4-DAY CULTURAL TOUR BULGARIA FOR BEGINNERS
4-day Bulgaria cultural tour "Bulgaria for Beginners" combines cultural visits and mountain hiking. It features Sofia, Plovdiv and Rila monastery. Together with visiting two UNESCO cultural sites, you will enjoy an adventureous trip by the Rhodope Narrow-Gauge Railway to see the most scenic part of the mountains.
Highlights of 4-day Cultural Tour Bulgaria for Beginners
4 day/3 night tour of Sofia, Plovdiv, Rila monastery, an excellent introduction to the well-known sites of Bulgaria.Highlights include visits to 2 World Cultural Heritage Sites in one day - Rila Monastery and Boyana Church /13 c AD/, together with an adventureous ride by the Narrow-Gouge railway. A visit to the only one left in Europe craft's place for handwoven carpets will make your day.
4-day Cultural Tour "Bulgaria For Beginners"
Day 1: SOFIA – Boyana church – Rila monastery – SOFIA
2 highlights in just one day: Boyana church and Rila monastery UNESCO sites
In the morning meet your local guide and enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour of Sofia, a city with 7000-year long history. Drive to Boyana and visit Boyana church (13 c A.D.) UNESCO site. Proceed to Rila monastery, located some 120 km to the south of Sofia in the heart of the Rila Mountain. Founded in the 10th century, it has been the biggest spiritual and cultural centre in Bulgaria for hundreds of years.
4-day Cultural Tour Bulgaria For Beginners : Rila Monastery
The visitor’s first sight of Rila monastery huge towering walls gives the impression of a fortress. However, a step through the archway produces a wonderful surprise. In fact, visiting the Monastery is a must. Rila monastery is the largest in the Balkans and included in the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage. Tour of the monastery includes a visit to the Monastery Church, which is of particular artistic value. Short and easy hiking tour to the cave, where St John of Rila used to live.At the end of the day drive back to Sofia.
B, Overnight in Sofia.
Day 2: SOFIA - Koprivshtica - PLOVDIV
After breakfast drive to the museum town of Koprivshtica. Here the past seems to come alive. Situated at an altitude of some 3,000 feet above sea level amid lovely meadows and pine forests, the town has long had a magnetic appeal for tourists. Tour of the town (mainly on foot) includes visit to the beautiful old Bulgarian-style houses. Every single house here is part and parcel of Bulgaria’s history. It was here that the first shot of the April Uprising against Ottoman rule rang out in 1876. Although drenched in blood, the uprising resounded in all of Europe. It is a miracle that Koprivshtica itself was spared destruction and survives in its original appearance. After a traditional local cuisine lunch, you can enjoy one of the 11 hiking trails in the region. Later in the afternoon proceed to Plovdiv.
B,L, Overnight in Plovdiv
Day 3: PLOVDIV - Bachkovo monastery - PLOVDIV
Bulgaria’s second ranking town, Plovdiv, is a worthy rival to Sofia. Its location astride the river Maritsa indicates the strategic significance of the city. It is one of the oldest and most colourful towns in Bulgaria. No one can tell exactly when the foundation stone was laid here, although it must have been over 5000 years ago. Old Plovdiv on Trimontium hill is the centre of Bulgarian national revival architecture at its height. You will enjoy a tour including a visit to the Old Town, the 2000yrs old Roman Theatre; the Byzantine and medieval fortifications, the 15th century mosque. Walk along the narrow cobbled streets and admire the silence and tranquility of this historic town. In the afternoon drive to Bachkovo Monastery – tour of the monastery, founded in the 11th century. Bachkovo Monastery is valuable primarily for its ossuary and its church, in which 11th to 14th century frescoes are preserved. There are two hiking trails near the monastery to choose from. Late afternoon drive back to Plovdiv. Dinner in the best local restaurant in the Old city.
B,D, Overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 4: PLOVDIV- SOFIA
Early breakfast at hotel. Drive to Sofia through the green gorges of the Rhodope mountains. Today you will enjoy an adventure activity: Take part in an amazing trip by the Rhodope Narrow-Gauge Railway. You will ride it for one hour from Velingrad to Avramovo and enjoy the most scenic part of the mountains. Avramovo is located at an altitude of 1,267 m. This is the highest railway station in the Balkan Peninsula and offers some spectacular views. There is yet another attraction to be visited in the region. It is the Kostandovo handwoven carpet factory. It is the only one left in Europe craft’s place that has preserved the know-how of making unique handmade textiles. The Kostandovo factory became famous for the quality hand-made bespoke carpets, commissioned by royals and celebrities. You will visit the factory, talk to the master-weavers and listen to the success-story of a local entrepreneur, who saved a century-old craft of hand-made carpets. In the evening you will be back to Sofia, where tour ends.