The Rose Fields and Monasteries of Bulgaria Tour is a 7 day introduction to the best tourist attractions in Bulgaria, including the annual Rose Festival. You will join the rose picking and be able to take part in the Carnival in Karlovo, the region of the famed rose oil production. View the burial places of ancient Thracian kings and a replica of the UNESCO listed Thracian Tomb in Kazanlak,. Visit the charming Orthodox monasteries and churches. See Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo castle, the old town of Plovdiv, and the UNESCO listed Rila monastery.
6 nights / 7 days Departing May 26 – Jun 1, 2020
- The annual Rose festival in Karlovo which attracts thousands of people from all over the world.
- Accommodation in first class hotels
- Join the local people for the rose-picking in the rose fields
- Take part in the colorful carnival in Karlovo
- BBQ lunch at open air with folklore show
- Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, one of the oldest cities in Europe
- Replica of the UNESCO listed Thracian Tomb in Kazanlak
- Plovdiv, the European Capital of Culture for 2019
- UNESCO listed Rila monastery
Day 1, May 26 – Sofia (D)
Arrival to Sofia airport. Transfer and accommodation at the hotel. Welcome dinner and overnight.
Day 2, May 27 – Sofia – Boyana church (B)
After breakfast we embark on a walking tour around the Bulgarian capital and visit the most interesting historical sights: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St. Sofia Church, which gave the city its name. You will also tour the historical and cultural center of the capital. In the afternoon, we visit the Boyana church (UNESCO Heritage list) with frescoes from the 11-19th centuries. There are several layers of wall paintings in the interior which testify to the high level of wall painting during the different periods. The paintings with the most outstanding artistic value are those from 13th century. Whilst they interpret the Byzantine canon, the images have a special spiritual expressiveness and vitality and are painted in harmonious proportions. The last stop for the day is at the National History museum, full with Ancient treasures showing part of the Bulgarian history. Overnight in Sofia.
Day 3, May 28 – Sofia – Rila Monastery – Plovdiv (B, D)20
After breakfast we set off to Unesco Listed Rila monastery. Founded in the 10th century and destroyed by fire at the beginning of the 19th century, the complex was rebuilt between 1834 and 1862. A characteristic example of the Bulgarian Renaissance (18th–19th centuries), the monument symbolizes the awareness of a Slavic cultural identity following centuries of occupation. It is located in a picturesque mountain area. The Monastery has rich collection of icons and wall paintings. The museum houses a wooden cross of just 81 cm height, carved with 104 religious scenes and 650 figures.
Departure to 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 of Bulgaria and selected as European Capital of Culture for 2019. 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.Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 4, May 29 – Plovdiv – Bachkovo monastery (B)
After breakfast we visit the Bachkovo monastery, one of many beautiful places in Rhodope Mountain. In the afternoon we return to Plovdiv for free time at your leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5, May 30 – Plovdiv – ROSE FESTIVAL – Veliko Tarnovo (B, L)
Today we have an early morning departure, to join the Rose Festival. Firstly, we join the local people in the rose-picking in the rose plantations near Karlovo. Next we witness the procession with the Rose Queen to the main square where there will be a folklore show with dancers. After this, we join the local people and learn how to dance ‘Horo’ a traditional courting dance at festivals. This involves learning a sequence of steps and combining them with movements of the hands while folk music is playing. Sometimes dancers hold each other by their waists or perform a “dancing dialogue” standing opposite each other.
Next we visit an authentic operating rose distillery and learn about the technology of Rose oil production, a highly esteemed component in the perfume and cosmetics industry. A tasting of various rose oil products is included. Finally, we attend the traditional for this festival town carnival – a big attraction for the tourists. Enjoy lunch at open-air barbecue with the folklore program. At the end of the day we depart for Veliko Tarnovo. Accommodation and overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 6, May 31 – Veliko Tarnovo – Arbanassi – Sofia (B, D)
After breakfast we take in a city tour of the old capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo. This includes a visit to the Wax museum, the historical Tsarevets hill with a Fortress upon its crown, the Patriarchal church and the Emperor Baldwin’s Tower. You will walk along the old trade street named: Samovodska charshia. Next is visit of Arbanassi village, famous for its ancient decorated churches and magnificent architecture. A former residence of Bulgarian kings. Departure to Sofia for accommodation, dinner and overnight.
Day 7, June 1 – Sofia
After breakfast , enjoy a free morning before the transfer to the airport.
Hotels in the program (or similar):
- Sofia – Rosslyn Thracia hotel 4*
- Plovdiv – Alliance hotel 4*
- Veliko Tarnovo – family hotel Gurko 3*
Prices per person in DBL/twin share:
- 2 participants EUR 1195
- 4 participants EUR 895
- 6 participants EUR 735
- SGL-room supplement EUR 170
Tour prices include:
- Accommodation for 6 nights first class hotels
- 10 meals – 6 breakfasts, 3 dinners and 1 lunch in Karlovo
- Transportation by a comfortable car, van or minibus. For groups up to 6 passengers, the guide will also drive
- Entertainment program in Karlovo
- Tickets for the Rose Festival in Karlovo central square
- Parking fees and road taxes.
- All entrance tickets for the tour objects visited
- Professional English speaking guide.
- Detailed map of Bulgaria
- Porterage in the hotels.
Tour prices don’t include:
- Other meals than mentioned.
- Flight tickets to Bulgaria