What To Know Before Traveling to Golden Sands Resort, Bulgaria

Golden Sands is a holiday resort located on the Northern part of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Its construction finished in 1966, after 10 years of 3-staged strategic construction. The distance to the city of Varna is 17 km., offering easy access to the social and cultural life the city has to offer in every season. 

The climate in the area is mild, moderately continental, close to the climate of the famous Mediterranean resorts, with the sea breeze balancing the summer heat. The average daytime air temperature in the summer months is 27 °C, and sea water temperature of 24 °C, without large temperature amplitudes. Summer is long and warm, so sunbathing is possible from May to October. Natural springs offer the opportunity for year-round SPA holidays in the area.

Golden Sands offers 90 hotels, from luxury beachfront properties to more basic but cozy options. It is a captivating coastal destination and is one of the three main seaside resorts in Bulgaria. One of the highlights of Golden Sands are its beautiful sandy beaches, which is where the name comes from. With its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, vibrant nightlife, rich history, and stunning natural beauty, this resort is the perfect vacation spot for those seeking relaxation and adventure. 

Why visit Golden Sands, Bulgaria?

Golden Sands in Bulgaria is a popular destination known for its beautiful sandy beaches, entertainment options, and natural attractions. Here is a list of reasons to visit Golden Sands Resort:

  1. Sandy Beaches: Golden Sands is renowned for its long, sandy beaches that stretch for several kilometers along the Black Sea coast.
  2. Natural Beauty: the resort is surrounded by lush greenery and features a national park, providing a picturesque backdrop for relaxation.
  3. Blue Flag Beaches: the beaches at Golden Sands have been awarded the Blue Flag, indicating high environmental and quality standards.
  4. Sea Views: enjoy stunning views of the Black Sea from the beach, hotels, and various viewpoints around the resort.
  5. Water Sports: the resort offers a variety of water sports, including jet skiing, parasailing, and windsurfing, catering to adventure enthusiasts.
  6. Mineral Springs: Golden Sands is known for its mineral springs, and visitors can experience spa treatments and wellness activities.
  7. Entertainment Complex: the resort features a vibrant entertainment complex with numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants for a lively nightlife experience.
  8. Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Golden Sands is suitable for families, offering kid-friendly activities, playgrounds, and family-oriented accommodations.
  9. Aquapolis Water Park: families and thrill-seekers can enjoy the Aquapolis Water Park, featuring water slides, pools, and various attractions.* The Aquapolis Aqua Park is currently closed for renovation. The Albena aqua-park is also located nearby.
  10. Dining Options: explore a diverse range of dining options, from local Bulgarian cuisine to international dishes, catering to different tastes.
  11. Shopping Opportunities: the resort has various shops and markets where visitors can buy souvenirs, clothing, and local products.
  12. Nightlife: Golden Sands is known for its vibrant nightlife, with beach bars, clubs, casinos, and discos providing entertainment until the early hours.
  13. Cultural Attractions: explore nearby historical sites, including the Aladzha Monastery and the city of Varna, to experience Bulgaria’s rich cultural heritage.
  14. Spa and Wellness Centers: pamper yourself with spa and wellness treatments offered by the resort’s hotels and specialized centers.
  15. Outdoor Activities: engage in outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, or simply strolling along the seaside promenade.
  16. Festivals and Events: Golden Sands hosts various festivals, events, and cultural performances throughout the year, providing entertainment for visitors.
  17. Affordable Destination: Bulgaria, in general, is known for its affordability, making Golden Sands an attractive destination for travelers on a budget.
  18. Accessibility:Golden Sands is easily accessible, with Varna International Airport nearby, making it convenient for international visitors. Bulgaria is part of the European Union and there is no visa requirement for citizens of the member states.
  19. Safety: as part of the EU, Bulgaria has a very low crime rate, and Golden Sands is one of the safest seaside resorts in the country, with a number of additional policemen being commissioned to the seaside every year to ensure a safe a pleasurable summer vacation for the travellers.
  20. Modern Accommodations: the resort offers a range of modern accommodations, including hotels and resorts with amenities to suit different preferences.
  21. Sunsets Over the Sea: experience breathtaking sunsets over the Black Sea, creating a romantic and serene atmosphere.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural exploration, Golden Sands Resort offers a diverse range of attractions and activities for a memorable vacation.

golden sands beach umani

When was the Golden Sands Resort founded?

The resort’s construction began in 1956, under the guidance of chief architect Georgi Ganev, together with 30 Bulgarian architects. The construction of most of the large hotel complexes and entertainment facilities included in the original plan of the resort took about 10 years. According to the concept of that time, the resort was to combine the possibility of family tourism by the sea with one of the most renowned balneo-therapy centers in our country. The project’s was constructed in three stages. During the first, small, mainly two-story hotels were built along the beach. Later, the hotel complexes and entertainment venues appeared on the second and third lines.

