PRICE FROM: 699 euro
DURATION: 12 days
ROUTE: Sofia – Rila monastery – Melnik – Rozhen – Dolen – Trigrad – Plovdiv – Hissarya – Koprivshtitsa – Plovdiv – Perperikon – Zheravna – Nessebar – Kyulevcha – Madara – Sveshtary – Ruse – Mechka – Ivanovo – Veliko Tarnovo – Kazanlak – Sofia
INFO: Bulgaria Tour – Villages and Traditions
Number of days: 12 days / 11 nights
Starting location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Ending location:Sofia, Bulgaria
Brief itinerary for the Bulgaria Tour – Villages and Traditions:
Day 1 – Arrive in Sofia. Transfer to your hotel.
Day 2 – Sightseeing tour of Sofia including the Boyana church (UNESCO)
Day 3 – Sofia – the Rila monastery (UNESCO) – Melnik – Rozhen village
Day 4 – Melnik – Dolen – Trigrad
Day 5 – Trigrad – Plovdiv
Day 6 – Plovdiv – Hissarya – Koprivshtitsa – Starosel – Plovdiv
Day 7 – Plovdiv – Perperikon – Zheravna
Day 8 – Zheravna – Nessebar (UNESCO) – the village of Kulevcha
Day 9 – Madara – Sveshtari Tomb – the village of Mechka
Day 10 – Ivanovo (UNESCO) – Veliko Tarnovo
Day 11 – Veliko Tarnovo – Etara – Shipka – Kazanlak – Sofia
Day 12 – Transfer to the Sofia airport for your departure flight. End of service for the Bulgaria Tour – Villages and Traditions.
Day 1 – Arrive in Sofia. Transfer to your hotel. The reminder of the day – time at leisure. Overnight.
B Accommodation in Sofia in hotel Premier Thracia **** (two nights)
Day 2 – Sofia – Sightseeing tour of Sofia
In the morning visit the Boyana Church (UNESCO site). Admire its beautiful freascoes dating to 1259. In the National Museum of History you will get acquainted with the rich history of Bulgaria. Here is the Gold Thracian Treasure dating to the 4thc. BC. Return to the central part. 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. Finish the tour at around 2 pm at your hotel. Afternoon at leaisure – time to enjoy the central part of Sofia.
Day 3 – Sofia – the Rila monastery – Melnik – the village of Rozhen
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 Melnik. Overnight.
B Accommodation in the village of Rozhen in Winery Estate “Zlaten Rozhen”
Day 4 – Melnik – Dolen – Trigrad gorge – Trigrad
In the morning visit the Rozhen monastery situated 6 km from Melnik. Visit the Kordopulova house – the oldest Revival house in Bulgaria built in 1754. Departure to the little town of Trigrad. 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. Have lunch in a local house. Continue to the Trigrad gorge. The gorge itself is 6-7 kilometres long. At its bottom flows Trigrad River, which high waters created the vertical walls of the gorge, between 100-300 meters high, millions of years ago. At the foot of the highest cliffs of the gorge is the artificial entrance of Devil’s Throat Cave – the most popular tourist destination in the area. Devil’s Throat is famous with the 42 meters high underground waterfall inside it. An artificial tunnel leads to the so called Noisy Hall, where the waters of Trigrad River drop down through the natural entrance of the cave. The hall itself is impressive with its size. Waters of the river disappear through some small cracks inside the hall and flow as a karst spring on the surface again 500 metres away, at the bottom of the gorge. Arrive in Trigrad. Accommodation. Overnight.
B L Accommodation in Trigrad in hotel Arkan Han ***
Day 5 – 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 – thesecond 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. The most impressive building of Roman time that has come to us rising above the city is the Antique Amphitheatreby Emperor Mark Avrelii during the 2nd c. A.D. Its magnificent arcade adorned with marble statues is simply breath-taking. Visit the Ethographic museum housed in the biggest and the most beautiful house of the Old town – the Kuyumdzhioglu’s HouseThe Roman Stadiumis also constructed during the II century and reproduces the layout in Delphi, Greece. Within the centre of the ancient major town of the Roman province of Thrace remains of stone paved streets, foundations of buildings and columns and ancient fortress walls and gates reside.
B Accommodation in Plovdiv in family hotel “At the Renaissance Square” (two nights)
Day 6 – 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 4thBC. Arrive in Plovidv in the late afternoon.
Day 7 – Plovdiv – Perperikon – Zvezdelina – Zheravna
This morning after breakfast leave to the Rhodopi mountain. Visitthe 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 L Accommodation in Jeravna in Yovina Kashta Guest House
Day 8 – Zheravna – Nessebar – 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 Eco Bulgara complex – http://www.villabulgaraeco.com/index.php?language=english
Day 9 – 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 8thcentury. 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 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 10 – 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 11 – 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 18thand 19thcentury. 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 visittwo 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 12 – Transfer to the Sofia airport. End of service of the Bulgaria Tour – Villages and Traditions.