UNESCO World Heritage Bulgaria
The cultural wealth of Bulgaria is worldwide recognised and there are numerous sites in this small country that have been included by UNESCO on its World Cultural Heritage list. This trip includes UNESCO Sites such as the Boyana Church, the Rila Monastery, the Kazanlak Thracian Tomb, the Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo, the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari and the Ancient City of Nessebar.
‘Welcome to Bulgaria!’ greets you the local guide at Sofia Airport. The sightseeing tour in Sofia starts at Sveta Nedelya square. Situated a few steps away from the square is the oldest church in the city, the St George Rotunda, built by the Romans in the 4th century. Then admire the precious and fascinating buildings of Banya-Basi Mosque and the Presidency. The landmark of the city is the Orthodox Cathedral Alexander Nevsky. Built in the 20th century, its construction took 30 years. Dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast, you travel to the Rila Monastery. Nestled in the Rila Mountains, it is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox monasteries in the world. The name Rila comes 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 1983. Explore the monastery museum with its valuable exhibits of religious books. Travel to Plovdiv. Dinner at the hotel and free time.
In the morning discover the old town of Plovdiv, the well preserved Roman Amphitheatre, the Roman Stadium, the St Constantine and Helena Church and the Hindlian House. Then your trip takes you to Kazanlak – the city of Roses and the centre of the Valley of Thracian Kings. Here you visit the Museum of Roses and the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak – a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. Further travel to Nessebar. Dinner at the hotel and free time.
Your day begins with a tour of the old town of Nessebar, protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city was founded about 3000 years ago on a picturesque peninsula and experienced Greek, Roman and Ottoman rule during its rich history. Thanks to its extraordinary cultural wealth, the old town of Nessebar was included on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 1983. Then travel further to Varna, where you visit the Archaeological Museum. Admire here the oldest processed gold in the world. Free time and dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast, you start towards Russe. Your journey goes via Madara, one of the oldest settlements in Eastern Europe, famous for the stone relief Madara Rider. This stone carving is unique in Europe and has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1979. Travel further to the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari. Due to its remarkable architecture and its ornate decoration, the Thracian burial place has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1985. Transfer to Russe. Dinner at the hotel.
Highlight of your morning are the Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo. Admire here the precious ancient frescoes as well as the beautiful panorama. Then you head towards Veliko Tarnovo – the medieval capital of Bulgaria. You visit the ruins of the Tsaravets Fortress (Tsarevets hill), where the Tsar’s castle was once built. Then stroll through the traditional crafts shopping quarter, Samovodska Charshiya, and enjoy the 200-year-old buildings and the unique atmosphere of the old town. Dinner at the hotel.
In the morning, you drive to the village of Arbanassi. Explore the Nativity of Christ Church from the second half of the 15th century and admire the valuable ornamental frescoes of typical biblical scenes. Stop on the way at the authentic Bulgarian village of Golyam Izvor and enjoy the warm welcome of the Bulgarian grandmas with honey and salt, banitsa and brandy. You then visit the old school. Further transfer to Sofia. Dinner with folklore programme and wine at a traditional restaurant.
In the morning, you visit the unique Boyana Church. The church has been a UNESCO monument since 1979. Afterwards, enjoy a tour of the National History Museum. The imposing building was once the residence of the dictator Todor Zhivkov, who was leader of Bulgaria in the period 1954 – 1989. Here you can admire, for example, the world-famous Thracian gold treasure of Panagyurishte and the medieval ‘vampire’ skeleton discovered in Sozopol. Transfer to the airport and goodbye to the local tour guide.