Day 1: Sofia – Rila monastery – Sandanski
Arrival in Sofia. Depart to the Rila Monastery (Distance SOF-RILA: 135 km). Lunch in a local restaurant nearby the monastery. You will take a guided tour of the monastery complex. It is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria, founded in the 10th century. The monastery became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Continue to Southern Bulgaria. Overnight is Sandanski – one of the most famous spa resorts in the coutnry, famous for the curative mineral springs and the healthy climate conditions. (Distance RILA-SAN: 80 km).
Day 2: Sandanski – Melnik – Rozhen monastery - Sandanski
Breakfast. Excursion to the smallest town in Bulgaria – Melnik, with population of only 390 people. (Distance SAN-MEL: 25 km). The town has long history and picturesque scenery. The unique architecture and the impressive natural sand pyramids make Melnik a popular touristic destination. The region is also well known for the red wine.
Wine-tasting in one of the typical cellars in the town. Not far is situated the Rozhenski monastery – one of the several Bulgarian medieval cloisters, which preserved its original appearance quite good. Following breakfast you will proceed to Kazanlak and the valley of Roses. (Distance MEL-ROZH: 7 km). In the afternoon, free time for spa treatments (optional) or enjoy the mineral water swimming pool in the hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 3 Sandanski – Velingrad – Plovdiv - Hissar
After breakfast, depart to Plovdiv via Velingrad – a notable spa resort in Bulgaria (Distance SAN – VEL - PLO: 235 km). Lunch and city tour of the Old town of Plovdiv. During this tour you will see numerous preserved historical sites of different ages: the Roman theatre (early 2nd century BC) and Stadium (late 2nd century BC), the St. St. Constantine and Elena Church. Transfer to Hissar – an ancient town, which was a wealthy healing center during the age of the Roman empire. Today, the town is a modern spa resort suitable for balneo-therapy. There are 22 mineral springs – 16 natural and 6 deeply drilled with temperature ranging from 37 to 51 degrees. Dinner and overnight in a spa hotel. (Distance PLOV-HISS: 45km).
Day 4 Hissar – Kazanlak – Starosel – Hissar
Breakfast. Departure to Kazanlak and the valley of roses. Going back in time by visiting one of the UNESCO sites – the Thracian tomb of Kazalak. You will visit also the Ethnographic complex “Kulata”. Lunch in a local restaurant and tasting of rose liquor. Departure to the Thracian cult complex by the village of Starosel. It is assumed that it is most probably the tomb of King Sitalkes (431-424 BC). In addition to the burial, this sanctuary was also location of common rituals related to the Thracian cult and beliefs. (Optional – wine tasting in the wine cellar of Starosel complex). Return to Hissarya. Free time for spa procedures. Dinner and overnight. (Distance HISS-KAZ-STAR-HISS: 180 km).
Day 5: Hissarya – Koprivshtitsa - Sofia
Depart to Sofia (Distance HIS-KOPR-SOF: 185 km). On the way, stop for a walk in one of the most charming towns in Bulgaria. Koprivshtitsa is an architectural reserve and one of the centers of the Bulgarian education, literature and culture from the National Revival Period. The spirit from the Bulgarian Renaissance Period is everywhere in the town. Continue to Sofia. Enjoy a city tour of the 7000 year-old city. You will see the Saint Sofia Church, built in the middle of the 6th century under the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, that gave the city its name; the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral – one of the largest Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; St. George’s Rotunda and many other interesting sites. Boyana church is also on the agenda – with its frescoes from 1259, the church wins its place on the UNESCO World heritage list. Dinner in a traditional Bulgarian restaurant with folklore show. Overnight.
Day 6: Sofia
Breakfast and transfer to the Sofia airport.
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