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9 Day Tour of Bulgaria: Culture and Gentle Walking, 2021

Tour Cost Per Person:

Group size:    

Minimum 2 participants € 1 980  per person  in double/twin room sharing                       

3- 4 participants             1780  per person  in double/twin room sharing

5- 6  participants            € 1580   per person  in double/twin room sharing                        

Single supplement:        € 220

Single supplement applies for single travelers or for those travelling together who would prefer a single room.

Cost Inclusions:

        ♦ 8 nights accommodation, buffet breakfast and taxes included.

           (a) 4 nights in 3 stars hotels in Sofia and Plovdiv located in central downtown area

           (b) 4 nights in guest houses in Bansko and Oreshak village

       ♦ Transportation by comfortable air-conditioned vehicle, fuel, parking, taxes included.

       ♦ English-speaking guide-driver throughout, salary, daily expenses, hotels included. The guide will drive.

       ♦ Museum and site visits as per itinerary, entrance fees included.

Itinerary: Sofia (2 nights) - Bansko (2 nights) – Plovdiv (2 nights) - Oreshak (2 nights) drive to/depart Sofia

                        Experience the narrow gauge railway from Bansko to Velingrad

Day 1.

Arrive Sofia airport.  Transfer to your hotel in central area and check-in for 2 nights. Guided sightseeing tour by foot: introduction to landmarks in downtown Sofia.

Overnight Sofia.

Day 2. All day in Sofia.

Breakfast .

In the morning-sightseeing tour of Sofia downtown.

Afternoon: Visit the 13th century Boyana Church, a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the footstep of Vitosha Mountain. Walk in Vitosha Mountain.

Overnight Sofia.

Day 3: Transfer Day: Depart Sofia to Bansko. En route visit Rila Monastery, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Breakfast.

Depart Sofia to Bansko.

En route visit 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. Walk in the vicinity area of Rila Monastery.

Continue drive to Bansko. Arrive Bansko and check in at a guest house for 2 nights. Overnight Bansko.

Day 4: All Day in Bansko

Breakfast.

Half-day walk in the impressive Mt. Pirin National Park (altitude of 1,800 - 1,950 m). Bansko is located at the footsteps of Pirin National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site, natural. The park occupies an area of approximately 40 000 hectare in the upper parts of the Northern Pirin Mounatins and preserves unique flora and fauna. The mounatins’ highest peak Vihren (2915m) is within the borders of the Park.

Guided sightseeing tour of Bansko in the afternoon.

Overnight Bansko.

Day 5:Transfer Day: Bansko-Plovdiv. Experience narrow gauge railway from Bansko to Velingrad

Breakfast.

Depart Bansko to Plovdiv. Today we will experience  narrow gauge railwayfrom Bansko to Velingrad. It is linking Plain of Thrace, Western Rhodopes, Rila Mountain and Pirin Mountain. This railroad is considered one of the most-beautiful in the world. The scenery is varied- you will pass through picturesque valleys peppered with farmlands and bordered by dense forests, Muslim villages with soaring minarets. It’s the slowest train in the Balkans, which is perfectly fine. You will be able to absorb your spectacular surroundings while having plenty of time to snap pictures. Arrive in Velingrad, a renowned spa town with over 90 mineral springs. Velingrad is surrounded by beautiful scenery, has fresh woodland air and curative waters. Sightseeing walk in Velingrad.

Continue drive to Plovdiv. Arrive Plovdiv and check in for 2 nights. Overnight Plovdiv.

Day 6

Breakfast.

Drive to the Rhodope mountain (30 minutes). We'll visit the 11th century Georgian Bachkovo Monastery, the second in Bulgaria.  The monastery church Virgin Mary (dating from 1604) treasures the wonder-working icon of Virgin Mary Eleusa from 1310. Walk along the route of wonder-working icon in the beautiful Rhodope mountain.

Drive back to Plovdiv.

Afternoon explore the fabulous old town in Plovdiv. 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 see on our way from outside a 15th century mosque, one of the oldest on the continent.

Overnight Plovdiv.

Day 7: Transfer Day: Plovdiv – Oreshak. En route visit Koprivshtitza.

 Breakfast

Depart Plovdiv to Oreshak village.

En route we visit the delightful ethnographic town of Koprivshtitsa. It is famous for its National Revival architecture (18th – 19th century). You can walk along its picturesque streets, stop in the small squares, and feel the plastic treatment of the stone fencing walls, the large gates and the dignity of the houses amidst the yards.

Continue drive to Oreshak village. Arrive Oreshak and check in at a guest house for 2 nights. Overnight Oreshak.

Day 8: All day in Oreshak

Breakfast.

The village of Oreshakis situated 6 km from the town of Troyan, huddled in the Troyan Balkan. The village amazes with extremely picturesque mountain scenery, fresh air and the preserved traditions and customs. The National Fair and Exhibition of Folk Artistic Crafts in the village is the only one of its kind in Bulgaria. Every year on the last Saturday of September in the village of Oreshak is organised the plum fruit & Plum Brandy Festival.

Our day starts with  walk in the  beautiful  Balkan Range Mountain.

We visit Troyan Monastery. The Troyan Monastery as a monastery complex is the third in size in Bulgaria, a remarkable monument of culture of national significance.It  is situated in the northern folds of the so called Troyan Balkan (Central Stara Planina), at about 400 meters above the sea level, on the the beautiful valley of the river Cherni Osam. Enjoy unspoiled, beautiful nature spread all around. Our walk continues.

In the afternoon we visit The National Exhibition of Popular and Artistic Craft located in the village of Oreshak. This is the only exhibition in the country, which has gathered all the works of Bulgarian artists of all ethnographic regions in Bulgaria in one place.

Overnight Oreshak.

Day 9: Transfer Oreshak village - Sofia airport . Mileage for the day: 160 km, approx. 2 ½  hrs drive.

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Tags: Bulgaria Tourism. Travelling in Bulgaria. Bulgaria UNESCO. Bulgaria UNESCO holiday. Lieflong learning vacations Bulgaria. Educatnioal tours Bulgaria. Countryside tours Bulgaria.

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