GRAND TOUR OF BULGARIA

Available dates: 04 June 2018 and 03 September 2018

10 Days / 9 Nights

PRICE: £795 per person

An exclusive Grand Tour of Bulgaria, revealing the amazing secrets and treasures of the antiquity.

Would you like to the see the oldest gold on the planet?

Would you like to touch the amazing treasures of the mighty Thracian Civilization?

Would you like to try some of Bulgaria's best wines?

Would you like to feel the charm of the magnificent Bulgarian Mountains?

Would you like to taste the fascinating, authentic Bulgarian cuisine?

Would you like to sense the scent of the gorgeous Bulgarian rose oil?

Would you like to visit the lands, ruled by some of the mightiest civilizations?

If yes, then the Grand Tour of Bulgaria is definitely the perfect option to experience some unique and unforgettable moments

Tour of Bulgaria
Grand Tour of Bulgaria
Grand Tour of Bulgaria
Bulgarian Grand Tour
Best Historical Tour of Bulgaria

ITINERARY

DAY 1 - RILA MONASTERY - BANSKO /click for more info/

Rila Monastery - Bulgarian MountainsThe meeting point is in front of “Alexander Nevski” Cathedral at 08:30h in Sofia. The tour guide will welcome you on the coach. The grand tour of Bulgaria starts with visiting the Rila Monastery. It is situated 120km/70mi south of Sofia, deep in the valley of Rilska River at an elevation of 1,147 m (3,763 ft) above sea level, inside of Rila Monastery Nature Park. Rila Monastery is the biggest monastery in Bulgaria. You will enjoy an informative tour of the monastery, visiting its main church and the nearby museum. The main church was erected in the middle of the 19th century and it is also a home of some of Bulgaria’s most valuable icons. The museum of the Rila Monastery is particularly famous for housing Rafail’s Cross, a marvellous piece of art, representing a wooden cross, whittled down by a monk named Rafail, using fine burins and magnifying lenses to recreate 104 religious scenes and 650 miniature figures. After your breathtaking tour of Rila Monastery, you will be hosted in a typical Bulgarian restaurant, located next to Rila River. The Lunch consists of delicacies, made from the local river fish. Therefore, your journey will continue to the local village of Stob. Near the village you will visit natural rocky formations, resembling pyramids. This breathtaking sight of the nature is a popular destination for many tourists. Then, you will proceed to the resort of Bansko. Previously Bansko was a small trading village. Located between three fascinating mountains, Bansko is one of the largest mountain resorts in Europe. Its centre is still keeping its traditional look, comprised of houses from the Bulgarian revival period from 18 and 19 century. You will enjoy an amazing guided tour among the most popular, traditional buildings. The accommodation is in a luxurious four-star hotel, with a breathtaking view on the mountains. The dinner is in the hotel.  

DAY 2 - PESHTERA - PLOVDIV /click for more info/

Old town of Plovdiv - BulgariaThe journey continues to Plovdiv, passing through the beautiful Rila Mountains and Rhodope Mountains. During the trip to Plovdiv you will see breathtaking sights, lakes, rivers, valleys and small villages. You will also visit the ancient fortress of Peristera from fourth century A.D, situated near the town of Peshtera. Then you will visit a local winery, where you will enjoy a traditional lunch, served with a brilliant selection of traditional Bulgarian wines. The trip continues to the second largest city of Bulgaria, the city of Plovdiv. It is also one of the oldest cities in Europe and its history spans more than 8 millennia. Your adventure in the city will start with a tour of the Old Town of Plovdiv, included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 2004. The old town of Plovdiv is one of the greatest landmarks on the Balkan peninsular. The tour includes several sights and landmarks, among which are:

– the cultural house of Balabanov from 19 century,

– the merchant house of Stephan Hindliyan, designed by Moko and Mavrudi,

– The ancient Philipopolis’ two thousand years old Roman amphitheatre, designed to hold more than 5000 viewers

– St. Constantine and Helen’s church, one of the oldest churches in Plovdiv.

– The unique museum of Pharmacy. The museum holds rich selection of herbs and information for the old, traditional ways of healing various illnesses.

Then you will have some free time in the city centre for shopping and walking. The accommodation is in a four star, located in the city centre. The dinner is in the hotel.

