Treasures of Bulgaria

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Bulgarian Tradition and Culture

Highlights: Bulgaria is a country with 1900 years of history. The land is famous for its nature and a great variety of well preserved cultural and historical monuments dating to the ancient times. With this tour we want to introduce Bulgaria from ancient times till today, from beautiful green mountains to the wonderful beaches at Bulgarian Sea Coasts (a 378 km long coastal strip), a treasure of nature - over 500 mineral springs which define Bulgaria as a preferred destination for SPA - recreation and treatment. The tour includes the most significant Bulgarian treasures included in the UNESCO World Heritage and 24 Wonders of Bulgaria.

Tour "Treasures of Bulgaria"

10 Days - 09 Nights

Itinerary: Sofia - Rila Monastery - Sandanski - Melnik - Pamporovo Resort - Plovdiv - Kazanlak - Veliko Tarnovo - Varna - Nessebar - Varna - Sofia

Day 01:   Welcome to Bulgaria

Arrival in Sofia - the capital of the country - a beautiful city on its way to grow to a big and modern European city, with nice green areas, beautiful ancient churches and buildings from the beginning of the 20th century and incessant night life.

Meeting and transfer to your hotel. Dinner and Overnight.(D)

Day 02:  The Amazing Sofia

Sofia full day sightseeing with lunch at the Vitosha mountain, a visit the Rotunda of St.George from the 4th century, the Banja Bashi Mosque, the National Theatre, the Synagogue and one of the most impressive cathedrals in South - East Europe - the St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral and of the St. Sofia church, which gave the name of the capital and more historical, cultural and administrative sites of the of the capital.

The tour continues to the National History Museum and to the Boyana Church. 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 artefacts 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 03:   Treasure of Rila Monastery and Bulgarian SPA

Leave for Rila Monastery - the biggest monastery on the Balkan Peninsula, the most important example for bulgarian revival architecture and painting and the most important cultural and educational centre in time of the ottoman domination. 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 monument monastery architecture is truly breathtaking and the rich monastery lands are awe-inspiring. The Rila monastery is included in the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage. Sightseeing of the monastery and its museum.

Departure for Sandanski at the foot of the beautifil Pirin Mountain - a very favored Bulgarian SPA resort. Dinner and Overnight in Sandanski. (B,L,D)

Distance: Sofia - Rila Monastery - Sandanski (200 km - 3.30 h)

Day 03: Rozhen Monastery and The land of Orpheus

Visiting the city-museum of Melnik - a small picturesque town in southwestern Bulgaria and about 20km north of the Greek border, Melnik is also notable for its unusual environmental surroundings - the sand pyramids and also famous with Melnik red wine. Visit to Rozhen Monastery (13th century) - beautiful carvings and murals.

Departure for the Pamporovo Mountain resort through the picturesque Saddle Popski preslop of Pirin Mounatin and defiles and gorges of the Rhodope Mountains - home of the mythical Orpheus. On the way a visit to Yagodinska and the village of Shiroka Luka, known for its specific Rhodope architecture. Arrival in Pamporovo Resort. Dinner and Overnight. (B,L,D)

Distance: Sandanski - Melnik - Pamporovo (250 km - 3.20 h)

Day 04:  Plovdiv "One of Europe's oldest cities"

Departure for Plovdiv - the second largest city in Bulgaria.

On route - A visit to Bachkovo Monastery(1th century) - the second largest monastery in Bulgaria. Visit the churches and chapels with wonderful frescoes and murals of 12-18th century - masterpieces of European Renaissance art.

After arriving in Plovdiv, built in the IV century before Christ from King Philip of Macedonia. A visit to the Roman amphitheater and the Old City - which is under UNESCO protection-with ancient buildings, ancient churches and picturesque painted houses. 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. Dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)

Distance: Pamporovo - Plovdiv (80 km - 1.20 h)

Day 05:  Kazanlak "The Valley of Roses and Thracian Kings"

Departure for Veliko Tarnovo through the picturesque Rose Valley of Kazanlak. Here, millions of roses bloom in the spring. Visit the Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of the Rose - a demonstration of the extraction of rose oil. Rose Valley is also the site of the ancient Thracian civilization - visit the Thracian Tomb (4-3th century BC) - the oldest tomb and the only one with well-preserved frescoes in Europe.

The trip continues through exciting Shipka Pass to the ethnographic museum architectural complex Etara - open-air museum, where more than 20 workshops demonstrate Traditional Bulgarian crafts. The museum territory covers an area of 7 ha and comprises 50 sites - water technical equipment, houses with craftsman's workshops, places with social importance. The aim of the museum display is showing the architecture, the life style and the economic past of Gabrovo region during the Revival period - the second half of 18 and the 19 centuries. More than 26 main crafts were developed in the town and the goods were sold in different parts of the country and in the region - Bucharest, Vienna, Marseille, Anatolia and other.

