Sozopol is a Bulgarian resort town 30 km from Burgas and 410 km from Sofia with a very impressive “pedigree”. It was founded in the 6th century. BC e. Greek colonialists on a small rocky peninsula washed by the waters of the Black Sea. The era of the Bulgarian Revival added its touches to the appearance of this town.
In ancient times, Sozopol was called Apollonia. This name was given to the city by the Milesian Greeks in honor of the patron god of seafarers, the god Apollo, and they erected a 13-meter bronze statue here in honor of him. The statue has survived to this day and is now kept in the Roman Capitol. She was transported there by the legionnaire Mark Lucullus, who destroyed Apollonia at the end of the 1st century BC. Five centuries later, Apollonia “resurrected” and became known as Sozopolis – the city of salvation. See BRIDGAT.COM for climate and weather information of Bulgaria.
Now it is a favorite place of the Bulgarian bohemia: artists, painters and musicians are attracted by the special atmosphere that prevails in Sozopol. Create its beautiful churches, old white houses with red tiles, stone alleys and narrow cobbled streets, immersed in the greenery of vines and figs, sandy beaches and a romantic harbor, a huge variety of bars and discos.
Underwater explorers found in the Sozopol bay a lot of Bronze Age tools, stocks and stone anchors, which are now the emblem of Sozopol.
In the vicinity of Sozopol is the mouth of the Ropotamo River – a natural reserve, which is often called the local Amazon. Its shores look like a real jungle – densely overgrown with ivy and wild grapes, snow-white lilies flaunt on the water, and where Ropotamo flows into the sea, you can meet dolphins and seals.
Two kilometers from the ancient part of Sozopol there is another miracle of nature – the largest island of the Bulgarian Black Sea – the island of St. Ivan. Under water near it there is a unique natural phenomenon – a stone forest, and on the island itself the monastery of St. Ivan Prodomos was built.
How to get there
Sozopol is easily accessible from the international highway that runs along the Black Sea coast and links Bulgaria with Romania and Turkey. The road from Burgas by car or regular bus takes 30-40 minutes. 30 km south of Sozopol there is an airfield serving small private aircraft.
You can also get to Sozopol by sea – the city has a marina of regional significance, which is used both for passenger and goods transportation, and for recreational and tourist trips.
Weather in Sozopol
The climate in Sozopol is mild: moderately humid, close to the Mediterranean. There are four distinct seasons here. Summers are usually hot with no rain. Winters are cold – the average temperature in January is -6 °C. The most suitable time for relaxation: the beginning of May – the end of September, when the average air temperature is +27…+33 °C, and water – +25…+28 °C.
There are three sandy beaches in Sozopol – “Central Beach” in the old part of the city, “Harmani Beach” – in the new one and “Golden Fish” – 3 km to the north.
There are many small private 3* and 2* hotels and cottages with 2-3 rooms in Sozopol resort. There are only 2 five-star hotels: “Saint Thomas” and “Santa Marina”, as well as several four-star hotels – “Blue orange”, “Green life beach resort”, “Laguna beach” and “Martinez”. In the vicinity of the city, on quiet and clean beaches, there are several campsites: Goldfish, Gradina, Kavatsite and Smokinya.
Entertainment and attractions of Sozopol
A beautiful green park with churches divides Sozopol into two parts: the old one – on the peninsula, and the new one – “Harmanit”. This name comes from the word “harman” – “current”. There used to be many mills here, but only one has survived to this day.
The old part of the resort is the most picturesque and interesting. This is a Bulgarian architectural reserve, under the auspices of UNESCO. The unique atmosphere in it is created by the churches of the era of the Bulgarian National Revival, the remains of the fortress wall, old houses, national restaurants and a panoramic view of the sea.
Only 2 churches remain active in Sozopol today. The Church of St. George, built in 1828 on the site of an early Christian basilica, is considered the largest in the city. Its unique marble altar was inherited by the church from an ancient temple built in this very place in 330 on the ruins of a Thracian sanctuary.
The Church of St. Zosima was built in the middle of the 19th century. on the ruins of a medieval temple. It is believed that Zosimus was a local medieval martyr, and therefore he is still very popular in Sozopol.
In honor of the patroness of the city, the Most Holy Theotokos, in 1969 the Church of the Holy Mother of God was restored in the city. Built in the 17th century, it is now a cultural monument under the protection of UNESCO.
It is the day of the icon of the Mother of God – July 18 – that is celebrated in Sozopol as the day of the city.
Other sights of Sozopol include the “Old School” of the fishmonger Dimitar Laskaridis, which today houses an art gallery, the house-museum of Alexander Mutafov, one of the first Bulgarian marine painters, “House with the Sun” by Anna Trendafilova, “Grandmother’s House” by Kukulisa Hadzhinikolova, where the editorial office of the local newspaper, the house of Marietta Stefanova, the house of Kreanoolui, the house of Lina Psaryanova (now the Stenata restaurant), the Metropolitan House (now a medical center) and many other buildings of the 18th-19th centuries, which are under state protection, are located.
Once a year Sozopol turns into a magical place with a breathtaking artistic atmosphere. In early September, there is a 10-day arts festival in honor of the god Apollo. Bulgarian and foreign artists, artists, singers, musicians, poets, dancers and spectators from all over the country come to the resort town to watch theatrical performances, films, art and photo exhibitions, folk dances, listen to songs and literary readings.