Hugging the Black Sea, Varna Province lies in the far east of Bulgaria. It has been inhabited since the Neolithic and became a major centre of metallurgy and seafaring during the Chalcolithic period. It is named after the port city of Varna, which is renowned for its centuries-old gold treasure.
Things to do in Varna
Whether you want to sightsee in Varna or explore one of Europe’s only deserts, Varna Province won’t disappoint.
See the “Gold of Varna”. Varna is famed for its 6,000-year-old Thracian jewellery that is believed to be the oldest-known gold treasure in the world. It was discovered at the Varna Necropolis in the city’s western industrial zone and is on display in the Varna Archaeological Museum. Antiquities dating from the medieval Bulgarian Empire and Ottoman rule are also exhibited.
Visit the Aladzha Monastery. Nestled in a protected forest to the north of Varna is this Orthodox cave monastery, which dates back to the medieval period. It features a series of caves hewn into a 25-metre-high karst cliff that were inhabited for centuries. Of particular note are the monastery’s mosaics and well-preserved frescoes.
Wildlife spot in Gold Sands Nature Park. Backing a golden stretch of sand in the north of Varna Province is Golden Sands Nature Park, which provides a habitat for around 500 different plant species. Follow one of the walking trails that lead through its oak forest while keeping your eyes peeled for red deer, badgers and squirrels.
Explore the “Stone Desert” of Pobiti Kamani. One of only two naturally formed deserts in Europe, Pobiti Kamani lies in the north-west of Varna Province. It’s renowned for its stone pillars, some of which feature bulging middle sections. Join a guided tour to see these natural phenomena and learn about the wildlife species that thrive here.
Getting around Varna
Varna Airport is the main aviation gateway to Varna Province and has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Trains connect to the city of Varna from destinations across Bulgaria while buses are the main means of getting around the province.