of Kraney, which are located 1.4 km south of the center of the village, are considered the main historical site of Kranevo. The fortification of Kraney was erected in ancient times on a hill with a height of 252 m with a flat top. From the south, this hill is connected by a narrow passage with the nearest mountains. The fortress had a triangular shape and was surrounded by high walls 3 meters wide with 37-40 towers. The towers are not preserved. It was possible to enter the castle through two gates. The southern ones led onto the road to Kastrici, through the northwest one could go down to the valley. The western round tower in Byzantine times was turned into a pottery workshop. The fortress was also used during the Middle Ages: a suburb of the village of Kranevo was erected on the remains of ancient buildings. Now you can see the remains of walls and foundations of buildings.
Balneological center of Albena
The symbol of the Albena resort, which can be seen on souvenirs, is the Dobrudja Hotel, reminiscent of two sails connected at a slight angle. On the territory of this hotel is the largest balneological center in Bulgaria, where treatment based on mineral and sea water, healing mud and various medicinal plants is offered. Thermal water is suitable not only for various procedures, but also for drinking. The balneological center accepts patients with problems in the nervous system, skin diseases, diabetes, diseases of the musculoskeletal system. The appointment of treatment is carried out by qualified specialists. Albena is ideal not only for a beach holiday, but also for restoring your own health.
An unusual natural attraction is located near Albena. It can be reached only by taxi or as part of an organized tour. These are unique limestone, partially hollow columns, formed, according to scientists, several tens of millions of years ago as a result of the work of wind and rain. The time of their appearance can be judged by impregnations in limestone. With the naked eye, the remains of the shells of ancient mollusks are visible.
The largest pillars reach 6 meters in height. Many columns have already collapsed, others still adorn the green meadow. In the past, pagans and even Christians came here to conduct religious rites. Today sorcerers and psychics come, assuring that they are fed from stones with energy.
Opinions on sights of Albena
They write that: Baltata Nature Reserve is an amazingly beautiful place, rare species of vegetation and animals have been preserved here. In the monastery of Arat-Teke near Albena, you can look at the majestic domed tomb, where Saint Ak-Azal-Babu is buried, which, according to legend, helps to find lost animals. It is revered by both Christians and Muslims. Not far from Albena is the village of Obrochishte with a well-preserved very beautiful fortress from the time of the Ottoman rule.You can go on an excursion to one of the most picturesque Bulgarian cities - Balchik, look at the palace of the Romanian Queen Maria, the Botanical Garden and the museum complex.
They write that: in the immediate vicinity of the resort is the Balata Nature Reserve, where you can go on an excursion through the unique liana forest.
They write that: from Albena you can make a trip along the Batova river or a walk through the Balta forest. Not far from Albena are the ruins of the dervish monastery Arat-Teke. Every year in Albena, many celebrations and festivals are held: the May rally, the June bridge championship, the summer beach volleyball championships, the August festival of folk songs and dances.
They write that: you will certainly be captivated by night Albena. It features rich show programs in nightclubs, discotheques, bars and numerous restaurants. Another distinctive feature of Albena is the annual beauty contest, tennis tournaments and volleyball competitions, as well as a folklore festival and the automobile show "Albena".
They write that: one of the attractions of Albena is the adjoining amazing reserve "Baltata", the northernmost liana forest in the world. Albena resort is famous far beyond Bulgaria for its well-groomed territory: parks, lawns, alleys, arbors, benches, flower beds - everything here attracts with its accuracy and cleanliness. The fact is that Albena is the first private resort in Bulgaria, privatized as a single complex and is owned by one legal entity, whose shareholders are residents of the resort. That is why here they care not only about private estates, but also about the entire territory of the town.
Reviews for the resort of Albena
They were in Bulgaria for the third time from 01-16.06.09. The hotel in the resort of Albena does not correspond to 4 * only 5 * and no less. Super food, any drink, fruit, ice cream. The staff is friendly. Special thanks to the team of animators are the best in Europe. They will be your friends for the entire period of rest. The hotel staff speaks Russian.
Andrey. 43 years old, Moscow