With a surface of 168,500 square miles, the Black Sea is the world’s largest inland body of water. Stretching between Europe and Asia, the Black Sea is fed by such important rivers as the Danube, Dnieper, and Don. Its coast is bordered by six countries: Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine. Each country features beautiful seaside towns attracting countless visitors each year because of the beaches, historical sites, forests, and mountains as well as great cuisine, different from one country to another. The water body is named “Black” not because it’s dirty but from a sailor’s point of view. During severe winter storms, the water looks so dark that it appears black.
There are various ways to explore and discover the charm of the Black Sea. You can go on one of several small ship Black Sea cruises, visit parts on Danube river cruises, or visit the countries on its coast individually. Whichever method you choose, today we’ll introduce you to the most beautiful seaside towns, listed by country. We have left out Russia and Ukraine because of difficult visa requirements, but there is plenty left to enjoy.
The Turkish Black Sea coast, divided into a western and an eastern section, is famous for its lush green forests, wooden houses, beaches, mountains, fruit orchards, and tea plantations. Summers are much cooler than in the rest of the country, which makes it attractive to Turkish families, so you will have a good chance to rub shoulders with the locals. None of the seaside towns are ever overcrowded; beach amenities can be rather basic, but it’s a paradise for adventurous travelers and lovers of nature and history.
Trabzon is the largest city on Turkey’s Black Sea coast and an ideal starting point for further exploration, as it has an airport with terminals for national and international flights. It is also an important port town and features several pretty beaches, the best being Camburnu Plaji.
Trabzon is the birthplace of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, under whose rule (1521-56) the Ottoman Empire was at its most prosperous. It’s a pleasure to stroll through the narrow streets of the old town or to walk in the green Meydan Park. St. Anne’s is the oldest church, but there are many more mosques and churches to visit. A highlight that should not be missed is a day trip to the stunning Sumela Monastery. At about one hour inland and glued to a steep cliff, the monastery is reached via a picturesque road that leads through dense woods, valleys, and along streams, and ends at a car park. From there you have about half an hour’s steep and a bit slippery walk to reach the entrance. Best is an organized trip.
Unye is a small but well-loved Turkish beach resort in the Ordu province at approximately 500 miles from Istanbul. You can drive, go by coach, fly, or go on a combined flight/ferry trip. In pretty Unye, beaches meet forests, especially the Asarkaya Forest and Uzunkum and Feneralti beaches. The beaches are a bit pebbly, but the water is turquoise clear.
The town is famous for stonemasonry and boasts many traditional stone-and-wood Black Sea houses. It’s also the only place on the Turkish Black Sea coast where you can hire a horse at the Equestrian Center. Hellenistic rock tombs are frequently found throughout Turkey, but here you can have your first glimpse.
Located on the northern edge of the Turkish Black Sea, Sinop is the birthplace of Diogenes. Visit his statue, where he stands on top of a barrel, an illuminated lamp in his hand with which he is searching for an honest man. Massive city walls run throughout, interspersed with seven towers giving you a splendid view over the city and sea. Walk along the sheltered harbor, and have a break in one of the many tea rooms to enjoy a glass of fragrant Turkish tea. Forty-five minutes outside the city, you find Erfelek Tatlica Selaleleri Tabiat Parki, a park with no less than 28 waterfalls.
Ordu is a port town and famous as the center of hazelnut production and mulberry tree plantations. In fact, a quarter of the world’s hazelnuts come from here. Boztepe is a hill overlooking the town and port, reached by either gondola or the Boztepe Hill aerial tram.
What hazelnuts are for Ordu, tea is for Rize. Located approximately 50 miles east of Trabzon, the small town of Rize is the center of Turkey’s tea production. Tea plantations cover every hill, making it a pretty, green landscape. The beauty is that several tea plantations have their own production places where you can see every stage of the process, from harvesting to drying to packaging. They also sell the most amazing array of products, such as tea soap and tea cologne, which is very fresh smelling and makes a great change from the ever-present lemon cologne.
