Last modified: January 19, 2024

UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in Bulgaria


  • 7 UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites
  • Boyana Church
  • The Rila monastery
  • Thracian beehive tomb in Kazanlak
  • Nesebar
  • Madara Horseman
  • Thracian Royal Tomb in Sveshtari
  • Ivanovo Rock churches
  • The oldest man-made gold displayed in Varna Historical Museum

Itinerary - UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in Bulgaria

UNESCO World Cultural Heritage tour is a 12-day/11-night private tour. It reveals Bulgaria's rich cultural heritage, dating as far back as the dawn of European Civilization. UNESCO World Heritage tour starts in Sofia and visits the famous Boyana Church UNESCO cultural heritage site. Summing up, this tour covers all 7 UNESCO Cultural Heritage sites in Bulgaria.

Day 1: UNESCO World Cultural Heritage tour starts in Sofia

At first, Welcome to Sofia! We will meet you at the airport and assists for a transfer to your downtown hotel. Check in and time at leisure so that you overcome jet lag.

T, Accommodation in a 3*modern, centrally located hotel.

Day 2: Sofia

After breakfast, start with a morning sightseeing tour . This is a city with 7000-year long history. Sofia is green and friendly, with lots of open spaces. Walk along the main streets and see the most important landmarks in the city centre. To list some: Alexander Nevski Memorial Church and St. George Rotunda, St.Nedelya Square.  You will pass by St. Petka of the Saddlers, the Synagogue, the Central Baths, the Mosque, the underpass outside the President's Office, Alexander Battenberg Square, the National Theatre, the former Royal Palace, the Russian Church, St. Sophia Church and the Monument to the Unknown Soldier . Your guide will make you feel the atmosphere of this city which history dates back to the ancient times.

Sofia City Tour

Later on, Sofia city tour proceeds with panoramic sightseeing of the National Library, Sofia University, Borisova Garden, and the National Palace of Culture. In the afternoon - visit the National museum of history and the 900 years old Boyana Church (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site). Enjoy the remarkable murals, painted by an unknown artist in the 13th century. In the evening you will enjoy a dinner in a local tavern with folklore music and traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

B, D, Overnight in Sofia.

Day 3: SOFIA - Rila Monastery  - PLOVDIV (350 km)

After breakfast UNESCO World Cultural Heritage tour proceeds to Rila monastery (UNESCO List of Cultural Heritage).  Rila monastery is 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. In fact, visitor's first sight of Rila monastery huge towering walls gives the impression of a fortress. Rila monastery is the largest in the Balkans and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site since 1983. Tour of the monastery includes a visit to the Monastery Church. Indeed, it is of particular artistic value. It was adorned by the foremost 19-century masters of painting and woodcarving. Afterwards, in the afternoon you will depart to Plovdiv.

B, Accommodation in a 3* centrally located hotel.

Day 4: PLOVDIV - KAZANLAK (120 km) UNESCO Cultural Heritage Tour

First is breakfast. Later you will enjoy a city sightseeing tour of Plovdiv (mainly on foot).  You will discover the rich cultural heritage of this ancient city, which was the European Capital of Culture in 2019. Stop for lunch in the Old Town at the famous Paldin restaurant and taste the local Thracian Valley cuisine.

Later,depart North to Kazanlak, the main city of the Rose Valley. Visit the Thracian beehive tomb in Kazanlak. This is a unique monument of the Thracian Culture (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site). The region around Kazanlak is dotted with dozens of Thracian burial mounds. That is why it's here, in summer 2004 Prof. Kitov and a team of fellow archaeologists unearthed an ancient gold funeral mask that, they say, is as important a discovery as the treasures of Agamemnon and Tutankhamen. Of course, this extremely precious discovery is displayed in the local museum.

B,L, Accommodation in a 3* hotel in Kazanlak.

Day 5: KAZANLAK - NESSEBAR (250 km) UNESCO World  Heritage Tour

Following breakfast you will drive east, to the Black Sea and Nessebar. The museum town of Nessebar is picturesquely situated on a small rocky peninsula. Nessebar is another UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Stop for a tour of this charming museum town. In fact, different civilizations have left their marks on the tiny peninsula. Surely, you will have time to discover this live museum on your own.

