PRICE FROM: 390 euro
DURATION: 4 days / 3 overnights
ITINERARY: Sofia – the Rila monastery – Plovdiv – Kazanlak – Etara – Veliko Tarnovo – Sofia
INFO: Only in 4 days you will see the most interesting and important places in Central-Western Bulgaria. The tour comprises Orthodox churches and monasteries, Roman and Thracian remains, 2 UNESCO sites and beautiful sceneries. You will also cross the Balkan range through the Shipka pass – a beautiful view from the top will open before your eyes. From the other side in the museum of Etara you will see the Bulgarian crafts from the 18 and the 19th centuries coming alive by artisans in the workshops of the museum. Veliko Tarnovo is the next stop where you will be captured by the beautiful surroundings and the rich history of this area.
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 Rila Monastery is located in 1147 meters altitude in the middle of the fragrant coniferous forests of Rila Mountain. It is a complex of cultural, dwelling and farming buildings which take about 8800 square meters. The Rila Monastery has an unique architecture and is recognized by UNESCO as part of the world heritage list. Departure to Plovdiv. Overnight.
B Accommodation in hotel Belle Ville (or similar) for two nights
Day 2 – Plovdiv
Sightseeing tour of Plovdiv – Visit to the Old Town. It is declared an architectural museum reserve with over 150 monuments of culture. Its magnificent houses are turned into museums, galleries, workshops, restaurants. There are also parlours and studios of painters and wood-carvers. Visit to the Ancient Roman Amphitheater (2nd century A.C) and the Roman Stadium. After lunch the guide will take you to the “Eirene” house – original Roman mosaics “in situ” dating to the 4th century. In the late afternoon – stroll on the main pedestrian street and mix up with the locals on one of the numerous terraces along the street.
Day 3 – Plovdiv – Kazanlak – Etara – Veliko Tarnovo – 250 km
Departure to Veliko Tarnovo. On our way we will pass by the town of Kazanlak where will visit the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak – the monument dates back to the 4th century BC and has been on the UNESCO protected World Heritage Site list since 1979 (visit the copy as the original is closed for visitors). On the way to the Shipka pass make a stopover at the Russian Church (12 km of Kazanlak) in the foothills of Stara Planina. Its golden domes and the green and pink colored facade loom against the mountains and attract the attention of the travelers in the Shipka pass. Next stop is to the other side of the pass where we will visit “Etara” – an open air craft museum. It is the first museum presenting the historic past, economic development and the way of living of the population in 18 – 19th c. The shopping street represents the way crafts were practiced locally in the mid-19th century. Continue to Veliko Tarnovo – capital city of The Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Overnight.
B Accommodation in hotel Gurko *** in Veliko Turnovo. Optional: Enjoy a home hosted dinner in the village of Arbanassi (4 km from Veliko Tarnovo).
Day 4 – Veliko Tarnovo – Sofia – 220 km
After breakfast – tour of the city. Visit to “Tsarevets” – a medieval stronghold located on a hill with the same name. It served as the Second Bulgarian Empire’s primary fortress and strongest bulwark from 1185 to 1393, housing the royal and the patriarchal palaces. 47 churches and 400 residential houses have been discovered in the whole complex. Fortified walls and defensive towers surround the city. The tower of Baldwin is the most famous and is an evidence for the power of the Bulgarian Kingdom. We will continue our tour by visiting the old Marketplace Samovodska Tcharshia. Only 4 km from Veliko Turnovo is Arbanassi, a charming village with an eventful history and fascinating architecture. Thirty six of its 80 houses and the five local churches have been declared for national monuments of culture. Departure to Sofia. Drop off at the Sofia airport or in your hotel. End of service.
– Accommodation – in total for three overnights in the hotels stated in the itinerary above
– Transport, fuel costs, parking fees. All our vehicles please see here.
– Professional English speaking guide. Upon request we provide guides in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese. Additional fees may apply.
– Admission fees, WI-FI ON BOARD
– Meals and drinks
– Personal expenses
– Tips and gratuities
– Optional activity costs
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.
CANCELLATION POLICY FOR THIS TOUR:
– 7 days prior to date of activity – Free cancellation
– 6 to 4 days prior to date of activity – 30% Cancellation Fee (70% reimbursement)
– 3 days prior to date of activity – 70% Cancellation Fee (30% reimbursement)
– 2 days prior to date of activity, on the day of the activity and for now show – 100% cancellation Fee (No reimbursement)