Sinemorets is a small but gorgeous seaside resort in the very southeastern part of Bulgaria. It lies at the mouth of the Veleka river, just around 15 km from the Turkish border. The river forms a stunning, lagoon-type beach before it flows into the Black Sea. It is a very unique place where you can swim in the sea and a river just a few meters apart, surrounded by pure nature.
During the socialist era, access to the border zone area was not allowed for citizens. Since then, Sinemorets became a rapidly developing sea resort with more and more visitors every year. However, because of its remoteness and long-lasting isolation, even Bulgarians have been discovering it quite slowly. Despite the recent growth, the amount of tourists is still very low compared to other, larger resorts.
We recommend visiting this gem with the beautiful estuary before it gets overcrowded, and while the surrounding nature is mostly untouched. Without any significant cities nearby, the Milky Way is also clearly visible from Sinemorets. All you need to do is walk away a bit from street lights.
Beaches in Sinemorets
The coasts in this part of the country are mostly cliffed and are situated well above sea level, just like Sinemorets itself. But don’t worry, the beaches are sandy and easily accessible. The resort has two lifeguarded beaches with crystal clear water, located on the two opposite sides of Sinemorets.
The 700-m-long strip of sand between the river and the sea is called Veleka Beach (BG: Плаж Велека), unsurprisingly. It is located to the north of the village center and has two beach bars.
You can experience the unique feeling of freedom here: switching between a river and the sea couldn’t be easier. The Veleka has the same nice, sandy bottom as the sea, but the water of the river is somewhat cooler. If you’re lucky, you can even see turtles in it.
The other beach, located on the southern side of Sinemorets, is called Butamya Beach (BG: Плаж Бутамя). It has 4 bars/restaurants and some shallow parts that make it more suitable for young children. This beach is shorter (around 400 m) but wider than Veleka Beach and is a bit further away from the center.
The Veleka river
The 147-km-long Veleka river has some of the cleanest waters in Bulgaria. It has rich flora and fauna with protected water lilies and 30 different species of freshwater fish. The Veleka sources from the Turkish side of the Strandzha mountain and gets 50 m wide and up to 8 m deep at its mouth.
The river and Sinemorets itself are located within the territory of Strandzha Nature Park, the largest nature park in Bulgaria.
The Stone Ships
Besides the gorgeous Veleka estuary, Sinemorets has another famous landmark – the so-called Stone Ships. This rock formation, very popular among landscape photographers, consists of two big, sharp rocks emerging from the sea near the coast. Due to the scenic view, this is probably the best spot in Sinemorets to spend a peaceful morning watching the sun rise behind the ‘ships’.
It is believed that in ancient times, pirates operating in the area used to lit fires on the highest cliffs imitating a lighthouse, trying to lure merchant ships to crash into the rocks. The Stone Ships (BG: Каменните кораби) can be accessed either from the main street of Sinemorets or from the direction of the fishing docks. Be careful when going down the cliffs as the surface is very slippery. GPS coordinates: 42.064251 N, 27.986461 E.
Establishments and accommodation
Sinemorets has cozy restaurants, several supermarkets and souvenir shops. However, those looking for a buzzing nightlife should choose a different holiday destination.
The sea resort has only a few bigger hotels, most of the accommodations are mid-size hotels, aparthotels and family villas. Due to the limited number of guest rooms, we recommend booking your stay at least 6 months before your visit, especially as prices tend to jump high when availability decreases.
Sinemorets has a big advantage over many Black Sea resorts: the tourists here are mostly Bulgarian, therefore restaurants provide a wider variety of traditional local food for very reasonable prices. It is a perfect place to try Bulgarian cuisine.
How to get to Sinemorets
Sinemorets (BG: Синеморец) is located around 80 km south of Burgas and is easily accessible by car. From there, take road number 9 until Kraymorie (BG: Крайморие), continue on road 99 until Tsarevo (BG: Царево) where you reach road 9901, the only one that goes to Sinemorets. It has some bumpy and/or narrow sections but it is fine in general.
The area doesn’t have any railways but there is a regular bus connection between Burgas and Sinemorets twice a day all year, departing from Burgas at 14:00 and 17:30. There are also 5 buses daily from Ahtopol (BG: Ахтопол) during summer. Ahtopol is the closest resort to Sinemorets, only 6 km to the north.
Ahtopol-Sinemorets: 06:15, 06:50, 09:50, 11:50, 15:20
Sinemorets-Ahtopol: 06:30, 08:15, 10:00, 11:15, 12:30, 16:15