DAY 3 - CENTRAL RHODOPE MOUNTAINS /click for more info/


Rhodope Mountains - Tour of BulgariaDuring the third day, you will explore the central Rhodope Mountains, located in south Bulgaria. Your journey starts with visiting the Bachkovo monastery, located 40km/25mi south of Plovdiv. The Bachkovo Monastery is the second largest monastery in the country and it is nearly 1000 years old. During this day you will also visit the National Astronomical Observatory of Rozhen.  It is situated near the town of Smolyan. It is the largest in Southeastern Europe and its observatory has an active team of about 50 astronomers, acting as the principal centre for astronomical research in Bulgaria. The tour of the observatory is led by one of the top Bulgarian astronomers. Then, trip continues to the biggest cave in Bulgaria, called the Devil’s throat. Hidden deep in the magnificent canyon of Trigrad Gorge in the Rhodope Mountains, Devil’s throat is truly the most mysterious cave in Bulgaria. The cave is the home of the highest underground waterfall on the Balkan Peninsula. It is 42 meters (138 feet) high and is the main reason for its amazing formation. Nothing carried into the Devil’s Mouth Cave by the river ever surfaces from it on the other side. The cave hall is the second largest one in Bulgaria. The guided tour of the cave will reveal you its hidden secrets and beauties. After the cave, you will visit the famous mountain resort of Pamporovo for a break. Departure to Plovdiv. The dinner is in the hotel.

DAY 4 - THE VALLEY OF ROSES - THRACIAN TOMBS /click for more info/

Roses - Bulgarian tourThe forth day of your tour is dedicated to the central Balkan Mountains, revealing the secrets of the rose oil and the Thracian tombs. The trip starts with visiting the town of Kazanlak, situated in the famous valley of Roses. The local historical museum holds the unique golden wreath, that belonged to the mighty king of the Thracian civilization – Seutus III. You will also see his helmet, knee-pads, the whole golden and silver horse ammunition, together with a rare collection of coins and other valuable objects from the Thracian Age. The Museum or Roses will show you how the rose oil is produced and why it is so significant for the local economy. Bulgaria produces the highest quality of Rose oil in the world. A remarkable object in the museum’s exhibition is a rose-oil container that was last used in 1947, but the rose fragrance still comes out of it. After the Museum of Roses you will have a lunch in a typical Bulgarian restaurant, tasting Bulgarian delicacies and cuisine. The journey continues with visiting the tomb of a wealthy Thracian aristocrat, found in the village of Karanovo. The Aristocrat was buried with his unique ancient chariot, with 4 big wheels, and the skeletons of his two horses. Then you will visit the famous natural park Karandila, located in the Blue Mountains. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the mountains on an open chairlift, reaching up to 1km/3300ft. height. The tour continues 150km/95miles east to the town of Nessebar, located on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The accommodation is in a luxurious 4 star hotel. The dinner is in the hotel.

DAY 5 - NESSEBAR - POMORIE /click for more info/

Old Town of NessebarThe trip starts with visiting the Museum of Salt in Pomorie, which is the only one of its kind on the Balkan Peninsular. A local guide explains how the salt has been produced on these lands since the period of the ancient Greece. You could even buy some unique and very healthy cosmetics, based on pure, natural salt. The tour continues with visiting a typical Bulgarian village house, exploring the rural, authentic lifestyle of the locals. Welcomed by traditional Bulgarian banitsa , a pastry made of white cheese, homemade lemonade and delicious natural yoghurt, this part of the tour is surely not to miss. The lunch is in a winery, combined with wine tasting afterwards.  During the late afternoon, a marvellous tour of the Old Town of Nessebar, is planned. It has been an arena of many ancient affairs and events. The Old Town of Nessebar was one of richest and most powerful islands, dating back to more than 3000 years. The island nowadays is protected by UNESCO and houses some of the finest examples of churches from 12 to 14 century. You will not miss the 500 years old magnificent murals of St. Stephen’s church, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year. The dinner is in the hotel.

DAY 6 - VARNA - PALACE OF BALCHIK /click for more info/

The oldest gold in the world - Varna - Tour of BulgariaEarly departure to the city of Varna. On the way to Varna you will cross the magnificent Balkan Mountains on its east side. The trip from Nessebar to Varna is approximately 2 hours. Once in Varna, you will visit the Archaeological Museum. Varna Archaeological Museum has a rich collection of more than 100,000 objects like ceramics, coins, cult items, golden necropolis, icons, jewellry, weapons, etc. The Museum’s most valuable exhibit is the Gold of Varna, the oldest gold treasure in the world, estimated to be more than 6000 years old. Its total weight is more than 6kg and it is comprised of unique jewellry and ceremonial ornaments. The lunch is in a restaurant, located on the coastline. After the lunch, the trip continues to the amphitheatrically located town of Balchik, where is located the impressive Palace of Queen Mariе. It was constructed between 1926 and 1937, during the Romanian control of the region, for the needs of Queen Marie of Romania. The palace complex consists of a number of residential villas, a wine cellar, a power station, a monastery, a holy spring, a chapel and many other buildings, as well as most notably a park that is today a state-run botanical garden. A wonderful journey along the coastline to cape Kaliakra, awaits. The cape has seen a long history of fortifications, occupied successively by the Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Bulgarians, Ottomans Empire and Romanians. The Kaliakra peninsula stretches 2km into the Black Sea. A guided tour of the ancient fortress and the local museum will reveal you the secrets of its glorious past. The accommodation is in a luxurious 4 star hotel, located on the coastline, near Balchik. The Dinner is in the hotel.

