Bulgaria is one of the newer holiday destinations of recent years, mainly because of the cheapness of eating out. I’ve heard stories of three course meals for next to nothing; so of course, I had to look into this further! Low cost dining is great if you’re holidaying with the whole family, as so much of your spending money can disappear on hungry tummies, and leave little for adventurous explorations.
A large resort on the sunny Black Sea coast, Golden Sands is a haven for pretty much everyone, from those seeking party action, and, more significantly, families looking for affordable summer fun.
The flight lasts around three hours; great for little fidgets who don’t like to stay still for too long, and many low-cost airlines offer fantastic fares. A great way to cut costs when travelling as a group is to pre-book airport extras. I recently tried parking at Gatwick and was really impressed. By travelling up to the airport in your own car, rather than a taxi, you’re likely to save on fuel, and won’t be so worried about having to ask for yet another toilet stop!
But once you’re away from the travelling traumas (well, hopefully it’s not all that bad!) the resort itself is picturesque, set in woods and hills, steeping down to a wide, clean beach, and providing plenty of opportunity for everyone to let off steam! Happily, the transfer from the airport is only around half an hour – something I look for in a resort, especially in summer temperatures.
This is my kind of resort, because it’s a traditional summer holiday –based around the beach, with lots of water-sports, plenty of excursions and many bars and restaurants – my idea of a fun holiday that the whole family will enjoy.
Golden Sands literally has golden sands; ideal for sandcastles and burying Dad when he’s asleep! And the clear sea water makes the perfect backdrop for a day’s relaxation. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not give one of many water-sports a try, like parasailing! I tried this once and would love to do it again –the views are amazing.
Away from the beach, there’s plenty to see and do. Thankfully, the bus service is reliable, and many street vendors offer excursions. I’d recommend haggling, often if there’s a few of you, or you book more than one trip, as you may get a discount. Haggling doesn’t come easy, it certainly didn’t to me, but with a little practice it’s really quite fun.
So excursions –there’s the one that I always do – the boat-trip. A relaxing day floating around the coastline, taking in the sights, and topping up my tan –perfect!
I’d recommend visiting the city of Varna, and for the Indiana Jones of your brood, the Varna Museum of Archaeology is a fast-track way to learn about the city’s history. The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin is a definite must-visit for awe-inspiring architecture.
Around the resort, there are plenty of energetic pursuits should the mood take you, but if all that sounds a little too much, there’s a huge water-park nearby, Aquapolis. I do enjoy a water-park, it’s a great day out for everyone, and you don’t need to be a child to enjoy it.
So what about night-time? Well I like variety, and Golden Sands caters for that. There are many bars, clubs and restaurants, all offering something different. I like to try traditional cuisine, and Bulgarian food is especially fresh and healthy, not to mention cheap. Entertainment-wise, hotels usually have traditional dance shows which are bound to inspire young dancers, or alternatively, the beachfront is where the action happens, with lively bars and clubs. Of course, I heard the rumour and it turns out to be true –drinks are cheap here, so nights out won’t break the bank.
When travelling with a family, it is important to consider budget, so check out Luton airport parking to save pennies and convenience. Alternatively, Stansted airport parking is equally as useful, both offering surprisingly low rates. I can’t rate airport parking highly enough; who really wants to load up luggage and children onto tightly-packed public transport? There’s really no hope of relaxation! Let the kids snooze in their back seats of the family car instead, so you can arrive at the airport relaxed and ready to holiday!
Bulgaria wasn’t one of the first places to spring to mind, however on looking into it, it’s certainly up there with the in-places to go for a family summer holiday. Try it for yourself.