- Duration: 6 Days.
- Tour Destinations: Sofia, Rila Monastery, Plovdiv, Kazanlak, Etara, Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanassi.
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 to the Saint Nedelya Church, the Council of Ministers, the Presidency, the National Theater, the Ruins of Serdica and St. Rotonda Church dating from 4th 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: Full day tour to the Rila Monastery - the richest historical and architectural monument of the Orthodox enclave, founded in 10th century and transformed to the most important spiritual and cultural center of Bulgaria. The Rila Monastery is located in 1147 meters altitude in the middle of the fragrant coniferous forests of Rila Mountain. It is a complex of cultural, dwelling and farming buildings which take about 8800 square meters. The Rila Monastery has an unique architecture and is recognized by UNESCO as part of the world heritage list. Departure to Plovdiv. Overnight.
Day 3: 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 to the Ancient Roman Amphitheater (2nd century A.C) and the Roman Stadium. 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. Return to Plovdiv. Dinner in a traditional Bulgarian restaurant with folklore program and dances. Overnight.
Day 4: Departure to Tryavna (20 km from Veliko Turnovo). On our way we will visit the Kazanlak Tomb - a Thracian tomb dating back to the end of the 4th- the beginning of the 3rd century BC. The frescoes in the burial chamber and in the corridor are of extreme artistic value (1979). Continue to the village of Shipka situated at the foothills of Stara Planina Mountain. Visit to the Memorial Shipka Church which was built in living memory to the Russian soldiers and Bulgarian revolutionaries who died during the Russian-Turkish Liberation War of 1877-1878. Cross the Shipka Pass. To the other side of the pass we will visit "Etara" - an open air museum. The shopping street represents the way crafts were practiced locally in the mid-19th century. Accommodation and dinner at hotel in Tryavna. Overnight.
Day 5: Departure to Veliko Tarnovo – capital city of The Second Bulgarian Kingdom. City tour and 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. 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. The historic reserve Bozhentsi is located nearby. Departure to Sofia. Overnight.
Day 6: Optional: Visit of the Museum of History and Boyana Church – UNESCO site - one of the most valuable memorials of Bulgarian and European culture. The church boasts frescoes, acclaimed by specialists as “the best examples of eastern medieval art during its twelve century history”.
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