No need to choose between mountains and the sea – Obzor gives you both, and in spectacular form. A small town on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, this seaside resort boasts crystal-clear waters set against the stunning Stara Planina Mountains. As well as a multitude of bars on the 5-mile-long beach, visitors can enjoy the local and ethnic cuisine at restaurants that will keep them entertained until the early hours with traditional music and dance.
Nessebar is 25 miles from Obzor, so only a quick 40-minute drive away. Over three thousand years old, this UNESCO-protected town contains remains from the Hellenistic era, including an acropolis and a temple of Apollo. You’ll find some impressive monuments, too, such as a fortress, and the Stara Mitropolia Basilica - both of which date from the Middle Ages.
Next stop: Byala, a small town that sits 4 miles away from Obzor - you can drive there in minutes. Also on the coast, Byala has a rich tradition in the production of wine that dates back to ancient times. Founded in the 3rd Century BC, Byala faces modern times as both a thriving and prosperous village and a popular tourist destination, thanks to its fine vintage wine.
Drive 9 miles south of Obzor, and you’ll reach Cape Emine. Allegedly the stormiest cape in Bulgaria, this headland is the very tip of Stara Planina. In the Middle Ages there stood on Cape Emine a fortress called Emona – a name derived from ‘Aemon’, as Stara Planina was known in ancient times. Only ruins of the fortress remain, along with some remnants of a monastery. Standing at nearly 200 feet high, Cape Emine is a vertical cliff on a perilous coast full of cliffs both above water and below water. Too dangerous for shipping and a no-go area for sailors, the coast is kept clear and safe by the lighthouse on the cape guiding boats to Burgas Bay.
Beware of the roads. Sounds dramatic, but the quality is poor even on highways. Markings are missing, and potholes are everywhere. Once you’ve taken that on board, it’s an easy ride.
Car rental companies abound, and many of them have desks in the airports, so you’re good to go as soon as you land.
Bear in mind that you’ll need to be equipped. To rent and drive you need a full driving license from your own country, and an international driving permit. You must also keep your passport with you always. The car rental company should provide you with insurance details and registration papers – also to be kept permanently in the car. If you’re planning on driving out of the city or town where your car is registered, you’ll need a vignette sticker on your windshield. The rental company should provide you with this – if not, you can buy one from a gas station or post office and depending on what you pay they remain valid for a day, a week, month, or a year.
All drivers in Bulgaria must have in their vehicle at all times:
Although you only have to be 18 to drive in Bulgaria, most companies won’t lease you a car unless you are at least 21 and have at least a year’s driving experience.
Car hire in Obzor can range from as little as $10 per day up to $50 per day, depending on the size of the car and the season. When hiring a car make sure you collect it and drop it off at the same place, or else you’ll incur extra costs. Check for damage: the rental company should be made aware of, and note down, any damage on the car before you drive away, or you might find yourself having to pay for it. And refill the car with petrol before you take it back, so you don’t get charged.
Examples of car rental prices in Obzor: