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Secret beaches in Bulgaria: Tyulenovo, the village of seals

Secret beaches in Bulgaria: Tyulenovo, the village of seals

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The challenge: Discover one of the most beautiful secret beaches in Bulgaria

You won’t meet lovers of sand beaches in the Bulgarian seaside village of Tyulenovo (Тюленово), simply because there is no sand in the area. Along the entire coastline there are only majestic cliffs, plunging 20-30 m (65-100 ft), with curious folds, pinnacles and hollows shaped by the crashing waves. Below them lie many underwater caves, while the remains of ships that have wrecked against the dangerous coast lie scattered across the sea bed. Relics from ancient civilizations have been found in rock niches throughout the years – maybe many more still remain undiscovered.

Tyulenovo, Bulgaria | © Maria Angelova/www.203challenges.com

What you will find in Tyulenovo

Lovers of diving and rock climbing, fans of wild sea beaches, explorers of ancient cultures and nature photographers are drawn to this place. Some pitch their tents right on the rocks, despite the strong wind, while others stay in family hotels and guest houses. But in Tyulenovo, everyone is searching for that extraordinary one thing that keeps popping up in your mind months after your visit.

Tyulenovo, Bulgaria | © Maria Angelova/www.203challenges.com

The seals of Tyulenovo

Although its name translates from Bulgarian as “the village of seals,” there are no longer any seals in Tyulenovo. They disappeared years ago, probably in the 1970s, although a lack of exact data makes it impossible to know for sure. Almost as blurry is the story of how they came to be in the village in the first place. Many put the seals’ presence down to Maria, a Romanian queen who loved to spend her holidays at her summer residence in the nearby town of Balchik (the present-day Castle of Balchik, open to visitors). In the 1930s she raised a pair of seals, then decided one day to let them free. The seals settled near Tyulenovo, which was at the time named Kalach Kyoy. The village was renamed Tyulenovo (“of the seals”) in 1942 because of those seals.

Even if you can’t dive, even if you can’t climb a rock, even if you don’t find a single cave once inhabited by the Thracians, it’s enough to wake up before sunrise, sit by the rock bridge and watch the sun shimmering off the waves.

Tyulenovo, Bulgaria | © Maria Angelova/www.203challenges.com

We challenge you to…

…get up before sunrise and welcome the sun on the rocky coast – an unforgettable experience!

Useful information:

The village of Tyulenovo is 80 km from Varna. You can take a bus from Sofia and Varna to Shabla, then a bus from Shabla to Tyulenovo. However, that bus runs only twice a week, so it’s faster to hitchhike or rent a car.

A map of the best vantage point in Tyulenovo:

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