Things to see in and near St. St. Constantine and Helena
1. The Monastery of St. St. Constantine and Helena
Actually, St. St. Constantine and Helena was named AFTER the small lovely monastery which is the most important thing to see in the area. One of its curious secrets is that it currently holds part of St Valentine’s remains 🙂 The monastery was founded by monks that were seeking a sacntuary in the nearby woods when they found an icon of the two saints. We believe that it was built between the 14th and 16th century and the chosen spot was one with miraculous water. Even today, people working in the monastery will tell you that if you drink from that water and pay your respects to the icon of St Valentine’s, a new life will await for you! 🙂
You can explore the monastery of St. St. Constantine and Helena for free, but you do need to wear proper attire. Taking photos is not allowed, so please be respectful!
2. “The View” and the Huge White Cross of St. St. Constantine and Helena
There is a spot at the St. St. Constantine and Helena resort near Varna which is pretty curious – a huge white cross right at the pier, which you will find on Google Maps as just “The View”. This cross has been placed in honor of the monastery, the name of the resort and Bulgaria’s strong connection to Christianity. You will often see fishermen at this pier, but careful – they won’t be happy if you’re making too much noise and scare their fish! 🙂
3. Aladzha Monastery
Aladzha monastery is an important architectural landmark near St. St. Constantine and Helena and in Bulgaria as a whole. It is actually a rock monastery of several curious floors and it was inhabited by monks even back in the 13th and 14th centuries! On its first floor you’ll see a small tunnel with stairs – don’t hesitate and take these. You will see interesting “rooms” – a church, monk’s quarters, a kitchen and even a crypt!
You can also witness the spectacular light (and audio) show which takes places every Sunday at 9:00 pm. It lasts only about 30 minutes, so if you’re visiting Varna with kids, you won’t need to keep the little ones too late 🙂
The entrance fee for the monastery is 5 BGN for adults (2 BGN for children aged 7-16), while the fee for the show is 15 BGN for adults (and 5 BGN for children).
4. The Botanical Garden (Eco Park)
The Botanical garden is very close to St. St. Constantine and Helena – right on the other side of the main road to the Golden Sands! If you’ve chosen Splendid apart-complex for your accommodation, you will only need to walk for about 10 minutes. The “Eco park” as we, locals, call it, is a perfect way to spend an afternoon around nature, searching to find all curious and secret spots and sights in the garden!
Some of the most spectacular things to see in Varna’s botanical garden are the Rosarium, the Roman tomb, the Roman villa, the chapel, as well as curious collections of grasses, cacti, and even irises. You can also just take the day for a lovely picnic on one of the large grass fields. The weekends in the garden are really popular among the locals – from team buildings to children’s birthdays, it’s one of our favorite things to do near Varna in the summer!
Just one important tip – I wouldnt’ advise you to visit the Botanical garden with a stroller, if you’re visiting Varna with kids, since the roads are not very flat. You’d be better off using a sling for the little ones, or let the older children just run around 🙂
The entrance fee for the Botanical garden is 4 BGN per adult, if you’re visiting by car – the parking fee is 3 BGN.
Do you know where the name of this palace near St. St. Constantine and Helena comes from? Actually, in the very beginning of its existance it was called Sandrovo (after the Bulgarian ruler Alexander Batenberg). Later on, his wife, Maria Louisa asked him to change it, so the name can be dedicated to the lovely Black Sea. The name Euxinograd means welcoming sea (Pontos Euxenos)!
Even before its completion, Batenberg gives the palace to tsar Ferdinand, who changed the project a lot and made it even more stunning. The gardens of the palace are quite large, as Ferdinand wanted to collect a plant from every corner of the world. Well, he didn’t make it, but the greenhouses are pretty spectacular.
Taking photos inside the palace is forbidden. The only room that is used even to this day is the Mirror room – you can often see important interviews and audiences taking place there in the Bulgarian news. In order to visit this thing to see near Varna, which is less than 10 minutes away from St. St. Constantine and Helena, send an e-mail to Euxinograde@government.bg and book your day and preferred time. Bear in mind that there are only 3 tours per day, starting at 9 am, 12 pm and 3 pm (I do recommend the morning one <3 ). The price of your visit will be 12 BGN per person.
