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Round Trip

Bulgaria and Istanbul from Sofia

Bulgaria and Istanbul from Sofia

Sofia - Rila monastery - Borovets - Village of Ribaritsa - Troyan monastery - Oreshak -  Veliko Tarnovo - Arbanassi - Tryavna - Etara - Shipka - Plovdiv - Bachkovo monastery - Istanbul - Plovdiv - Sofia.

Day 1  Arrival in Sofia  

Accommodation in a hotel. Free time in the capital. Dinner and overnight stay

Day 2

Breakfast. A walking tour in the city center with visit to Alexander Nevski cathedral, the St. George Rotunda – the oldest Christian church in the city, the St. Sofia Church which gave its name to the Bulgarian capital, the Parliament and many other sights. Drive to Rila monastery – the largest and the most beautiful monastery in Bulgaria, located in the highest mountain on the Balkan peninsula and included in UNESCO World Heritage list.  Drive to the famous mountain resort Borovets and accommodation in a hotel. Dinner and overnight stay

Day 3

Breakfast. Drive to the holiday village of Ribaritsa. Accommodation in a hotel. Free time for optional activities. Dinner and overnight stay.

Ribaritsa is a picturesque village near the town of Teteven. It is situated at the foot of Stara Planina Mountain and declared as mountain climatic resort. The nature is magnificent and here you can breathe the freshest and the cleanest air according to a publication of the Ministry of environment and water. Ribaritsa is also known as "stress release factory" and it offers plenty of activities – jeep safari with picnic, fishing, mountain climbing, biking, retro rides with cabriolet etc. Ribaritsa is also a starting point for many trekking routes.

Day 4

Breakfast. Drive to Troyan and visit Troyan monastery, the third largest monastery in Bulgaria. Continue to the village of Cherni Osam and visit the Natural Science Museum, where you can see a rich exhibition of animals, birds and insects in a very interesting way. After that we will stop at the National Arts and Crafts Exhibition in Oreshak, where you can see interesting examples of Bulgarian arts and crafts, as well as to buy souvenirs. Drive back to Ribaritsa. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 5

Breakfast. Drive to Veliko Tarnovo, the capital of the Bulgarian Kingdom during the Middle Ages. A walking tour of Tsarevets fortress and Samovodene market-place. Short drive to the nearby village of Arbanassi - one of the most picturesque villages in Bulgaria with unique architecture and atmosphere. Continue to Tryavna, a very nice mountain town, famous for its woodcarving tradtions. Accommodation in a hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 6

Breakfast. A walking tour in Tryavna with visit to a Bulgarian Ethnographic house – the Daskalov house. Drive to Gabrovo and visit the open-air ethnographic museum Etara, where you will see workshops of the Bulgarian handicrafts from the 18th and 19th century. Continue to Kazanlak. On the way - a stopover for visiting the memorial church in the village of Shipka. In Kazanlak we will visit another object, included in UNESCO World Heritage List – the Thracian Tomb. Its unique wall paintings represent battles and scenes from the daily life of the Thracians, realistically displayed with great dynamism and details in the clothing and armor. Drive to Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city with a wealth of history and culture. Accommodation in a hotel. Dinner and overnight.

Day 7

Breakfast. A walking tour in the Old Town of Plovdiv where you will see well preserved historical sights from different periods – the Roman amphitheatre, numerous houses and churches from the Bulgarian Renaissance, the Ethnographic museum and St. Konstantin and Elena church. Drive to Bachkovo monastery – the second largest in Bulgaria. Back to Plovdiv and free time for a walk and shopping on the main pedestrian street. Dinner in a typical Bulgarian restaurant. Overnight stay.

Day 8

Breakfast. Departure to Istanbul. Arrival in the afternoon and accommodation in a hotel. Free time in the city centre. Dinner and overnight.

Optional dinner in a seafood restaurant.

