Day 1: Afternoon arrival at Sofia airport to meet local staff and guide. Transfer to a hotel in Sofia by private air-conditioned bus. Distance and driving time: 10 miles, 30 min. Check-in for 3 nights. Guided city tour by bus and walk in downtown area: the Sofia University; the National Assembly (the Parliament); Alexander Nevski Cathedral; St. Sophia basilica, 6 century; the National Theatre; former Royal Palace; Serdica Fortifications, 2–3 centuries; St. George Rotunda, 4th century. Welcome dinner in the hotel. The Portrait of Dessislava, Boyana Church, 1259.
Day 2: All day in Sofia. Depart hotel for guided visits and sightseeing: the National Museum of History; the Boyana Church, 12-13 centuries, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lunch at the Boyana Restaurant close to the church. Afternoon: the Crypt, a renowned Orthodox Icons Exhibition. Free in town or Shopping Boutique Women's Fashion. Evening: depart hotel for dinner in a folk style restaurant.
Day 3: Morning: depart hotel for excursion: the Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Distance and driving time: 160 miles, 4 h 30 min. Lunch in a restaurant in the mountains. Return to the hotel in Sofia. Depart hotel for opera/concert performance at the National Opera/ Bulgaria Concert Hall. Late dinner in the hotel.
Day 4: Transfer Day. Morning: depart hotel. Guided visit and sightseeing en route: the historical town - museum of Koprivshtitsa. Lunch in a local restaurant en route. Guided visit to the Kazanluk Thracian mound, 4 BC, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Evening: arrive in Veliko Turnovo and check-in at a hotel (3*) for the next 2 nights. Distance and driving time: 195 miles, 5h. dinner in the tavern of the hotel.
Day 5: All day in Veliko Turnovo. Morning: guided visits and sightseeing in the capital city of the 2 Bulgarian Kingdom (12-14 centuries): the Constitutional Assembly Museum; Tsarevets Hill Fortress. Lunch in a local national style restaurant. Afternoon: the historical village of Arbanassi: a beautifully painted church and an ethnographic house. Drive to the wine cellar of Lyaskovets for guided tour and tasting of wines.
Late afternoon: return to Veliko Turnovo for guided walking sightseeing tour in the National Revival architectural reserve area and free in town or shopping silver jewelry. Dinner in the hotel. Optional: dramatic “Son et Lumiere” laser show at the medieval fortress in the evening (not included in price).
Day 6: Transfer Day. Morning: depart hotel. Guided visits and sightseeing en route: the Unique Museum of Humor and Satire in Gabrovo; the Etura Open-air Architectural and Ethnographic Museum of Traditional Art and Crafts. Lunch in a local national style restaurant en route. Continue via historical Shipka Pass in the Balkan Mountains. Evening: arrive Plovdiv and check-in at a hotel (4*) for the last 2 nights. Distance and driving time: 125 miles, 4 h. Dinner in the hotel.
Day 7: All day in Plovdiv. Morning: guided sightseeing tour in downtown area by walk: the Roman Forum and Stadium, 2–3 centuries; the Roman Amphitheater, 2 century; the Fortress Walls, 2–3 centuries; the Ethnographic Museum; art galleries, historical houses, etc. Lunch in a national style restaurant in the Old Town. Afternoon: drive for visit the 11th century Bachkovo Monastery (optional). Distance and driving time: 40 miles, 1h. Late afternoon: return to the hotel and free in town, shopping women's fashion. Farewell dinner in town.
Day 8: Transfer Day. Morning: free in town. Depart hotel and direct transfer to Sofia Airport. Distance and driving time: 100 miles, 2 h. C heck-in for departure flight. End of Program.
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