6. The “Golden Sands” Park
This park is the smallest from the 11 official natural parks in Bulgaria. Despite this, it is perfect for an active day away from the summer heat! It has 5 main pedestrian trails with different difficulty and duration and even special routes, as the Jay’s Home trail (perfect for children), Nature for All trail (specialized for people with disabilities) and even a Biking trail! You can find out more at the official website of the Golden Sands Park.
Experiences near St. St. Constantine and Helena
7. Aquapolis Golden Sands
With a capacity of over 3,000 people, this aquapolis is one of the best along the Black Sea coast. It’s absolutely worth visiting, especially if you’re staying near Varna with children. You can become part of amazing experiences as the Wild River, the Slalom and even the Black Hole! (take a look at all the attractions here). This thing to see near Varna has two restaurants – Arkadia and Ambrosia, for when you need a chilled drink or yummy food.
The opening times for Aquapolis Golden Sands is between 10 am and 6 pm (or 7 pm in high season), and the entrance fee is 25 BGN per person.
8. Scuba Dive to an Underwater Airplane
One of the many curious things to do in St. St. Constantine and Helena and the Bulgarian Black Sea coast as a whole, is scuba dive at 20 meters to see the plane TU 154! This plane is not at all a random one – it belongs to Bulgaria Air and it was used by the Bulgarian government for over 20 years.
In 2011 the airline allowed for the plane to be intentionally dropped in the Black Sea and to be used as an attraction 🙂 The plane is long over 50 meters and is also an artificial reef in the sea. If you love to scuba dive, you can dip in and see the TU 154 up close. The underwater coordinates of this attraction are 43°13´404 N ; 028°01´464 Е .
9. Watch the Sunrise
The sunrise is definitely something I recommend to any tourist looking for things to see near Varna. It’s true, there are many spots in the city itself, but the place in St. St. Constantine and Helena called The Bay is also a spot where you can take spectacular pictures! Still, if you want to fully enjoy the sunrise, you can conveniently “forget” your phone and camera, take a coffee with you and sit on the sand, waiting for the pink-reddish clouds of the sunrise <3
10. Take a Boat Trip
There are different options for a lovely boat trip near Varna and the region. You can choose the one that goes between the resorts St. St. Constantine and Helena and the Golden Sands. The little ship Mladena starts from St. St. Constantine and Helena and is a great opportunity to have the most fun morning or afternoon! You will enjoy not just the beauty and the landmarks along the region, but also swimming and fishing. There are refreshments on board (as well as food), to keep you chilly during the summer heat.
You can choose sailing at 10 am or 2 pm and the trip itself is about 4 hours long – you can see the ship itself here. This experience along the Black Sea coast is a perfect option if you’ve decided to visit St. St. Constantine and Helena with children 🙂
You can also make a booking at 0035989 91 99 305.
Beaches near St. St. Constantine and Helena
11. Beaches “Drujba”
“Drujba”/”Druzhba” is the way that we, locals, call the St. St. Constantine and Helena resort (I’ll admit, it’s pretty long to say the whole name every time!). “Drujba” means “Friendship” in Bulgarian and it comes from when Bulgaria was a communist country (but it’s not any more, lucky for us!). There are a few main beaches and bays that are very pleasant and enjoyable. One of the most popular and vibrant beaches is the one in front of hotel Azalia, as well as the South Beach. It gets pretty crowded during high season, so it’s a good idea to visit in the early morning. Later on, you can take advantage of the numerous water attractions in the resort – water ski, jet ski and even “banana”-style rubber boats.
12. Sunny Day Beach
Not to be confused with Sunny Beach (which is a few hundred kilometers south), Sunny day is right next to the St. St. Constantine and Helena beaches (going North). The water is really pleasant, shallow and thus perfect for children. Again, it’s very vibrant and full of people, and you can always take a drink from one of the numerous hotel bars nearby.
13. Trakata Beach
The beach of Trakata is not as crowded as the other ones nearby. It’s a wild natural beach without any restaurants, hotels or cafes and getting there is not super easy. There aren’t any water attractions either, but there are usually less people than on the other beaches. The water is pretty clean and transparent, but it’s a bit more rocky, so be careful not to step on an underwater stone.
