Today the village has about 300 residents. In July and August hundreds of tourists come to Sinemorets but even at the high season, the long beaches and open horizons give you enough space for relaxation, peace and closeness to the sea, the hot sand, the woods and the meadows of Strandja.
Butamyata Beach is 3 minutes walking from the hotel, and is one of the best and most easily accessible beaches in Sinemorets. It is ideal for families with young children as it has shallow, very warm waters. In Greek “butamya” means pasture, while „potamya” means river, and you can hear both nicknames. Butamyata beach offer all the modern comforts – umbrellas, sunbeds, numerous places where you can grab a bite or a drink.
About 15 min walk north from the hotel, you will find Veleka river. The river exits Strandja Nature Park and forms a beautiful estuary as it flows in the sea. The view of the sand beach that is formed as the river flows parallel to the sea is unforgettable. The water is deep and the waves are strong, so this beach is not for beginner swimmers, but due to the cleansing effect of fresh water it is one of the cleanest. There is an organized windsurfing school there and as well as hip beach bars and even a yoga platform. No matter your age we recommend you to take a trip down the sand bar separating the sea from the river. It is a unique experience!
Lipite beach is accessible by a 20-minute stroll along coast on a path beginning from the southeast edge of the Butamyata beach. It is an unbelievable place – a large beach with very clean water and fine sand. The water is shallow and calm so Lipite is perfect for children, but keep in mind that it is a wild beach and there are no elements of civilization. When you plan to go to Lipite you should bring water, food and umbrella with you (we provide umbrellas free of charge), especially if you plan to stay for hours on the beach. If you bring your camera to Lipite Beach you can capture many bizarre rock formations – The Split Rock, Dove Cave, Stone of Sisyphus. Just give yourself a few hours and your imagination will find all sorts of animals, faces and bodies all around you.
Care for something wilder? No problem. Put on your hiking shoes, take food and water for the day . About 4 km south of the hotel is Listi Beach. It is accessible only on foot, along a path along the coast, passing by Butamyata and Lipite Beach. Even though the beach is surrounded by forest (listi in Bulgarian means leaves), its name actually comes from the ancient Greek work for pirate or robber. And when you reach the area surrounding the beach, called the Canyon it is difficult not to feel like one, looking at all the vertical rocks guarding the little bay housing the Listi Beach.
You can reach Silistar beach via a side road about 5 km on the left along the road from Sinemorets to the southernmost point of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast – the village of Rezovo. It is a dirt road though the park that ends on a large meadow with a poignant views of the sea. Named after Silistar river, the beach has long been a favorite spot for many Bulgarians. The beach itself is relatively large and wide. It used to be a wild beach until just a few years ago, but now has all the modern tourist comforts, with umbrellas, a restaurant and couple beach bars and water sports. What draws so many people to this remote area is the shallow and warm sea, the soft sand and the unbelievable scenery and rocks surrounding the beach. Silistar bay is certainly one of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see.
Strandzha Nature Park is the largest protected area in Bulgaria. The park covers the entire Black Sea coast from Tsarevo to the border with Turkey. The soft undulating hills of Strandzha are covered with century-old oak and beech trees with a canopy so thick that it forms a tunnel above your head. These are our favorite routes through the park:
Аlong the Veleka River
On foot, bike or canoe, start upstream along the left bank of the Veleka River. You will pass through meadows and dense forests and reach a picnic area called Tsarskoto Kladenche (King’s Well). It was Tzar Boris III favorite resting area! Further up the river you will reach a large bridge where you can cross and enter Brodilovo – one of the largest villages in Strandja, nested on top of an extinct volcano. If you go in May or early June, the hills will be dotted with orchids, poppies and wild flowers. In any case take some insect repellent with you!
The blooming rhododendron, or zelenika as the locals call it, is the symbol of Strandzha. During the months of May and June you can see it in full bloom and it is a magnificent sight. The best way to see, is to hike through the Park starting from the village of Kondolovo, about 1 hour from the hotel – just drive through Tsarevo and take the road to Malko Turnovo. There is a very well marked eco-trail, starting north passing through some century-old oak forests and thick evergreen bushes of rhododendrons.
Silistar protected area – 3-hour hiking trip down the coast
Head southeast from the hotel and pass by Butamyata bay. On top of the rocks at the end of the beach you will enter Silistar Protected Area - the richest area in Bulgaria by sheer diversity of plants! The route continues along the coast, passing many small rocky coves with their own beaches. Worth noting are the beaches of Lipite, where the forest extends right up to the sand, Listi (the famous pirate bay) and Silistar – one of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see.
On your hikes please follow the marked tourist routes or contact the Reception about organizing a local guide.
Nestinari in the village of Bulgari
Some rituals, and the music and songs associated with them, are tied to beliefs and traditions extending far into antiquity – to the Ancient Thracians.
On 3rd June each year, on the Day of St. Constantine and Elena, the people from the village dress one particular icon from the St. Constantine chapel in red cloth and spend the entire day in prayer and preparation. After sunset, the nestinari fall into a state of trance and under the sounds of a special song step out for their dance on fire.
There are many scientific, esoteric or religious explanations for the mystery of nestinari, but the fact is that after walking on the burning red coals, they emerge unscarred.
