How to get there, what’s worth a visit, how it changed in the last 10 years (from an almost local painter), and the art festival that’s happening soon.
Two weeks ago, a friend and I decided to have a long seaside camping weekend. We were looking for a beautiful, calm spot, with nice people. We wanted to avoid the huge hotels that make me feel like I am in a megapolis instead of the beach. In Bulgaria there are few of those places left and our task was made even harder by wanting a clean, well-maintained bathroom. It’s almost hard to believe but it is possible – in Krapets. For the past two summers, I’ve been hearing great reviews of Krapets, which is way up on the North coast of Bulgaria’s Black Sea. From hippies to hipsters, everyone seems to enjoy it, and in the 4 days we spent there, it became clear why. Krapеts is one of the few places in Bulgaria that have preserved their authentic free spirit, close to nature, without concrete but with a lot of love for the sea.
As it turns out, many people haven’t heard of Krapеts, perhaps because the South coast is more popular. Krapets is located far in the North, close to the Romanian border, between Ezerets and Durankulak, about 6-7 hours by car from Sofia. The beach is about 2km. away from the village, but right next to the campsite. In the village, there are just a few options for eating out but that seems plenty. And, on the beach, which is 6 km. long, there are just two eateries – a beach/bar restaurant (I didn’t hear good things about it, so didn’t try) and a small caravan offering fries, local fried fish, beer, mint liquor, and other Bulgarian Black Sea classics. We did try that one – it has a great panoramic view of the beach, and is a nice, simple place.
Do try to bring your own glass, plate, and cutlery, as the beach eateries will serve you in single-use plastic that is not recycled after.
Around the beach bar/restaurant, there are tanning beds and umbrellas, but apart from these few meters, the large beach is a free zone with clean and smooth the cobalt blue waters.
In the middle of the beach, there is a small forest behind the sand, where people pitch tents and park vans, even though wild camping is officially forbidden because this is a conservation area. On the other hand, the Krapets campsite, just a few minutes from the beach, has charming new bungalows, spaces for tents and RVs/vans. The communal bathrooms have hot water, and toilets with toilet paper – a rarity for campsites.
The village of Krapets
It’s about 20-30 minutes away from the campsite by foot. As far as I am aware, there are 3 restaurants there – Sea breeze, Hotel Complex Yanitza (with a pool), and Snack bar Jana. The snack bar didn’t seem appealing to us, so we ate in the other two. Both have gorgeous sea views and plenty of choices in the menu, even for vegetarians. However, while the waiters in Sea breeze were a bit rude and got our order slightly wrong, the people at Hotel Complex Yanitza had big smiles on, made jokes, and contributed to a nice experience, so it makes sense that this is the more popular choice in Krapets. Both places allow dogs in the restaurant.
In the center of the village, there is a supermarket and a small market for fresh, locally sourced fruits and vegetables, where we bought a scrumptious honey melon.
What’s nice about the campsite and what I didn’t like
Since Krapets was a last-minute decision, we couldn’t book a bungalow but next time I’ll definitely opt for one. They seem simple but new and clean. Inside, there is a large bed, a small wardrobe, and a fridge. A hammock hangs in front of each bungalow, which makes the scenery even more picturesque.
I’ve never seen a campsite with such clean bathrooms – not in Greece, not in Norway or anyplace else. They get cleaned 3 times a day, there are separate shower cabins, plenty of hot water, and everything else to meet your hygiene needs.
We slept in a tent, which costs 5 euros per person (not per tent), and they asked us for another 2,5 euros for the dog. Which I thought was a bit odd, when the dog sleeps in your own tent. Besides, dogs are not allowed off the leash inside the campsite, which makes sense in order to avoid conflict. But the rule comes from the owner’s wife. A Russian woman who greeted us sharply and whose little dog kept attacking Mega. Another thing that made a bad impression was the lack of designated plots for tents. When we pitched ours, during the week, the distance to the neighbors was perfectly reasonable. But then when we came “home” from the beach one weekend afternoon, new tents had popped up almost on top of ours. Also, it would be convenient to have a shared kitchen, where everyone can cook a little meal. Currently, you can rent barbecues.
On the other hand, the bar is awesome! It’s been here from before the campsite and it’s owned by the painter Nikolay Dimchevski (@nika.artworks) together with some of his friends. My first year in Krapets turned out to be the bar’s 10th, so Nikolay is almost local now. I am delighted that he agreed to tell us about life in Krapets, as well as the annual arts festival here.
You’ve been in Krapets for 10 years. I challenge you to give us the chronicles of this place in 20 sentences.
10 years ago it was a remote, wild, hidden spot on the North coast of the Bulgarian Black Sea. Few people ventured out here. The campsite was abandoned, and the old socialist hotels were falling apart, the whole place was like a time machine. There were no people on the beach even in August. So opening a bar here was more for fun than an actual business, we meant it for friends and wandering travelers, brought here by chance. This place was love at first sight for me and 10 years later I am still in love. In time, Krapets became more popular. A lot of friendships and loves bloomed here, couples got engaged and married at the bar, then kept on returning with their kids.
We created the KrapArt festival, organized concerts, movie nights, afternoon jam sessions, beach cleanups…
Even though now there are way more people, I feel that the quaint charm of Krapets, of a remote, wild, magical corner in nature perseveres. Hopefully, it will keep on being so in the future.
What’s most dear to you in Krapets?
The freedom. Staying silent in the company of the sea. Nights under the stars, near the campfire. The feeling that I am home and that there is nothing missing in this place. Meeting new people and seeing old friends. I am also touched by the fact that many people who spend a bit more time with us ask if they can help or contribute something to the space.
Tell us about the KrapArt festival in August. Who’s going to be in it, what can we see, and what’s the main idea?
It’s a small, mellow, hearty, interactive festival that connects the visitors with the art. We’re just trying to have fun with live music, arts and traditional crafts. This year we’ve invited Mitko Taralejkov and his band again because he is one of our favorites and captures the seaside spirit. There will be jam sessions, painting, hopefully, yoga and tai chi as well.
How do you hope to see Krapets in another 10 years?
I hope that the beach will still be as wild and free of concrete. There is increased awareness for the need to preserve nature. And so even though more people have been coming here, when everyone does their part and feels personally responsible, we can preserve this wonderful place – for everyone.
I hope that Nikolay and I have given you enough information about Krapets so that you can make the most out of this wonderful place. And hopefully together we will keep it as beautiful and wild for many years to come.
I’d love to know what your experience in Krapets was like. Let me know in the comments 🙂
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