Bulgaria revealed

10 nights
Sofia | Rila monastery | Melnik | Rozhen monastery | Kovacevica | Trigrad gorge | Batak | Plovdiv | Koprivshtitsa |Thracian Tombs at Starosel, Kazanlak and Sveshtari | Tryavna | Veliko Tarnovo | Arbanassi | Ivanovo | Madara Horseman | Varna | Balchik | Nessebar

Begin in Sofia, then explore Boyana Church and Rila Monastery before traveling to Melnik.
Tour Rozhen Monastery and Kovacevica, then journey to Dospat Lake, Trigrad Gorge, and Yagodinska Cave.
Visit historic Batak; explore traditional carpet-making in Kostandovo; and take guided walking tours of Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa. At Starosel and Kazanlak, investigate the Thracian tombs. Traverse the Shipka Pass, and tour the outdoor museum at Etara.
Explore traditional crafts at Tryavna and Veliko Tarnovo; stroll through the village of Arbanassi. Visit the Madara Horseman, Ivanovo, and Sveshtari. Tour Varna, Balchik Palace, and Aladzha Cave Monastery; enjoy a day on magnificent Nessebar. Continue reading

Best of Bulgaria

8 nights
Sofia | Rila monastery | Veliko Tarnovo | Arbanassi | Ivanovo Rock churches | Thracian tombs at Sveshtari, Kazanlak and Starosel | Madara Horseman | Varna | Balchik | Aladzha monastery | Nessebar | Plovdiv | Bachkovo monastery | Koprivshtitsa

In Sofia, stroll along the celebrated gold-paved streets. Tour Boyana Church, Rila Monastery, Veliko Tarnovo, and Arbanassi.
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Ivanovo Churches, Sveshtari Thracian Tomb, and Madara Horseman.
In Varna, view the world’s most ancient gold treasure. Relax on the beach, or explore Balchik Palace and Aladzha Monastery.
In Nessebar, you’ll find beautiful old cobblestoned streets and delightful restaurants with views of the sea. In Kazanlak, visit the copy of the Hellenistic Thracian Tomb.
Walk through the Old Town in Plovdiv, visit Bachkovo Monastery and Asenovgrad Fortress, and tour ancient Starosel, Bulgaria’s largest Thracian complex. Continue reading

Bulgaria at a glance

4 nights
Sofia | Boyana church | Rila monastery| Plovdiv | Kazanlak Thracian Tomb| Veliko Tarnovo | Arbanassi | Sofia

Begin your tour in Sofia, where you’ll explore major landmarks and fascinating traditional markets. Discover the Boyana Church, then the Rila Monastery. In Plovdiv, tour the Roman Stadium before visiting the 4th-century B.C. Thracian Tomb.
Drive through the Shipka Pass and visit the soaring Tsarevets Fortress. In Veliko Tarnovo, explore Samovodene Street, a center for folkloric Bulgarian arts and crafts.
Tour Arbanassi and Konstantzalieva House; here, you’ll explore the daily realities of a well-to-do 17th-century family, and enjoy an enchanting view of the town, river, and surrounding area.
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Day trip to Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi

10 to 12 hours
Veliko Tarnovo (Tsarevets Fortress and Samovodene Street) | Arbanassi (The Nativity Church and the Konstantsalieva House)

From Sofia, set out for Veliko Tarnovo, the old capital of Bulgaria. Medieval kings built the nearby Tsarevets Fortress, a high lookout point defending the area.
Enjoy the intriguing shops on Samovodene Street, where you’ll find talented local craftsmen demonstrating traditional art forms.
In the afternoon, visit Arbanassi, former home of Bulgaria’s wealthiest and most prosperous merchants. Visit the remarkable Konstantsalieva House, the home of an 18th-century merchant, and see exactly how he lived with his family centuries ago.
Finally, move on to the Nativity Church, which showcases some of the loveliest, best–preserved frescoes in Bulgaria.
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Day trip to Plovdiv, Asenovgrad fortress and the Bachkovo monastery

8 to 10 hours
Plovdiv (walking tour, Roman Theatre and the Ethnographical Museum) | Asenovgrad fortress | Bachkovo monastery

Depart Sofia and enjoy a day trip to Plovdiv, renowned for its thriving arts scene and spectacular Roman ruins. Take a guided walking tour of the breathtaking Roman Theater; a landslide in the 1970s uncovered this ancient architectural marvel. Next on your walking tour is the fantastic Ethnographic Museum, dedicated to traditional Bulgarian art, folklore, and culture.
Visit Asenovgrad Fortress, a strategic landmark in existence since the era of the Thracians. From the top, you’ll enjoy a magnificent view.
End the day at the 1083 Bachkovo Monastery, filled with precious frescoes and works of religious art.
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Two UNESCO sites in one day: Boyana church and Rila Monastery

6 to 8 hours
Boyana church | Rila monastery and the monastery museum

Depart Sofia on a journey to visit two of Bulgaria’s most glorious monasteries.
Tour the UNESCO World Heritage, Orthodox Boyana Church, built over an immense time span stretching from the 10th to the mid-19th centuries. You’ll have the chance to view three separate historical layers of frescoes, all carefully preserved in a climate-controlled setting.
Next, drive into the mountains to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Rila Monastery, the centuries-old cache of Bulgarian artistic, literary, and cultural treasures. The interior frescoes are exceptionally vivid. A visit to the Monastery Museum is also included.
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Day trip to Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa

8 to 10 hours
Koprivshtitsa (walking tour) | Plovdiv (walking tour, the Roman Theatre and the Ethnographical Museum)

Take a lovely day trip to Koprivshtitsa, a beautiful town famous for its Bulgarian National Revival architecture. Koprivshtitsa also marks the location of the first shot fired in the decisive revolt against the Ottoman Turks in 1876.
Next, explore Plovdiv, a major urban center for arts and culture. View the Roman City, which includes the Roman Theater and the ruins of the enormous 2nd-century Ancient Stadium. Tour the fabulous Ethnographic Museum in Plovdiv. Built in 1847, it was originally a merchant’s private home, and now serves as the venue for six beautifully-curated exhibits addressing specific aspects of Bulgarian traditional culture.
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