Golden Sands ( ) is one of the biggest holiday resort complexes along the northern coastline of Bulgaria, famous for its healing hot-water mineral springs as well as its beautiful two-mile (4km) stretch of fine sandy beach. The resort is 11 miles (18km) north of Varna, and sits at the foot of the forested hills of the Zlatni Piasaci National Park, which is one of the oldest in the country and features a variety of interesting flora and fauna. Golden Sands offers the whole family ideal holiday conditions with plenty of entertainment, sporting activities, warm and clean water, year round luxury hotels and villas, restaurants, bars and spa treatments, making it one of the most popular vacation destinations on the Black Sea Coast.
Visitors can enjoy browsing in the numerous shopping arcades and outdoor bazaars while on holiday in Golden Sands. While Golden Sands' shopping opportunities are fairly commercial, most of the hotels have large gift shops and some authentic Bulgarian crafts can usually be found among the usual tourist beach resort merchandise.
Golden Sands has a range of restaurants, cafés, snack bars and local tavernas that serve a wide variety of first-class international cuisine, as well as traditional Bulgarian dishes, mostly at reasonable prices. In addition to Bulgarian cuisine, Chinese restaurants, Irish pubs, and eateries selling international staples like pizza and barbecue can be found. Bulgarian wine and brandies appear on most menus.
Golden Sands' nightlife features a wide range of beach bars, discos and nightclubs where holiday visitors can keep the action going until the early hours. A casino will satisfy the gambling spirit and there is always a variety of shows and entertainment to be had, ranging from live music and deejays to floor shows, cabaret, and a go-go bar.
The holiday resort of Golden Sands offers a huge array of activities for visitors of all ages, both in and out of the water. Some of the options available are indoor and outdoor swimming pools (including mineral pools and waterslides), tennis and volleyball, bowling, mini-golf, fitness centres, horseriding and cycling. A wide range of watersports are also available, including yachting, jet skiing, waterskiing and a scuba diving centre. For the more adrenaline-seeking, hang-gliding and parasailing are offered. A balneotherapy centre provides natural spa treatments and medical programmes for those seeking healing, or just avid for a bit of pampering.
Golden Sands is a large tourist complex and one of the biggest on the northern Black Sea Coast. For this reason it is a little characterless and visitors can miss out on what Bulgarian life along the Black Sea is really about amid the commercial attractions.