Arrival in Veliko Tarnovo. After Dinner - visit an unique attraction in front of the Tsarevets Fortress - Show "Sound and Light". Overnight. (B,L,D)

Distance: Plovdiv - Kazanlak - Veliko Tarnovo (230km - 3.00 h)

Day 06:  Veliko Tarnovo "The ancient Capital"

After breakfast follows a round trip, beginning with the village of Arbanassi, and visits to unique houses of 18th century. The tour continues to Veliko Tarnovo - the ancient capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom from 1187 to 1393. A visit to the historic hill Tsarevets - a medieval fortress Patriarchate and the royal palace.

Afternoon departure to Varna with stop at the unique rock relief Madara Rider and the unique natural phenomenon Stone Forest - petrified wood, with huge rocks older than 50 million years. Both sites are under UNESCO protection. Transfer to your hotel in Goldeb Sands Resort. Dinner and Overnight. (B,L,D)

Distance: Veliko Tarnovo - Varna (224 km - 2.50 h)

Day 07:  Varna "Sea Capital of Bulgaria"

Morning - leisure at the seaside.

Afternoon tour of Varna. Because of its position on the Black Sea, the city is known as "Sea capital of Bulgaria". Varna is also the most important port in Bulgaria. The city, in ancient times called Odessos, was founded by immigrants from Asia Minor city of Miletus in the second quarter of 6th century BC on the ruins of an ancient Thracian settlement. Traces of ancient epochs and civilizations are preserved. Panoramic city tour and a visit to Asparuhov bridge. Visit the third largest in Europe Roman Thermi. When visiting the Historical Museum, one can see the second largest collection with numerous exhibits from the Varna region from the Paleolithic to the late Middle Ages - lavish gold jewelry from the Varna necropolis dating back to Chalkolithikum and evaluated by specialists as the oldest gold in the world.

Trip back to the Golden Sands. Dinner and Overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 08:  Nessebar "Оne of the oldest European towns"

A trip to Nessebar. The city is known as an ancient idyllic fishing village, which is connected to the shore by a narrow, low nose. Protected by UNESCO the town was founded in ancient times as a colony in the place of an ancient Thracian settlement. Nessebar is one of the oldest cities in Europe that carries the spirit of the Thracians, Romans, Slavs, Byzantines and Bulgarians. The greatest wealth of Nessebar are its numerous churches of different times and ages. There are remarkable Nessebar houses from the Renaissance period with high stone foundation and large wooden bays, as well as leading to the sea and cobbled streets. Tour the old city to visit the ruins of fortresses and medieval churches. A visiting to the churches of St Stephen and St Saviour.

Afternoon return to Golden Sands Resort. Dinner and Overnight. (B,L,D)

Distance: Varna - Nessebar - Varna (200 km - 2.40 h)

Day 09:   Archeological reserve Cape Kaliakra

Today our program has a half-day excursion. A journey to the north along the beautiful Bulgarian Black Sea coast - to place one of the most beautiful sights in Bulgaria - Kaliakra - a medieval fortress of great importance. The Cliffs of Kaliakra soar to more than 70 m above the sea with many caves and a wide variety of flowers and herbs. In two of the caves there is a restaurant and a small archaeological museum.

Back in Balchik - interesting small town situated on the steep limestone slopes. Like most towns along the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, Balchik was founded by Greek colonists. Visit the former residence of the Solar Queen Mary and discover the botanical garden, where it houses over 600 species of plants, trees and cactuses.

Return to Golden Sands Resort. Afternoon - leisure at the seaside. Dinner and Overnight. (B,L,D)

Day 10:   End of Tour

Transfer to the Varna Airport and return flight to Sofia. Flight back home.(B)

The Tour includes:                        
  • 09 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;
  • Air ticket Varna - Sofia;
  • Professional guide services throughout the tour;
  • Entrance-fees and taxes to all mentioned objectives - museums, monasteries, attractions, wine tasting, etc;

Further information:

  • 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
  • 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.
  • We would be happy to make a completely new program for you with a roundtrip, which will response better to your expectations.
  • We would recommend to offer also one week staying at the Black Sea Resorts after the trip.
  • We can offer different hotels categories and make a price for bigger or smaller groups or individual tourists.
  • We could modify the tour depending on the duration of your vacation, on the budget you have or the number of the 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.