Vama Veche is a small village on the Romanian border with Bulgaria on the shore of the Black Sea.
The coastline of Vama Veche was a quite peaceful spot but nowadays it can get crowded for the weekend.
E87 South from Constanta (Romania) or North from Varna (Bulgaria). Particular reference points at the South-Bound entrance to Vama Veche are the Golden Sea Motel (yellow and green color) on the left (East) of E-87, an indicator to Marina Park ( a leading restaurant, bar & camp-ground) and the Punk Rock Hotel on the right (West) side of E-87.
Fly to Henry Coanda International Airport (OTP) in Bucharest, serviced by over a dozen airlines among which, KLM, TAROM, WizzAir, Alitalia or to Kogalniceanu Airport (CND) near Constanta, and take a train or bus to Mangalia, and then take a Minibus ("MaxiTaxi") south to Vama Veche. Minibuses are reliable, with asigned seating; assume at least one bus per hour down the Constanta-Vama Veche road (E-87), although changing buses once in Mangalia might be necessary. Assume total trip time from Constanta to Vama Veche of 1.5 hours, including transfers. Cost should not exceed 5EUR.
An alternative is to fly into Varna (Bulgaria) and head North on E-87. If already in Bulgaria, a weekend trip to Vama Veche is a must-do party adventure!
The closest train station is in Mangalia, which is fairly well served by trains that are packed (truly packed!) in the high season. Going to Constanta will not make your train ride up to Bucharest any more comfortable, but slightly quicker.
There's a reliable Minibus system serving the Constanta-Vama leg, although some buses only go as far as Mangalia. Jump on any Minibus with young people in it, and funny signs stating town names in the front window.
Walking is the means of transport. Preferably in shabby flip-flops, or barefoot.
1st of May: opening of the season. A lot of Romanian people gather in Vama Veche for the 1st of May, really great atmosphere.
PARTY! July and August weekends, as well as, weekdays offer dozens of beach-front bars, clubs and restaurants with 24/7 service. Thousands of people gather on the weekends and party on the beach! May 1st weekend of every years is the "grand opening" of the season. If you enjoy Rock music, that's when you must be there! Stuff Stock Music Festival closes the season, usually the end of August. details at: www.24fun.ro
Enjoy the free spirit and Bohemian atmosphere created by all!
- Swim in the Black Sea, party at night, make acquaintances fast and enjoy being in a truly bohemian, beach-sun-fun place where the spirit is real.
- The beach is very clean by Black Sea standards. The Black Sea water is too cold for swimming in the spring, but all right in August.
- If you want to go 'authentic, man!' you can ask one of the fisherboat crews whether you can go with them on their sail - be prepared to buy them drinks, of course.
- There is a little dive base with OK equipment (no computers, octopus poor, little free flow on valve) offering beach dives, which are probably not worth the effort, as visibility will be limited and the instruction is poor.
- If you have your certification though, and are confident that you can handle standard situations on your own, you can borrow equipment there, and go - together with the divemaster - to the shipwreck which lies about 150m off shore from -10 to +5 metres. The lifesavers on duty will row you there. The wreck can/should not be entered, but going around is quite an experience - for one dive - and you have better visibility there; as the Black Sea is not a prime dive area, you can not expect to see anything spectacular of course.
- The Stufstock "Save Vama Veche" rock music festival, , was first organized in 2003 as a protest against urban development in and mass tourism to Vama Veche. It's held in August or September and features bands from Romania and abroad.
- You can join the Vama Veche's community right here
- Walk to Bulgaria. It's about 600 meters by feet, so it's not that far away. Keep in mind that you have to cross the border not by sea, but by the road. It might be possible, but is not worthy to risk.
- You can make a fire on the sand. As other countries forbid it, it is interesting activity to enjoy sea, wine and fire on the beach. It was asked for policemen if it is legal. They said that as long as you are looking after the fire, it is okay to do it.
- Bazart Tours, ☎ 40722889087, . Bazart offers a variety of tours. They include a day long tours to the nearby caves, lake and a tartar village. Another tour is an all inclusive week long birdwatching tour to the nearby delta. Yet another tour is a tour of monasteries and ancient daki sites. edit
There are a variety of restaurants ranging from Romanian food, to a creperie, to pizza joints. The best pizza during weekends is at Marina Park!
Down at the beach area, there are stalls offering "Hamsii" (little fried fish as a whole, offered with lemon or a ridiculous amount of garlic sauce). It's not a wine and dine place, though.
Beer selection is also ample, as are cocktails, cognacs and whisky. There are dozens of beach-front locations open 24/7.
Homestay is one option for tourists. The small buses usually drop you off along the main road in Vama Veche. After getting off the bus, you may be approached by local residents with whom you can negotiate to rent a spare bedroom in their home.
Other than that, there's the Punk Rock Hotel right at the entrance to town; it is probably the best choice among the 'hotels' you can find in this lively, grungy town, with nice wooden rooms, fair showers and a great couple running the place. Be prepared, though, to acoustically participate in the pleasures your neighbours are enjoying.
The preferred option, however, is camping on the beach. Roughly two-thirds of the younger people do this, leaving only limited space for lingering about the beach. There are toilets and showers available, although grungy. Theft did not seem a problem.
- Golden Sea Motel, East side of E-87, on the entrance in to Vama Veche, +40727-178-580 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), . Three star rural tourism accommodations. This establishment also offers air conditioning, a private yard with summer kitchen and BBQ area and private parking. The rooms are spacious by local standards and have private bath with 24/7 hot water. Above all, the place is clean & comfortable. If you are too tired from the sun and partying, Golden Sea also offers food catering, as well as, all inclusive packages. Indoor refrigerators also available. Pets welcome.
- Bazart, (main street, 50m from the beach), ☎ 40722889087, . Classic,inexpensive,intimate guest house. Common yard, chess, bicycles, tours. Super friendly owners. edit
- Pura Vida Beach Hostel & Bar (Pura Vida Hostel), Vama Veche (on the beach), ☎ 040786 055 288, . Everything is brand new. Once you step foot outside of the door you are already on the beach. Right next to the hostel is our brand new chill-out bar where you can grab a famous Thailand buckets and enjoy a day the beach, relax in one of our hammocks and soak in the sun or hang out in our bar’s Asian style chill out lounge. The hostel will be host to a variety of events and activities ranging from yoga, drum classes to concerts in our bar. We have 2 bathrooms for the four rooms. 2 rooms have 4 beds, one six beds and the room with the best view has 8 beds. edit
- Constanţa - Romania's largest seaport
- Mangalia - a port city and resort that hosts one of Romania's largest summer festivals
- Varna, Bulgaria - a seaside resort city and one of the oldest cities in Europe
- Head North on E-87, parallel to the Balck Sea coast. Be sure to stop by the exiting road sign from Vama Veche, right next to the Golden Sea Motel and take the usual "photo op" stop with the road sign. A usual custom of many visitors. You can also take advantage of this stop and stock-up on roadtrip goodies from the Double M Mini Food Mart, just south of the Golden Sea Motel on the same (East) side of the road. If you want to freshen up prior to your drive, Golden Sea Motel often will allow you access to their clean restrooms.
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