The Best of Romania and Bulgaria

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Bulgaria and Balkan tours

Tour  "The Best of Romania and Bulgaria"

11 Days - 10 Nights

UNESCO Sights Tour of Romania and Bulgaria

Itinerary: Bucharest - Sinaia - Bran - Brashov - Sinaia - Rousse - Veliko Tarnovo - Plovdiv - Sofia

Hightlights: UNESCO Sights Tour of Romania and Bulgaria. An exclusive tour in two countries with the best of the nature, history and culture. Romania and Bulgaria both hold interesting tourism sights, ranging from medieval towns, castles, UNESCO monuments and coastal towns. Along the way discover the unique cultures of the various distinct regions and the beautiful nature of the countryside. With the option of starting in Bucharest or Sofia you can continue your grand tour of Eastern Europe.

Day 01: Welcome to Bucharest

Arrival on the International airport in Bucharest. Meeting with the guide and transfer to hotel in Bucharest. Sightseeing tour of Bucharest by bus. Visit to the Palace of Parliament, second largest building in the world and the biggest in Europe.

Festive Romanian dinner with traditional dancers and singers show at restaurant in Bucharest. Overnight. (L,D)

Day 02: Bucharest - Sinaia

Departure to Sinaia. On the way, visit the Valea Calugareasca vineyard, and stop for lunch and Romanian wine-tasting (minimum 5 sorts) to Seciu wine-cellar.

Visit Sinaia: Sinaia monastery, established on 17th c. by the Romanian principe Mihail Cantacuzino. Free time at leisure in Sinaia resort, one of the best known mountain resorts on Carpathians due to its ski slopes and facilities.

Transfer to your hotel. Dinner and Overnight. (B,L,D)

Distance: Bucharest - Sinaia (120 km)

Day 03: The famous Castle of Count Dracula

Visit Peles Castle, former summer residence of the Romanian Kings, built at the end of 19th c. in a splendid Neo-Renaissance German style, a jewel of architecture placed in a beautiful green meadow at the bottom of Carpathian Mountains.

Departure to Bran, where one can see the best developped rural tourism area, a model for rural tourism in Eastern Europe. Visit the Bran Castle, actually a fortress built on the top of a rock guarding the mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. The Bran Castle is supposed to be the famous castle of Count Dracula, a famous landmark of Transylvania.

Lunch to a rural guest-house in Bran, with ecological home-made food products. Taste the famous Romanian plumbrandy ("palinca") and the equal famous "cozonaci" (Romanian cake).

On the way to Brasov and back to Sinaia one can see the mountain agriculture, including forestry, crop fields and hayracks. Visit the Black Church on Brasov, biggest Gothic monument in Eastern Europe and walking tour in the centre of Brasov.

Back to Sinaia for overnight. (B,L,D)

Distance: Sinaia - Bran - Sinaia (140 km)

Day 04: Rousse - Bulgaria's first European style city

Morning, departure to the border. A ride across the Danube River then brings you into Bulgaria.

Tour proceeds to Sveshtari - visit the Thracian Royal Tomb from the first half of the 3rd century B.C. in the UNESCO World Heritage List and Demir Baba Tekke - Islamic Monastery on the site of an ancient sanctuary.

Continuing to Rousse - Bulgaria's first European style city with the first streets with curb stones and pavements, Viennese lanterns and catering establishments. Bulgaria's first lift was installed here in 1896. Monuments: Downtown square, Palace of Justice, Catholic boarding - house, French College, the Pantheon, the Neo-Gothic Catholic Church of Sveti Pavel, period houses - more than 200 buildings designated monuments of culture.

