Day 1: Pick up from the airport. Transfer to your hotel. Accommodation. Short rest. Pick up directly from your hotel. We will start with walking tour in the city center - visit the Saint Nedelya Church, the Council of Ministers, the Presidency, the National Theater, the Ruins of Serdica and St. Rotonda Church dating from 4 th century AC, the Russian Church, the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral- the biggest and the most impressive on the Balkan Peninsula, the Saint Sophia early Christian basilica, which has given the city its name. Few steps ahead you will see the Parliament square and the Monument of Tzar Liberator. Dinner. Overnight.
Day 2: Departure to Bachkovo Monastery/ 20km from Plovdiv/ - the second largest monastery after the Rila Monastery. The complex and its neighborhoods have grown into a developed tourist sight where dozens of small shops, stalls, and restaurants stand on both sides of the walkway to the gates and appeal with their variety to visitors. Here you can buy rare herbs, home made honey and products made of buffalo's and sheep's milk. Continue to Plovdiv.
Visit to the Old Town. It is declared an architectural museum reserve with over 150 monuments of culture. Its magnificent houses are turned into museums, galleries, workshops, restaurants. There are also parlours and studios of painters and wood-carvers. Visit the Ancient Roman Amphitheater (2nd century A.C) and the Roman Stadium. Accommodation. Dinner in a traditional restaurant with folklore program. Overnight.
Day 3: Departure to Veliko Tarnovo. On our way we will pass by the town of Kazanlak where will visit the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak - the monument dates back to the 4th century BC and has been on the UNESCO protected World Heritage Site list since 1979. Visit of the Russian Church (12 km of Kazanlak) in the foothills of Stara Planina. Its golden domes and the green and pink coloured facade loom against the mountains and attract the attention of the travellers in the Shipka pass.
Next stop is to the other side of the pass where we will visit "Etara" - an open air museum. It is the first museum presenting the historic past, economic development and the way of living of the population in 18 - 19th c. The shopping street represents the way crafts were practiced locally in the mid-19th century. Continue to Veliko Tarnovo – capital city of The Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Accommodation in a hotel in Veliko Turnovo or Arbanassi. Dinner. Overnight.
Day 4: After breakfast: tour of the city. Visit to "Tsarevets" - a mediaeval stronghold located on a hill with the same name. It served as the Second Bulgarian Empire's primary fortress and strongest bulwark from 1185 to 1393, housing the royal and the patriarchal palaces. 47 churches and 400 residential houses have been discovered in the whole complex. Fortified walls and defensive towers surround the city.
The tower of Baldwin is the most famous and is an evidence for the power of the Bulgarian Kingdom. We will continue our tour by visiting the old Marketplace Samovodska Tcharshia. Only 4 km from Veliko Turnovo is Arbanassi, a charming village with an eventful history and fascinating architecture. Thirty six of its 80 houses and the five local churches have been declared for national monuments of culture. Departure to Sofia.
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Europe Bulgaria Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History
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