Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts have been popular holiday haunts for more than a century, though it wasn’t until the 1960s that the coastline was developed for mass tourism, with Communist party officials from across the former Eastern Bloc descending on the beaches each year for a spot of socialist fun in the sun. Since then, the resorts have mushroomed, growing increasingly sophisticated as the prototype mega-complexes have been followed by holiday villages. With fine weather practically guaranteed, the selling of the coast has been a success in economic terms, but with the exception of ancient Sozopol and touristy Nesebar, there’s little to please the eye. Of the coast’s two cities – Varna and Burgas – the former is by far preferable as a base for getting to the less-developed spots.

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