BULGARIAN MONASTERIES TOUR
9 days / 8 nights
Route: Sofia, Koprivshtiza, Veliko Tarnovo, The Central Balkan Region, Kazanlak, Plovdiv, Bansko, Rila Mountain, Sofia
Price from: request
The Bulgarian monasteries possess human, warm and living beauty hidden behind the austere stone facades. The magnificent architecture, unfading frescoes and exquisite wood-carvings created mostly by self-taught architects, builders and painters add to the authentic charm of the sanctuaries. During the turbulent times of the history of our country, the Bulgarian monasteries were centres of patriotism, national consciousness and struggle for a brighter future. Take a journey in search for the magnificent spiritual beauty of the Bulgarian cornerstones of faith! The more you discover, the more you will be eager to learn!
DAY 1 / WELCOME TO SOFIA!
Our guide will meet you at the Sofia Airport upon your arrival and escort you to the hotel. The afternoon will be devoted to a guided sightseeing tour of the Bulgarian capital Sofia – a colourful blend of numerous ancient sites and modern city landmarks. During the welcome dinner you will have the chance to get to know your fellow travellers who will share the amazing experience with us.
Overnight in Sofia. (dinner)
DAY 2 / KOPRIVSHTITSA & THE KLISURSKI MONASTERY
Today we will head to Koprivshtitsa - one of the few thoroughly preserved National Revival Period museum-towns of Bulgaria, tucked in the heart of the Balkan Mountain. En route, we will stop to visit the wrapped in myths and legends Klisurski Monastery. In the afternoon we will have a guided tour in Koprivshtitsa that will take us to all the landmarks of this charming mountain town impressive with its authentic atmosphere and living patriotic spirit.
Overnight in Koprivshtitsa. (B, L, D)
DAY 3 / THE TROYAN MONASTERY & VELIKO TARNOVO
Our highlight this morning is the enchanting Trojan Monastery founded in the16th century and home of one of the holiest icons in Bulgarian Orthodoxy - the Three-Handed Virgin. Being among the biggest monasteries in the country, it boosts intricate woodcarvings, splendid frescoes and impressive architecture. In the afternoon we will enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of Veliko Tarnovo - the Capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185-1396). We will visit all significant landmarks of the city starting from the picturesque Tsarevets Fortress and learn about the bravery and pride in the history of this glorious Medieval capital. The afternoon will be at our disposal to explore the picturesque city centre on our own.
Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo. (B, L, D)
DAY 4 / THE HIDDEN SANCTUARIES OF CENTRAL BALKAN REGION - PETROPALOVSKI MONASTERY, PREOBRAJENSKI MONASTERI, KILIFAREVSKI MONASTERY AND DRYANOVSKI MONASTERY
Today we will travel to the central part of the Balkan Range and visit the most interesting monasteries and historical places nested there. The Petropavlovski and the Preobrajenski Monasteries have for centuries been cornerstones of the Bulgarians’ faith and were significant for the preservation of the Christian religion in the highest part of the Balkan mountain region throughout the centuries of Muslim dominance in our country (14th – 19th century). Continuing south and passing through the majestic mountain peaks, we will reach the Kilifarevski Monastery, which was an important educational centre during the National Revival period. The last stop today will be the Dryanovski Monastery sheltered between the mighty mountain curves and surrounded by plenty of beautiful hiking trails.Tonight we will stay at the town of Tryavna and have the chance to stroll down its beautiful Old Quarter flecked with Revival houses in which you can see some of the most amazing wood carved ceilings in the country.
Overnight in Tryavna. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 / THE ETARA ARCHITECTURAL RESERVE & THE SOKOLSKI MONASTERY
Today’s fresh start will be a walk through the architectural reserve Etara, where traditional Bulgarian crafts are presented in a myriad of authentic workshops. Next we will visit the nearby Sokolski Monastery which fascinates with the spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding mounts. In the afternoon we will head to the heart of South Bulgaria and the famous Valley of the Bulgarian Rose “Damascene” and the vibrant town of Kazanlak. En route we will visit the Shipka Memorial church - a monument dedicated to the bravery of the Russian and Bulgarian defenders of the Shipka pass in the War of Liberation in 1878.
Overnight in Kazanlak. (B, L, D)
DAY 6 / THE VALLEY OF THE THRACIAN KINGS & BACHKOVO MONASTERY
Our itinerary today will take us to the Valley of Thracian Kings, where we will explore the most interesting one among the many ancient Thracian Tombs. Afterwards we will head to Plovdiv – a city with rich cultural and artistic heritage. We will visit the situated nearby second in size and importance monastery in Bulgaria - Bachkovo Monastery.
Overnight in Plovdiv. (B, L, D)
DAY 7 / PLOVDIV & BANSKO
This morning we spend in The Old Town of Plovdiv which is among the most magnificent places in Bulgaria and is famous for its spectacular Roman Theatre, the multitude of tiny art galleries, churches and authentic cobbled streets lined with Revival period houses most of which open for public. In the afternoon we travel to Bansko at the foot of the Pirin Mountain.
Overnight in Bansko. (B, L, D)
DAY 8 / THE RILA MONASTERY
Today our highlight is the Rila Monastery - a true architectural masterpiece of its time fascinating with its distinguished works of art. En route to Sofia we stop to explore “St. Joan Bogoslov” Monastery (Zemenski Monastery) dating back to the 9th century.
Overnight in Sofia. (B, L, D)
DAY 9 / TOUR ENDS SOFIA
Today after breakfast we say “Goodbye” but promise to keep forever all the beautiful memories we have created together! (B)
If you like the suggested program, ideas, services and this is really your kind of holiday please send us your request for further details! We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and give you our professional advice. Thank you!
WHAT IS INCLUDED:
- 9 days / 8 overnights
- 8 breakfasts (B), 7 lunches (L), 8 dinners (D)
- 2 nights 5 - star hotel accommodation on a twin-share or double basis
- 3 nights 4 - star hotel accommodation on a twin-share or double basis
- 3 nights 3+ - star hotel accommodation on a twin-share or double basis
- Guided sightseeing tours of all visited cities and sights
- Escorted services of an experienced guide in the requested language for the whole tour
- Group Size: average 20, maximum 35
- Transport: modern air-conditioned coach
- The Bulgarian Capital Sofia: a religiously tolerant city where you will have the chance to see a Jewish synagogue within a few minutes’ walk from a Muslim Mosque and an Orthodox cathedral
- Koprivshtitsa - a small museum-town made up by authentic houses
- The city of the Bulgarian Tsars - Veliko Tarnovo
- The out-of the beaten track religious sanctuaries nested in the heart of the Balkan mountain range - Petropavlovski Monastery, Preobrajenski Monastery, Kilifarevski Monastery and Dryanovski Monastery
- The Valley of the Thracian Kings with its ancient tombs
- A walk in the winding cobble streets of the charming Old Quarter of the city of Plovdiv with its spectacular Roman amphitheatre and the Bachkovo monastery
- The majestic Rila mountain, home of the Rila Monastery - the biggest monastery on the Balkan Peninsula