Minimum number of guests: 2 guests
Per person in double/twin standard room sharing € 2 400.00
The price includes:
1. Accommodation 10 nights at centrally located 3-star hotels (taxes included)
2. Meals: all breakfasts at hotels.
3. Transportation by private A/C car/van.
4. Bilingual private local English speaking tour guide-driver throughout. The guide will drive.
5. Entrance fees to museums and sites as per itinerary
6. Comprehensive information package about Bulgarian history, culture and language
Itinerary: Sofia ( 2 nights) – Plovdiv ( 2 nights)- Kazanlak (1 night)- Varna ( 2 nights) – Veliko Tarnovo ( 2 nights)- Sofia (1 night)
Bulgaria has 7 UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites
You will visit 6 outstanding UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
♦ Boyana Church
♦ Rila Monastery
♦ The Thracian Tomb at Kazanlak
♦ The Ancient City of Nessebar
♦ Madara Horse Ride Relief
♦ Sveshtary Thracian Tomb
Arrive at Sofia Airport. Transfer to the hotel.
Day 2: All Day in Sofia
Walking sightseeing tour through the downtown area: Roman Serdica Fortifications (3rd-5th centuries); St. George's Rotunda (4th century), famous for its original structure and unique frescoes; St. Sophia Basilica (6th century), one of the most valuable pieces of early Christian architecture in the Balkans; The magnificent splendidly decorated Alexander Nevski Memorial Church built in the period 1904–1912 to the designs of the Russian architect Pomerantsev.
Also, we will visit the 13th century Boyana Church, a remarkable UNESCO World HeritageSite. The murals of this famous church reflect both Byzantine and local traditions of the preceding two centuries. One of the portraits in the church is unanimously considered a genuine masterpiece of 13th century painting, created 200 years before the European renaissance.
Day 3: Transfer Day: Sofia-Plovdiv. En route visit Rila Monastery, UNESCO World Heritage Site
Depart Sofia for Plovdiv. En route visit Rila Monastery, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We visit en route Rila Monastery, UNESCO World Heritage Site located 120 km (75 miles) south of Sofia in the Rila Mountains, which is an original national museum with a century-old history. The monastery dates back to the 10th century, but has been plundered and burned down several times. The present building was built in mid-19th century. Located in the gorgeous mountain scenery of the mountains, it is considered the highest achievement of Bulgarian monumental architecture of the National Revival period. Of particular interest are the Museum, and also the 1335 Hrelyo's Tower in the courtyard, which is actually the oldest preserved building, standing alongside the big five-dome church Assumption of the Holy Virgin, which has splendid frescos by some of Bulgaria’s finest artists of the time.
Continue drive to Plovdiv. Arrive Plovdiv.
Day 4: All Day in Plovdiv
Plovdiv is Bulgaria’s second biggest city, which treasures a history that goes back thousands of years, traces of which have survived to the present day. The Thracians founded Plovdiv during the Neolithic period in the 2nd millennium BC. The Old Plovdiv was built in the 18th-19th centuries as the centre of the Bulgarian National Revival architecture. Along steep cobblestone lanes, behind stone walls and iron-studded heavy oak gates, one could glimpse at verdure and flowers, surrounding the typical Plovdiv symmetrical houses with their painted facades, oriels and jetties and grid windows.
Guided city tour to include the fabulous Roman Theatre built during the time of Emperor Trajan in the 2nd century, it has 28 rows with tiers of marble seats, which can accommodate over 3 500 spectators; we visit some of the museum houses in the Old Town; we see on our way from outside a 15th century mosque, one of the oldest on the continent.
Day 5: Transfer Plovdiv- Kazanlak in Valley of the Roses, also known as the Valley of the Thracian Kings.
Transfer to Kazanlak. We take a picturesque drive through the famous Valley of Roses to explore the town of Kazanlak. The Valley of Roses is the home of the exquisite Bulgarian rose oil, also known as "attar of roses," and is Bulgaria's major center of rose oil production. We'll visit a rose oil distillery in the area en route.
The area around Kazanlak became famous for recent breathtaking archaeological finds dating back to the golden times of the Thracian city of Seuthopolis, and therefore has been named Valley of the Thracian Kings. Here we'll learn about Thracian history and culture and will visit the replica site of the world-famous 4th century BC Thracian tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We visit the History Museum in Kazanlak, housing the latest breathtaking archaeological discoveries from the Valley of the Thracian kings. We will see the bronze head of Seuthes III, King of the Odryssoi and the founder of Seuthopolis; an incredibly beautiful gold wreath; and many other gold and silver artifacts from 4th – 3rd centuries BC.
