ALL ABOUT BULGARIA
(9 days – 8 nights – 2016)
1st day Arrival in Sofia. Meet and greet at the International airport in Sofia. Transfer from the airport to the city center. After the hotel accommodation a city tour of Sofia follows.
During this tour you will be able to see some of the most interesting buildings and places in the capital of Bulgaria like “Aleksandar Nevski” Cathedral- the biggest cathedral in Bulgaria and one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world, built in Neo-Byzantine style. The tour continues to the square “Narodno Sabranie” where you will see the building of the National assembly of Bulgaria and the Monument of the Tsar Liberator, erected in honour of the Russian Emperator Alexander II who liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman rule during the Russian-Turkish War 1877-1878. Next highlights of the tour are the Russian church and the National Art Gallery (The old Tzar’s Palace). After that you will walk through the Aleksander Batemberg square to the Archeological museum and the building of the President Institution and this of the Council of the Ministers. Next will be the St Nedelya Church as well as the Mosque nearby and go back to the National Theatre ´Ivan Vazov”.
The day ends with a dinner and overnight in the hotel.
2nd day Sofia – Trojan – Veliko Tarnovo via Koprivstitsa and Gabrovo (about 300km)
Breakfast in the hotel. Followed by a trip to Veliko Tarnovo with first stop in the village of Koprivshtitsa, founded during the 14th century, at the time of the Bulgarian Revival was a center of culture, literature and education, and it managed to keep its magic charm till today. Houses with lovely gardens surrounded by high stone walls and gates built disorderly curved and narrow cobbled streets, numerous stole fountains, arched stone bridges over small mountain streams and the smell of geraniums and peonies, contributes to the attractiveness of the little town. Most of the houses have been turned into museums.
Lunch break follows.
After lunch we continue to the city of Gabrovo and Etara. Visit of the Architectural and Ethnographic complex of Etar – open air museum where you will see the only and unique collection of the old-times water-driven machinery in Bulgaria. All objects are open and working as it was in the past. The craftman trade street offers 16 models to the Balkan architecture, showing the original talent to the Revival builders.
Late afternoon – arrival in Veliko Tarnovo. Accommodation in centrally located hotel. Dinner. Possibility to see the Show “Sounds and Lights”of Tzarevetz against extra payment.
3rd day Veliko Tarnovo – Varna (about 250 km)
After breakfast in the hotel the day starts with a city tour of Veliko Tarnovo – the old capital of Bulgaria. During the tour you will see the old town and visit the Tzarevetz castle. It served as the Second Bulgarian Empire’s primary fortress and the strongest bulwark from 1185 to 1393, housing the royal and the patriarchal palaces.
Lunch break and around 14.00 the tour continues to Varna where first you will do city tour of Varna. Some of the places of interest which you will see in Varna are: Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, Varna Clock Tower, Tzar Kaloyan Monument and the Graf Ignatiev Statue. You will certainly not miss the Theater and the Opera House as well the Armenian Church “St. Sarkis”. Of course The Roman Basilica and the Roman Therms are also included as places of interest. Bridge of Wishes and Alley of the Bulgarian Renaissance and much more sightseeing are also part of the city tour.
Dinner and overnight.
4th day Varna – Balchik – Nessebar (about 190 km)
After breakfast in the hotel you will travel to Balchik – a small town at the Black sea where you will visit the Botanical garden and the Quit Nest Palace. The palace was constructed between 1926 and 1937, during the Romanian control of the region, for the needs of Queen Marie of Romania. The palace consists of a number of residential villas, a smoking hall, a wine cellar, a power station, a monastery, a holy spring, a chapel and many other buildings, as well as the most notable – a park that is today a state-run botanical garden.
Lunch time and travelling to Nessebar.
City tour of the Old Town of Nessebar declared an architectural-historical Reserve of national importance and included in the list of the World Cultural Heritage Sites of UNESCO.
Dinner and overnight.
5th day Nessebar – Kazanlak – Plovdiv (about 330 km)
Breakfast in the hotel and depart to Kazanlak where you will visit the Valley of the Thracian Kings and the Ethnographic museum where you will learn the story of the town. Here is also the Museum of the Rose where you will learn how the rose oil is produced (Bulgaria takes the first placefor producing rose oil used in the perfumery).
Time for lunch.
Departing to the city of Plovdiv where you will have a city tour through the Old city and visit the Roman amphitheater as well the Balabanov’s house and Hissar Kapia. The Ethnographic museum and the Constantin and Elena Church are also included must-see. The Lamartine’s House and Tsanko Lavrenov’s house as well the Roman Stadium are also stops during the route. Plovdiv will be European Capital of Culture in 2019 and there are a lot of events which you will be able if want to see in the museums and on open air in Plovdiv. Dinner and overnight.
6th day Plovdiv – Villa Yustina (about 30 km)
After breakfast in the hotel a tour to the winery Villa Yustina follows. The cellar was founded in late 2006 with their own vineyard to make boutique wines. The wine history of the village dates back to the ancient times. During the tour you will learn the history of the area and will visit the vineyard after that you will see the whole process of the production of wines. And the tour will finish with a wine degustation of 5 types of wines.
In the afternoon there is a return back to the city of Plovdiv and free time.
