Irakli Beach – spacious and inviting, shrouded in a forest mantle

Irakli Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the Bulgarian South Black Sea Coast with its excellent natural features.

Most of the beach is entirely wild, surrounded by thick forest, which attracts fens of direct contact with nature. Because of its popularity, Irakli has become a symbol of escape from the urban lifestyle. Both campers and guests of the nearby big resorts – Obzor and St. Vlas visit it, for diversifying their holidays at sea.

Where is the location of Irakli Beach, Bulgaria


The northern end of Irakli Beach, Bulgaria, where lies the picturesque Cape
The northern end of Irakli Beach, where lies the picturesque Cape

Irakli Beach is 11 km south of Obzor city and 7 km north of Banya village. It is 33 km from the town of Nessebar. If you come from the south direction, after passing the settlement of Banya, drive 4 km, where there is an exit in the right, marked by a sign. Further, there is 2 km downhill to reach a new asphalt parking lot. At the time of our visit in August 2019, the use of the new parking lot was free of charge. If you turn right, before the parking, you can continue on a dirt road to another kind of parking in the woods. Especially campers who bivouac here use it.

Description of the area

The 3.3 km long beach consists of two parts – apart from with lifeguards and a wild part without lifeguards. Recently, this guarded area has been named Vaya and is 500 m long .On the other hand that wild section is 2.8 km long. The river Vaya, whose estuary is here divides the beach into these two parts.

The Vaya River, which divides the guarded against the wild part of Irakli Beach
The Vaya River, which divides the guarded against the wild part of Irakli Beach

This division has been imposed in recent years to separate the urbanised region from the wild, which is declared a protected area. Bungalows, a beach bar and a large asphalt parking lot, were built at Vaya. There is also a small grocery store.

Guarded part Vaya

The Vaya part in the northern part of the beach with the river Vaya. The big area to the right is for free placement of own umbrellas and lying.

 There are umbrellas and sunbeds for rent, a lifeguard, and an extensive free area for lying and placement of own umbrellas in the part of Vaya, Irakli Beach
There are umbrellas and sunbeds for rent, a lifeguard, and an extensive free area for lying and placement of own umbrellas in the part of Vaya

Fortunately, new construction is, at least for now, poorly visible compared to noisy resorts. We hope that the owners of these plots will be foresighted and wise enough to preserve these exceptional gifts of nature for generations to come. It is the charming combination of wild forest, wide beach, sea and beautiful cape shape that attracts holidaymakers to diversify their seaside vacation, but not beach bars and hotels.

Vaya lies in the northern part of the beach, where is the picturesque Cape - a trademark of the Irakli Beach and its symbol
Vaya lies in the northern part of the beach, where is the picturesque Cape – a trademark of the Irakli Beach and its symbol

Wild part

At the same time, in the wild part of Irakli Beach, there is no lifeguard, and fans of wild camping pitch their tents on the sand or in the woods. After the first few hundred meters, the number of tents gradually dilutes, and the traces of people disappear. In these desolate places, one can find relaxation and truly break away from everything that symbolises the technological advancement of civilisation.

 View of the wild part of Irakli Beach, which lies to the south
View of the wild part of Irakli Beach, which lies to the south
Many campers in the wild have placed their tents on the sand at Irakli Beach, Bulgaria
Many campers in the wild have placed their tents on the sand

According to experts, rare sandy plants grow along the beach, including sea daffodil, purple spurge, seaside eryngo, sea colewort and others. On our visit to Irakli, we did not have the opportunity to see them, but for those interested, we attach photos from other places on the Black Sea Coast where we saw them.

Further, if you walk across the whole Irakli Beach in the south and continue along the coast, covered with big stones, you can reach Cape Emine and the village of Emona. From there, it reveals beautiful views of the sea and the steep shores of the Cape. The length of that route is about 7 km in one direction. To Cape Emine, one can also reach via the dirt road through the forest. This option is possible only with an off-road car or walking.

Preservation of the protected area

The beach, along with the forests behind it, south of the Vaya River is a protected area. When visiting the place, it is imperative to adhere to specific rules and prohibitions to preserve natural resources.

To put it briefly – do not throw away waste, do not tear plants, do not light a fire and no camping outside the designated areas. Let the place look the same kind as you’ve found it!

For more details, or if you intend to carry out particular activities other than a simple tourist walk or stay at the beach, the full text of the laws can read here:

  1. A protected area Irakli – current prohibitions and regimes ( the page of Bulgarian “Executive Environment Agency”)
  2. Bulgarian Forestry Act

The exact boundaries can see here https://gis.wwf.bg/mobilz/en/. So to do this, bookmark “Protected areas in Bulgaria” layer.

Continue of the walk

The closest landmark is Cape Emine, which location is 8.5 km from here. To reach it one has to continue along the dirt road through the forest. Unfortunately, since the road is not in good condition, one could go there either on foot or by an off-road car.

In the north direction, nearby, and at our discretion, the town of Obzor (10 km) is a delightful place to visit. Besides, it is the closest settlement with many accommodations for more-extended stay.

In the south, nearby, and at our discretion, fascinating to visit are

  1. The city of Sv. Vlas (28 km) where there is a mountain hiking trail with sea views. The path has several branches, one of which leads to the resort village of Elenite.
  2. The town of Nessebar (33 km) with its unique archaic atmosphere, many preserved historic buildings and a lovely beach.
  3. The city of Pomorie (53 km) with its historical sites and beautiful beaches with clean water.
  4. Next to Pomorie is the most massive Thracian dome tomb in Bulgaria.
  5. There is also an exciting hiking trail near Pomorie Lake, which runs along a wild beach.
  6. There is a visitor information centre in Pomorie where one can watch rare birds in Pomorie Lake with binoculars provided. It is adjacent to the Salt Museum that is present in the list with “100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria.”

USEFUL: To get a quick and easy idea of ​​where these places are – see the destinations marked on our Google map. There all the landmarks we’ve written about, are marked as tags with links.

Offers for hotels nearby, in Obzor city


Booking.com

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