CRCLT1

A Journey through Time

Route: Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo, Varna, Nessebar, Kazanlak, Plovdiv, Rila Mountain, Sofia
8 days / 7 nights
Transport: Coach
Price from: T/A

We welcome you to discover these lands, where Slav literacy was born and the oldest civilizations in Europe have left traces. Feel the rhythm of Bulgaria in its music and dances! Sink into Bulgaria’s ‘all-embracing’ beauty – in nature, folklore, village lifestyle, unique museum towns and modern city life! Take a journey through time in search for Bulgaria. The more you discover, the more you will love it!

Day - by - day Itinerary:

Day 1: Welcome to Bulgaria!
Our guide will meet you at the Sofia Airport upon your arrival and escort you to the hotel while you get your first impressions of the Bulgarian capital followed by a welcome dinner and the chance to get to know your fellow travellers who will share the amazing experience with us.
Overnight in Sofia. (D)

Day 2: Sofia & Vitosha Mountain
We start the day with a guided sightseeing tour of Sofia featuring: the imposing St.Alexander Nevski cathedral - the seat of the Patriarchy of Bulgaria, the St. Sofia church after which the city was named back in the 14th century, the ancient ruins of the Roman fortress “Serdika” and the Martyr Saint George Rotunda, the National Theatre, the old Bath House, the Banya Bashi Mosque - a remnant of the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria that lasted nearly five centuries. In the afternoon our tour continues to the foot of the picturesque Vitosha Mountain where we visit the National Museum of History and the UNESCO classified Boyana Church with fascinating murals dating back to the 13th century. Later that evening we will enjoy a welcome dinner in our hotel. (D)
Overnight in Sofia. (B, L, D)

Day 3: Sofia, the Troyan Monastery, Etara and Veliko Tarnovo
Today we set off for the enchanting Trojan Monastery, sheltered in the majestic Balkan Mountains. Founded no later than the late 16th century and home of one of the holiest icons in Bulgarian Orthodoxy- the Three-Handed Virgin, the monastery is the second biggest religious sanctuary in the country. The main church represents the "moral and social experiments" of art at the time. After a delicious lunch nearby the monastery, our trip continues to Etara - craft museum in the open, where we can witness samples of the traditional crafts from the Bulgarian revival period. We will enjoy a walk in the preserved craftsmen street! Later this afternoon we travel to Veliko Turnovo.
Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo. (B, L, D)

Day 4: Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi
In the morning we enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Veliko Tarnovo - the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Here we will drift into time to discover all traces of the bravery and pride in the history of this glorious Medieval capital visiting the well preserved Tsarevets Fortress, the Baldwin's Tower, the "execution rock" and the Holy Ascension patriarchal church. Afterwards, we will stroll down the town’s Medieval market street Samovodska Charshia where in the many preserved workshops we will have the chance to learn more about the ancient Bulgarian crafts. We will have lunch at a local family’s home in the nearby village of Arbanassi, where we will wash down some traditional dishes with a glass of rakija (the Bulgarian traditional spirit). The village of Arbanassi used to be one of the important merchant and cultural centres during the Bulgarian Revival Period reflected by the preserved architecture and the beautiful frescoes at the UNESCO classified Rojdestvo Christovo Church,  which we will have the opportunity to visit with a local guide. Later this afternoon we travel to Varna.
Overnight in Varna. (B, L, D)

Day 5: Varna, Nessebar and Burgas
This morning is at everyone’s disposal to explore Varna’s picturesque centre and the beautiful “Sea garden” on their own. Before noon we will travel down south along the Black Sea coast and will pass the eastern part of the Balkan mountain. We will have lunch on the charming peninsula of the Old Town of Nessebar, which has existed for more than 9000 years and it is today a cultural monument also enclosed in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Here we will visit the St. Stefan church and have the chance to experience the romantic atmosphere of the old maritime town with its narrow cobblestone streets, tiny squares, two-storied period houses, handmade - gift shops, taverns and lovely flower gardens! Later this afternoon we set off for Burgas.

Overnight in Burgas. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Bourgas, Kazanluk and Plovdiv
Today we will travel west towards the heart of South Bulgaria. Our first stop will be the Shipka Memorial church – a monument dedicated to the bravery of the Russian and Bulgarian defenders of the Shipka pass in the War of Liberation in 1878. Afterwards we will continue our trip to Kazanluk-the town of the Bulgarian Rose Damascene and the Capital of the Valley of the Thracian Kings. We will explore one of the ancient Thracian Tombs in the area to see some beautiful samples of Thracian art and learn more about their fascinating culture. After lunch, we will head to Plovdiv. The Old Town “ Timontium”  is among the most magnificent places in Bulgaria and is famous for its  spectacular  Roman Theatre, the multitude of tiny art galleries, churches and authentic cobbled streets lined with Revival period houses most of which open for public. A true journey through the centuries!
Overnight in Plovdiv. (B, L, D)

Day 7: The Rila Monastery and Sofia
Today we will say our goodbyes to Plovdiv and travel southwest towards the majestically rising Rila Mountain that features the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula - Musala (2929m). Besides the spectacular scenery our highlight today is the Rila Monastery - a true architectural masterpiece of its time. It survived through the centuries to fascinate us today with distinguished works by some of the most renowned Bulgarian artists, the pure and harmonious line of the buildings' exquisite colonnades, the colourful arches richly decorated with murals and fretwork. For lunch we will enjoy a specialty of the local cuisine and head back to Sofia.
Overnight in Sofia. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Tour ends in Sofia
Today after breakfast we say “Goodbye” but promise to keep forever all the beautiful memories we have created together! (B)

If you like the suggested program, ideas, services and this is really your kind of holiday please send us your request for further details! We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and give you our professional advice. Thank you!

Highlights

  • The Bulgarian Capital - Sofia: a colourful blend of numerous ancient sites and modern city landmarks
  • Visit of the city of the Bulgarian Tsars - Veliko Tarnovo
  • The city of Varna - The Sea capital of Bulgaria and its enchanting Sea garden
  • The Old town of Nessebar – an ancient UNESCO classified maritime town picturesquely built on a tiny peninsula
  • The Valley of the Thracian Kings with its ancient tombs and the Rose Valley with the beautiful rose “Damascene” gardens
  • A walk in the winding cobble streets of the charming Old Quarter (Trimontium) of the city of Plovdiv with its spectacular Roman amphitheatre
  • Marvel at the majestic Rila mountain while travelling to the biggest monastery on the Balkan Peninsula – the Rila Monastery
  • Farewell dinner at a traditional Bulgarian restaurant in Sofia

Route

Photos


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What Is Included

  • 8 days / 7 overnights
  • 7 breakfasts (B), 6 lunches (L), 7 dinners (D)
  • 7 nights 4 - star hotel accommodation on a twin-share or double basis
  • Guided sightseeing tours of all visited cities and sights
  • Escorted services of an experienced guide in the requested language for the whole tour
  • Group Size: T/A
  • Transport: Modern air-conditioned coach
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