The most beautiful facets of Bulgaria
Discover Bulgaria, one of the oldest countries in Europe! Bulgaria’s rich history, stunning nature, delicious food, hospitable people, unique traditions and costumes will enchant you. Your trip starts in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Then you continue to the largest Orthodox monastery in Europe in the Rila Mountains, followed by a visit of the city of Plovdiv with its more than 5000 years old history and a stay at the Black Sea coast. From here you travel to Veliko Tarnovo and back to Sofia.
‘Welcome to Bulgaria!’ greets you the local guide at Sofia Airport. The history of the city of Sofia began 2500 years ago when the Thracian tribe Serdi founded a settlement called Serdica. Upon arrival, you explore the city’s most beautiful landmarks: St George Rotunda, Alexander Nevski Cathedral and Banya Bashi Mosque. Check-in and dinner at the hotel.
In the morning, you travel towards Rila Monastery. Rila Monastery, one of the largest Eastern Orthodox monasteries in the world, is located in the Rila Mountain. The name Rila originates from the Thracians and means ‘well-watered mountain’. The monastery was founded in the 10th century and has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1993. Visit the monastery museum with its valuable exhibits of religious books. Then your trip takes you over stunning mountainous landscapes to the city of Plovdiv. Check-in and dinner at the hotel.
Right after breakfast, drive to Bachkovo Monastery. The beautiful monastery from the 11th century is located in the Rhodope Mountains. It is a still functioning monastery with a unique botanical feature in the courtyard – the more than 300 years old tree ‘Djindjifir’(dyospirus lotos). At noon you return to Plovdiv. The city of Plovdiv is about 5000 years old and thus one of Europe’s oldest settlements. Your city tour begins in the old town, which tells the 5000-years-old story of Plovdiv. The city’s highlights, such as the Dzumaja Mosque, the Roman Stadium, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Roman Odeon, will certainly impress you. Dinner at the hotel.
In the morning, you travel to the town of Kazanlak, the centre of the famous Rose Valley, where the famous Rosa Damascena grows. This oleaginous rose has become a national symbol. Visit here the Museum of the Rose and the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, a UNESCO monument dating from the 3rd century BC. Your journey continues afterwards towards the 3200 years old town of Nessebar. The old town lies on a small peninsula. Due to its extraordinary cultural wealth, the old town of Nessebar was included in 1983 on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Check-in and dinner at the hotel.
Today you drive to Balchik, the former summer residence of the Romanian Queen Maria Alexandrina Victoria of Edinburgh. Queen Marie was charmed by the small town and commissioned the construction of her summer residence here. Visit then the beautiful Botanical Gardens. Return to Varna in the afternoon. The town’s attractions include the Pantheon, the Regional History Museum, the Assumption of the Virgin Cathedral (Uspenie Presvyatia Bogoroditsi) and the Roman Thermal Baths. Dinner at the hotel.
Travel towards Veliko Tarnovo in the morning. Stop in Madara, where you can admire the unique stone relief Madara Rider (UNESCO World Heritage Site). After a short drive, you arrive in the city of Veliko Tarnovo. The former capital of Bulgaria is set amidst three hills of the Balkan Mountains and the river Yantra. Visit the ruins of the Tsaravets Fortress, once housing the tzar’s palace. Then stroll through the traditional crafts shopping quarter, Samovodska Charshiya, and enjoy the 200-year-old buildings and the unique atmosphere of this arts and crafts pedestrian street. Dinner at the hotel.
Right after breakfast, you drive towards Troyan. In the village of Oreshak, you can admire the third largest monastery in Bulgaria, The Assumption of the Holy Mother. It was founded in the 16th century and restored in the 19th century during the National Revival. Inside the church is a miraculous icon. Continue to Koprivshtitsa, a true town museum, declared a historical and architectural reserve. The highlights of the town include the Ethnographic Museum, the Todor Kableshkov house and the house of the poet Dimcho Debelyanov. Drive to Sofia. Festive farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant incl. fire dances and folklore programme.
Free time. Transfer to the airport and goodbye to the local tour guide.