Editor’s note: Intrigued by the area? Here’s Inka with nine reasons you’ll love visiting Turkey’s Black Sea coast.
Although neighbors, Turkey and Bulgaria are very different. The influence of communism is still evident in Bulgaria, especially in the buildings. But the seaside towns have been modernized and are now prettier than ever.
If you haven’t heard of the Gold of Varna, this refers to one of the world’s most important gold treasures, 6,000 years old and discovered in a burial site. But it also refers to the many golden beaches that make the port town of Varna such a beautiful seaside resort. But there is a lot more to entertain you. The Sea Garden is a huge park and promenade along the waterfront, with palm trees and flowers to cool off in on a hot day. The aforementioned gold treasure can be admired in the Varna Archaeological Museum, whilst the shining copper domes of late 19th century Varna Cathedral will attract your attention as well.
Nearby is a natural phenomenon that has to be seen to be believed. The Stone Forest, found in the only piece of desert in Bulgaria, consists of huge, hollow, natural stone columns. The stone needles along the river shore are equally eye catching. And for light entertainment, there is an Amusement Park.
For me, Nessebar is the best of Bulgaria’s seaside towns. The whole town is an open-air museum with the sea in the background. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Thracian settlement that was once an important trade center sits on a small, rocky peninsula, reached via a narrow causeway. This leads you straight into a maze of cobbled streets, along medieval and Roman walls, past churches and 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses. Take your time and explore the Roman ruins, the Hagia Sofia church, and all the other testimonies of thousands of years of history. The wooden Black Sea houses lean precariously into the streets, whereas the ground floors are occupied by restaurants, cafes, and shops selling handmade souvenirs. Nessebar’s history is trade, and it was here that the world’s first gold coins were made.
If you want a beach, head to nearby Sunny Beach. The beach is beautiful, but the rest is just a resort with apartment blocks, hotels, casinos, fast food, and strip joints. Much like Albena, which is only 20 miles from Varna.
Romania, which has a border with Bulgaria, is known for the forested region of Transylvania, connected to the Dracula legends. Its Black Sea coast is not very long, but it is one beautiful seaside town.
Located on a strip of land between the Black Sea and Lake Siutghiol, Mamaia is a destination for beach enthusiasts. The best time to visit the soft and sandy beaches, ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and vacations with kids, is between June and late September. You’ll find bed and breakfasts and hotels for all budgets, and for entertainment, there is the Aqua-Magic waterpark or the Mamaia Cable Car.
Georgia is bordered by Turkey in the south and in great part dominated by the Caucasus mountain range, although the landscape varies greatly, from rainforest and swamps to snow-covered mountains and glaciers. There are several seaside resorts on the Black Sea coast that attract many visitors. Tourism is a growing industry in Georgia.
Batumi is the biggest seaside resort in Georgia, with lots of modern hotels. The beaches are pebbly. Only 35 miles north, in Ureki, will you find sandy beaches, but they are black. Batumi has a lot more to offer than beaches. There is a wonderful beach promenade with many quirky sculptures along the way, as well as colorful murals. The local market, with fresh and fragrant products, is a delight, as is the Batumi Botanical Garden. Look out for the tower of the university, which has a little Ferris wheel incorporated up high. Even the McDonald’s has flowers growing on the roof. Stroll through the narrow streets of the old town where people while the time away and laundry flutters across the street. Batumi loves art and is reinventing itself all the time.
Located in west Georgia where the river Enguri empties into the Black Sea, Anaklia is a modern resort with the usual array of hotels. The resort is connected to the village of Ganmukhuri by a 1,771-foot pedestrian bridge across the river. On a clear day, the Caucasus can be seen in the distance. The area between the sea and mountains is flat and very fertile, which is why you will see tea plantations and citrus orchards here.
