Our 5 day trip to the Black Sea last month was wonderful. It was almost like a honeymoon of sorts, just two years late! We ate, drank, and explored. So much fun.
The hotel that we stayed at is actually located just outside of Golden Sands. This was a good thing because we were able to avoid the crowds when we wanted to. It was about a ten minute walk down to the beach; completely doable for two young, able bodied adults. I think if we'd had Francie with us, we would have opted to drive down and park closer. It was literally a downhill walk through a wooded path. In typical Bulgarian style, it was not clearly marked, so we just sort of found our way to it the first time.
Each morning started out with us having our breakfast at the hotel and then heading to the beach. We would pick a spot to start the day and swim, relax, then move on once we got hungry. Just a few minutes walk along the sand would have us in the more touristy area. There are a lot of beautiful resorts packed with foreign visitors- Russians, Romanians, Germans, and others who we couldn't even identify by language. It was an interesting experience being among so many different nationalities at once, but the common language remains English. It's funny to hear an exchange between someone from the Netherlands and someone from Bulgaria in your mother tongue, so far from home.
Golden Sands has all the tourist trappings and cliches that you would expect in a resort town- stalls of souvenirs, pushy shop owners, overpriced food and drinks, a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, pony rides, mini golf, go-karts, ice cream, henna tattoos, hair braiding, etc. The food wasn't really as marked up as we had expected; a large draft beer went for around $3, which is pretty typical even in Sofia. We stopped at this one perfect restaurant on the far end of the beach where we ate fried fish, shopska salad, fries, and drank beers for less than $20. That was an awesome find.
Each day we bought 2 cans of beer from a mini mart and leisurely made our way back to our end of the beach, stopping at different spots along the shore to sit and sip on our drinks. I really just love being in a place where responsible adults can enjoy their alcoholic beverages out in the open without any hesitation or restriction. Ahhh, Europe. I knew I loved you before I met you.
Overall, I loved everything about this trip. Golden Sands can be too touristy for some, but perhaps since we went in the off season, it was really pleasant and enjoyable. I would definitely go again.