DISCOVER BULGARIA, Sofia, Troyan Monastery, Veliko Turnovo, Arbanassi, Pliska, The Madara Horseman,

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DISCOVER BULGARIA, Sofia, Troyan Monastery, Veliko Turnovo, Arbanassi, Pliska, The Madara Horseman, Varna, Nessebar, Bourgas, Kotel, Zheravna, Plovdiv, Rila Monastery, 7nights / 8 days, All Inclusive, from 510 euro

DISCOVER BULGARIA, Sofia, Troyan Monastery, Veliko Turnovo, Arbanassi, Pliska, The Madara Horseman, Varna, Nessebar, Bourgas, Kotel, Zheravna, Plovdiv, Rila Monastery, 7nights / 8 days, All Inclusive, from 510 euro
 
 
PROGRAM:
 
Day 1
Arrival, Meet and  Greet at Sofia International Airport.
Exclusive Transfer from Airport to the hotel in the centre of Sofia.
Non-alcoholic Welcome Cocktail will be served upon arrival at the hotel.
Dinner in a traditional Bulgarian restaurant with folklore program
Overnight
 
 
Day 2
Short pedestrian sightseeing tour of the capital city in the morning.
Sofia - the CapitalCity of Bulgaria – Inhabited for 7 000 years, it was called Serdica by Thracians. The Romans made it splendid and important province capital. Since the 14th century this great city at the foot of the majestic Vitosha mountain has been known as Sofia. Its museums house many of the country most important ancient artifacts. See the unique mixture of ancient, medieval and more recent examples of the local architecture - the 1400 years old St. George Rotunda, the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the 6th century St. Sofia Church, which gave the city its name, the Royal Palace, which now hosts the National Art Gallery and many others.
Late morning drive to the ex-royal capital of Veliko Turnovo, going on the way to the beautiful Troyan Monastery. Lunch.
Afternoon departure for Bulgaria’s ex-royal capital of Veliko Tarnovo for dinner and overnight stay in a first class hotel.
 
Sights to be visited throughout the day:
St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral - A MYSTIC WORLD OF ELEGANCE AND BEAUTY
The magnificent St. Alexander Nevsky Memorial Church
is one of the finest pieces of 20th century architecture in Sofia. The interior is just as splendid in materials and craftsmanship: Italian marble, Brazilian onyx, African alabaster, frescoes and woodcarvings by the best Bulgarian and Russian artists.
The underground crypthas an impressive collection of icons. The exposition opened in 1964 and features icons from across Bulgaria that are among the 9th to 18th century masterpieces in the Balkans. Several icons from the 12th to 14th century match the best works of Constantinople studios of the age.
Actually, Bulgarian icons have countless fans across the world and have always fascinated people, evoking profound respect and admiration.
Boyana Church is included in UNESCO list of World Heritage and is considered herald of European Renaissance. Most interesting are the frescoes (1259) which art experts today rate them as a peak of realistic art of those times. These genuine masterpieces of 13th century painting, created 200 years before the European Renaissance mark a remarkable peak in Eastern Christian Art. The portraits of the founder of the church - patron Kaloian and his wife Desislava and of prince Konstantin and his wife Irina are the supreme peak of the skill of the artist. The church is built in three stages – 11th, 13th and 19th centuries. This site is one of the most complete and perfectly preserved monuments of east European medieval art.
Troyan MonasteryThis monastery is renowned for the precious works of one off the famous Bulgarian artists - the master–painter Zahari Zograf. The existing evidence shows that this monastery was founded as early as the year 1600. The only left form these times is a stone from the church throne. The present day appearance of the monastery dates back to the year 1835. The iconostasis of the main church, created during the 19th century and the amazing icons and murals, represent some of the outstanding Bulgarian renaissance art schools.
 
 
Day 3
Morning sightseeing tour of Veliko Turnovo - a city considered as one of the most beautiful in Europe. Lunch.
Afternoon visit to Arbanassi village-one of the symbols of the immortal Bulgarian tradition.
Enjoy your dinner sampling delicious Bulgarian diches and wine, while wondering at typical Bulgarian fire-dances.
Here you can delight in an unique attraction - audio-visual show "Tsarevgrad Turnov – Sound and Light ". You can only find similar shows at few other around the world..
Through the power of music and spectacular illumination, this programme aims to create an unforgettable and emotional image of the Tsarevets Hill and Castle treasuring up the history, grandeur and glory of the ancient capital city of Turnovgrad which has become synonymous with the Bulgarian spirit and national pride.
The music, which has been composed specially for the occasion, is a leading element helping to follow the historical events and describe their invisible images. 
Overnight.
 
