Step back in time, as our interesting new tour takes you to the heart of Bulgaria, from capital Sofia to the traditional village of Leshten, seeing historic sights and enjoying traditional food, wine and folkore along the way.
Starting and ending in Sofia, we take a circular tour with our knowledgeable guide, also staying in Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv, Leshten and Sandanski. As well as fascinating insight into each place from our guide, we'll also visit wonderful attractions including the Rila Monastery and a train ride through the Rhodopes Mountains.
Situated in a quiet area of Sofia, the Rosslyn Thracia Hotel is ideally located close to beautiful and historic cultural sites. In hotel enjoy fantastic food and buffet breakfast in the on-site restaurant and then unwind in the lobby bar and terrace. All rooms have safe, dressing gown and wi-fi available.
We take a guided tour of Sofia, a unique city with a mix of communist architecture and beautiful Orthodox churches. We visit Boyana church, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the importance of the many frescoes inside. The church is said therefore to be one of the best places to see examples of medieval Eastern art, dating to almost 1000 years ago in the world. After time at leisure to explore, tonight we'll enjoy dinner in a typical Bulgarian restaurant with a folklore show to enjoy.
We travel to the pretty little village of Arbanassi, which is famous for its churches. Make sure to take a look inside the Nativity Church, the inside of which is covered in wall-to-wall frescoes, depicting scenes from the Bible. It's then just a short journey onto the mountain city of Veliko Tarnovo. The place has a rich history, being the former capital of the Bulgarian Empire and one of its greatest sights is the Tsarevets, the ancient castle from the times of its heyday.
This excursion explores a region that was key to Bulgaria gaining its independence during the 18th century. We begin with a trip to the open air museum of Etara. The museum exhibits what life would have been like in this region during the Bulgarian National Revival of the 18th century and is a fascinating insight into the rich history of the Gabrovo area. Its then on to the city of Kazanlak where we'll have a guided city tour of this historic city known for its Thracian Tomb which dates back almost 2500 years. We then head into the mountains travelling through the Shipka Pass to the Shipka Monument which commemorates one of the most important battles of the Bulgarian Independence movement. The views from here across the surrounding countryside are magnificent. Our final stop today is in the village of Tarnicheni to one of the last rose distilleries, which used to be ubiquitous in the region, here we'll see how rose oil and water is made.
We begin today with a guided city tour of Plovdiv. The city is the second largest in Bulgaria and is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe, with an 8000 year history. This history is evident in some of the cities sights from different cultures, including the Roman Arena, the Ottoman Mosque and the Bulgarian Revival architecture of some of its central buildings. We then step aboard a train into the Rhodopes Mountains. The views as we ascend into the mountains will be spectacular, with lush green valleys, colossal canyons and pretty lakes. When we disembark we'll visit a carpet factory, to see how the woollen rugs and carpets that the region is famous for are made.
We travel to the village of Harsovo and the nearby vineyard of Villa Melnik for a wine tasting. You'll have a chance to sample some of the award-winning varieties as we spend some time here learning the history of the vineyard and the wine-producing heritage of the region. We then continue to Melnik a historic city, that is now the smallest in Bulgaria. It offers a striking view, with huge clifftops looming over the ancient centre.
We travel to the monastery at Rila, whose history dates back to the 10th century. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Bulgaria's most important cultural and historical sites. Here you can see some of the finest frescoes and the architectural wonders of this beautiful monument. While here we'll enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, before making our way onward to Sofia.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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