Balchik (Bulgarian: Балчик, Romanian: Balcic) is a town on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. It is mainly visited by Eastern Europeans on holiday from countries such as Romania, Russia, Moldova and also Bulgarians themselves. Here is the Balchik Castle, the Queen Mary of Romania's favorite summer residence, surrounded by a uniquely famous botanical garden in Central and Eastern Europe, especially due to the cactus collection.
National Road 9 Burgas - Varna - Constanța (Romania) is trepeassing Balchik .
There are numerous bus service to Balchik from all around Bulgaria during summer. Bus services also run from Romania to Balchik.
- 1 Botanical Garden (about 2 km south of the center). This is the largest botanical garden in the Balkans. Of considerable interest is a large collection of cacti (250 species; only Monaco has a larger collection in Europe) and a rose alley, with 50 species of this beautiful plant.
- 2 Palace of Queen Mary (The Quiet Nest) (in the botanical garden). The palace was built in 1926, when Balchik was part of Romania, for Queen Mary of Edinburgh (Queen Victoria's granddaughter and grandmother of King Michael of Romania). The palace complex includes ten villas, including a royal one, built in the oriental style. On the ground floor of the royal villa there is an art gallery and a souvenir shop, the second floor is available for inspection. In addition, there are a church, several gardens and a bridge.
- 3 Temple of Cybele. The temple was built in 280-260 BC, in honor of Cybele, the Phrygian goddess of fertility, the mother of the Pontus gods. In the 300s AD, a strong landslide completely covered the temple, which was discovered only in 2007. At present, it's considered to be the only well-preserved Cybele temple in the world.
- 4 Church of St. Nicholas. This church, with its separate belltower, is considered an object of cultural heritage of Bulgaria and one of the main tourist objects of Balchik. It was built in 1848, then destroyed and restored only in 1866 by George Denyuv. Initially, the church was a functioning school; now the building is a museum. Not far from the church, there is a memorial plaque in memory of the Bulgarian revolutionary Kalchev.
- 5 Church of St. George. It was erected in 1897. A typical Bulgarian church is a three-nave building with a pentagonal apse. The highlights are the episcopal seat and the carved iconostasis created by the famous Avramov masters.
- Church of St. Constantine and Helena. The Greek Orthodox Church, built in 1894.