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Four tours to Bulgaria
Behind the Iron Curtain - Unveiled August 3 - 14, 2017
Wild Europe to the East October 15 - 28, 2017
Colorful Orthodox Easter in Bulgaria March 31 - April 15, 2018
Wild Europe to the East (Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo & Montenegro) October 14 - 27, 2018

A delightful and enriching cultural experience!

About our Bulgaria tours

Travel can focus on places or on people - or on both. 

Forget the big coach tour where visitors are herded onto vehicles only to pass by virtual pictures outside the window, with some quick stops and a lecture or two along the way.

Another way to travel is on your own, which is not a bad idea at all. The gregarious and outgoing person can find interesting people everywhere. Stopping to visit with whoever crosses your path is a good thing too.

However, for a full, rich and memorable experience, please, come with us!  Our tours are carefully organized so you will come home having seen the top sites AND having learned about, met and interacted with those who absolutely personify the culture. We encourage you to make friends with those who you share the adventure and with those you meet.

The reason we are able to do this is because we have the most knowledgeable, personable, and caring guide in all of Bulgaria. Don’t miss the opportunity to travel with Lyuba or one of her carefully trained team. Lyuba’s vast network of friends and associates allow you to connect with the people who are either unique or best examples of characteristics that make Bulgaria a rich, but mostly undiscovered treasure.  The places we visit are not only the most famous, but also some of the most exquisite and little known places; I dare you to find them on your own. The explanations of what you see, hear, smell and taste will make these places come alive.

Lyuba knows the traditions, both cultural and historical. She will introduce you to the traditions, art, religion, music, dance, crafts, cuisine and more. Yes, we will stop to smell the roses, the lavender, and the pastries too. These tours are a feast for the senses and the soul.

Gwen Erwood

President, Travel Concepts International

Bulgaria is so interesting as it's not spoiled by tourists - real relations, wonderful small hotels, and most important - an incredible heritage, still authentic and not yet touched by human hands.

So far we are a big hidden treasure, which should be discovered soon.

--Our guide, Lyuba Boyanin





We invite you to call Sarah or Gwen at 1-800-762-4216 to request the full brochure. The brochure will include Important Traveler Information (and answers to most questions) and a Reservation Form. We can send the brochure through the Postal Service or as a PDF attachment. If you would like to receive a PDF, probably the best way to keep the message from going into a SPAM filter is to send a message to sarah@serioustraveler.com. If you are already on our mailing list, no need to complete the entire brochure request form.

Featuring a visit to the Valley of Roses

Sofia • Koprivshtitsa • Kazanluk • Shipka • Veliko Turnovo • Arbanassi
Rousse • Sveshtari • Madara • Varna • Balchik • Nessebar • Plovdiv
including the Rila Monastery

May 24 - June 3, 2017 • 11 Days
$3990 per person double occupancy from Sofia, Bulgaria
Single supplement $490

Rates are tour-only and airfare is additional

Combine with our Traditions & Legends of Romania tour, June 3-14, 2017 Click Here


Read what our past traveler, Jo Weiss, wrote about our Bulgaria trip
Click Here (to load PDF)

Dear World Travelers:

Come with us to the Valley of Roses as the sweet scent of just-opening blossoms welcomes you to Bulgaria. Ever loyal to our commitment to make you part of magnificent cultures and help you befriend open-minded people, we have included in our program an in-depth cultural tour of Bulgaria. Always part of the cradle of European Civilization, Bulgaria has nonetheless remained relatively unknown to Americans. Our discovery trip through the charming towns and millennia-old cities of Bulgaria will introduce you to interesting people excited to share the secrets of their country.

Since you may only make one trip to Bulgaria, we want to make it as memorable as possible. Therefore we have a full program with many extras. Enjoy excellent accommodations including the Arbanassi Palace, formerly the Bulgarian president’s home. Also stay at the Euxinograd Residence, formerly the summer palace of the Bulgarian kings.

