Best of Bulgaria Roundtrip

Departure Date: 17-04-2021 Status: Guaranteed departure Price: 620 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 15-05-2021 Status: Guaranteed departure Price: 620 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 12-06-2021 Status: Guaranteed departure Price: 620 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 07-08-2021 Status: Guaranteed departure Price: 620 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 04-09-2021 Status: Guaranteed departure Price: 620 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 02-10-2021 Status: Guaranteed departure Price: 620 Duration: 8 days

Situated on the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria is still one of the least explored countries in Europe. With a rich history dating back to thousands of years ago, travelling through the country is like a tour back in time. During this tour we will learn more about the culture of the Thracians who lived here in ancient times. We will visit the tomb of one of their most prominent kings and explore the mountain, known to be the birthplace of the legendary Thracian singer Orpheus.
The city of Plovdiv is a unique place when it comes to history and culture. Here you can walk between ancient Roman theaters and fortresses on one side and the colourful and charming houses of the Bulgarian Revival period on the other. Continuing to Etara and Koprivshtitsa, we will learn more about the traditional crafts and lifestyle of the people during that period. In the Rila mountains, we will admire the extraordinary frescoes of Rila Monastery - the biggest monastery in Bulgaria and in the town of Melnik we will be testing the local red wine, while enjoying the views of the sandstone pyramids surrounding the town.
Except from history and nature, there is one more thing Bulgarians are especially proud of - their roses. The country is a world-leading producer of rose oil. Bulgaria has a long history of rose oil production and is now one of the leading producers in the world. Roses take a central part in the Bulgarian culture, especially in the region known as The Valley of Roses. Every year the Rose Festival takes place in the region and there is even a museum dedicated to the rose, which will be one of the highlights of our trip.
 

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Highlights:
♦ Plovdiv –
the second Bulgarian city in population and size after the capital, Plovdiv is famous for the Old Town with charming houses decorated with colourful ornaments.
♦ Veliko Turnovo – a city of great historical significance and the old Bulgarian capital.
♦ Rila Monastery – the biggest monastery in Bulgaria, listed as a UNESCO Heritage site.
♦ Melnik– the smallest town in Bulgaria, known for wine and sandpyramids.
 

 

Itinerary: 

Day 1. Sofia
Arrival at Sofia airport and transfer to the city center. Short sightseeing tour of Sofia: the Alexander Nevski Cathedral and the Crypt, The National Theatre, St. Sofia church, St. George Rotonda dating back ot the 4th century. Overnight in Sofia.

Day 2. Sofia - Rila Monastery - Melnik
Today we start our tour with a visit to the Rila Monastery - the biggest and most important symbol of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The Monastery was founded in the 10th century by St. Ivan of Rila and was included in UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1983. The most characteristic feature of the monastery are its vibrant and detailed frescoes, created by one of the most prominent Bulgarian artists at the time. The monastery is also home to the Rafail's cross - a wooden crucifix showing 104 religious scenes and 650 miniature figures, carved into a 81 x 43 cm large cross. The route continues to Melnik - Bulgaria's smallest town. We will try the town's famous red wine and explore the natural sandstone pyramides surrounding it. Overnight stay in Melnik.

Day 3. Melnik - Trigrad
Today we drive through the picturesque Rhodopi mountain, believed to be the birthplace of the legendary Thracian singer Orpheus. It was here that the ancient Thracian tribes celebrated their religious cults and today there are many sanctuaries and cities reminding of their mysterious culture. The highlight of the day is our visit to Yagodina cave - among the longest ones in Bulgaria (with more than 10 000 m mapped so far), considered to be one of the most beautiful ones in Europe with its outstanding stalactites, stalagmites, columns, ponds and cave pearls in them. We spend the night in the town of Trigrad in the heart of the Rodopi Mountains.

Day 4.  Trigrad - Plovdiv
Today we continue our picturesque drive through the Rhodopi mountains to get to Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria. On the way we will stop to visit Chudnite mostove (The Wonderful Bridges) - a natural arch, formed by the forces of nature in the solid rocks of the mountain. Overnight in Plovdiv.

Day 5. Plovdiv
Sightseeing tour of Plovdiv. Plovdiv is one of the oldest still inhabited cities in the world. It has existed as a settlement for more than 8 000 years. It has been the capital of Ancient Thrace and a large trade centre in the Middle Ages. In the historic quarter of the city you will see beautifully decorated houses in traditional bulgarian style, ancient fortress walls, Roman theater and stadium and magnificent churches. In the recent years. Plovdiv is also becoming one the hippest towns in Europe with its trendy cafes and creative spirit. In 2019 it was even one of the European capitals of culture, along with Matera in Italy. Free time. Overnight stay in Plovdiv.

Day 6. Plovdiv - Etara - Veliko Turnovo
After breakfast, we head out to our next stop - Veliko Turnovo. On the way there, we will stop for a visit to a few interesting places. The first one is the tomb of  the Thracian king Seuthes III, located near the city of Kazanlak. Its astonishing interior, as well as the well-preserved artefacts found here, make the tomb one of most important historical sites of that period.Our next stop is the Musem of the Rose. Here we will learn more about the history of rose production in the country and how the process has changed over the years. We proceed to the architectural-ethnographic complex "Etura", where we will experience the way people lived 150 years ago. Skilled craftsmen will show us how people used to make woolen clothes,pottery, utensils and ornaments. Here you can try some of the most delicious traditional bulgarian treats and get an authentic souvenir to bring back home. Our last stop for today is Veliko Turnovo. Overnight stay in Veliko Turnovo.

Day 7. Veliko Turnovo - Koprivshtitsa
Sightseeing tour of Veliko Tarnovo – the Medieval Capital of Bulgaria where glorious past of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom can be felt. Visit to the Tsarevets Hill which has been towered by the Patriarch church “Holy Ascending of God” and the St. Peter and Paul church. A few kilometres from Veliko Turnovo lies the village of Arbanassi, famous for its well-preserved traditional architecture. In the afternoon we head to Koprivshtitsa -  a small town situated in a picturesque valley among the mountains in the central part of Bulgaria. The town is now turned into a museum, where you can feel the atmosphere of the Revival Period in Bulgaria. Overnight in Koprivshtitsa.

Day 8. Koprivshtitsa - Sofia. Departure
Transfer to Sofia (about 2 hours) for departure. Please, make sure to book your flight for a departure after 13:00 h. You can also prolong your stay in Sofia.


Good to know:

 ►Please note that the program on Day 1 and Day 8 is subject to change in connection with flight times (it is for example possible to have your sightseeing trip in Sofia on Day 8, instead of on Day 1, if you have purchased tickets with late arrival/ late departure times).
► Please note that warm clothes are a must during the the cave visit.
► The accommodation of the tour is in middle-sized hotels, providing all the necessary sanitary conditions and comfort for a day and multi-day stay. Be warned that some of the hotel do not have elevators, and consider the size of your luggage accordingly