St. Anastasia Island, known with the name Bolshevik during the communist period, is the home of the only surviving medieval island monastery in the Bulgarian Black Sea section. In the past the island was used as a location of a political prison. It is not far from the coast of Burgas and today this mysterious piece of land is accessible for tourists.
To make St. Anastasia a tourist attraction, its buildings were restored over a year. The medieval church too underwent restoration works. Three times a day a tourist boat sets off from Burgas to take visitors to the island. Tours are carried out on board the Cook Catamaran and the stay on the island is two hours. The boat accommodates 210 passengers, and in the height of the summer the municipality is ready to increase the number of boat runs, if necessary.
Treasures and skeletons of pirates, archaeological finds and local herbs are part of the attractions. The reconstructed St. Kliment Ohridski monastery church painted in 1802 is one of the most popular attractions here. Part of the frescoes and gates have been preserved. For those willing to stay the night on St. Anastasia and enjoy its atmosphere to the full hotel accommodation is available on premises reminiscent of monastic cells. Accommodation looks simple but offers a unique experience. The cheapest room rate is 50 lev and the most expensive one 120 lev.
St. Anastasia has a so-called lekarna deriving from lekar, “doctor”, in fact a small shop. It is aimed to become a place for relaxation where everything offered has been made with organic products. There are teas here, green fig jam and organic cosmetics developed by the laboratory of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The products are fully natural, and ingredients include lye and mineral salts. The roof of the lekarna has been intentionally covered with soil planted with various herbs. It offers a nice vista to the Burgas Bay.
The halls in the island’s museum are equipped with modern installations that recreate the hold of a pirate ship with looted wealth, the seabed and a cell with bars overlooking the sea. In the restaurant on the island three chefs take care of guests providing tasty meals based on old Burgas recipes. The menu abounds in seafood and fish.
Editor: Veneta Nikolova
English: Daniela Konstantinova