Sunny Beach (Bulgarian: Слънчев бряг, Slanchev Bryag) is a major seaside resort on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, located approximately 35 km north of Burgas in Nessebar municipality, Burgas Province.
It is the largest and most popular holiday resort in Bulgaria, and is home to over 800 hotels with more than 300,000 beds.
Sunny Beach has a very small permanent population, but during the summer the resort is home to many thousands of tourists. The main strip of high-rise hotels backing onto the beach is several kilometres long and extends along a wide bay between Sveti Vlas and Nessebar.
There are 130 restaurants and numerous live music bars, pubs, nightclubs, discos and cafes. It has been undergoing continuous expansion for many years. In recent years almost the whole hotel base has been renovated and several new luxurious hotels have been built as well as many apartment complexes.
It is widely believed in Bulgaria that Sunny Beach was heavily overdeveloped in the 2000s to the detriment of its greenery, former serenity, safety and the quality of public services.
The resort's construction began back in Communist times, in 1958. Construction works began at a site, where two old wells supplying Nessebar with water in ancient times and during the Middle Ages had been located.
The climate of the area is Mediterranean, explaining Sunny Beach's popularity with tourists since the Soviet Union existed. Since that time the resort's popularity has grown among German holidaymakers, who add to the already large numbers of Russian visitors.
- Note: Some of the information provided here may be outdated due to inflation.
Sunny Beach (Sunny Beach bus station) is well connected by bus with all larger Bulgarian cities. For example: Sunny Beach to Varna costs 12 Leva (6 Euro) as of August 2012. There is no direct connection by train. The first passenger railway station is Burgas.
Taxi fee around the resort insides and the town of Nessebar is fixed at 3 Leva/km as of August 2012.
Inside bus transport ticket costs 1 Lev as of August 2012.
Attractions for tourists include the sunning at the beach, water sports and the nearby historical site of Nessebar. There are two aqua parks near the resort. Sunny Beach is mainly popular amongst young people for its nightlife and banter. The most famous beach bars and night clubs are Cacao Beach, Bedroom Beach Club and Briliantin Beach Bar. Sunny Beach Lunapark is an amusement park in the center. The most extreme attractions are the roller coaster, Carousel DISK'O, a Booster and many others. The Golden Orpheus International Festival of Popular Song, the Decade of Symphonic Music, part of the International Folklore Festival, fashion-shows and various beach competitions are held there.
The BBC have broadcast the programme Booze, Bar Crawls and Bulgaria: Stacey Dooley Investigates. This focused on the negative aspects of the Sunny Beach resort such as excessive drinking, overpriced private medical treatment and the availability of illegal drugs.
Channel 4 have commissioned Dragonfly Film and Television Productions to film three episodes of the next series of What Happens in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria. The show portrays the activities of Brits who escape their mundane lives to enjoy the lawlessness of Sunny Beach. The behavior they display would not be tolerated in any residential city, but Sunny beach was built for "hedonism" (a word that's repeatedly thrown around in the show). The youngsters, who don't seem to mind being filmed, share with the cameras moments of their lives that they might soon come to regret. In this list of activities are: dancing on bar tops (in the nude), eating lunch with a mate (in the nude), and a birthday celebration that included fireworks being inserted into the birthday-boy's rectum and ignited, which led to a bloody emergency room visit (this was in the nude as well).
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