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Day by Day Itinerary

April 20 Arrive Sofia
Saturday

Welcome to Bulgaria! Plan to arrive in Sofia by midday and transfer from the airport to our downtown hotel. Some time to rest, and an afternoon walk in Sofia, which will include the Synagogue, highlights of the National Archaeological museum (housed in the city’s largest and oldest Ottoman mosque), the catacombs under St. Sophia church, and the Alexander Nevsky cathedral. Dinner in a fine restaurant. Overnight in Sofia. (D)

*****Arena di Serdica Hotel

April 21 Sofia - Boyana Church
Sunday Sofia

After a late breakfast we drive to the outskirts of Sofia, the foothills of Vitosha mountain, to have a look at Boyana church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its medieval frescoes. Then drive nearby to have a look at the National History Museum, housed inside the former communist-era government residence. Enjoy lunch in a village nearby. Back in Sofia take a vintage tram ride. This is an amazing way to see more of the city, including some of the suburbs. Remainder of the afternoon is at leisure - rest or explore the city, and dinner on your own in an interesting restaurant in town. Our guide can make recommendations. (B-L)

*****Arena di Serdica Hotel

April 22 Sofia - Plovdiv
Monday

We will get up early, in order to arrive earlier at Rila Monastery, and have the place to ourselves, before any other tourists arrive. Rila is Bulgaria’s largest monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and boasts a spectacular location deep in a mountain valley. We will look at the small monastery museum, the old kitchen, the tower, and the main church. Then we continue to Pirin Mountain, another UNESCO site, and will have our picnic lunch in the foothills of the mountain. Board a narrow gauge train from Velingrad to Varvara, and enjoy a local music band play for us on the train. Then we continue to Plovdiv. We check in at our hotel in the heart of the old town. Some time to rest, and dinner at a fine restaurant. Overnight in Plovdiv. (B-L-D)

*****Hebros Hotel

April 23 Plovdiv
Tuesday

After breakfast enjoy a tour of Plovdiv’s most interesting sights: the Klianti House Museum, the Roman Amphitheater, the recently excavated Small Roman Basilica, and the ruins of a Roman house, decorated with some fine mosaics. We will stroll along the main pedestrian street of town, and stop for lunch on your own at a good restaurant. Free time in the afternoon to rest or explore the city at leisure. (B)

*****Hebros Hotel

April 24 Plovdiv - Kazanlak
Wednesday Veliko Turnovo

We drive north, towards the town of Kazanlak, the heart of the Rose Valley. Drive along Bulgaria’s Primeval Beech Forests, our fourth UNESCO Site on this tour. Then we will stop at the Kazanlak Thracian tomb, our fifth UNESCO site. Have a look at a violin maker’s atelier, at the Russian church in Shipka, and have our picnic lunch atop mount Buzludja, which boasts one of the most impressive abandoned communist monuments in the world. Then we head across the Balkan mountains to Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria’s medieval capital. Relax with some time to rest, and in the later afternoon do a tour of Turnovo, ending the evening with dinner in a fine local restaurant, and watching the light and sound show over the medieval citadel. Overnight in Veliko Turnovo, (B-L-D)

***Studio Hotel

April 25 Veliko Turnovo
Thursday Belene - Russe
Pirgovo - Mechka

Depart north, with a convoy of Trabants (the legendary East German vehicle, manufactured from 1957 to 1991, made of plastic, with a two-stroke engine!), to the island of Belene on the Danube river. The Trabants source from a local collector. Belene was the harshest Bulgarian communist-era concentration camp. Visit the camp grounds, our local guide being a former political prisoner, and have a look at the nearby modern-day prison. The island is connected to the mainland by a rusting old pontoon bridge. This is the poorest and eeriest part of Bulgaria.

