Monastery Tour Of Bulgaria - 7 Days

  • Description
  • Itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Departures and Prices
This tour will fascinate you with the unexpected brightness and magnificence of the Bulgarian monasteries. The Bulgarian Orthodox cloisters are one of the country's greatest cultural and historical treasures which survived the turbulance of the centuries and preserved the Bulgarian spirit and literacy. Huddled up among mountain peaks, nestling in sleepy river valleys or cut in the rocks - all of them offer spectacular sceneries. The visitor will admire the rich frescoes and paintings and will have the chance to observe Bulgarian Orthodox rituals.
Day 1 - ARRIVAL IN SOFIA
Arrival in Sofia and transfer to your hotel. Afternoon guided tour of Sofia. Visit some of the city's most remarkable sites such as: Alexander Nevski Cathedral gold domed Cathedral emblematic for Sofia, the church of st. Sophia which gave the name of the city, the Rotunda of St. George, which is the best preserved Byzantine building, the Russian church st. Nikolas, St. Petka church, Banya Bashi Mosque, the ruins of ancient Serdica and some more. You will visit Boyana church lying at the foot of Vitosha Mountain, one of the nine sites in Bulgaria included in UNESCO Patrimony. Overnight. /B/
Day 2 - SOFIA - RILA MONASTERY – SOFIA (260 km)
Drive to Rila mountains (the highest on the Balkan peninsula) to see one of Bulgaria’s most famous visited tourist sites – Rila monastery. This monastery is a sanctuary of Bulgarian literature and spiritual life. Founded in the middle of the 10th century by St. Ivan of Rila it played a key role in preserving Bulgarian culture and language during the centuries. It is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. We shall see the monastery church with its amazing frescoes painted by the most famous Bulgarian finest artists from 19th c. and the monastery museum housing a rich collection of exhibits connected with the history of the monastery and the spread of Christianity on the Bulgarian lands. Return to Sofia. Overnight. /B/
Day 3 - SOFIA – BACHKOVO MONASTERY - PLOVDIV (200 km)
After breakfast we depart for Rhodopi Mountains and will visit the famous Bachkovo monastery. It is the second largest in Bulgaria and one of the oldest Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Europe. The Cathedral Church of the Virgin Mary (dating from 1604) is the place where a valuable icon of the Virgin Mary Eleusa from 1310 is kept (brought from Georgia). According to the legend, the icon is wonder-working, attracting many pilgrims. In the afternoon we continue to Plovdiv - Bulgaria’s second largest city and the first elected as a European capital of culture for 2019. Plovdiv is a city with millennium old history, contemporary to Troya and Mikena. It has preserved ruins from Roman, Ottoman and Bulgarian Revival period. During our city tour you will see the Roman Forum and Stadium as well as the Roman amphitheater dating back to the 2nd AD. Have a walk in Plovdiv old town where you will see beautifully decorated houses, magnificent churches, the ancient fortress wall and charming paved streets. Visit the Museum house of Hindliyan - national monument of culture, impressive with its artistic decoration, with many well preserved original murals. Overnight in Plovdiv. /B/
Day 4 - PLOVDIV – KAZANLUK – ETURA – SOKOLSKI MONASTERY - VELIKO TARNOVO (220 km)
Leaving behind Plovdiv we continue to the town of Kazanluk. The area is well known as The Valley of the Thracian Kings due to the numerous Thracian tombs discovered in the surroundings. Visit one of the finest examples - a replica of the oldest discovered Thracian tomb listed in UNESCO World Heritage. Cross the Balkan mountains via the historical Shipka pass which played a key role in the Russo-Turkish Liberation war for Bulgaria. We will visit the Etura Architectural- Ethnographic Complex – an open-air museum which presents the Bulgarian customs, culture and craftsmanship. In the afternoon we proceed to famous Sokolski monastery, founded in 1833 by archimandrite Yossif Sokolski. The monastery took part actively in the struggle for national liberation of Bulgarian nation. At present Sokolski Monastery is fully operational. Its Frescoes are distinguished with their simplicity, bright pure tones and deflections from the traditional plot and common rules. Arrive in Veliko Turnovo – the medieval capital of Bulgaria. Overnight. /B/
Day 5 - VELIKO TARNOVO – ARBANASSI –TRANSFIGURATION MONASTERY – VELIKO TARNOVO (50 km)
After breakfast proceed to the Transfiguration monastery, situated in a picturesque place on the banks of Yantra river. The Transfiguration Monastery is the biggest monastery of those located in the Veliko Turnovo region and the fourth in Bulgaria. It is a precious architectural and artistic monument established during the time of the Second Bulgarian Empire in 13-14th century. Proceed to Arbanassi, a small Bulgarian village situated at 4 km from Veliko Tarnovo. Founded in the 15th c. by Bulgarians, Greeks and Albanians, the town is well known for its rich history and large number of historical monuments. Among the most attractive landmarks are the “Konstancalieva house” from the 17th c., the church of “Nativity of Christ” with its well preserved murals depicting over 2000 Old and New Testimonial scenes. In the afternoon we return to Veliko Tarnovo for sightseeing tour with a walk to Tsarevets fortress where the Bulgarian kings once lived. Walk along the oldest merchant street in the town called Samovodska Charshia. There guests can see masters who pursue their crafts according to old traditions. Overnight. /B/
Day 6 - VELIKO TARNOVO – TROYAN MONASTERY – KOPRIVSHTITSA – SOFIA (330 km)
After breakfast we head to the Troyan monastery, situated in the northern folds of the so called Troyan Balkan (Central Stara Planina), at about 400 meters above the sea level, on the left bank of the Cherni Osam River. Troyan monastery is the third biggest monastery in Bulgaria. It was established in the beginning of 17th century by several hermits who also brought with themselves the miracle-working icon of “Holy Virgin Troerouchitsa” (three-handed Holy Mother). After visiting this holy place we continue our trip to the town of Koprivshtitsa – a remarkable historic reserve from the Bulgarian National Revival period and center of the April Uprising in 1876. The town boasts a large number of architectural monuments from the period, 383 in all, most of which have been restored to their original appearance. Collections of ethnographic treasures, old weapons, National Revival works of art, fine fretwork, household weaves and embroidery, national costumes and typical Bulgarian jewelry has also been preserved. We will visit some of the famous museum houses. In the afternoon we continue back to Sofia. Overnight. /B/
Day 7 - DEPARTURE FROM SOFIA
After breakfast free time on your own. Transfer to Sofia airport for your flight back home. End of service. /B/

