Nessebar: A Rare and Ancient Pearl

Like a precious heirloom, a trip to the "Pearl of the Black Sea," Nessebar, is something to treasure forever. Embedded in the eastern coast of the Bulgarian oyster, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is both a resort town and an open-air museum.

An architectural banquet awaits you within the town gate, where remnants of Greek, Byzantine, and Medieval walls line the streets. Roman pavements, Turkish baths, and 13th century frescoes are other reminders of the town’s glorious past. Step inside the Archaeological Museum, and browse through its collection of pottery, iconic art, and stone-carved figures. If you’re the religious type, there are holy relics that will interest you. You’ll be able to piece together the colourful history of Nessebar, an epic tale that spans several millennia.

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Each church has its own story to tell, too. The New Bishops' Residence, or St. Stefan, features realistic mural paintings representative of Bulgarian art in the 10th to 11th centuries. You’ll see woodcarvings from the 18th to 19th centuries on the bishop’s throne and on the pulpit. End your tour at the Church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, a structure made of brick, clay, and stone. Some claim this is the most beautiful church ever built. Arguably so, but the colourful rosette embellishments definitely give the structure an ornate touch.

If you think it's time to give your tattered sandals a rest, lie back at Sunny Beach, where the scenery soothes you with lush forests, vast dunes, and rushing rivers. The kids can cannonball into the waves, while you go water skiing, yachting, or surfing. When the sun goes down, hit the discos, night clubs, and restaurants as you party your Bulgaria holiday away.

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