Self Drive Classical Bulgaria

  • Description
  • Itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Departures and Prices
A well-balanced itinerary between modern Bulgarian cities and ancient historical and cultural sites. The visitor will get acquainted also with the architecture from the Revival period and with some of the most important monasteries. Three UNESCO sites are also included - Boyana church in Sofia, Rila monastery and Thracian Tomb in Kazanluk.
SOFIA – RILA – PLOVDIV - BACHKOVO – STAROSEL – HISSARYA - KAZANLAK - VELIKO TURNOVO ARBANASSI – TROYAN MONASTERY – KOPRIVSHTITSA - SOFIA
Day 1 - ARRIVAL IN SOFIA
Arrival in Sofia and pick up car at the airport. Drive to the hotel in Sofia, accommodation and overnight.
Day 2 - SOFIA FULL DAY CITY TOUR
A full day to enjoy a city tour of Sofia and get to know the highlights of the capital. Among the most impressive sites are the Alexander Nevski Cathedral dominating the city and it`s crypt, the round church 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 can visit Boyana church located in Vitosha Mountain, part of the UNESCO world heritage list and the National Museum of History. /B/
Day 3 - SOFIA – RILA MONASTERY – PLOVDIV
After breakfast drive to Rila mountains (the highest on the Balkan peninsula) to see one of Bulgaria’s most famous 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. You will see the monastery church with its amazing frescos 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. In the afternoon continue to Plovdiv – Bulgaria`s second largest city. Overnight. /B/
Day 4 - PLOVDIV – BACHKOVO MONASTERY - PLOVDIV
After breakfast drive to the Rhodope Mountains and 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. Optional stop at Assenova fortress. In the afternoon continue to Plovdiv - Bulgaria’s second largest city declared European capital of culture for 2019. This is a city with millennium old history contemporary to Troy and Mycenae. It has preserved ruins from Roman, Ottoman and Bulgarian Revival period. During your walk you can see the Roman Forum, Odeon and Stadium as well as the Roman amphitheatre dating back to the 2nd AD. The old part of the town is abundant with sights of interest such as the Ethnographic Museum, The House of Hindliyan, the Old Pharmacy, the church of St. Konstantine and Elena, the art gallery of Zlatyo Boyadzhiev - one of the most famous Bulgarian contemporary artists. The ancient Roman small basilica and cultural center “Trakart” with well-preserved Roman mosaics are also worth visited. Overnight in Plovdiv. /B/
Day 5 - PLOVDIV - STAROSEL – HISSARYA – KAZANLUK - VELIKO TARNOVO
Leaving behind Plovdiv board your car and head to the village of Starosel, part of Hissarya municipality, mainly known for its abundance of ancient Neolitic and Thracian sites. You will see the largest underground temple in the Balkans found in the area under the Chetinyova Mogila (tumulus), along with a mausoleum. You can enjoy wine tasting in a local winery. The itinerary continues through the rose fields to Hissarya – a town of rich history, mineral water springs and contemporary SPA complexes. You will see the best preserved Roman fortress in Bulgaria. The southern gate is known as "The Camels", because it had broken in the middle and looked like two camels facing each other, before it was partially restored in the early 20th century. In the afternoon 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. Arrive in Veliko Turnovo – the medieval capital of Bulgaria. Overnight. /B/
Day 6 - VELIKO TARNOVO – ARBANASSI –TRANSFIGURATION MONASTERY – VELIKO TARNOVO
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 4 km from Veliko Tarnovo. Arbanassi is interesting for its architecture with many fortress-like houses, stone fountains and many medieval churches. We reccommend a visit to the most interesting sites - the house of Konstancaliev, the church of Nativity and the church of Archangels Michael and Gabriel. In the afternoon return to Veliko Tarnovo and explore the towns numerous museums. You can walk to Tsarevets fortress - a headquarters of the Bulgarian Kings and Patriarchs during the Middle Ages. Walk along the Samovodska street - for sure the most famous market street in Veliko Tarnovo where artisans demonstrate their crafts according to old traditions. Other points of interest are the Trapezitsa Hill (newly opened for public visits) as well as the Multimedia Center. Overnight. /B/
Day 7 - VELIKO TARNOVO – TROYAN MONASTERY – KOPRIVSHTITSA – SOFIA
Today's journey will lead you to Troyan monastery, situated in the northern folds of the Central Balkan Mountains on the left bank of the Cherni Osam River. The monastery 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 continue your trip to the town of Koprivshtitsa – a remarkable historic reserve from the Bulgarian National Revival period and centre of the April Uprising in 1876. It boasts a large number of architectural monuments from the period, 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 jewellery has also been preserved. You may visit some of the famous museum houses. In the afternoon continue back to Sofia. Overnight. /B/
Day 8 - DEPARTURE FROM SOFIA
Morning at leisure until driving to the airport and drop off the car. End of service. /B/

City Hotel Number of nights
Sofia Hotel Budapest 3* 3 overnights on BB basis
Plovdiv Hotel Belle Ville 3* 2 overnights on BB basis
Veliko Turnovo Hotel Gurko 3* 2 overnights on BB basis
LOW SEASON PRICE: NOVEMBER - MARCH

Dates and prices:
Price for minimum 2 participants - per person in twin room sharing320.00 ˆ

Supplements:
Single supplement per person:110.00 ˆ

Price includes:
  • Accommodation on BB basis in below mentioned hotels (or similar depending on the availability)
  • Car hire for 8 days economy class including unlimited mileage for Bulgaria, Insurance "Third Party Liability", road tax vignette for Bulgaria, CDW (Collision Damage Walver) and TF (Theft Protection)
Price excludes:
  • Refundable deposit of 300 euros will be taken on collection of the car
  • Fuel, parking fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Admission fees and guide service in museums

Note on prices:
The price is based on 3* hotels. We can upgrade to 4* if requested.

Remarks:
Driver must be between 23 and 65 years old Driver must have a valid driving license and minimum 1 year driving experience Driver must have a valid credit card.


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