Destination: Varna, Bulgaria. Grand Hotel and Casino International

imageYou might be thinking… The Beach Resort town of Varna in the Winter?!? Sounds a bit silly to most who are looking for a sunny, beach getaway; but for many, the winter months offer much more than laying on the beach.

Varna is typically a summer-month vacation destination. A gorgeous beach lined with hotels and kiosks, selling everything a tourist could ever possible need. During the high season the boardwalk is filled with restaurants, bars, pools and souvenir shops… and of course tons and tons of people.

But, what does that city look like in the winter? 

We spent a quiet, relaxing weekend in this typically bustling area and enjoyed it.  There’s something eerily special about walking down an empty boardwalk with the winter breeze blowing your hair and a deserted beach, covered only with washed-up shells.  It’s actually romantic, walking hand-in-hand.

And while most hotels are closed for the winter season, The Grand Hotel and Casino International is open and ready for business.  Hosting the largest casino in Varna, it’s a stunning 5-star escape. When we arrived, we were greeted with a glass of Champaign and a wonderful room on the 16th floor.

The largest benefit of traveling during the offseason is first and foremost the price.  You can find great packages, flight/accommodation/eating for next to nothing.  On top of that, you can enjoy their Full Spa and Fine Dine Restaurants all within the confines of the hotel.

Probably the biggest attraction is the Casino. Whether or not you’re a gambler, the Casino pulls in most everyone staying in the hotel. You can play with Euros, Dollars and Leva’s, which is a big plus for international travelers.

We took a day trip into the center of Varna to experience the city on foot. The inexpensive prices of Bulgaria are a welcome change to our expensive day to day life in Tel Aviv and most big cities around the world.

So if you’re looking for a quiet, inexpensive winter weekend trip with fantastic views or an exciting, sunny beach-filled summer trip, Varna, Bulgaria can be the place for you!   I know I’m now looking forward the the summer-version of our weekend trip 🙂


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