PRICE FROM: 1043 euro
DURATION: 12 days / 11 overnights
ITINERARY: Sofia – Koprivshtitsa – Kazanlak- Etara – Veliko Turnovo – Sveshtary – Madara – Varna – Nessebar – Jeravna – Plovdiv – Perperikon – Ardino – Pamporovo – Gela – the Trigrad gorge – Melnik – Govedartsi
DEATILED ITINERARY OF THE Culture and Hiking in Bulgaria TOUR:
Day 1 – Arrival at Sofia airport. Meet and greet by your Bulgarian guide. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight.
B Accommodation in Sofia in hotel Thracia Premier Best Western 4*
(ranked as the best 4* hotel in Sofia)
Day 2 – Sightseeing tour of Sofia – Koprivshtitsa
In the morning take a sightseeing tour of Sofia including the most interesting landmarks such as the St Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the Parliament, the Presidency, the Ruins of Serdica, the Rotonda St George, 4th century AD. Departure to Koprivshtitsa. The village 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.
B D Accommodation in Koprivshtitsa in guest house “Pri Antikvarite”
Sofia – Veliko Tarnovo– 240 km – about 2 h and 50 mins
Day 3 – Koprivshtitsa – Kazanlak – Etara – Veliko Tarnovo
Departure to the town of Kazanlak where you will visit unique Thracian tombs dating to the end of the 4th c. BC. After crossing the Shipka pass visit the open air craft museum “Etara” where have been presented 15 crafts. Here is also the only one and unique collection of the old-times water-driven machinery in Bulgaria. It consists of 10 objects and is one of the richest and well-kept active technical collections around the European open-air museums.
Continue to Veliko Tarnovo – the capital of Mediaeval Bulgaria, the town is one of the most picturesque historical settlements. Start exploring the city with the Tsarevets Royal hill. 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.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 in hotel Gurko 3*
Day 4 – Veliko Tarnovo – Sveshtary tomb (UNESCO) – Madara Horseman (UNESCO) – Varna
Visit two UNESCO sites in one day. In the morning departure to the Sveshary Thracian tomb dating to the 4th c. BC. Continue South towards the Madara Horseman. End your day in Varna – the marine capital of Bulgaria with wide sand beaches and big pedestrian area where you can walk in the warm summer evenings.
B Accommodation in Varna in hotel Splendid ****
Day 5 – Varna – Nessebar – Jeravna
At 10 am visit the archaeological museum where is being kept the oldest manworked gold in the world discovered in Bulgaria in 1972. The gold was dated 4200 yrs BC. Continue to Nesebar (UNESCO). In the late afternoon head to Jeravna – one of the living villages-museum in Bulgaria. Spend the overnight in a 200 years old house. In theevening enjoy home made diner cooked by the hostess especailly for you.
B D Accommodation in Jeravna in Hadjigergevite Kashti guest house
Day 6– Jeravna – Plovdiv
After the homemade breakfast departure 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. The most impressive building of Roman time that has come to us rising above the city is the Antique Amphitheatre by Emperor Mark Avrelii during the 2nd c. A.D. Its magnificent arcade adorned with marble statues is simply breath-taking. Theatre and opera performances are still staged here on warm summer nights. The Roman Stadium is 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. The Old Plovdiv nowadays 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. Overnight.
B Accommodation in Plovdiv in family hotel Romantika
Day 7 – Plovdiv – Perperikon – Glavatartsi
In the morning departure to the East Rhodopi mountain. Visit Perperikon – an archaeologic complex, the largest megalith complex on the Balkans. Dating from the time of the Roman Empire, 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 the village of Zvezdelina in a Turkish family’s house where you will have the chance to meet locals and taste the local cuisine. After lunch you have two options:
Option 1 : Takea boat on the Studen Kladenets dam and admire some beautiful views. If lucky you will see some wild goats or deers.
Option 2 : Continue to the « Utrobata » cave (the Womb).
