The Best of Bulgaria is a 10 day small group (max. 10 people), guided tour that presents the best of nature and heritage of Bulgaria. You will see ancient towns like Nessebar and Plovdiv, the ancient Thracian culture and the mysterious Madara Horseman, the wild nature of Ropotamo reserve, the Valley of Roses and so you’ll reach the excellent beaches at the Black Sea coast. We start from the 8,500 year old town Sofia called “My Rome” by Emperor Constantine the Great 17 centuries ago!
10 days to Visit: Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanassi, Shumen, Varna, Balchik, Nessebar, Sozopol, Ropotamo, Burgas, Kazanlak, Skobelevo, Plovdiv, Bachkovo Monastery, Rila Monastery, Sofia
The Best of Bulgaria Highlights:
- Limited group tour with up to 10 passengers
- Accommodation in first class, tourist class and typical hotels
- Traditional meals in authentic restaurants
- Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia – one of the oldest cities in Europe
- UNESCO listed Boyana church – its magnificent mural paintings had initiated the beginning of the European Renaissance
- UNESCO listed Madara horseman rock formation – a mystical spot with one of the strongest energy zones in the country
- The first Bulgarian capital Pliska
- The oldest processed gold in the world in Varna archeological museum
- UNESCO listed old town of Nessebar – one of the oldest settlements on the Black sea coast with beautiful ancient churches
- The historic hill of Tsarevets with the royal castle in the old Bulgarian capital Veliko Tarnovo
- Replica of the UNESCO listed Thracian Tomb in Kazanlak
- Old town of Plovdiv – 19th century houses and Roman ruins, including a Roman Theatre, also in use today
- Bachkovo monastery with the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary
- UNESCO listed Rila monastery – the biggest Bulgarian spiritual centre
Day 1 – Sofia (D)
Arrival to Sofia. Transfer from the airport and accommodation at 4* hotel in the city-centre. Welcome dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2 – Sofia & surroundings – UNESCO listed Boyana Church (B)
After breakfast – panoramic tour around the Bulgarian capital – an 8500-years old city called “My Rome” by the emperor Constantine The Great. Visit the most fascinating places of interest: the forum of Ancient Serdica (the 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 worship buildings of the main religions in Bulgaria are located next to each other. These are the Orthodox Church St. Nedelya, the Catholic church, the Synagogue and the Mosque. They form a quadrangle, symbolizing 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, “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 church on the Balkan peninsula).
Next we will visit the most remarkable object in the outskirts of Sofia, in the foot of Vitosha Mountain. This is Boyana Church – a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church situated in the Boyana district, near Sofia. The monument 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 by your own. Walk along through the pedestrian 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 Sofia.
Day 3 – Sofia – Arbanassi – Veliko Tarnovo (B, D)
Departure to the village of Arbanassi. The village is famous for its ancient, richly decorated churches and magnificent architecture. It used to be a residence of the Bulgarian kings.
Departure to the old capital of Bulgaria – Veliko Tarnovo. Visit to the historical hill Tsarevets with the Fortress, the Patriarchal church and the Emperor Baldwin’s Tower. You will walk along the old Trade Street – “Samovodska charshia”.
Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 4 – Veliko Tarnovo – Shumen – Varna (B)
After breakfast – departure for the region of Shumen town. Visit of the architecture reserve with a stone, 25 m high bas-relief of Madara Horseman, which is under the protection of UNESCO. This mystical place is one of the strongest energy zones in Bulgaria with healthy and psychology effects over the people who have been there.
Departure for the first capital of Bulgaria – Pliska (VII-IX century). Visit of the Archeological reserve complex and the Great Basilica – is real masterpiece of mediaeval architecture. It was the biggest Christian orthodox temple in Southeast Europe in IX century.
Set off to Varna – the sea capital of Bulgaria and the biggest port on the Bulgarian Black sea cost. On the way – visit to the nature phenomenon “The Stone Forest” – a magical place with many stone figures, dated tens of thousands years back in time.
Arrival in Varna in the afternoon. Accommodation and overnight at the hotel.
Day 5 – Varna – Balchik – Varna (B)
After breakfast – panoramic tour around the sea capital of Bulgaria – Varna, with visit to the Archeological museum, where the oldest processed gold in the world is exhibited.
Departure to Balchik, also called “The White Town”. Visit the summer residence of the Romanian Queen Maria, a palace, located on the sea shore.
Overnight in Varna.
Day 6 – Varna – Nessebar – Sozopol – Ropotamo – Burgas (B, L)
After breakfast – departure for Nessebar, an ancient town, located on a small peninsula. With its churches – more than 40, dated from different eras, and some of them considered being the most conserved buildings from the Middle Ages on the Balkans, Nessebar is listed in UNESCO world heritage list. We will enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of the old architecture of the houses, the romantic narrow streets with painters, etc. Lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the sea.