Golden Sands’ last phase of construction was finished in 1966 with the count of 70 hotels with 15,000 beds. Thus, in actuality, Bulgaria started to construct a comprehensive program to position the nation as a marine tourism destination in Europe.

What is the Golden Sands Nature Park?

In 1943, Golden Sands Nature Park was designated as a protected area. The total size of Golden Sands Park is 177.13 hectares. Because of its statute of a nature park, the majority of the park has been left mostly unaltered by human activity. Its proximity to the sea, moderate climate, and sea breezes have all had a significant impact on the park’s flora and fauna, setting it apart from other national parks. There are over 500 different plant species in the flora. A thicket of large, broad-leaved trees, entwined in lianas at their higher points, softly slopes down to the coast.

Where is Golden Sands on the World Map?

Golden Sands is located on the Black Sea coast, in the Municipality of Varna, on the North-East part of Bulgaria in Eastern Europe. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the “Golden Sands” Nature Park. The coordinates of the resort are 43.2911076°N 28.0268417°E.  The closest city is Varna, located 17 km. away, and can be reached by car, public transportation (buses) and by taxi. For sports enthusiasts, biking is also an option. See the section below for full information.

Transportation and getting around Golden Sands, Bulgaria

Golden Sands is well-connected to various modes of transportation, making it within easy reach for both domestic and international visitors.

Traveling to Golden Sands by plane

For travelers arriving by air, Varna Airport serves as the closest gateway to Golden Sands. Located just 23 kilometers away, this modern airport offers regular flights to major European cities and serves as a hub for several airlines. From the airport, visitors have multiple options to reach their destination. Taxis are readily available outside the terminal building, providing a convenient way to get directly to Golden Sands. Alternatively, public buses also operate between Varna Airport and Golden Sands at regular intervals. An example rout to reach Umani Hotel is to take bus number 409 from the Airport and get off at the Journalist bus stop, then walk app. 18 minutes to the hotel. Most hotels offer transfers that can be pre-ordered, at a slightly higher price than taxis.

Traveling to Golden Sands by car

There are several main roads and highways to Varna, from where Golden Sands is easily accessible. 

  • Coming from East, you can take the Hemus highway Sofia-Varna, or the Trakia highway from Sofia to Burgas and then take the Burgas-Varna road and Cherno More highway; please note that sections of the trips for all options include roads that are not highway;
  • Coming from the North:
    • from Bucharest the fastest way is through the Danube city of Ruse, although alternative routs through Dobrich are also popular;
    • from Constanta take E675 which will transform to road 29 in Bulgaria through the city of Dobrich to Varna;
    • from the South: take rout E87 or the seaside road 99 until you reach the Cherno More highway to Varna;

Distance to main nearby European cities:

  • Golden Sands is located 457 km from Sofia, Bulgaria;
  • The distance is 282 km from Bucharest, Romania;
  • The distance from Constanta, Romania is 143 km;
  • The distance from Brasov, Romania is 505 km;
  • The distance from Chișinău, Moldova is 555 km;
  • The distance from Thessaloniki, Greece is 713 km;
  • The distance from Istanbul, Turkey is 467 km;

Transportation in and around the resort

Once in Golden Sands, getting around the resort is relatively straightforward due to its compact size and efficient transport infrastructure. The main mode of transportation within the resort area is walking. With its pedestrian-friendly streets and picturesque promenade along the golden sandy beachfront, exploring on foot allows visitors to soak in the vibrant atmosphere while enjoying breathtaking views of the Black Sea. Additionally, numerous hotels and attractions are within close proximity to each other, making it convenient for tourists to navigate through this bustling seaside town. The walking distance from Hotel Umani to the center of Golden Sands is about 10 minutes, a few minutes away from the beach and from Riviera resort.

For those who prefer alternative means of transport or wish to explore further afield, there are several options available in Golden Sands. Bicycle rentals offer an eco-friendly way of traversing both within the resort area and venturing into nearby natural attractions such as Aladzha Monastery or Baltata Nature Reserve. Additionally, local buses provide an affordable mode of transport for exploring neighboring towns or visiting cultural landmarks like Varna’s Archaeological Museum. Car hire is another preferred alternative for day trips.

Parking in Golden Sands

The Golden Sands resort offers various parking options. Most of the hotels have a limited number of outdoor parking spaces, or underground garages, with some providing the service as part of the hotel rate for its guests with no additional charge, while other properties may charge extra for car park. The guests of Umani Hotel, Golden Sands, can park free of charge on the Dimitar Hadzhiyanev Street in front of the main entrance of the hotel, or can use the underground garage for extra charge, both options are subject to availability.

