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Bulgaria Tour – Nature, History and Villages - 11 Days

Belogradchik Rocks
Bulgaria Tour – Nature, History and Villages

Bulgaria Tour – Nature, History and Villages tour is a great possibility to discover not only the rich history of Bulgaria, but also its beautiful nature and small villages out of the beaten track hidden in remote corners. The tour is a combination of visits to caves and natural sites and historical heritage and authentic villages where some of the traditions and crafts have been preserved.

The Bulgaria Tour - Nature, History and Traditions features the beautiful Belogradchik rocks, the Magura cave where have been discovered drawings from hundred thousand years ago, the splendid Krushuna waterfall, The Devetashka cave - the biggest in Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo with its famous Tsarevets fortress, the Ivanovo rock church included in UNESCO, the village of Mechka where you will spend an overnight in a fantastic winery, the unique (and absolutely unique) Sveshtary Thracian tomb (UNESCO) and the extremely interesting Madara Horseman (UENSCO). The village of Zheravna is one of the best preserved villages from the olden times and most of the houses are more than 200 years old. The Rhodopi mountain will be another great surprise with the positive energy and the numerous splendid sites that you will visit there including the archaeological site of Perperikon. In the village of Zvezdelina you will experience a delicious lunch in the house of a Turkish family. Plovdiv will be one of the highlights of the trip. Plovdiv is one of the two European Capitals of Culture 2019 (the second one is Materna in Italy). for many visitors it is the highlight of Bulgaria and for me it is my beautiful native town. You will enjoy stunning views from the hills over the town and a great ambience walking along the Main Street or in the little quarter "Kapana" (the trap) where easily you can get lost and found again ;).

DURATION: 11 days/10 overnights

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BULGARIA TOUR - NATURE, HISTORY AND TRADITIONS:

  • the Boyana church (UNESCO)
  • the Rila monastery (UNESCO)
  • the Belogradchick rocks
  • The Magura cave
  • The Devetashka cave
  • the Krushuna waterfall
  • the Tsarevets fortress
  • the Madara horseman (UNESCO)
  • the Sveshtary tomb (UNESCO)
  • the village of Zheravna
  • the lunch in Zvezdelina
  • the Roman theater in Plovdiv

PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR THE BULGARIA TOUR - NATURE, HISTORY AND TRADITIONS:

This tour can be paid by credit card, paypal, bank transfer or cash upon arrival in Sofia.

Downpayment

You can choose one of the following payment modes:

  • Bank transfer to our Bulgarian account - a surcharge of 7 euro will be applied
  • Bank transfer to our Revolut British account - no charges from our side will be applied
  • Paying by credit card on line via our site - a supplement fee of 2,5% will be applied for VISA and Master Card
  • Paypal - a supplementary fee of 4% will be applied

Balance payment

For the payment of the balance you can choose one of the fore cited modes including cash on spot upon arrival. You can pay in USD, Euro, AUD, Your currency (no matter what it is) or Bulgarian lev (BGN).

CANCELLATION POLICY FOR THE BULGARIA TOUR - HIKING AND TREASURES:

  • 21 days prior to date of activity – Free cancellation
  • 21 to 14 days prior to date of activity – 30% Cancellation Fee (70% reimbursement)
  • 14 - 7 days prior to date of activity – 70% Cancellation Fee (30% reimbursement)
  • 7 - 3 days prior to date of activity – 80% Cancellation Fee (20% reimbursement)
  • 3 days prior to date of activity, on the day of the activity and for now show – 100% cancellation Fee (No reimbursement)

Day 1
Sofia arrive. Sightseeing tour of Sofia

Arrive in Sofia. Meet your guide at the airport. Transfer to the Boyana Church (UNESCO). Admire its beautiful frescoes 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. Check in and have the reminder of the day at leisure.

Day 2
One Day Tour to the Rila Monastery

After breakfast 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. Return to Sofia. Evening at leisure.

Day 3
Day 3 – Sofia - Belogradchik – The Venetsa cave - The Magura Cave – Belogradchik

In the morning departure to Belogradchick. Once on spot visit the Belogradchik fortress and admire its marvellous shapes formed by the nature. Take a jeep and have one and a half hour drive around the spendid rock formations. Your driver will tell you many of the legends that the locals have been telling for centuries. After the jeep tour have lunch in one of the local restaurants where you will taste local meals. Departure to the Venetsa cave – The colorful LED lighting brings life and magic into the glory of the cave, revealing it all to the tourist, astonished by its beauty. 5 huge halls have been revealed so far and the overall length of the corridors is some 300 m.

