Bulgaria's Hidden Heritage

From £1,099.00
Duration 8 Days
Departures from Jun 2020 - Sep 2020
Book now
From £1,099.00
Duration 8 Days
Departures from Jun 2020 - Sep 2020
Tour Overview

This round trip from Bulgaria's bustling capital, Sofia, will introduce you to many wonderful sites which tell the story of the country's rich history. Discover Plovdiv's Roman amphitheatre, dating back to the 2nd century AD, then continue to the incredible city of Nessebar. UNESCO-listed and home to many ancient churches, it is a delight to explore. In Varna you'll see the oldest gold treasure in the world, while at Madara you can admire an extraordinary medieval rock relief. Watch artisans at work in the ancient town of Tryavna, learn how Bulgaria's famous rose oil is produced and journey through a scenic mountain pass to discover Kazanlak's Thracian tomb.

  • Classic Touring Icon Classic Touring
  • Flight Choices icon Flight Choices
  • Maximum Group Size icon Max 35 Group Size
  • meals icon All Breakfasts

Your Holiday Includes

  • Return flights from Heathrow with British Airways
  • 7 nights in 3, 4 and 5-star hotels
  • 11 meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 dinners and welcome drink
  • Travelsphere Tour Manager and Specialist Local Guide
  • Overseas transfers, other transportation and porterage
  • Audio Guide

Included Holiday Highlights

  • Dinner in Plovdiv's Old Town
  • Explore Plovdiv's Roman and Ottoman sites
  • Discover Nessebar, including the archaeological museum
  • Varna's archaeological museum and the 'Madara Horseman'
  • Tryavna and Etara
  • Visit a rose oil distillery
  • Travel through the scenic Shipka Pass
  • Discover Sofia​
  • Special farewell dinner with folklore show

Itinerary

Day 1 UK - Sofia

After your flight to Sofia we'll transfer you to your hotel in Plovdiv to rest up ready for an exciting day the following morning. 

Day 2 Plovdiv - Varna

Enjoy breakfast before setting off on a day of sightseeing, which begins with a walking tour of Plovdiv. As we explore the Old Town we'll see its Roman amphitheatre, which dates back to the 2nd century AD and was uncovered during a landslide in 1972.
We'll then continue by road to Varna, with an included visit en route to Nessebar. This UNESCO-listed city is situated on a rocky peninsula jutting out into the Black Sea and is connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway. Here you'll find remains of Roman and medieval walls and cobblestone streets lined with houses built in Bulgarian National Revival style. However, it is mostly known for its many ancient churches from different periods of history. Each has a tale to tell, from the Church of St John the Baptist with its cylindrical dome, to St Stephen's Church and its 16th century frescoes. Our tour also takes in the archaeological museum, where exhibits chart Nessebar's fascinating history.

On arrival in Varna we will take a stroll to a traditional local restaurant and wine bar to enjoy a welcome dinner of tasty Bulgarian cuisine. 
Meals included: B,D

Day 3 Varna

Today you'll visit Varna to see the fascinating relics housed in its archaeological museum. There are thousands of exhibits from the Stone and Middle Ages, including the Gold of Varna. This is the oldest gold treasure in the world and was found in the necropolis of Varna – known as the largest prehistoric necropolis in south-eastern Europe.
The afternoon has been left free for you to explore Varna at your own pace. The city has plenty of shops and restaurants as well as art galleries and an aquarium showcasing the creatures found in the Black Sea. Meals included: B

Day 4 Varna - Kmetovtsi

You're heading to Kmetovtsi for an overnight stay, and on the way you'll pack in plenty of sightseeing. Your first stop is Madara, where you'll see the impressive Madara Horseman. This early medieval rock relief is carved into a plateau and depicts a horseman trailed by a running dog, with a lion crushed beneath the horse's hooves. The sculpture was created in the 7th century more than 20 metres up a 100-metre-high cliff and is one of Bulgaria's most famous monuments.
Next we continue to the town of Veliko Tarnovo, which is home to a reconstructed fortress and well-maintained streets lined with wooden houses. Perhaps walk up Zarevets Hill to enjoy breathtaking views over the town and the numerous monasteries that decorate the picturesque gorges of the Yantra River. Meals included: B,D

