MUSEUM TOWNS, VILLAGES AND BULGARIAN TRADITION
Destinations to visit with this tour: Arbanasi - Aseneva Fortress - Bachkovo Monastery - Bansko - Devin - Koprivshtitsa - Kovachevitsa - Leshten - Melnik - Pamporovo - Plovdiv - Rila Monastery - Rozhen Monastery - Shiroka Laka - Smolian - Trigrad Gorge - Yagodina Cave
DAY 1 ARRIVAL IN SOFIA
Your tour will begin in Sofia, Bulgaria's capital city. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be taken to your hotel to check-in for your overnight stay.
DAY 2 SOFIA - RILA MONASTERY - BANSKO (150 km.)
Rila Monastery is the most heralded monastery in Bulgaria. The complex situated in the Rila Mountains has attracted worldwide acclaim for its majestic structure. The most reputable ski resort in the country can be found in Bansko on the pristine slopes of Pirin Mountain and this is where you will spend your evening.
DAY 3 BANSKO - ROZHEN MONASTERY - MELNIK (90 km.)
Rozhen Monastery was destroyed by a fire but eventually restored in the 17th century into what is now its current guise - one of the most delightful religious buildings in the country with beautiful wood carvings and iconography. After visiting Rozhen Monastery, you will venture to Melnik, famed for its sandstone pyramids and booming wine trade. The Kordopoulov residence will be another highlight on your overnight stay.
DAY 4 MELNIK - KOVATCHEVITSA - DEVIN (140 km.)
The heights of the Rhodope Mountains are scaled when you visit the villages of Kovatchevitsa and Leshten before moving onto the spa town of Devin, home to the popular mineral water brand. The water from the local mineral springs contains healing properties - an extra incentive if any was needed to soak up the tranquil atmosphere in the comfort of the thermal baths. As you will stay at a local hotel or guesthouse for two nights, several other spa treatments will no doubt be readily available.
DAY 5 DEVIN - TRIGRAD GORGE- CAVE DEVIL'S THROAT -YAGODINSKA CAVE - DEVIN (50 km.)
This leg of the tour is tailor-made for those with a thirst for exploring. The cliffs and gorge at Trigrad make for a stunning prelude into the gloom and glory of the Devil's Throat and Yagodinska caves. Yagodinska cave has been so well-preserved over the years, it now hosts weddings.
DAY 6 DEVIN - SHIROKA LAKA - SMOLYAN - PAMPOROVO (40 km.)
Your adventure in southern Bulgaria continues at the Shiroka Laka cultural preserve before a visit to the principal town of the area, Smolyan. You will then move onto the resort of Pamporovo - a popular ski retreat - to spend the night.
DAY 7 PAMPOROVO - BACHKOVO MONASTERY - PLOVDIV (85 km.)
Bachkovo Monastery is the second-largest in the country. It is renowned for its collection of old icons, coins and metal plates. You will spend the first part of your day here before moving on to the Aseneva Fortress and later the second city of Plovdiv to stay overnight.
DAY 8 PLOVDIV - KOPRIVSHTITSA (70 km.)
Plovdiv is a charming former Roman fortress and has several monuments from this period, such as the Roman Theatre, the Roman Stadium and the Aqueduct. St. Marina Church and the Ethnographic Museum are among other sights to see during your time here. Your next destination, Koprivshtitsa, is famous for being one of the first locations of the April Uprising in 1876 which led to the eventual collapse of Ottoman rule in Bulgaria. It is located in the Sredna Gora mountain range and is notable for its authentic Bulgarian architecture and relics from the National Revival period and longstanding ties with folk music.
DAY 9 KOPRIVSHTITZA - SOFIA (120 km.)
The final leg of the tour is the capital where you will absorb the delights of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Holy Sophia Church, The Russian Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle Maker and the Ivan Vazov Theatre amongst other landmarks.
DAY 10 DEPARTURE TO THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be taken to the airport for your departing flight.
|Transfer||Arrival Transfer Airport – Centre of Sofia, sharing, one way only||Roundtrip Transfer Airport – Hotel - Airport, no assistance only driver;||Roundtrip Transfer Airport – Hotel - Airport, with English-speaking assistance;|
|Guide||English-speaking local guides||English-speaking escort guide throughout, excluding the transfers||English-speaking escort guide throughout;|
|Transport||Air-conditioned vehicles; For parties up to 5 persons – the guide is also a driver;||Modern air-conditioned vehicles; For parties up to 5 persons – the guide is also a driver;||Modern air-conditioned vehicles; For parties up to 5 persons – the guide is also a driver;|
|Hotels||2-3* hotels, with private bathroom; breakfast included; regardless the location, all hotels are conveniently located next to public transport stations with good connections to the city centre.||3* hotels, buffet breakfast included; the hotels are located in the central area of the town;||4* o 5* hotels, buffet breakfast included; top central location; porterage service included|
|Meals||Breakfast||Breakfast||Half board – lunch or dinner according the clients preferences|