Bring an umbrella and a cold bag packed with water, beer and snacks! 🙂
14. Cabacum Beach
The beach of Cabacum is a favorite among the people of Varna. It’s quite long and there are many, many beach bars along the sand. The water is usually cleaner than the one in Varna and the fun is never-ending! Cabacum is mostly visited by Bulgarians, while St. St. Constantine and Helena and Sunny day are mixed between locals and tourists.
If you’re visiting this beach by car, do yourself a favor – go early and leave it at the paid parking close to the entrance! During high season it gets pretty full, and I’ve been stuck at the long street near the beach because of parked cars.
15. “Golden Sands” Beaches
The Golden Sands are called like that for a reason – they are truly spectacular and the grains of sand can shine so brightly in the sun, you might think there is a hidden gem underneath <3 The resort has quite a few beach bars and water attractions (which are more expensive than the ones at St. St. Constantine and Helena, maybe about 50%), but it’s not that full. The locals don’t really go there lately, probably because of the prices, so you’ll mostly see tourists. Some of the beaches get deep quickly, so if you’re bringing kids with you, take a rubber pool for them to have fun in the sand 🙂
Where to Stay in St. St. Constantine and Helena
Splendid Apart-Complex St. Constantine
If you’re visiting St. St. Constantine and Helena with children, a surely better option is to choose vacation apartments over a hotel. We found apartments a lot more convenient, especially a separate bedroom for our baby. Our little one sleeps very lightly and wakes up easily, and last time we were at a hotel it was very hard for us.
Splendid Apart-Complex St. Constantine is a perfect option which combines the best of both worlds – you will be at an apartment with its own fully equipped kitchen, living room and bedroom, but you can also use the services of the nearby hotel Romance – SPA (indoor pool, gym), breakfast and dinner.
Here are the other advantages of the complex that I particularly enjoyed:
- Internet – the Internet connection was actually quite good! The last places I’ve stayed didn’t have such a good connection, so I ended up using mobile data, rather than the hotel Wi-Fi. The Splendid Apartments, though, would allow you to spend some time working from home if needed, without worrying about the connection!
- Parking – at a few extra levs per day, you can also use parking (there is even an underground one, so your car won’t “melt” in the hot summer sun). There are elevators that will take you directly to your room from the parking – 1 elevator for each of the 4 wings.
- Swimming pool and kid’s corner – they have thought about the little ones as well – there is a small plastic house with lots of toys, as well as a slide and even swings <3 The pool itself has a mushroom fountain and a small water slide. The pool is not too large (it’s deep between 1.30m and 1.70m in its part for adults, so even if you visit St. St. Constantine and Helena a bit before or after high season, it will be warm enough for you to swim.
- Daily maid service – now this is something you won’t find in any AirBNB 🙂 A very pleasant maid will come and clean your vacation apartment.
- Change of sheets and towels – well, honestly, how often do you change the sheets and towels when you’re home? Once a week, right? Well, why do mos hotels waste so much water and electricity to wash them daily?? Well, at Splendid Apart-Complex St. Constantine this problem has been elegantly solved – the sheets and towels will be changed every 3 days (or upon request), which to me is a perfect balance between what we need and saving the planet.
- Protecting the environment – speaking about saving the planet, I received information that most likely in the next high season, the Splendid apartments intend to give up the small plastic bottles with shampoo and shower gel and install wall dispensers (they do have quantities that need to be used, still)! Unfortunately, this is not common practice in Bulgaria, but hopefully the complex will set an example for the rest 🙂
- Pleasant service – we, Bulgarians, tend to be very grumpy sometimes. The people that work at Splendid Apart-Complex St. Constantine, though, are not like that at all – every single employee was smiling and respectful! It was a true pleasure to communicate with people that like what they do and work in a true team 🙂 Even the guard was super pleasant! 🙂
To find out more about the complex, you can visit their website. To make a booking, you can call them at + 359 884 266 232 or just send them an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org . I promise you you won’t regret spending some time with them! 🙂
Bonus – the Curious Statues in St. St. Constantine and Helena
Walking around the resort, you will see a few curious statues. When you do go there, share your favorite one with me! 🙂
Disclaimer: My stay at Splendid Apart-Complex St. Constantine was complimentary. However, all opinions are my own.