Discover Bulgaria, one of the oldest countries in Europe! Bulgaria’s rich history, stunning nature, delicious food, hospitable people, unique traditions and costumes will enchant you. Your trip starts in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Then you continue to the largest Orthodox monastery in Europe in the Rila Mountains followed by a visit of the city of Plovdiv with its more than 5000 years old history and a stay at the Black Sea coast. From here you travel to Veliko Tarnovo and back to Sofia.
Day 1 Arrival – Sofia
Day 2 Sofia – Rila Monastery – Plovdiv
Day 3 Plovdiv – Bachkovo – Plovdiv
Day 4 Plovdiv – Kazanlak – Nessebar
Day 5 Nessebar – Balchik – Varna
Day 6 Varna – Shumen – Veliko Tarnovo
Day 7 Veliko Tarnovo – Troyan – Koprivshtitsa – Sofia
Day 8 Sofia – Departure
Your land cost includes:
Throughout English – speaking tour guide
Transportation by modern vehicle from-to Sofia Airport
Accommodation based on double occupancy 7 nights at very good 4* hotels
Half board consisting of 7 buffet breakfasts at the hotels and 6 dinners based on set menu or buffet at local restaurants or at the hotels
1x traditional dinner incl. glass of wine with Bulgarian folklore program and famous fire dancers (depending on the weather conditions) in Sofia
Adventures and experiences
Tasting of the famous wine from the Thracian region
1x Visit to a rose distillery in Skobelevo with tasting of rose jam and rose liquor
Entrance fees and local guided tours as per the program:
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St. George Rotunda, Rila Monastery incl. museum (UNESCO), Bachkovo Monastery incl. refectory, Roman Amphitheatre Plovdiv, Ethnographic Museum Plovdiv, St. Constantin and Helena church Plovdiv, Thracian Tomb in Kazanlak (UNESCO), the old town of Nessebar, Balchik Palace, Archaeological Museum Varna, stone relief Madara Rider (UNESCO), Tsarevets Fortress, Troyan Monastery and House museums in Koprivshtitsa
Your land tour does not include:
Airfare to and from Sofia
Departure taxes, fuel surcharges and airport improvement fees
Porterage at airports and hotels
Meals and beverages not mentioned
Early check in/late checkout
Insurance though not included is strongly recommended
Gratuities of a purely personal nature such as laundry and valet service
Tipping to guide, driver and hotel staff
E. & O.E.
For information or reservations, please contact Janice Snider.
Day 1 Sofia Airport – Sofia (cca.20km)
Meet your local guide at the Sofia International Airport with a warm “Welcome to Bulgaria!” Transfer to your centrally located hotel and check-in.
Day 2 Sofia – Rila Monastery – Plovdiv (cca.350km)
In the morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of one of the most compact and walkable capitals in Europe. Step on Roman paths next to picturesque Medieval and modern Orthodox churches, Ottoman mosques and communist architecture and monuments. The city of Sofia offers a real cosmopolitan east-meets-west vibe. It is a modern, youthful city full of history, green spots, cultural events and lots of entertainment. Located at an altitude of 1147 m above sea level amidst the beautiful forests of Rila Mountain, one of the most beloved symbols of Bulgaria – the Rila Monastery (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Dive into more than a thousand years of history, explore the period’s most representative residential and farming buildings, visit the local museums and climb atop the central tower, all surrounded by a 22 m-high stone wall. Although the monastery resembles a fortress from outside, inside it offers prolific views of arches and colonnades, covered wooden stairs, carved verandas and colourful in-and outdoor paintings. Then your trip takes you over stunning mountainous landscapes to the city of Plovdiv.
Day 3 Plovdiv – Bachkovo – Plovdiv (cca.60km)
Enjoy the unique atmosphere of this 2019 European Capital of Culture where ancient monuments are not only well preserved but successfully incorporated into modern life. In Plovdiv, you can see history, walk on it or even sit on it if you need a rest. In the old town of Plovdiv, you’ll find charming winding cobbled streets, Bohemian cafés, restaurants, art galleries and stunning local architecture. Take a deep breath while in the special art district, participate at one of the many festivals and events organized or simply stroll down one of Europe’s longest pedestrian-only central shopping streets and let yourself get absorbed by the overall “take-it-easy” local feeling. In the Rhodope Mountains, not far from the town of Asenovgrad, is the nearly 10-centuries-old hidden monastery of Bachkovo. Still functioning, it is the second-largest in Bulgaria. Explore at ease the more than 300-year old persimmon tree in the inner courtyard, the remarkable frescoes of the main church and surroundings and the important historical role of the monastery in preserving Bulgarian culture and language through the decades. Dive into the art of winemaking in Bulgaria by visiting a nearby wine cellar and taste unique wine from the “Thracian Lower Ridge”. Overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 4 Plovdiv – Kazanlak – Nessebar (cca.330km)
Today is dedicated to the world-famous Bulgarian rose oil industry and its extraction, concentrated in the region north of Plovdiv also known as the Rose Valley. It includes a visit to a functioning rose distillery where the hand-picked rose flowers are being processed, get an introduction to the quality cosmetic products based on rose oil and tasting rose jam and rose liquor. You will also visit the exact replica of the 4th century BC Thracian tomb of Kazanlak (UNESCO). The tomb is world-famous for its architecture and particularly lively wall paintings revealing the story about religion and lifestyle of a long-gone ancient culture. Your journey continues towards the 3200-year-old town of Nessebar. The old town lies on a small peninsula. Due to its extraordinary cultural wealth, the old town of Nessebar was added in 1983 to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Overnight in Nessebar.
Day 5 Nessebar – Balchik – Varna (cca.200km)
Today you drive to Balchik, the former summer residence of Romanian Queen Maria Alexandrina Victoria of Edinburgh. Queen Maria was charmed by the small town and commissioned the construction of her summer residence here. Visit the beautiful Botanical Gardens before continuing to Varna in the afternoon. The town’s attractions include the Pantheon, the Regional History Museum, the Assumption of the Virgin Cathedral and the Roman Thermal Baths.
Day 6 Varna – Shumen – Veliko Tarnovo (cca.230km)
Travel towards Veliko Tarnovo in the morning. Stop in Madara where you can admire the unique stone relief Madara Rider (UNESCO World Heritage Site). After a short drive arrives in the city of Veliko Tarnovo. The former capital of Bulgaria is set amidst three hills of the Balkan Mountains and the River Yantra. Visit the ruins of the Tsarevets Fortress once housing the Tzar’s palace. Then stroll through the traditional crafts shopping quarter, Samovodska Charshiya and enjoy the 200-year-old buildings and the unique atmosphere of this arts and crafts pedestrian street.
Day 7 Veliko Tarnovo – Troyan – Koprivshtitsa (cca.310km)
Right after breakfast drive towards Troyan. In the village of Oreshak, you can admire the third largest monastery in Bulgaria, The Assumption of the Holy Mother founded in the 16th century and restored in the 19th century during the National Revival. Inside the church is a miraculous icon. Continue to Koprivshtitsa, a true town museum declared a historical and architectural reserve. The highlights of the town include the Todor Kableshkov house and the house of the poet Dimcho Debelyanov. Finally, return to Sofia. Dinner is arranged at a traditional restaurant with a folklore program with Nestinari fire dancers (depending on the weather conditions) with a glass of wine.
Day 8 Sofia – Departure (cca.20km)
Enjoy some free time in the Bulgarian capital before your departure. Your driver will take you to the airport. Have a safe flight!