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Short Break Summer Destinations

Date: 01.06.2009

It is a question of good research and luck to get your dream summer vacation come true on the Bulgarian seaside. But it takes even more drive and good planning to devise the ultimate short break here - picking a coastal city to celebrate an anniversary or spend a weekend, to be the polar opposite of your hectic office week.

Although not everyone is a fan of the short break, no one is adverse to swapping domestic routines for a taste of self-indulgent downtime, or some pampering in a luxury hotel.

The major resorts on the Bulgarian Black sea coast, with their relaxed way of life, stunning beaches, clear blue skies and high-class accommodation, are a powerful draw for tourists. And even people whose batteries take longer to recharge should not balk at traveling the distance for just a few days.

Albena, Golden Sands and Sunny Beach are all holiday addresses, destined by nature. The first two are located in the northern part of the Bulgarian Black Sea Riviera, while the third lies in its southern part, only 35 km away north of the city of Burgas. Natural conditions in all three of them favour bathing and basking in the sun from May through October.

In getting there from either abroad or inside the country, most travelers face the challenges of highway services. These areas are definitely not luxury resorts, but they are quite expensive, charging inflated prices. One need not love highway service areas to admit however that on Sofia-Varna highway they are vastly better than they used to be if you need a cup of coffee, a sandwich, a spot of lunch or a pee. Discerning travelers, who may even find the coffee pretty ghastly, might take some chicken or sandwiches, so that they don't have to stop at all.

When on the road beware of misleading, old signs and signboards which should but have not been removed. When you enter the Golden Sands resort, for example, do not let yourself be misdirected by the Stop sign - it is old and is not valid any more. So when in doubt, you'd better stop and ask the locals.

Things start to seem much brighter once you reach the resorts. They provide playground for the whole family - high-class service alongside exceptional facilities for the children.

Accommodation is not that easy to find so you'd better make bookings in advance. Prices start at about BGN 20 per person but travelers prepared to dig deeper into their pockets can find more opulence and luxury in four-star hotels.

Under the watchful gaze of the beach guards and along the streets that crosses the resorts, serenity is what strikes the traveler the most until dusk falls and the place bursts into an explosion of colors and sounds. Few painters in today's Bulgaria enjoy that much renown per square inch as those who display their works along the streets of the resorts, with evenings being the time when they reap most of their rewards. This is also the time when the resorts offer tourists all the glamour of nightlife with none of its frustrations and lurking dangers. One feels safe not only in the nightclubs and numerous restaurants, but also while taking his after-dinner walk.

Regular visitors will see that restaurant owners seek to diversify the tricks to coax customers to spend more - live music in almost every place, dancing waiters. The service and food are generally good, though it takes no expert to see that most of the waiters are not professionally trained.

If you choose a restaurant by the sea you run the risk of spoiling your romantic dinner because of rather nasty insects called zhetvarki. Attracted by the bright lights they seem to have invaded all the places along the beach and turn into a real pest in July and August.

Regular visitors would also be quick to point another criticism, namely the lack of diversity in the entertainments offered. And if this shortcoming can make your two-week vacation a bit boring, it may be turned to good use by packing it all into two or three days.

Statistics show that Bulgarians start to see the web as a good option to plan their vacation, while online holiday bookings by users abroad are on the rise. Undoubtedly online research is a good start to find out how to make the best of the remaining summer days with a short break in one of Bulgaria's major resorts.

Even if in so doing you end up spending half as many hours traveling as you do luxuriating there.

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