Continue to the “Magurata” cave long 2,5 km and 15 million years old. Cave paintings dating from the Epipaleolitic, late Neolitic, Eneolitic and Early Bronze Age decorate some of the cave's walls. The paintings have been estimated to be made between 10.000 and 8.000 years ago. The drawings represent important events of the society that had occupied the Magura cave: religious ceremonies, hunting scenes and depictions of deities which are unique on Balkan Peninsula. The Fertility Dance and the Hunting Ceremony rank among the most noteworthy paintings.

Return to Belogradchick. Accommodation. Overnight.

B Accommodation in Belogradchick in hotel Skalite ****

Day 4
Day 4 – Belogradchik – the Devetaki cave – the Krushuna falls – Veliko Tarnovo

In the morning departure to Devetashka cave, one of the biggest in Bulgaria. The site has been continuously occupied by Paleo humans for tens of thousands of years, served as a shelter for various faunal species during extensive periods and is now home to nearly 30,000 bats.

It is 35 meters wide and 30 meters high at the entrance. The cave widens after around 40 meters forming a spacious hall. Several large openings in the ceiling allow daylight to lighten the vast interior, due to commercial use of the site during the 1950s. Discovered in 1921, excavations began only in the 1950s and revealed almost continuous human occupation since the late Paleolithic. Earliest traces of human presence date back to the Middle Paleolithic around 70,000 years ago. The site also contained one of the richest sources of Neolithic cultural artifacts (6,000 to 4,000 BC). Devetashka cave was shown in the action movie The Expendables 2, filmed in 2011.

Departure to the enchanting Krushuna waterfalls. The largest travertine cascade in the country and famous for its babbling little pools and emerald waters spilling over rounded terraces, Krushuna falls are a virtual fairyland and a perfect place for relax for few minutes.

Head to Veliko Tarnovo. Accommodation. Overnight.

B Accommodation in Veliko Tarnovo in hotel Gurko ***

Day 5
Day 5 – Veliko Tarnovo - Ivanovo (UNESCO) – Ruse - Mechka

In the morning start exploring the city with the Tsarevets Royal hill. The neighboring Arbanassi museum village is a genuine gallery of art. A must here is the 15th century Church of the Nativity, repainted in the 17th century. Because of its more than 1200 frescoes, It is also called the Sistine Chapel on the Balkans. Located on the hills above the meandering river Yantra, this city, once a glorious mediaeval capital (1186 – 1393), is now attracting thousands of romantic travelers with its irresistible atmosphere. Mixing the legends of the past with bursting joy of hundreds of young students – this is Veliko Tarnovo today, the second most important University City after Sofia.

Departure to the Ivanovo rock church (UNESCO). The church is unique with its Last Supper painting and all the other frescoes painted in the mid of the 15th century. Drive to Ruse for some walk around the central square where you will admire the beautiful architecture of the buildings dating to the 19th century. Drive to the village of Mechka. Accommodation. Overnight.

B Accommodation in the village of Mechka in the Seven Generations Winery

Day 6
Day 6 – Mechka – Sveshtary (UNESCO) – Madara (UNESCO) – the village of Kyulevcha

After breakfast departure to the Sveshtary 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 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 Roman 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.

Optional: If time permits and you are interested the guide can take you to the “The founders of the Bulgarian state” monument situated nearby. The biggest outdoor mosaic-triptych in Europe can be seen here. Together with 21 sculptures they symbolise the establishment, development and progress of the Bulgarian state in the period 7th – 10th centuries. A granite lion weighing 1000 tons is placed on the top of the memorial.

B Accommodation in Eco Bulgara complex

Day 7
Day 7 – Kyulevcha – Asparuhovo – Zheravna

After breakfast departure to Zheravna through the village of Asparuhovo where you will admire one of the natural phenomena in Bulgaria – The Wonder Rocks.

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.

Visit the building of the school, constructed in 1867, houses a picture gallery that comprises more than 450 paintings of Bulgarian and foreign artists. Every year it hosts travelling exhibitions of artists and ethnographical exhibitions from museums around the country. Visitors of the House of Rusi Chorbadzhi (House of Master Rusi) can see an interesting exhibition where the different crafts practiced in Zheravna during the Bulgarian Revival Period are demonstrated. The enormous hand loom and the skillfully-weaved delicate linen fabrics produced by the women of Zheravna are particularly impressive. In Zheravna was born and raised one of the most renown Bulgarian writers – Yordan Yovkov. His books have been translated in more than 20 languages.

