Places Rated: Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast

The November/December issue of Traveler features our annual “Places Rated” survey of destination stewardship, and this year 340 expert panelists rated 99 coastal destinations around the world. Here on the blog, we’re going to highlight some of these coastal destinations and are interested in adding your feedback to the mix.

Bulgaria: Black Sea Coast
Rating: 49 — “Facing Trouble” category


Resort developers are snatching up large swaths of Bulgaria’s coastline, increasingly regarded by price-conscious Europeans as an affordable alternative to Spain and Greece. They have left in their wake a built landscape that “does not adequately reflect the area’s cultural resources and heritage.” Nevertheless, travelers who venture far enough off the beaten path find pockets of “untouched natural areas.” Nesebur’s well-preserved Old Town is worth a visit.

Why did the place earn this score? Read representative panelist comments after the jump.

“A mixture of highly developed tourist resorts and untouched natural areas. The coastline outside the three main resort zones retains a remote atmosphere, and significant attempts are being made to protect the region’s cultural and architectural heritage in places like the Old Town of Nesebur and the Aladja Monastery near Varna.”

“Fly-by-night real estate developers ravaged Bulgaria’s coast. The aesthetic of golf courses and cookie cutter condos is sad. The location is beautiful, but I am not hopeful that it will develop sustainably.”

“Water quality appears adequate, but there is some heavy industry at places along the shore. Much of the coast is quite attractive, especially in the south, but high-rise development is becoming intense.”

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Survey scoring system:
   74-84 Top Rated
   65-73 Doing Well
   55-64 In the Balance
   48-54 Facing Trouble
   34-47 In Trouble
   22-34 Near Catastrophic

See all 99 ratings and representative panelist comments online and share your thoughts below.

Photo: Violla Milcheva

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