Enjoy the incredible mummers’ carnival called PESPONEDELNIK at Shiroka Laka
Itinerary: Plovdiv (3 nights) – Sofia (3 nights)
Minimum: 2 participants: € 1 270 (per person, double/twin room sharing)
3-4 participants: € 1 020 (per person, double/twin room sharing)
5-6 participants: € 820 (per person, double/twin room sharing)
Single supplement: € 200
Single supplement applies for single travelers or for those travelling together who would prefer a single room.
Tour cost includes:
♦ 6 nights (breakfast & taxes included) as per itinerary:5 nights at 3 stars hotels.
♦ Transportation throughout the itinerary by private car. English speaking guide-driver.The guide will drive.
♦ Entrance fees to sites and museums.
D1 Fri 5th March, 2021 Arrive Sofia. Direct transfer to Plovdiv. Arrive Plovdiv and check in your hotel.
D2 Sat 6th March, 2021 Plovdiv (all day)
Sightseeing tour of 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 Quarter 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.
We will visit the fabulous Roman Theatre (built in the 2nd century during the time of Emperor Trajan). It has 28 rows with tiers of marble seats, which can accommodate over 3 500 spectators and today is still functioning.
We will immerse in the majestic atmosphere of the Old Town with the spectacular architecture of the National Period (18th – 19th century) and will visit a house museum in the Old Town.We will visit an art gallery of a famous Bulgarian painter.
D3 Sun 7th March, 2021 Plovdiv - Shiroka Laka (Pesponedelnik, i.e. Kukeri Fest) – Plovdiv
Depart Plovdiv for one day excursion to Shiroka Laka and enjoy the Kukeri Fest Pesponedelnik. Shiroka laka Village is located in the Rhodopes, 23 km northeast of Smolyan and 16 km away from Pamporovo ski resort. The name of the village derives from the old Bulgarian word “laka” – curve, bend, meander.
Shiroka laka was founded in the 17th century and has now become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bulgaria. The village has preserved its architecture from the Bulgarian Revival Period, its musical culture, beautiful landscapes, and rich history.
Shiroka laka is famous for its beautiful, authentic Rhodope houses that lie amphitheatrically on both sides of the river. The local master builders were well-known throughout the country. The old houses have the typical traits of the Rhodope architectural style – they are two storey-buildings with bay-windows and an internal wooden staircases. Most of the rooms are spacious, with wooden couches against the walls and small windows.
The village is also renowned for the folklore traditions it has preserved. Some of the most eminent singers and bagpipe-performers of Rhodope folklore songs were born in this village. The National School of Folk Arts was established in Shiroka laka in 1972.
Every first Sunday of March the village hosts an annual Mummers Festival called Pesponedelnik. On this day every guest of the village witnesses a weird scene – huge mummer-monsters armed with wooden swords painted in red dance around the streets to scare away all evil from the houses and the souls of people. The mummers are “adorned” with garlic, beans and peppers. On the belts around their waists they have Rhodope bells that come in various sizes. Many Rhodope songs are sung on this day and people celebrate.
Drive back to Plovdiv. Arrive Plovdiv.
D4 Mon 8th March, 2021 All day transfer: Plovdiv - Rila Monastery, UNESCO Site – Sofia
Depart Plovdiv to Sofia.
En route visit Rila Monastery, UNESCO World Heritage Site 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.
Continue drive to Sofia. Arrive Sofia.
D5 Tue 9 March, 2021 Sofia (all day)
Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, was founded more than 7 000 years ago, and has long been an important crossroads between Asia Minor and Europe. Sofia’s monuments attest to the many cultures and civilizations that flourished here.
Morning sightseeing tour in downtown Sofia:
- We will visit the 4th century St. George’s Rotunda famous for its unique frescoes and original architecture. Its majestic figures illustrate the development of Christian Painting over several centuries, making Rotunda one of the gems of Bulgarian and East European culture
- The ancient Serdica Fortifications dating from the 3rd-5th centuryWe will visit the magnificent Alexander Nevski Memorial Church, a masterpiece of late 19th – early 20th century architecture, splendidly decorated. It was designed by the Russian architect Pomerantzev in 1912. This is the biggest Orthodox Church on the Balkans built in post-Byzantium style
- We will visit St. Sophia basilica, 6th century, one of the most valuable pieces of early Christian architecture in the Balkans
Drive to the outskirts of Sofia at the footsteps of Vitosha Mountain where we will visit the National History Museum which covers the whole period from prehistory to the present day. At the museum we will see fabulous golden Thracian treasure.
Also, we will visit the 13th century Boyana Church, a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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.
D6 Wed 10th March, 2021 Excursion: Sofia - Koprivshtitsa – Sofia
Depart Sofia for one day excursion to Koprivshtitsa.
The delightful ethnographic village of Koprivshtitsa, located 120 km east of Sofia, is huddled in the mountain folds and is famous for its National Revival architecture (18th – 19th century). There you can leisurely walk along its picturesque streets and feel the plastic treatment of the stone fencing walls, the large gates and the dignity of the houses amidst the yards. The Koprivshtitsa style house is characterised by exquisite painted facades and sunny verandas, with carved ceilings and stylish European furnishings. The small town is a unique combination of a legendary heroic history and fascinating present. There is no other Bulgarian town that boasts such a large number of museum houses and monuments, nearly 400 in number, most of which have been restored to their original appearance. A unique collection of ethnographical treasures, old weapons, National Revival works of art, fine fretwork, household weaves and embroidery, national costumes and typical Bulgarian jewellery has also been preserved.Koprivshtitsa played an important role in Bulgaria’s history, as it was there that the first shot of the April Uprising against the Ottoman Empire was fired in 1876. Since 1965 the National Festival of authentic Bulgarian Folklore has taken place every five years in August, in Koprivshtitsa, gathering amateur musicians, artists and craftsmen from all over Bulgaria.
Continue sightseeing in Koprivshtitsa.
Drive back to Sofia. Arrive Sofia.
D7 Thu 11th March, 2021 Sofia Airport depart
Drive to Sofia airport for departure flight.
Tags: Bulgaria Mummers Festival, Travel Bulgaria, Bulgaria festivals, Kukeri, Shiroka Laka, Plovdiv, Sofia.