Any tourist circuit in Romania can be extended with the following route to take advantage of the proximity and also visit Bulgaria. The tour is conducted with a local bulgarian guide who speaks english.
Duration: 7 days / 6 nights.
Cities: Durankulak, Kaliakra, Balchik, Varna, Madara, Shumen, Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanasi, Dryanovo, Etara, Shipka, Kazanlak, Bachkovo, Plovdiv, Rila, Sofía.
El Jardín Botánico de Balchik
Day 1. Durankulak – Kaliakra – Balchik – Varna
Receiving guests at the border point of Durankulak (Bulgaria). Leave for Varna – Bulgaria’s sea capital city. Stop over to visit the Kalikra Cape, an archaeological reserve. Then, we will leave for Balchik, to visit the archeological and botanical park “Dvoretsa” at the Palace: former summer residence of Queen Maria Alexandrina Victoria of Edinburgh (1875-1938). The Palace is an architectural monument of the Romanian culture and a monument of gardening and botanical art. Arrival in Varna. Dinner and accommodation at 4* Panorama Hotel or similar in Varna.
Day 2. Varna – Madara – Shumen – Veliko Tarnovo
Breakfast. Visiting Varna, the pearl of the Black Sea coast. It is the third most important city in Bulgaria. The old Odessa, as the Greeks used to call it – is a city with an amazing historical heritage: the oldest man-worked gold artifacts were discovered in the cemetery of Varna, dating from the fifth century BC; thermal baths from the Roman era (2th – 3th centuries BC), the Ethnographic Museum, the Clock Tower (1880) etc.. Visit to the archeological museum where you can see the oldest gold artifacts made by man and the Roman Baths.
Leaving to Shumen via Madara. Stop to visit the Horseman of Madara – carved into a rock at a height of 23 meters from the base of the rock (7th – 8th centuries). The bas-relief depicts a horseman almost life-size, which kills a lion and is followed by a dog. It symbolizes the political and military force of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. It has several inscriptions in Greek, speaking about the victories over Byzantium. We continue out trip by traveling to Veliko Tarnovo. Arrival and accommodation. Dinner and accommodation at 4* Yantra Hotel or similar.
Day 3. Veliko – Tarnovo – Arbanasi – Dryanovo – Etara – Shipka – Kazanlak
Breakfast. Sightseeing tour of the town of Veliko Tarnovo – a wonderful city with houses built in steps up on the hills around the Yantra River. Its history dates back to the first half of the third millennium BC, but the town reached its most flourishing era in 1187-1393, as the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. The palaces of the Tsar and the Palace of the Patriarch of the Bulgarian Church are found up on the Tsarevetz hill and are surrounded by a towered wall. This medieval capital was famous for its School of Literature, one of the most influential of the Slavic literature. Two of the works of this school have survived the vicissitudes of the centuries: The Manasseh Chronicle, kept at the Vatican Library, and the Four Gospels of Ivan Alexander King, found at the British Museum. We will take a walk on the “Samovodska Charshia” street, a breath of Romantic Era in the old Tirnovo. It is the oldest shopping street of the town, where the houses built in the National Revival style and small workshops take us back in time, with their atmosphere resembling the first decades of the 19th century.
La Fortaleza Tsarevets
La Iglesia de la Natividad de Arbanasi
Here you can meet woodcutter, icon-painters, fitters, furriers, many ceramics and pottery workshops and a coffee shop where, among other things, tourists are served “kadaif” (an Oriental dessert consisting of “angel hair”, syrup and walnuts). We can admire craftsmen in action, working by their old tradition: old royal-style pottery, rugs and tapestries showing domestic life scenes. We will visit the village of Arbanasi: a true jewel of the architecture from the National Revival period. It was founded in the 15th century and reached its flourish in the 17-18 centuries. Local traders had contacts with different people and cultures, and this influenced the architecture features of this village. Some of the most beautiful houses have been converted into museums. It is the case of the “Konstantsalieva kushta” and the Church of Nativity: richly decorated with murals showing biblical themes, called by tourists “The Sistine Chapel of The Balkans”, because of the frescoes decorating its walls.
