Authentic Bulgaria

Fully escorted tour with a professional tour guide, accommodation in first-class and/or typical local hotels with all service charges, taxes and porterage included, train journey in Rhodopes Mountain. A unique experience – overnight in a XIX century old houses in Leshten village, fully equipped to meet the needs of modern accommodation.

What's Included?

Tour prices include:
Accommodation for 7 nights at hotels as per program or similar
13 meals: 7 breakfasts, 3 dinners and 3 lunches
A/C vehicle with driver during the whole trip
Parking fees and road taxes
All entrance fees for the tourist attractions included in the program
Train journey in Rhodopes mountain
Wine tasting in Melnik
Professional English-speaking guide
Detailed map of Bulgaria
Porterage in the hotels

Duration

8 days

Destination Covered

Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo, Kazanlak, Plovdiv, Melnik, Sandanski and Rila Monastery

Best Suited

All, Families, Groups, Honeymoon
Day 1 - Arrive Sofia
Arrival to Sofia. Accommodation in 4* Best Western Premier Thracia Hotel or similar.

Day 2
Sofia & surroundings – UNESCO listed Boiana Church (B)

After breakfast – panoramic tour around the Bulgarian capital – an 8500 old city, called “My Rome” by Emperor Constantine The Great. Visit to the most fascinating places of interest: the Forum of Ancient Serdica (the old name of the city) with the newest archeological discoveries from Roman time, which are exhibited next to the Bulgarian Presidency.

Follows the St. Nedelya square, where 4 temples from different religions are located next to each other: the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, the Synagogue and the Mosque are forming quadrangle, which symbolizes the peace between different religions in Bulgaria.

Our tour continues with the Alexander I Square, where the Royal Palace and the National Theatre are located, Tzar Osvoboditel Boulevard, the Parliament, the St. Sofia Church (the name means wisdom), which had given the name of the city, the Sofia University and the Alexander Nevski Cathedral (the biggest Orthodox temple on the Balkan peninsula).

Day 3 Sofia – Arbanassi – Veliko Tarnovo (B, L)

After breakfast – departure to the village of Arbanassi. The village is famous for its ancient, richly decorated churches and magnificent architecture. It used to be a residence of the Bulgarian kings. Lunch at a local rural house, where the hosts will cook delicious homemade meals for you.

In the afternoon – departure to the old capital of Bulgaria – Veliko Tarnovo. Visit to the historical hill Tsarevets with the Fortress, the Patriarchal Church and the Emperor Baldwin’s Tower. You will walk along the old Trade Street – Samovodska charshia, where you will have opportunity to buy handmade souvenirs.

Day 4
Veliko Tarnovo – Kazanlak – Rose Valley – Plovdiv

After breakfast – departure to Etara, a unique museum at open air, reproducing the way of life and occupation of the local people in 19th century. It is a great attraction for tourists, one of the most visited places in the country.

The road to Kazanlak passes by Stoletov peak and the Shipka monument. It is a memorial to those who died for the Liberation of Bulgaria during the Battles of Shipka Pass in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78.

A city tour of Kazanlak follows. Visit the Historical Museum, which houses collection of bronze and gold treasures, as well as the replica of the Thracian Kazanlak Tomb, dating back to the 4th c B.C. It is listed in the world natural and historical heritage of UNESCO.

Departure to Skobelevo village, where we will visit the Damascene Ethnographical Complex, which works also as a family run rose oil distillery from more than 20 years. The hosts will show how the famous Bulgarian rose oil (used in the perfumery) is produced.

Day 5
Plovdiv – Kostandovo carpets factory – Rhodopes mountain train trip – Leshten village

After breakfast – visit to the Old Plovdiv, with the some of the museum houses, the oldest church of St. Constantine and Elena, the Antique Theatre and the Roman Stadium.

Departure to Dorkovo village. The territory around this village is has one of the largest concentration of paleontological discoveries in all Europe.

In the afternoon we will visit the only carpet factory, which is producing giant carpets of more than 100 m2. Clients of this small family run factory are world celebrities as Queen Elizabeth II, Mick Jagger, as well as castles and huge properties owners from North America and Europe.

An attractive train trip in the mountain follows. The train is moving on narrow (70 cm) railway lines. You will pass trough points, offering unique views of the Rhodopes Mountains.

After that - take off for the "Bulgarian Hollywood" - a real "El Dorado" for the fans of the photo safari. These are the villages of Kovachevitsa and Leshten. Here were shot one of the best Bulgarian historical films, which were awarded with high international prizes. The houses in Leshten are fully equipped inside.

Day 6
Leshten village – Harsovo wine tasting – Melnik – Sandanski (B, L)

After breakfast – you can enjoy your morning coffee in the exceptionally calm atmosphere of Leshten village.

Departing through the picturesque Southern parts of Pirin Mountain to reach the most famous wine growing regions in Bulgaria – the region of Struma River valley. Wine tasting in a family run winery in Harsovo village.

Then we descend to Melnik – the town of the sand pyramids and the smallest one in Bulgaria.

Arrival in Sandanski – one of the biggest SPA resorts in the country. The mountain air and the mineral water are perfect for the health. The town is situated in the outskirts of Pirin – the second highest mountain in Bulgaria. The mountain has about 100 peaks at an altitude more than 2000 m and is an UNESCO-protected site!

Day 7
Sandanski – Rila Monastery – Sofia

Take off to the Rila monastery, founded in the 10-th c., the biggest Bulgarian medieval spiritual centre. The monastery has a rich collection of icons, wall-paintings, old-printed books - about 15 000 volumes. It is included in the UNESCO list of world heritage.

In the afternoon - return to Sofia. Accommodation and overnight in 4* Best Western Premier Thracia Hotel or similar.

Day 8
Depart Sofia

After breakfast – free time. Transfer to the airport and flight back home.
Tour prices don’t include:

Other meals than mentioned.
Beverages.
Flight tickets

Optional:
Dinner with folklore show in Sofia – 35 EUR per person
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