Day 6: Transfer Kazanlak- Varna . En route visit Nessebar, UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Black Sea
We depart for Varna. On the way, stop at the Old Town of Nessebar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nessebar, ancient Messambria, is particularly beautiful both in its location on a headland by the sea, and because of its many brightly painted 18th and 19th century traditional timber houses and cobbled streets. It is also famous for the impressive remains of fortifications and for the well-preserved late Byzantine churches (built in the period 11th - 14th centuries at the time of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom)
We take guided excursion in the Old Town of Nessebar. We’ll visit the Archaeology Museum and St. Stefan Church.
Day 7: All Day in Varna
Breakfast: Hotel dining room
Varna, Bulgaria’s third largest city and most important port on the Black sea Coast, is dotted with ancient ruins, fishing villages, resorts and sandy beaches. A busy trading and cultural centre starting with the Greeks in 600 BC, Varna became a major port under the Romans and Slavs, trading with Constantinople, Venice and Dubrovnik.
We will visit the fabulous Archaeological Museum which treasures the amazing collection of the ‘Oldest Gold’ in the world. These remarkable artefacts (unearthed in 1972 in necropolis) date from 4600-4200 BC. The necropolis contained more than three thousand golden objects together weighting 6 kg (13.2 lb) Two large ceramic plates are also beyond our knowledge of this age- they are decorated with stylized geometrical pattern executed in golden paint. The archeologists point out that the find of Varna Copper Age necropolis was as important as the discovery of Heinrich Schliemann at ancient Troy and that Varna necropolis is at least 1500 years older than Troy. Varna civilization was a highly developed civilization, the most ancient civilization of Europe which was even older than the Mesopotamian and the Egypt civilizations. That civilization steel keeps its secrets and sacred knowledge.
Day 8:Transfer day: Varna- Veliko Tarnovo. En route visit Madara Horse-Rider Rock-Cut Relief, UNESCO Site. En route visit The Thracian Tomb at Sveshtary, UNESCO Site
Depart Varna and transfer to Veliko Tarnovo.
En route we visit the outstanding 8th century rock-cut relief of Madara Horse Rider, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only one of this kind in Europe. The sacred rocks of the Madara plateau and the caves inside them were a major spiritual center during the period of the First Bulgarian State (681-1085).
En route visit the fascinating Thracian Tomb of Sveshraty (4th-3rd c BC), another UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is an amazing monument of Thracian art and architecture.
Continue drive. Arrive in Veliko Tarnovo and settle in at the hotel.
We take a familiarization walk in the Samovodene Market Street, a fascinating area with lots of artisan workshops and nice architecture.
Overnight Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 9:All Day in Veliko Tarnovo
The scenery of Veliko Tarnovo is breathtaking. Perched on steep hills overlooking the Yantra River, Veliko Tarnovo is one of the most picturesque Bulgarian towns. The glory of Veliko Tarnovo comes from the middle ages. It was a capital city of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185 – 1396), where arts, culture and spiritual life flourished. During the time of the Bulgarian National Revival (18th – 19th century) it was an important center of education, crafts and trade, and played the major role in the establishment of modern Bulgaria after the liberation from Ottoman domination in 1878, being the birth-place of the First Bulgarian Constitution. This morning we will enjoy a guided city excursion through the medieval fortress on Tsarevets Hill and the Museum of the National Revival, where the First Bulgarian Constitution was adopted in 1879.
We explore the nearby village-museum of Arbanassi, famous for its traditional architecture, and beautifully decorated churches and monasteries, dating from the 17th to 18th centuries. We will visit the most beautifully decorated St. Nativity Church. It was painted in 1597 and 1638. The Church is famous with its fascinating scene - Circle of Life.
Overnight Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 10: Transfer Veliko Tarnovo-Sofia. En route visit Tryavna. En route visit Etura.
Breakfast: Hotel dining room
Morning: Transfer to Sofia.
En route visit Tryavna.Tryavna is a small and cozy town situated at the footsteps of Balkan Mountain.
It is famous for its woodcarvers, whose work has graced churches and mansions across Bulgaria. We visit the Museum of Wood-Carving. It is housed in the building of the old Daskalov’s House in Tryavna. This was the place where the Tryavna Artistic School, the oldest in Bulgaria, was set up. It originated at the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th centuries and developed in three directions: icon painting, wood-carving and construction. These were also the three main crafts the local masters took up.
En route we will visit the ethnographic and architectural reserve of Etara, which is a beautiful museum-village with numerous artisan workshops.
Conitue drive to Sofia. Arrive Sofia.
Day 11: Departures
Transfer to Sofia Airport for departure flights. End of the program.
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