Vama Veche is a small village on the Romanian border with Bulgaria on the shore of the Black Sea. The coastline of Vama Veche is quite peaceful as it is not a hot spot for tourists.
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 and camp-ground) and the Punk Rock Hotel on the right (West) side of E-87.
Fly to Henry Coanda International Airport (OTP IATA) in Bucharest, serviced by over a dozen airlines among which, KLM, TAROM, WizzAir, Alitalia or to Kogalniceanu Airport (CND IATA) near Constanta, and take a train or bus to Mangalia, and then take a Minibus south to Vama Veche. Minibuses are reliable, with assigned 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 1½ hours, including transfers. Cost should not exceed €5.
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.
From Constanta, go to the South Autogare next to the Train station and take a minibus going to Mangalia (10 lei). Tell the driver that you want to go to Vama Veche and he will stop you in front of the Nordiana hotel (facing LIDL supermarket). Every hour there is a bus from that hotel going to Vama Veche (4.5 lei), you can also take that bus from other parts of the main road in Mangalia.
Walking is the means of transport. Preferably in shabby flip-flops, or barefoot.
- Party!!!. July and August weekends, and 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. Enjoy the free spirit and Bohemian atmosphere created by all!
- [formerly dead link] Stufstock. The "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.
- Swim. The beach is very clean by Black Sea standards. The water is too cold for swimming in the spring, but all right in August.
- Bonfire at the beach. 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.
- Sail. 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.
- Diving. 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 150 m off shore from -10 to +5 m. The lifesavers on duty will row you there. The wreck 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.
- Walk to Bulgaria. It's about 600 m on foot, so it's not that far away. You have to cross the border not by sea, but by the road. It might be possible, but is not worth the risk.
- [dead link] Vama Veche's community right. You can join the Vama Veche's community right.
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 or a cheap place for a tent in their garden. 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.
- 1 [formerly dead link] Elga's Punk Rock Hostel (punk rock hotel), Vama Veche (at the entrance of town), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- [dead link] Golden Sea Motel (East side of E-87, on the entrance in to Vama Veche), ☏ , ✉ 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 and all inclusive packages. Indoor refrigerators also available. Pets welcome.
- 2 Oz Vama Veche, Strada Tudor Vladimirescu 2, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Free Wifi. Camping. Bungalows. 40 lei 1 double bed bungalow shared bathroom.
- 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 Black 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.