Bulgaria Small Group Guided Tour

Timeless Charms of Bulgaria

Travel to Bulgaria on a Bulgaria tour with Original World Travel for a unique experience of the history and culture of Eastern Europe. Nestling at the heart of Central Europe and occupying the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula.

The Bulgaria tour visits many UNESCO sites. We shall see amazing 13-14th century monastery murals, sample fine local cuisine and wines. Most importantly, we will immerse ourselves in Bulgarian culture as we engage with the local people living their traditional ways.

After a pleasant time in Sofia’s historic area and visit the colorfully painted Rila Monastery, the guided tour continues to small towns and charming mountain villages, through the Valley of the Roses, along the Balkan Range.

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.

The Koprivshtitsa Folk Festival takes place in August 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!

Traveling 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.

  • Visit Bulgaria’s colorfully-painted Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Explore the charming Old Town of Plodiv
  • Tour the ruins of 17 medieval churches and a marketplace of exquisite crafts in Veliko Turnovo
  • Experience the annual Rose Festival (May-June)
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Woman in Koprivshtitsa village, Bulgaria

  • 1
    Day 1-2: Meet in Sofia

    Our guided small group tour of Bulgaria begins with an easy walking tour of Sofia 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.

  • 2
    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.

  • 3
    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.

  • 4
    Day 6: Valley of Roses - Veliko Turnovo

    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 Turnovo, the capital of the second Bulgarian Kingdom, 12-14th century.

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    Day 7: Drive back to Sofia
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    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.

  • Trip Length

    8-day trip begins and ends in Sofia; ends in Veliko Turnovo if continuing on Romania tour

  • Dates

    2023: April 7-14, April 14-21, May 17-24, May 30-June 6, September 6-13, September 29-October 6
    April 14 tour includes Orthodox Easter; May 30 tour includes Rose Festival

  • Land Cost

    2023: $2180 per person based on minimum of 4 people. Single Room Supplement: $200

  • Accommodations

    3 nights 4-star hotel
    4 nights 3-star hotels (charming heritage, best available)

  • Group Size

    4-8 guests

  • Included Meals

    All breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner

  • Reading List

    Suggested Reading

  • Trip Preparations

    Entry Requirements & FAQs
    Trip Preparations

  • Extend Your Trip

    Myths & Magic of Romania
    Follows Bulgaria Tour

Sofia, Bulgaria

Melnik, Bulgaria


Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

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