(with a short visit to Greece)
Bulgaria- 7000 Years of History gives you the opportunity to get acquainted with the most popular and attractive destinations in the country. The tour highlights the most remarkable historical and archeological sites, some of which are included in the UNESCO’s List of World Cultural Heritage. In addition, we will visit some of the most famed Bulgarian monasteries and travel through the stunning Bulgarian nature. This is complimented with a short visit of Greece – one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. This tour represents a magnificent combination of what is typical, different and unique for the people, their life, customs and traditions.
Arrival in Sofia and meeting with your English speaking guide. Walking tour in the historical centre of the Bulgarian capital, including a visit to the medieval church of St Sofia, St Alexander Nevsky’s Cathedral and its cript housing the richest museum of icons in the country. Dinner and overnight.
In the morning you’ll continue the sightseeing of Sofia – you’ll see the Rotunda of Saint George (4C), the Roman ruins, the Russian church of St Nicolas and many other monuments. Visit to the National History Museum, whose extensive collection covers the past 7000 years, from the Neolithic period to the 20th century. Lunch. Visit to the Boyana Church whose mural paintings dating from the 13th century are a masterpiece of religious art. The church is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Dinner and overnight.
Departure for Plovdiv, the second largest city in the country. Walking tour in the old town of Plovdiv with visits to the Ethnographical Museum, the church of St. Constantine and St Helena and the Ancient Theatre. Lunch in a typical restaurant. An afternoon visit to the Bachkovo Monastery, the second largest in Bulgaria lying at the foot of the Rodopi Mountains. Return to Sofia, dinner and overnight.
Morning departure for the Rila Monastery – the largest and the most beautiful one in the country and a UNESCO site since 1983. The monastery was founded in the 10th century by the hermit Ivan Rilski who later became patron saint of Bulgaria. On the outside it has a fortress-like appearance, but as soon as the visitor goes inside he’s captured by the stunning beauty of its interior decoration. Arcades and colonnades, mural paintings and icons form one harmonious whole. The monastery museum houses a remarkable collection of cult objects and manuscripts. You’ll visit the church and the museum, and have lunch afterwards in the neighbourhood. Drive to Sandanski – a spa town and native place of Spartacus. Dinner and overnight.
Early morning departure for Thessaloniki – the second largest city in Greece. Remarkable examples of paleochristian and byzantine monuments, as well as hellenistic artefacts can be seen there. Lunch. Free time in the afternoon. Return to Sandanski, dinner and overnight.
Visit to Melnik- the smallest town in Bulgaria, lying at the foot of picturesque sandstone pyramids, whose houses represent a characteristic local type, with wine cellars hewn in the rocks. The town owes its fame to the typical local wine called ”Melnik”. Visit to the Ethnographic Museum. You’ll continue to the Rozhen Monastery, located on a plateau commanding a panoramic view of sandstone rocks. The monastery is one of the nicest examples of wooden architecture and 16th and 18th centuries mural painting. Lunch in a typical restaurant in the village of Rozhen with wine tasting of the local wine “Melnik”.
Return to Sandanski, dinner and overnight.
Return to Sofia. Lunch in the city centre. In the afternoon you’ll visit the National Art Gallery where pictures of Bulgarian painters covering the period from the end of the 19th century to the 1960s can be seen. Dinner and overnight in Sofia.
Morning at leisure. Departure for the airport.