Nessebar is one of the most beautiful and beloved Bulgarian resorts, which attracts tourists from near and far every single year. People interested in architectural and historical sites visit this little town to find out how ancient people have lived in this land centuries ago.
The town is divided into 2 parts: The Old Town and The New Town. The Old Nessebar was added into the list of UNESCO in 1983. It is considered to be a cultural memorial or an open-air museum. Today, this historical pearl is one of the most visited places in Bulgaria.
Nessebar is located on the south Black Sea Bulgarian coast. It is connected on the south to the biggest Bulgarian resort, Sunny Beach. A small tourist town of Ravda is located in less than 1 km south. Burgas and its National Airport is located 30 minutes away from Nessebar by car, while another National Airport in Varna is in 1 hour or so driving.
The town of Nessebar has a unique location. It is situated on a peninsula, connected with the land by a narrow isthmus. Looking at it, many people falsely believe that Nessebar was an island that has been artificially connected to the land. The tourists and visitors here are attracted not only by the amazing sites that could be found here, but also by its location and beneficial climate.
Nature and nature sites
Nessebar boasts with its mild weather that is influenced by the Black Sea. This means that there are multiple warm and even hot days during the summer season. Autumns are cool and the weather in October and November can be unstable. The winters here during December, January and February are cold and sometimes snowy. The end of May is considered the end of the spring when the temperature becomes very hot and typical for the summer. There are not many rains during the summer. August and September are the months with the least amount of rain. In other words, this region is perfect for a peaceful and undisturbed summer holiday.
The beach line in the Old Nessebar is only several meters long. If you find a place here for sun bathing, you will be only a few meters away from the most popular town’s attractions. But since this zone is too populated, it will be better to head to the beaches of the Sunny Beach Resort. Another option is to go to the beaches located south of Nessebar, which are large enough to have a place for all.
History and cultural heritage sites
There are about 19.000 people who live in Nessebar. Since the little peninsula is too small to accommodate all of them, most part of the population lives in the coast. Although people here think of themselves as Bulgarians, some of them have a Greek origin. They are mostly engaged in the tourist industry that is why you will find multiple hotels and restaurants there. There are also many traders who offer souvenirs, Bulgarian icons and other cultural items.
The greatest attractions in Nessebar are its multiple churches, some of which are older than many of the European countries. It is worth to visit St. Archangel Michael and Gabriel dated from 13th century and another church called Jesus Christ Pantocrator from the same time period. There are churches from the 11th century. These are St John The Baptist and St. Stefan Church. St Paraskeva is completed in 14th century. Among the oldest churches in Nessebar are Saint Sofia and Mother of God Eleusa, both of which dated from 5th century. The oldest functioning church in Nessebar in the St Teodor Church, built in 8th century.
These are only some of the churches that you could find here. Their total number is about 40, so you can take your time to visit each of them and admire both their history and architecture.
Culture, entertainment and night life
What else you can see in Nessebar? In fact, you will be amazed of this town even before you enter the Old Nessebar. The first thing you will see is an old windmill, which is not functioning today, but predisposes you to what you would find in the Old Town. Previously the local people lived here mostly on fishing, that is why you will see a statue of a fisherman, which is about 15 meters above the sea level.
Nessebar has an extremely interesting architecture that is not specific for Bulgaria. Its old time houses, chapels, churches, museums and historical remains make the town one of the most visited places in the country. The narrow streets are paved and will transfer you back to the ancient time while you admire the ancient Bulgarian architecture. Stones and wood are the main elements of old buildings, which are mostly white, brown or beige in color.
Most of these old buildings are currently hotels where you can be accommodated. There are many restaurants where you can taste traditional Bulgarian dishes.
An interesting fact about the Nessebar’s history is that the development of this town began in 6th century before Christ when the first Greek settlers came here and started to develop an advanced culture. The city has had multiple names like Mesembria, Mesemvria or Melsabria and has been a place where Hellenes and ancient Thracians have lived. Later, the town’s history is connected with Byzantium and the Roman Empire.
Tourists can admire both parts of the town – the Old Town and the New Town. While the Old Town is a historical monument located on the Peninsula and is about 350 m away from the coast, the New Town is situated on the coast and is a tourist town with great infrastructure.
Some of the best hotels located in the New Town of Nessebar are St. Panteleimon Beach Hotel and Algeria Catania Family Hotel. Some of the most attractive hotels located in the Old Town are the Lebed Family Hotel as well as St. Nicola Hotel.
The town hosts many summer festivals, some of which are International and attract here children and their parents from other countries.