Transfer to your hotel. Dinner and Overnight. (B,L,D)

Distance: Bucharest - Sveshtari - Rousse (90 m -1.30h)

Day 05: Veliko Tarnovo "Capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom"

Departure to Veliko Tarnovo, en route visiting the Rock churches near the village of Ivanovo - Bulgarian Mediaeval churches, chapels and monastic cells hewn into the craggy gorge of Roussenski Lom River. Inscriptions, portraits of saints and other restorated items from the 13 century. A unique monument of Bulgarian Mediaeval Art included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Next is visit of Village Arbanassi and the unique underground Nativity church with some of the oldest and most renowned paintings in Bulgaria and the Tzarevez hill with the remains of the castle and church of the bulgarian kings - that established the Bulgarian state after the byzantine domination in the 12th century - with the Fortress, the Patriarchal church, the Royal Palace and the Emperor Bolduin's tower

Arrival in Veliko Tarnovo. After the dinner - Show "Sound and Light". Overnight.(B,L,D)

Distance: Rousse - Arbanassi - Veliko Tarnovo (90 km -1.30h)

Day 06: An immediate contact with the Past

Leave for Plovdiv. Travelling trough the romantic Rose valley, crossing the Balkan mountain - we arrive in the "Living Museum" - architectural ethnographic complex Etara. Sightseeing of the unique village. Acquaintance with the typical handicrafts. The exposition of Etara museum includes traditional Bulgarian houses from the Revival Period, a street with craftsmen's shops where the successors of Renaissance craftsmen demonstrate their skills and the symbol of Bulgarian Revival Architecture - the clock tower.

Set off to Gabrovo, known as an international capital of humour and satire. Gabrovo is situated in the valley of the Yantra River, as well as noted for its Bulgarian National Revival architecture. Gabrovo is also known as the longest city in Bulgaria and the native town of Mrs. Dilma Rousseff's father.

Next you will proceed to the town of Kazanlak - famous mostly as the hearth of the Bulgarian Rose Valley. Visit to the Museum of Roses and The Thracian Kazanlak Tomb - from the late 4 century B.C., in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The frescoes are the finest masterpiece of the Thracian art discovered to date. The rose had an important role in the history of Kazanlak region and is an unchangeable part of the life style of the local people. The rose cultivation and rose industry had been kept by generations of enterprising people from the valley - meeting with experts and traditions, the history of rose oil production, rose distillation and rose products.

Arrival in Plovdiv. Dinner and Overnight. (B,L,D)

Distance: Veliko Tarnovo - Etara - Gabrovo - Kazanlak - Plovdiv (250 km - 3.00 h)

Bulgarian Rose Oil

Bulgaria is the second largest producer of rose oil in the world. A ton of rose oil is exported annually to the major perfumeries and cosmetics companies in France, Germany and the United States.

Rose oil has been a traditional product for Bulgaria since the 17th century. The Rosa Damascena, the oil giving rose, is cultivated in the famed Valley of Roses, an area of 14 000 square kilometers to the south of the Balkan Range. The roses bloom in May and June and fill the air in the whole region with their sweet, intoxicating scent. Rose petals are collected early in the morning before dawn and are steam distilled into rose oil, an essential 'top note' ingredient in quality perfumes and cosmetics products. It takes 3000 kg of rose petals to make 1 kg of rose oil.

Bulgarian oil producing companies are making new investments in an effort to improve further the quality of rose fields and rose oil and strengthen the country's position on the world's essential oils market.

In late spring tourists from around the world flock to the Valley of Roses to observe the gathering of rose petals and attend the festivities on the Holiday of the Rose.

Day 07: The Ancient Plovdiv

Full day to explore in Old Plovdiv, built in the IV century before Christ from King Philip of Macedonia, the typical Plovdiv symmetrical houses with their painted facades, oriels and jetties and grid windows; The St. Constantine and St. Helena Church completed in 1832, contains murals painted in 1836 by Zachary Zograph, the best known Bulgarian National Revival painter; The Roman Forum, Stadium, Fortress Walls, and above all, the fabulous Amphitheatre, which was built during the time of Emperor Trajan (98-117). It has 28 rows with tiers of marble seats, which can accommodate over 3 500 spectators and today it is still functioning. Plovdiv is Bulgaria's second biggest city, which treasures a history that goes back thousands of years, traces of which have survived to the present day.

