A view toward Saint Ivan island from Sozopol
Bulgaria is not famous for its islands like Greece for instance, but there are a few situated on the Bulgarian Black Sea. Maybe you won't believe it, but believe me, they are worth the check. After the popularity of St. Anastasia Island, this year I visited the less popular and much wilder island, Saint Ivan. If you are going to Sozopol this summer and you want to try something different, here’s why you should consider going there. 

An authentic house in Sozopol
We were in Sozopol chatting over a cup of coffee. Lying on the beach was not included in our daily plans so we decided to make a tour to the island, which is situated very close to the city. We headed to the marina where our future sailor was waiting for us. We hopped into his boat and sailed away.

Leaving Sozopol

We left Sozopol left behind our backs but it was one of the prettiest views with its red rooftop houses in contrast with the turquoise waters throughout the Black Sea and the blue skies above. We saw in the distance the golden sands of Gradina beach as well.

Metting people on our way to the island
Beach Gradina

20min later we reached the northern port of the island and we were greeted by the local inhabitants - wild island goats. We climbed the stairs that took us to the top where a 360 degrees view was waiting for us. We headed towards the lighthouse.


The lighthouse on the island
We walked the path but at some point, the grass was already covering our ankles, so we had to evaluate our steps.


Photo credit: kashkaval-tourist.com

We passed the lighthouse and we reached the remains of the medieval monastery Saint Ivan Precursor. In 2010 prof. Kazimir Popkonstantinov made major archaeological finds. Fragments of remains, probably of St. John the Baptist were discovered.

Remains of the medieval church

Photo credit: kashkaval-tourist.com

Saint Ivan’s Island is a home of the Audouin’s Gull, Caspian Gull, European Herring Gull, as well as European rabbit. Unfortunately, we didn’t meet any rabbits that day. 

The island Saint Peter
Saint Ivan is the biggest island in the Bulgarian Black Sea. Right next to it is situated the smaller island, Saint Peter. Probably both were separated from each other in the past.

2 hours later, it was already time to go back to the boat and leave the island. 

If you are looking for something interesting and different this summer, I strongly recommend giving the island Saint Ivan a chance. A couple of tips from me:
- Before leaving to the island, make sure you have enough water or food because there are no shops on the island; 
- I recommend wearing either a pair of shoes that cover your ankles or trousers; 
- Organised cruises are not my thing. Finding and bargaining with a random sailor is way more romantic but this, of course, is up to you;
- Don’t forget the sunscreen. Here it is a must.

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  1. This island is very intriguing to me. At the earliest opportunity - we will visit it. Thanks.

    1. I strongly recommend visiting it before it gets popular.

  2. I would have liked to see the goats! Everything is so blue and beautiful.

    1. Haha, they were just standing there looking at us :D Thanks, Anouk!

  3. You visited amazing and very picturesque place, Suny! :) I really like the fact that thanks to you I had a chance to discover and get to know something about that island, because honestly I've never heard about it before. I love your photos and the water looks so surrealistic, like it was painted or something, it has such a deep shade of turquoise <3
    Have a lovely evening, dear friend :)

    1. You're right, Ivonne:) Yes, Saint Ivan Island is not popular at all so I am not surprised you haven't heard about it.

  4. Hello Stanislava
    Thanks for this wonderful post!
    Everything is so blue , so green and so sunny!
    Enjoy your weekend!

  5. Hello Sany! You made me dream! Wow, this island is just gorgeous, wish I was there! The nature, the colors and gulls are breathtaking, you look very happy and beautiful as ever! Enjoy your summer Sany, big hugs! xo

    1. But you live in Cagliari, Lilli! Thank you anyway:)

  6. Saint Ivan Island certainly looks like it is full of charms. And it looks beautiful both from a distance as well as when you were on it. Unspoiled nature is a marvel to behold and it seems like you visited on a picture perfect day. Hope all is well Sany! Have a lovely month of July!

    1. I agree with you, Rowena. It's an interesting place with unspoiled nature. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Take care, Suny and thank you for each of your lovely comment, dear friend :)

  8. Wow look at that water! It's funny, I'm not familiar with all the islands off the European coast but I've always believed that they were on par with the famous Greek ones. This proves it! Hahaha! Beautiful photos S!


  9. Zdravei Sany!

    Wow the sea is so blue and pretty. I can't believe an island like that exists in Bulgaria. We should definitely popularize it a lot more because it's so beautiful and more people should visit.

    Happy you had a great time!

    Mnogo pozdravi ot Vegas!


  10. Have a lovley afternoon, Sany! :)