There are 17 paid parking options for those, whose hotels do not offer car parks or are coming to Golden Sands for a day trip. Some of these parking and garage variants are located within hotels. Prices start from 3 BGN per hour and 20 BGN for 24 hours.

If you are visiting Golden Sands with a car, first check with the hotel the availability of a car park and their current pricing. To avoid extra expenses, look for hotels offering free of charge parking.

Please note that vehicles that are parked outside the official parking areas will be towed away. Towed vehicles are taken to a “Lifted cars” parking lot near Lotos hotel. Charges for the towing, parking ticket, and for the number of hours stay at the lifted cars parking will apply.

Weather and climate in Golden Sands

The weather and climate in the Golden Sands sea resort are conducive to an enjoyable seaside getaway, with pleasant temperatures and a moderate amount of rainfall throughout the year.

The resort’s location on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria means it benefits from a maritime climate. This results in mild winters and warm summers, making Golden Sands an attractive destination for tourists seeking relaxation by the sea.

beach in golden sands bulgariaHere are some key features of the weather and climate in Golden Sands:

  • Warm Summers: Summers in Golden Sands are warm and inviting. Average temperatures range from 20°C (68°F) to 30°C (86°F), providing ample opportunity for sunbathing on the golden sandy beaches or taking a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Black Sea.
  • Mild Winters: The winter months in Golden Sands are relatively mild, with average temperatures ranging from 6°C (43°F) to 11°C (52°F). While it can get chilly at times, snowfall is rare, allowing visitors to still enjoy outdoor activities without being hindered by extreme cold.
  • Pleasant Spring: Springtime brings blooming flowers and pleasant temperatures to Golden Sands. With average highs reaching around 18°C (64°F), it’s an ideal time for nature walks or exploring nearby attractions such as Aladzha Monastery or Aquapolis water park.
  • Comfortable Autumn: Autumn is another delightful season to visit Golden Sands. Temperatures gradually cool down after summer, ranging from around 15°C (59°F) in September to about 10°C (50°F) in November. This time of year offers a quieter atmosphere while still providing enjoyable weather for outdoor activities.
  • Moderate Rainfall: Golden Sands experiences a moderate amount of rainfall throughout the year. The wettest months tend to be June and July, when thunderstorms may occur. However, these showers often pass quickly and do not significantly disrupt outdoor plans.

Overall, whether you visit during spring, summer, autumn, or even winter, Golden Sands offers a favorable climate for a memorable seaside holiday.

The combination of mild winters, warm summers, and moderate rainfall ensures that visitors can enjoy the beach and outdoor activities throughout most of the year.

How long is the beach at Golden Sands Resort?

The resort’s beach is 3.5 km long and stretches over 100 meters in certain areas. It is renowned as one of the best sandy beaches in Europe, with the fine golden sand covering the flat and even shore. There are no rocks or abrupt changes in the bottom; the sandy floor drops softly into the ocean. If you prefer a more picturesque seashore, the resort offers small beaches with lush greenery at the outskirts of the resort, such as the beach below Umani Hotel, Golden Sands, also known as Trifon Zarezan.

Sea waters that are quiet, pure, and have less salt in them than, say, the Mediterranean Sea, along with fish and other species that aren’t harmful to people, make them ideal for swimming underwater and for bathing kids.

The Golden Sands beaches offer sunbeds and umbrellas 

How many hotels does Golden Sands offer?

The resort offers a total of 90 hotels, according to the National Statistical Institute as of 2023. The star ratings range from 2 to 5 for both seasonal and year-round accommodation. In addition, the resort offers a few villas, as well as apartment buildings. The hotels’ stars are allocated by the Bulgarian Ministry of Tourism based on a strict criteria of minimal amenities and services offered.

The luxurious hotels of 4 an 5 starts, such as Hotel Umani – one of the chicest Golden Sands hotels – offer opulent rooms with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, mini-bars, free of charge Wi-Fi, and private balconies overlooking the stunning coastline. Their elegant lobby bar decor and spacious layouts create a truly indulgent experience for guests. Many hotels boast swimming pools, spa centers, fitness facilities, and restaurants serving delectable international cuisines. These splendid properties are air-conditioned and provide sea-view rooms, sports facilities, or SPA centers. The more basic hotels with 2 and 3 stars are a great value for money as they offer more affordable prices in exchange to fewer amenities and services. 

The packages and offerings are diverse – from Room Only and Bed & Breakfast, to Full Board & All Inclusive options are available in both high-end and budget accommodations.

