Best of Bulgaria

Best of Bulgaria

Meet and be assisted by your tour-guide right upon arrival at Sofia Airport, then transferred to your hotel. En route you get a brief overview of the city, along with useful hints regarding shopping, money exchange, itineraries and optional visits, everything you need to know for a nice start.

Day 2 - Sofia gathers all the wisdom of the centuries in its name and now in morning time you are chanced to explore it within a walking tour. Start your visit with Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the neighboring tranquil St Sofia Basilica – both symbols of Eternal Bulgaria. The yellow-cobbled street reminds of gold and power; see the Ex-Royal Palace and the impressive building of the National Theatre besides. Pass the Presidency to reach the remains of Constantine the Great’ Roman Serdica. Come back from the time of emperors after visiting the 4th century St George Rotund and joining the contemporary life near the Synagogue and Mosque.

Day 3 - Leave Sofia for a two-hour drive to Rila Monastery. The breathtaking nature and stillness of Rila Mountain contrasts with the military-fort-like façade. The sightseeing tour starts with an overview of the impressive and unique architecture of the complex, followed by a visit in the Church of Blessed Virgin with its 1 200 murals and gold-gilded iconostasis. Leave the church to admire the Tower - guardian since 1335, and continue with a visit to the unique Monastery Kitchen with the 24-meter chimney shaped like termites’ nest.

Day 4 - You have full day in Plovdiv – known as the artistic capital of Bulgaria. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe founded in 4th century BC by Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. The morning tour of the Old Town involves you into unknown atmosphere through Hissar Kapiya (The Fortress Gate), in the meandering cobbled streets hidden among large and brightly painted houses to represent the National Revival period. And when you pass the dozens of monuments from different civilizations among the three hills, you come to the Roman Theatre from 2nd century AD, the symbol of the city.

Day 5 - After breakfast – get ready for a long (4hrs) drive to the Black Sea Coastline for a visit of the narrow and picturesque peninsula of the Ancient Nessebar. Founded as a Greek colony 4th century BC with its stone-and-wood old houses, the richly decorated medieval churches and preserved fortification walls it is an integral part of UNESCO’S World Heritage list. The abundance of remains proves the Old Nessebar has always been a significant cultural and commercial center. The area is famous with its 255 sunny days a year!

Day 6 - The tour continues with visit of Varna and the Museum of History. Hosted by the former Girls’ College, the building in Late Baroque style represents the historical heritage of the region of Varna.  Although officially founded as a Greek polis in 6th century BC, Varna and the region pride of a remoter past .Walking through the halls of the museum, you will see the heritage of the Thracians, the Greeks, the Romans, the finds from the Middle and New Ages, but the exposition of the greatest impact is the Oldest Worked Gold in the world. Explore the highlights of Varna with your guide and spend the afternoon in leisure.

Day 7 - After breakfast – drive west to the village of Madara to see the 8th century Horseman rock relief, unique of its kind in UNESCO’s List of World Heritage. The triumphal real-size composition is carved in the vertical rocks above the chain of caves having been used by pre-historical and early medieval tribes. Atop the hill stay the scarce remains of a fortification that protected the First Bulgarian Kingdom capitals which lost the former importance.

Day 8 - In the morning, start with sightseeing tour of the royal city of Veliko Tarnovo visiting the Tsarevets Hill and its 13-14 century fortifications. Enjoy the spectacular view of the area and the horse-shoe river of Yantra, then feel the glory of the Kings, who ruled Bulgaria in its most triumphal and powerful period. Afterwards visit Samovodene Street with its authentically preserved 18-19th century craft shops and the upper floors of the houses and flowers projecting over the street. After a short drive in the afternoon you have an enjoyable walking tour of Arbanassi village – the summer residence of the medieval royalty.

Day 9 - After breakfast get on a long, but scenic drive through two mountains, the Balkan range and Sredna Gora – traversing the world-famous Valley of Roses and the Valley of the Thracian Kings. En route, pass the Bulgarian center of humor – Gabrovo city, and pay a call to Etara -an Open-air Village and Crafts Museum. Visit the Liberty Memorial on Stoletov Peak, the exquisite gold-domed Shipka Memorial Church, and Emperor Diocletian’s fortification walls in his favorite spa residence Augusta Trayana (today’s Hissarya). Late afternoon arrival at Koprivshtitsa Museum-town; discover the best preserved traditional Bulgarian architecture of 17-19 century. Enjoy an exciting walking tour including a visit to one of the museum-houses before your last dinner and overnight in this quaint town of a great significance for the nation’s history.

Day10 - At the end of the trip, maybe you ask for another 10 days?