Looking for an authentic local beach experience in Bulgaria? Pack up your picnic and prepare for a dip in Bolata Bay!
You won’t find toilets on this beach, but if you’re lucky, you won’t find any people either.
What is Bolata Beach?
Bolata Beach is a small cove with a sandy beach, surrounded by rust-colored cliffs on Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast. It is generally quieter than other public beaches, and the water is clear and beautiful.
This beach was formerly inaccessible as it was part of a military zone, but it is now open to the public and free to visit.
Where is Bolata Beach?
Bolata Beach is located in the Dobrich region of Bulgaria. Not far from Varna and Balchik, one of our favorite areas of Bulgaria.
The nearest towns are Balgarevo and Kavarna. The nearest larger city is Dobrich, about an hour away by car.
Best Time to Go to Bolata Beach
Despite Bolata being a more secretive beach, it can get quite busy in the summer, especially on weekends.
If you are visiting in the off season, or on a weekday, it should not be too busy. During peak days try to arrive early in the morning, or late afternoon.
Bulgaria is not a country that is balmy year round. So while you could visit Bolata at any time of year, it will be quite cold in the winter and definitely not suited for swimming!
The best time of year to visit would probably be September, for nice warm weather without the summer crowds.
Getting to Bolata Beach
Bolata Beach is not hard to get to, and you can actually drive right up to it, despite how it looks with the cliffs around it.
Unfortunately you will have to drive. There is no public transit up to the beach.
From the main highway between Balgarevo and Cape Kaliakra, it is only 2 kms on a narrow paved road.
It may be possible to take a taxi from Balgarevo, or even have them drop you off at the highway turnout, and walk the last 2 kms. Getting back would be a challenge however.
I know driving in a foreign country is not for everyone, but Bulgaria is not too bad. (Outside of the city centers that is!)
Some beach-goers choose to park along the roadside, but there is space to pull out and park close to the beach, and a few people even drive onto the beach.
Visiting Bolata Beach
There is not a lot near Bolata Beach, which is good in terms of it staying a little less busy than other Black Sea beaches. However there are no facilities at Bolata, nor is there a place to purchase food.
What to Bring
In the summer time there may be some small snack vendors, but this is nothing like Varna where you can have a sit down meal on the beach. (Unless of course, you pack it yourself!)
If you want to have a meal, you will need to bring it with you.
Be sure to use the restroom before you arrive, pack plenty of water and snacks, and bring a bag for your trash.
What to Do
Of course beyond the obvious swimming and sunbathing, you can also climb the red cliffs that surround Bolata, and admire the view over the sea.
It is magnificent!
There is also a lighthouse, if you wanted to take some interesting photos.
Swimming at Bolata Beach
The water at Bolata is crystal clear and fairly calm, thanks to both the protection of the cove, and the breakwater. It is a great place to wade and swim!
It is also generally less windy at Bolata because of the cliffs.
Where to Stay Near Bolata Beach
There are a few villas for rent in Balgarevo, but they tend to be larger and more expensive than the Bulgarian standard. If you have a larger family, then that may be a good choice.
For apartment type accommodation, you will have more luck in Kavarna, which is slightly larger.
If you don’t know if you want to stay in the area, Balchik is beautiful (and larger) and there are lots of things to see in the area. It is still only about 30 minutes drive from Bolata.
You will be able to find a nice guesthouse, hotel, or apartment between $30 and $100 per night, depending on the size of your group. ($100 per night should be a fairly nice villa.)
Restaurants Near Bolata Beach
As I said before, there is really nothing to eat near Bolata. Your best bet would be a picnic lunch, but the very closest restaurant (geographically speaking) is at Cape Kaliakra, a 15 minute drive away.
I say “geographically” because Kaliakra is just over 4 kms away from Bolata, but acually takes longer to drive to than the 6 kms back to Balgarevo (10 minutes).
Besides the possibility of a roadside stall, the closest market would be in Balgarevo, along with any other restaurants.
Things to See and Do Near Bolata Beach
Located just 15 minutes from Bolata, Cape Kaliakra is a spectacular cliff peninsula and tourist attraction. There are the remnants of an ancient city, and a ruined fort.
Because of its strategic location, Kaliakra has been the site of many important battles through the centuries.
Today you can walk around and enjoy the view, visit the fortress ruins, and even have something to eat.
If you are looking for a city to visit near Bolata, Dobrich is close by and gets very little love from tourists.
Two things that Bulgaria does very well are city parks and pedestrian streets, and Dobrich is no exception. The old town is smaller than some other cities, but if you are looking for an authentic “life in Bulgaria” experience, Dobrich is a good option.
Varna is one of our favorite Bulgarian cities. There is a huge Sea Garden, amazing old town pedestrian area, and interesting ruins to explore.
Of course Varna also has its fair share of beaches!
For a city stay in a location with lots to do nearby, Varna is a fabulous choice!
The Balchik area is between Varna and Bolata and is a beautiful spot on the Black Sea coast.
Home to Balchik Palace, and not far from Aladzha Monastery and Golden Sands, Balchik is a pleasant underrated seaside town.