Accommodation in a 3* hotel in Nessebar.

Day 6: NESSEBAR - VARNA (100 km)

In the morning UNESCO World Cultural Heritage tour proceeds to Varna, one of the largest Black Sea cities.Varna was founded as a Miletian colony in the place of an old Thracian settlement already during the 6th c. B.C.  Enjoy the scenic route from Nessebar to Varna, following the Black sea coast line. In the afternoon enjoy a city sightseeing of Varna. Firstly, visit the History museum, where the world's oldest gold (45000-42000 B.C.) is displayed.

Accommodation in a 3* hotel in Varna resort area.

Day 7: VARNA ( 50 km)

Following breakfast, take a full day tour to the Black Sea coast north to Varna. During the morning you will visit Balchik, then proceed to Cape Kaliakra. Enjoy gorgeous sea views and listen to stories about history and people.  At the end of the day, drive back to Varna. Finally, you will have to say "Good bye" to the Black sea and get ready for the following day.

Day 8: VARNA - Madara – Sveshtari – ROUSSE (250 km)

Early morning departure to Sveshtari. En route you will visit the Madara national historic and archaeological reserve. This is where you will see the Madara Horseman, a unique bas-relief hewn into the sheer rock.The site was included in the UNESCO List of World Heritage back in 1979. Time and weather permitting, stop for a visit to Pobiti Kamani ("Petrified Forest") geological/natural phenomena. Proceed north to Razgrad and Sveshtari. Visit the Thracian Royal Tomb, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Surely, it is one of the most sensational discoveries during the past 2 decades. The tomb dates back to the 4th-3rd century B.C. The balance of the day is free.

B, Accommodation in a 3* hotel in Rousse.

Day 9: ROUSSE - Ivanovo Rock churches  - Arbanassi - VELIKO TARNOVO (120 km)

After breakfast take a short sightseeing tour of Rousse. The city is the largest river port in Bulgaria. Rousse is also one of Bulgaria's cities with years-long European cultural traditions. You will visit the archaeological reserve Ivanovo Rock churches (13th-14th c), UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site since 1979. Six of the monastery churches and chapels preserve frescoes from 13th-14th C. Admire the famous frescoes at the "Holly Mother" church, created in the middle of the 14th c by an anonymous Bulgarian author.

Tour proceeds to Veliko Tarnovo via Arbanassi. Next, stop for a visit to this beautiful museum village and admire its fortress-like houses and extremely interesting churches.

Accommodation in a 3* hotel in Veliko Tarnovo.

Day 10: VELIKO TARNOVO (30 km)

The capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (XII-XIV c) is situated on three hills, mirrored in the waters of the Yantra River winding down below. Tzarevets Hill is a genuine outdoor museum with its royal buildings, churches, fortress walls and towers.

To begin with, enjoy a half-day city sightseeing tour. You will visit Tzarevets Royal Hill and most importantly, the Church of SS Peter and Paul. Here you will see original Mediaeval frescoes (XIII c AD) of great artistic value. Surely, you will enjoy hanging around in the narrow streets and feel the spirit of this unique place.

Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.

Day 11: VELIKO TARNOVO – Troyan - SOFIA (280 km)

Following breakfast you will proceed to Sofia via Troyan. This small village is famous for its traditional ceramics and.... the best plumb brandy in Bulgaria. The name of the village derives from Via Trayana. It is the name of the ancient Roman road. Via Trayana used to connect the two Roman Provinces - Thracia and Moesia. You will visit the Museum of traditional crafts and applied arts. A pottery demo in a local master's workshop follows. Reach Sofia in the late afternoon. As this is your last evening in Sofia, enjoy wandering around during your evening at leisure.

B, Accommodation in a 3*modern, centrally located hotel.

Day 12: Sofia

Following breakfast, enjoy a last-minute shopping opportunity in Sofia. And our guide will see you off to the airport, where tour ends.

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