Pomorie hides its gems behind an aura of charming unpretentiousness. The residents are blessed with access to extremely valuable resources such as salt mineral water, estuarine mud and lye with healing properties known for millennia. The combination of a lake with a high concentration of salt and beneficial microorganisms, very good weather and a lot of sunny days makes Pomorie the ideal place for rest, spa treatments and weekend getaways.
Whether you want to indulge in complete relaxation, watch the sunrise or explore the past of the ancient Thracians in these lands, the city definitely has a plenty of interesting things to see and do. Here are some of them that are worth visiting while you are there:
1. Ancient tomb “Hollow mound”
When you enter the tomb, you feel very small and insignificant – as if you are part of a much bigger plan, about which you have no clue. You are greeted by a well-read but eccentric guide and you are overwhelmed with facts and assumptions, and at one point you begin to question everything.
The purpose of the building is covered in mystery and is the subject of various hypotheses – tomb, mausoleum, sanctuary. Most likely, Thracian aristocrats invested in the construction. One thing is for sure – the building is a testament to the genius and mastery of its builders and their advanced knowledge of the world and the universe, it is incomparable in architecture and offers a very complex engineering solution without analogue.
Its complicated geometric shapes cannot be captured by a camera, but they are loaded with rich symbolism. One of the assumptions is that the hollow column in the middle of the tomb is an egg, the chamber – the uterus of the Great Mother Goddess of the Thracians – Bendida, and the corridor – her reproductive canal. In the hollow column there were stairs to the top of the mound, which represent the connection with the universe and the closed cycle of rebirth.
2. Pomorie Salt Lake
The greatest wealth of Pomorie and the only place in Bulgaria where estuarine mud, salt and lye can be found at the same time. Apart from being a proof of the healing powers of nature, the lake is also a stop on the way of migratory birds from all over Europe – Via Pontica. More than 250 species of birds can be seen circling over the lagoon, some of which are even endangered species from the Red Book. The area is very picturesque and wild and a great place where to spend some time in nature.
It is located near Lake Pomorie and is the only specialized salt museum in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe. The yard houses part of the Pomorie salt pans, where salt continues to be extracted using ancient Anhial technology. Sea water is discharged to the lake and then to two other pools, where it evaporates under the sun’s rays and as a result the remaining salt crystallizes on the surface.
Many solar tools have been preserved from the time of active salt extraction, when salt was an expensive and rare commodity – carts, oars and narrow gauge. According to historians, the salt pans date back to before the founding of the ancient city Anhialo in the 5th century. BC
4. Mud baths
Mud baths and treatments with lye and salt in Grand Hotel Pomorie are a mandatory stop during your stay in Pomorie. I sincerely regret that we did not organize our vacation there a few days later, because we would take advantage of the discounts on spa treatments until the end of October. We also found out that November will be quite interesting there. The most popular chefs in Bulgaria will personally present original menus. Although we could not attend Chef’s November, we were able to test the mud applications and compresses with lye.
The mud, which has been deposited on the bottom of Lake Pomorie for thousands of years, has no analogue in terms of healing properties, but it is not durable and loses its qualities in transportation and contact with oxygen. Therefore, it is recommended to have the procedures right here, where the concentration of minerals, vitamins and microorganisms is highest.
Mud baths are definitely not the most comfortable treatments you can undergo, but they are a good investment in health because they improve blood circulation, stimulate metabolism and detoxify the body by putting pressure on tissues. The ancient Egyptians used them for joint pain, and Roman soldiers resorted to them to heal their wounds. Estuarine mud has been shown to help with musculoskeletal, skin and gynecological diseases. From personal experience I guarantee that it has an amazing effect on the skin.
If you are tired of the spa treatments, you can take a dip in the hotel’s indoor salt pool. Your body rises above the water without any effort, due to the high concentration of salt, and the experience is very close to flotation, which I told you about in a previous post.
Below you can find a short travel vlog from our summer holiday there.
5. St. Anastasia Island
50 minutes drive from Pomorie is the port of Burgas and “Magasia”, from where you can take a boat to St. Anastasia Island. The journey takes 30 minutes.
In the past, the island had many faces and purposes – a monastery, an appetizing bite for the pirate raids of the Cossacks, a political prison, but never ceased to be a major setting in hundreds of legends and curious stories.
The island is named after St. Anastasia – protector of the innocent, but unjustly accused of crime and the suffering. Ironically, in 1923. the monastery on its territory became a place of isolation for communists who took part in the bloody terrorist attack in Sveta Nedelya church. After a riot, several of them managed to escape by swimming and reached as far as Strandzha mountain, where they took refuge. In memory of their feat, the communist regime renamed the island Bolshevik, and to this day swimming marathons are organized from there to Bourgas.
The island boasts impressive rock formations – the Mushroom, the Dragon, the Petrified Ship and the Sun Gate, a museum, a lighthouse, a seafood restaurant and a pharmacy with fresh cocktails, and pomegranate lemonade and herbal tea are not to be missed. The silhouette of Burgas in the distance is a bonus.
If you enjoyed the blog post, please share it so that it can reach more people.
*Note: My stay at Grand Hotel Pomorie was provided complimentary. However, all opinions expressed in the post are my own.