Bulgaria Cultural Heritage
Bulgaria is one of the oldest high developed civilization in the world dating back 6 – 5 millenium BC. Crossroad of many civilizations, 6 000 years of Thracian, Hellenic and Roman History and with more than 40 000 historical and cultural monuments, Bulgaria ranks third after Greece and Italy for the number of its archaeological monuments.
Day 01 Sofia Arrival – Arrival at Sofia airport. Transfer to the hotel.
Day 02 Plovdiv – Departure for Plovdiv – one of Europe’s most ancient cities, older than Athens, Rome and Constantinople. Sightseeing tour of Plovdiv – a tour of the old town which consists of one of the most spectacular ensembles of town houses from the period of the Bulgarian National Revival. Visit of the Saints Constantine and Helena Church, Roman Theatre, Regional Ethnographic Museum.
Day 03 Bachkovo Monastery / Nesebar – Breakfast. Visit of Asenova krepost (The fortress of Asen) – a medieval fortress in the Rhodopе Mountains, 3 km south of the town of Asenovgrad, 20 km from Plovdiv. Visit of Bachkovo Monastery situated at the foot of the Rhodope Mountains. It is the second largest Bulgarian Monastery, founded in the 11th century, keeping frescoes from 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, as well as the legendary wonder-working icon of Virgin Mary Eleusa from 1310. Departure for Nesebar. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day 04 Nesebar Breakfast. Sightseeing tour of Nesebar – the old town, included in the UNESCO List ofWorld Cultural Heritage (churches from the 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th centuries). Time at leisure in Nesebar to walk the small cobblestones streets of the charming city.
Day 05 Veliko Tarnovo
– The medieval capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo, and the fortress of Tsarevets, is symbolic of the reign of the Second Bulgarian Empire. The town is steeped in regality as the former home of several Bulgarian Emperors with its palaces, marketplace and patriarchal cathedral among the points of interest before you return to your hotel.
Day 06 Etara – Shipka / Kazanlak – Sofia
Breakfast. Departure for Sofia. On the way there will be a stop at The Etara open air museum which commemorates the arts and crafts traditions of the region and you can get a real sense of the skill and passion of the craftsmen here. Continue to Shipka Memorial Church in the village of Shipka. This is a Russian church built in honor of the perished Russian soldiers and Bulgarian volunteers in the Russian -Turkish War (1877-1878). Visit of the monument ossuary at the top of Shipka, where in August 1877 one of the most crucial battles in the Russian -Turkish war took place. It was part of a series of battles that brought freedom to Bulgarians after five centuries of enslavement. A visit to the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak. The tomb is part of a great Thracian necropolis that dates back to the 4th century BC. It has been part of the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage since 1979. Continuing our road to Sofia. Arrival and accommodation at the hotel.
Day 07 Sofia / Rila Monastery
Breakfast. A tour of the National Art Gallery – a museum of art and sculpture, which holds pieces of Bulgaria’s most famous artists from the 19th and 20th century. Departure for the Rila Monastery. The Rila Monastery is the biggest monastery in Bulgaria, founded in the 10th century by the monk and hermit St. John of Rila, patron and protector of Bulgaria. The monastery served as the center for cultural and spiritual life of the Bulgarian people, during the centuries of foreign enslavement. The tour includes a visit to the monastery, the main church and the monastery museum. Return to Sofia. Overnight stay in Sofia.
Day 08 Sofia
Breakfast. Tour of Sofia – St. Nedelya Cathedral, St. George Rotunda, Russian Church of St. Nicolas, St. Sophia Church, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Ivan Vazov National Theater. Visit of the National Museum of History and the Boyana Church, included in the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage and has preserved frescoes dating back to the year 1259. The frescoes impress with the spirituality and expressiveness of their images, created 7 years before the birth of Giotto di Bondone, considered the first Renaissance artist. Dinner in a typical Bulgarian restaurant with a folklore program. Overnight stay in Sofia.
Day 09 Sofia Departure
Breakfast. Transfer to Sofia airport. Departure.