|28 May - 04 Jun|
10 Sep - 17 Sep
On this small group tour gain an invaluable insight into the history and culture of Bulgaria as you journey between some of the country’s most famous sites, from Sofia’s historic centre to enigmatic Asen’s Fortress. Explore UNESCO-listed tombs, wonder at ancient frescoes, follow some stunning roads through dramatic landscapes, and take a guided tour of the 2019 European Capital of Culture, Plovdiv. This tour combines the most magnificent natural and historical landmarks of Bulgaria, with the secrets of the traditional local culture and cuisine in a fantastic eight day itinerary – the best of Bulgaria.
Fly to Sofia and on arrival, meet your driver and guide for the transfer to the hotel. Check in for an overnight stay. Set out on a walking tour of the historic centre of Bulgaria’s capital city. Some of the highlights include Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the Parliament, Banya Bashi Mosque and the National Theatre. Settle in for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (D)
After breakfast, leave Sofia and head to Veliko Tarnovo, the medieval capital of Bulgaria. On the way, stop at Troyan Monastery, Bulgaria’s third largest monastery built in 1600 by some hermit monks. Enjoy a delicious lunch in a traditional restaurant and then explore Veliko Tarnovo with your guide. Learn about the city’s dramatic past and its main highlight - Tsarevets, the castle of the Bulgarian kings. Visit the Palace, the Patriarch’s complex and Baldwin’s Tower to enjoy stunning views of the “Throne City”. Leave Veliko Tarnovo and head to Arbanasi, a nearby village that serves as an open-air museum to Bulgaria’s National Revival architecture. Here, enjoy a traditional dinner and stay for two nights in a charming, rustic hotel. (B,L,D)
Head out from Arbanasi for a busy day of sightseeing. Start at the famous rock-carved monasteries at Ivanovo and then move on to Rusenski Lom National Park, with its stunning landscapes, curving river and the UNESCO-listed frescoes painted onto sheer rocks. It is also a good spot for avid twitchers with 174 species recorded here including lesser kestrels, Egyptian eagles and eagle owls. Stop for lunch in the city of Ruse, on the banks of the Danube, and then visit 13th-century Cherven Castle, one of the best-preserved medieval fortresses in Bulgaria. Return to Arbanasi for dinner. (B,L,D)
This morning stop at the exquisite Russian-style Shipka Memorial Church before continuing to Kazanlak. Here, visit the Kazanlak Thracian Tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the “Jewel of the Valley of the Kings”. Tour the Rose Museum to learn about its 300 year old rose oil production and then have lunch in a traditional tavern. Move on to the nearby town of Kalofer where you will to meet a local family and learn about their life out here. Later, head to Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second city that was European Capital of Culture in 2019. (B,L,D)
Spend the day exploring Plovdiv, starting with a guided tour of the ancient parts of the city including the 5th-century BC Thracian fortress remains and many Roman ruins including the forum and amphitheatre. Plovdiv is Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore its romantic old town, packed with colourful old 19th-century mansions. Overnight in family-run guesthouse. (B,L)
Start heading to Trigrad in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains. En route, stop off at stunning Asen’s Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery, where you’ll find some of the finest frescoes in Orthodox Christianity. Drive through modern, sprawling ski resort Pamporovo and carry on to the famous open-air museum village of Shiroka Laka. Sample traditional Rhodope cuisine during lunch and then press on through the mountains to the stunning village of Trigrad. After dinner, enjoy a special presentation of the Rhodopes’ legendary folklore. (B,L,D)
Wonder at Trigrad Gorge with its 250m overhanging cliffs and see the “Devil’s Throat”, a deep cave containing the largest underground waterfall in the Balkans. Another cave is next on the agenda: Yagodina. Emerge back above ground and begin the journey through the south west Rhodopes to the charming, ancient town of Melnik, the wine capital of Bulgaria. Take a short walk through the fantastical Melnik pyramids, sand towers that stand an incredible 150m tall. Enjoy a tasting of some of the famous local red wines and then have a farewell dinner in a traditional restaurant Overnight in Melnik. (B,L,D)
Journey to UNESCO-listed Rila Monastery and take a tour, hidden deep in the heart of the mountain. Transfer to Sofia and onwards to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)
Good news for our solo travellers or for those whose travel companion snores - there is no single room supplement on this group tour to Bulgaria
To confirm a booking for our 2022 departures, we require a deposit of £99 per person.
This deposit will be fully refundable until 30th Jun 2021. From 1 Jul 2021 we will collect the remainder of the deposit, a payment of an additional £250, when the tour reaches minimum numbers and is guaranteed to operate.
Should the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO - formerly Foreign & Commonwealth Office), advise against all but essential travel to a destination; or restrictions put in place by the destination itself prevent the fulfilment of the trip within 30 days of your departure, then we will offer to postpone your trip, or offer credit against any future departure, or refund all monies paid. nbsp;
|Itinerary Dates||From Price||Single Room Supp.|
28 May 2022
04 Jun 2022
10 Sep 2022
17 Sep 2022