The small town of Sozopol on a Black Sea peninsula about 225 mi/365 km east of Sofia has a name that means "Town of Refuge"—its harbor has provided shelter for seafarers for centuries.

Sozopol is populated mostly by fishermen, but you'll also notice artists sketching the scenery, attracted by the village's setting and stunning architecture. Most buildings (some of which date to the seventh century) are two-story structures with shutters and balconies. Many of them have elaborate upper floors of weathered timber.

Water taxis along the Ropotamo River make for pleasant excursions during the summer (about an hour each way). Sozopol is also a good jumping-off point for the southern Black Sea coast, and there are a number of resorts near Primorsko that are primarily aimed at younger and student travelers.

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