This ancient Thracian settlement, with a population of only 4,451 was only proclaimed a town as late as 1969.
Situated some 24 km north of the Romanian border, 66 km north of Varna, and 536 km north-west of Sofia.
An ancient Thracian settlement emerged here, then a Greek colony and later on the Roman town of Karia with a harbour was built in the vicinity of cape Shabla. In early Byzantine times, trade and crafts underwent brisk development. In later times the town fell into decay and only the fishermen’s settlement was left. Except for fishing and the sea- related crafts the town is also known for its agricultural production. Not far from Shabla, by the village of Tyulenovo, there is an oil field where part of the population of the town earn their living nowadays.
There is an old community cultural centre, museum collection and an art gallery in the town. Every 24th May the town hosts a grand folklore festive of people’s art and creativity noted for the songs, dances and applied art exhibitions. The beach here is clean and pleasant for recreation.
There is a small hotel in Shabla called the Drouzhba Hotel offering 60 beds, as well as private lodgings and a camp site.
Apart from the restaurant at the hotel, in recent years Shabla has been offering catering opportunities at small private restaurants and snack bars. There are grocers stores, roadside facilities offering food and refreshment stalls. One can buy fruit and vegetables from the local producers.
Shabla is connected with Varna via Kavarna and with Dobrich by bus transport. The road to Varna is a first-class one and leads to the Romanian border northwards.
The archaeological excavations at Cape Shabla (about 5 km east of the town) are the most interesting site for the visitors. The foundations of an ancient Roman fortress may be seen and despite being a small one it had been an important centre of commercial contacts with the other settlements along the Black Sea coast.
The Lake of Shabla is situated 3 km away of the town and it is a wonderful place for fishing and recreation. It is the nesting site for more than 100 000 wild geese. Nearby one can visit the Ezerets Dam. By the fishermen’s settlement of Krapets (16 km north-east of the town) there is a camping site.
The Dourankoulak Moor is further northwards and is famous for being a reserve for a number of marsh birds, some of them are registered in the Red Book of fauna species in Bulgaria. On the big island in the Dourankoulak Moor the remains of the biggest Eneolithic settlement in Europe were excavated, as well as many other finds dating back to various periods of human civilization. There is a camping site, too.
Near the town of Shabla is the yachting club where the annual yacht-regatta along the Black Sea coast starts.