An impressive tour around Bulgaria combining small villages, home hosted accommodation, home made food, improvised cooking classes and interaction with local people. Doing this tour you will indulge in the everyday life of the Bulgarians, will meet ordinary people and will get a complete idea about the past and the present and the turbulent history of the country and particularly about some regions that had a tragic faith during the period of the Ottoman Empire. This tour is for all those that are interested in the development of the Balkans in the last 500 years and for those that want to experience village roads, mountain views, home stays and food and taste the real Bulgaria.
DURATION: 11 days/ 10 overnights
ROUTE: Sofia - the Rila monastery - Gorno Draglishte - the Narrow Gauge Train - Plovdiv - Hissarya - Koprivshtitsa - Starosel - Plovdiv - Zheravna - Kuylevcha - Madara - Sveshtary - Rousse - Mechka - Veliko Tarnovo - Kazanlak - Sofia
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BULGARIA TOUR - HISTORY AND TRADITIONS:
- the Rila monastery
- the Narrow Gauge Train
- the Roman theater in Plovdiv
- the Starosel Tomb
- The Wonder Rocks
- The Madara Horseman
- The Sveshtary tomb
- The Tsarevets fortress
PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR THE BULGARIA TOUR - HISTORY AND TRADITIONS:
This tour can be paid by credit card, paypal, bank transfer or cash upon arrival in Sofia.
Please note that paying by credit card will apply a supplementary fee of 2,5% for VISA and Master Card. Paying by paypal will apply a supplementary fee of 4% for overseas transactions.
CANCELLATION POLICY FOR THE BULGARIA TOUR - HISTORY AND TRADITIONS:
- 7 days prior to date of activity – Free cancellation
- 6 to 4 days prior to date of activity – 30% Cancellation Fee (70% reimbursement)
- 3 days prior to date of activity – 70% Cancellation Fee (30% reimbursement)
- 2 days prior to date of activity, on the day of the activity and for now show – 100% cancellation Fee (No reimbursement)
Arrive in Sofia. Transfer to your hotel. The reminder of the day – time at leisure. Overnight.
Accommodation in hotel Rosslyn Thracia Hotel ****
In the morning visit the Boyana Church (UNESCO). Admire its beautiful freascoes dating to 1259. In the National Museum of History you will get acqueinted with the rich history of Bulgaria. Here is the Gold Thracian Treasure dating to the 4th c. BC. Return to the central part. Continue with a walking sightseeing tour of Sofia. Visit the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral – the biggest and the most beautiful on the Balkan Peninsula, the Monument of Alexander II – Tzar Liberator, the Parliament, The Statue of St Sofia – the symbol of the city, the Presidency, the National Theater, the Ruins of Serdica and the Rotonda St George 4th c. AC, the Synagogue, the Russian Church, the St. Sophia early Christian basilica, which has given the city its name. Finish the tour at around 2 pm at your hotel. Afternoon at leaisure – time to enjoy the central part of Sofia.
Departure to the Rila Monastery - the richest historical and architectural monument of the Orthodox enclave, founded in 10th century and transformed to the most important spiritual and cultural center of Bulgaria. The Monastery’s unrivalled architecture and murals will captivate you. In the monastery visit the Ethnographic museum – very rich with its carpets and rugs exhibition, jewelry, customs, buckles. Also you will visit four rooms decorated according to the typical styles of decoration of four regions of Bulgaria. Departure to the village of Gorno Draglishte where you will spend the overnight in a guest house. The hostess will demonstrate preparation of yogurt and a local salty pastry called “banitsa”. Have a home hosted diner prepared for you by the hostess. Overnight.
B Accommodation in the village of Gorno Draglishte at the “Pri Deshka” guest house
At 10 :28 take the narrow gorge train from Bansko to Avramovo – the highest train station in Bulgaria – 1400 meters above sea level. The train passes through the picturesque pass of Yundola. The guide will pick you up from Avramovo and you will continue to Plovdiv - the second largest town of Bulgaria, an area since the time of Philip, King of Macedonia, father of Alexander The Great. Its unique location on these ancient crossroads has stimulated cultural and political influences from East and West civilizations and yet maintained its unique cultural identity. The most impressive building of Roman time that has come to us rising above the city is the Antique Amphitheatre by Emperor Mark Avrelii during the 2nd c. A.D. Its magnificent arcade adorned with marble statues is simply breath-taking. Visit the Ethographic museum housed in the biggest and the most beautiful house of the Old town – the Kuyumdzhioglu’s HouseThe Roman Stadium is also constructed during the II century and reproduces the layout in Delphi, Greece. Within the centre of the ancient major town of the Roman province of Thrace remains of stone paved streets, foundations of buildings and columns and ancient fortress walls and gates reside.