Next is a visit to the Bachkovo Monastery. Founded in the 11th century by two Georgian brothers, this is the second largest Bulgarian Monastery after the Rila Monastery. In the monastery there are extremely valuable frescos of biblical subjects from 16-th century. The Icon of Virgin Mary, the patron saint of the monastery, is considered as miraculous.

Stop in the village of Brestovitza. This village has always been a symbol of Bulgarian red wine. Legend says that the temple of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, was built on Bulgarian land. At the foot of the Rhodopes Mountain you will find yourself in a quite different atmosphere. Atmosphere, created thanks to the combination of pure nature, rich historical inheritance, ancient spirit of Thracians and hosts' eagerness to make you feel wonderfulTour around the Wine cellar accompanied by lecture, myths, legends, wine producing technologies and methods of wine storage.

Back to Plovdiv. Dinner and Overnight. (B,L,D)

Bulgarian Wine

Legend has it that the temple of Dionysus, Greek god of wine, was built on Bulgarian land. What we know for fact, is that grapes have been cultivated on the territory of present-day Bulgaria since 4000 B.C.

Bulgaria's climate is influenced by the Black Sea and the Mediterranean and is excellent for the cultivation of a variety of grapes. The country produces a number of fine wines from local grapes - Mavrud, Melnik, Gamza, Dimyat, Misket - as well as quality international varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Bulgaria exports 770 000 hectoliters of bottled wine annually. The three top export markets are Great Britain, Germany and Russia.For the last three, years a total of 55 million Euros from the SAPARD pre-accession program of the European Union have been invested in new vineyards, plant capacity and production improvements.

Day 08 : The Rila Monastery - A Bulgarian Treasure

Leave for Rila Monastery - the biggest monastery on the Balkan Peninsula, the most important example for bulgarian revival architecture, painting and in the time of ottoman domination the most important cultural and educational centre. The monastery is a complex of cultural, dwelling and farming buildings which take about 8800 square meters and has an unique architecture. Human imagination and the talent in combination with nature have fashioned true perfection in the heart of the Rila Mountain, 120 km from Sofia. The Rila monastery is included in the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage. Sightseeing of the monastery and its museum - the Church "Birth of the Holly Virgin", The Monastery Kitchen (called Magernitsa), Hrelyo Tower, Transfiguration Chapel.

Arrival in Sofia. Dinner and Overnight. (B,L,D)

Distance: Plovdiv - Rila Monastery - Sofia (362 km - 4.45 h)

Day 09: Sofia - The Capital of Bulgaria

Sofia sightseeing with lunch at the Vitosha mountain, visit the National museum of History, the St. Petka Church, the St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral and of the St. Sofia church, which gave the name of the capital.

Tours proceeds with panoramic tour and visit to the National History Museum and to the Boyana Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Both sites are located at the footsteps of Vitosha Mountain. In the National Museum of History one can see the magnificent Thracian golden treasures, as well as arte facts from the oldest in the world discovered so far golden objects, processed by Europe's most ancient civilization (4600-4200 BC). The 13th century Boyana Church is a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site. The murals of this famous site reflect both Byzantine and local traditions of the preceding two centuries. The portrait of Dessislava is a genuine masterpiece of 13th century painting, created 200 years before the European renaissance.

Dinner at a typical restaurant with folk style music and dances. Overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 10: Departure

Transfer to the airport and flight back home. (B)

The Prices include:

  • 9 nights accommodation at hotels 4 stars centrally located on basis BB;
  • All Lunches and Dinners according to the programme (Festive dinner throughout);
  • Transport by by luxury air-conditioned vehicle during of the tour;
  • Professional guide services in throughout the tour;
  • Entrance-fees and taxes to all mentioned objectives - museums, monasteries, attractions, wine tasting, etc;
  • Map of Bulgaria.

The price is exclusive of: transport to/from Bulgaria, drinks, tips, and insurance.