If you are after a really quiet beach vacation with kids, Grigoleti is the place to go. Access to the water is shallow, the sand is fine but black, and there are neither beach bars nor sun loungers. Bring your own towels and a picnic and enjoy the sun (it’s one of the warmest places on the entire Black Sea), the scent of dense pine forests bordering the beach, peace, and quiet.
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Amasra is one of the most picturesque however, with the seaside town sprawled over several islands stretching from the coast. The town has a long history, with several structures dating back to the Roman and Byzantine periods.What towns are along the Black Sea? ›
Important cities along the coast include (clockwise from the Bosporus) Burgas, Varna, Constanța, Odesa, Sevastopol, Novorossiysk, Sochi, Batumi, Trabzon and Samsun.Where is the best part of the Black Sea? ›
- Smokinya Beach, Bulgaria. Smokinya Beach, Bulgaria | © Boby Dimitrov / WikiCommons. ...
- Vityazevo Beach, Russia. Vityazevo Beach, Russia | © Leonrid / WikiCommons. ...
- Mtsvane Kontskhi, Georgia. Mtsvane Kontskhi, Georgia | © Archil Kikvadze / WikiCommons. ...
- Mamaia, Romania. ...
- Langeron Beach, Ukraine.
Gelendzhik. Gelendzhik is located on the Black Sea coast in “Krasnodarsky Kray” region of Russia. It is located about 70 kilometers southeast of the city of Anapa. This is one of the most popular summer resorts in Russia.Is there a city under the Black Sea? ›
ANCIENT GREEK CITY FOUND IN BLACK SEA; Submerged Off the Crimean Coast, Its Buildings Are Studied by Soviet Divers. BELIEVED OLD CHERSONESE Town Wrecked Twice by Earthquakes, Archeologists Hold--Reds Act to Mobilize Labor.What is the largest city on the Black Sea? ›
The largest city is Varna, The administrative center of the euroregion is Varna. The port of Constanța is marginally the largest port on the Black Sea.Does Black Sea have nice beaches? ›
The Black Sea region is home to many beautiful beaches with clear seas and stunning scenery. It has many well-known beach resorts, such as Sunny Beach in Bulgaria, Mamaia Beach in Romania, and Odesa Beach in Ukraine.Is the Black Sea worth visiting? ›
For lush landscapes, the Black Sea Coast is one of the best places to visit in Turkey. This region is a world apart from the rest of the country, with the clusters of villages that speckle its narrow coastline hemmed in by the sea on one side and thickly forested rolling mountains on the other.Is the Black Sea nice to swim in? ›
Many people wonder whether it's dangerous to swim in the Black Sea and the simple answer is; no, it's not dangerous. The reason for this is that the black sea has two layers, a freshwater top layer from the rivers and a saltwater bottom layer. The freshwater layer is clean and great for swimmers.What dangers is the Black Sea in? ›
The Black Sea Ecosystem is in Danger!
Why is the Black Sea black? The sea was first named by the ancient Greeks who called it "Inhospitable Sea." The sea got this reputation because it was difficult to navigate, and hostile tribes inhabited its shores.Is the Black Sea warm to swim in? ›
The waters of the Black Sea are generally warm and do not freeze in winter. A comfortable swimming temperature is established in May-June in the south and in the second half of June on the northern coast. During the peak season, the water temperature in the Black Sea can reach 27-28 degrees.What Romanian towns are on the Black Sea? ›
The main cities in the region are Constanța (Romania's largest port), Mangalia, Năvodari and Sulina. All of these (except Sulina) are located in Constanta county, one of two Romanian counties with a coastline.Which Turkish villages are on the Black Sea? ›
The Black Sea Region (Turkish: Karadeniz Bölgesi) is a geographical region of Turkey. The largest city in the region is Samsun. Other big cities are Trabzon, Ordu, Tokat, Giresun, Rize, Amasya and Sinop.What city is located on the Black Sea? ›
Detailed Map of the Black Sea
Istanbul, Turkey's metropolis of more than 15 million, lies on both sides of the winding, 30-kilometer-long Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Mediterranean Sea via the Sea of Marmara (south) with the Black Sea (north).
