AAPBAT1

Bulgaria: adventures and traditions!

Get a taste of the true Bulgarian way of life by exploring the picturesque countryside, getting involved in diverse workshops and challenging yourself with exciting adventures!
This program combines the must-see sights of Bulgaria and some totally off-the beaten track natural gems - the Devil’s throat cave, the Haramiiska cave, and the vast green meadows of the Gela village region in the Rhodope Mountain. In this itinerary there are great opportunities to mingle with the local people while learning how to cook traditional dishes, dancing folklore dances and tasting delicious local wines! Let Bulgaria’s unveiled simple charm fascinate you!

Day - by - day Itinerary:

Day 1: Welcome to Bulgaria – Sofia
Our guide will meet you at the Sofia Airport upon your arrival and accompany you throughout the whole trip.  While enjoying a refreshing cup of coffee in a cosy cafe at the city centre, you will be able to get to know your fellow travellers and get your first impressions from the vibrant Bulgarian capital. Then our enthusiastic and informative guide will take you on a sightseeing tour in the heart of the capital, followed by dinner and an optional pub crawl to get a taste of the city nightlife.
Dinner & overnight in Sofia. (D)

Day 2: Sofia, the Seven Rila Lakes, the Rila Monastery, Blagoevgrad
After breakfast we head to Panichiste from where we will take the open-air lift to the “Seven Rila lakes” Hut (30 min). Then we will take a picturesque walk to the lakes, where we will have a picnic lunch and enjoy the stunning mountainous landscape. In the afternoon we can’t miss visiting one of Bulgaria’s most emblematic sights situated nearby - the Rila Monastery - a true architectural masterpiece of its time survived through the centuries to fascinate us today with the distinguished works of art by some of the most renowned Bulgarian artists. In the late afternoon we will travel to Blagoevgrad.
Dinner & overnight in Blagoevgrad. (B,L, D)

Day 3: Blagoevgrad, Kresna Gorge Activities (Horse riding/ Kayaking/ Bow shooting), Bansko
Today we start with a short trip southwards to the area of the Kresna Gorge, where we will do one of the following activities with the help of professional guides and the needed equipment:

  • Horse riding in the foot of the Pirin Mountain  - no experience needed, picturesque routes    
  • Kayaking on the Struma River – no experience needed, but very weather dependent activity, full equipment and professional guides provided
  • Bow shooting near the Kresna Gorge - no experience needed, weather dependent

NOTE: All the above activities are weather dependent to a different extend, so we will be able to specify which one will be available for the particular period of the trip, just before the trip starts. 

After lunch at a local restaurant near the Kresna Gorge, we will travel through the Predela pass in the Pirin Mountain and reach the town of Bansko. Here we will have traditional dinner and enjoy a folklore show at an authentic restaurant in the preserved Old quarter.
Dinner & overnight in Bansko. ( B,L,D)

Day 4: Hike to the Okoto Lake in Pirin National Park – Dobarsko village (The Granny’s folklore choir and workshop: Making Bulgarian yoghurt the traditional way), Bansko
In the morning we will take a short trip to see the Pirin National Park, where we will start our hike. First we will see the famous 100-year old Baykusheva Mure tree. Then from the Vihren hut we will explore the gorgeous alpine relief of the Pirin Mountain and reach Okoto Lake. (Estimated hike time: 3h, hike level: beginner) After lunch at the Vihren hut we will visit the impressive St. Teodor Stratilat Church in the nearby village of Dobarsko. Here we will enjoy the singing of the renowned Dobarsko Granny’s choir and learn from the locals how to make Bulgarian yoghurt the traditional way.
In the evening we will attend a Cooking workshop and make some traditional Bulgarian regional dishes at a family – owned hotel in Bansko.  Our dinner will consist of what we have cooked.
Dinner & overnight in Bansko. ( B,L,D)

Day 5: Bansko, the village of Leshten /Kovachevitsa, Trigrad
In the morning we will travel south-east to the secluded mountainous villages of Leshten & Kovachevitsa. We will visit one of them and take in the authentic, rustic atmosphere and the breath-taking scenery of the Rhodope Mountain.  We will take time to go for a walk in the area (no special clothing needed). For lunch we will try some typical dishes from the Leshten area and then take a scenic trip east to the heart of the heart Rhodope Mountain.  In the Trigrad area we will visit one of the most famous caves on the Balkans – the mystic Devil’s Throat. Next on our agenda for today is the spectacular “Devil’s throat” cave situated near the village of Trigrad in the breathtaking Trigrad Gorge. The cave is wrapped in myths and legends and is famous for its enormous gallery on the stone walls of which they say you can see the carved Devils’s face. 
Dinner & overnight in Trigrad. ( B,L,D)

