People, Traditions and Nature
Along with the beauty and variety of the Bulgarian nature - passing green valleys, majestic mountains, mysterious rocks and gorges - you'll have the opportunity to get in touch with the soul of the common Bulgarians, with their simple life and their authentic traditions.
♦ Belogradchik Rocks - natural phenomena, one of the miracles of Bulgaria
♦ Ledenika Cave
♦ Cave Saeva dupka - two of the most beautiful caves in Bulgaria
♦ Krushuna waterfall
♦ Arbanasi Village is famous for its unique houses, several monasteries and old churches
♦ Tryavna - the center of woodcarving and iconography during the Bulgarian Revival period
♦ The Thracian tomb of Kazanlak
♦ Etura Open-air Ethnographic Museum - Master craftsmen, fashion, beautiful gold, silver, copper, leather and wooden articles
♦ Belintash - Krastova gora - the mystery of the Rhodope Mountains
♦ Devil's bridge
♦ Peak Snezhanka - on the top of the Rhodope Mountains
♦ The Rozhen Monastery “Virgin Mary’s Nativity” is one of the few monasteries that has been preserved since it was built in the Middle Ages. The town of Melnik.
♦ Pirin National Park
♦ Rila Monastery - the treasury of the Bulgarian culture
Day 1. Transfer
Arrival at Sofia airport and transfer.
Overnight in Sofia - hotel ****
Day 2. Sofia - Ledenika Cave - Belogradchik – Vidin
The trip goes through the North-West Balkan to the Danube River. You are going to visit the miracles of Bulgaria - the Ledenika Cave and the rocks of Belogradchik. Nature is the greatest sculptor you'll never stop to admire.In the late afternoon you'll reach the town of Vidin. You'll spend a nice evening tasting some of the best dishes of the Bulgarian cuisine.
Overnight in Vidin hotel***
Day 3. Vidin – Lukovit
After breakfast you'll have a sightseeing tour of Vidin - the old fortress dating from the Middle Ages, the mosque "Osman Pazvantoglu" ectr. After lunch (not incl. in the price) you will have a ride to the Saeva Dupka Cave - over 3 Mln. Years old. (It is considered to be one of the most beautiful caves in Bulgaria. The largest stalactite has a circumference of 60 meters).
Accommodation and overnight in Hotel ****
Day 4. Lukovit and the vicinity
Excursion in the vicinity - a small lake, the gorge and one of the most interesting rockslide caves "God's eyes".Competition with buggies and picnic in the nature. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 5. Lukovit - Troyan Monastery - Krushuna waterfall – Veliko Tarnovo
During the trip you'll be out in the nature visiting the Krushuna waterfalls (a shaped path leads to the waterfall itself, where you will have the chance to admire the natural breathtaking beauty of the waterfalls system from the waterfall’s bridges) and the Troyan Monastery hidden in the forests of the Balkan mountain range. After that you are going to visit the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire - Veliko Tarnovo with its unique architecture -
Accommodation and overnight in hotel **** - Arbanasi
Day 6. Arbanasi - Hotnitsa waterfall – Tryavna
Up on the hills close to Veliko Tarnovo is situated the village of Arbanasi - an archeological complex with more than 300 houses from the 17th century. After strolling in the cobbled stone streets and admiring the unique architecture you will continue to Hotnitsa waterfall and Dryanovo Monastery built in a gorge between majestic rocks in the Balkan Mountain. Your last visit will be the town of Tryavna, center of iconography during the Revival period. In the evening you'll have the chance to learn how to cook some of the traditional Bulgarian dishes in a cozy tavern.
Overnight : hotel ***
Day 7. Tryavna – Etara – Kazanlak – Hisarya
The first stop for the day will be the open-air ethnographic museum of Etara. Its 18th-19th century water driven machinery, crafts and lifestyle come alive in front of the eyes of the visitors. Passing the mountain you will be taken into the Valley of the Thracian kings and center of the rose oil production nowadays. You'll have the opportunity to admire the old frescoes (5th century) in the Tomb and test the different products based on the rose oil.
In the evening wine tasting in the Temple of wine close to the Thracian Heroon.