Then we continue to the city of Russe, Bulgaria’s largest town on the Danube. Enjoy lunch and a walk in Russe, formerly a most prosperous city, trading with other towns along the Danube. In the afternoon we stop to have a look at the Ivanovo Rock-Hewn churches, our sixth UNESCO site on this tour, and at the nearby village of Pirgovo, where the ladies of the village will show us how to dye Easter eggs. Overnight in the village of Mechka. Mechka has a curious winery and hotel, built by a Bulgarian-American who escaped communism hiding inside a train’s loo. Once in America, he was been able to achieve the American dream and become a millionaire - before eventually returning to his homeland. Dinner and wine tasting at our hotel, with some of the finest Danube river views you can get! (B-D)

Seven Generations Hotel and Spa

April 26 Mechka
Friday Srebarna Lake
Aydemir - Osmar

After breakfast continue east, driving along the Danube River. Stop at the little known tekke, or shrine of Sabri Hussein, a seventeenth-century Naqshbandi holy man, born in Bukhara. Then we continue to Srebarna Lake, on the UNESCO site for its rare migrating birds. Stop at the village of Aydemir, to visit the local Lipovan, or Russian old-believer community, which escaped religious persecution in the Russian Empire. Enjoy lunch in a Lipovan home. Then we continue south, visiting the remarkable Sveshtari Thracian Tomb, our eighth UNESCO Site, before heading to the village of Osmar, where we stay overnight. Once upon a time Osmar prospered on its pelin, or vermouth wine. Now it’s one of the most quaint non-touristy villages in Bulgaria. Dinner at our hotel, and perhaps a look at the village kazan, or distillery - where they produce rakia! (B-L-D)

***Osmarski Kuhti Hotel

April 27 Osmar - Shumen
Saturday Black Sea Coast
Tyulenovo

After breakfast we head to the nearby town of Shumen, to see the gargantuan socialist-era monument dedicated to 1,300 years of Bulgaria. We may drive to the top, or you may hike the 1,300 steps up! Then we see the Madara rider, Europe’s only early medieval rock relief - and our ninth UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue to the Black Sea coast. We will have our lunch at Shabla Lighthouse, the easternmost point of Bulgaria, and oldest lighthouse in the Balkan Peninsula, dating back to the 1850s Crimean War. The few remaining fishermen on that stormy coast will cook lunch for us. Learn about their dangerous, disappearing craft. Then we drive to the nearby Tyulenovo village, in the wildest part of the Bulgarian Black Sea. Check in at the fine Tyulenovo Hotel, overlooking a tiny fishing harbor, and have the afternoon to rest or walk along the scenic coast. Dinner at our hotel. After dinner we set off to the nearby town of Shabla to attend Easter Mass at the town’s church. Overnight in Tyulenovo. (B-L-D)

***Tyulenovo Hotel

April 28 Tyulenovo - Yaylata
Sunday Bulgarevo
Mangalia, Romania
Tyulenovo

After breakfast we head to the nearby Yaylata Nature Preserve, to have a walk trying to spot rare birds, rare flowers, prehistoric burial sites, the ruins of an old Roman trading fortress and winery. Then we continue to Bulgarevo village, to join a local Gagauz family - ethnic Turks who have converted to Christianity - in their Easter lunch. Free time after lunch to rest at our hotel or explore the coast. In the late afternoon we will head across the border to Romania, to the small town of Mangalia, to have a stroll along the seaside promenade, have a look at the sixteenth-century Ottoman mosque, and have a fine dinner. Then we return to our cozy hotel in Tyulenovo. (B-L-D)

***Tyulenovo Hotel

April 29 Tyulenovo - Cape Kaliakra
Monday Balchik - Varna

After breakfast we depart south, stopping at scenic Cape Kaliakra to have a look at the medieval fortress and caves (once inhabited) perched high atop the rocky shore. Then we continue to Balchik, to see the palace of Romanian Queen Mary and the Botanical Gardens that have one of the world’s largest cactus collections. Enjoy lunch in Balchik, before continuing to Varna. In Varna we will check in at the Euxinograd government residence and winery (pending permission). After some time to rest, we tour the residence grounds (normally closed to outside visitors) - including the Euxinograd royal palace and the ruins of a Roman fortress. Dinner at the residence restaurant with some of Bulgaria’s finest white wines and rakia! Overnight in Varna. (B-D)

