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Bulgaria At a Glance

Bulgaria

From

610 

Duration

4 days

Languages Support

English

Tour Description

In this beautifully curated, compact tour, discover the essentials of old Bulgaria: historic architecture, vibrant traditional arts and crafts, sweeping panoramic vistas, medieval monasteries and fortresses, and Roman traces and Thracian culture.

Begin your tour in the vibrant Bulgarian capital of Sofia, where you’ll stroll along the famed yellow-paved streets to explore major landmarks such as the Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral and the covered food market. At the 11th-century Boyana Church (UNESCO World Heritage Site), explore the priceless treasures at your leisure.

Drive into the mountains to the Bulgarian Orthodox Rila Monastery, built a full 1147 meters above sea level. In the picturesque, artistic Plovdiv, tour the Old Town, Antique Theater, and Roman Stadium. In Kazanlak, home of Bulgarian rose oil more valuable than gold, visit the celebrated UNESCO World Heritage, 4th-century B.C. Thracian Tomb.

On the way to Veliko Tarnovo, drive through the breathtaking Shipka Pass, the site of the final Bulgarian victory over the Ottoman Turks. Visit the soaring Tsarevets Fortress, and take in the spectacular view of the Old Town. Explore Samovodene Street, a mecca for folkloric Bulgarian arts and crafts.

Next, visit the architecturally significant village of Arbanassi. Tour Konstantzalieva House, where you’ll explore the daily realities of a well-to-do 17th-century family. You will also explore the Nativity Church, built when Christian architecture in Bulgaria was subject to restrictions imposed by the Ottoman Turks.

If you’re looking for different tour options in Romania or have specific preferences, feel free to explore our alternative tours in Bulgaria or reach out to us for a personalized experience tailored just for you!

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Included / Excluded

  • The possibility of having your itinerary customised before the start of the tour, at no extra charge
  • Great flexibility regarding changes to the daily itinerary even after the start of the tour
  • The services of a private, licensed English speaking guide/driver, available throughout the tour
  • All guide's expenses (meals, accommodation, etc.)
  • Private transportation in air conditioned car
  • All car expenses, such as gasoline, parking and road tolls
  • Complimentary wireless internet access in the car, so that you can stay in touch with your loved ones even while traveling
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary, with guided visits. If you wish to add any sight on the go, the guide will always be available with information during the visit
  • Accommodation as per the hotel list included with the itinerary  (we can also offer a different selection of hotels, based on your preference)
  • Breakfast every day
  • Airport transfers
  • Airfare to and from Bulgaria
  • Meals or beverages, other than the included ones
  • Credit card fees (3.25%). We offer you the possibility of paying by domestic bank transfer (for the U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom)
  • Photo fees (around 2 or 3 euro/sight)
  • Gratuities for your guide (entirely up to your discretion)

Tour Itinerary

Arrive in Sofia, unpack your bags, and recover from your long journey at the Hotel Niky, the ideal point of departure for taking in the reinvigorated, ultramodern culture of the city.

In the afternoon, enjoy a guided walk along Sofia’s magnificent streets, paved in golden – colored cobblestones. Tour the glorious Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral, the Presidency, and the 4th-century Church of St. George, complete with a surviving Roman street and surrounding ruins. Journey in the shadow of Vitosha Mountain to tour the medieval Boyana Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its extensive, archetypal compendium of 13th-century icons and paintings.

*Please note that if you experience a delayed arrival in Sofia for any reason, the city tour can be broken into two parts: the afternoon of your arrival day and the following morning.

Overnight in Sofia, Hotel Niky*** (centrally located)

Today, bid farewell to Sofia and make your way to Rila Monastery, a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site. Inspired by Bulgarians’ patron saint and constructed in the tenth century, it is regarded as one of the most sacred places in Bulgaria. This vast architectural masterpiece safeguarded Bulgarian cultural preservation through the medieval era and well into the 1800s when meticulous restoration projects generated exquisite new piéces de résistance.

Following your monastery tour, continue to Plovdiv.

Upon arrival in Plovdiv, you’ll have the chance to explore one of the most ancient of all European cities. Initially founded as a Thracian settlement, Plovdiv later developed into a crucial Greek and Roman garrison. The city now offers a highly energized artistic ambiance filled with a multitude of galleries and cafés. During your guided tour, you’ll discover the ancient Roman Theater and the Ethnographic Museum, one of Bulgaria’s foremost cultural repositories.

Overnight in Plovdiv, Hotel Evmolpia*** (located in the Old Town)

Today, your destination is the ancient capital of Veliko Tarnovo. On the way, stop at Kazanlak, renowned for its exquisite rose harvest, and visit the Thracian Tomb (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Please note: you will be touring the replica, as visits to the original are permitted only on rare occasions. This vast Hellenistic complex, unearthed in the 1940s, comprises a vast necropolis of the dead’s Thracian cult.

Continue your journey over the wonderful Shipka Pass, where Bulgarians defended their country against the Ottoman Turks in the War of Independence in 1877.

Arrive in Veliko Tarnovo in the late afternoon.

Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo, Hotel Yantra**** (located in the Old Town)

In the morning, tour Veliko Tarnovo, the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. Take a walking tour through the Old Town, and discover picturesque handicraft shops filled to the brim with icon paintings, textiles, and metalworking—all available for purchase.

Next, tour the strategic fortification of Tsarevets, built high on a monumental hillside. It was the stronghold of kings during the Middle Ages. Explore the extensive medieval walls, church, and watchtowers.

Later, step back in time at the exquisite village of Arbanassi, an architectural jewel featuring beautifully-preserved 17th- and 18th-century churches and merchants’ houses. The picturesque settlement remains largely unchanged and offers unparalleled opportunities for investigating the deep past. The finest example can be found at the 17th-century National Revival-style Konstantsalieva House. You’ll also tour the Nativity Church, an outstanding representation of the time’s religious architecture.

In the afternoon, drive back to Sofia.

Overnight in Sofia, Hotel Niky*** (centrally located)

Your tour ends; transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Tour Information

Duration

4 days

Languages Support

English

Places Visited:

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

Total Distance Traveled:

850 km / 530 mi

Tour Price:

  • Single traveler: from 1515 euros pp
  • 2 travelers: from 810 euros pp
  • 3 travelers: from 610 euros pp
  • 4 travelers: from 625 euro pp
  • For a different number of travelers, please contact us.

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