GRAND TOUR OF BULGARIA

Availability: June, July, August and September 2019

10 Days / 9 Nights

PRICE: £675 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

AVAILABLE DATES:

- 17 June 2019

- 01 July 2019

- 22 July 2019

- 05 August 2019

- 19 August 2019

- 02 September 2019

ITINERARY

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

Rila Monastery - Bulgarian MountainsWelcome to your magnificent tour of Bulgaria! The exciting journey starts with visiting the largest monastery in Bulgaria. Situated graciously in the picturesque valley of Rilska River , at an elevation of over 1,100 m (3,600 ft) above sea level, the Rila Monastery is the ultimate spiritual centre of the Bulgarians. Gain insight into the centuries-old  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 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. Be hosted in a typical Bulgarian restaurant near Rila River, enjoying local delicacies and fresh fish. View mysterious natural rocky formations, resembling pyramids near the village of Stob. Amble through gorgeous paths and ponds. Visit the famous ski-resort of Bansko, situated majestically in between the highest mountains of Bulgaria and walk along the quaint cobbled streets of its centre. You will spend the night in a luxury four star hotel in Bansko. The dinner is in the hotel.

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

Old town of Plovdiv - BulgariaPrepare for your second day of adventure! Explore the countryside travelling through the beautiful Rila and Rhodope Mountains. See breathtaking sights, lakes, rivers, valleys and small villages. Visit the ancient fortress of Peristera from 4th century A.D, situated near the town of Peshtera. Indulge in quintessential local winery, enjoying traditional lunch, served with brilliant selection of typical Bulgarian wines. Explore the wonders of Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria and one of the oldest in Europe, with history spanning more than 8 millennia. Included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 2004 and chosen to be the European Capital of Culture for 2019, Plovdiv is a must see destination. Its old town houses some of the greatest landmarks on the Balkan peninsular. Admire the homely atmosphere  of  18th & 19th century cultural houses, built during the Bulgarian Renaissance. Visit the merchant houses of Hindliyan and Balabanov. Feel the grandness of Plovdiv’s ancient Roman amphipheatre, designed to hold more than 5000 viewers. See several unique churches and walk along the amazing cobbled streets of the old town. Spend some free time during the late afternoon and relax in a lovely hotel, situated in the heart of Plovdiv. The dinner is in the hotel.

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


Rhodope Mountains - Tour of BulgariaJourneying across the picture-perfect landscapes of Rhodope Mountains, you visit the thousand years old Bachkovo Monastery, the second largest in the country. Be inspired of its marvellous icons and unique appearance. During this day you will also visit the National Astronomical Observatory of Rozhen.  Situated near the town of Smolyan, it is the largest in Southeastern Europe and the perfect spot to gain insight about our gigantic universe.  Its observatory has an active team of about 50 astronomers, acting as the principal centre for astronomical research in Bulgaria. The exciting tour of the observatory is led by a top Local Specialist. Explore the mysteries of the biggest cave in Bulgaria, known as Devil’s throat. Hidden deep in the magnificent canyon of Trigrad Gorge, the cave is among Balkan’s most fascinating sights. Its majestic underground waterfall, 42m/138ft in height, is a must-see destination. Visit the ski-resort of Pamporovo for a late afternoon break. The dinner is in a famous traditional restaurant in Plovdiv’s city centre. 

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

Roses - Bulgarian tour

The forth day of your tour is dedicated to the central Balkan Mountains, revealing the secrets of the Rose oil and the Thracian tombs. Continue your journey to the Valley of Roses and visit its fairy Museum of Roses, learning curious facts about its production process, history and importance. Known also as “the liquid gold”, the Bulgarian rose oil is among world’s finest in quality.  The local history museum holds a unique golden wreath, once belonging to Thracian king Seutus III. Gain insight into the mighty Thracian civilization, being for thousands of years the dominant power on the territories of nowadays Bulgaria. Enjoy a traditional lunch in a local restaurant. Visit a tomb of a wealthy Thracian aristocrat near village of Karanovo, buried with his unique ancient chariot and amazingly well preserved remains of his two horses. Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Balkan Mountains on an open chairlift, at an elevation of over 1km/3300ft. The tour continues to the seaside town of Nessebar. The accommodation is in a luxury hotel on the Black Sea coast. The dinner is in the hotel.

 

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

Old Town of NessebarToday you have a free day in Nessebar. Walk along its romantic coast, enjoy its sandy beaches and find the perfect spot for swimming. Alternatively, join our free optional excursion to Pomorie, the hometown of salt. Visit the Museum of Salt, the only one of its kind on the Balkan Peninsular. Join a Local Specialist, explaining how the salt has been produced on these lands since ancient Greece. Buy some unique and very healthy cosmetics, based on pure, natural salt. Exciting lunch awaits in the restaurant of an old local winery, combined with wine tasting.  Tour the fascinating Old Town of Nessebar, one of the richest and most beautiful islands in country, spanning history of more than 3 millennia. The island is home to picturesque houses and churches from 12th to 14th century, included in UNESCO World Heritage list, You will not miss the 500 years old magnificent murals of St. Stephen’s church, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year. The evening will be spent at an open-air theme restaurant, experiencing an amazing folklore show and seeing the unique ritual “Nestinarstvo”, known as Fire Dancing.

