Balchik is the most beautiful settlement north of Varna. It is situated in a picturesque coastal region, approximately 30 kilometers from the sea capital of Bulgaria and only a few minutes drive from the popular coastal resort Albena. The town lies on an amphitheatral steep slope that reaches to the Black Sea in the south. According to the National Statistical Institute (NSI) during the census in 2011 the population was 20,317 people. It is often described as a small coastal version of the old capital Veliko Tarnovo.
Balchik is usually a quiet place during most of the year. In summers, however, the huge crowds of foreign visitors that flock here from all over the world change the resort town beyond recognition.
Though the area was inhabited since ancient times, the history of Balchik began in the 5th century BC when Miletian Greeks established a small coastal fishing village on the Black Sea.
Because of the huge wealth of mineral springs in the area, the settlement was called by the newcomers Krouni or Krounoi, which means “spring”.
In the following centuries the town was called successively Dionysopolis (after the Greek god of wine Dionysus), Karvuna (given by the Pra-Bulgars) and Balik (the name of a very rich and influential boyar who lived in the 14th century).
The last name of the town, Balchik, was for the first time mentioned in Turkish documents and became the latest official name of the charming seaside resort.
Balchik is especially attractive during the warm summer months when, thanks to the casual Mediterranean atmosphere, it becomes an attractive place for recreation and tourism.
The town has all the advantages to be among the leading tourist destinations in Bulgaria.
Every year almost 200,000 people visit the town, attracted by the combination of small but beautiful beaches with golden sand, greenery, spectacular location and ancient architecture. The biggest attraction is, of course, the palace of the Romanian Queen Maria.
The sophisticated person turned this place into a summer residence, and she used to spend here, under the pleasant shade of the trees in the famous Balchik Botanical Garden, the long, hot and lazy summer days. Except for being beautiful, the town of Balchik is perfect for relaxation.
Along the coast there are many places to offer traditional cuisine – kyufteta (meatballs) and kebabcheta, garnished with shopska salad (a kind of traditional Bulgarian salad), or a portion of freshly caught fish with a glass of refreshing cold beer.
Balchik has a temperate climate with a strong influence from the Black Sea. Winters are cold to mild with daytime temperatures mostly between (-1) and 5°C, insignificant snowfalls and thin, perishable snowcover.
Spring and fall bring changeable weather with temperatures ranging between 10 and 20°C.
Autumn, however, is much milder and more enjoyable. The summer months are warm, sometimes hot, with daytime temperatures of between 27 and 30°C in the heat of summer.
The best time to visit Balchik? From late May to mid-September the resort town enjoys great weather conditions for marine tourism. In early summer, however, the seawater along the coast is still relatively cool.
How to get to Balchik? The town is located about 40 km from the international airport of Varna.