One kilometre out in the Mediterranean Sea, near Haifa, Israel, an ancient village lies hidden beneath the waves. It has been so well preserved by the sandy seabed that weevils sit in the grain stores, human skeletons lie undisturbed in their graves, and a mysterious stone circle still stands as it was first erected.Can anything live in the Black Sea? ›
In the Black Sea, one still finds bottlenose dolphins and about 180 species of fish, including tuna, anchovy, herring, mackerel and the famous white sturgeon. Monk seals, sadly, have become extinct here.Why do they call it Black Sea? ›
The name 'Black Sea' is widely attributed to the Anatolian Turks, due to their habit of referring to the South as 'white' and North as 'black'. However, the appellation first appeared in a Hungarian document and later in sources originating further to the North, including Icelandic sagas and other Nordic narratives.Is the Black Sea an ocean or lake? ›
Answer and Explanation: No, the Black Sea is not a lake. The Black Sea is an example of an inland sea. The Black Sea is at sea level, and it is open to the ocean.
It is bordered by Ukraine to the north, Russia to the northeast, Georgia to the east, Turkey to the south, and Bulgaria and Romania to the west.Are there sharks in Black Sea? ›
The Black Sea is home to world's biggest, most productive spiny dogfish sharks, but this remarkable, global species is in danger of extinction.Which Turkish beach is best on Black Sea? ›
Filyos is a beautiful sandy beach on the Black Sea coast of Turkey. One of the most popular beaches in Zonguldak, Filyos, is known for its golden sand and the dark blue of the sea that meets on its shores, creating a stunning contrast of colors.
In summer the surface layer is warmed to between 73 and 79 °F (23 and 26 °C). At depths of about 160 to 240 feet (50 to 75 metres), a cold layer remains at 45 °F (7 °C), and lower depths do not change from their winter levels.What is the most beautiful part of the Turkish coast? ›
Patara. Stretching more than seven miles, Patara Beach is the longest and most wildly beautiful in Turkey – and also one of the emptiest.What do you do at the Black Sea? ›
- Sumela Monastery. 1,270. Historic Sites • Ancient Ruins. ...
- Lake Golcuk. 769. Bodies of Water. ...
- Abant Golu Tabiat Parkı 912. Bodies of Water • National Parks. ...
- Atatürk Kosku. 677. Historic Sites. ...
- Yedigoller National Park. 796. National Parks. ...
- Boztepe. 553. ...
- Hamsilos Koyu. 447. ...
- Boztepe. 575.
the black sea is around 35 km away from taksim square in average, because there are some close places to istanbul to the black sea, and more far away places too!Who owns Black Sea? ›
On paper, all six littoral states share the Black Sea militarily. Yet four of them (Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, and Ukraine) have relatively small navies, making the sea a de facto maritime condominium between Turkey and Russia.Does the Black Sea have whales? ›
9 out of 11 whale, dolphin and porpoise species found in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region are listed in one of the threatened categories of the IUCN Red List. 2 out of the 3 cetacean species in the Black Sea are classified as endangered.Is the Black Sea warmer than the Mediterranean? ›
Both of these areas are 2-3.5 °C warmer than average. The Black sea is even more anomalously warm: much of it is 2-4 °C warmer than average for this period! The extreme northwestern part is up to 5 °C warmer than average.
