At the end of May, the temperature outside is almost summery and we are starting to think of the sea and the beach more and more. And while it may be too early to take our annual leave, we can always steal a weekend to go to the shore.
One of the advantages of Plovdiv is undoubtedly its central location and its proximity to the mountains (Rhodopes, Stara Planina) and the Southern Black Sea coast, which we can reach in less than 3 hours by car. This is the fastest and most convenient route - on the highway to Burgas. It is quite achievable even to take a day trip and go home in the evening, because at the moment the light part of the day is long enough, and the traffic jams typical for the holidays haven’t started.
However, during the active season, Friday afternoon and Sunday evening are an extremely busy time to travel and traffic jams or accidents occur often. In case you aren’t in a hurry and don’t like the high speed, you can go to the sea on the Sub-Balkan Road, which is incredibly picturesque and offers interesting detours. Karlovo, Kalofer, Kazanlak are just a few of the places to relax, explore and then continue to the seaside.
The preferred option for people without cars is rail transport. The night train is quite convenient, and you’ll arrive just before sunrise and have the whole day in front of you for sunbathing or walking. For hotel accommodation it is convenient to catch the early morning course, which reaches Burgas around noon. From there you can use bus transport to the resort towns or arrange a taxi (this is the more expensive option). The train journey usually takes between 4-5 hours and we recommend the fast composition and direct transport. The price of a seat in the first class is about BGN 20 in one direction, BGN 16 in the second class. Part of the line was recently updated, so the reviews are for a comfortable trip.
Bus transportation is also an option, as there are departing vehicles from both the South Bus Station and the North Bus Station. The options for classes are different, but again, perhaps the most appropriate is the first bus in the morning. The convenience here is that there are buses that leave you directly to some of the seaside resorts. The ticket price starts from a little over BGN 21 per direction and depends on exactly how far you will travel.
There is no air transport from Plovdiv and Sofia to the Southern Black Sea Coast, but if you are heading north there are daily flights from Sofia Airport to Varna. For those traveling from Plovdiv, the options are again the above, and for road transport you can use the Trakia highway and then the road Sunny Beach - Varna, or go through Petolachkata and Rishki Pass. From the capital, the Hemus highway is most often used.
In the big sea cities - Varna and Burgas, there are airports that during the summer season are loaded with charter flights from Great Britain, Israel and others. If you arrive directly on the coast, you can use our travel recommendations to have a trip to the oldest living city in Europe and immerse yourself in the sights of Plovdiv.
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