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Bulgaria Small Group Guided Tour
Timeless Charms of Bulgaria
BULGARIA TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
- Visit Bulgaria’s colorfully-painted Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Explore the charming Old Town of Plodiv, including a 2nd Century Roman theater, churches and a synagogue
- Tour the ruins of 17 medieval churches and a marketplace of exquisite crafts in Veliko Turnovo
- Experience the annual Rose Festival (May-June)
Travel to Bulgaria with Original World for a unique experience of the history and culture of Eastern Europe. Our small group of world travellers will arrive in Sofia, the relaxed capital city, and enjoy an easy walking tour of the fascinating architectual sights in the historic area. The guided tour continues to small towns and charming mountain villages, through the Valley of the Roses, along the Balkan Range.
We visit many UNESCO sites, see amazing 13-14th century monastery murals, sample fine local cuisine and wines, and most importantly, immerse ourselves in Bulgarian culture as we engage with the local people living their traditional ways. Travelling to Bulgaria on Original World's small group tour is a trip back in time to a place where the air is fresh, the people are friendly and the ambiance of daily life in the countryside is endearing.
In late May or early June, the tour includes the Bulgarian Rose Festival. We’ll visit a rose distillery to participate in rose picking and see the rose oil production process. We’ll then attend a procession where we mix with the local crowd and enjoy the spirit of the festival.
August, 2019 tour includes the Koprivshtitsa Folk Festival, which occurs once every five years. This international folklore festival brings together over 12,000 performers from all over Bulgaria, one of the biggest festivals in Europe!
Woman in Koprivshtitsa village
Day 1-2: Meet in Sofia
Our guided small group tour of Bulgaria begins with an easy walking tour of Sofia, led by our knowledgable local guide, including the 4th century St. George Rotunda, 6th century St. Sophia Christian Basilica, the Spanish-Moresque style synagogue and Jewish Museum. Other Highlights of Sofia include the Mountain Vitosha tour with a visit to the 13th century Boyana Church.
Day 3: Rila and Rozhen Monasteries - Melnick
Enjoy the 10th century colorfully-painted Rila Monastery, where a few monks still reside, and see its rich museum collection, ethnographic exhibition and library containing more than 16,000 books. Next, 12-13th century Rozhen Monastery with its Blessed Virgin Church, decorated with over 150 biblical scenes. Our Bulgarian tour then travels onward to the charming museum town of Melnik. Relish tastings at Manolev's wine cellar, dug into sandstone rocks on top of a hill above town.
Day 4-5: Bansko - Plodiv
In Melnick, visit Kordopulova House, a historical museum built in 1758. Our small group will enjoy a delightful time in Plodiv's famous Old Town, with distinctive revival architecture popular among 18th-19th century merchants.
The region is also well known for the beautiful Rose festival (held once annually in late May, please view detailed itinerary for included dates). On tours during the time of the Bulgarian Rose festival tour members will be able to participate in rose picking, the "Horo" dance and see the Rose queen parade among other folkloric customs.
Day 6: Valley of Roses - Veliko Tarnovo
We stop first in the village of Koprivshtitsa, known for its international folklore festival which occurs once every five years. We continue through the Valley of the Roses, along the Balkan Range to Banya and Kazanlak. Your cultural tour of Bulgaria culminates with a full day of sightseeing in Veliko Tarnovo, the capital of the second Bulgarian Kingdom, 12-14th century.
Day 7: Drive back to Sofia
Day 8: Depart
There is an option to continue from Velicko Tarnovo to Romania by car (3.5 hrs) with stops to visit Ivanovo Rock churches near Rouse.
8-day trip begins and ends in Sofia; ends in Veliko Turnovo if continuing on Romania tour
April 6-13,* May 9-16, May 29-June 5,** Jun 10-17, June 22-29,*** July 11-18, Aug 2-9, Aug 24-30, Sep 7-14, Oct 1-8***
*Orthodox Easter, **Rose Festival, ***Follows our Balkans Tours
3 nights 4-star hotel
4 nights 3-star hotels (charming heritage, best available)
All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 1 dinner
Extend Your Trip
Follows Bulgaria Tour