Euxinograd Residence

April 30 Varna - Nessebar
Tuesday St. Anastasia Island

A morning at leisure to explore the residence park. Then we continue to Varna, stopping to see the fine Archaeological Museum, with the world’s oldest human-crafted gold. We continue south along the coast, crossing once again the Balkan mountains. On the way we stop and see an eighteenth-century German-made lemonade machine - which still works - and have lunch in a remote, picturesque village tucked in the mountains. Visit the old town of Nessebar for a walk, exploring the town’s old Byzantine churches. That will be our tenth and final UNESCO World Heritage site in Bulgaria! In the late afternoon we will charter a boat, if the weather allows, to the small rocky island of St. Anastasia. Enjoy dinner and stay overnight at the former monastery on the island, now refurbished into a small and cozy hotel. The only other people will be the cook, making food for us, and the two soldiers staffing the lighthouse. If the weather does not allow, we will stay overnight at the equally small and cozy St. Anastasia Hotel, located on the mainland, just south of Burgas, and facing the St Anastasia island. (B-L-D)

St. Anastasia Island Guesthouses
or St. Anastasia Hotel

May 1 St. Anastasia Island
Wednesday Burgas - Atanasovsko Lake
Akve Kalide - Yambol
Sofia

In the morning we head to Burgas - by chartered boat if we stayed on the island, or by bus if we stayed at the shore hotel. Visit the salt lakes on the Atanasovsko Lake, and learn more about how salt has been made here since ancient times. Then we continue inland, stopping briefly at Akve Kalide, an ancient (Thracian, Roman, Byzantine, Bulgarian and Ottoman) spa town, having a look at the restored old Ottoman bathhouse. Enjoy a delightful lunch in the town of Yambol, at the old Ottoman covered market, where an opera singer will perform for us! In the afternoon we drive back to Sofia. Some time to rest at our hotel, and then a farewell dinner on the top floor of one of the highest buildings in Sofia. Overnight in Sofia. (B-L-D)

*****Arena di Serdica

May 2 Depart Sofia
Thursday

End of tour after breakfast. A transfer to the airport is included for your flight back home, or where the heart calls you next. (B)

B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner

THIS IS NOT THE FULL BROCHURE

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.

 

 

THIS IS NOT THE FULL BROCHURE

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.

 

 

April 4 - 19, 2020 • 13 Days
based on double occupancy beginning
and ending in Sofia, Bulgaria
Transfers from airport to/from hotel included
Single supplement
Airfare Additional

Sofia • Boyana Church • Koprivshtitsa • Kazanluk • Kalofer • Shipka • Tryavna • Bozhentsi
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

Day by Day Itinerary

April 4 Arrive Sofia
Saturday

Welcome to Bulgaria! Plan to make your flight reservations from the U.S. on April 3, so as to arrive in Sofia on April 4. We will assist with your flight and transfer if you wish. Enjoy free time this afternoon to settle in and recover from jet lag. Get acquainted with your traveling companions over a Welcome Dinner this evening. (D)

Hotel Crystal Palace****

April 5 Palm Sunday Celebration
Sunday 

Begin the day, as every day on the tour, with a hearty breakfast. We’ll spend the day in Sofia to learn about its history during a sightseeing tour of the city. Enjoy some of the public cultural events organized this day. The streets are full of women selling flowers. On Palm Sunday people buy flowers for presents to friends and relatives. Willow branches decorate churches and people can bring them home for good luck. The main Cathedral of Sofia has a very large service led by a Bulgarian patriarch with participation of hundreds of choir singers and many priests. Enjoy the beautiful singing and rituals. We have lunch and then a visit to Boyana Church, a UNESCO site, built and painted between the 11th and 14th centuries. The frescoes, dating from 1259 are considered an artistic precursor to the Italian Renaissance, which started two centuries later. At the National History Museum, we will be introduced to Bulgarian history and see some of the most significant findings excavated in Bulgaria. Free time this evening. (about 1 hour driving today)(B-L)

Hotel Crystal Palace****

April 6 Sofia - Koprivshtitsa
Monday Kalofer - Kazanluk

After breakfast, relax on a scenic drive to Koprivshtitsa, one of the typical Bulgarian towns still preserving the atmosphere of the Bulgarian National Revival period. The town is huddled in the mountain folds 70 miles east of Sofia. Koprivshtitsa is said to be a unique combination of rich history and fascinating present. No other Bulgarian “Museum town” boasts such a large number of houses and monuments which have been restored to their original appearance. While walking on the paved narrow streets, we feel we are transported to the erstwhile revival times.
Have lunch with the priest of the local church and then proceed to Kazanluk. En route we will stop in the town of Kalofer where we will visit a local lady who makes hand-made lace.
Before dinner you are in for a treat! Listen to the strains of an orthodox a cappella choir as the sounds of their voices resonate in the church’s lofty vaults - a truly extraordinary experience. Drive 143 miles total today (about 3.5 hours) and overnight in Kazanluk. (B-L-D)