Day 9

Breakfast. City tour in Istanbul - the only city in the world that has been capital to consecutive Christian and Islamic empires, it retains features of both in its congested and endlessly fascinating streets. Situated on two continents – Europe and Asia, Istanbul is a melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures. This huge metropolis is home to over eleven million people of different cultures and religions and that is evident in the unique architecture and the diverse shopping and cuisine.

In the afternoon – free time for exploring the city on your own or for optional activities:

-      visit to Dolmabahce Palace and Suleymaniye Mosque

-      visit to Topkapi Palace and St Sofia Church

-      Bosphorus cruise

In the evening – optional visit to Orient House - Istanbul's best Turkish show with professional and talented belly dancers

Day 10

Breakfast. Departure to Plovdiv. Accommodation in a hotel and free time. Dinner and overnight.

Day 11  Departure to Sofia Airoport

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport in Sofia.

Rila Monastery

    Rila Monastery is one of the symbols of Bulgaria and is also a popular tourist destination. The monastery lies in the recesses of Rila Mountain, between Rilska and Drushlyavitsa Rivers, at 1147 m.

Troyan Monastery

    According to the historical documents, the monastery was first founded in 1600 and reconstructed in the period 1830 – 1865 in its present look. As an architectural style of the buildings it is associated with the School of Revival.

Arbanasi Archeological Reserve

    The village of Arbanasi is located on a high plateau 4 km from the city of Veliko Tarnovo. It is known that the village existed during the time of the Second Bulgarian State (1185 - 1393).

Architectural Complex Etar

    The Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex (usually referred to as Etara) is an open-air museum and a neighbourhood of Gabrovo (8 km south of its center) in northern Bulgaria.

National Park-Museum Shipka

    National Park Museum Shipka is located on top of Shipka Peak (1,326 m) in the Balkan Mountains, 28 km from the town of Kazanlak and 22 km from the town of Gabrovo.

Kazanlak Tomb

    An original Thracian tomb from 4th – 3rd century BC is situated in the Tyulbeto park. It is known as the Kazanlak Tomb. It is under a special storage regime. Its duplicate, constructed in scale 1:1

Old Town - Plovdiv

    Ancient Plovdiv Architectural Reserve is a well-preserved complex where on a relatively small area visitors can take walks through different historical ages, see ancient buildings adapted to the modern way of life.

The Bachkovo Monastery

    The Bachkovo Monastery "Assumption of the Virgin" is located in the southern part of the village Bachkovo, 10 kilometers south of Asenovgrad.

Sofia

    Sofia is Bulgaria's capital and its largest city. Founded thousands of years ago, today the city continues to develop as the country's cultural and economic center.

Borovets

    Borovets is one of the biggest mountain resorts in Bulgaria. It is located at an elevation of 1300 m on the northern slopes of Rila Mountain some 70 km away from Sofia, approximately 130 km from Plovdiv.

Veliko Tarnovo

    Often referred to as the "City of the Tsars", Veliko Tarnovo is located on the Yantra River and is famous as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, attracting many tourists with its unique architecture.

Tryavna

    Placed along the northern slopes of the Tryavna Balkan Mountain and Fore-Balkans. The relief is diverse - from mountain to river valleys, hills and gorges.

Kazanlak

    The town of Kazanlak is located in the center of Bulgaria, in the western part of the Kazanlak basin. Kazanlak is the center of the Valley of the Roses, the home of the Thracian kings, and an attractive tourist destination.

Plovdiv City

    The town in its present appearance was built around seven hills – the hills of Plovdiv (Plovdiv Tepes) which are an inseparable part of the city's history. Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe.

City of Istanbul (Turkey)

    Istanbul is truly a world city, a city which everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. It is an enchanting blend of Eastern and Western culture, a vibrant, modern city, with a unique identity. Its rich past coexists alongside its youthful exuberance. Although no longer the capital of Turkey, Istanbul still remains the country's cultural and business centre.

Village of Oreshak

    This is the only exhibition in the country, which has gathered all the works of Bulgarian artists of all ethnographic regions in Bulgaria in one place.


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