On our first day we will pick you up from your hotel or accommodation in Sofia and we will make our first stop in Boyana to see this 13th century church art masterpiece under UNESCO protection since 1979. Then we will head straight South to our next UNESCO site - Rila Monastery. After a 2 hour visit you can try the local specialty fresh grilled trout. Then we have another 1h 20min drive to a small village in Razlog Valley where we will meet a local family and check-in in their own house. If you wish you can have a donkey ride around the village all the way to the water well. In the evening our hosts will show how they prepare their food, how they live and have fun (singing and dancing). They will serve you home made food and a glass of rakia (grape brandy) to welcome you and invite you to join their dances.
In the morning after a nice breakfast we say good bye to our hosts and we will visit the church in Dobarsko, a 10 minute drive from the village. Then we head to Plovdiv across some part of the Rodopi Mountain inhabited by an interesting minority called Pomak. We will spend the rest of the day in Plovdiv and we will enjoy its ancient and Roman ruins, its respective mosque and its charming shopping central street and outdoor cafes and restaurants. We will check-in into our beautiful hotel right next to the old town.
We will start early today because we have so many interesting places to discover. In about 30 min drive we will be at Backovo Monastery for a quick visit of the second largest monastery in Bulgaria. Then we will drive to Perperikon where you will discover a holy town from 5000 years B.C., equal in historical value to the discovery of Troya and Mikena! A marvelous temple, shrine, palace, necropolis and crypt from 18th-12th century BC can be observed in an amazing condition. After Perperikon we will drive East to the Bulgarian Black Sea coast - Nessebar, a UNESCO monument and famous sea resort. Overnight in Nessebar.
On this 4th day we will have a walk in the old town of Nessebar. The town is one of the oldest towns in Europe and the most abundant with medieval architectural monuments in Bulgaria. It inherits an ancient Thracian settlement established 2000 years BC. Nessebar holds nearly 60 houses from the Revival period in Bulgaria (18th-19th century) and more than 40 churches. Adjacent Sunny Beach will fascinate you with its 8 kilometer long fine sand beach and blue water. Our drive today will continue up north to the Sea capital of Bulgaria - Varna, where the oldest golden treasure in the world has been discovered. Overnight in Varna.
This 5th day we will dedicate to our Black Sea north coast - Balcik and Kavarna and its beautiful rocks. We will first visit the Palace in Balcik and its gardens, built by the Romanian Queen Marie in 1937, then have lunch in a restaurant called The Shell Farm, where we can have some fresh clams and other sea fruits and fish. Then we will go to Kaliakra cape where dolphins and cormorants might be seen. We bid farewell to the Black Sea and head back west to Veliko Tarnovo, the Medieval capital of Bulgaria. Most evenings at night there is a unique sound and light show performance over the fortress and if we get lucky, we will sit and watch it. Then we will go for a well deserved relax in our hotel with a great view over the monument of Assen Dynasty of Kings.
In the morning after a nice breakfast we start our climb of the Tsarevets hill fortress - the city of Bulgarian Tsars in the 13th and 14th centuries. After that we can have a nice walk around the old Samovodska Street to buy a souvenir and grab some lunch. A short drive will take to Arbanassi village in the afternoon for a visit of the the Nativity of Christ church with its beautiful frescoes from 1632 and one of the oldest preserved iconostasis from wood. The mural paintings include the life of St. John the Baptist, patron of the church, and the wheel of life with the 12 zodiac signs. Some free time in the afternoon to enjoy the town and views over the hills. Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo hotel (second night).
On this very last day of our most popular tour in Bulgaria we will pack our luggage and set on short drive to Etara where we can see some local crafts in action. If the weather permits, we can enjoy an outdoor terrace for lunch and then continue our drive to Koprivshtica, a historic town which brings people back in the 19th century, a turbulent time in Balkan history, time of brave heroes and revolutions. We will visit 2 or 3 houses-museums and breathe some fresh Balkan mountain air before we drive back to Sofia (2 hours).
For further information please call Al Majid Travel and Tourism at +971 4 2211176/ 2222007