History and modernity collide in the most forgivable way in this glistening Black Sea gem. Holidays in Varna - the capital of Bulgaria's coastal resorts - are both rich in heritage and shimmering with style. So whatever you are looking for out of a holiday, Varna's sights and attractions - including its lovely beaches - are sure to satisfy.
You'll be walking across the footsteps of time as you stroll through history in this remarkable city; the Romans left their mark here and many of the impressive remains are regarded as some of the most important outside of Italy. The Roman baths complex, for example, is not to be missed, while the enthralling archaeology museum is excellent and delivers a fascinating insight into Bulgarian life 2,000 years ago under Roman rule. The Romans, Phoenicians, Thracians and Greeks all put their stamp on this remarkable port, and much of that heritage can still be seen.
There's no chance of you missing the comforts of the modern age on Varna holidays, though, as the historic sights are surrounded by an ultra-modern, but thoughtfully designed metropolis. And you won't be short of places to eat. Fashionable restaurants sit temptingly along the coast, beckoning you in with local dishes. So be adventurous and sample some Bulgarian delights such as mekitsa, a delicious variety of donut, washed down with the national tipple of rakia - a strong fruit brandy that goes well with the shopska salad.
Sun worshippers won't be disappointed either as the powdery sands - lapped by the calm ripples of the Black Sea - are vast and welcoming. And neither will shoppers, who will love getting lost in the emporiums and boutiques hidden in the streets behind restaurants, bars and estate agents.
Flights to Varna from UK airports are plentiful in the summer months. You can fly to Varna Airport (VAR) or Bourgas Airport (BOJ), which is just an hour away.
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From June to August, Varna basks in balmy days that average in the late twenties, but a gentle sea breeze regulates a comfortable temperature. Varna is not a popular holiday destination outside the peak summer months, however, as winter temperatures can drop to 0C.
Epiphany; January: It may be out of season, but this is the day Varna honours its local hero Hristo Botev - a poet and revolutionary. Flowers are laid at his Seaside Garden monument before a large crowd marches to Varna Bay where they cast a cross into the sea.
St George's Day; May: An impressive military parade snakes through the streets to mark what is also known as “The Day of the Bulgarian Army”. Wreaths are laid at various war memorials before the dancing and partying begins.
International Folk Festival; August: Each year the biggest and best folk bands gather to display their talents as the whole region descends upon Varna for in this huge event. Folk ensembles are big in Bulgaria, so don't underestimate the crowds, and make sure you book hotels early during this week.
Best of Varna holidays for...
Babies and toddlers: Little ones will love the Aquapolis water park and its wealth of slides.
Nightlife: Varna, despite the weighty sweep of the history brush, is a very modern place with nightclubs and music venues that are the envy of Europe.
Active types: Find the energy to climb the 133 spiralling steps to the top of Varna Cathedral and you will be rewarded with a view like no other.