Balchik is 10 minutes drive North of Kranevo, its palace and botanical gardens are an important attraction of both Balchik and the region attracting many visitors each year.
The palace known officially as the ‘quiet nest palace’ was constructed in 1926 and 1937 during romanian control of the region for the needs of Queen Marie who ordered the vineyards, gardens and water mills of local citizens to be bought so a palace could be constructed at their place. It consists a number of residential villas, a smoking hall, a wine cellar, a power station, a monastery, a holy spring, a chapel and many other buildings. Today many of the former royal villas and other buildings of the complex are reorganized inside and used to accommodate tourists. Some of the older Bulgarian water mills have also been preserved and reconstructed as restaurants or tourist villas
The gardens were established In 1940, after the incorporation of Southern Dobruja in Bulgaria with the Treaty of Craiova, as a branch of the University of Sofia on the site of the palace’s park. The gardens are set over 10 hectares on a steep hillside, and descend in 6 terraces to the sea – supposedly one for each of the Queen`s children.
There are over three thousand varieties of shrubs, roses and flowers, set among streams, waterfalls, and ornamental channels. There is a rock garden, a formal French one with clipped box cones and geometric beds, and an astonishing collection of cacti. Interspersed are stone thrones, seats, pillars and ornaments collected by the Queen.