We will proceed to the ancient town of Sozopol, founded by Greek colonists. The relics of St. John the Baptist were recently found here.
Boat trip along Ropotamo river. Set off to Burgas – the biggest city at the Southern Black sea coast. Accommodation and overnight in Burgas.
Day 7 – Burgas – Kazanlak – Plovdiv (B, D)
Breakfast. Set off to Kazanlak – the capital of the Rose valley and Thracian Kings.
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 listed in the world natural and historical heritage of UNESCO. Next is visit of authentic rose oil distillery – a producer of Bulgarian Rose oil since 1909.
In the late afternoon we will reach Plovdiv, the “City of the seven hills’’. Plovdiv is the oldest city in Europe, still existing today. It was called Philippopolis in the IV century B.C. in honor of King Philip II of Macedonia. Today Plovdiv is a cultural center and is selected as European Capital of Culture for 2019. Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 8 – Plovdiv – Bachkovo monastery – Plovdiv (B)
After breakfast – Walking tour of the Old Town of Plovdiv, impressive with the houses-museums of the Revival period like the Ethnographical museum; the Ancient Theater, the Fortress walls, the oldest church in the city – “St. St. Constantine and Helena”, etc. We will see the Muslim temple Dzhoumaya Mosque and the Roman Stadium on the main street of Plovdiv.
Next is visit of Bachkovo Monastery. Founded in 11th century by two Georgian brothers, this is the second largest Bulgarian Monastery after the Rila Monastery. There are extremely valuable frescos of biblical subjects from 16th century in the old monastic dining room. The Icon of Virgin Mary, the patron Saint of the monastery, is considered as miraculous.
Return to Plovdiv in the afternoon. Free time at leisure. Overnight.
Optional: Dinner with wine tasting in the boutique wine-cellar “Todoroff”, near the village of Brestovica, where a red wine of high quality is produced.
Day 9 – Plovdiv – Rila Monastery – Sofia (B, L)
Breakfast. Departure to Rila Monastery (X c.)- the biggest Bulgarian spiritual center since the Middle Ages till nowadays, included in UNESCO World Heritage List. It’s located in a picturesque mountain area. The Monastery has rich collection of icons and wall-paintings. Its museum keeps a real treasure: a wooden cross of just 81 cm height, carved with 104 religious scenes and 650 figures.
Visit of the monastery and lunch at the nearby restaurant, famous for its dishes from mountain trout.
Return to Sofia. Accommodation and overnight.
Day 10 – Sofia (B)
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport according the flight details and flight back home.
- Sofia – Sofia Place 3*
- Veliko Tarnovo – Family Hotel Silvestar 3*
- Varna – Hotel Divesta 3*
- Burgas – Hotel Aqua 3*
- Plovdiv – Park Hotel Plovdiv 3*
- Similar hotels will be used if they are booked out
2021 Price Per Person in Euro (min. 2 people)
- Price per person in Euro
- USD prices will vary with the exchange rate
2021 Private Guides
- Departure any date
- Large group prices are available on request click HERE
- Accommodation for 9 nights at 3* hotels
- 14 meals – 9 breakfasts, 3 dinners and 2 lunches
- Throughout transportation by a comfortable car, van or mini bus. for groups up to 6 passengers, the guide is also a driver
- Parking fees and road taxes.
- All entrance fees for the museums, sites and churches.
- Professional English speaking guide for touring days and English-speaking assistant for airport transfers
- Detailed map of Bulgaria
- Porterage in the hotels.
- Other meals than mentioned.
- Flight tickets to Bulgaria
- Half board (dinner) supplement – 20 EUR per person per day
- Dinner with folklore show in Sofia – 45 EUR per person
- Wine tasting in wine-cellar “Todoroff” – EUR 20 per person
See our other Bulgarian tours here:
Circle Tour EU1001 – 8 days Sofia to Tarnovo
The Treasures of Bulgaria EU205 – 8 days from Sofia to veliko Tarnovo, Troyan, Valley of the Roses, Plovdiv, Backoro, Rila
Bulgaria and Romania – 9 days – Sofia, Rila Monastery, Plovdiv, Kazanlak, Veliko Tarnovo, Bucharest, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Bran, Brasov, Sinaia, Bucharest – Tour EU206
The Grand Tour EU1002 – 10 days from Sofia focusing on culture and nature
Balkan Mountain Eco Adventure EU202 – 8 days through ancient mountain passes, eco parks, monasteries, medieval villages
Rose Fields and Monasteries EU203 – 6 days of the most popular Bulgarian attractions
Rose Festival in Bulgaria EU204 – 6 days during the famous Rose festival when the petals for rose oil are picked
Learn more about Bulgaria here