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I recently had the privilege of joining a group of approximately 40 other Travel Agents on an Educational trip to Sunny Beach in Bulgaria for 4 nights.

I flew with Balkan air from Edinburgh as a group of 10 and flew home with Bulgarian Airlines.  Although both airlines were basic, they met our needs with snacks available onboard.  We met other groups from Newcastle, Manchester and Belfast whilst in the resort.  I wasn’t too sure if I would like Bulgaria as not heard the best reports before I travelled.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  We stayed in the Laguna Park Hotel – 4* in Sunny Beach.

We all loved the hotel and felt it was the best we saw – modern interior with fantastic waterslides and meals.  We visited the Sunny Beach and Nessebar areas.  Nessebar is split between its new town and old town.  We spent an hour or so roaming around the old town before visiting hotels in the new town.  The old town is Unesco Listed and has a charming character with old houses, museums, churches and archaeological sites.

Things to see – The beaches are gorgeous and well cared for. The long stretch of golden sand with watersports also available in Sunny Beach is brilliant.  Pier area you can walk out to catch a good view of Sunny Beach.  You can also hop on a small ferry that goes between Sunny Beach and Nessebar or you can go via road.

What to pack – Beach/Pool based holiday.  Summer wear.  The season runs from May – October, but mainly June – Sep if prefer a bit busier.

Top Tips – I loved the Viking beach bar where we spent an evening.  Was a great vibe, busy, amazing cocktails and fabulous music.  I wouldn’t recommend families to stay near Flower Street – ‘the strip.’  It can get busy in the evenings, especially in High Season.  Must see – Khans Tent – entertainment venue and the beach.  Great for lots of shopping.

Suitable for – I would recommend the centre of Sunny Beach for people looking for a lively holiday & groups of young people.  However, away from the strip some of the hotels have got waterslides and ideal for families.  Nessebar (a World Heritage City) is split into 2 areas – new and old – which is very quaint and full of history.  Great day trip if looking to away from the hustle and bustle.  However, easy to get between both areas.  Most hotels in Nessebar are in the new area.  Some hotels in Bulgaria can look a bit dated, I would be careful to do a more in-depth check when sending a customer here as some hotel rooms/bar areas look 2* although are rated as 4*.  Felt some hotels didn’t always have a good range of facilities.  Not all-inclusive hotels include access to all bars for a drink.  Great fake goods shops like Turkey but with no haggling.

Hotel recommendations – For Sunny Beach – I loved the Laguna Park hotel for families. For a couple or someone looking for a quieter hotel in Sunny Beach – Venus Hotel.  We all fell in love with this hotel and the brochure pictures don’t do it any justice – it’s a hidden gem!  A charming, family-run hotel. The Hotel Pomorie Sun looked amazing after it’s refurbishment with a modern feel about it and liked the location – across the road from the beach and away from the busy area. I loved the 5* Barcelo Royal Beach, just don’t have daytime adult entertainment though.  I liked the Globus Hotel as in a great location and a good 4* hotel next to the beach and the strip.  For Nessebar – I would recommend the Festa Panorama hotel good 4* hotel, good location

Extras/Excursions – We went to Khans Tent in Sunny Beach on our last night.  I would highly recommend this.  An amazing night with acrobats, dancers, jugglers and more. You get a 4-course meal which was OK and free Wine, beer or soft drinks throughout the meal.  The views are also stunning from outside, down to Sunny Beach.

We went to the new Djanny Beach club one evening – away from the busy area and had an Ibiza feel about it.

Other excursions you can do – Lazy day cruise, VIP Catamaran, Jeep Safari, Blue Mountains, Virgin River Tour.

Bulgaria isn’t too expensive to travel to and offers great value for money.  In Bulgaria itself, it is also reasonable to eat out and many bars offer promotional drinks – e.g. Buy 1 get 1 free!

I can’t wait to go back to Bulgaria to experience other resorts.  People were very friendly and made to feel welcome anywhere we went.

#Brilliantbear had a great time too as always