The small fishing town Sozopol,
which is flanked by two lovely beaches, has attracted the Bulgarian arty crowd for many years, who mingle with the tourists and local people in the old and new town. The sights of Sozopol are many, varying from archeological monuments and architectural monuments, art and show, restaurants and places for entertainment to port services and yacht clubs and even – ecological tourism and subaquatic sights, but none of them can be separated from the rest since all of them impact the visitors as an attractive ensemble.
Archeologycal and Architectural Inheritance in Sozopol
The atmosphere of Sozopol is ancient and artistic. The impression is coming from the cobbled streets and high fences in front of which the old women sit and chat, knit laces and sell jams. Among the architectural monuments, more than 45 , are two ancient churches from the Renaissance period ( 14 th century) - St. Zosim Church and The Holy Virgin Church and many houses dating back to the 17 th century, several of which now-a-days are having social functions, hosting an art gallery, restaurant, medical centre and a national weekly news paper.
Other interesting places to visit are the Archeological Museum and the Art Gallery, both situated in the old town, and the excavations of the ancient necropolis on the Kharmanite beach.
As the town has more than 2 600 years of history, there are relics of different periods and cultures to be seen: Greek-Roman monuments dating back to the Antiquity and architectural monuments from Bulgarian Renaissance. The strategic position of Sozopol gave it the opportunity of holding the ways to the coast of Black Sea and the Stranja Mountains that were rich in raw materials and gave it an active intermediary part in the commerce among the Athenian sea unions, the Greek states in the Mediterranean area and the Thracian formations. Culture and art started flourishing, temples and public buildings were built, exquisite sculptures in the classical style of the ancient Greek art were made. Artefacts were made from gold, silver, bronze and marble, coins were minted.
Art and Show
Moreover, at the beginning of September each year Sozopol hosts the big Apolonia International Art Festival, which attracts artists and art lovers from all over the country and abroad. Apolonia Art Festival is the first attempt at cultural tourism in Bulgaria - and still one of the best choices that kind of experience. The festival programme is rich in events, including international theatre performances, jazz and fashion shows, chamber music and book premieres.
Among the most attractive places are Vyaturnata Melnitsa, Sozopol Tavern, Athens Tavern, the restaurants Xantana, Neptun, Drouzhba Fishing Boat, Orpheus, Olymp, Stenata, Kladentsa, Lilia. Some of these are very interesting as they are built over ancient remains after detailed archaeological research and restorations. Such an example is the Stenata Restaurant, the basement of which was used as a grain warehouse far back in time while the Kladenetsa Restaurant was built over a spring, which used to supply the town with drinking water via water pipes.
Outside Sozopol, in south direction, where the coast particularly high and jagged by the incoming waves, numerous fjord-like formations may be seen. There are numerous secluded caves as well. Some 20km to the south is the mouth of the Ropotamo River, where are declared two natural reserves - Vodna Lilia (water lily) and Velyov Vir. Via Pontica - the way of migrating birds flying to the south passes through here. Every year at the end of the summer thousands of storks, pelicans, and about 30 species of birds of prey gather in the area before they head southwards to spend the winter.
Another attraction is the isle of St. Ivan, situated just 2km away from the old town in northern direction. It’s the biggest Black Sea isle in Bulgarian territorial waters. The isle shelters a sonar lighthouse, which together with the lighthouse on the Emine cape shows the way to the Bourgas Bay. Once upon a time, the isle was a hiding place of pirates, latter it hosted a monastery called the Holy Virgin, which was later renamed into St. Ivan Prodromos. Near the isle of St. Ivan there’s a unique subaquatic phenomenon – a stone wood.
Port Sozopol is used for passenger transportation, tours and cargo shipment. There are seven ship places and a harbour station with a checkpoint. Moreover Sozopol offers yacht harbours and quays for fishing boats in the town of Sozopol. You can also take boat trips to the village of Chernomorets, the Atia Bay, or to the famous resort Dyouni