Location and historyBalchik is one of the most beautiful towns on the Bulgarian Black sea coast, situated amphitheatrically before the sea. It is a relatively large settlement along the Northern seaside with its population numbering about 14000 people and with a harbour used for medium- sized passenger and commercial vessels. The town of Balchik is situated 43 km north from Varna in a beautiful inlet and 501 km away from Sofia. In the very plateau, where Balchik is located today, there used to be a Thracian village. In the 5th century BC Greek settlers occupied this area. They were encharmed by the land cropped of vineyards, and by the local people who produced wonderful wine. The Greeks worshiped the god Dionysus and their coin bears the icon. In honour of that God the town was called Dionisipolis. The town became an important centre with a variety of attractions. After a round of invasions and destructions by the Romans, the city gradually declined. During the medieval period, the city became autonomous thanks to its conqueror Boyar Balchik, and the city assumed his name Balchik. When Bulgaria lost the Balkan war, the town was incorporated into Romania. After that, the Romanian Queen, named Maria, started visiting the city frequently. Struck by the natural beauty of the place, she built a summer palace and a botanical garden there. The royal complex also included a chapel and a villa for Romanian aristocrats. After 1940 Balchik was again included in Bulgarian territory. Economy, Investments and development of the real estate market“We have a wonderful preliminary design for the construction of a fishing port”, says the mayor of Balchik. “At the moment the fishing vessels use our yacht marina, and this is not appropriate. We have prepared a wonderful, in our opinion, design for the construction of “Echo” park in the place of the same name, which takes up an area of 3 hectares and is in the very centre of Balchik. We have planned that this will be an area for sports, rest and cultural events at the same time. At the centre of the park an amphitheatre will be constructed with a view to the sea inlet. There, we will carry out our cultural events. Around this modern amphitheatre there will be different sports terrains, car parking, as well as a colonnade, in whose centre the statue of Dionysus will be placed – the god of the wine and joy, and a symbol of our ancient town of Balchik.The developed project also offers the reconstruction of the next class of streets, the so-called collective streets. This role will be given to the road-beds of “Ropotamo” and “Sredna gora”. They have a 12 meter cross sideview. The remaining street network performs a subsidiary function to separate sites. New parking places are planned close to some sites for public service. In the beginning of 2006, the urban plan for regulation and development was endorsed for one of the most valuable territories – the central part of Balchik. The territory with a total area of 33.13 hectares is situated in the south part of the town. The town centre has a rich cultural and historical heritage. Numerous buildings and cultural monuments, which the plan has preserved and exhibited in an appropriate way, are situated here. The territory, which is now subject to development with regards to its borders and extent, constitutes one of the most attractive areas of the town structure, where a large part of the public service elements are located. A new land-use concept is given to the area of “Morsko oko” square. There is a plan to change its function to a green area for general public use, under which an underground parking for 60 automobiles is being constructed. In this way the safe pedestrian movement, which is very active during the resort season, will be ensured. Although the town develops with a fast pace, Balchik preserves its authentic image of a quiet and beautiful town and does not follow the fate of the over-constructed tourist centres. The Bulgarian construction companies “Balkanstroy” JSC and “Barrage and Co.” Ltd. will invest 118 million euro in two golf-complexes. The first complex will be constructed between Bansko and Razlog and the second one will be constructed in Balchik.It is expected that the complexes will be completed by the end of the year 2008. The playgrounds are designed by the popular golf professional, the British Ian Usnam, in cooperation with European Golf Design.“Lighthouse Golf Resort” will be the name of the complex near Balchik, which will have a view to the sea. The investors will invest 56 million euro in it. The complex will include a professional playground with 18 holes, accompanied by a training playground, a horse-riding club, a Spa centre, luxurious houses and a hotel complex with a trade centre. The residential part will be divided into five residential districts, each of which will have its own charm and specific image. One of the attractions of the golf playground will be a lighthouse. There is a large flow of investors in the region, who wish to construct holiday complexes in the valley between Balchik and Albena. There are a lot of investors who expressed their interest in developing resort activities on the territory of the Balchik villages Kranevo, Rogachevo and Obrochishte. There is correspondence for the development of new detailed land-use plans and change in the statute of the agricultural lands. The entrepreneurs are primarily joint Bulgarian enterprises with Russian, English and German participation.According to the local agents, the building plots near Albena and Balchik cost 20 euro per square meter, and up to the record-breaking 50-60 euro per square meter within the regulation of the surrounding villages Rogachevo, Kranevo and Obrochishte. The high increase in the cost is due to the increased demand on the part of the foreigners. A municipal building plot behind the yacht marina in Balchik reached the super price of 160 euro per square meter, said the mayor Krasimir Mihaylov. During