DAY 7 - TOMB OF SVESHTARI - ABRITUS /click for more info/

Thracian Tombs - Sveshtari - Tour of BulgariaDuring the seventh day, you will explore some of the most remarkable sights and landmarks in North Bulgaria. Undoubtedly, visiting the Thracian Tombs of Sveshtari will reveal you the complex lifestyle and the unique architecture of the ancient Thracians. Sveshtari Tomb is the finest example of the Thracian culture, ever found in the world. It is also known as the King’s Tomb, carefully protected nowadays in a specially created and isolated dome. Discovered in 1982 in a mound, this 3rd century BC Getic tomb reflects the fundamental structural principles of Thracian cult buildings. The tomb’s architectural decor is considered unique, with polychrome half-human, half-plant caryatids and painted murals. The ten female figures carved in high relief on the walls of the central chamber and the decorations of the lunette in its vault, are the only examples of this type found so far on the Thracian lands. You will enjoy a traditional lunch in a local restaurant. The next stop is the lost city of Abritus. Found recently, Abritus turned out to be actually one of the most important centres of Roman influence on these lands. It was a great ancient Roman city, which had outstanding culture and architecture. The local museum holds valuable exponents, found from Abritus. The trip continues to the city of Veliko Tarnovo. In Veliko Tarnovo you will be accommodated in a luxurious 4 star hotel. The dinner is in the city’s centre.

DAY 8 - CENTRAL BALKAN MOUNTAINS /click for more info/

ETAR - Bulgaria - Traditional HousesA day dedicated to the most significant landmarks associated entirely with the Bulgarian history. The adventure starts with visiting the Mighty Fortress of Veliko Tarnovo, known as Tsarevets. It served as the Second Bulgarian Empire’s primary fortress and strongest bulwark from 1185 to 1393, housing the royal and the patriarchal palaces. During the Second Bulgarian Empire with its capital in Veliko Tarnovo, the fortress became the most important one in Bulgaria, often compared with Rome and Constantinople in magnificence. The trip continues to the Dryanovo Monastery, situated 25km/15mi south of Veliko Tarnovo. It is located deep in the mountains, surrounded by cliffs and the river of Andaka. The next stop is the complex of ETAR. It presents the Bulgarian customs, culture and craftsmanship, featuring typical Bulgarian revival houses. You will have a walking tour on its beautiful streets, full of wooden made houses and authentic shops. The lunch is in a local restaurant. Then comes the town of Tryavna, famous of being the town of fretworks. The walking tour of Tryavna includes several sightseeing, particularly the house of Daskalov, known of its complex, wooden carved ceilings. Departure to Veliko Tarnovo. The dinner is in the hotel.

DAY 9 - THRACIAN TREASURES - VRATSA /click for more info/

Rogozen Treasure - Tour of BulgariaThe adventure leads you to city of Vratsa. Vratsa is located 200km/120 mi west from Veliko Tarnovo. Once in Vratsa, you will have the rear chance to visit the amazing Regional Historical Museum of the city, viewing the outstanding collection of Rogozen Treasure. It consists of 165 receptacles, including 108 phials, 55 jugs and 3 goblets. The objects are silver with golden gilt on some of them with total weight of more than 20 kg. It is dated back to the 5th-4th centuries B.C and was found by chance in 1985. After the museum, you will have a lunch in a restaurant, located in the vicinity of Vratsa. Later on, you will pay a visit of the local, legendary cave of Ledenika.  It is located in Vrachanski Balkan Natural Park, 830 m above the sea level. The tour in the cave takes an hour, and the route covers 350 m of underground galleries. The walk begins with the hall called Anteroom – the lowest part of the cave, in which the icy sculptures are formed, and is the cause of its name. 53 species live inside it, among which is the insect Light-hater, which has adapted so well to the darkness, that if it goes out in the light, it dies. After the cave, you will have a tour of the nearby mountains, visiting the highest waterfall in Bulgaria, Scaclya, over 140m/450ft in height. The accommodation is in a four star hotel, situated near Vratsa in the Balkan Mountains. The dinner is in the hotel.

