9 DAYS, 8 OVERNIGHTS
1st day: Arrival at Varna. Transfer to a hotel. Dinner. Overnight accommodation.
2nd day: After breakfast - departure to Veliko Tarnovo, the medieval capital of Bulgaria, magnificently situated on the picturesque banks of the river Yantra. The town reached its zenith during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, when it became a political, religious and cultural centre of Bulgaria. The impressive history of the town can be felt best on the hill Tsarevets. A well preserved fortress wall goes round the hill, enclosing the numerous archaeological excavations from different eras. A splendid panorama to the numerous basilicas and churches in the town is opened from the fortress towers. The view of the town is formed by the buildings in typical 18th - 19th century architecture, situated in terraces on the hills around the river Yantra. A walk along Samovodska charshiya (street), one of the busiest commercial streets of the town in 19th century, involves in the spirit of Bulgarian Revival. It is a live museum of crafts, in which old technology and original tools are used. Arbanasy, a small village, famous for its characteristic architectural style, well preserved houses, churches and monasteries from 16th - 17th centuries is visited. A lunch with typical cuisine dishes of the region. Free time in Veliko Tarnovo. After dinner - attendance at the show Sound and Light, which takes the spectators back in the ancient times of Bulgarian Kingdom. Overnight accommodation.
3rd day: Breakfast. Departure to Sofia. Travelling through a region, attractive with its uniqueness and natural beauty. Dryanovo monastery, founded in 13th century, has been a spiritual, educational and cultural centre for 800 years. Bacho Kiro cave, situated next to it, was connected with fierce fighting in the rebellious 1876 and became a place for heroic battles between Bulgarian and Turkish forces during the April Uprising. Our next stop in the village of Bozhentsi takes us back to 18th century romance. Houses from the Revival period with yards deep in flowers and narrow pebbled streets make us want the time to stop. Architectural and ethnographic complex Etara performs the material and spiritual Bulgarian life from the Revival period. After lunch - a trip to Sofia. Dinner and overnight accommodation.
4th day: Breakfast. Sightseeing of the Bulgarian capital - a walking tour round the architectural and historical sights in the centre of the capital. Sofia is one of the most ancient towns in Europe, founded more than 5 thousand years ago. Nowadays it is an exciting mixture of history and modern life. The walking tour in the tourist centre includes a visit to the remains of the fortification walls from the ancient town of Serdika, one of the oldest churches in the city - St George rotunda as well as St Alexander Nevsky cathedral.
Lunch. Free time for shopping. Optional programme - a dinner in a typical Bulgarian restaurant with a folk show - ... euro. Overnight accommodation.
5th day: Breakfast. Departure to Rila monastery, founded in 10th century by a monk Ivan Rilsky. The biggest monastery complex in Bulgaria became a centre of Bulgarian culture and enlightenment in the early Middle Ages. Icons by the most famous icon-painters from 18th and 19th centuries have been preserved there. A rich collection of golden and silver coins, weapons and church objects is exhibited in the monastery museum. Lunch. Departure to the town of Petrich. A long time ago, in the area Roupite existed an ancient settlement, which was buried by an active volcano. A famous Bulgarian prophet Vanga used to recharge herself with positive energy for her insights there.
In 1992 she built the church St Petka Bulgarska, which became a place of pilgrimage for thousands of people from Bulgaria and abroad. Wonders, which used to happen in this region, continued even after Vanga 's death.
In a wine cellar in the village of Harsovo near Melnik trademark wines from this famous wine region are tasted. People say about Melnik wine, that it is so thick, "you can carry it in a cloth". Overnight accommodation.
6th day: Breakfast. Departure to Plovdiv. On the way we visit the smallest Bulgarian town - Melnik, acknowledged as an architectural reserve. One of the most impressive buildings in the town is Kordopulov mansion - the biggest Medieval house in Bulgaria, built in 1754. Amazing are huge barrels, dug into rocks, where wine is left to mature and acquire its unique quality. On the way to Plovdiv we stop at Rozhen monastery, an example of medieval monastery, founded in 13th century. The picturesque belfry, tracery verandas, bay-windows, unique wood-carved iconostasis and stained glass windows from 17th-18th centuries attract visitors with their harmony.
Lunch. Arrival in Plovdiv. Free time. Dinner. Overnight accommodation.
7th day: Breakfast. Sightseeing in Plovdiv - the third biggest city in Bulgaria. Founded in the place of a prehistoric village from the second millennium BC, Plovdiv is picturesquely situated on the banks of the river Maritsa. The old town with its beautifully decorated houses is a unique open-air museum of architecture, which makes the atmosphere irresistible.
Lunch. Departure to Bourgas. Dinner. Overnight accommodation.
8th day: Breakfast. Sightseeing in Nessebar - an old fisherman's town, situated on a small peninsula. Narrow cobbled streets and the unique architecture of the old houses create unforgettable charm. Well preserved churches from different eras add to the significance of the town, included in UNESCO list of world famous cultural heritage. Lunch. Departure to Varna.
9th day: Breakfast. Transfer to the airport.