Day trip to Plovdiv, Asenovgrad fortress and the Bachkovo monastery

Today, depart Sofia and enjoy a day trip to Plovdiv, an important urban hub renowned for a thriving arts and culture scene, along with a spectacular set of Roman ruins. With your guide, take a walking tour of the breathtaking Roman Theater, designed to hold 7,000 people and built under Emperor Trajan in the second century A.D. A landslide in the 1970s facilitated the discovery of this ancient architectural wonder. Next on your walking tour is the fantastic Ethnographic Museum, an exquisite 19th-century home now housing six exhibits dedicated to traditional Bulgarian art, folklore, and culture.

A bit later, drive a short distance into the Rhodope Mountains to visit Asenovgrad Fortress, a strategic landmark in existence for thousands of years—since the era of the Thracians. Also called Asen’s Fortress, its medieval incarnation was dedicated to King Ivan Asen II. From the top, savor a spectacular view while learning about the fortress and the diverse history of the area.

Finally, finish a full and satisfying day at the Bachkovo Monastery, founded in 1083 on the Chepelare River. Bachkovo is an expansive, highly significant Eastern Orthodox complex filled with precious frescoes and other works of religious art. Witness the enormous, beautifully-preserved Panorama mural, a visual description of the history of the monastery.

Before evening, head back to Sofia with your guide.

Tour Length:
8 to 10 hours
Places Visited:
Plovdiv (walking tour, Roman Theatre and the Ethnographical Museum) | Asenovgrad fortress | Bachkovo monastery
Total Distance Traveled:
350 km / 220 mi