Hotel Palace***

April 7 Kazanluk - Shipka Pass
Tuesday Tryavna

A significant part of the day will be dedicated to the Thracian civilization and its remains in the area of Kazanluk. This part of Central Bulgaria is called the Valley of the Thracian Kings due to the fact there are more than 15 discovered tombs and a whole city Seuthopolis, now under the water of Koprinka Dam. We will visit a few of the tombs, all of them dated between 5th and 3rd c. BC. We will marvel at the replica of the famous Thracian Tomb in Kazanluk (UNESCO List) and admire the frescoes depicting scenes from the everyday, religious and wartime life of the Thracians. Kazanluk is very famous for its violin-makers and we can visit the private atelier of one of them and see how string musical instruments are made. Lunch in the area. We will not miss the Historical Museum where precious artifacts from archaeological works around Kazanluk are exhibited. In the afternoon spend time at the magnificent Golden Church of Shipka. Continue on to the town of Tryavna via the historical Shipka Pass. Weather permitting, we will drive up to the top of the Balkan range peak of Shipka, where the views to Northern Valleys and to the South are just breathtaking. Drive 40 miles today - about 1.5 hours. Dinner and overnight. (B-L-D)

Overnight in B&B pansion in Tryavna

April 8 Tryavna - Kmetovtsi
Wednesday Bozhentsi - Etara
Veliko Tarnovo

After breakfast, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Tryavna. The central square of the town has preserved the authentic 19th c. look with the Clock Tower, the Church of Archangel Michael and the old bridge. Have a walk along pedestrian street. Visit some of the woodcarving workshops. Tryavna was one of the centers of woodcarving so a visit to the Wood-Carving Museum is a rare chance to see some of the best works from 18-19th c. We can also visit the Icon Museum with its rich collection of Christian Orthodox art.
Around noon we depart to the little village of Bozhentsi (45 minutes), where numerous houses of 19th century were well preserved and turned into galleries, ethno museums, B&B pansions or cafeterias. On the way, we will stop for lunch at a 200-year-old tavern in the village of Kmetovtsi. Arrival to Bozhentsi. Have free time to enjoy this artistic little village on your own. Continue to the open-air Ethnographic Museum of Etara. The complex presents typical Bulgarian crafts and the traditional way of using water to power these crafts. Next we visit the nearby Sokolski Monastery (19th c.) where we can enjoy the beautiful scenery. The fountain area of the monastery is particularly interesting, which was built by the famous Bulgarian architect Kolyo Ficheto. Drive to Veliko Tarnovo. Dinner and overnight. Drive 70 miles today - about 2.5 hours. (B-L-D)

Overnight in Gurko B&B pansion in Veliko Tarnovo

April 9 Veliko Tarnovo
Thursday Arbanassi – Elena
Zheravna

After breakfast drive to the village of Arbanassi. Explore the Church of Nativity with numerous frescoes from 17th c. which are very well preserved. Our next visit is the House of Konstantsaliev (mid 18th c.). It was owned by a rich merchant’s family and is representative of the fortress-like houses which were spread throughout the Balkan lands of the Ottoman Empire in the 18th c. Return to Veliko Tarnovo (1 hr 15 min), where first we will have a brief stop for a photo opportunity at the Medieval Citadel of Tsarevets. Walk along Samovodene Street where ateliers of different craftsmen are situated – pottery makers, silversmiths, wood-carvers, and more. Enjoy some free time shopping on Samovodene Street and lunch on your own.
In the afternoon we will drive to the nearby town of Elena (45 min). There we will have a walking tour around Old Town. The Church of St. Nicholas (early 19th c.) and the building of Daskalolivnitsata, the first modern Bulgarian school from the 1840s, represent old glorious periods of Elena. We can also visit one of the house-museums, built in early 18th c. with only stone and wooden material. Drive to the village of Zheravna. Dinner and overnight in a B&B pansion. Drive 80 miles today - about 2.5 hours. (B-D)

