Port of Varna is the largest seaport complex in Bulgaria. Located on the Black Sea’s west coast on Varna Bay, along Lake Varna and Lake Beloslav, it also comprises the outlying port of Balchik.
  • General Description
  • Anchorage Areas
  • Terminals
  • Artboard 78 Port Restrictions
  • Tide
  • Weather Restrictions
  • Working Hours
  • Services
  • Maps
  • Photos

General Description

Port Coordinates: 43º 12′ 23” N / 27º 55′ 17” E
B. A. Nautical Chart No: 2285 & 2283 (approaches)
Admiralty Sailing Directions: NP 24
Time zone: UTC +2 hrs
Port Security Level: 1

The Port of Varna consists of two main ports: Varna East and Varna West as well as some smaller ports: Balchik, Lesport, Ferry complex, Varna Power Plant.

Varna West is located 13 miles west of Varna East. The two ports are connected by two canals and Varna Lake.

Pilots are required for ships over 100 GWT. Pilots embark/debark at a whistle buoy located near 43°11’N / 28°00’E, approximately 3.5 nm east of Varna East.


Port of Varna

Anchorage Areas

There are two primary anchorage areas in Varna Bay:

  • Summer anchorage – Anchorage No 1 from 1st of May until 1st of October. It is located approximately 3 nm south of the entrance to the Port of Varna.
  • Winter anchorage – Anchorage No 2 from 1st of October until 1st of May. It is located approximately the same distance east-northeast of the entrance.

Both areas have an average depth of 15 meters.


Varna East Port Terminal

Port of Varna East was inaugurated on 18th May 1906. Today, it operates successfully as a multi-purpose port terminal and caters for bulk, general cargoes and grains. An integral part of Varna East structure is the Storage Base, also known as the Dry Port. It is a separate unit with a license for Customs bonded storage. Located at 5 km away from the port, on a total area of 15 decars, it has 6 warehouses which are used for storage of varied grain and general goods. Varna East has easy access to the national rail and road networks. The passenger terminal provides services to passenger and cruise ships, scientific vessels and pleasure boats.


Main Characteristics:

  • Berths: 13 (including 1 passenger berth)
  • Max depth: 11.50 m
  • Total quay length: 2345 m
  • Open storage area: 73,154 m2 (including Storage Base)
  • Warehouses: 35,340 m2 (including Storage Base)


  • Portal cranes: 22 with varied capacity up to 32T
  • Gantry crane: 1 with capacity 30.5T
  • Mobile crane: 1 with capacity 84 T
  • Reachstackers: 1
  • Rail discharging station for grain
  • Grain loading installation
  • Quay shiploader for grain
  • Unloading facility for molasses
  • Passenger Terminal
  • Storage Base (Dry Port)


Varna West Port Terminal

Varna West Port Terminal has modern technologic lines for handling of soda, fertilizers, cement, coal, ores, phosphates, silica and liquid chemicals. All berths and warehouses have access to the national rail and road networks. In recent years, port of Varna West has been recognized as Bulgaria’s container gate. A state-of-the-art information system has been developed and implemented by the port, so that the client can keep track of its containers at any time. There are also multi-purpose berths available for handling of various types of cargo in case of need. The port successfully handles heavy lifts and out-of-gauge, such us windmill components, transformer equipment, specific project cargo, etc.


Main Characteristics:

  • Berths: 19
  • Max depth: 11.00 m
  • Total quay length: 3,430 m
  • Open storage area: 346,393 m2
  • Warehouses: 37,806 m2
  • Tanks for liquid cargo: 10000m3


  • Portal cranes: 25 with varied capacity up to 32T
  • Gantry cranes: 2 with capacity 35T
  • Mobile cranes: 2 with capacity 100T and 2 with capacity 63T
  • Reachstackers: 10 units of 45T
  • Rubber belt conveyors: 7
  • Mobile belt conveyors: 2 systems
  • Quay shiploaders for soda in bulk and fertilizers: 2
  • Loading system for sulphuric acid.

Port Restrictions

General restrictions of Varna port:

  • Max draft Channel No 1: 11.5 m
  • Max draft Channel No 2: 11.2 m
  • Max Airdraft Channel No 1:
    – Air temperature of 5°C and higher – 44.14 m
    – Air temperature below 5°C – 43.04 m
  • Max Airdraft Channel No 2:
    – Air temperature of 5°C and higher – 43.90 m
    – Air temperature of below 5°C – 41.78 m


Normal tidal fluctuation at the Port of Varna is negligible. The change from low to high is only about 2 in (5 cm).

Weather Restrictions

Port is affected by northeasterly winds, which occur approximately three or four times per month during January, February, March and December. A northeasterly wind event may last for two days. The strongest winds recorded at Varna East were 66 kt (34 m s-¹), with occurrences in winter and early spring. Because of the protection afforded by Eastern Pier, problem wave motion does not reach the inner harbor.


Visibility in Varna port is occasionally restricted due to fog. When occurring, fog is usually worst in the morning hours, improving by 10 am local time. Since navigation is prohibited in the Port of Varna if visibility reduces to less than 547 yd (500 m), the port is occasionally closed until the fog dissipates.


Varna is an ice free port.

Working Hours

The port operates 24/7, Sundays and Holidays included.


  • Arranging ship repairs and inspections
  • Provisions & stores
  • Fresh water supply
  • Crew changes
  • Slops removal
  • Bunkering
  • Extensive ship repair and dry-docking facilities