The Black Sea




The Black Sea lies between Europe and Asia. It washes the coasts of Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. It is linked to the Sea of Marmara by the Bosphorus.
It is one of the small seas. The surface of the sea is 170000 sq mls or 414 000 sq km which is almost four times larger than the territory of the country. Its greatest depth is 2250 m.
The Black Sea is the natural eastern frontier of Bulgaria and the only seaway of the county, connecting it with almost all maritime countries in the world. It is also very significant for Bulgarian economy.
No one knows who gave the name of the sea and when exactly it was done. In any case, as a name, it is quite unsuitable.
The first name of the sea was given by the Scythians, who inhabited its cast before the new era. They called the sea AKSHAENA, meaning “dark”. In the 7-th c. BC the Greeks called the sea AXEINOS PONTOS, meaning “inhospitable”, probably a free translation of the Scythian name. A few centuries later, when the Greeks had colonised large parts of its shores and carried on a brisk trade, they started calling it EUXINOS PONTOS - “hospitable sea”. Its present name - Black Sea, appeared in the Middle Ages.
A characteristic feature of the Black Sea is that it consists of two zones. The upper zone contains salts of potassium, calcium, magnesium and others, which have a wholesome effect on the human body. that zone is rich in oxygen and it is the habitat of the sea flora and fauna. The sea has abundant flora and very scarce fauna. There are about 1500 species. The main kind of fish are mackerel, tunny, turbot and gray mullet.
The lower zone is denser, more salty and there are practically no living creatures.
The climate of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast is pleasant, warm and mild. The northern part of the Black Sea lies in the temperate zone, while its southern part is in the subtropical climatic zone. Bulgarian  Black Sea coast occupies the 2-nd place after the Italian Riviera in terms of sunshine duration which is about 2200 - 2400 hours annually. The salt content of the sea water is also very low - it is almost half as salty as the water of the Mediterranean. The temperature of the water in summer varies between 22 - 25 C. People can practically go bathing from May to October.
There are only a few beaches in the world facing to the east, and the Bulgarian is one of them. The Bulgarian Black Sea coast differs from the coasts of the other countries bordering on it. Our coast (the western coast of the Black Sea), unlike its eastern and southern coasts, is considerably less indented, but on the other hand, it is high in some parts and picturesque.  The sea bottom has a very low gradient, so that one can wade for hundreds of yards into the sea and the water hardly reaching his knees.
The wooded spurs of the Balkan Range and the Strandja Mountains, the vineyards and the orchards along it, make the Black Sea coast a wonderful place, which is rightfully called the Bulgarian Riviera. Almost the entire sea bed is clear and shallow. There are no tides and hardly no fog.
The fine sand of the vast beaches, the lack of sharks and other dangerous fish in its waters, the combination of sea and mountains, the luxurious seaside resorts, have turned the Black Sea coast into an attractive place for holiday making.