|18 May - 24 May|
Often overlooked in favour of the bustling cities of their Western-European neighbours, the Balkan capitals make fantastic destinations for a short break without the crowds or high price tags. Discover two of Bulgaria’s most charming and dynamic cities, Sofia and Plovidv, each heaving with character and rich history.
Arrive in Sofia and transfer to the hotel in the heart of the city.
Enjoy a half day city tour of Sofia. Visit the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the Church of St. Sophia, which gave the name to the city, the Round Church of St. George dating back to the 4th century, the Russian church of St. Nicholas, the impressive buildings of the National Theatre and the Parliament Drive to Rila Monastery – one of the greatest centres of scholarship and religion in Bulgaria during the National Revival Period. Founded in the middle of the 10th century it played a key role in preserving Bulgarian culture and language over the centuries, and is now a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the monastery church with its amazing frescoes and the monastery museum. (B,L)
Today, set off for Veliko Tarnovo. Stop en route to visit Koprivshtitsa, an historic town, known for its authentic Bulgarian architecture, still preserving the atmosphere of the Bulgarian National revival period of the 19th century. Continue to Veliko Tranov and check in to your hotel. In the evening, visit the oldest merchant street in the town, Samovodska Charshia, where you can see masters who pursue their crafts according to old traditions. (B)
Enjoy a morning walking tour of Veliko Tarnovo. Start on Tsarevets Hill, where the Bulgarian kings once lived and continue to Arbanassi, a small Bulgarian village situated 4 km from Veliko Tarnovo to visit the Konstancalieva Ethnographical House and the Church of Nativity, whose mural-paintings are considered a real masterpiece. Leaving behind Arbanassi, visit Etara open air museum, which proudly displays the architecture, lifestyle and economic history of the Gabrovo region during the Revival period. Cross the Balkan Mountains through the Shipka Pass and stop in Kazanlak, where you will see the UNESCO listed Thracian Tomb with its Hellenistic frescoes from the 3rd century BC. Proceed through the famous Valley of Roses arriving in Plovdiv – the second largest city in Bulgaria. (B)
Plovdiv is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Bulgaria. It is Europe’s oldest continuously-habited city and voted the European Capital of Culture for 2019. Wander through the cobbled streets of the Old Town and take in the beautiful architecture preserved from the Bulgarian Revival period. Visit the Amphitheatre, which dates back to Roman times, the Ethnographic museum and the Church of St. Konstantine and Elena. Stop for lunch in the nearby village of Brestovitsa where you can enjoy wine tasting and gourmet dishes prepared by a local Chef. In the afternoon, proceed to Bachkovo monastery dating back to the 11th century and visit the monastery church and refectory. Drive back to Plovdiv stopping en route to see the medieval Asenova fortress. (B,L)
Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)
|Itinerary Dates||From Price||Single Room Supp.|
18 May 2019
24 May 2019