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

The oldest gold in the world - Varna - Tour of BulgariaLeaving Nessebar behind us, we travel onward to Varna, crossing the magnificent Balkan Mountains on the way. Varna’s highlight is its museum of Archaeology. The oldest gold treasure in the world is actually in this museum, estimated to be more than 6000 years old and 6kg in weight. It is comprised of beguiling jewellery and unique ceremonial ornaments, quite impressive for the time created. Upon lunch in Varna’s city centre, we’ll drive to Balchik, amphitheatrically located on the coast of Black Sea. We’ll take you on a walking tour of the impressive Palace of Queen Mariе. Constructed for the needs of Queen Marie of Romania between 1926 and 1937, the palace complex is a spectacular mixture of different cultures. See number of residential villas, a wine cellar, a power station, a monastery, a holy spring, a chapel and 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, Ottomans and Bulgarians. A walking tour of the ancient fortress and the local museum will reveal you the secrets of its glorious past. The accommodation is in a luxury hotel, situated near Balchik. The Dinner is in the hotel.

DAY 7 - MADARA - SVESHTARI - ABRITUS - VELIKO TARNOVO /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. Delve into the enchanting world of Madara reserve famous for its beautiful natural surroundings, towering cliffs, rock sanctuaries, whimsical caves and symbols from long-forgotten civilizations. Next, drive through the countryside to the magnificent Thracian Tombs of Sveshtari, revealing 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. protected nowadays in a specially created and isolated dome. This 3rd century BC Getic tomb reflects the fundamental structural principles of Thracian cult buildings. Gain insight into tomb’s architectural decor, considered unique, with polychrome half-human, half-plant caryatids and painted murals. After lunch, the adventure continues to 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. This evening we arrive in the vibrant city of Veliko Tarnovo where we’ll spend the next two nights. The dinner is in a restaurant next to the hotel.

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. The city was often compared with Rome and Constantinople in magnificence. Then we make for the centuries-old Dryanovo Monastery, situated 25km/15mi south of Veliko Tarnovo. Surrounded by divine nature, deep in the mountains, in between majestic cliffs, this monastery for sure will be among the most favourite sites of your trip.  The lunch is in a splendid restaurant, located behind the monastery. The next stop is the complex of ETAR, presenting the Bulgarian customs, culture and craftsmanship, featuring typical Bulgarian revival houses. Take a walk along its cobbled streets, full of wooden made houses and authentic shops. Then comes the town of Tryavna, famous for being the town of fretworks. The walking tour of Tryavna includes several sightseeing, particularly the house of Daskalov, known for its complex, wooden carved ceilings. After a busy day of exploring, head back to Veliko Tranovo for a good old knees-up. The dinner is in the hotel.

DAY 9 - WEST BALKAN MOUNTAINS - VRATSA /click for more info/

Rogozen Treasure - Tour of Bulgaria

Fascinating treasures and the outstanding beauty of the Balkan Mountains are explored this day as we continue our adventure to west. We’ll frequently stop at fabulous places to enjoy the breathtaking view of the mountains along the way to Vratsa, which is our prime destination for today. Upon arrival in Vratsa, you will visit its amazing History Museum, which houses 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, with total weight of more than 20kg. It is dated back to the 5th-4th centuries B.C and was found by chance in 1985. Then, journeying across the picture-perfect landscapes of the mountains, we visit the marvellous cave of Ledenika, whose myths and mysteries have yet to be fully revealed. The cave tour covers 350m 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 luxury hotel in the 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. Enjoy a walking tour of the capital and visit the National Museum of History, home of the worldwide known Panagyurishte Treasure. The worldwide known treasure 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. Amber through the famous Vitoshka street, full of luxury shops and cafes. Pass by the largest cathedral in Bulgaria – Alexander Nevski. See the House of Parliament, the Central Bank, the National Theater – Ivan Vazov and the well preserved church of St.George. The lunch is in the city centre. The Grand Tour of Bulgaria ends in front of “Alexander Nevski” Cathedral, at approximately 18:00h.  

PRICE: £675 per person

The price includes

Transportation in a fully air-conditioned luxury 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

List of the museums & attractions included in the price

Rila Monastery 

The Fortress of Peristera in Peshtera

The Roman Amphitheatre in Plovdiv

The House of Balabanov in Plovdiv

The House of Hindliyan in Plovdiv

The Museum of Pharmacy in Plovdiv

The church of St Constantine and Helen in Plovdiv

 Bachkovo Monastery

 The National Astronomical Observatory of Rozhen

 Devil’s throat Cave

History Museum in Kazanlak

Museum of Roses in Kazanlak

The Thracian tomb of Karanovo

Open chairlift adventure in the Blue Mountains

Museum of Salt in Pomorie

St Stephen’s Church in Nessebar

Bulgarian Traditional Evening show near Nessebar

Museum of Archaeology in Varna

Balchik Palace

Cape Kaliakra

 Madara National Historical-archeological Reserve

Tombs of Sveshtari

The lost city of Abritus

The Fortress of Tsarevets in Veliko Tarnovo

 Open Air Ethnographic Museum “ETAR”

Dryanovo Monastery

History Museum of Vratsa

Ledenika Cave

National Museum of History in Sofia

 

The price is based on a double occupancy. The single use occupancy is charged £190 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: approximately 1850km / 1120miles
  • Average per day 185km/112miles
  • Cities, visited during the tour: Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Kazanlak, Stara Zagora, Burgas, Nessebar, Razgrad, Balchik, Veliko Tarnovo, Vratsa
  • Resorts visited during the tour: Bansko, Pamporovo, Sunny Beach, Pomorie & Golden Sands
  • The minimum number of participants required per tour is 20 people. The maximum number of participants per tour is 30 people in a 49 seater coach. 
TERMS OF PAYMENT

The amount can be paid at once or in 3 instalments. The first instalment (the deposit) is £200 and has to be paid up to 4 months before the date of departure. The second instalment is £250, paid up to 2 months before the departure of date . The the last instalment of £225 has to be paid not less than a month before the date of departure. 

The amount could be paid via a bank transfer or online. Please fill out 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.  

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

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