DAY 10 - TOUR OF SOFIA /click for more info/

Sofia - Tour of BulgariaEarly departure to the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. In Sofia is planned a guided walking tour of the capital and visiting the National Historical Museum, home of the worldwide known Panagyurishte Treasure. It consists of a phial, an amphora and seven rhytons with total weight of 6kg of 24-karat gold. All of the objects are wonderfully decorated with scenes of Thracian myths, customs and life. It is dated from the 4th-3rd centuries BC, and is thought to have been used as a royal ceremonial set by the Thracian king Seuthes III. During the tour will also see the famous Vitoshka street, full of luxurious shops and cafes, the largest cathedral in Bulgaria – Alexander Nevski, the House of Parliament, the Central Bank, the National theater – Ivan Vazov, one of the oldest and well preserved churches of St.George and much more. The lunch is in the city centre. The Grand Tour of Bulgaria ends in front of the cathedral “Alexander Nevski”, approximately at 18:00h.  

Starting on: 04 June 2018 - available

Starting on: 03 September 2018 - available

PRICE: £795 per person

The price includes

Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking, Luxurious Coach from Sofia to Sofia

1 night in a four star hotel on Half Board Basis (Breakfast and dinner) in the Resort of Bansco.

2 nights in a four star hotel on Half Board Basis (Breakfast and dinner) in the city of Plovdiv

2 nights in a four star hotel on Half Board Basis (Breakfast and dinner) in the town of Nessebar

1 night in a four star hotel on Half Board Basis (Breakfast and dinner) near Balchik

2 nights in a four star hotel on Half Board Basis (Breakfast and dinner) in the city of Veliko Tarnovo

1 night in a four star hotel on Half Board Basis (Breakfast and dinner) near Vratsa

Admission for all the museums, sights, landmarks and chairlift journeys mentioned in the program

10 lunches in traditional Bulgarian restaurants (2 of which are Gourmet in wineries)

2 wine tastings in renowned wineries

Professional English speaking guide

The price is based on a double occupancy. The single use occupancy is charged £250 extra for a single room.

Certain amount of beverages are included in the price. Everything consumed extra is charged on spot.  

There are no extra booking fees or hidden taxes! 

ADDITIONAL SERVICES

Gratuities for the driver and the guide (optional)

ROUTE OF THE TOUR

Route of the Grand Tour of Bulgaria
  • Total length of the route from Sofia to Sofia: 2200km/1300mi
  • Average per day 220km/130mi
  • Cities, visited during the tour: Sofia, Plovdiv, Kazanlak, Stara Zagora, Sliven, Burgas, Nessebar, Razgrad, Balchik, Veliko Tarnovo, Vratsa
  • Resorts visited during the tour: Bansko, Pamporovo, Sunny Beach, Pomorie, Albena, Golden Sands
TERMS OF PAYMENT

The amount could be paid via a bank transfer or online. Please fill in the online reservation form and tell us how you would prefer to make the payment. Upon confirmation for availability for the requested date, you will receive a booking reference number, which is necessairy for making the payment. We accept VISA, MAESTRO and Master Cards for our online payments.

For cancellations and amendments, please read carefully our terms & conditions.  

FOR THE STARTING DATE ON 04 June 2018

The amount could be paid at once or in 3 instalments. The first amount (the deposit) is £200 and has to be paid until 30.11.2017. The second installment is £300, paid until 30.01.2018. The rest £295 has to be paid until 15.04.2018

FOR THE STARTING DATE ON 03 September 2018

The amount could be paid at once or in 3 instalments. The first amount (the deposit) is £200 and has to be paid until 28.02.2018. The second installment is £300, paid until 31.05.2018. The rest £295 has to be paid until 31.07.2018

FLIGHTS

The flight to/from Sofia is not included in the price. You have to organise your flight separately. We recommend to arrive in Sofia at least a day before the beginning of the tour.

HOTELS IN SOFIA

The hotel accommodation in Sofia, for the day/s before the beginning of the Grand Tour of Bulgaria and the hotel accommodation for the day/s after the completion of the tour, are not included in the price. We could assist you in finding a suitable hotel in Sofia. For assistance, please send us an email on info@leadingtourslondon.com or simply call us for further details: +447879978099

INSURANCE

The Travel insurance is not included in the tour price. You could organise your travel insurance with your preferred insurance company. 

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

Visas

British citizens don’t need a visa to enter Bulgaria. If you have a different nationality, please check here

MAKE A RESERVATION

You could fill in the Reservation Form for the Grand Tour of Bulgaria, or if you have some specific questions regarding the tour, you could send us an email on: info@leadingtourslondon.com or call us on: +447879978099

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