Location: In the furthest southern part of the Bourgas Bay, at a distance of 34 km from Bourgas is situated the most ancient Bulgarian Black Sea town- Sozopol. The town lies on a small rocky peninsula in the farthest southern part of the Bourgas Bay. A one hundred-metre long strip of land connects it to the mainland. From 1925 on, the town has expanded in the direction of the Harmanite Area (the so-called 'new town').
History: In the year 610 BC Greek colonisers from Milet settled in this area and called the settlement after their god of beauty Apollo - Apolonia. To the honour of Apollo a 13 m high bronze statue of the god was erected on the coast. Apolonia developed as a trade centre, working with the biggest ones in Hellas- Athens, Corinth and the islands Rodos, Lesbos and Hios. Proof to this were the coins of its own that Apolonia minted already at the end of 6th century BC, such as the establishment of colonies. Apolonia became an art center and the upturn continued until falling under Roman domination. The town was severely ruined and sacked and the famous statue, the proud of the town, was moved to Rome to show the triumph of the victor. It was erected on the Capitolius hill. After the collapse of Rome, Sozopol was included in the territory of Byzantium. In the year 812 Khan Krum conquered the town and annexed it to the Bulgarian territory. During the Turkish yoke the Medieval temples were destroyed. Only ground churches and small chapels have been built there ever since;some of them can be still seen. After a period of decline the old fame of the town revived in the end of 18th and the beginning of 19th century. Then was the construction of the typical Sozopol houses, featuring with stone ground floors and wood- boarded upstairs. The streets are so narrow that the oriels seem to touch each other. This romantic beauty makes a strong impression mainly on the artists - painters, poets, writers, actors, musicians.
A small fishermen's settlement at the time of the Liberation, Sozopol gradually became the biggest fishing centre of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, which also developed a tourism industry. The famous Tsar's Beach is located to the north of the town. Raiski Zaliv (Paradise Bay) is nestled among rocks to the south of the town, while further southwards are the Kavatsite beach and camping site. The Harmanite Beach is immediately to the south of the so-called 'new town'. An ancient necropolis was found here in 1993 and excavations are still going on.
Places of Interest: The sights of Sozopol are many, but none of them can be separated from the rest since all of them impact the visitors as an attractive ensemble. Among these are two ancient churches from the Renaissance period - St. Zosim Church and The Holy Virgin Church. The houses of Dimitur Laskaridis, who used to be a fish trader (built in the 17th century, and now hosting an art gallery), Ana Trendafilova, Kourtidis, Una Psarianova (now redesigned into a restaurant, Stenata Restaurant), Grandmother Koukoulissa Hadzhinikolova (today housing the office of Sturshel Newspaper), Metropoliev (a medical centre at present), Kreanoolu, are only a few of the more than 45 architectural monuments of Sozopol. The ancient atmosphere of the town is further fed by cobbled streets and high fences in front of which the old women sit and chat, knit laces and sell jams. Interestingly, one can still hear Greek speech among natives, particularly in the old town. Interesting places to visit are the Archaeological Museum and the Art Gallery. Moreover, at the beginning of September each year the town hosts the big Apolonia International Art Festival, which attracts artists and art lovers from all over the country and abroad.
Catering: Judging by occupancy rates, tourists seem to rate best most of the small coastal restaurants and private pubs both in the old and new part of the town. Stalls for fish, pizza places, and snack-bars scattered all over the camping sites are also popular among visitors. Among the most attractive places are Vyaturnata Melnitsa, Sozopol Tavern, Athens Tavern, the restaurants Xantana, Neptun, Drouzhba Fishing Boat, Orpheus, Olymp, Stenata, Kladentsa, Lilia. Some of these are very interesting as they are built over ancient remains after detailed archaeological research and restorations. Such an example is the Stenata Restaurant, the basement of which was used as a grain warehouse far back in time while the Kladenetsa Restaurant was built over a spring, which used to supply the town with drinking water via water pipes. There are a lot of groceries and marketplaces. One could buy fish directly from fishermen at the quay.
Transport: High-frequency bus lines connect Sozopol to Bourgas. Route taxis, minibuses and ordinary taxis run along the same route as well.