Some of the special features that distinguish this exciting cultural program are a folklore performance in the village of Lozen, a private choir concert in an Orthodox Church where you can almost see the music swirl in the vaulted ceilings and performances of musicians to accompany some of the meals. Oh yes, the meals! Dine sumptuously at the Hunting Lodge of Euxinograd Palace! We’ll savor great food and wine throughout the trip. We’ll also enjoy carefully prepared meals by authentic Grannies in Sophia. Our dinner at a monastery near the town of Veliko Turnovo will be food prepared by the nuns. Whether it is a beef and vegetable stew, slow-cooked in a traditional ceramic pot, or an elegant fish entrée, all our meals will be accompanied by pure spring water for which Bulgaria is famous and you’ll have the opportunity to sample award-winning Bulgarian wines.

Bulgaria’s past, present and future are forever marked by the country’s strategic location at the crossroads of major civilizations: between Classical Greek, Imperial Rome and majestic Byzantium. Lesser-known societies also flourished and became centers of admiration for historians, archaeologists and the general public interested in the origins of European culture. Bulgaria proudly preserves the remnants of the Thracian, Macedonian and Celtic civilizations. Together we’ll discover the enchanting land of Orpheus (the magical musician of antiquity), Dionysus (the God of Wine), and the rebellious Spartacus. With this trip, we’ll have the pleasure of immersing ourselves in these well- and lesser-known cultures. Forget the myth that former communist states are gray and drab. The country fairly bursts with color. In Varna we’ll see the world’s first gold treasures. The Gold Treasures of the Thracian Kings are also from this area. We’ll discover how the majestic faces of the Bulgarian Emperors on the frescoes in the Boyana Church were predecessors of the Renaissance. We’ll marvel at the artistic wealth of the Eastern Orthodox churches and monasteries. The visual backdrops of our journey will be the castles in Veliko Turnovo, a Roman theater in Plovdiv, and Greek colonies. They break forth from an idyllic landscape and modern cityscapes. The Bulgarians invariably find a friendly way to share their culture with us. We can always learn something new and exciting from one another.

We’ll gladly assist with air arrangements from your home city and provide extensive preparation material including a study packet. Please join our small group of no more than 15 travelers and enjoy the charm of the Seven Wonders of Bulgaria!

Gwen Erwood
President, Travel Concepts International

Click map for larger view

Sofia • Pernik • Rila Monastery • Pravets • Botevgrad • Lovech • Veliko Turnovo
Arbanassi • Shumen • Varna • Nessebar • Kotel • Zheravna • Silven • Stara Zagora
Monument of Buzludzha • Shipka • Kazanluk • Dimitrovgrad • Plovdiv • Pazardzhik

The Communist Era Unveiled
Architecture, Art & Daily Life

August 3 - 14, 2017 • 12 Days
based on double occupancy beginning
and ending in Sofia, Bulgaria (airfare additional)
Transfers from airport to hotel included

Dear World Traveler,

We invite you to a journey to the near past! This trip brings you to the atmosphere of the Communist Era. As witnesses of those times, we guarantee an authentic experience: as close as it was before. What was life like behind the Iron Curtain? How did it happen that the imagined “perfect” society looked like taken from Orwell's novel 1984? This is a rare chance to see people who lived during Communism, to have a chance to explore almost abandoned monuments and factories in decay. But at the same time to understand why many people still feel nostalgic. You should not expect luxury life on this journey, but we can promise you a great trip. This itinerary was lovingly researched and prepared by Lyuba Boyanin.

Lyuba Boyanin and Gwen Erwood

President, Travel Concepts International


We invite you to call Sarah or Gwen at 1-800-762-4216 to request the full brochure. The brochure will include Important Traveler Information (and answers to most questions) and a Reservation Form. We can send the brochure through the Postal Service or as a PDF attachment. If you would like to receive a PDF, probably the best way to keep the message from going into a SPAM filter is to send a message to sarah@serioustraveler.com. If you are already on our mailing list, no need to complete the entire brochure request form.


