Villa Magdalen enjoys a prominent position high on the hills in a calm and quiet area called Golden Fish, a settlement of villas that are privately owned and well cared for. From Villa Magdalen you overlook the full stretch of the bay of Albena, and to the other side you'll find the charming fishing town Balchik. Both places are just a few miles away and offer very different things as you can read below. The city of Varna is a mere 40 kilometers away, a 35-minute drive from Villa Magdalen, and worth a visit.
Close to the villa
Just below the villa-area of Golden Fish, there is the little beach of Fish Fish. It is at walking distance from the villa (15 minutes) and you can even walk along the beach and coastline all the way to Albena beach, the large golden beach that you can see from the terraces at the villa. There is a useful little supermarket at the bottom of the road from the villa, a bigger one when you turn right (2 minutes by car, on your left), or for a big shop go to Balchik, up the hill and there is a new large supermarket opposite a garage and next to a bar called 'Mistique'.
Even though the nearest beach and supermarket are very close to the villa, car hire (very affordable here) is strongly recommended. You will probably not enjoy the walk uphill in the heat of the day, and there is so much more to explore. Spectacular scenery and the beauty of nature starts right at Bulgaria's coastline. Within a radius of 10 kilometers you will also find 3 world class 18-hole golf courses. Read all about it on our dedicated GOLF page.
Balchik - charming and authentic
Balchik is a charming little fishing town that is built like an amphitheatre above its pretty marina and offers a colourful array of local shops and restaurants. It is steeped in history with its landmark Palace, right at the beach, with the famous botanical gardens.
The exceptional view toward the pictoresque town from the sea impressed the great Ovid who exclaimed: "O white stone town, I salute thee for thy inimitable beauty!".
The Milesian colonists believed that the goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, was born there out of sea foam. After the Balkan War, in 1913, Balchik was included in the territories of Romania. Struck by the natural beauty of the place Queen Maria built a palace and a botanical garden, a chapel and a villa complex for the Romanian aristocrats. The town turned into a luxurious resort at that time and after 1940 Balchik was again included in Bulgarian territory. The Palace is still a prominent feature of Balchik, and the Palace's botanical gardens are famous for its diversity, comprising more than 200 tree species, numerous unique flowers and boasting a unique collection of cactus plants (more than 250 species). In total there are more than 3000 rare and exotic species of plants in the botanic garden. and It is part of the teaching facilities of Sofia University.
Balchik town has many historic and natural attractions, The Art Gallery and local museum, showing the town's history is very interesting. There is a small ethnographic museum and a beautiful old church called St. Nikola Church (1866). Apart from the galleries, musea and quaint little shops, there is also an attractive beach near The Palace, and there are some very good hotels and camping grounds.
The sea promenada is a nice place to stroll or have a drink, and so are the harbour and the small streets around.
Apart from the prominent restaurants in the palace and the larger hotels, there is a wide choice of little restaurants and coastal stalls offering seafood, pizzas, spaghetti and other kinds of European cuisine. The many grocer's shops sell all imaginable supplies for tourists who like to cook, traditional local ingredients as well as a more international assortment.
Albena - where the action is
About 2 kilometre south-eastwards of Villa Magdalen, is the bustling sea side resort of Albena, boasting the second largest beach on the Black Sea Coast, 6 km long. It is an awarded 'Blue Flag' beach and famous for it's fine golden sand. But there is more to Albena than just a beautiful beach.
Albena is the spot where it is all happening, all the water sports and fun activities that you can imagine and lots of buzzing bars and clubs. There is so much to do here for every age, on the beach and everywhere in the resort: water skiing, surfing, jetski, underwater fishing, tennis, mini golf, bowling, riding, jeep safari's, beach volleyball, aerobics, hang-gliding, paragliding and parachute, banana-boating, paint balling, go-carting, and equestrian sports. The children's amusement park features a fun fair, kids' disco, mini-trains, inflatable trampoline and water carting. There are football grounds, a sports hall, gyms, 17 tennis courts, 21 outdoor and indoor swimming pools, fitness centres, and a spa centre. There is even a Beach Library right on the beach, you don't even need your flip-flops to get your next read.
Albena also has a diving school, a yacht club, internet cafes, and lots of tourist stalls and shops. You could easily spend all your evenings just cruising the many stalls and cocktail bars on the beach or promenade, picking a different one every night. You will be just as spoiled for choice of restaurants: more than 100 catering establishments in total, in every style, ranging from top class restaurants to fast food outlets, small cosy spots right on the shore, taverns and folk-style places, Chinese and Indian cuisine, to suit any taste and wallet. But rest assured if this all sounds a bit too dazzling for you.... Albena also is the perfect place to just get a sun-lounger and umbrella, and let the world pass by! Beach life is good!
Varna - CAPITAL OF YOUTH AND CULTURE
Varna is more than just the city with the nearest airport. It is Bulgaria's largest sea port and most important city after Bulgaria's capital Sofia, and certainly deserves a day trip. Or, if your flight schedule and villa-arrival leave you with a day in between, it will be worthwhile to stay one or two nights in Varna and spend an extra day to explore its famous cathedral, galleries, musea, trendy shops and beaches. As a university town Varna has a very intense young vibe - it was Europe's Capital of Youth in 2017 - and a vibrant night and beach life.
The Sea Gardens and Primorski Park will keep you - and your children! - entertained with a zoo, dolphinarium and open air nature historical museum (where the kids can 'ride a dinosaur'). You will also find an incredible choice of cultural and musical festivals (classic, jazz, folk, rock, opera) all through summer, of which The International Music Festival 'Varna Summer Fest' is one of the highlights. A guide to visiting Varna lets you explore its many faces and the agenda of concerts, gigs, theatre and festivals. It may be unusual, but staying at Villa Magdalen, you can combine your seaside holiday with an exciting night at the opera: Carmen, Aida, Don Quichote, The Three Musketeers, Shakespeare in Love... famous classics as well as a newer or lesser known repertoire are all scheduled for this summer.