City Hotel Number of nights
Sofia Hotel Budapest 3* 3 overnights on BB basis
Plovdiv Hotel Odeon 3* 1 overnight on BB basis
Veliko Turnovo Hotel Gurko 3* 2 overnights on BB basis
Bulgarian Monasteries

Dates and prices:
Price for minimum 6 participants - per person 505.00 ˆ
Price for minimum 4 participants - per person 670.00 ˆ
Price for minimum 2 participants - per person780.00 ˆ

Supplements:
Single supplement per person:100.00 ˆ

Price includes:
  • Accommodation on BB basis in below mentioned hotels (or similar depending on the availability)
  • Entrance fees: Boyana church in Sofia; Rila monastery (church and museum) ; Bachkovo monastery (church and refectory); Roman Theatre, house of Hindliyan (Plovdiv) ; Thracian Tomb (Kazanlak); Etara open-air museum; Tsarevets fortress (Veliko Turnovo) ; Transfiguration monastery; Nativity church (Arbanassi); Troyan monastery; Koprivshtitsa museum houses;
  • English German / Spanish speaking guide throughout
  • Transport by private car or minivan throughout
Price excludes:
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Porterage fee in / out hotels and airport
  • Camera and guide fees at museums
  • Tips for guide and driver

Note on prices:
  • Optional dinner with folklore show in Sofia or Plovdiv - 25.00 eur / pax
  • Optional wine tasting in Plovdiv region - between 15.00 and 20.00 eur / pax depending on the option
  • Optional home-hosted lunch in Arbanassi - 18.00 eur / pax


Atlantic Tour is a member of BCCCI (Bulgarian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry)