2017 UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in Bulgaria

Highlights

  • 7 UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites
  • Boyana Church
  • The Rila monastery
  • Thracian beehive tomb in Kazanlak
  • Nesebar
  • Madara Horseman
  • Thracian Royal Tomb in Sveshtari
  • Ivanovo Rock churches
  • The oldest man-made gold displayed in Varna Historical Museum

Itinerary - 2017 UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in Bulgaria

12-day/11-night cultural tour. It reveals Bulgaria's rich cultural heritage, dating as far back as the dawn of European Civilization.

Day 1: Sofia

Arrival to Sofia. Guide meets you at the airport and assists for a transfer to hotel. Check in and time at leisure until the evening, when you will enjoy a dinner in a local tavern with folklore music and traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

T,D, Accommodation in a 3*modern, centrally located hotel.

Day 2: Sofia

Enjoy  a morning sightseeing tour of Sofia, a city with 7000-year long history. Sofia is a pleasant city of boulevards and open spaces and you will see the city's most important places of worship - Alexander Nevski Memorial Church (to be included in UNESCO 's List of Cultural Heritage shortly) and St. George Rotunda. Walk along the main streets and see the most important landmarks in the city centre - St.Nedelya Square and St. Nedelya Church, St. Petka of the Saddlers, the Synagogue, the Central Baths, the Mosque, the underpass outside the President's Office, Alexander Battenberg Square, the National Theatre, the former Royal Palace, the Russian Church, St. Sophia Church and the Monument to the Unknown Soldier. Your guide will make you feel the atmosphere of this city which history dates back to the ancient times. Tour proceeds with panoramic sightseeing of the National Library, Sofia University, Borisova Garden, and the National Palace of Culture. In the afternoon - visit the National museum of history and the 900 years old Boyana Church (UNESCO List of Cultural Heritage). Enjoy the remarkable murals, painted by an unknown artist in the 13th century.

B, overnight in Sofia.

Day 3: SOFIA - Rila Monastery  - PLOVDIV (350 km)

After breakfast drive to Rila monastery (UNESCO List of Cultural Heritage). Tour of the monastery. Rila monastery is located some 120 km to the south of Sofia, in the heart of the Rila Mountain. Founded in the 10th century, it has been the biggest spiritual and cultural centre in Bulgaria for hundreds of years. The visitor's first sight of Rila monastery huge towering walls gives the impression of a fortress. The Rila monastery is the largest in the Balkans and included in the List of World Cultural Heritage. Tour of the monastery includes a visit to the Monastery Church, which is of particular artistic value, for it was adorned by the foremost 19-century masters of the Samokov, Bansko and Debar schools of painting and woodcarving. In the afternoon - depart for Plovdiv. Dinner in the famous Hebros restaurant in the Old Town.

B,D, Accommodation in a 3* centrally located hotel.

Day 4: PLOVDIV - KAZANLAK (120 km)

After breakfast take the city sightseeing tour of Plovdiv (mainly on foot). Depart North to Kazanlak, the main city of the Rose Valley. Visit the Thracian beehive tomb in Kazanlak, a unique monument of the Thracian Culture, included in UNESCO's List of World Heritage. The region around Kazanlak is dotted with dozens of Thracian burial mounds. Here, in summer 2004 Prof. Kitov and a team of fellow archaeologists unearthed an ancient gold funeral mask that they say is as important a discovery as the treasures of Agamemnon and Tutankhamen. This extremely precious discovery is displayed in the local museum.

Accommodation in a 3*, centrally located hotel.

Day 5: KAZANLAK - NESSEBAR (250 km)

Following breakfast depart to Nesebar. The museum town of Nesebar, picturesquely situated on a small rocky peninsula is another UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Stop for a tour of the town, where different civilizations have left their marks on the tiny peninsula.

Accommodation in a 3* hotel in Nesebar-Sunny Beach.

Day 6: NESSEBAR - VARNA (100 km)

In the morning you will proceeds to Varna, one of the largest Black Sea cities, founded as a Miletian colony in the place of an old Thracian settlement already during the 6th c. B.C. Enjoy the city sightseeing of Varna, visit the History museum, where the world's oldest gold (45000-42000 B.C.) is displayed. Dinner and overnight in Varna or surroundings.

Accommodation in a 3* hotel in Varna resort area.

Day 7: VARNA ( 50 km)

Take a full day tour to the Black Sea coast North to Varna, visit Balchik and Cape Kaliakra. Drive back to Varna for dinner and overnight.

Day 8: VARNA - Madara – Sveshtari – ROUSSE (250 km)

Early morning departure to Sveshtari, en route visit the Madara national historic and archaeological reserve. This is where you will see the Madara Horseman, a unique bas-relief hewn into the sheer rock, included in the UNESCO List of World Heritage. Drive north to Razgrad. Tour proceeds to Sveshtari. Visit the Thracian Royal Tomb, on the List of UNESCO Cultural Heritage sites, which is one of the most sensational discoveries during the past decade, dating back to the 4th-3rd century B.C. Dinner and overnight in Rousse.

B,D, Accommodation in a 3* hotel in Rousse.

Day 9: ROUSSE - Ivanovo Rock churches  - Arbanassi - VELIKO TARNOVO (120 km)

After breakfast take a short sightseeing tour of Rousse, the largest river port in Bulgaria and one of the  cities with years-long European cultural traditions. Visit the archaeological reserve Ivanovo Rock churches (13th-14th c), listed in the UNESCO 's List of World Heritage. Six of the monastery churches and chapels preserve frescoes from 13th-14th C. Admire the famous frescoes at the "Holly Mother" church, created in the middle of the 14th c by an anonymous Bulgarian author.

Tour proceeds to Veliko Tarnovo via Arbanassi.  Stop for a tour of this beautiful museum village and admire its fortress-like houses and extremely interesting churches.

Accommodation in a 3* hotel in Veliko Tarnovo.

Day 10: VELIKO TARNOVO (30 km)

The capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (XII-XIV c) is situated on three hills, mirrored in the waters of the Yantra River winding down below. Tzarevets Hill is a genuine outdoor museum with its royal buildings, churches, fortress walls, towers, and the restored Ascension patriarchal church.

Enjoy a half-day city sightseeing tour, including visits to Tzarevets Royal Hill and the Church of SS Peter and Paul. Here you will see original Mediaeval frescoes (XIII c AD) of grein artistic value.

Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.

Day 11: VELIKO TARNOVO – Troyan - SOFIA (280 km)

Following breakfast you will proceed to Sofia via Troyan. This small village is famous for its traditional ceramics and.... the best plumb brandy in Bulgaria. The name of the village derives from Via Trayana, the ancient Roman road, connecting the two Roman Provinces - Thracia and Moesia. You will visit the Museum of traditional crafts and applied arts, followed by a demo in a local master's workshop. Reach Sofia in the late afternoon. Check in.

B, Accommodation in a 3*modern, centrally located hotel.

Day 12: Sofia

After breakfast our guide and driver will see you off to the airport, where tour ends.