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BALCHIK is one of the most picturesque Bulgarian towns. Built amphitheatrically at the Black Sea coast, it is 47 km north of Varna. A real pleasure is to take a walk in its cobbled narrow streets with old-time houses, steeped in the greenery of vineyards and small gardens, pleasantly contrasting the shining white elevations, encircling the town from all sides.

As far back as during the 5th century B.C., the ancient Greek polis was built here on top the remains of an older settlement. Later on it was called Dionysopolis, a tribute to God Dionysus. Karvouna, the regional centre of medieval Bulgaria, developed on top the ruins of the early Byzantine Kionysopolis and this was also marked on a number of drawn sea maps and descriptions of the land, made later. Karvouna (Karouna) was a name, brought by the old Bulgarians, meaning “compassion, closeness, mutuality, hospitality”. By the name Balchik, the town has been known since the 16th century.

Black Sea Coast

The Palace in Balchik was built for Romanian Queen Maria, who invested her entire poetic imagination in the creation of the beautiful palace, called by her by the romantic name Tehna Yuva – Quiet Nest. After the Second Balkan War in 1913, Balchik was among the regions, annexed to the Romanian territory by virtue of the Bucharest Peace Treaty. It remained part of Romania until 1940. The building of the architectural and park compound of the Palace, began in 1924 after a design by Italian architects Americo and Augustino. The combination of the ample natural sights and the elegant architectural design has produced the exclusively impressive solution of the entire compound. The palace with the tower, the villas, the auxiliary premises, the old water mills, the amazing gardens, the waterfall with the little lake, the springs – all this was conceived and implemented with a lavish élan and professional skill of architects, engineers and gardeners. The park of the palace, designed after the model of the fairy-tale labyrinth on the Island of Crete is rife with strange terraces, lanes, summer houses and columns. The stone throne of the queen, facing the sea, arouses to this day a wish in visitors to sit on it for a while and enjoy the infinite seascape. The individual buildings and park nooks combine a great number of most varied architectural styles. The Botanical Gardens of the Sofia University are also located here. This is a fairy-tale bouquet of colours, fragrances and great diversity of flowers, bushes and trees, brought from the most picturesque parts of the world. The collection of cacti alone features more than 250 species.

The Balchik Touzla is about 4 km south of Balchik. This is a lagoon lake with curative mud, the deposits of which have been calculated to be 38,000 tons. The Touzlata seaside and mud treatment resort, established here, has a mud treatment centre with departments for open-air and indoor mud-treatment procedures, a sanatorium, a resort polyclinic, holiday houses and villas. A mineral spring is part of the inviting natural scenery. Its water is used for treatment by drinking it


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