Accord Travel - Varna, Bulgaria  

UNESCO in Bulgaria

 Are nine sites under UNESCO protection too few or too many for a country?
They are many if situated on a small area – as small as Bulgaria. But few, if this territory can tell the history of the whole European civilization! The oldest gold treasure on earth which dates back to the V millennium BC was discovered in Bulgaria. Its ancient inhabitants left many other mysterious stone sanctuaries scattered in the hidden recesses of this mountain land. Here parallel to Ancient Greece, the Thracians evolved their culture which has bequeathed unique burial chambers filled with exquisite works of art. Bulgaria was one of the most beautiful Roman provinces. Emperor Constantine, the ruler who first adopted Christianity, said about Serdica (now Sofia): "Serdika is my Rome". Here the Bulgarians have developed a rich spiritual culture and their own writing that later spread to other Slavic countries.
But the merits of Bulgaria are not just historical, and not only its cultural monuments are worth seeing. Small Bulgaria has extremely diverse and beautiful scenery. Its southern sun shines over its alpine peaks, tender sea and fertile plains.
That is why UNESCO has a rich choice. Come and enjoy it!

UNESCO sites in Bulgaria:

♦ Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak 
♦ Thracian Tomb in Sveshtari
♦ Town of Nessebar
♦ Madara Horseman
♦ Boyana Church
♦ Ivanovo Rock Churches 
♦ Rila Monastery
♦ Pirin Mountain
♦ Srebarna Lake


Day 1. Arrival in Sofia.
Overnight in hotel****

Day 2. Sofia – Rila Monastery – Bansko
After breakfast - visit of the capital of Bulgaria – Sofia.
In the National Historical Museum you will see the golden treasures of the ancient Thracians, The Church of Boyana is situated also nearby. Two hundred  years before the Italian Renaissance the church walls were painted a step away from the church canon. In the afternoon - heading to the most impressive monastery of Bulgaria - the Rila Monastery.It plays a crucial role in Bulgarian history, preserving the Bulgarian spirit and culture during five centuries of Ottoman rule. It is situated in the heart of the Rila Mountain among old forests and high rocky peaks. The route continues southward to the town of Bansko - a famous ski resort on the southern slopes of the Pirin Mountain.                                                                                                   
Overnight in Bansko hotel ****

Day 3. Bansko
First you will climb high up the road in the most beautiful Bulgarian mountain all the way to Vihren Hut from where you will take a walking tour in the Banderitsa cirque among glacial lakes and marble peaks. Because of its wealth of plants and animals, Pirin was declared a national park. On the way back to Bansko you will see Baykusheva pine - the oldest tree in Bulgaria – 1300 years old.
Overnight in Bansko hotel ****

Day 4. Bansko – Plovdiv
From Bansko you'll head off to Plovdiv spend the day there. The road passes between Rila and Rhodope mountains. In its central part Plovdiv has preserved an unique architectural and historical complex. The Ancient Theatre and the stadium date back to Roman times (2nd century AD), and the colorful houses and the multitude of churches to the Bulgarian National Revival period. Wandering along the cobblestone streets you will enjoy the artistic atmosphere of this cozy oasis in an otherwise large and modern city.
Overnight hotel *****.

Day 5. Plovdiv – Nessebar
After breakfast you'll have a drive to the Bulgarian Black Sea coast and to the town of Nessebar, in particular,   where you will spend the next day. Picturesquely situated on a small peninsula connected to the mainland only by a narrow isthmus, Nessebar is one of the most important ancient coastal colonies of the Greeks, inhabited in the VI century BC. In later centuries Romans, Byzantines and Bulgarians left their marks as well. Therefore, the town is now a real open-air museum. The remains of fortress walls and basilicas and the typical architecture of the Bulgarian Revival on a very small territory make this town the most interesting and most visited site in Bulgaria.
Overnight in Nessebar.- hotel****