Overnight in Zheravna in selected B&B pansion

April 10 Zheravna - Kotel
Friday

In the morning we will start our walking tour of Zheravna. Admire the beautiful Bulgarian Revival period houses (18 – 19th c.) and their wooden facades. During our stroll visit some of the houses and the church of St. Nicholas (19th c.). On Friday, tradition required people to visit the church and to pass under a table representing the Hill of Golgotha. The table is decorated with many flowers and evergreen geraniums. It is not easy to pass under, but once it is done, everyone takes flowers from the table to bring home. It is believed that they are bringing good health and success to everyone.

Meet a local lady who still weaves the famous local carpets and rugs. Zheravna is home to very famous writers and politicians. The legends of Old Mountain were written here. These stories are colorful jewels about the people and their character of the Land of the Mountain. After lunch drive to the nearby town of Kotel. We will have a walk in the town with its numerous preserved wooden houses from late 18 – 19th c. In Kotel is situated one of the national schools for folklore. Delight in a private concert from teachers of the school! Drive 25 miles - about 45 minutes. (B-L-D)

Overnight in Zheravna in select B&B pansion

April 11 Zheravna - Stara Zagora
Saturday Plovdiv 
Midnight Celebration

After breakfast, depart for the town of Plovdiv. The road is full of small surprises and opportunities to stop and enjoy this scenic ride (135 miles - about 3 hours). We stop in the town of Stara Zagora and walk along the ancient Roman streets. Enjoy lunch in a local elegant restaurant.

Arrive in Plovdiv, the second largest town in Bulgaria with millennial history. It has a well preserved Old Town with houses built during the 18th and 19th centuries. At midnight we plan to join the Orthodox Easter ceremonies in one of churches in Old Plovdiv (please prepare with warm clothes, shoes, gloves and a hat). Thousands of Orthodox Christian worshipers go on Saturday night to hear the Holy Mass that celebrates Easter. At midnight sharp, the ritual is for believers to circle the church three times with burning candles. The belief is that if you have been a good Christian, your candle will continue burning. Overnight in Plovdiv. Drive 150 miles today - about 3 hours. (B-L)

Hotel Trimontium****

April 12 Plovdiv
Easter Sunday Village of Oryahovitsa

Late Easter breakfast is waiting for us at the hotel. Today we will explore the town of Plovdiv, which will be the 2019 Cultural Capital of Europe. Our tour starts at the Roman Theater and continues along the cobbled streets of Old Town. Enjoy browsing through the numerous galleries and antique shops located in Old Town. Stop for a coffee break at one of the elegant restaurants in a beautifully restored home. Depart for the village of Oryahovitsa (about 150 miles roundtrip - 1.5 hours each way) for our very festive Easter lunch, where villagers will be preparing traditional dishes. We will sing and dance with them, feeling like real Bulgarians. Late afternoon return to Plovdiv for an overnight. Drive 150 miles today - about 3 hours. (B-L)

Hotel Trimontium****

April 13 Bachkovo Monastery
Easter Monday Kardzhali

After breakfast enjoy one more morning in Plovdiv. For lunch we will visit the Bachkovo Monastery. On the second day of Easter, the Bachkovo Monastery celebrates the most important event – the Tour of Miracle Icon of Holy Virgin from the monastery to a famous mountain cave, where the icon was hidden for hundreds of years. Continue our drive across the Rhodope Mountains to Kardzhali, where we will stay for the next two days. Drive 85 miles - about 2 hrs. (B-L)

