Resort development started in 1957 and in about two decades the place was transformed into a modern holiday complex with numerous hotels (many open year-round), villas, apartment buildings, spa centres, restaurants, clubs, casinos, attractions, shopping centres, and sports facilities, including a yacht marina, a horse riding school, and the Aquapolis water park. Golden Sands was privatized in the 1990s and attracted considerable investment through the 2000s.
Hot mineral water springs and lush woodlands cascading from the Franga Plateau, forming the Golden Sands Nature Park, turn the town into one of the most popular tourist spots in Eastern Europe. It also comprises the Holiday Club Riviera luxury resort, several villa communities including Panorama, Chaika, Kabakum, and Alen Mak, and the historic grotto of Aladzha Monastery in the vicinity. A contemporary chapel of John the Baptist was recently added. Just north is perhaps the best known gay beach in the nation. Three 18-hole golf courses designed by Gary Player and Ian Woosnam are developed around Balchik and Kavarna a short drive to the north.
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