Day 6: Trigrad,  Haramiiska Cave visit (Special tour with professional guide and equipment) – Off road jeep adventure in the Rhodope Mountain,  “Okoto” viewing platform near Trigrad
In the morning we will visit the Haramiiska cave – an amazing, adrenalin - rush adventure with professional guide and equipment. We will climb and descend into the cave in order to see its spectacular main gallery. (The experience takes between 3-5 h, no experience needed, comfortable clothes and shoes) After lunch at a family home in the village of Yagodina, we will explore the surroundings of Trigrad on off-road jeeps and reach one of the most stunning panoramic points in the West Rhodope Mountain – the Eagle’s eye platform, from where in a clear day you can see the Greek territory.
Dinner and overnight in Trigrad. ( B,L,D)

Day 7: Trigrad, the village of Gela (Bulgarian “gaida” bagpipe workshop &Traditional Bulgarian Barbeque in the open), the Bulgarian National Astronomical Observatory Rozhen, Plovdiv
In the morning we will travel through the Rhodope Mountains and reach the picturesque village of Gela, where we will listen to some local masters play “gaida” (Bulgarian bag pipe) and have the chance to try and learn ourselves.  For lunch we will have traditional Barbeque in the open. In the afternoon, we will visit the National Astronomical Observatory in Rozhen, where the oldest telescope in Bulgaria is situated. In the late afternoon, we will reach the city of Plovdiv and have dinner in an aristocratic restaurant in the Old Town.
Dinner and overnight in Plovdiv. ( B,L,D)

Day 8: The Old Town of Plovdiv,  Wine tasting & lunch at Todoroff Wine Cellar in Brestovitsa, Visit of a Rose distillery, Kazanlak
In the morning we will take time to go for a walk in the impressive Old Town of Plovdiv and see the ancient Roman theatre and the aristocratic National revival period houses. Then we will head to the nearby village of Brestovitsa, where we will have lunch and wine tasting at the Todoroff winery & Cellar. In the afternoon, we will visit a Rose distillery nearby Kazanluk, where we will learn how the Rose essential oil is made and try some Rose liquor. We will finish this lovely day of sightseeing with a traditional Folklore dinner and show at a restaurant nearby Kazanlak – a great opportunity to try and learn to dance the traditional folklore dance ”horo”.
Overnight in Kazanlak.( B,L,D)

Day 9: Kazanlak, Sofia (Transfer to the Sofia Airport for the outbound flight)
In the morning we arrive in Sofia, we have free time for shopping and free lunch in the centre, than – transfer to the 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

  • The Bulgarian capital Sofia - a blend of ancient historical heritage and modern-day landmarks
  • Hiking in the spectacular Pirin Mountain!
  • Stroll in the charming Old Quarter of Plovdiv and marvel at its ancient Roman amphitheatre!
  • Check out the Devil’s Throat Cave with its breathtaking underground waterfalls of 42 m.!
  • Drift back in time in the tranquil mountain villages of Gela, Leshten & Kovachevitsa- cornerstones in the preservation of the Bulgarian history, traditions and cuisine
  • Visit the Rila Monastery - an architectural masterpiece of its time that played a significant role in the Bulgarian history.
  • Reach the stunning Seven Rila Lakes tucked in the heart of Rila Mountain.
  • Be enchanted by the heavenly scent of the “Damascene” rose in the Bulgarian Rose valley!
  • The adrenalin – rush Haramiiska Cave visit!
  • Taste the delicious South – Bulgarian wines!
  • Lear to dance “horo” near Kazanlak!
  • Make Bulgarian yoghurt the traditional way!
  • Cook your own traditional dinner in Bansko!

Route

Photos


Learn more about the places

What Is Included

  • 9 days / 8 overnights
  • 8 breakfasts (B), 7 Lunches (L), 8 dinners (D)
  • 8 nights on 4 & 3+- 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
  • Wine tasting at Brestovitsa
  • Rose distillery visit with rose liquor tasting
  • Cooking workshop in Bansko
  • Yogurt making in Dobarsko village
  • One of the following activities around the Struma River – bow shooting, kayaking, horse riding
  • Group Size: T/A
  • Transport: Modern air-conditioned coach
  Make a request

Share on