Zlatni Piasatsi - An Out-of-Season Visit
"Extrapolating Towards The Summer!"
Whilst this is definitely not the sort of place I personally would spend a vacation in, Bulgaria's Golden Sands resort does have everything that I could imagine a resort tourist would want - sun, sea, sand, nightlife and a great location for further exploring the neighbouring countryside.
The resort was originally developed during the post-war communist era to attract Western tourists with their "hard currency" and offered a mix of basic and luxury accommodations and in post-communist times has become one of Bulgaria's top seaside attractions with its hotels having been seriously modernised to suit the modern vacationer.
Visiting out-of-season I must admit to being quite impressed with the whole set-up. Yes it does have a load of tacky souvenir shops, cheap and cheerful bars, mediocre fast-food joints and all the "kiss-me-quick" lack of style which actually do give these sort of places their own individuality. That said though, there are also little hints of up-markedness, places awaiting discovery by the more discerning visitor. The smarter hotels look just that and I did enjoy one of the best (and admittedly most expensive) meals that I've eaten here in Bulgaria and as a whole I left with a very favourable impression of the place.
The Golden Sands is aptly named with its wide sandy beach stretching for a good mile or so sloping gently into the relatively calm clear waters of the Black Sea and at the northern end has a small harbour from which local fishing boats supply the seafood restaurants. The beach itself is immaculately clean and looks as if it is groomed daily and the number of lifeguard seats (as yet undeployed) give the impression of safety with the added bonus of the whole front being pretty much traffic free as private cars are not allowed to enter the resort. Transportation around is provided by several little "putt-putt" trains running the legnth of the promenade though the front itself is compact enough to be easily walkable and there are plently of benches scattered around to put your feet up if necessary.
"Bars, Restaurant and Nightlife."
I don't know how many visitors Golden Sands expects on a busy day but it does seem amply provided for in the way of stand-alone bars, restaurants and nightlife in addition to all the hotels offering their own facilities and there seems to be something to suit every taste.
There are night clubs, karaokes, casinos and strip shows for the party people. Fast-food places offer the usual bugers, kebabs and of course pizza whilst some of the hotel restaurants look positively swank There are seafood restaurants, "English" eateries, steakhouses plus a sprinkling of authentic Bugarian eateries with wood-fired grills and water-driven rotisseries.
As to bars these are suitably diverse ranging from the slightly pricey ones on the beach itself to the 2-for one places competing against each other on the main drag. In fact I could probably spend a fortnight here and have each beer in a different bar - that makes for a lot of bars!!
All-in-all if resorts are your thing then Zlatni Piasatsi seems to be the place to go here on the Black Sea!