Overnight in hotel ****
Day 8. Hisarya - Plovdiv – Belintash
After an hour or so from departure you will enter the town of Plovdiv and start your sightseeing tour. The town has existed as a settlement about 8 000 years ago. It has been a big trading centre in the Middle Ages. In the historic quarter of the city will be visited beautifully decorated houses, ancient fortress walls, the Roman forum and stadium, magnificent churches. The sightseeing tour includes visits to the Roman theatre, Hindlian`s house and St. Constantine and Helena Church. Free time. In the afternoon you'll be taken to one of the most mysterious places in the Rhodope Mountains - Belintash - The sanctuary of the ancient Thracian tribe Bessi and their God Sabazius. In the evening – “cheverme” (lamb grilled on an open fire) - an experience you will never forget.
Accommodation and overnight in hotel ***
Day 9. Belintash - Tatul – Kardjali
In the morning you'll explore the so called magic triangle Belintash - Krastova gora - Karadjov kamak. You'll feel the secret messages the nature wrote on the sacred rock, later turned by the Thracians into their sanctuary. After that you will have the opportunity to explore them in Tatul - the so called Grave of Orpheus.
Overnight in Kardjali - **** hotel
Day 10. Kardjali - Snejanka Peak - Pamporovo
The mountain will reveal its beauty in front of you passing along Arda River to the Devils bridge, which was built in the 16th century. The tranquility and greenery are so magnetic that the place is ideal for picnic and a short break. In the village of Smilyan you are going to visit a private dairy farm and taste the "baked cheese", various types of cheese and local dishes. The hospitality of the people is the most charming experience of the visit. Then your route will continue to the Smolyan lakes. There you will have a ride on the lift to the Snejanka Peak, to embrace the beauty of the mountain from the top.
Overnight in the ski resort Pamporovo - hotel****
Day 11. Pamporovo - Shiroka laka - Rozhen Monastery – Melnik
Besides the remarkable architecture, Shiroka laka is widely known for its songs, accompanied by bag pipe "kaba gaida" music. Many of the most famous singers and bagpipers of the Rhodope folklore were born here. Evidence for this was the Music School of Folk songs and instruments established in 1972. After the visit of Shiroka laka you will be taken to the Rozhen Monastery. The “Virgin Mary’s Nativity” Monastery is one of the few monasteries that has been preserved ever since it was built in the Middle Ages. A marvelous view to the magnificent peaks of Pirin and Belasitsa Mountains and the unique Melnik lime stone pyramids is revealed from there. You'll enjoy this wonderful view wandering down the path to the town of Melnik. Wine tasting and dinner in a folk style tavern.
Overnight in hotel ***
Day 12. Melnik - Pirin National Park - Bansko
Your trip will continue to the northern slopes of the Pirin Mountain and the town of Bansko. Horse carts ride to a picnic high in the mountain. Fishing close to Banderitsa.
Overnight and dinner in Bansko - 4* hotel
Day 13. in Bansko
The northern slopes of the Pirin Mountain are the Pirin National Park. Because of the unique biological variety and remarkable landscape the park was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983 and after the law on protected areas was approved in 1998 the area was proclaimed a national park, embracing a territory of 403.32 km2. You'll have the chance to drive buggies in the area and get acquainted with the rich flora and fauna of the mountain.
In the afternoon - dance school (folklore).
Overnight in Bansko - **** hotel
Day 14. Bansko - Rila Monastery - Sofia
Your trip will continue to the biggest monastery in Bulgaria - the Rila Monastery. The monastery was founded by the hermit St. Ivan Rilski in the 10th century. Ivan Rilski is one of the greatest Bulgarian saints. The monastery is recognized as an achievement in architecture, iconography and wood carving of the Bulgarian Revival period. In the early afternoon you will arrive in Sofia. Sightseeing tour of the town.
Overnight in hotel ****
Day 15. Departure
Transfer to Sofia Airport for departure
PRICE: 1050 EU
Included in the price:
► all transport according itinerary
►group transfers from/to Sofia airport
► Italian speaking guide and guide assistance throughout
► overnights in hotels and guesthouses - all overnights are based on double (single) rooms with private WC/shower
► half board 14 days
► all entrance fees
► wine tasting in Melnik and Starosel
► picnic in Bansko and Lukovit
► Bulgarian cuisine in Tryavna
► tasting of cheese in Smilyan
► insurance for the territory of Bulgaria
► meals other than breakfast and mentioned above
► flight tickets
► alcoholic drinks and other personal expenses
► Single supplement: EUR 180
Good to know:
► Please note that warm clothes and comfortable shoes are a must during the cave visit and in the mountain.
Recommended travel period of the year: April - October