Overnight at Yazovir Kardzhali Hotel***

April 14 Kardzhali Area
Tuesday Holy Sanctuary of
Perperikon - Tatul

Today we will drive first to Perperikon. It is an archaeological complex, which consists of remains from many periods and civilizations. The earliest evidence of life in the area are from around 6th mil. BC. In the late Bronze–early Iron Age an impressive sanctuary was built on the hill. Some historians and archaeologists even consider the place to be the famous temple of Dionysus. There are remains of a royal palace from the period with a stone-cut throne. In 4-6th c. Perperikon became an important Christian center, where it is believed the tribe of Bessae was converted into Christianity in 5th c. AD. In 1362 the Medieval Bulgarian fortress there was conquered by the Ottomans, ending the life of Perperikon.
We will have a lunch in a nearby village with traditional Turkish style home-made food. After lunch drive to the archaeological site of Tatul – the ancient sanctuary of Orpheus. The place is a part of a bigger cult complex, where according to legend the ancient singer and lyre-player was buried. The beginning of the complex is dated to 5th – 4th mil. BC, and the peak is between 18th and 11th c. BC. It is a large rock-cut sanctuary. In Antiquity a Hellenistic temple and a stone wall were built, later being used as a villa rustica by a local Roman nobleman. The latest period of the hill is the Medieval times (around 13th c.). We will have the chance to visit local Muslims, members of an interesting denomination of Islam – Kazalbashi.
This afternoon we can explore many of the interesting signs and details which were the main interest for a joint Bulgarian-American expedition in 2014, which explored the magical area of Eastern Rhodope. Drive back to our hotel near the Kardzhali Dam. Dinner includes freshly caught fish from the dam. Drive 80 miles today - 2 hrs. (B-L-D)

Overnight at Yazovir Kardzhali Hotel***

April 15 Zlatograd – Shiroka Luka
Wednesday

The next two days brings us to the green beauty of the Western Rhodopes. Century old pine trees, large meadows, breathtaking canyons and lots of mountain rivers make this area one of the major European reserves. Bulgarians still dress in their traditional costumes here and mothers still carry their babies in a sort of bag on their backs. First we drive to Zlatograd- a small Ethnographic crafts center, where we will spend some free time. Have a cup of Turkish coffee at the old cafeteria of Zlatograd. We will taste a delicious home-prepared lunch, while listening to a bagpiper playing for us. The day will end in the village of Shiroka Luka, where the National Folklore School is located. Many of the best folklore singers and musicians studied here. Drive 90 miles today - 3.25 hrs. (B-L-D)

Overnight in Shiroka Luka in hotel ****

April 16 Gorges and Lakes of
Thursday Velingrad

This day is dedicated to the beauty of nature. We will drive to the spectacular gorges and caves where legends say Orpheus entered the Underground World. Continue via scenic roads, crossing lakes and rivers, arriving at the famous SPA town of Velingrad. Our accommodation will be at a luxury SPA hotel with time for rest and treatments. In the evening enjoy a private concert by a famous male a cappella group. The concert will be organized in an old Turkish bath. Overnight in Velingrad. Drive 95 miles - about 3.5 hours. (B-L)

Velingrad SPA hotel****

April 17 Velingrad - Bansko
Friday Leshten

In the morning we take the narrow gauge train from Velingrad to Bansko to admire the picturesque mountainous scenery. Around noon we arrive in Bansko and have a walk in the old part of town with buildings from 19th c. Then we continue south to admire the beautiful scenery and architecture of old Bulgarian villages. We overnight in restored 19th c. houses in the village of Leshten. Dinner with local ingredients. Drive 85 miles - 2.5 hrs. (B-D)

Overnight in Leshten

April 18 Leshten - Melnik
Saturday Rila Monastery - Sofia

After breakfast we drive to the Melnik – a well hidden gem of Balkan architecture from 18th c. We can admire the serenity of the magical sandy formations above the town and small old houses nested in the foothills of Pirin Mountain just below the marble Vihren peak (9,563 feet). The town has preserved its old central part, but is now surrounded by a winter-mountain sports center. We drive further north to reach the famous Rila Monastery. The exquisite monastery (pictured on page 1 of this brochure) is situated deep in the heart of the Rila Mountain at an altitude of 3,766 feet above sea level. It is a virtual outdoor museum.
Leave the monastery and drive northward to bid farewell to our new friends, guide and travel companions over a Farewell Dinner in Sofia. Overnight Sophia. About 210 miles traveled today - 5.5 hours. (B-L-D)

Hotel Crystal Palace****

April 19 Depart Sofia
Sunday

Our tour ends after breakfast at the hotel. We’ll arrange a group transfer to the airport early this morning. (B)

B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner

THIS IS NOT THE FULL BROCHURE

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.

 

 

 

 

© 2019 Travel Concepts International, Inc. CST 2005743-40

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

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