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BOURGAS REGION

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AHTOPOL
Town
Postal code: 8280
Dialing code: 0550
Population: about 1,500
Web site:

Ahtopol is situated over a sharply jutted cape 87 km southeast of Bourgas and 10 km of Tzarevo. It is a quiet, laid-back place and offers restful relaxation. It has a number of trade union rest homes and the town is a popular destination for families who can't afford the higher-priced resorts.

HISTORY

The town occupies the place of a Thracian settlement. It was probably colonised in the 6th century BC. The Romans called it Peronticus while the Byzantine leader Agaton reconstructed the town after barbarian invasions and gave it his own name, Agatopolis. The town frequently changed hands between the Byzantine Empire and the Bulgarian state. With the arrival of the Ottoman troops at the end of the 14th century, it was called Ahtenbolu. It was burnt down and devastated by sea pirates many times with the most recent fire being in 1918 when the town was completely destroyed. Remains of the town's fortress and a fountain with a carved horseman are the only traces left from old times.

SIGHTSEEING

The Assumption Church and the St. Yani Monastery are interesting sights for tourists. In the afternoon and evenings, romantic visitors enjoy walking to the town's lighthouse and crawling over the nearby rocks next to the quay, beneath which one can see a lot of crabs and fish.

NATURE

Ahtopol has two long and beautiful beaches, the second one (further to the north of the town) being used mostly by nudists. The sea is safe, clean and calm, without any dangerous animals. The sea bottom is mastly sandy and slopes gently, which makes the swimming safe. The sea saline is low. The average air temperature in the summer is about 28C, water temperature is 25C. There are more than 240 hours of sunshine in May and September and more than 300 hours in July and August. Many people regard the south coast, with its numerous rocky inlets and shallow bays, as the most scenic part of the entire coast.

SURROUNDING AREA

Five kilometres south of Ahtopol is the mouth of Veleka River, one of the most beautiful rivers, which flow into the Black Sea, together with Kamchiya and Ropotamo. The mouth of the river is barred by a strip of sand stretching from one shore to the other, where some holidaymakers prefer to sunbathe and take turns in swimming in the river (which traditionally has a much colder water) and the sea. The village of Kosti, famous for its 'nestinarski' dances (barefoot dances on glowing embers) is situated nearby the river mouth. Further south to the border, holidaymakers can sunbathe at the beautiful beaches of Cinemorets, Silistar and Rezovo (the latter though being a rather small one).

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