General

Bulgaria Tour June 2018

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Day 1 – June 15 – Sofia – Sightseeing tour of Sofia

Arrive at the Sofia airport. Meet and greet your private guide.

Visit the Boyana Church (Unesco site). Admire its beautiful freascoes dating to 1259. Continue with a walking sightseeing tour of Sofia. Visit the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral – the biggest and the most beautiful on the Balkan Peninsula, the Monument of Alexander II – Tzar Liberator, the Parliament, The Statue of St Sofia – the symbol of the city, the Presidency, the National Theater, the Ruins of Serdica and the Rotonda St George 4th c. AC, the Synagogue, the Russian Church, the St. Sophia early Christian basilica, which has given the city its name. Accommodation. Overnight.

B Overnight in hotel Thracia Premier ****

Day 2 – June 16 – Sofia – the Seven Rila Lakes – the Rila monastery – Banya

In the morning departure to the village of Panitchishte. Take the chair lift to the Seven Rila lakes. Take a three hour hike around the lakes and get back to the car again by the chair lift. Departure to the Rila Monastery – the richest historical and architectural monument of the Orthodox enclave, founded in 10th century and transformed to the most important spiritual and cultural center of Bulgaria. The Monastery’s unrivalled architecture and murals will captivate you. In the monastery visit the Ethnographic museum – very rich with its carpets and rugs exhibition, jewelry, customs, buckles. Also, you will visit four rooms decorated according to the typical styles of decoration of four regions of Bulgaria. Departure to the village of Banya where you will be accommodated in a luxury 4* Spa hotel. Overnight.

B Accommodation in Banya in Hot Springs Spa Hotel **** – https://hotsprings-spa.com

Day 3 June 17 – Banya – Avramovo – Trigrad – Devin

In the morning drive to the village of Dobarsko. Visit the Church of St Teodor Tiron and St Theodor Stratilat. At 10 :28 am take the narrow gouge train from Bansko to Velingrad – the biggest Bulgarian spa resort. The train passes through the picturesque pass of Yundola. Here is also the highest train station in Bulgaria – 1400 meters above sea level. Get off the train at the Avramovo station at 12:26 pm where your guide will be waiting for you. Departure to the Devil’s throat cave situated near by the little town of Trigrad. Pass through the magnificent Trigrad gorge before reaching the cave. Arrive in Devin. Accommodation. Overnight.

B Accommodation in Devin in Spa hotel Ismena ****

Day 4 – June 18 Devin – Plovdiv

Departure to Plovdiv. On the way – pass by the Vacha dam. Take a boat for a short ride of 40 mins to admire the beauty of the dam and the surrounding mountain. Continue to Plovdiv – the second largest town of Bulgaria, an area since the time of Philip, King of Macedonia, father of Alexander The Great. Its unique location on these ancient crossroads has stimulated cultural and political influences from East and West civilizations and yet maintained its unique cultural identity.

B  Accommodation in Plovdiv in Villa Antica (two nights)

Day 5 – June 19 – Plovdiv – Hissarya – Koprivshtitsa – Starosel – Plovdiv

In the morning departure to Hissarya where you will see absolutely well preserved fortress wall dating to the Roman period – 4th century. Visit the Roman tomb dating to the same period. Hissarya is also one of the most popular balneological resorts renowned for its more than 20 springs of curative mineral water. Continue to Koprivshtitsa. The village of Koprivshtitsa boasts a large number of architectural monuments from the Revival period, 383 in all, most of which have been restored to their original appearance. Collections of ethnographical treasures, old weapons, National Revival works of art, fine fretwork, household weaves and embroidery, national costumes and typical Bulgarian jewelry has also been preserved. Departure to Plovdiv. On the way visit the Thracian tomb of Starosel – an original tomb dating to the 4th BC. Arrive in Plovidv in the late afternoon.