Departure to the Dryanovo Monastery. After we visit the monastery, we will move on to the Etara Architectural – Ethnographic Complex: situated in a picturesque valley with buildings from the National Renaissance époque, it is home to many traditional handicraft workshops lined along the street, where we can watch craftsmen in action: goldsmiths, silversmiths, potters, sculptors, icon painters copper and tin artisans. Visitors can have a look at the traditional Bulgarian cuisine by watching the string of bakery and confectionery shops, inns and taverns as well as herbal shops. Characteristic for the Etara Complex are many activities that use hydraulic force: mills, forges, sawmills, pottery lathes, grindstones etc. After the visit, we will move around and about the town of Kazanlak. Along the way, we will make a brief stop in Shipka, to visit the Russian Church. Arrival in Kazanlak – located in the heart of the Rose Valley and Tracian King Valley, this town is also the geographic center of Bulgaria. Dinner and accommodation at Kazanlak 3* Hotel or similar.
La Iglesia Rusa de Shipka
El Monasterio de Bachkovo
Day 4. Kazanlak – Bachkovo – Plovdiv
Breakfast. We will visit the Thracian tomb replica. Then, we will be leaving for the city of Plovdiv (the second largest city in Bulgaria). Along the way, we will visit the Bachkovo Monastery, located 28 km away from Plovdiv, the second largest monastery in Bulgaria after Rila. Founded in the eleventh century, it was destroyed in the 15th and 16th centuries and rebuilt between 1640-1842. The monastery, which holds a vast library and a museum, was an important education center. Owing to the magnificent architecture of its three churches and trim his extraordinary paintings and its extraordinary paintings, the monastery is a spectacular cultural and artistic monument. Arrival in Plovdiv. Dinner and accommodation at Ramada Trimontium Princess 4* hotel or similar.
Day 5. Plovdiv – Rila – Sofia
Breakfast. Plovdiv sightseeing. Plovdiv is one of the oldest towns in Europe and the second largest town in Bulgaria. It was one of the most fortified and urbanized settlements in Thrace during the Roman Empire. While walking on the narrow streets of the Old District we will get the chance to see the Roman Amphitheatre and the picturesque houses (outside), dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, the Church of the Holly Emperors Constantine and Helen Church and the Ethnographic Museum.
El Anfiteatro Romano de Plovdiv
El Monasterio Rila
We will then head to Rila Monastery. Standing in the center of the town of Rila, 130 km far from Sofia, the monastery is a Heritage of the Mankind. Founded in the 10th century by Ivan Rilski, it became the largest and most thriving Bulgarian cultural and literary center in the Middle Ages and the largest religious center during the entire Turkish ruling. From there, we will leave for Sofia. Arrival, accommodation and dinner at Hotel Ramada Princess Sofia 4* or similar.
Day 6. Sofia
Breakfast. Sofia sightseeing: Sf. Gheorghe Roundabout, St. Petka Samardzhiiska Church, St. Sofia Church (Hagia Sofia), Alexander Nevski Cathedral – the city landmark, the Russian Church St. Nicolae, the Parliament, the National Theater and many more. Visit to Boyana Church, to admire the magnificent wall paintings of 1259. It is among the most important architectural and medieval painting monuments. It consists of 3 parts: the oldest one date from the 11th century. The monument has preserved the fresco painting from the time of its construction. In 1259, the Sredets district governor, Kaloyan, added a family tomb in the west part of the church. The lower part was dedicated to St. Nicholas and the upper part, to St. Panteleimon. The value of the frescos is given by the particular realism of the faces painted (Kaloyan and Desislava, King Constantine and Queen Irina), the expression and the details of each of them, as well as by the painting perspective, which anticipates Giotto’s style. Visit to National History Museum. Dinner and accommodation at Hotel Ramada Princess Sofia 4*.
La Catedral Nevski de Sofia
Day 7. Sofia – Airport
Breakfast. Time at ease until departure. Transport to the airport. End of our tourist travel services.