Day 6. Nessebar - Varna – Shumen
A busy but also full of new sights day will be awaiting you after this break on the seaside,  . You will start with one of the most beautiful towns on the sea coast Varna. The oldest gold treasure on earth dating back to the V millennium BC has been discovered close to Varna Next visit will be to the Madara Horseman. This mysterious early medieval monument has not found its historical explanation so far. It is believed that the bas-relief chiseled high in the rock depicts a Bulgarian ruler from the 8th century. The first two Bulgarian capitals - Pliska and Preslav of which unfortunately too little has been preserved are situated nearby. Between them is situated the town of Shumen, a famous wine centre, and the place where beer was made in Bulgaria for the first time.
Overnight in Shumen - hotel ***
Optional: wine tasting or visit of the oldest brewery and beer tasting.

Day 7. Shumen – Sveshtari – Srebarna - Russe
You continue your way to the Thracian tomb near the village of Sveshtari. It dates back to the 3th century BC and is characterized by the voluminous female figures framing the central compartment. The Muslim sanctuary - Demir Baba Teke - which is believed to have healing power is situated near the tomb. Overnight in the village of Srebarna. In close proximity to the village is located the lake of Srebarna - an important stop on the path of the migratory birds on their migration between Europe and Africa, called Via Pontica. Many species nest here, among which the most attractive are probably the Dalmatian pelicans. You will head to the town of Russe, the most European looking town in Bulgaria.  It was given the name "the Bulgarian Vienna" because of the many architectural monuments, built in different styles: Baroque, Secession, New classical style and other.
Overnight in Russe boutique hotel.

Day 8. Russe – Ivanovo Rock Churches –Veliko Tarnovo – Kazanlak
Then you will continue to “Russe Lom” reserve. In addition to its preserved nature, another interesting monument of medieval Bulgaria is located here - the rock churches near Ivanovo village. An important center of Hesychasm in Bulgaria in the XIV century, now the churches are excellent examples of fresco paintings of that time. Next stop for the day is Veliko Tarnovo - the Medieval Capital of Bulgaria where on can feel the rich and glorious past of the Second Bulgarian Empire.A visit to the Tsarevets Hill dominated  by the towering “Ascension of the Lord”  Patriarch church Passing through the Balkan mountain you’ll reach the Valley of the Thracian kings.
Overnight in Kazanlak - .hotel ***

Day 9. Kazanlak – Sofia
The valley has been named  so because of the many burial mounds of the kings who ruled the Thracians – the tribes that gave to the world the cults to Dionysus and Orpheus and created countless cultic objects of exceptional artistic value. The tomb of Kazanlak, whose walls were decorated in the IV century BC is situated in one of these mounds. The murals have been well preserved until this day. But this valley has another name as well - the Valley of the Roses - because of the rose plantations there. Beeing there in early June, you can also observe the rose - picking ritual during the traditional Rose Festival. Drive to Sofia.
Overnight in **** hotel

Day 10. Departure
Transfer to the airport

PRICE:  913 EU   
Single supplement: 140 EU
Included in the price:
► all transport according itinerary
► group transfers from/to Sofia airport
► English speaking guide and guide assistance throughout
► overnights in hotels 3 and 4* and 5* -  all overnights are based on double (single) rooms with private WC/shower
► breakfast (9 days)
► dinner  (9 days)
►  insurance for the territory of Bulgaria
Not included:
► meals other than breakfast
► flight tickets
► Private transfers: Sofia APT - Sofia center: 15 EU
► tips
► alcoholic drinks and other personal expenses
Other expenses: 
Good to know: 
► Please note that the program on Day 1 and Day 9 is subject to change in connection with flight times (for example it is possible to have Your sightseeing tour in Sofia on Day 10, instead on Day 1, if You have purchased tickets with late arrival / late departure times).

Recommended travel period of the year: March - October 
Flight tickets: If you purchase tickets by yourself, please take late arrival/ late departure times).