This is a volcanic small island in the Burgas Bay, the biggest bay in the Bulgarian Black Sea. In its history, it was used as a religious hiding spot, a lonely prison, and a place to pirates. One of these, by the way, hid a golden treasure in the beaches, that has not been found to this day.
The island itself was created from a volcano eruption. Storms and sea waves throughout the years created the interesting shape of the volcanic rock, in the shape of dragons, mushrooms, a sun gate, and a fossilize pirate ship.
In the island, named after St. Anastasia, you will see a small historic museum and a beautiful small church, you can experience creating medicine from plants from the pharmacy here. Visit the local lighthouse, that can be entered sometimes.
In addition to the wonderful public beach, there are restaurants, pubs, and rooms for accommodations.
The small beach on the island is fun and great for sunbathing. The chapel that was rebuilt is interesting to see, the only one left on the Bulgarian islands from the Middle Ages. All the other churches on other islands are in ruins.
The lighthouse, that shows boats the way to this day, reaches up to 10 kilometers, is on the northern part of the island. It was opened in 1914, and replaced the lighthouse from 1889 that was built on the island by a French company, and was a metal rod 40 meters tall.
Today, the St. Anastasia Island is one of the most romantic places on the Bulgarian islands. You can dine here in restaurants with authentic Bulgarian food, in what was a monastery from the Middle Ages, and in the 20 century was used as a prison, and today it is a hotel.
The St. Anastasia Monastery on the island was built in the Middle Ages, and is the only preserved monastery on the island, at least part of it. The earliest recording of the island's existence is from the 15th century. During the years the monastery was attacked by pirates, and there is a legend about the treasure still hidden on the beach.
At the end of the 17th century, the Dutch cartographer Nicholaes Witsen was the first to map the island.
Around 1920 the monastery was abandoned, and the building became a prison. Here communists at the time were held, and the St. Anastasia Island received the nickname the Bolshevik Island.
Throughout the years, communist prisoners that were held at the prison on the island managed to escape and reach Burgas. At a certain point, the distance and difficult maintenance forced the government to transfer the prisoners from here to a police station in Burgas, with some being released. Some managed to rise to power in Bulgaria later.
Starting from the 1960's and until the 1980's, the island filled with artists, bohemian people of Burgas, and the island became a popular tourist attraction.
In 2001 the St. Anastasia Island received a title, a point of cultural and historical Bulgarian destination. Today you can get accommodation in the monastery from the Middle Ages, which used to also be a lonely prison.
But the best-known legend is about the fossilized pirate ship on the island of Anastasia. The remnants of the ship, according to legend, are what remains of a pirate ship that attacked the island many years ago.
According to legend, the reason for this attack was a gold treasure buried on the island by a dead pirate. The pirates who were looking for the treasure hoisted their ship on the island and the frightened monks in the convent locked themselves in the church and prayed to Saint Anastasia to save them.
According to the legend, Saint Anastasia heard the prayer of the pleading monks against the pirates who raided them. She sent a terrible storm through the sea. In the storm, the pirate ship was thrown ashore and crashed. Its remains, the fossils, say the Islanders, are still there today and can be seen on the beach.
The secrets of this mysterious island have no ended. Some believe that on the island there are two hidden dungeons with many secrets hidden inside. There were well hidden, and have no been found to this day, but the search continues.
There is also a cruise to the port of Nessebar.
The island has a restaurant that offers local and authentic foods, creative from very old recipes.