For many Germans, Golden Sands near the town of Varna in Bulgaria is a more affordable alternative to the Spanish vacation island of Mallorca. Loud music, packed beaches and plenty of cheap booze – an irresistible combo for primarily young tourist revellers. But what’s it really like to holiday on the Black Sea, with the war in Ukraine raging across the water to the north? And is the war having an impact on tourism in Bulgaria? DW’s Lukas Stege asked around. But he also found time to party – and said it felt like home.
Golden Sands is a major seaside resort town on the northern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, adjacent to a national park of the same name in the municipality of Varna. Located 17 km north of downtown Varna, it is virtually connected to the city by a continuous swath of resorts and villa communities.
Sochi, a Russian city on the Black Sea, is known as a summer beach resort, and was host of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Its parks include the palm-filled Arboretum. It’s also notable for 20th-century neoclassical buildings such as the columned Winter Theatre. Forested Sochi National Park is a 1,937-sq.-km protected area in the nearby Caucasus Mountains. Some 70 km inland, Krasnaya Polyana is a prominent ski resort.
Batumi, a Black Sea resort and port city, is the capital of the Georgian republic of Adjara. Batumi Boulevard encompasses a waterfront promenade with a park and beach. The 130m-high Alphabetic Tower, adorned with Georgian script, has a seaside observation deck. The old town district is lined with renovated 19th-century buildings. North of the city, Batumi Botanical Garden showcases flora from around the world.
The Caucasus Mountains is a mountain range at the intersection of Europe and Asia. Stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, it is surrounded by the Caucasus region and is home to Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe at 5,642 metres above sea level.
Bulgaria is a Balkan nation with diverse terrain encompassing Black Sea coastline, a mountainous interior and rivers, including the Danube. A cultural melting pot with Greek, Slavic, Ottoman, and Persian influences, it has a rich heritage of traditional dance, music, costumes, and crafts. At the foot of domed Vitosha mountain is its capital city, Sofia, dating to the 5th century B.C.
Tbilisi is the capital of the country of Georgia. Its cobblestoned old town reflects a long, complicated history, with periods under Persian and Russian rule. Its diverse architecture encompasses Eastern Orthodox churches, ornate art nouveau buildings and Soviet Modernist structures. Looming over it all are Narikala, a reconstructed 4th-century fortress, and Kartlis Deda, an iconic statue of the “Mother of Georgia.”
Video timeline: 0:00 – Aerial view of Baratashvili Bridge and Public Registry 0:14 – 0:36 – Aerial view of Tbilisi city central park and Bridge of Peace. 0:36 – 1:04 – Flying over column of freedom in the center of Tbilisi. St. George monument 1:04 – Beautiful aerial view of King Tamar bridge 1:21 – Aerial view on statue of 12th century Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli, Rustaveli Avenue. 1:38 – Flying over Shota Rustaveli Avenue 1:50 – 2:12 Aerial view of Tbilisi State University 2:12 – Aerial View of Galaktion Tabidze Bridge over Kura river 2:23 – Presidential Palace Fly Over View 2:33 – Mother Of Georgia, SSSR historical monument 2:46 – Aerial view on statue of 12th century Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli 2:57 – Aerial view of Baratashvili Street in the centre of Tbilisi. Georgia 3:20 – 3:54 – Aerial view of Chavchavadze avenue in Tbilisi, Georgia 3:54 – 4:16 -Aerial View of Galaktion Tabidze Bridge over Kura river in the centre of Tbilis 4:16 – 4:48 – Aerial view of Holy Trinity Cathedral Sameba in Tbilisi Georgia. 4:48 – Cable Cars Over The Old District 4:56 – Aerial view of Baratashvili Street in the centre of Tbilisi. Georgia 5:12 – 5:36 – Aerial view of Old Tbilisi. Georgia 5:36 – Flying over column of freedom in the center of Tbilisi, Georgia 5:44 – Aerial view of Old Tbilisi. Georgia in 4k 5:52 – Aerial view of Old Tbilisi. Sameba Cathedral. Avlabari. Georgia 6:08 – Flying over Vaja Pshavela Avenue 6:23 – Flying over Shota Rustaveli Avenue 6:41 – Flying over Kura river in Tbilisi 6:53 – Beautiful cityscape of old Tbilisi 7:04 – Bus Stop Aerial Shoot – Traffic in the city 7:23 – 8:12 – Flying over Shota Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi, Georgia 8:12 – Aerial view of ancient basilic cathedral of Anchiskhati in old Tbilisi 8:31 – Aerial view of Old Tbilisi. Georgia 8:43 – Caucasus Block House In Summer With Hanging Clothes 8:49 – Aerial view of Ilia Chavchavadze avenue in the center of Tbilisi 8:58 – Aerial view of ancient basilic cathedral of Anchiskhati in Tbilisi, Georgia 9:10 – Aerial view of Old Tbilisi. Georgia in 8k 9:26 – 10:35 – Aerial view of Old Tbilisi. Georgia
Nessebar is a town in Burgas Province, on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. The cobbled streets of the old town, which sits on a promontory, are lined with ruins such as Byzantine-era fortifications and baths. The ruins of the 5th-century Church of St. Sofia include stone columns and large arched windows. The 11th-century Church of St. Stephen houses hundreds of mural paintings and a huge, richly decorated altarpiece.
Georgia, a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia, is a former Soviet republic that’s home to Caucasus Mountain villages and Black Sea beaches. It’s famous for Vardzia, a sprawling cave monastery dating to the 12th century, and the ancient wine-growing region Kakheti. The capital, Tbilisi, is known for the diverse architecture and mazelike, cobblestone streets of its old town.
Asboth summitry and military near-misses proliferate, some want measured dialogue while others want markedly tougher talk. Our defence and Russia editors discuss world leaders’ diverging views on handling today’s Russia.
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Canal Istanbul is the largest infrastructure project Turkey has ever seen. It will connect the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, and fulfill one of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s oldest dreams: To provide a new route, beside the Bosporus, for tankers sailing between the two seas, while at the same time boosting Turkey’s revenues. But the controversial project is pitting Turkey’s president against Istanbul’s mayor, Ekrem İmamoğlu, and the majority of the city’s citizens. So why is the canal so unpopular? And why does Erdogan want to build it anyway?