Day 1. Sofia
Arrival at Sofia airport and transfer to Sofia city center. Short sightseeing tour of Sofia: The city has been founded 7 000 years ago. Main attractions are the Alexander Nevski Cathedral and the Crypt, National Theatre, St. Sofia church, Sofia’s oldest building the 4-rd century St. George Rotonda. Overnight in Sofia.
Day 2. Sofia – Rila Monastery – Melnik
Drive to the Rila Monastery – the biggest and most important symbol of Bulgarian Orthodox church. The Monastery has been founded in the 10-th century and rebuilt in 13-th and 14-th centuries. It is one of Europe’s oldest and included in UNESCO’S list in 1983. Behind the 20 meters walls lie impresive monastery buildings, a church and a chapel with valuable murals. The route continues to Melnik – Bulgaria’s smallest town famous for its unique red wine and the natural sandstone pyramides. Close to Melnik lies the picturesque Rozhen Monastery dating from the 13th c. ( the only Bulgarian monastery that remained unharmed during the Turkish yoke). Overnight stay in Melnik.
Day 3. Melnik – Trigrad
Today we drive trough the picturesque Rhodopi mountains, believed to be the birthplace of the legendary Orpheus and a territory where the ancient Thracian tribes celebrated their religious cults.
The highlight of the day is our visit to Yagodina cave – among the longest ones in Bulgaria (with more than 10 000m mapped so far), considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe with its outstanding stalactites, stalagmites, columns, ponds and cave pearls in them.
We spend the night in the town of Trigrad in the heard of the Rodopi Mountains.
Day 4. Trigrad – Plovdiv
Today we continue our picturesque drive through the Rhodopi mountains i order to get to Plovdiv, the second biggest city in Bulgaria. On the way there we stop to visit Chudnite mostove (Miraculous bridges) – a natural arch, formed by the forces in nature in the solid rock of the mountain. Overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 5. Plovdiv
Sightseeing tour of Plovdiv. Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe on a par with Troy and Mikena. It has existed as a settlement about 8 000 years ago. It has been the capital of Ancient Thrace and a big trade centre in the Middle Ages. In the historic quarter of the city will be visited beautifully decorated houses, ancient fortress walls, Roman forum and stadium, magnificent churches. Sightseeing includes visit to the Roman theatre and Hindlian`s house, St. Konstantine and Helena Church. Free time. Overnight stay in Plovdiv.
Day 6. Plovdiv – Etara– Veliko Tarnovo
After breakfast departure for Veliko Turnovo. On the way to Veliko Turnovo there are visits to several interesting places. We head towards the town of Shipka, where we visit the memorial “Birth of Christ” , the Russian church. The dramatic background of the mountain makes prominent the gilt of the domes and the multi-colored decoration of the church façade and attracts people’s attention from long distance. Next stop is the “Etara” open air Ethnographic museum showing the everyday life of local people centuries ago. Proceed to Veliko Turnovo. Overnight stay in Veliko Turnovo
Day 7. Veliko Turnovo – Koprivshtitsa
Sightseeing tour of Veliko Tarnovo – the Medieval Capital of Bulgaria where the rich and glorious past of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom will be felt. Visit to the Tsarevets Hill which has been towered the the Patriarch church “Holy Ascending of God” and the St. Peter and Paul church. A few kilometres from Veliko Turnovo lies the village of Arbanassi, famous for its well-preserved traditional architecture.
In the afternoon we head to Koprivshtitsa which is a small town situated in a picturesque valley among the mountains in the central part of Bulgaria. A town with a special spirit, now turned into a museum where you can feel the unique atmosphere of the Revival Period in Bulgaria. Overnight in Koprivshtitsa.
Day 8. Koprivshtitsa – Sofia. Departure
Transfer to Sofia (around 2 hours) for departure.