B L D Overnight in the village of Madrec at a guest house “Pri Sevda”
Day 8 – Tatul – villa Armira in Ivaylovgrad – Glavatartsi (one day tour)
Departure to Tatul – here in the 2000s Bulgarian archaeologists discovered an ancient Thracian surface tomb and sanctuary in the immediate proximity of the village, and it was soon recognized as an exclusive religious center in the region of importance to the whole region according to head archaeologist. Latest archaeological finds date the earliest settlement to 4000 BC.
In the morning visit 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.
Return to Madrec village.
B D Overnight in the village of Madrec at a guest house “Pri Sevda”
Day 9 – Glavatartsi – Ardino – Pamporovo – Gela village
In the morning departure direction Ardino. First stop is the “Devil’s bridge”. Leave the car 2 km from the bridge and walk on an earth road for half an hour to reach it. Admire the beauty of the nature and the peaceful environment. Proceed to the Eagle’s rocks – a Thracian shrine dating to the 6th – 4th c. BC used for rituals and funerals. It is a big rock with around 90 niches cut in it. Presumably the Thracians kept here clay vessels and plaques related to the cult to the dead people. Under the rocks there are traces from other ancient facilities. Departure to Pamporovo and then proceed to Gela village nested in the Rhodopi mountain in an area with an exceptional beauty.
Accommodation in the village of Gela in the Eagle’s nest guest house.
Day 10 – Gela – Via ferrata (cable line) – Gela – a day of activities
Today enjoy a wall climb, via ferrata and trolley (a cable line).
Accommodation in the village of Gela in the Eagle’s nest guest house.
Day 11 – Gela – The Eagle’s eye point – the Trigrad gorge and the Devil’s cave – Malnik
Start the day with climbing the mountain to the point of « The Eagle eye » (2 and a half hours). This is a platform constructed 1560 meters above sea level. From here you can enjoy a spectacular breath-taking view.
Continue to Trigrad gorge – it will evoke feelings that will make you shiver recalling the stone hell that you have just gone through. Visit the Devil’s throat cave.
Departure to Melnik – with only 230 permanent residents, it is the smallest town in Bulgaria and close to the Greek border. The town is also known for its beautiful Bulgarian Renaissance architecture. During WWII Winston Churchill had the local wine sent home to England. Visit the Kordopulova’s house with its wine cellars.
Day 12 – Melnik – the Govedartsi village
Drive to the 13th century Rozhen Monastery and climb the nearby hills for phenomenal vistas of the sand pyramids. The pyramid’s rank amongst the most remarkable natural phenomena in Bulgaria and are used as wine cellars for Melniks’ wineries. Departure to the village of Govedartsi where the guide will drop you off. From here on the next morning you will start your hiking adventure in the Rila mountain. End of service.
Price per person based on a group of 4 pax: 1043 euro
The tour price is based on a private tour of the relative number of travelers with private English speaking tour guide (to drive) and based on double/twin occupancy in rooms.
- 11 overnights
- fully insured vehicle with climate control, for the entire distance (for 3 people it will be sedan, for 4 people mini van).
- fuel & parking fees included
- all sightseeing tours & cultural connections
- 11 breakfasts, 2 diners, 1 lunch
- tickets for the Via Ferrata cable car
- transfer from the Sofia airport to your hotel on arrival
- professional English speaking guide (driving) to accompany you throughout.
- guide’s expenses
- admissions to museums, sites as per itinerary
- VAT and local tax
- detailed map of Bulgaria
You’ll visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
- The Sveshtary Tomb
- The Tomb of Kazanlak (visit the copy) as the original is closed for visitors
- The Madara Horseman
- The Old town of Nesebar
- Other meals than stated
- Alcoholic beverages
- Photo/video fees at sites and museums
- Bank, credit card and pay pal fees
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.
We require 30% downpayment upon booking. In the event of cancellation 14 days prior to date of the tour the downpayment will be fully reimbursed.
CANCELLATION POLICY FOR THIS TOUR:
– 14 days prior to date of activity – Free cancellation
– 13 to 8 days prior to date of activity – 30% Cancellation Fee (70% reimbursement)
– 7 to 4 days prior to date of activity – 70% Cancellation Fee (30% reimbursement)
– 3 days prior to date of activity, on the day of the activity and for now show – 100% cancellation Fee (No reimbursement)