Sofia – Boyana church – National History Museum – Rila Monastery – Plovdiv – Bachkovo Monastery – Sozopol – Bourgas – Nessebar – Varna – Pliska – Preslav – Madara– Veliko Tarnovo – Etar – Rose Valley Kazaluk – Karlovo – Koprivshtitsa – Sofia
Day 1 - Sofia Arrival
The tour starts by pick-up from Airport after your arrival and transfer to Sofia’s capital and its largest city. Founded thousands of years ago, today the city continues to develop as the country’s cultural and economic center. When we reach the capital, you will have the check in at the hotel and the program will start next day. Dinner and overnight in Sofia.
Day 2 - Sofia sightseeing
After breakfast we will explore the beauty of Sofia by visiting the most interesting monuments and buildings that can be seen and they are: Alexander Nevski Cathedral, -the biggest one in Bulgaria, National Library, the monument of Vasil Levski- a great Bulgarian hero, Administration of the President and Council of Ministers, the former Royal Palace, Russian Church, the Mosque, the Military club, National Parliament and National Palace of Culture.
After exploring the capital, we will be picked up by a bus which will take us to the outskirts of Sofia. There we will visit the UNESCO site Boyana church and nearby next stop will be National History Museum. In the afternoon, you will have free time and, in the evening, you will go for a dinner in a traditional restaurant where you will also enjoy a folklore show. Overnight in Sofia.
Day 3 Sofia – Rila Monastery - Plovdiv 344 km
After breakfast we’ll leave Sofia and start our tour to the biggest Monastery in Bulgaria situated in the Rila Mountains. Rila Monastery is Bulgaria’s best-known artistic attraction and one of the most beautiful painted Orthodox sanctuaries in Eastern Europe. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and famous for its frescoes and architecture, and a must-visit in Bulgaria. We will admire the impressive architecture and frescoes.
During the guided tour in the inner yard and the monastery museum, we will discover the most precious places that are kept from the past and all the facts and stories about the biggest Bulgarian monastery complex. Lunch time.
In the afternoon will head to Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria an administrative center of Plovdiv County. It is situated in the Upper Thracian Plain, on both banks of the Maritsa River. Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe – the beginning of its history dates back to 4,000 years BC. The city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and a cultural and economic center of southern Bulgaria. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 4 Plovdiv – Bachkovo monastery – Sozopol 311 km
After breakfast, we will explore the culture and history of the ancient part of Plovdiv (Roman Amphitheatre and stadium) and then a walking tour through the historic center of Plovdiv. Ancient Plovdiv Architectural Reserve is a well-preserved complex where in a relatively small area visitors can take walks through different historical ages, see ancient buildings adapted to the modern way of life and feel the spirit of the town from the Bulgarian Revival period. Lunch time.
Then we continue our tour to the mountains, reaching to Bachkovo Monastery. Bachkovo Monastery is the second largest Bulgarian monastery and the most beautiful of the three Bulgarian Stavropegial monasteries, founded in the 11th century. Visit of the monastery. From there we head to the seaside – town of Sozopol, situated on the Black Sea. Check in at a nice Boutique hotel, have dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 5 Sozopol – Burgas – Nessebar 70 km
After breakfast we start our guided tour through the Old Town of Sozopol. Sozopol is an architectural reserve and is considered the oldest Bulgarian town on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. We visit the remains of the ancient constructions that can still be seen around or are exhibited in the local museum. Time for lunch. There will be time to explore Sozopol until the early afternoon when we will drive along the coast of the Black Sea via Burgas (short stop in the town, coffee-break and visit to the center) and arrive at Nessebar. Check-in in the hotel, dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 6 UNESCO site - the Ancient City of Nessebar – Traditional dinner with music program 30 km After breakfast we go to explore the UNESCO site “Ancient City of Nessebar”. The ancient city of Nessebar is a unique example of a synthesis of centuries-old human activities in the sphere of culture; it is a location where numerous civilizations have left tangible traces in single homogeneous whole, which harmoniously fit in with nature. The different stages of development of its residential vernacular architecture reflect the stages of development of the architectural style in the Balkans and in the entire East Mediterranean region. The urban structure contains elements from the second millennium BC, from Ancient Times and the Medieval period. Lunch time.
In the afternoon there will be free time to spend as you would like (swimming in the Black Sea, shopping), then we continue our tour for a special night that will give you the chance to feel the Bulgarian culture and atmosphere (old House, Gerana Village ltd, 15 km from Nessebar). Back to the hotel and overnight in the hotel.