the auction for the terrain of 5 dca, a company from Varna with Irish participation has offered 1 600 000 leva. A hotel, a restaurant and a swimming pool are planned to be constructed on the territory. The foreigners have purchased a large number of old houses in the villages around Balchik. The new owners of the old buildings in the village of Gourkovo are English, German and Swiss. The houses, which are 10 km away from the sea shore, are designed mainly for summer villas, but the families in some of them have moved in there permanently.A large number of Italians are searching for large building plots in Balchik with size 2-3 thousand decares.The price of the fields in Balchik hit the record-breaking 200 leva per decare for deals for properties with an area above 100 decares. The most expensive villas in the town are traded for 250-300 euro per square meter. The terrains, located in “The Golden Fish” place, “The White Rocks” place and Izgrev place between Balchik and Albena are also traded for a high cost. What makes Balchik your place for investments? Thanks to its favourable location, Balchik becomes an increasingly attractive region for investment in real estate properties or for starting a small or medium-sized business with foreign participation. Tourism in the region develops with a very fast pace, and together with the golf playgrounds that are being constructed in Balchik and Kavarna region, a fast return on the invested capital can be achieved. In almost all settlements within the Municipality of Balchik there are real estate properties purchased by foreign investors. A lot of new houses have been constructed, which, together with the existing ones, contribute to the picturesque view and the good image of the settlements. Due to its close location to the sea, the constructed communications, the convenient transport connections and commercial network, the houses in Municipality of Balchik are suitable for renting. Together with this, we should also take into appropriate consideration the yacht marina, which attracts all kinds of water sports amateurs and favours the development of the yacht tourism. The town of Balchik provides regular bus transport to Kavarna, Shabla, Dobrich, Varna, Albena and Sofia. Apart from buses, there are also numerous route taxis and private minibuses, taxis and water transport to Varna and Albena. Port Balchik is part of the Varna port complex, which has been functioning since 1969 and is the third largest port on our Black Sea Coast. It has a yacht and passenger terminal, which provides the basis for the development of yacht and sports tourism. The yacht and fishing port has a capacity for 70 yachts.There is a landing strip for airplanes in the town. The landing strip is in a very good technical condition and is characterized with its particularly favourable geographical location – close to the Black Sea resorts Golden Sands, Albena and Rusalka. The expectations are that the air transport in Balchik will develop in the future and that it will take part of and reduce the passenger flow to Varna airport. Given the favourable economic development of the region, in the near decade Balchik could become a centre for chartered freight and passenger’s transport, and under certain conditions – even an international centre for introductory aviation training and one of the main bases of a future national rescue service. Tourism and places of interestThe town attracts tourists with its unique ancient houses and streets, which have preserved the ancient nature. Every street leads to the sea coast and the town is bustling of many tourists all year round. Some of the city attractions are: ethnographical museums, Old Turkish Mosque and the church St. Nicholas. The area that features most tourists is the queen’s palace with the botanical garden, and this is the largest botanical garden on the Balkan Peninsula and the second largest one in the world. 4 km east from the city is situated the area called Tuzlata, renowned for its medicinal mud, recommended for bone diseases. There is a big balneological centre with camping, bungalows and hotels. Mineral springs with a temperature of about 31°C used for internal treatment are also available here.Besides the numerous of family hotels and private villas, there are also two big camping sites near Balchik that can also be used for accommodation. They offer various opportunities for rest and water sports. Apart from several big restaurants in the hotels and downtown, there are a number of small private restaurants and coastal stalls offering seafood, pizzas, spaghetti and other kinds of European cuisine. Groceries can also be an alternative for tourists who prefer to cook for themselves.
Apart from the palace complex and the botanical garden, which is the biggest and most diverse one on the Balkans, the town also appeals to tourists with its ancient spirit, reflected into steep pebbled streets and houses made of stone and adobe. The palace complex consists of a central palace with a high tower, numerous buildings, a terraced park, summer houses made of stone and propped up on marvellous columns facing the sea, a throne under an old tree where Queen Maria loved to watch the sunset, and a small chapel where her heart is preserved. There are more than 3000 rare and exotic species of plants in the botanic garden, which has made it a part of the teaching facilities of Sofia University. The whole complex was called Tenha Yuva (Quiet Nest). In addition to the palace and the botanic garden, the Art Gallery of the town, which also hosts the town’s museum, is also an interesting place to visit. There is also a small ethnographic museum and a beautiful old church called St. Nikola Church. A Renaissance complex with the old school, which is quite well preserved, can be another possible destination of a walk. The coastal alley, which is about 4 km long, is also a nice place to stroll, as well as the harbour and the small streets of the town.