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The Folklore Costume Festival in Zheravna and more!

Route: Sofia, Zheravna, Plovdiv, the Rila Monastery, Sofia
6  days / 5 nights
Transport: Coach
Price from: T/A

The Folklore Costume Festival in Zheravna is a splendid costume “fiesta” that gathers people from all corners of the world in the picturesque village of Zheravna tucked in the heart of the Balkan Mountains to celebrate the colorful Bulgarian folklore traditions, to try some homemade strawberry jam, to get a taste of the freshly cooked local dishes and say ”Nazdrave!” raising a glass of heady plum “rakia”!
With the nightfall the glittering lights of the countless fireplaces scattered around the vast green hills outline the massive, rigid millennia - old Balkan Mountains that have protected our country throughout the darkest hours of our history! It is time to dance the night away and celebrate the ancient Bulgarian heritage reflected in the cheerful colors of the costumes, the distinctive beating of the drums accompanied by the traditional bagpipes, the touching voices of the singers, and the scent of the forest herbs, freshly baked bread and summer flowers! Capturing the rhythm of the intricate folklore dances like the generations before us did, we celebrate being born in our motherland - the home of our proud and brave ancestors!
What better way and place for a traveler to understand a country than an event where it proudly celebrates its individuality through music and dances!
We learned how to dance a few more Bulgarian folklore dances and even made some bread! What about you?

Day - by - day Itinerary:


Day 1: Welcome to Bulgaria! 
Our Tempora Travel representative will welcome you upon your arrival at Sofia Airport and explain to you how the trip will work. Transfer to the village of Zheravna.
Dinner and overnight in Zheravna.  (B, D)

Day 2: The village of Zheravna!
Today we will have time to explore the picturesque village of Zharevna and enjoy its medieval atmosphere.  There are plenty of interesting sights of interests which we can check out in the village and its surroundings before the opening of the festival in the late afternoon. With its more than 200 old houses (preserved and restored) dating back to the National Revival period, the village has become a popular tourist destination as well as an inspiration source for artists and writers. Time here seems to have stopped. The air is filled with village smells and sounds - of stock trotting by, of coffee cups clatter on a tray, of fresh cold mountain water running in the basin...Many of the ancient  houses lining the stone laid, narrow and winding streets, are nowadays museums and small family hotels. The ground floors of others are functioning as shops, restaurants and cafes.
Dinner and overnight in Zheravna. (B, D)

Day 3: Festival time!
Festival time with lots of traditional folklore dances, colorful costumes, demonstrations, refreshing drinks and delicious food! J
 The official program of the festival will be published two months before its starting date.
Overnight in Zheravna. (B)

Day 4: The Closing Ceremony of the Festival in Zheravna and the ancient city of Plovdiv!
Now is the time to make the best of the festival before it finishes! After the Official Closing Ceremony which takes place in the early afternoon, we will travel back to Sofia, via Plovdiv – one of the wealthiest and most cosmopolitan Bulgarian cities, and the country’s second-largest road and railway hub and economic centre. Our guided sightseeing will take us to the lovely old town, largely restored to its mid -19th-century appearance and packed with atmospheric house museums and art galleries. Special attention will be paid to one of the most remarkable sights here - the spectacular Ancient Amphitheatre, built in the 2nd-century-AD by Emperor Trajan and still a host today to large-scale opera performances and concerts. Intriguing is also the Ethnographic museum housed in one of the most renowned National Revival period houses in the Old Town. Around the so called “Friday Mosque” built back in the 15th century, we will find plenty of places to try some delicious Bulgarian sweets and sip on a cup of aromatic coffee.
In the late afternoon we will travel back to Sofia.
Overnight in Sofia (B)

Day 5: The Rila Monastery - The biggest sanctuary on the Balkan Peninsula!
Today we will take a scenic trip to the imposing Rila Mountain which features the highest peak on the Balkan peninsula, Musala( 2927m). Here, tucked in the heart of the mountain we will find the Rila Monastery, a true architectural masterpiece of its time survived the centuries to fascinate us today with the harmonious line of its exquisite colonnades and colourful arches richly decorated with murals and fretwork. We will have the chance to learn more about the works by some of the most praised Bulgarian artists at the time. Featured in the UNESCO Heritage List, the monastery’s highlights include the 14th century Hrelyo Tower, the five-domed Church “Birth of the Blessed Virgin”, the original monastery kitchens from the 19th century, and the double-sided wooden cross, carved by the monk Raphael.
For lunch we will try the local fish specialties at a cozy family-owned restaurant near the monastery.
In the late afternoon we will return to Sofia and pay a visit to the Boyana Church - a fine example of Medieval architecture with unique wall paintings under UNESCO’s protection - situated in the outskirts of the city and at the foot of the Vitosha Mountain.
Our Farewell dinner will take place at an authentic Bulgarian restaurant where we will try some traditional try some tasty traditional dishes and drinks.
Overnight in Sofia. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Goodbye Bulgaria! Trip finishes in Sofia.
Today we will leave some time to take in Sofia’s ancient heritage and modern vibe before we say “Goodbye”! The last day from our trip we will spend in the Bulgarian capital! We will stroll around the city centre and check out some of its numerous places of interest!
Our  sightseeing tour will cover the highlights of the city centre – the magnificent   Aleksander Nevski Cathedral - one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world, it is one of Sofia's emblematic symbols. We cannot miss the Church "St Sofia” that has given its name to our capital in the 14th century. We will also explore the ruins of the Roman fortress “Serdika” and Martyr "Saint George” Conqueror Church-Rotunda. Of course we will pass by the National Theatre, the Old Bath House and the Banya Bashi Mosque - a remnant from the time of the Ottoman rule in Bulgaria.
The city centre is a maze of small streets crammed with low key urban - bohemian bars and cosy little restaurants where you can feel the true vibe of the city’s modern culture. The once aristocratic city homes are today turned into colourful artistic graffiti - adorned cafes and trendy bars offering great cocktails, attentive and friendly staff and buzzing atmosphere.
In the afternoon we will enjoy some free time to explore the city in our own pace.
Transfer to the Sofia Airport.(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

  • We will take part in a splendid costume “fiesta” that gathers people from all corners of the world in the picturesque village of Zheravna tucked in the heart of the Balkan Mountains to celebrate the colorful Bulgarian folklore traditions!
  • We will drift back in time while strolling in the ancient streets of the charming Old Quarter of the city of Plovdiv!
  • We will marvel at the spectacular Rila Monastery - an architectural masterpiece of it time!
  • We will take in the charms of the vibrant Bulgarian capital Sofia: a colourful blend of archaic monuments and modern-day urban landmarks!

Route

Photos


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What Is Included

  • 6 days / 5 overnights
  • 6 breakfasts (B), 1 lunch (L), 3 dinners (D)
  • 3 nights - family hotel accommodation on a twin-share or double basis
  • 2 night - 4 - star hotel accommodation on a twin-share or double basis
  • Guided sightseeing tours of Plovdiv and Sofia
  • Guided visit of the Rila Monastery
  • 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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