About Nessebur

The ancient town of Nessebur lies on a small, rocky peninsular in the Black Sea, connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. Truly picturesque, its narrow cobblestone streets, period wooden houses and medieval churches tell the story of its rich history, which dates back two millennia.

Be seduced by the romantic atmosphere, as you explore its UNESCO protected old quarter. At almost every turn you will come across one of its many beautiful churches, whose ornamental facades decorate the town. One of the oldest sanctuaries is the Basilica, which dates back to around the 5th century, whilst the most impressive is the 25 metre long Old Bishop's Residence.

As well as churches you can also see the remains of the fortress walls, admire its blend of architecture from different epochs, as well as explore its beaches and museums. Nearby, visit the town of Burgas, set on the shores of the largest bay on the Black Sea coast.


Shore excursions in Nessebur

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

A Glimpse of Two Towns

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 6½ hours

Explore the churches of Nessebur and the charming fishing village of Sozopol.

Greet your guide to begin a gentle stroll along the cobbled streets to view the popular sights of Nessebur. In the town that is said to have more churches per capita than anywhere else in the world, compare the rich exterior of the 14th Century St John the Alliturgetos Church to the 11th century medieval Church of St Stephen. A visit to the Church of the Pantocrator demonstrates the mix of mid-Eastern architectural styles with the medieval Bulgarian and Byzantine motifs.

Sit back and relax as you drive past the salt pans and neighbouring port of Bourgas to the ancient town of Sozopol, founded in 610BC by the Greeks. Situated on a rocky peninsular this fishing village is one of the most charming places on the Bulgarian coast.

Make your way along the narrow cobblestone streets to the Archaeological Museum, where you’ll see exhibits of ceramic vessels, marble gravestones and detailed copies of antique ships. Continue with a visit to the 17th century Church of the Holy Virgin to admire the beautiful wood-carved iconostasis and bishop’s throne which are examples of one of the country’s foremost art schools. Round off your Bulgarian experience with a delicious lunch of selected dishes prepared using local recipes.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2 hours of walking on this tour over inclined cobblestoned walkways. There are approximately 80 steps to negotiate throughout this tour. There is a 2 Euro video/camera fee inside the Church of St Stephen.

A Taste of Bulgaria

Activity lowRefreshments included

Duration: 3 hours

Learn about Bulgarian lifestyle and traditions and see how to make the famous ‘banitsa’.

Board your coach for a 30 minute drive to the village of Orizare to visit an ethnographic complex, a guardian of the Bulgarian traditions. Behind the heavy gates, you will find a charming development exhibiting the lifestyle and traditions of the Bulgarian families from the past century.

Step inside the whitewashed house for a glimpse of the traditional domestic interior decoration. View the old fireplace with a low round table and 3-legged chairs in the kitchen as well as the wooden loom, used for making the rugs and clothing on display.

Back in the garden, don’t miss the old watermill whose wheel is still turning after more than a century of operation.

The Bulgarian Christian tradition is embedded in a private chapel with beautiful wood carved iconostasis and colourful murals. Enjoy some traditional Bulgarian specialities and observe a cooking demonstration of the famous Bulgarian ‘banitsa’ - a cheese and egg pastry pie.

Round off your experience with a folklore performance, introducing you to Bulgarian folklore music and dance with traditional costumes.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 30 minutes of walking on this tour over paved gravel and a few steps.

Best of Nessebur and Bourgas

Activity highMeal includedShopping

Duration: 6½ hours

Explore the highlights of Nessebur and Bourgas on this full day tour including a Bulgarian-style lunch and free time.

Explore medieval Nessebur on foot in the company of a knowledgeable guide. There is no better way to discover the rich legacy of Nessebur than to walk through its narrow streets and visit this ‘museum town’ listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pass by the Church of St Pantocrator, St John the Baptist Church and the Church of St Sofia, all worthy photo stops, before a visit to the 11th century Church of St Stephen to marvel at over 258 mural paintings. The final stop in Nessebur is a visit to the Archaeological Museum featuring a rich collection of ancient Greek and Roman artefacts as well as various archaeological finds.

Continue by coach onto Bourgas, once a small fishermen’s village in the 18th century. The port of Bourgas was the largest one in the southern Balkans and has a beautiful location on the Black Sea bay surrounded by 3 picturesque lakes. Enjoy a Bulgarian style lunch upon arrival before a panoramic drive through its downtown to discover the impressive Cathedral of St Methodius and St Cyril.

Visit the Museum of Ethnography located in a beautiful house from the middle of the 19th century, still in its original shape and original furniture. Have some free time at leisure to browse for local souvenirs and practice bargaining skills.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is over 2 hours of walking on this tour with 60 steps to negotiate in Nessebur and some steps at the entrance of both Museums. There is a 2 Euro video/camera fee inside the Church of St Stephen.

Nessebur and Folkloric Show

Activity mediumRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 3¾ hours

Explore the medieval town of Nessebur and enjoy a colourful folkloric show accompanied by the taste of local wines.

Your walking tour begins through part of ancient Nessebur, previously known as Mesembria and declared as a national heritage park of Bulgaria and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stop at the Church of St Stephen, built in the 11th century and a significant example of medieval Bulgarian architecture. The 700 square metres of the interior walls are covered with 258 well-preserved mural paintings.

Continue your walk through the medieval cobbled streets passing by the 2-storied houses from the Bulgarian revival onto the Church of St Sophia for a photo stop. During your walk, pass by and view the magnificent church exteriors of St John the Baptist and Christ Pantocrator. Discover the area under your own steam during some free time before re-boarding your coach for the drive to the Bulgarian resort of Sunny Beach. This large holiday complex, situated between Cape Emine and Nessebur, has numerous hotels and a sandy beach making it a popular area for visitors.

Sit back and relax with a glass of local wine and light hors d’oeuvres at an emblematic theme restaurant and admire the splendid views from the terrace. A local folkloric ensemble will entertain you with a lively folklore show of Bulgarian dances and songs before you rejoin your coach for the drive back to your ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1½ hours of walking on this tour over cobbled and paved terrain. There are approximately 50 steps to negotiate from the Pier to the old town. There is a 2 Euro video/camera fee inside the Church of St Stephen.

Nessebur Sights and Pomorie Wines

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 5 hours

This tour shows you the main attractions of Nessebur, the seaside town of Pomorie and a wine and brandy tasting session.

Your guide will greet you for a short walk directly into the medieval town of Nessebur, uphill past the huge ruins of St Alliturgetos Church to stop at the Church of St Stephen. Built in the 11th century it is a significant example of medieval Bulgarian architecture boasting 700 square metres of interior walls covered with 258 well-preserved mural paintings.

Take a short walk to the Archaeological Museum, which exhibits findings and treasures from all archaeological sites of the peninsula including a rich collection of ancient Greek and Roman artefacts. The pride of the Museum is a collection of Bulgarian icons.

Continue to the attractive resort of Pomorie passing the salt pans surrounding Pomorie Lake, one of Bulgaria's main sources of salt, and renowned for its therapeutic mud baths. Sited upon a peninsula, Pomorie is a quiet, relaxed seaside town with a colourful fishing port. Visit the Thracian Tomb, one of the most famous monuments of Thracian culture.

Pomorie is also famous for its wine cellars and at one of the town’s wine vaults you will have the opportunity to sample some of the aromatic wines and brandies produced in the surrounding countryside.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1½ hours of walking on this tour with steps at the Museums and wine cellar. There is a 2 Euro camera/video fee inside the Church of St Stephen and flash photography is not permitted.

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