Bulgaria – The Rose Valey Private tour

May 30 - June 6 dates recommended

Festival of Roses

Day 1: SOFIA - arrival May 30, Friday

Arrival in Sofia. Dinner and overnight. (Visit to Sofia for those who have the flight back in the morning).

Day 2: SOFIA – BACHKOVO – PLOVDIV (200 km) May 31, Saturday

Breakfast. Depart for Bachkovo Monastery founded in 1083 by the Byzantine military commander, Grigorij Bakuriani. It is one of the largest and oldest Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Europe, considered as the second most important monastery in Bulgaria, after the Rila Monastery. It is known and appreciated for the unique combination of Byzantine, Georgian and Bulgarian culture, united by the common faith. Continue to visit the Old Plovdiv: lively and cosmopolitan city, Plovdiv offers the opportunity to visit a neighborhood made up of ancient buildings constructed in the style called the "Baroque of Plovdiv". Following the cobblestone roads that run along this hill visitors can admire the many houses that have hosted for decades the most important families of the city. Today, one of these houses, built in 1847, is home to the astonishing Museum of Ethnography. A short distance away is the SS. Constantine and Helen built in 1832. Visit the Roman Theatre (from outside). Accommodation in a hotel. Full board.

Day 3: PLOVDIV – SHIPKA – KAZANLAK – STARA ZAGORA (190 km) June 1, Sunday

  Breakfast. Departure to the "Valley of Roses". On the way stop to visit the Church of the Nativity near  

  Shipka, built in the nineteenth century. Continue to the heart of the Rose Valley to visit the fields of roses

  where dancers in traditional costume are illustrating the collection of customs practiced by hundreds of  

  years  by the local people. Tasting of typical products made from the extract of rose and visit the exhibition 

 of the ethnographic collection and production methods. Continue to the city of Kazanlak where travelers will 

 visit the famous Thracian Tomb (protected by UNESCO), dating back to about 4000 years. Continue to Stara  Zagora. Visit the rich Regional Historical Museum and the Forum of the Roman city founded by the Emperor  Trajan Augusta Tariano (98-117). It was one of the most important cities of the Roman province of Thrace. The numerous mounds scattered in groups throughout the region, are an indication of the density of the population of ancient centers. Accommodation at the hotel. Full board.

Day 4: STARA ZAGORA – KARANOVO – NESSEBAR – VARNA (310 km) June 2, Monday

Breakfast. Visit the Neolithic Dwellings Museum in the city which preserves one of the most important finds in the world of dwellings and artifacts that testify to the "birth of Europe." Departure towards the Black Sea with a stop at Karanovo to visit one of the latest and most interesting archaeological discoveries in Bulgaria - a mound that contains, among other objects, a cart fwith horses, part of the funeral of a wealthy Thracian aristocrat of the early centuries AD. Arrival in Nessebar - town under the protection of UNESCO as the richest place in history of the entire Black Sea coast. Visit the churches of Christ Pantocrator, St. John the Baptist and the Church of the Redeemer. Arrival in Varna. Accommodation. Full board.

Day 5: VARNA – ARBANASSI – VELIKO TARNOVO (250 km) June 3, Tuesday

Breakfast. Visit the Archaeological Museum and the city center with the impressive remains of the Roman Empire. Departure to visit the Madara Horseman - monument protected by UNESCO. Continue to Arbanassi, a small village that housed the bourgeois families of Veliko Tarnovo. Here travelers can visit the medieval Church of the Nativity, known for its beautiful frescoed interior, and the house museum Kostanzaliev. This grand building was built in the eighteenth century by a wealthy merchant in the area. Visit the Monte Tzarevez of Veliko Tarnovo where even today are tangible evidence of the greatness of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and the district of craftsmen. Accommodation in a hotel. Full board.

Day 6: VELIKO TARNOVO – TROYAN – KOPRIVSHTIZA – SOFIA (310 km) June 4, Wednesday

Breakfast. Departure to visit the Troyan Monastery dating back to the sixteenth century AD, most famous for the works of the great Bulgarian painter Zahari Zograf. Important political and cultural center of the Renaissance, the monastery hosted one of the revolutionary committees of the national hero Vasil Levski. Departure to Koprivshtiza. Visit the historical center of this small town that is home to some of the most beautiful historic houses throughout Bulgaria. There are more than sixty of these houses built entirely of wood between 1700 and 1800. Visit the Church of the Virgin (Uspenie Bogоrodichno) and two of the houses-museum. Arrival in Sofia, accommodation in a hotel. Full board.

Day 7: SOFIA – RILA – SOFIA (250 km) June 5, Thursday

Breakfast and transfer to the outskirts of the capital to visit the Boyana Church and the National Historical

 Museum. This church is an extraordinary and unique example of medieval church in the Balkans. Built in

 the tenth century, it has some astonishing frescoes dating back to the thirteenth century. Continue to the 

 Rila Monastery that is considered the most important monastery of the Balkans. Founded in the tenth 

 century, this monastery has been for centuries an important cultural landmark of the country and one of

 the main centers of Orthodox Christianity. Back to Sofia. Dinner and overnight.

 Day 8: SOFIA – departure June 6, Friday

Breakfast. Visit of Sofia, Bulgaria's capital and one of the most beautiful Balkan capitals where tourists can admire the square Narodno Sabranie, which was named the National Assembly building in the neoclassical style of the nineteenth century. The Aleksander Nevski Cathedral, built to commemorate the liberation from the Ottoman rule, is the biggest orthodox temple on the Balkan peninsula. Visit the church of St. Sophia, one of the most famous Byzantine monuments in the Balkan area showing a rare example of the transition from East and West. Transfer to airport.

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