Day 5 Tryavna & Etara

The town of Tryavna, which lies at the foot of a mountain, is where you'll head today. Known as a centre of culture and crafts, the Tryavna Artistic School was established here in the 18th to 19th centuries, and you'll see evidence of craftsmanship all around as you explore. The clock tower is the first sight sure to catch your eye. This central landmark has been standing since 1814, and the whole square in which it sits is the only completely preserved complex from the Bulgarian National Revival period. You can also watch craftsmen at work and visit the Woodcarving Museum, one of many in the town, before we head to the open-air museum of Etara. In all, this museum boasts 50 sites showcasing Bulgarian life at the turn of the 19th century. So as you stroll around you can watch bell-makers, potters and other artisans at work as you relive the past.   Meals included: B,D

Day 6 Kmetovtsi - Sofia

After breakfast today you're going to visit a rose oil distillery. The damask rose, or Bulgarian rose, has a deep and intense scent, and the country is one of the top producers of rose oil. This highly prized commodity is used to make some of the world's most famous and expensive perfumes - to make just 1kg of oil it takes three tonnes of petals. This is why rose oil is known as 'liquid gold'. You'll see just how it is produced on your tour and you'll even get to sample products including rose water and rose and lavender oil.
Next we'll head to Kazanlak to see a Thracian tomb dating back to the 4th century BC. Our journey here takes us via the scenic Shipka Pass, which winds through mountainous terrain. Later, we head back to Sofia. Meals included: B

Day 7 Sofia

This morning join your Tour Manager for a walking tour of Sofia to discover onion-domed churches, Ottoman mosques and many of the country's finest museums and galleries.
This afternoon, why not come with us on an optional excursion to the Rila Monastery. Founded by a hermit monk in around 927 AD, it's the largest in Bulgaria.
Tonight, we're going to head back into the capital to enjoy dinner and a traditional folklore show. The restaurant we are going to dates back to the 19th century and is located close to Lion's Bridge. An array of delicious Bulgarian specialities will be on the menu, including chicken prepared in a large clay egg and porcini soup served in a bowl of bread. Meals included: B,D

Day 8 Sofia - UK

Enjoy a relaxing morning before we transfer you to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

Meals included: B

Additional Information

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  1. Favourite Moment

    As well as local specialities including porcini soup served in a bread bowl, traditional dancing is also on the menu at your farewell dinner and folklore show.

Accommodation

Grand Hotel Plovdiv

Grand Hotel Plovdiv is located near the Rhodope mountains and the Old town of plovdiv and is a perfect way to discover the history and culture of the city. The Hotel Amenities include a tennis court, billiards, bowling, sauna, fitness center, solarium, spa and wellness center, massage, hot tub, indoor pool, nightclub. the hotel also offers General services like room services, newspapers, safety deposit box, barber/beauty shop, lift. The hotel has a bar, breakfast in the room and restaurant (a la Carte). provides 24 hour font help desk, currency exchange, luggage storage and ATM/ cash machine on site. the hotels cleaning services include Laundry, dry cleaning, ironing service and shoeshine.

Golden Tulip Varna

Golden Tulip Varna is a classic 4 star hotel, located downtown Varna City, only 300 m from the symbol of the city – the Cathedral “Assumption of the Holy Virgin”. The hotel features a restaurant and a bar and all rooms have streamlined décor and offer free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs.

Hotel Fenerite

The hotel, built in 1865, widely known in the past as ""Bakalov khan"", was the house of a rich business man. With its unique architecture, furnishing and natural environment, the hotel complex relies on professional service, traditional Bulgarian cuisine and Balkan hospitality. The rooms feature a TV, telephone, refrigerator with mini-bar and Wi-Fi internet. The hotel has goat a sauna & steam bath.

Hotel Arena di Serdica

Centrally located in downtown Sofia, the Arena di Serdica Boutique Hotel is an elegant modern facility, which hosts one of Sofia’s most precious treasures – the remains of the roman Amphitheatre of Ancient Serdica, which date back to the III-IV century. Next to Sofia’s main cultural sights and institutions. The hotels’ uniqueness is complemented by its boutique character and offers its guests 2 restaurants, a lobby bar, a wellness club and free Wi-Fi. Rooms boast many amenities including air conditioning, TV, bathrobes, safe, slippers, minibar, tea and coffee facilities and a hairdryer.

Prices shown are based on twin occupancy of a double or twin bedded room with private facilities unless otherwise stated. Single occupancy supplements will apply. Travelsphere have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the hotel images provided on this website and images of room types displayed may vary to those offered on your tour. Therefore due to the possibility of inadvertent errors we do not guarantee their accuracy. Hotels, airlines used and flight times are subject to change and will be confirmed in your final documents.