CRCLT3

Bulgarian Highlights & Traditions

Looking for a new destination in South-eastern Europe and would like to learn more about the cultural heritage and the history of the yet to be discovered gem on the Balkan Peninsular - Bulgaria? Don’t hesitate to let us give you a deep insight into the intricate culture of Bulgaria- the very heart of the Balkans, where east-meets west! Let Bulgaria surprise you and enchant you with its centuries-long cultural heritage and unspoiled natural beauty!

We will spend 8 enchanting days ticking off the highlights of Bulgaria and exploring its traditions in small mountain villages and towns where time seems to have stopped ages ago. We will  a country that seems to have it all – the ancient remnants of a glorious past, the vibrant capital city that never sleeps, the mighty mountains, the stunning monasteries, the delicious wine and so much more!

Day-to-day Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Bulgaria!  
Arrival at Sofia Airport. Our English speaking guide meets you at the airport and escorts you during the whole trip. On the way to our hotel you will get first impressions of the Bulgarian capital, one of the oldest cities in Europe with 7000-year long history. "Ever Growing, Never Ageing" is the motto on Sofia's coat of arms. Due to the fact that it occupies a strategic position at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula, Sofia has always been a crossroad of the key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia.
Dinner and overnight in Sofia. (D)

Day 2: Sofia & Vitosha Mountain
We start the day with a guided sightseeing tour of the Bulgarian capital Sofia - a colourful blend of numerous ancient sites and modern city landmarks. The afternoon we will spend at the foot of the Vitosha Mountain in the outskirts of Sofia where we will visit the National History Museum and the UNESCO classified Boyana Church with its stunning 13th - century frescoes. During the welcome dinner you will have the chance to get to know your fellow travellers who will share the amazing experience with us.
Overnight in Sofia. (B, L, D)

Day 3: SofiaRila Monastery Blagoevgrad - Bansko, ~ 290 km
We leave Sofia towards the gorgeous Rila Mountain towering to the sky with the highest peak on the Balkan peninsula-Musala. After a scenic drive we reach the emblematic Rila Monastery.  Having survived the times and the complicated history of our country, it still fascinates the visitor with the pure and harmonious line of the buildings' exquisite colonnades, arches richly decorated with murals and fretwork.
Some of the best Bulgarian artists have created their masterpieces here: the golden iconostasis of the monastery church; the double-sided cross, carved by the monk Raphael; the Hrelyo Tower.
For lunch we enjoy specialties of the local cuisine, the mountain trout, served in one of the many small restaurants in the surrounding area.
In the afternoon, we make a stop for a cup of coffee in Blagoevgrad.The universities, the Old town and the lively streets abundant with shops, small restaurants and cafes create a vibrant and young image of the town.
In the afternoon we set off to the famous mountain resort Bansko .
Overnight in Sofia. (B, L, D)

Day 4: Bansko – Velingrad - Plovdiv ~ 270 km
This morning we take the unique on Balkan Peninsula narrow-gauge line for a magnificent voyage towards the station of Avramovo – the highest railway station on the Balkan Peninsula. There will be the coach waiting for us in Avramovo to pick us up to the town of Velingrad.
We have lunch in a nice restaurant in the centre of Velingrad that attracts many of guests for its mineral springs and curative waters.
After lunch, we will head to the city of Plovdiv. Its Old Town “Timonium” 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. A true journey through the centuries! We will spare some time to see the Ethnographic museum, the Museum of the ancient mosaics and the Roman Forum.
Overnight in Plovdiv. (B, L, D)

Day 5: PlovdivKazanlak – Shipka Memorial Church – Gabrovo -  Veliko Tarnovo ~ 230 km 
 After breakfast, departure for Kazanluk, the town of the Bulgarian Rose Damascene and the Capital of the Valley of the Thracian Kings. The Thracian Tomb, dated from the end of the 4th century B.C., famous with its murals is the next place of interest  for today.
After lunch in Kazanlak we visit the Shipka Memorial church with its shining golden domes, built in seventeenth century Russian style, dedicated to the Russian soldiers and Bulgarian volunteers, died for the liberation of Bulgaria, 1877-1878.
Today we will try to put a smile on your face taking you to the Museum House of humor and satire in the town of Gabrovo famous for its citizen`s jokes and stinginess.
Arrival in Veliko Tarnovo, the glorious capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1187-1393).
Overnight in Veliko Turnovo (B, L, D)

Day  6: Veliko Tarnovo – Nicopolis ad Istrum  - Arbanassi – Lyaskovets winery - Veliko Tarnovo ~ 80 km
Today we drift into the past and 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", the Holy Ascension patriarchal church. 
Then we travel more in the past towards Nikopolis ad Istrum, a Roman city built at the beginning of II century B.C. by Imperor Trayan. Here we find remains of walls and towers, cobbled roads, parts of forum, theatre, and aqueduct.
For lunch we will be welcome for a delightful lunch in a guest house in Arbanassi to taste dishes and specialities with a Bulgarian traditional drink (rakija).
Arbanassi village used to be one of the important merchant and cultural centres during the Bulgarian Revival Period which is noticeable in the magnificent church frescoes and town architecture. Today Arbanassi is an architectural museum town known with the Rojdestvo Christovo Church, inscribed in UNESCO Heritage List for the frescoes dating back from the 16th and 17th century, the Konstantsalieva House - an example of a house-fortress from the Bulgarian Revival.
In the afternoon, we get a state of  the Bulgarian wines at the wine cellar of Lyaskovets - where there is museum collection and the Roman vine-press which is from III century. We will learn how to taste and serve wine; we will get acquainted with the mode of living and the manners of Lyaskovets inhabitants, the traditions of region in the wine-production.
For the end of the day we reserve a walk down Samovodska Charshia (listed as Monument of culture) - a craft street which represents actually the Old Craft Market from the Revival period in Veliko Tarnovo. We enjoy the craft ateliers and meet with their art.
Overnight in Veliko Turnovo. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Veliko Tarnovo - Troyan Monastery - Sofia ~310 km
In the morning set off for the enchanting Trojan Monastery, sheltered in the majestic Balkan Mountains. It was founded no later than the end of the 16th century and is the home of one of the holiest icons in Bulgarian Orthodoxy, the Three-Handed Virgin. Many of the paintings in the main church represent the "moral and social experiments" of art at the time. Today we are part of an art demonstration – pottery, weaving, wood-carving (one of the mentioned activities upon client desire and possibility).
Lunch in Oreshak village in authentic house nearby the monastery.
Set off to the Bulgarian capital.
Overnight in Sofia. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Tour ends in Sofia
Today we travel to Sofia and say “Goodbye” with the promise to keep the beautiful memories of our colourful journey forever.

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 heritage and modern urban culture
  • The colourful frescoes at the imposing Rila Monastery!
  • Visit of the city of the Bulgarian Tsars - Veliko Tarnovo and the tranquil village of Arbanassi
  • The charming Old Quarter of the city of Plovdiv with its spectacular Roman amphitheatre
  • The Valley of the Thracian Kings with its ancient tombs and the Rose Valley with the beautiful rose “Damascene” gardens
  • The enchanting Trojan Monastery!
  • A magnificent voyage to the Avramovo railway station – the highest railway station on the Balkan Peninsula.
  • Taste the Bulgarian wines at the wine cellar of Lyaskovets!

Route

Photos


Learn more about the places

What Is Included

  • 8 days /7 overnights
  • 7 breakfasts (B), 7dinners (D) , 6 Lunches( L)
  • A wine tasting on Day 6 – at Lyaskovets winery that includes: 5 sorts of wine
  • 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
  Make a request

Share on