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The Treasures of Bulgaria – Escorted Tour # EU205

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Antic Theater


Find out where Spartacus was born, while visiting the most famous and popular tourist treasures of Bulgaria.

7 nights/ 8 days 

 

2019 departure dates: 16 Mar, 13 Apr, 11 May, 8 Jun, 6 Jul, 17 Aug, 14 Sep, 5 Oct

This tour is a mixture of the beautiful countryside and historical heritage. From the ancient Thracian sites to charming Orthodox monasteries, beautiful mountain ranges, and medieval ruins that are testaments of Medieval grandeur. Small group tours with guaranteed departures with minimum two people to several UNESCO World Heritage sites

Highlights of the program:
Rila Monastery
(UNESCO Heritage Site), The historic hill of Tsarevets in Veliko Tarnovo, Etara open air museum, Shipka peak, the Thracian tombs in Kazanlak (UNESCO site), Rose fields and rose oil perfumeries, Old Plovdiv, Bachkovo Monastery, Melnik,Boyana Church UNESCO site, overnight in the historical village of Leshten with train ride through the Rhodopes mountains

Day 1 Welcome to Sofia an 8500 years old town
Arrival to Sofia. Overnight. D.

Day 2 “Sofia is my Rome” The Renaissance began in… Boyana Church
After breakfast panoramic tour around the Bulgarian capital, an 8500 old city called “My Rome” by Emperor Constantine The Great. Visit to the most fascinating places of interest: The forum of Ancient Serdica (old name of the city) with the newest archeological discoveries from Roman time which are exhibited next to the Bulgarian presidency.  Next is the St. Nedelya square, where 4 temples from different religions are located next to each other: The Catholic church, The Orthodox church, The Synagogue and The Mosque are forming quadrangle, which symbolize the peace between different religions in Bulgaria.  Our tour continues with the Alexander I square where the Royal Palace and the National Theatre are located, the Tzar Osvoboditel boulevard, the Parliament, the Church of St. Sofia (the name means wisdom), which had given the name of the city, the Sofia University and the Alexander Nevsky cathedral (the biggest Orthodox temple on the Balkan peninsula). In the afternoon we will visit the most important site in the vicinity of Sofia, the Boyana Church at the foot of Vitosha Mountain. Boyana Church is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church situated in the Boyana district, near Sofia and is  included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The church is one of the most completely and perfectly preserved monuments of east European medieval art. The frescoes in the church, painted in 1259, make it one of the most important collections of medieval paintings and initiating the beginning of the European Renaissance. In the afternoon free time to explore Sofia on your own. Walk along through the recently reconstructed pedestrian zone Vitosha Art Boulevard. This is the place in Sofia, where you can feel the spirit and live of the city. There are a lot of boutiques, shops, cozy cafes and restaurants. Optional: Dinner at a typical Bulgarian folk style restaurant. Excellent cuisine, great selection of wines and folklore show. Overnight in the hotel. B.

Day 3 Sofia – Arbanasi- Veliko Turnovo, the Capital of the second Bulgarian Kingdom
After breakfast we depart to Arbanassi, This former residence of the Bulgarian kings is a historic village with richly decorated buildings and churches where we will have a chance to have  a home made lunch in a local rural house. Continue to the old capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo. Visit to the ruins of the historical hill Tsarevets with the Fortress, the Patriarchal church and the Emperor Baldwin’s Tower.  We will walk along the old Trade Street where you can browse around the souvenir shops and galleries. Overnight In Veliko Turnovo. B,L.

Day 4.  Veliko Turnovo- Kazanlak, Rose Valley- Plovdiv
This morning  departure to Etara, a unique open air museum, reproducing the way of life and the business of the Bulgarians in the 19th c.  where you can view  historic “washing machines”.
Continue to Kazanlak – the capital of the Rose valley and Thracian Kings. The road to Kazanlak passes by Shipka peak, with a monument to the liberators of Bulgaria during the Turkish -Russian wars for 1877-78. From the monument’s top, over 1100 m above sea level, there is a wonderful view to North and South Bulgaria. You will learn about the crucial battles that changed the course of the Russian-Turkish wars. In Kazanlak we will visit the Historical Museum, which houses collection of bronze and gold treasures, as well the replica of Thracian Kazanlak Tomb, dating back to the 4th C. B.C. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Departure to Tarnichen village where we will visit the a family run rose oil distillery from more than 110 years. The hosts will show how the famous Bulgarian rose oil (used in the perfumery) is produced. In the late afternoon we will reach Plovdiv, the city of the seven hills founded by Philip of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. B,D.

