Discover the highlights of Bulgaria at your own pace on this tailormade fly-drive itinerary. Drive through green forests, past deep gorges, through the Valley of Roses and over Shipka Pass where the spectacular mountain road forms part of Bulgarka Nature Park. Stop at ancient monasteries, Byzantine churches, hilltop fortresses, openair museums and Roman remains. Taste traditional food, listen to live folk music and be sure to leave the hire car for an evening in Melnik to sample the renowned red wine. The historic town of Veliko Turnovo is a holiday highlight, with its medieval fortress complex.
Price based on 3-star hotels and group A car hire. For upgrades to larger cars and prices for 4-star or 5-star hotel options, please speak to one of our Travel Specialists.
Fly to Sofia and collect the car at the airport. Drive to the hotel in Sofia and check in for an overnight stay.
Drive to Melnik and stop at what is possibly Bulgaria's most famous landmark, Rila Monastery. Drive through green forests to this remarkable site, which is very important to the Bulgarians and played a key role during the centuries of Turkish rule, helping to keep traditional religion and culture alive. Try the delicious trout in one of the restaurants in the surrounding area and arrive in Melnik, where you can sample the renowned red wine. Check in to the hotel for an overnight stay. (B)
Drive to Plovdiv via Rozhen Monastery and admire the ancient murals and stained-glass windows. Continue to Plovdiv and check in to the hotel for 2 nights. (B)
Explore the Old Town with its mix of Roman remains, Byzantine churches and national revival examples and savour the oriental sweetmeats and sip slivovica, a tasty plum brandy. (B)
Drive to Tryavna via Kazanlak and through fields of roses, the trademark of this area, so-called the Valley of Roses. Visit a distillery that produces various rose oil products. Stop at Etar, south of Gabrovo, a fascinating open-air museum, which has recreated life in Bulgaria during the 18th and 19th centuries. Watch arts and crafts being produced, listen to live folk music and taste traditional food. Continue to Tryavna, a charming small town with unique Renaissance architecture set in beautiful countryside. Check in to the hotel for an overnight stay. (B)
Drive to Veliko Turnovo via Shipka Pass. Stop at Shipka Monastery and visit Dryanovo Monastery with its wonderful views en route. Arrive Veliko Turnovo and check in to the hotel for 2 nights. (B)
This morning, take time to tour this historical town built over a series of precipitous hills divided by deep gorges and overlooked by the massive, medieval Tsarevets fortress complex. Arbanassi is a pretty village with more than 90 churches, old houses and the magnificent Nativity Church and is the perfect place to buy hand-made embroidery. (B)
Drive to Sofia via Troyan Monastery and Koprivshtitsa where you can rediscover traditions and folklore of old Bulgaria. Check in to the hotel for an overnight stay. (B)
Free morning before returning the car to the airport. Fly to the UK. (B)
9 day tour, from £660 per person
- Return flights in economy class with British Airways direct from London Heathrow.
- All airport and security charges
- Accommodation in 3/4 star hotels with breakfast
- Meals as specified (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
- Car hire in group A including CDW, theft protection, unlimited mileage and all taxes
- Refundable deposit of 200 Euros will be taken on collection of the car, Satnav £6 per day - this needs to be booked prior to departure
Single room supplement: £155
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