Day 7 Nessebar – Varna 101 km
After breakfast, we continue our drive along the coast of the Black Sea to Varna, where we’ll have a guided tour through the Archeological Museum and the Cathedral. Lunch time After lunch in the center we continue our guided tour to the Terme Romane (2 cept. AD) the largest one in Bulgaria. If the weather is fine, we will make an excursion to the coast (Capo Kaliakra) or to an excavation site. Check-in at the hotel, dinner and overnight in Varna.
Day 8 Varna – Pliska – Preslav – Madara – Veliko Tarnovo 240 km
After breakfast, we have to wake up early this morning because there will be a longer journey to Veliko Tarnovo. On the way to Veliko Tarnovo we’ll stop at Pliska, the capital of the first Bulgarian Empire with a spectacular town – fortress.
From there we continue to Veliki Preslav situated on the Golyama Kamchia River. Veliki Preslav was established more than 1100 years ago as a town-fortress under the reign of Knyaz Boris. After the Preslav Council of the Church and the people of 893 it was declared the capital of the Bulgarian state. Preslav was known as a spiritual and literary center where the development of the Slavic written language and the Golden Age of Bulgaria during the rule of Tsar Simeon took place. Lunch time.
After that, a stop at the famous Madara Rider, which is a unique stone carving will be made. If there is enough time, a short stop will also be made in Shumen for a visit to its big mosque. In the late afternoon will arrive at Veliko Tarnovo a city located in the center of Bulgaria, on the halfway between Sofia and Varna. South of the town rise the cold northern slopes of the Balkan Mountains and north of the city extends the vast Danube Plain. Check-in at the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 9 V. Tarnovo - Etar - Rose Valey - Kazanluk 219 km
After breakfast -with the first sun- we will start the day with a tour of the town. We will visit one of the very few left medieval fortresses in Bulgaria, situated on the Tsarevets hill which is the site of the capital of the second Bulgarian Kingdom. Situated on a hill surrounded by the Yantra River, Tsarevets is possibly one of the best places to learn the rich and proud history of the Bulgarian Empire during the 12th ,13th and 14th centuries! Lunch time.
In the afternoon we will continue our tour to the Rose Valey, in the town of Kazanluk. On the way to the town there will be a visit to the Architectural and Ethnographic Complex – Etar (it is possible to have the lunch break there instead of in Tarnovo). The Architectural and Ethnographic Complex – Etar is situated on the outskirts of the town of Gabrovo. It is an open-air museum. The purpose of which is to present the architecture and the style of life in Gabrovo and the region during the second half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century.
On the way to Kazanlak, there will be a stop at the valley of the Thracian kings and their ancient tombs will be visited. Then we arrive at the town of Kazanluk which is located in the center of Bulgaria, in the western part of the Kazanluk basin. The town is the center of the Valley of the Roses, the Home of the Thracian kings and the country’s largest and best-preserved Thracian archeological site. Check-in at the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 10 Kazanluk – Koprivshtitsa – Sofia 228 km
After breakfast, this day is dedicated to explore the UNESCO site – Thracian Tombs of Kazanluk. The Thracian tomb of Kazanluk is a unique aesthetic and artistic work, a masterpiece of the Thracian creative spirit. This monument is the only one of its kind anywhere in the world. The exceptionally well-preserved frescos and the original condition of the structure reveal the remarkable evolution and high level of culture and pictorial art in Hellenistic Thrace.
After that there will be a visit to the Rose Museum. The only museum in the world, dedicated to the oil-yielding plant - rose, is situated in the town of Kazanluk. The Rose Museum is housed in the old building of the Rose Institute. The rose is one of the symbols of Bulgaria. Time for lunch.
In the afternoon we start our return tour to the capital Sofia.
Driving through the country side road along the rose valley, the first stop will be near Karlovo. There will be a visit at a private family distillery located in the hearth of the rose Valley between “the town of the Bulgarian Rose” -Kazanluk and the town known for its mineral springs and spa – Pavel Banya.
On the way to the capital, we will stop for about an hour and a half at the village of Koprivshtitsa, which is situated in Sredna Gora mountain and is famous for its 19th-century revival houses which now work as house – museum. 3 or 4 of them will be visited. Koprivshtitsa is the birth place of some of the most important Bulgarian revolutionaries and there also stared the tragical April uprising in 1876. In the evening we will be back in Sofia. Dinner and overnight.
Day 11 Sofia departure
Breakfast. Day for free time in Sofia and transfer in the afternoon to Sofia Airport for a flight back.
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