Sofia • Boyana Church • Koprivshtitsa • Kazanluk • Kalofer • Shipka • Tryavna • Bozhentsi
Gabrovo • Veliko Tarnovo • Arbanassi • Elena • Zheravna • Kotel • Stara Zagora
Plovdiv • Oryahovitsa • Bachkovo Monastery • Kardzhali • Perperikon • Tatul • Zlatograd
Shiroka Luka • Velingrad • Bansko • Leshten • Melnik • Rila Monastery
Including spectacular sites in the Western Rhodope Mountains


March 31 - April 15, 2018 • 16 Days
based on double occupancy beginning
and ending in Sofia, Bulgaria (airfare additional)
Transfers from airport to/from hotel included

Dear World Travelers,

This is a unique sixteen day tour in the glorious springtime that you will not want to miss. Whether you have connections to Bulgaria or are a seasoned traveler looking for a one-of-a kind-trip to a relatively undiscovered part of the world, with a program highly spiced with warm cultural visits, please join our small group. We’ll arrive in Sofia for the colorful Palm Sunday Festival. As we pass through Kazanluk, best-known as the Valley of the Roses, you’ll learn about the ancient and mysterious Thracians. Visit small towns like Koprivshtitsa, Tryavna, Gabrovo, Bozhentsi, which you may never have heard of, but thanks to our excellent guide and the activities planned for you, will stay in your memory forever.

Celebrate Midnight Mass amongst the glow of candles in Plovdiv, the city that will be the 2019 Cultural Capital of Europe. Easter lunch will be in a nearby village where you are welcomed as very special guests.

We spend much of the time in the South of Bulgaria in the enchanting Rhodope Mountains. The legends, music and traditions of the Rhodopes will come alive in our guide’s wonderful company. They will show you tucked-away monasteries, ancient sanctuaries and crafts centers you might never find on your own, and bring them alive with their vast knowledge and love of Balkan culture.
Private events include:

  • Visit with a woman who makes hand-made lace
  • Concert of Christian orthodox choir
  • Visit to a violin-maker’s atelier
  • Egg-dyeing workshop
  • Visit a lady who weaves carpets in Zheravna
  • Folklore performance in Kotel
  • Bag piper performance in Zlatograd
  • Visit a Kazalbashi family
  • Male choir folklore performance in Velingrad

This tour is made with great love and we believe that every day will be a feast for the spirit of the traveler of any age who likes and appreciates getting familiar with new cultures of the world. The pictures we have included in this brochure do not do the trip justice. Please read the itinerary carefully and then see for yourself!

Gwen Erwood

President, Travel Concepts International

Click for larger view

Discovery Highlights

  • Discovery Highlights
  • Travel throughout Bulgaria with our excellent, knowledgeable guide
  • Enjoy Palm Sunday celebrations in Sofia, concerts in her square with public cultural events
  • See UNESCO’s Boyana Church with its 11th-14th century frescoes
  • Learn about the Thracians from their 5th-3rd century BC tombs
  • See the woodcarving workshops in a wood-carving museum in Tryavna
  • Have a photo op for the panorama views from Tsarevets overlooking Veliko Tarnovo
  • Delight in a private concert in Kotel
  • Attend the midnight Easter Mass and candle ritual at an Orthodox church in Plovdiv
  • Feel like a local as we sing and dance at our Easter lunch in the village of Oryahovitsa
  • Explore the archaeological site of Tatul - the ancient sanctuary of Orpheus
  • Visit with local Muslims - members of the Kazalbashi denomination of Islam
  • Travel through the scenic Rhodope Mountains with stops at local villages throughout
  • Take the opportunity to experience the luxurious spa treatments in Velingrad
  • See the hidden gem of Balkan architecture from the 18th C. - Melnik
  • Marvel at the Rila Monastery - the most famous of all Bulgarian Christian Orthodox monuments
  • Prepare fully with pre-trip study material
  • Flight bag, luggage strap and document holder are our gifts to you



© 2017 Travel Concepts International, Inc. CST 2005743-40

Travel Concepts International, Inc.
Cultural Tours to Better Understand the World and Its People

5500 Bucks Bar Road • Placerville, CA 95667 U.S.A. • Voicemail/Telephone/Fax 1-530-621-3007
Voicemail/Tollfree in U.S.A. 1-800-762-4216
wen@SeriousTraveler.com • Web site www.SeriousTraveler.com