Self-Drive Bulgaria Round Trip

Departure Date: from 01-04-2014 to 31-10-2015 Status: Open for booking Price: 270 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: from 01-03-2017 to 30-11-2017 Status: Open for booking Price: 320 Duration: 8 days

This tour includes the most interesting and characteristic places in Bulgaria. These are: Sofia (the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the St Sofia Church, the St George Rotunda, the National Museum of History), Rila and Rozhen Monasteries, Melnik, Plovdiv (the ancient fortress-wall, the Roman forum and stadium), Shipka Pass, Etura - open-air ethnographic museum, Veliko Turnovo (Tsarevets fortress), the museum-town of Arbanassi etc.

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 – situated along the historical hills of Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora on the two banks of Yantra River. The houses of the old town are like withe birds on the cliff side above Jantra river and create a magnificent view.
♦Arbanasi – Austere houses that resemble minor fortresses on the outside, with high, solid walls and heavy gates, richly decorated and traditionally furnished on the inside.
♦Rila Monastery – the most popular tourist site among all monasteries in Bulgaria. The legendary monastery lies in fantastic surroundings.
♦Melnik (380 m a.s.l.) – the smallest and one of the most fascinating towns-museums in Bulgaria, known for wine and sandpyramids.

 

Itinerary:

Day 1. Sofia

Arrival at Sofia airport and delivery of a car at the airport. Drive to Sofia Guesthouse. Walking tour of Sofia: The city has been founded 7 000 years ago. Main attractions are the Alexander Nevski Cathedral and the Crypt, National Theatre, St. Sofia church, Sofia’s oldest building the 4-rd century St. George Rotonda. Overnight in Sofia.

Day 2. Sofia – Rila Monastery – Melnik
Drive to the Rila Monastery – the biggest and most important symbol of Bulgarian Orthodox church. The Monastery has been founded in the 10-th century and rebuilt in 13-th and 14-th centuries. It is one of Europe’s oldest and included in UNESCO’S list in 1983. Behind the 20 meters walls lie impresive monastery buildings, a church and a chapel with valuable murals. The route continues to Melnik - Bulgaria's smallest town famous for its unique red wine and the natural sandstone pyramides. Close to Melnik lies the picturesque Rozhen Monastery dating from the 13th c. ( the only Bulgarian monastery that remained unharmed during the Turkish yoke). Overnight stay in Melnik.

Day 3. Melnik - Trigrad
Today we drive trough the picturesque Rhodopi mountains, believed to be the birthplace of the legendary Orpheus and a territory where the ancient Thracian tribes celebrated their religious cults.The highlight of the day is our visit to Yagodina cave - among the longest ones in Bulgaria (with more than 10 000m mapped so far), considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe with its outstanding stalactites, stalagmites, columns, ponds and cave pearls in them. We spend the night in the town of Trigrad.

Day 4.  Trigrad - Plovdiv
Today we continue our picturesque drive through the Rhodopi mountains i order to get to Plovdiv, the second biggest city in Bulgaria. On the way there we stop to visit Chudnite mostove (Miraculous bridges) - a natural arch, formed by the forces in nature in the solid rock of the mountain. Overnight in Plovdiv.

Day 5. Plovdiv
Walking tour of Plovdiv. Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe on a par with Troy and Mikena. It has existed as a settlement about 8 000 years ago. It has been the capital of Ancient Thrace and a big trade centre in the Middle Ages. In the historic quarter of the city will be visited beautifully decorated houses, ancient fortress walls, Roman forum and stadium, magnificent churches. Sightseeing includes visit to the Roman theatre and Ethnographic museum, St. Konstantine and Helena Church. Free time. Overnight stay in Plovdiv.

Day 6. Plovdiv – Etyra– Veliko Tarnovo
After breakfast departure for Veliko Turnovo. On the way to Veliko Turnovo there we can several interesting places. Drive up the Balkan Mountain through the historical Shipka pass. The huge monument at the top celebrates the place where one of the most dramatic battles for Bulgaria's independence took place. Next stop is the “Etara” open air Ethnographic museum showing the everyday life of local people centuries ago. Proceed to Veliko Turnovo. Overnight stay in Veliko Turnovo

Day 7. Veliko Turnovo - Koprivshtitsa
Sightseeing tour of Veliko Tarnovo – the Medieval Capital of Bulgaria where the rich and glorious past of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom will be felt. Visit to the Tsarevets Hill which has been towered the Patriarch church “Holy Ascending of God”. 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 which is a small town situated in a picturesque valley among the mountains in the central part of Bulgaria. A town with a special spirit, now turned into a museum where you can feel the unique atmosphere of the Revival Period in Bulgaria. Overnight in Koprivshtitsa.

Day 8. Koprivshtitsa – Sofia.  Departure
Drive to Sofia (around 2 hours) for departure.

Included in the price: ► rent a car Economic Class, at 4 persons sharing ► overnights in standart hotels (4 nights) and guesthouses (3 nights) - all overnights are based on a bed in double (single) rooms with private WC/shower ► breakfast (7 days) 

Not included: ► meals other than breakfast ► flight tickets ►tips, insurances ► alcoholic drinks and other personal expenses. ► entrance fees

Other expenses: Supplement  2-3 pers. sharing one car 40 EUR► Single room supplement: 130 Euro ► supplement for 4**** hotel accommodation - 140 EUR

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 a walking tour/free time 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 cave visit.

 

Low cost flights to Bulgaria: Wizz Air - http://wizzair.com/; Easy Jet - http://www.easyjet.com/; Germanwings - http://www.germanwings.com/; Penguin Travel – http://www.flybulgarien.dk/; Norwegian Air Shutte - http://www.norwegian.no/,  Airberlin - http://www.airberlin.com; Ryan Air - http://www.ryanair.com

Recommended travel period of the year: March  - Oktober