Day 5 – Plovdiv -Kostandovo – Rhodopes Mountain- Leshtein
After breakfast we visit to the Old Plovdiv, with the some of the museum houses, the oldest church “St. Constantine and Elena”, the Antique Theatre and the Roman Stadium and the Muslim Temple. Free time for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the only one carpet factory, producing giant carpets of more than 100 m2. The clients of this small family run factory are world celebrities as Queen Elizabeth II, also castles and huge properties owners from North America and Europe. An attractive train trip in the mountain follows. The train is moving on narrow (70 cm) railway lines. You will pass through points, offering unique views of the Rhodopes Mountains. Arrival at the “Bulgarian Hollywood” – a real “Eldorado” for the fans of photo safari. These villages of Kovachevitsa and Leshten were filmed in several historical movies. The houses in Leshten are fully furnished with authentic furnishing inside. Accommodation, dinner and overnight in the unique atmosphere of the ancient houses of Leshten village – architectural treasures with old houses from the beginning of the 19th c. carefully preserved. B, D.

Day 6 – Leshten village – Harsovo wine tasting – Melnik – Sandanski
Breakfast. You can enjoy your morning coffee in the serene calm atmosphere of Leshten village.
Today we travel through the picturesque southern parts of Pirin Mountain to reach the most famous wine growing regions in Bulgaria, the region of Struma River valley. Wine tasting in a family run winery in Harsovo village.
Then we descend to Melnik, the town of the sand pyramids and the smallest one in Bulgaria (once there lived some 18 000 people, and nowadays there are no more than 700-800 inhabitants). This is a unique unforgettable place. Visit of Kordopulova museum-house built in the style of the Bulgarian national revival and formerly owned by a wealth local merchant.
Lunch in Melnik. Arrival in Sandanski, one of the biggest SPA resorts in the country famous for its fresh mountain air and mineral waters in the second highest mountain in Bulgaria. The mountain has about 100 peaks at an altitude more than 2000 m and is an UNESCO-protected site! Sandanski is also the birthplace of the legendary Roman slave Spartacus. Accommodation and overnight in Sandanski. Free time to walk along the city’s park and pedestrian street. Overnight. B, L.

Day 7 – The Treasury of the Rila monastery – Sofia
Breakfast. Take off to the Rila monastery, founded in the 10-th c., the biggest Bulgarian medieval spiritual center. The monastery has a rich collection of icons, wall-paintings, old-printed books – about 15 000 volumes. It is included in the UNESCO list of world heritage. Visit of the monastery and lunch in a nearby restaurant, famous with its dishes of mountain trout. In the afternoon – return to Sofia. Accommodation.  B, L

Day 8
After breakfast – free time. Transfer to the airport and flight back home.

2019 Prices Per Person (min. 2) In Euro:
($ rate based on the exchange rate of the day)

Rates in Euros STANDARD Tour per person based on 2 people traveling together Economy Tour per person based on 2 people traveling together Single supplement Standard tour based on 2 people traveling together Single supplement Economy tour based on 2 people traveling together

March, April, May, Sep and Oct 

1259

942

242

114

June, July, Aug 

1259

1017

247

112

 

Tours can be organized on any other day, prices vary depending on the number of people in your party. Please inquire!

Includes:

  • Accommodation for 7 nights in best available hotels 4*, 3* and rural houses in the village of Leshten
  • 13 meals:  7 breakfasts, 3 dinners and 3 lunches. With economy tour only breakfasts are included.
  • A/C vehicle with driver during the whole trip
  • Parking fees and road taxes
  • All entrance fees for the museums, sites and churches
  • Train journey in the Rhodopes mountains
  • Wine tasting in Melnik
  • Professional English speaking guide
  • Detailed map of Bulgaria
  • Porterage in the hotels on 4 star tour, no portage with economy tour.

Tour prices do not include:

  • Meals other than mentioned
  • Beverages
  • Flight tickets to Bulgaria

 Optional: Dinner with folklore show in Sofia: 42 EUR per person

 

Hotels used:
Standard tours:
Sofia Best Western Thracia 4*, Veliko Turnovo: Grand hotel Yantra 4*, Plovdiv: Ramada Trimontium 4* Leshten: Rural House, Sandanski: Interhotel 4*

Economy category: Sofia: Arthotel Simona 3*, Veliko Turnovo: Family hotel Silvestar 3*, Plovdiv: Park hotel 3* Leshten: Rural House, Sandanski: St. Nikola 3*

 

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