Most hotels are family-friendly, however there are Adults-only properties for the couples wishing to indulge in a romantic getaway. Not all hotels are pet-friendly. Be sure to check with the property first if you wish to bring your pet, before making a booking.

Overall, the Bulgarian hotels are known to offer great value, and the Golden Sands hotels are no exception!

What are the places to visit in Golden Sands and the region?

Golden Sands and the Varna region have a rich history waiting to be discovered. From ancient ruins to archaeological sites, there are plenty of opportunities for cultural exploration. Nature enthusiasts will also find delight in the diverse flora and fauna that can be found in the area. The resort provides the opportunity for diverse recreation and there are numerous things to do in Golden Sands. The best places to visit are listed below:

Places to visit in Golden Sands:

  • Golden Sands Nature Park
  • The beautiful beaches, including Umani Beach
  • Water adventures
  • Boat trips
  • Diverse restaurants
  • Casino International
  • The center of Golden Sands resort

Places to visit in Varna City, known as the ‘Sea Capital’ of Bulgaria:

  • Archaeological Museum
  • Roman Baths
  • Cathedral of the Assumption
  • Sea Garden

Nearby places to visit:

What is the time zone of Golden Sands?

Bulgaria, and Golden Sands resort, apply the Daylight Saving Time system (DST), and thus have different time offsets from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) in the Summer than the rest of the year.

Time zone: UTC+2 (EET, or Eastern European Time)

Summer time with DST: UTC+3 (EEST, or Eastern European Summer Time). The advancing of the clocks is by one hour during warmer months so that darkness falls at a later clock time. The time change is applied every year on the last weekend of March and the last weekend of October. 

What is the currency used in Golden Sands?

Bulgarian Lev (BGN or lv) is the currency used in Bulgaria and the resort. Please, note that currently the BGN is the only accepted currency and it is forbidden by the local laws to accept payments in other currencies, including EUR and USD.

If you have not been able to purchase Bulgarian Levs in advance, there are a few options on spot:

  • Convert currency at a local bank: this is the safest option; however, the down sides are that banks are usually not open on Weekends (except bank branches located in some of the Varna malls), and the exchange rates may not be as beneficial to you;
  • Convert currency at an Currency Exchange bureau: choose a reputable exchange bureau and do not trust individuals outside its premises. The exchange bureaus usually offer slightly better exchange rates than the banks and tend to be open every day or even 24 hours in some locations. However, you need to be alert for any suspicious practices or individuals.
  • Withdraw cash from an ATM: this is a convenient option, however as with most international transactions, withdrawing from a foreign to your bank ATM may result in very high fees. Furthermore, the ATMs at the resorts may have additional fees or charges.

What language is spoken in Golden Sands?

The official language is Bulgarian, and the alphabet is the Cyrillic. However, as this is a resort dependent largely on tourism and foreign visitors, languages such as English, German, Romanian and Russian are often spoken by the hotel, restaurant and shop staff.

The street signage is both in Bulgarian (with Cyrillic letters) and in English (with Latin letters).

The menus and signs in most hotels, venues and shops are also in Bulgarian and English, with some offering translated versions to Romanian, German and Russian. Some establishments, however, may offer menus and information only in Bulgarian. In such cases using a translation app or asking the staff for help are the easiest options.

What are the area code and postal code of Golden Sands?

The postal code is 9007. 

The telephone are code is +359 52

What electricity and sockets are used in Golden Sands?

Bulgaria operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. Two plug types are used in Bulgaria, types C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side.

In addition, some restaurants and hotels, such as Umani Hotel, offer USB wall sockets for charging a device without the need of a plug.

What are the local vehicle registration plate codes?

All vehicles in Bulgaria will have the “BG” letters on a vertical blue EU stripe on the left part of the plate. The plate code itself consists of black glyphs (common to both the Cyrillic and the Latin alphabets) on a white background. The plate code starts with one or two letters that signify the province code, followed by four numerical digits and ends with final two-letter series code.

The province code for the Varna Municipality is “В”, which will stand in front of the four digits and two letters at the end of the plate code.

What is the population of Golden Sands?

Currently, the status of Golden Sands is a resort without year-round registered population. However, with the trend of living outside the big cities, and the upraise of the number of serviced apartment buildings and quality villas, soon the resort may offer a residential area as well.

Is visa required to visit Golden Sands?

Bulgaria is part of the European Union since 2007, and visitors from all EU member states do not need a visa to visit Golden Sands. 

There are Visa Facilitation Agreements (VFAs) from 2007 between EU Member States and the countries: Russian Federation, Ukraine, Moldova, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and Georgia.

For up-to-date information, please contact the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or the Bulgarian consulate in your country.