Highlights of the 3-day Bulgaria Cultural Tour "Mediaeval Fortresses and Rocky Legends'
Our 3-day Bulgaria Cultural Tour "Mediaeval Fortresses and Rocky Legends" presents an off-the-beaten-track destination of North-Western Bulgaria. North-Western Bulgaria is still undiscovered, but full of history, legends and spectacular views.
Vidin, with its mediaeval fortress and century-old Jewish-heritage, the river Danube, Belogradchik mediaeval fortress and Belogradchik rocks natural phenomena, Magura cave with the impressive prehistoric drawings, Rogozen silver Thracian treasure at the Vratza history museum.
Day 1: Sofia - Vidin
Early in the morning you will leave Sofia and drive north to Vidin (4,5 hrs). Cross the Balkan range at Vitinya Pass and proceed to the Danube plain and Vidin.
Vidin is an ancient and charming Danube city with a 2000 years old history, dating back to Roman times. Established during the III century BC, the town has always had a strategic location for all the countries it belonged to. Actually, Vidin was part of The Roman Empire, the Bulgarian Kingdom, the Vidin Kingdom, the Austrian – Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Lunch break in Vidin, followed by a city sightseeing. Start your tour with a visit to the local Art gallery, carefully guarding the work of some of the most famous early 20th century Bulgarian artists. Proceed with a visit to Baba Vida fortress. It is is the only fully preserved mediaeval fortress in Bulgaria.
Vidin Jewish and Ottoman Heritage
Certainly, Vidin was also an important centre of Jewish culture. Most of the Jewish citizens left at the end of 1940’s, emigrating to Israel. The Synagogue, derelict now but imposing building, speaks of the past glory. Vidin keeps its Ottoman heritage, too. The Osman Pazvantogly mosque is worth a visit.
Optional: wine-tasting session in a local winery(supplement applies).
Overnight at hotel in Vidin.
Day 2: VIDIN - Magura cave - BELOGRADCHIK (100 km)
Following breakfast, proceed to Magura cave (1 hour). Visit one of the biggest caves in Bulgaria, famous for the unique prehistoric drawings. Magura cave was inhabited 12 thousand years ago. In reality, prehistoric artists left over 700 cave paintings on the walls. Bat guano was used by the artists to represent fantastic dancing and hunting scenes. They are masterpieces of the prehistoric art in all South Eastern Europe.
Day 2> Belogradchik and famous Belogradchik Rocks
Proceed to Belogradchik.You can't miss this town. The city became extremely popular since 2008. The Rocks natural phenomena was nominated finalist of New7Wonders of Nature competition.
The Belogradchik Rocks are sandstone and limestone rock formations of up to 200 m in height. Various miraculous shapes resulted from erosion. They form a strip which is 30 km in length and 3 km in width. Every single rock is named after a real object that it resembles. The ancient Romans first evaluated the significance of the rock formations. They built their first fortress here in 3 c. A.D.
En route to your hotel, enjoy the beautiful views on both sides of the road.In the afternoon take a guided tour of the Belogradchik Fortress.
Overnight at hotel in Belogradchik.
Day 3: BELOGRADCHIK - Chiprovtsi - Vratsa - SOFIA ( 260 km)
Following breakfast, leave Belogradchik and drive south to Chiprovtsi. Nestled beneath the highest mountains of the northeast, Chiprovtsi has one of the best scenery in the region. It was an important gold and silver mining center in the late Middle Ages. For this reason, the region attracted many Saxons who used to bring not only new technologies, but also Catholicism. Despite the Ottoman domination, Chiprovtsi became an important centre of Catholic learning. Rug-making was the traditional craft that made the city famous. As an illustration, you will visit a small carpet-weaving workshop.
Day 3> Vratsa & Thracian Gold and silver treasures
After lunch, stop over in Vratsa and visit the local museum. Again, you will admire the original beauty of the Thracian gold and silver treasures (IV c B.C.)
In the late afternoon drive back to Sofia. Cross the Balkan range at the Iskar gorge. Enjoy the spectacular views over the Iskar river gorge. Red-roof houses are scattered among green forests and steep hills. Finally, you will reach Sofia, where tour ends at 7 p.m.
Just in case you have a day or two more, please consider visiting neighbouring Serbia and Romania. We can also offer a trip on a cruise boat along the Danube River, a visit to the neighbouring Romanian town of Calafat, or one day excursions and shopping tours to the nearby Serbian towns of Zajecar and Negotin.