THE ROSE CALLED BULGARIA
- Duration:10 NIGHTS / 11 DAYS
- Countries Visited: Bulgaria
- Round trip airfare NYC/Sofia/NYC
- Accommodations at first class hotels
- Comprehensive sightseeing as per the itinerary
- Transportation by a deluxe air-conditioned motor coach.
- English speaking tour escort.
- Baggage handling of one suitcase per person.
- Select International Travel Portfolio
DAY 1: Depart USA
Depart the USA on an overnight flight to Sofia
DAY 2: SOFIA
Welcome to Bulgaria! You are greeted at the airport by your professional tour escort and transferred to the hotel. You have the afternoon to become acclimated to a new time zone before we meet tonight for a Welcome dinner in a Bulgarian style restaurant with a life music and folk dances. Overnight Sofia. (D)
DAY 3: SOFIA- KOPRIVISCHTIZA-ETARA-VELIKO TRNAVO
After breakfast we depart for the museum town Koprivshtiza, which is protected in its entirety as a historical monument. The numerous museums, the old stone bridges and walls, the wooden yard gates, 100-year-old buildings and courtyards in their typical colours, all take you back to times long gone. We then continue through the spectacular Shipka pass to the open-air ethnographical museum of “Etara” . In the late afternoon arriving in Veliko Tarnovo for an overnight. (B.D.)
DAY 4: ARBANASSI
We have a full day excursion to the ancient Bulgarian capital city, featuring its numerous museums and archaeological sites. Our first stop is for a breathtaking view over this picturesque town from the Holy Hill, where we also visit several of the forty (40) monasteries erected in the picturesque gorges of the Yantra river. We explore the austere houses which resemble minor fortresses on the outside, with high walls and heavy gates, iron grids and secret hiding places. The oldest of the Arbanassi’s five churches is the Birth Christ (1637-1649) , now a genuine art gallery with over 3500 stunningly realistic figures and Biblical scenes, painted by unknown artists throughout the ages.
We return to Veliko Trnavo for overnight. (B.D.)
DAY 5: VELIKO TRNAVO- VARNA- NESSEBAR
We have a tour of Varna and the Archaeological Museum, which houses more than 100 000 objects beginning with the Old Stone Age period. The most impressive is the old gold artifacts which were found near Varna. We arrive Nessebar for dinner and overnight. (B.D.)
DAY 6: NESSEBAR
Our sightseeing today is of the old fishing town of Nessebar, which has been declared a reserve, and is located on a small rocky peninsula. Here you will see preserved ancient monuments including those from the Thracian, Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods. Its two parts (old and new) are full of life with music and entertainment, shops and restaurants. Overnight Nessebar. (B.D.)
DAY 7: NESSEBAR-KAZANLAK-PLOVDIV
After breakfast departure for Plovdiv. On the way we visit visiting Kazanlak, with its the famous Thracian tomb and the ethnographic museum of the rose, as Bulgaria is known for its rose production, which comes from the famous “Valley of the Roses” where the world prominenat Bulgarian rose oil is still produced and used in some of the most expensive of the world’s fragrances. In Plovidv we have a city tour, including the old quarter, the Ethnographic museum, the Icon museum and the Roman Amphi-Theatre . Overnight Plovdiv. (B.D.)
DAY 8: PLOVDIV- BATCHAKOVO MONASTERY
Founded nine centuries ago, Bachkovo Monastery is located 28 km south of Plovdiv in the picturesque Chaya river valley. Its monumental architecture, artistic and cultural significance are comparable only to that of Rila Monastery. Visitors come from all over Europe for its original architecture as well as its sacred murals and medieval icons. We then head to a nearby village to visit a wine cellars named “Todoroff” in Brestovitza village, which produces some of the most famous wine in Bulgaria of which we have a sampling. Overnight Plovdiv. (B.D.)
DAY 9: RILA MONASTERY-SOFIA
After breakfast we depart for the 10-th century Rila monastery – one of Europe’s largest monasteries, where we have a visit of the unsurpassed frescoes of the main church, the monastery museum and its exquisite architecture surrounded by the lush beauty of the Rila Mountains. Splendid architectural ensemble, ancient icons and superb woodcuts, breathtaking murals and rare incunabula – this is just a part of the historical and cultural wealth preserved by Bulgaria’s most distinctive monastery. We then continue to Sofia for an overnight. (B.D.)
DAY 10: SOFIA
We’ll enjoy a comprehensive tour of Sofia, born over 7000 years ago in the green embrace of the Vitosha Mountain. This was once a Communist stronghold but now is a modern vibrant city and a part of the European Union. Today, the city’s more than 250 monuments from different centuries blend harmoniously with its modern appearance. Our sightseeing includes visits to Alexander Nevsky Memorial Cathedral with its gilded domes and dazzling interior with murals, icons and mosaics; St. Nicholas Russian church, and the 4th century Rotonda of St. George church, the oldest building in Sofia, and St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Your afternoon is free to explore the city further at your leisure. Tonight we’ll gather for a farewell dinner, with music and wine. Overnight Sofia (B.D.)
DAY 11: RETURN TO USA
You’ll be transferred to the Sofia airport for your flight home. (B)