Welcome to Mamaia, Romania!
Next time you have a few spare days and are looking for a novel sun-scape, why not go to Mamaia, a popular Romanian beach resort on the mystical Black Sea.
Whilst I cannot guarantee any encounters with vampires (getting the cliche out early :)), I can certainly say that you will experience the finest of sands, a vibrant restaurant and beach scene, music galore and great hospitality. I am not even mentioning food because then you'll say I'm biased...but the food, oh the food!
Romania is my home country and whilst I have much to tell about different areas, this is just a brief post about the beautiful seaside, which has changed a lot over the last decade and I think it is worth exploring for a few days if you're in the mood for some sea, sun and beach bonanza.
I used to go a lot with friends a while back but last time I went was as a little duo with my mum. We stayed for a few days in the north part of the resort, at a cosy hotel called Zenith. It's a great location if you want to be near the inviting bars and restaurants and enjoy relaxing evening strolls by the Black Sea.
You can equally head to the main area of the resort (the south part), which will, however, be packed with crowds, smells of shawarma and a rusty fun park that has survived the decades. Definitely worth seeing both sides to see the contrast.
Anyway, back north, Zenith has a nice pool and a spa where you can relax at leisure and is a good base for exploring the resort. Around the hotel, there are many restaurants including IpaNera, in between Crazy Beach and H2O and many more offering multiple culinary options even for the pickiest of guests.
The thing I should mention is that in Mamaia, each private beach is run as a beach club, with service to your sun-lounger and radio stations and famous DJs entertaining the crowds with competitions and lots and lots of music and dancing. It really is a great place in which to immerse yourself, have fun and let go of all that stress.
The sea is enticing, there are sea sports you can try and if you don't feel like it, you can just relax with a glass of champagne on the fine sand or by the pool.
Other nice lunch places include the food truck hub called 'La Butoaie' where you can get anything from traditional Romanian food to burgers or seafood from the various outlets. You can then eat your quick bite and get back on the sun loungers and enjoy the sunshine and glorious blue skies.
There are lots of nice restaurants and bars and another one worth mentioning is a small Greek taverna called Ammos where you can have fresh fish and one of my favourites, Rose de Purcari, a lovely light rose wine that goes perfectly with grilled fish, hospitable smiles and turquoise shades of summer.
And then there are all the evening and night parties where the sand is your dancefloor and the sea breeze the rhythm. In Mamaia, it's all about beaches, beach bars and beach restaurants, so you're bound to find one for you...