The name "Kaliakra" is of Byzantine Greek origin. It is a combination of "καλός" ("beautiful") and "άκρα" ("headland" or "fortress") and is traditionally translated as "Beautiful Headland".
Kaliakra was the site of the naval Battle of Cape Kaliakra on 11 August 1791, part of the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792).
The first modern lighthouse on Kaliakra was built in 1866 by the Compagnie des Phares de l’Empire Ottomane; the present one (a 10-m cylindrical stone masonry tower with lantern and gallery) was erected in 1901, with focal plane height of 68 m and a white flash (every 5 seconds); it also has a radio navigation emitter and a foghorn.
Near Kaliakra, there is a large mediumwave broadcasting facility, which went never in service as planned. Currently (2009), several wind power facilities are under development in the vicinity. The area now has 3 championship golf courses designed by the legendary golfers Gary Player and Ian Woosnam.