It is said that in Ancient Thracian times, the High Priest danced on fire to connect to the Sun-God Apollo. With the onset of Christianity, the ritual was transformed – the nestinari carry the icon of St. Constantine and Elena in gratitude for the fact that Emperor Constantine officialized Christianity as a religion. Anyhow, get there early to reserve a spot and have a chance to be carried across the fire for health. Village of Bulgari is about 45 min. drive from the hotel.
Church St. George - Sinemorets
The church in Sinemorets is a small, cozy place, in the northern part of the village. There is an interesting icon of Saint Modest, the patron of the farmers and shepherds, depicted in between two trees overseeing a plowman with oxen, shepherd with herd, horse and buffalo.
Church Ascension of Chist - Ahtopol
Built around 1796, the Church is located on top of a hill close to the fishermen’s port near the nearly vertical sea cliffs. It is a small elliptical church, with thick walls made from stone, almost indistringuishable from an old house.Definitely take a short walk to the Greek school located further up the hill. This 100-year old complex was designed by Greek architects is an atelier and exhibition hall for students and teachers of the Bulgarian National Arts Academy. You can see local archeological finds and an open-air exhibit of wood sculptures in the yard. You will be rewarded with some of the most beautiful views of the sea, Ahtopol and its port.
Church of Assumption of Virgin Mary, Tsarevo
The church Assumption of Virgin Mary dominates over a cape in Vasiliko - the sourthern portion of Tsarevo – really a place touched by God. It is a relatively new church, build in 1895, on top of ruins of an older Saint Trinity church from XVIII century. For many years it was derelict and abandoned, but was restored in the past 20 years with help of the local population. Behind the church there is an old Greek tombyard, and a well-maintained garden and children playground, where you can admire the endless expanse of the sea. Note the century-old fig trees at the entrance to the Church and we encourage you to take a refreshing stroll along the boardwalk connecting the old and the new town.
Other places of worship worth visiting: Church St. Panteleimon – village of Brodilovo, Оrthodox Church Ascencion of Mary and Catholic Holy Trinity Church of Malko Turnovo, Golyamobukovski Monastery Saint Petka in and the Church St. Cyril and Metodius, village of Kosti
As a frontier zone until 1990, Sinemorets was fairly unknown and rarely visited, until just a couple decades ago. Nevertheless, we constantly find traces of its millenium-old existence.
The Thracians were the first known inhabitants of these lands – from the middle of the second millennium B.C. to about the 6th century A.D. The Thracian tribe that ruled over most of the lands in Strandzha all the way to what is now Bourgas was called asti, hence the name of Asti Arthotel. Thracians were melted into the current Bulgarian nation, but many shrines, customs and legendary heroes from this time have survived and can be admired today.
One of the famous thracians that lived in Strandzha was Orpheus – maybe a mythical hero, but the countless songs and legends praising his lifetime and deeds seem twice more real as you visit the ancient Thracian sanctuaries and listen to the bird-songs in Strandzha.
Strandzha is full of thracian menhir (large standing rocks), dolmens (taol maen – megalithic structures like Stonehenge), necropolises, tombs and mystic treasures:
- Sinemorets Treasure – almost 200 coins, gold jewellery and ceramics from III - IV century A.D.
- A similar treasure was discovered in the nearby village of Brodilovo.
- Underwater observations in the Potamia gulf, located north of Sinemorets, discovered ceramic fragments of V-IV century B.C., anchors and lead plates of an ancient ship.
The most ancient Thracian sanctuary here is Beglik Tash, located about 30-minute drive from the hotel and dated from 14 century BC. The site was a shrine to the Mother Goddess and her son Apollo, the Sun God, and also a calendar and a sundial. With a little faith and imagination, you can feel the magical power of the place and wish for something, for this place is said to fulfill wishes.
We can help you plan your visit to these and many other archeological sites in the region. For more information please contact the Reception during your stay or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Park Strandja is an important resting and feeding place for birds along Europe’s second biggest flyway – Via Pontica. Millions of birds use this route gathering birdwatchers from all around the world to enjoy. To see the flocks of Storks it is best to come at the end of August, but if you want to count Lesser Spotted Eagles the best might be the second half of September.
In the summer the rolling hills of Strandzha are famous as the realm of the birds of prey, and you can frequently see more than 20 species of raptors as you drive along the road. Some of the highlights: Eastern Imperial Eagle, Black Kite, Montague’s Harrier, Black stork, Griffon and Egyptian Vulture and many others. Outside the nesting season there are many birds that winter here – Cormorants, Little and Great Crested Grebes, an occasional Mute Swan.
Birdwatching at ASTI Arthotel is easy: simply sit back on your terrace with view of the park and listen to the songs of the swallows nesting around the hotel grounds. We have a pair of church-owls that you can hear calling during hot summer evenings. These and many other birds will be right at your doorstep.
If you are a fisherman, Veleka River and the rocks overlooking most of the beaches in the area offer countless sites to test your skills and luck. Veleka is one of the most beautiful and clean rivers in Bulgaria, full of fish, because the river flows through protected areas and until recently the region was an inaccessible border area. Over 30 types of freshwater and saltwater fish inhabit the river – among them are black sea chalk (кефал), wild carp, eel and the needlefish.
We would like to remind you that river fishing is permitted only downstream of the bridge and urge you to help us maintain this heavenly place in its undisturbed state.The hotel can provide you with a fishing pole, and you can buy tackle and bait at a shop on the main street in Sinemorets. For any further information, please contact the Reception Desk during your stay or e-mail us email@example.com