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 3/4star 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 Tryavna via Kazanlak and through fields of roses, the trademark of this area, so-called the Valley of Roses. Perhaps make a stop off at a distillery that produces various rose oil products before heading to the world-famous Kazanlak Thracian Tomb - a UNESCO listed site. Continue the drive through the Shipka pass stopping at Shipka monastery and on to 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)
After time spent in Tryavna, drive to the village of Arbanasi, close to Veliko Tarnovo, visiting Dryanovo Monastery en route. The views are wonderful from here. Arrive Arbanasi and check in to the hotel for 2 nights. Arbanasi 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)
This morning, visit the historical town of Veliko Tarnovo. Built over a series of precipitous hills divided by deep gorges and overlooked by the massive medieval Tsarevets fortress complex. (B)
Drive to Sofia via Troyan Monastery and Koprivshtitsa where you can rediscover traditions and folklore of old Bulgaria. Enjoy another overnight in Sofia. (B)