Day 6 – June 20 – Plovdiv – Perperikon – Zvezdelina – Zheravna

This morning after breakfast leave to the Rhodopi mountain. Visit the archaeological complex of Perperikon, the largest megalith complex on the Balkans. Archaeologists have uncovered a giant multi-story palace and an imposing fortress built around the hill, with walls as thick as 2.8 m. Temples and quarters of residential buildings were also constructed in the fortress. Have lunch in a Turkish family’s house in the village of  Zvezdelina and taste some of the local delights. Continue to one of the most picturesque villages in Bulgaria – Zheravna. Here you will admire 200 years old houses, cobble stone streets, stone walls surrounding yards with beautiful flowers and fruit trees. Today the village is an architectural reserve. It has been used as a natural decor for many Bulgarian and foreign movies. Not only you will feel like you are back to the 19th century, but here you will feel the warmness and hospitality of the Bulgarians. Accommodation. Overnight.

B Accommodation in Jeravna in MilenProdanovite Kashti Complex ***- http://www.complexmprodanovi.com/index_en.php

Day 7 – June 21 – Zheravna – Nessebar – Varna – the village of Kyulevtcha

After breakfast departure to Nessebar (UNESCO) – an undoubted jewel of Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, historical and archaeological reserve with ancient archaeological remains of various periods, original churches from the 5th – 17th centuries and more than hundred authentic Revival houses. Proceed to Varna. In the Archaeological museum admire the Oldest Manworked Gold in the world discover in Varna in 1972 dated between 4600 – 4200 BC. Departure to the village of Kyulevtcha next to the Madara Horseman in the foothills of the mountain.

B Accommodation in the Eco Bulgara complex – http://www.villabulgaraeco.com/index.php?language=english

Day 8 – June 22 – Kyulevcha – Madara – Sveshtary – the village of Metchka

In the morning visit the Madara Horseman (UNESCO) – a bas-relief cut in a rock some 23 meters above the ground dating to the beginning of the 8th century. The relief depicts a horseman in a natural pose with a sword in his hand. At the feet of the horse is a lion, and behind the rider is depicted his hunting dog. One legend has it that a Roman emperor was hunting on the plateau when he fell off the cliff and died. His relatives memorialized him by engaging a master to carve his image on the cliff. Continue to the village of Kyulevcha.

Continue to the Sveshtary Thracian tomb (UNESCO) dating to the 4th – 3rd century BC. The tomb has a unique architectural decor, with polychrome half-human, half-plant caryatids and painted murals. It is a remarkable reminder of the culture of the Getes, a Thracian people who were in contact with the Hellenistic and Hyperborean worlds, according to ancient geographers. Continue to the Seven Generations winery in the village of Mechka 22 km from Rousse wit ha beautiful view toards the Danube river.

B Accommodation in the Seven Generations Winery **** – https://sevengenerations.bg/page/homepage

Day 9 – June 23 – Mechka – Ivanovo (UNESCO) – Veliko Tarnovo

First visit today is the nearby complex of the Ivanovo rock church (UNESCO). Admire beautiful paintings from the 14th century. Arriving in Veliko Tarnovo you will be captured by the beauty of the setting of the town. Old houses perched on the rocks and two Mediaeval fortress preserve the glorious past of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1186 – 1396). Visit the Tsarevets and the Trapezitsa fortresses. In the village of Arbanassi is situated the richestly decorated church in Bulgaria of « The Nativity of Christ » called the Sistine Cjapel on the Balkans. In theevening enjoy a home hosted dinner in the village of Arbanassi. Accommodation. Overnight.

B Accommodation in Veliko Tarnovo in hotel Gurko *** http://www.hotel-gurko.com/index_en.php

Day 10 – June 24 – Veliko Tarnovo – Etara – Shipka – Kazanlak – Sofia

In the morning departure to the Balkan Range mountain. Before crossing the Shipka pass visit the Etara open air museum where have been presented 22 crafts that people used in the 18th and 19th century. Start climbing the Shipka pass. On the top of the mountain admire beautiful view towards the valleys of the Northern and Southern Bulgaria.

Take the road to Kazanlak known also as the Valley of Roses or the Valley of the Thracian Kings.

In the region of Kazanlak visit two Thracian tombs dating to the 4th century BC – one of them original – The Golyamata Kosmatka and the second one included in the list of UNESCO – the Kazanlak Tomb. You will visit its copy as the original has been closed for the public. Continue to Sofia.

Arrive in Sofia in the early evening.

B Overnight in hotel Thracia Premier Best Western ****

Day 11 – June 25 – Transfer to the Sofia airport. End of service.

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