Further information:

  1. The program is with full board in order to save time and to present as much as possible various dishes of the bulgarian cuisine to the guests, but we can also make a HB program
  2. Of course we can combine all kinds of landmarks and offer you Sea, Ski, Cultural, Hunting, Horse riding, Golf, Wellness and Spa, Trekking, Business or other individual trips, also combined with visit of Romania, Greece, Turkey, Macedonia… Also we expect your opinion and your wishes and interests and would be glad to answer your questions.
  3. We would be happy to make a completely new program for you with a roundtrip, which will response better to your expectations.
  4. We would recommend to offer also one week staying at the Black Sea Resorts after the trip.
  5. We can offer different hotels categories and make a prise for bigger or smaller groups or individual tourists.

Here some offers for other objects in the country, which could be interesting for visitors:

Seven Bulgarian wonders are part of the list of UNESCO's Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Two more wonders are natural sights.The cultural pearls that lead the Bulgarian wonders are:

The Rila Monastery part of the convention since 1983, it is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria, situated in the North-Western Rila Mountain (117 km South of Sofia).

The Boyana Church in the list since 1979, it is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church originally constructed in the late 10th or early 11th century, located in the outskirts of Sofia city, in the Boyana quarter.

The Madara Rider (or Madara Horserider) - part of UNESCO World heritage list since 1979, it is an early medieval large rock relief situated Eastern of the city of Shumen (Northeastern Bulgaria), near the village of Madara.

The Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak - it is protected since 1979, it presents a vaulted brickwork "beehive" tomb, part of a large Thracian necropolis, situated near the town of Kazanlak in central Bulgaria.

The Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo - part of UNESCO list from 1979, group of monolithic churches, chapels and monasteries hewn out of solid rock and completely different from other monastery complexes in Bulgaria, it is located 20 km South of the Danube river side town of Rousse, near the village of Ivanovo.

The Ancient Town of Nesebar - protected cultural area since 1983, it is an ancient city on the Black Sea coast, located in Nesebar municipality, Bourgas province.

The Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari - it is in the list since 1985, the tomb is situated 2,5 km South-West of the village of Sveshtari, Razgrad province, which is 42 km North-East of the city of Razgrad (Northeastern Bulgaria).

The Pirin National Park - world heritage since 1983, the park encompasses the larger part of the Pirin Mountains, including two nature reserves (Southwestern Bulgaria).

The Srebarna Nature Reserve - considered as world heritage from 1983, itis a natural reserve, situated 18 km West of the riverside of Silistra town and 2 km South of the Danube River (Northeastern Bulgaria), the reserve is located on the Via Pontica - a bird migration route between Europe and Africa.

For people, who like nature:

Magura Cave - the biggest and most impressive in Bulgaria; in the South - in the hearth of Rodopi Mountains Trigrad gorge and the caves Devils Throat; the Spa resorts Hissarja, Sliven); we can add to the cultural programs short or bigger trekking into the wonderful Pirin, Vitosha Mountains (Pictures from Bulgarian Mountains, The seven Lakes in Rila).

For people, interested in Archaeology and History:

Perperikon, unique relief like Starosel, Valchitran, Panagjurishte, Nikopolis ad Istrum from the 2 century; historical and museum villages like Melnik, Sozopol, Jeravna and many others.

For religion-oriented people:

We recommend a Monastery trip, which will include beside other sightseeing landmarks more monasteries like Sokolovski Manastir, Dryanovski manastir, Aladja manastir, Rocky Monastery near Ivanovo, but also mosques and other sacred places.

For people arriving in Varna or Burgas or people, who will stay at the Black Sea:

Kaliakra, Sightseeing of Cathedral of Holy Virgin, the The Stone Forest, The Old town of Ropotamo River and reserve and others.

For wine fanciers:

Bulgaria is known about its good wines. In the last years more and more people come and make a trip trough the different arias of wine producing and try the famous wines like Mavrud, Gamza, Melnik and others.