A Local's Guide to Golf in Bulgaria
Outdoors & Nature
Bulgaria's mild climate and long golfing season make it an ideal destination for golfers looking to escape colder temperatures and play year-round. Plus, the affordable prices of golfing in Bulgaria make it an attractive option for beginners and experienced golfers alike. As a local, I frequent all three of the Black Sea golf courses.
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Where to stay in Bulgaria
Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort
A world-class golf resort in Cape Kaliakra overlooking the Black Sea with a spa and numerous dining options.
Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort
A serene retreat in the idyllic Kaliakra National Park, with two private beaches, a spa, gourmet dining and an 18-hole golf course designed by Gary Player.
BlackSeaRama Golf & Villas
A stylish, 20-room boutique hotel with stunning views of the Black Sea.
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Golf courses to visit in Bulgaria
Bulgaria might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of world-class golf destinations, but this beautiful country is home to some truly stunning golf courses. From dramatic seaside links to rolling parkland layouts, Bulgaria's golf courses offer a unique and unforgettable experience for golfers of all levels.
Here are some of the top golf courses in Bulgaria:
Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort: Located on the stunning Black Sea coast, Thracian Cliffs is one of the most scenic golf courses in Europe. Designed by golf legend Gary Player, this 18-hole championship course features dramatic cliffs, breathtaking sea views, and challenging greens that will test even the most skilled golfers.
In addition to its world-class golf courses, Thracian Cliffs boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the region. The resort features two private beaches, both of which offer guests a peaceful and serene setting for sunbathing, swimming and relaxation. Arguably the most popular beach at Thracian Cliffs is Bendida Beach, which is accessible via a steep staircase from the resort's clubhouse. The beach is small but incredibly picturesque, with crystal-clear waters and stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and rock formations. Guests can rent sun loungers and umbrellas, and there is also a beach bar that serves up cold drinks and light snacks.
For those looking for a more secluded beach experience, there is also a private cove accessible via a short hike from the resort's main beach. This hidden gem is surrounded by towering cliffs and provides a peaceful and secluded spot for swimming and sunbathing.
While the beaches at Thracian Cliffs are small and relatively secluded, they are truly breathtaking, and the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere makes them the perfect place to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
BlackSeaRama Golf & Villas: Another Gary Player-designed course, BlackSeaRama is a challenging 18-hole layout that offers stunning views of the Black Sea and the surrounding countryside. The course is known for its well-manicured fairways, challenging bunkers and fast, undulating greens.
Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort: This 18-hole championship course is set along the stunning Black Sea coast and features rolling fairways, challenging bunkers and dramatic water hazards. After your round, be sure to check out the resort's luxurious spa and wellness center for a truly relaxing experience.
Pirin Golf & Country Club: Located in the beautiful Pirin Mountains, this 18-hole course offers a challenging parkland layout that winds through stunning alpine scenery. The course features elevated tees, tricky water hazards and a variety of different shot-making challenges.
Pravets Golf Club: Designed by renowned golf architect Peter Harradine, Pravets Golf Club is a challenging and picturesque course that offers stunning views of the Balkan Mountains. The course features rolling fairways, dramatic water features and tricky greens that will challenge even the most skilled golfers.
Okol Lake Park Golf Course: Located just a short drive from Sofia, Okol Lake Park Golf Course is a beautiful 18-hole course set among rolling hills and tranquil lakes. Designed by renowned golf architect Peter Harradine, this course features tree-lined fairways, strategic bunkering and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Whether you're a seasoned pro or a casual player, Bulgaria's golf courses offer a unique and unforgettable experience for golfers of all levels. From stunning seaside links to challenging parkland layouts, these courses are sure to impress and inspire. So pack your clubs and head to Bulgaria for a truly unforgettable golf vacation!
Places to eat & drink in Bulgaria
If you're a golfer visiting Bulgaria, be sure to check out some of the amazing dining options available at the country's top golf resorts:
Thracian Cliffs: This stunning resort is home to several amazing restaurants that offer a range of dining options to suit every taste. The main restaurant, Geti, serves up delicious Bulgarian and international cuisine in an elegant and sophisticated setting, while the Clubhouse Restaurant offers a more casual atmosphere for post-round dining. For a truly special experience, be sure to check out the à la carte seafood restaurant, Bendida, which boasts stunning views of the Black Sea and the resort's golf course.
BlackSeaRama Golf & Villas: This beautiful resort features several amazing dining options, including the main restaurant, Bistro 37, which serves up delicious Bulgarian and international cuisine in a relaxed and welcoming setting. The Clubhouse Restaurant is the perfect place to grab a post-round bite to eat, while the more upscale Vineyard Restaurant offers a fine-dining experience featuring fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort: This luxurious resort is home to several excellent restaurants, including the Clubhouse Restaurant, which serves up delicious meals and drinks with stunning views of the Black Sea. The more upscale Mezzanine Restaurant offers a fine-dining experience featuring Bulgarian and international cuisine, while the Asian-inspired Sakura Restaurant is perfect for those craving sushi and other Japanese delicacies.
In addition to the excellent dining options at Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort, guests can also enjoy the casual and welcoming atmosphere of Shiv's Bar. Located on a terrace on the edge of the cliff, Shiv's Bar boasts beautiful views and is the perfect place to unwind after a round of golf or simply relax with friends over a drink or two. Breakfast is also offered there.
If you're staying at one of the nearby golf courses, be sure to visit Topola Skies Restaurant and try their mouth-watering lamb chops with roasted potatoes and grilled vegetables while taking in the stunning views of the Black Sea.
No matter which of Bulgaria's top golf resorts you visit, you're sure to be treated to some amazing dining experiences. So be sure to come hungry and prepare to indulge in some of the best cuisine Bulgaria has to offer!
Day trips in Bulgaria
Take a day trip to Kaliakra cape and explore the breathtaking scenery of the cape, as well as the nearby mussel farm, where you can enjoy fresh, locally-grown mussels in a beautiful coastal setting.
Need to Know
Looking for more Bulgaria travel tips? Check out my other guide: A Local's 3-Day Guide to Sofia, Bulgaria.
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This is part of our ongoing series on travel to Bulgaria.