The highest position in the food chain of the Black Sea ecosystem is occupied by 3 main Black Sea predators: bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, and harbour porpoise.What is lacking at the bottom of the Black Sea? ›
A notable feature of the Black Sea is that oxygen is dissolved (and rich sea life is made possible) only in the upper water levels. Below a depth of about 230 to 330 feet (70 to 100 metres) at the sea's centre and 330 to 500 feet (100 to 150 metres) near its edge, there is no oxygen.How radioactive is the Black Sea? ›
Concentration of 137Cs and 90Sr in the Black Sea water is still relatively high. The Black Sea continues to receive considerable radionuclide amount from the rivers. The North-Crimean Canal is significant source of the Black Sea radioactivity.What is so unique with the Black Sea? ›
The Black Sea is one of the most isolated from the world's oceans. As the Black Sea is connected by a very narrow strait of the Bosphorus near Istanbul with the salty Marmara Sea and then the Mediterranean Sea, it is said to be the largest indoor water basin in the world.What is so valuable about the Black Sea? ›
The Black Sea is an important year-round transportation artery, linking the eastern European countries with world markets. Odessa, the historic Ukrainian city, together with the nearby port of Illichivsk, account for most of the sea's freight turnover.Can ships go from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean? ›
Due to Montreux Convention rules regarding the Bosporus and Dardanelles that connect the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, countries that sit on the Black Sea have unlimited access. Nonresident countries may only send ships in for short stints and are limited by ship size.Does the Black Sea get rough? ›
“The Black Sea isn't called the Black Sea for nothing,” he said. “It's a very rough sea, with strong winds blowing in from Russia, whipping up waves that are several metres high.What sea can you not swim in? ›
- There is no such thing as swimming in the Dead Sea. ...
- The salt that lines the sea bottom is rough on your feet, and will cut you up severely if you don't wear water shoes of some kind.
Environmental problems in the Black Sea are serious. The Sea's shallow, mixed surface waters receive river discharges which are heavily loaded with nutrients containing nitrogen and phosphorus and contaminated with industrial and mining wastes.What is the best Black Sea town in Bulgaria? ›
Varna – Golden Sands (15 km)
Varna is also called “the Black Sea capital” for its cultural and economic significance, one of the premier Bulgarian Black Sea resorts. Their modern port, railway station, and international airport connect with more than 35 countries and 100 cities worldwide.
In the Black Sea, one still finds bottlenose dolphins and about 180 species of fish, including tuna, anchovy, herring, mackerel and the famous white sturgeon. Monk seals, sadly, have become extinct here.Where do rich people live in Bulgaria? ›
Boyana is one of the most expensive parts of Sofia to live in. The residents are primarily wealthy business people, government officials and other prominent members of Bulgarian society. Formerly an outlying village, it was incorporated into Sofia in 1961.What is the most beautiful part of Bulgaria? ›
- The Black Sea beaches. A good place to start is the country's famous coastline. ...
- Rila Monastery. ...
- Sozopol. ...
- Plovdiv Old Town. ...
- Belogradchik. ...
- Koprivshtitsa. ...
- Nessebar. ...
- Veliko Tarnovo.
The largest Romani quarters are Stolipinovo in Plovdiv and Fakulteta in Sofia. The number of places where Romani constitute more than 50% of the population has doubled from the 1992 to the 2001 census. The largest village with a Romani majority is Gradets in Kotel Municipality.Can I swim in the Black Sea? ›
However, the Black Sea is COMPLETELY SAFE to swim in and is a popular summer destination for many looking for refuge from the heat. The Black Sea has a unique feature, which might make people believe it is not swimmable. The Black Sea is anoxic, meaning there is only a small amount of dissolved oxygen in the water.Why is Black Sea famous for? ›
The Black Sea is an important trade and transportation artery for Russia. Both Russia and Central Asian countries are highly dependent on the Russian port of Novorossiysk to export grain and oil by ship; this provides Moscow with useful leverage over land-locked Central Asia.What is Black Sea why it is called so? ›
There are a number of hypotheses for why it was eventually called the Black Sea: Metal objects from ships, dead plants, and animal matter that sunk deeper than 150 meters for a long period of time became covered with a black sludge due to the high concentration of hydrogen sulfide in the sea.What predators are in the Black Sea? ›
|Depth (m)||7 - 30|
|Name of assemblage||Venus|
|Type of key species||Bivalve|
|Key species||Chamelea gallina|