Dinner and overnight in Plovdiv.
7th day Plovdiv – Bansko with the narrow-gauge (about 180 km)
Breakfast in the hotel and depart to the city of Velingrad by bus. Around 11.15 you will take the train to Bansko. The journey lasts about 3 hours via the picturesque mountains Pirin, Rila and Rodopi and because of the landscape the railroad is called “The Alpine railroad on the Balkans”. You will see the highest railway station in Bulgaria and on the Balkan peninsula – Avramovi kolibi (1267.4 m high), will travel via numerous tunnels, the longest of which is 314.26 m, and bridges over the Chepinska River. The terrain is very difficult that is why the average speed is only 25 km/h but nowadays this is an advantage because you will have time to enjoy the trip and the nature far away from the hectic day.
At about 14.30 arrival in Bansko. Lunch break, transfer and accommodation in Bansko. Free time, dinner and overnight.
8th day Bansko – Melnik – Bansko (about 250 km)
Breakfast in the hotel and transfer to Melnik which is the smallest town in Bulgaria and it is popular of its architecture and wines. In Melnik you will visit the Kordopulov’s house (the largest building from the Bulgarian National Revival) where you will have the possibility to try the wine of Melnik. During the city tour you will enjoy the nature stone wonder Melnik pyramides and will examine from outside one of the oldest houses on the Balkan peninsula “Boyar’s House” which was a residence of Despot Alexius Slav as well the church St. Antonius and the Monastery “St. Virgin Mary Spileotisa” situated in the east part of the city.
In the afternoon coming back to Bansko where you will have a city tour of Bansko which is famous for the original architecture, unique houses, rich icon-painting and woodcarving school, as well as the cultural monuments. The icon-painting school of Bansko established in 18th centrury is famous all over the world and the present exhibition is housed in the oldest building in Bansko which served as a convent of Rila Monastery.
Dinner and overnight in Bansko.
9th day Bansko – Rila Monastery – Sofia International airport (about 250 km)
Breakfast in the hotel and depart to Sofia. On the road you will visit the largest and old Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Monastery – The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila better known as Rila Monastery. It is founded in the 10th century and nowadays is one of Bulgaria’s most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments and key tourist attraction for both -Bulgaria and Southern Europe. The Rila Monastery was reerected at its present place by Hrelyu, a feudal lord, during the first half of the 14th century. The oldest buildings in the complex date from this period – The Tower of Hrelyu (1334-1335) and a small church just next to it. The complex acted as depository of Bulgarian language and culture in the ages of foreign rule. It was declared a national historical monument in 1976 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Lunch break and depart to Sofia. Free time if available in Sofia and transfer to the airport.
END OF THE PROGRAM!
Groups Price per person in DBL
|Groups||Price per person in DBL|
|4-6 pax||1 016 eur|
|7-11 pax||870 eur|
|12-17 pax||664 eur|
|18-29 pax||586 eur|
|30-34 pax||521 eur|
SNG supplement – 174 euro for the whole stay
3rd pax reduction – 80 euro for the whole stay
Child reduction on an extra bed – on request (different age policy of each hotel per program)
Transfer: Sofia international airport – hotel in Sofia
Tourist bus during the whole program (parking fees and road taxes included)
English speaking guide assistance during the whole program
Local guides in Koprivshtitsa, Veliko Tarnovo, Bansko
City tour of Sofia – walking
City tour of Koprivshtitsa (walking) with visits in Ethnographic museum and Lyutov’s house (entrance fee included)
Visit of Troyan Monastery
Visit of Etar (ethnographic open air museum) – entrance fee included
City tour of Veliko Tarnovo including Tzarevetz (entrance fee included) – walking
Visit of the Botanical Garden and the Palace in Balchik (entrance fee included)
City tour of Varna – walking
City tour of Kazanlak with a visit of the Valley of the Thracian kings and the Ethnographic museum (entrance fee included)
City tour of Plovdiv with a visit of Roman amphitheater, Balabanov’s house, Roman Stadium (entrance fee included) – walking
Tour and Wine degustation in Villa Yustina (5 wines)
Train ticket Velingrad-Bansko
City tour of Melnik with a visit of Kordopulovata house and wine degustation (entrance fee included) – walking
City tour of Bansko with a visit of Velyanova house and the Icon exhibition (entrance fee included) – walking
Rila monastery with a visit of the museum (entrance fee included)
8 overnights with breakfast in 3* and 4* hotels as follows
|Sofia||1||Silver house 4* or similar|
|Veliko Tarnovo||1||Rachev hotel Bolyarski 4* or similar|
|Varna||1||Tzerno more 3* or similar|
|Nessebar||1||Vigo 4* or similar|
|Plovdiv||2||Dafi 3* or similar|
|Bansko||2||Gardenia 4* or similar|
PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE:
Everything NOT mentioned in the “prices include”
Tips and every type of personal costs
Drinks except during the breakfast and wine degustation
Lunches and dinners
The program can be changed according to the times of arrival in the appropriate city but all the visits will be done and all the sightseeing will be seen
The tour operator takes responsibility for the quality of the offered services but not for cases caused by greater force (traffic jams, strikes, natural disasters etc.)
The exact name of the hotels will be reconfirmed in case of bookings