PRICE FROM: 990 euro
DURATION: 8 days / 7 overnights
ITINERARY: Sofia – the Rila monastery – Plovdiv – Starosel – Eastern Rhodopi Mountain: the village of Zvezdelina, the village of Madrec, the village of Gorno Pole – Zheravna – Veliko Tarnovo – Sofia
INFO: This tour is a fantastic possibility to admire the beautiful nature of Bulgaria, its ancient cities and sites, to meet local families in their home, to taste home made food and to do some hiking and other activities. Out of the beaten track tour where every step is worth.
Detailed itinerary of the Hiking and Rural Bulgaria Tour:
Day 1 – Arrive at the Sofia airport. Transfer to the hotel.
Accommodation in Sofia in hôtel Premier Best Western Thracia ****
Day 2 – Sofia – The Rila Monastery – Plovdiv
In the morning visit the Boyana church (UNESCO). Admire beautiful paintings dating to 1259. 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. Departure to Plovdiv.
B Accommodation in Plovdiv hotel Odeon – a Renaissance house turned into hotel (two nights)
Sofia – the Rila monastery – 125 km – 1 h 40 mins
The Rila monastery – Plovdiv – 200 km – 3 h 30 mins
Trajectory of the route of the day – https://goo.gl/maps/LnnKCq1SEvJ2
Day 3 – Plovdiv – Starosel – Plovdiv
In the morning take a sightseeing tour of Plovdiv.
Optional: In the afternoon drive to the Starosel tomb (1 hour drive). Next to the tomb you can have a glass of wine in the Starosel winery. Return to Plovdiv. Overnight.
Plovdiv – Starosel – 60 km – 1 hour – https://goo.gl/maps/XM6yPPbzhpp
Day 4 – Plovdiv – The Womb cave – Zvezdelina – Madrec
In the morning departure to the East Rhodopi mountain. Have a solid 3 hours hiking to the Womb cave. Have lunch in the village of Zvezdelina in a Turkish family’s house where you will have the chance to meet locals and taste the local cuisine.
In the afternoon take a boat on the dam. You will see Thracian niches cut in the rocks on the shores of the dam and some rare animals and birds.
In the late afternoon drive to the village of Madrec where you will spend the overnight. Taste some local dishes cooked by the hostess.
Trajectory of the route of the day – https://goo.gl/maps/p1AtweBPRJ82
B D Accommodation in Madrec village in a guest gouse « Pri Sevda i Feti »
Day 5 – Madrec – Tatul – villa Armira – Madzharovo
In the morning departure to the « Tatul » Thracian sanctuary – one of the most imposing megalithic monuments discovered on the territory of Bulgaria.
The sanctuary is a massive rock structure and its top is a truncated pyramid. The complex comprises two sarcophagi, a rectangular bed for the main altar, and a three-metre-deep well. It dates back to the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 4th centuries BC. Evidence to that is provided by the clay vessels that were discovered in the region.
Continue to Villa Armira – a Roman villa preserved in an extremely good condition – unique architectural monument 2000 years old – the biggest private house dicovered and researched in Bulgaria. It was situated on 3600 sq.m . area.
Continue to the village of Gorno Pole. Here you will spend the overnight in the « Wild Farm » where the hosts will offer you dinner prepared with home made products and vegetables grownin their garden.
B D Accommodation in Gorno pole village in a guest gouse « the Wild Farm»
Madrec – Tatul – 45 km – 1 hour
Taul – Ivaylovgrad – 90 km – 1 h 40 mins
Ivaylovgrad – Gorno pole village – 60 km – 1 h 20 mins
Trajectory of the route of the day – https://goo.gl/maps/x2Xi18YoeR92
Day 6 – Madzharovo – Mezek tomb – Jeravna
In the morning have two hours of kayaking on the Ivaylovgrad dam. Departure to the Mezek Tharcain tomb – the first Thracian tomb discovered in Bulgaria and one of the biggest on the Balkans.
Subject of your decision: On the way to Zheravna visit the Thracian sanctuary in area of “Gluhite kamani” (“The Deaf stones”) near village of Malko gradishte. It is the largest Thracian cult complex of rock niches. More than hundreds of trapezium shaped niches are carved on monolithic rock, which arises from the earth like a giant, 30 meters high, tooth. The role of these holes is not fully understood, but is supposed they were used as funeral urns. 50 meters away from the niches are located several megalithic tombs, two of which perfectly preserved.
Continue to Jeravna – one of the living villages-museum in Bulgaria. Spend the overnight in a 200 years old house. In the evening enjoy home made diner cooked by the hostess especailly for you.
B D Accommodation in Jeravna in Hadjigergevite Kashti guest house
Trajectory of the route of the day – https://goo.gl/maps/8qonrbJTD2B2
Day 7 – Jeravna – Veliko Tarnovo
In the morning take a walk around the village of Jeravna, admire beautiful old architecture and authentic houses, many of them more than 300 years old. Departure to Veliko Tarnovo. Located on the hills above the meandering river Yantra, this city, once a glorious mediaeval capital (1186 – 1393), is now attracting thousands of romantic travelers with its irresistible atmosphere. Mixing the legends of the past with bursting joy of hundreds of young students – this is Veliko Tarnovo today, the second most important University City after Sofia. Start exploring the city with the Tsarevets Royal hill. Our guide can tell you more than any of the thick books will. The neighboring Arbanassi museum village is a genuine gallery of art. A must here is the 15th century Church of the Nativity, repainted in the 17th century. Because of its more than 1200 frescoes, It is also called the Sistine Chapel on the Balkans. Overnight.
B Accommodation in Veliko Tarnovo at hotel Gurko ***
Jeravna – Veliko Tarnovo – 130 km – 2 h
Trajectory of the route of the day – https://goo.gl/maps/77Sid72cpmy
Day 8 – Veliko Tarnovo – Sofia
In the morning departure to Sofia. Drop off in your hotel. End of service.
Veliko Tarnovo – Sofia – 220 km – 2 h 50 mins
Trajectory of the route of the day – https://goo.gl/maps/9oERmewo3eG2
Price per person: 995 euro per person
The tour price is based on a private tour for two travellers with private English speaking tour guide (to drive) and based on double/twin occupancy in rooms.
The trajectory of the tour please see here: https://goo.gl/maps/k4Msy9dSzro
- 7 overnights
- fully insured sedan or minivan with climate control, for the entire distance
- fuel & parking fees included
- all sightseeing tours & cultural connections
- 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 diners
- kanoes on day 6
- transfer from Sofia airport to your hotel
- professional English speaking guide (driving) to accompany you throughout
- guide’s expenses
- admissions to museums, sites as per itinerary
- detailed map of Bulgaria.
You’ll visit 2 UNESCO World Heritage Site:
- The Rila Monastery
- The Boyana church
- Other meals than stated
- Alcoholic beverages
- Photo/video fees at sites and museums
- Bank and pay pal fees