B Accommodation in Plovdiv in family hotel “At the Renaissance Square” (two nights)
In the morning departure to Hissarya where you will see absolutely well preserved fortress wall dating to the Roman period – 4th century. Visit the Roman tomb dating to the same period. Hissarya is also one of the most popular balneology resorts renowned for its more than 20 springs of curative mineral water. Continue to Koprivshtitsa. The village of Koprivshtitsa boasts a large number of architectural monuments from the Revival period, 383 in all, most of which have been restored to their original appearance. Collections of ethnographical treasures, old weapons, National Revival works of art, fine fretwork, household weaves and embroidery, national costumes and typical Bulgarian jewelry has also been preserved. Have lunch in a house of a local family and taste some of the local dishes prepared with home made products. Departure to Plovdiv. On the way visit the Thracian tomb of Starosel – an original tomb dating to the 4th BC. Arrive in Plovidv in the late afternoon.
This morning after breakfast leave to the Rhodopi mountain. Visit the archaeological complex of Perperikon, the largest megalith complex on the Balkans. Archaeologists have uncovered a giant multi-story palace and an imposing fortress built around the hill, with walls as thick as 2.8 m. Temples and quarters of residential buildings were also constructed in the fortress. Have lunch in a Turkish family’s house in the village of Zvezdelina and taste some of the local delights. Continue to one of the most picturesque villages in Bulgaria – Zheravna. Here you will admire 200 years old houses, cobble stone streets, stone walls surrounding yards with beautiful flowers and fruit trees. Today the village is an architectural reserve. It has been used as a natural decor for many Bulgarian and foreign movies. Not only you will feel like you are back to the 19th century, but here you will feel the warmness and hospitality of the Bulgarians. Accommodation. Overnight.
B L Accommodation in Zheravna in Yovina Kashta Guest House
After breakfast departure to Madara throught the village of Asparuhovo where you will admire one of the natural phenomena in Bulgaria – The Wonder Rocks. Departure to the Madara Horseman (UNESCO) – a bas-relief cut in a rock some 23 meters above the ground dating to the beginning of the 8th century. The relief depicts a horseman in a natural pose with a sword in his hand. At the feet of the horse is a lion, and behind the rider is depicted his hunting dog. One legend has it that a Byzantine emperor was hunting on the plateau when he fell off the cliff and died. His relatives memorialized him by engaging a master to carve his image on the cliff. Few kilometers further is the village of Kuylevtcha where you will spend the overnight in a very nice family complex.
B Accommodation in Eco Bulgara complex - http://www.villabulgaraeco.com/index.php?language=english
After breakfast departure to the Sveshtary Thracian tomb (UNESCO) dating to the 4th – 3rd century BC. The tomb has a unique architectural decor, with polychrome half-human, half-plant caryatids and painted murals. It is a remarkable reminder of the culture of the Getes, a Thracian people who were in contact with the Hellenistic and Hyperborean worlds, according to ancient geographers. Continue to Rousse – the biggest border town of Bulgaria situated on the Danube river. Have a walk in the central part and admire the beautiful buildings from the 19th century. Rousse in also called “the Little Vienna” for its Vienniese architecture. Head to the Seven Generations winery in the village of Mechka 22 km from Rousse with a beautiful view towards the Danube river.
B Accommodation in the Seven Generations Winery **** - https://sevengenerations.bg/page/homepage
First visit today is the nearby complex of the Ivanovo rock church (UNESCO). Admire beautiful paintings from the 14th century. Arriving in Veliko Tarnovo you will be captured by the beauty of the setting of the town. Old houses perched on the rocks and two Mediaeval fortress preserve the glorious past of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1186 – 1396). Visit the Tsarevets and the Trapezitsa fortresses. In the village of Arbanassi is situated the richestly decorated church in Bulgaria of « The Nativity of Christ » called the Sistine Cjapel on the Balkans. In theevening enjoy a home hosted dinner in the village of Arbanassi. Accommodation. Overnight.
B Accommodation in Veliko Tarnovo in hotel Gurko *** http://www.hotel-gurko.com/index_en.php
In the morning departure to the Balkan Range mountain. Before crossing the Shipka pass visit the Etara open air museum where have been presented 22 crafts that people used in the 18th and 19th century. Start climbing the Shipka pass. On the top of the mountain admire beautiful view towards the valleys of the Northern and Southern Bulgaria.
Take the road to Kazanlak known also as the Valley of Roses or the Valley of the Thracian Kings.
In the region of Kazanlak visit two Thracian tombs dating to the 4th century BC – one of them original – The Golyamata Kosmatka and the second one included in the list of UNESCO – the Kazanlak Tomb. You will visit its copy as the original has been closed for the public. Continue to Sofia.
Arrive in Sofia in the early evening. Accommodation. Overnight.
B Accommodation in hotel Rosslyn Thracia Hotel ****
Transfer to the Sofia airport. End of service.
- 9 nights accommodation at three and four star hotels
- Services of a professional English speaking tour guide (driving) to accompany you throughout
- Fully insured sedan, van or minibus (depending on the size of the group)
- Fuel and parking fees
- All sightseeing tours & cultural connections
- Guide’s expenses
- All transfers
- Admissions to museums, sites, churches as per itinerary
- VAT and local tax
- Porterage at hotels
- Map of Bulgaria.
- You’ll visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Rila monastery, The old town of Nessebar, Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, Boyana Church
Price doesn't Include:
- Other meals than stated
- Alcoholic beverages
- Photo/video fees at sites and museums