PRICE FROM: 499 euro
DURATION: 10 days/9 overnights
ITINERARY: Sofia – the Rila monastery – Melnik – Dolen – Plovdiv – Jeravna – Veliko Tarnovo – Tryavna – Kazanlak – Koprivshtitsa – Sofia
This tour offers you to explore the real Bulgaria with its tiny villages hidden in the mountains. You will meet ordinary people and will have the chance to experience few home hosted meals. We have created this tour especially to show the corners of the country that are still virgin and undiscovered (we still have few). You will enjoy beautiful scenery and old houses, mountain roads, cobblestones streets and delicious Bulgarian food.
Day 1 – Arrive in Bulgaria
Arrive at the Sofia airport. Meet and greet by your professional guide. Transfer to the hotel. Reminder of the day – time at leisure to recover from the overseas flight.
Day 2 – Full Day sightseeing tour of Sofia
Visit the Cathedral St. Alexander Nevski and the Rotonda St. George – one of the oldest churches in Europe. Admire the most recent Roman excavations in the central part and get acquainted with the millenarian history of Sofia. After lunch visit the Boyana church with its painting from 1259. In the National Historical museum will get introduced to the various historical periods, facts and artifacts talking about the millenarian history of Bulgaria. (B)
Day 3 – Sofia – The Rila Monastery – Melnik
Departure to the Rila Monastery (UNESCO site) – 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. Continue to Melnik, the smallest town of Bulgaria, architectural reserve and ethnographic monument, the capital of wine production. Enjoy the marvelous architecture at the foothills of sandstone pyramids. Visit the biggest and the most beautiful house of Kordopulov built in 1754 and its wine cellar cut below the ground. The favorite wine of Winston Churchill was from Melnik – every year he ordered wine for his collection from the local producers. (B)
Day 4 – Melnik – Dolen – Gela Village
Departure direction the town of Devin. On the way pass through the village of Dolen – one of the villages where the old Bulgarian houses still exist in its original conditions, the time here has stopped long ago. Continue through the picturesque small towns of Dospat and Trigrad. The Trigrad gorge will evoke feelings that will make you shiver recalling the stone hell that you have just gone through. Arrive in the village of Gela. Breathtaking views will capture your eyes. The beauty of the nature here has been praised in many Bulgarian songs. (B)
Day 5 – Gela – Plovdiv
In the morning departure to Plovdiv. On the way visit one of the Bulgarian phenomenons – the Chudnite mostove (the Marvellous bridges). Continue to Plovdiv. In the afternoon enjoy a sightseeing tour of the old area. Nowadays it is an original living museum, an architectural phenomenon with many of the houses of those times’ most prominent Bulgarians turned into museums, galleries hosting various art exhibitions and festivals. From the Nevet hill enjoy the beautiful view toards the town. (B, D)
Day 6 – Plovdiv – Perperikon – boat trip on the Studen Kladenets dam
Today starts your adventure in the Rhodopi mountain. First visit is the archaeologic 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. Continue to the village of Zvezdelina. Enjoy a home hosted lunch in a local’s family house. After lucnch take a boat on the dam, if lucky you will see some wild goats and deers. For the view – no way to be described, you have to see it ! Overnight in a guest house run by local family. (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Kardjali – Zheravna
Hit the road to one of the most picturesque villages in Bulgaria. 200 years old houses, cobble stone streets, stone walls surrounding yards with beautiful flowers and fruit trees, Zheravna today 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. For diner you will taste some local dished cooked by the hostess especially for you, our guest. (B, D)
Day 8 – Zheravna – Veliko Tarnovo
Enjoy beautiful scenery and few other old villages on the way to Veliko Tarnovo, the capital of Mediaeval Bulgaria. Highlight of the day is the Tsarevets fortress, one of the best preserved strongholds in Europe. In the late afternoon stroll on the souvenir shopping street and pick a small souvenir from this beautiful place. (B)
Day 9 – Veliko Tarnovo – Bojentsi – Tryavna – Kazanlak – Koprivshtitsa
This morning departure to Bojentsi – an authentic village with old houses and cobble stone streets. Head to the little town of Tryavna – walk in the old town and visit the only museum of wood-carving on the Balkans. The church of the St Archangel and Gabriel is one of the state’s cultural monuments. After crossing the Shipka visit make a stopover at the “Golyamata Kosmatka Thracian tomb dating to the 4th century BC. Continue to the village of Koprivshtitsa. (B, D)
Day 10 – Koprivshtitsa – Sofia
Have some home made Bulgarian donuts for breakfast or typical Bulgarian salty pastry “banitsa”. Continue your day with more local taste by visiting few beautiful renaissance houses, once home of prominent Bulgarian writers, poets, revolutionaries. Departure to Sofia. Drop off at the Sofia airport. End of service.
This tour can be paid by credit card, paypal, bank transfer or cash upon departure.
Please note paying by credit card will apply a supplementary fee of 2,5% for VISA card and 1% for Master Card. Paying by paypal will apply a supplementary fee of 4% for overseas transactions. Rila Monastery Day Tour
CANCELLATION POLICY FOR THIS TOUR:
– 7 days prior to date of activity – Free cancellation
– 4 to 6 days prior to date of activity – 20% Cancellation Fee (80% reimbursement)
– 3 days prior to date of activity – 50% Cancellation Fee (50% reimbursement)
– 100% cancellation Fee (No reimbursement)