B Accommodation in Zheravna in Yovina Kashta guest house

Day 8
Day 8 – Zheravna – Perperikon – Zvezdelina - Plovdiv

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. Depart to Plovdiv. Have some free time in the afternoon to walk on the lovely pedestrian street.

B Accommodation in Plovdiv in villa Antica (two nights)

Day 9
Day 9 – Full day in Plovdiv

In the morning take a sightseeing tour of Plovdiv. Visit 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 House. The 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. After lunch visit the Roman house « Eirene » where you will admire extremely well preserved mozaics “in situ”, originals from the 4th century. Last visit for today is the Small Bishop’s Basilica dated to the late 5th century and today is one of the Plovdiv’s landmarks with its mozaic floor with geometrical motifs and a small chapel and a baptistery. Relinder of the day – time to explore the art quarter « Kapana » and have coffee in one of its little cafés.

Day 10
Day 10 – Plovdiv – Hissarya – Starosel – Koprivshtitsa - Sofia

In the morning departure to Hissarya where you will see very 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 balneal resorts renowned for its more than 20 springs of curative mineral water. Continue to the Starosel tomb – one of the biggest of its kind, discovered only in 2004 and dated to the 4th century BC.

After lunch departure to the village of 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. Continue to Sofia. Accommodation. Overnight.

B Accommodation in Sofia in hotel Premier Thracia ****

Day 11
Day 11 – Sofia departure

Day 11 – Sofia departure

Transfer to the Sofia airport for your departure flight. End of service.

Travel distances :

Day 2

Sofia – the Rila monastery – Sofia – 130 km – 2 hours each way

Day 3

Sofia – Venetsa cave – 200 km – 3 hours

Venetsa cave – Belogradchik – 20 km – 20 mins

Belogradchik – Magura cave – 25 km – 25 mins

Day 4

Belogradchik – Devetaki – 240 km – 3 h 30 mins

Devetaki – Krushuna – 20 km – 25 mins

Krushuna - Veliko Tarnovo – 80 km – 1 h 20 mins

Day 5

Veliko Tarnovo – Ivanovo – 90 km – 1 h 20 mins

Ivanovo – Ruse – 25 km – 25 mins

Ruse – Mechka – 22 km – 25 mins

Day 6

Mechka – Sveshtary – 130 km – 1 h 50 mins

Sveshtary – Madara – 110 km – 1 h 30 mins

Mdara – Kyulevcha – 4 km – 5 mins

Day 7

Kyulevcha – Asparuhovo – 80 km – 1 h 10 mins

Asparuhovo – Zheravna – 200 km – 2 h 40 mins

Day 8

Zheravna – Perperikon – 225 km – 3 h

Perperikon - Zvezdelina lunch – 12 km – 20 mins

Zvezdelina – Plovdiv – 125 km – 2 h

Day 9 – Plovdiv – no driving

Day 10

Plovdiv – Hissarya – 45 km – 50 mins

Hissarya – Starosel – 20 km – 20 mins

Starosel – Koprivshtitsa – 45 km – 50 mins

Koprivshtitsa – Sofia – 110 – 1 h 50 mins

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • ACCOMMODATION IN TOTAL 10 OVERNIGHTS
  • • In Sofia – hotel Thracia Best Western **** (three overnights)
  • • In Belogradchik – hotel Skalite ****
  • • In Plovdiv – villa Antica (two nights)
  • • In Jeravna – Yovina Kashta (the Yovina house) - http://www.yovinahouse.com/index.php?lng=en
  • • In Varna – Boutique hotel Hi
  • • In Mechka – the Seven Generations Winery
  • • In Veliko Tarnovo - hotel Gurko ***
  • TRANSFERS AND TRANSPORTATION
  • • All transfers and transportation with private vehicles according to program
  • • Transfer from the Sofia airport on arrival and departure
  • • Fuel costs, parking fees
  • TOURS / GUIDES / FOOD
  • • 10 Breakfasts, 1 home hosted lunch in Zvezdelina
  • • Professional English speaking Private Tour Guide (to drive) throughout the tour
  • • Jeep safari around the Belogradchik rocks
  • • Admission fees for all sites and museums as per program
  • • Organisation, VAT

PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Additional private expenses of a client

  • All that is not mentioned in section “Price includes”
  • Travel insurance package
  • Other meals than stated
  • Photo/video fees at sites and museums
  • Bank and pay pal fees

You can send your inquiry via the form below.