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Ahtopol

 

     The town of Ahtopol (population: 1364) is 87 km south-east of Bourgas, and 477 km south-east of Sofia. It is situated on a sharply jutted cape at the foot of the mountain of Strandja. This particular place on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast has the highest number of sunny and hot days during the season. The water trends to be warmer (around 25oC) and more placid. The beach, covered with fine sand is 2 km long. The town is a much-preferred resort by families, intellectuals, people in search of quiet and solitude. Ahtopol is a suitable place for a vacation for those on a budget.


     History

     The name of the town has been preserved since ancient times. It was built at the place of a Tracian settlement. The Romans called it Peronticus. The town was colonized in 6 entury before Christ. The Byzantine leader Agaton restored the town after the barbarian invasions and gave it its own name Agatopolis (City of Happiness).

At the end of the 14th century the Turks conquered it and called it Ahtenbolu. It was burnt down and devastated by sea pirates many times. In 1912 it was burnt down again. The present day town was built anew.


     Landmarks

     There are remains of a fortress wall and a large wall mural featuring the founding of the First Bulgarian State in 681.The Assumption church, built in 1776 has interesting frescoes. There are the St. Yani Manastery and a fountain, where a Tracian horseman is painted.

 

     Accommodation

     Ahtopol has a number of rest homes, hotels and a camping site, called Dolphin. Accommodation can be found in the numerous private lodgings, offered there. The prices are low.

 

     Transport

     There is regular transport to Bourgas and Sozopol.

 

     Surroundings

     5 km south from Ahtopol is the mouth of the Veleka river, the most beautiful river along the Black Sea coast in spite of the competitive characteristics of  Kamchia and Ropotamo.

     The village of Kosti, famous for the fire-dances, is situated close to the river mouth.

     3 km north-west from the village of Kosti is situated the first Bulgarian reserve, called Silkosia, where the unique Strandja flora is preserved.

     10 km south of Ahtopol is the village of Sinemorets, the last populated area before the border with Turkey.

     The biosphere reserve of Lopushna is situated about 30 km south-west from Ahtopol.

     The village of Varvara is 3 km north – a favourite place for divers for it is full of stone cavities in the river banks and “reefs” of shells under water.