Sights to be visited throughout the day:
Veliko Turnovo - the ex-royal capital-Capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185-1396), this city is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. You will be amazed by its stone houses which are perched one above the other on the steep banks of Yantra river. Enjoy a visit to the Tzarevets Hill, where the patriarchal church and royal palaces are, the place where you can still see Baldwin’s Tower, legendary symbol connected with the Latin Emperor Baldwin of Flanders, who bas captured and beheaded by Tsar Kaloyan. Also visit Trapezitsa Hill, where relics of 17 medieval churches were found. Luxuriate in the breathtaking view from atop Holy Hill. Trill to the spectacular “Sound and Light” performances on the historic Tzarevets Hill and Fortress (weather permitting)
The village of Arbanassi – a piece of the unbroken Bulgarian tradition. Old choronicles and travel notes describe this village as the ancient capital’s Veliko Turnovo Royal residence. With their solid walls and heavy gates the old houses resemble miniature fortresses. But once you are in, you marvel and enthuse over the spacious and comfortable rooms, richly decorated and lavishly furnished. There are two monasteries and five churches, the oldest being the Nativity (1637-1649), dug into the ground, without a belfry and hidden deomes, very modest, but featuring a real treasure of over 3500 strikingly realistic figures and Biblical scenes, created at various times by unknown artists.
 
 
Day 4
Early morning departure to Varna - known as the Bulgarian Blask Sea coast capital, using the chance to see on the way the foamous Madara Horseman and the ancient capital of the First Bulgarian kingdom – Pliska. Lunch.
Afternoon drive to Varna for dinner and overnight.
 
Sights to be visited throughout the day:
The Madara Horseman - Europe’s only rock bas-relief at a height of 23m, a figure of a horseman has been carved into the rock. The horseman is piercing a lion with his spear, a symbol, which most probably represents the military and political power of the Bulgarian Kingdom. This monument is the only one of its kind in the whole of Europe. The message, which the Madara Horseman carries from the early Middle Ages is clear and overwhelming – no one can defeat the Bulgarian stronghold.
Pliska – the first Slavic capital - Pliska was the first capital of the new Bulgarian State. The Bulgarian erected the new city following the best traditions of both Slavs and Proto-bulgarian civilizations. Relics from the major building from the second half of the 9th century have survived until today. One can still see the remains of the large Basilica, the palaces and the Throne room and imagine the splendor of a city long gone.
 
 
Day 5
Short morning sightseeing tour of Varna.
Mid-morning departure for the second largest sea port of Bulgaria-Bourgas. Visiting the the unique town of Nessebar on the way. Late afternoon drive to Bourgas for dinner and overnight in a first class hotel.
 
Sights to be visited throughout the day:
Varna - the Black Sea Capital - founded in the 6th century BC the town was called Odessos and one can still marvel at the remains preserved from the times of the Romans and Byzantine. Magnificent examples of the different periods art and culture are the Roman Thermal Baths ad the early Christian Basilica from 4th c. The major sea port in Bulgaria, Varna is also a bustling summer resort.
Nessebar -Situated on a small peninsula, one of the oldest towns in Europe still casts its spell, branded with the spirit of numerous ages and civilizations - Thracians, Hellens, Romans, Slavs, Byzantines and Bulgarians. Nessebar’s main characteristic is its various churches – the Old Bishop’s Residence in early Byzantine style (4th -5th c), the New Bishop’s residence (St. Steven), the Chist Pantocrator and Aliturgetos churches (13th-14th c). Nessebar is dazzlingly beautiful and has definitely preserved its National Revival period atmosphere.
 
 
Day 6
Early morning departure for the second largest Bulgarian city - Plovdiv, taking the unique chance to visit another two examples of the typical charming small Bulgarian towns-Kotel and Zheravna. Lunch
You continue the picturesque drive to Plovdiv for dinner and overnight.
 
Sights to be visited throughout the day:
Kotel & Zheravna – the museum towns which capture the imagination of the visitor with their typical “wooden type” houses, created by ingenious masters with a phenomenal sense of symmetry and beauty. The exquisite taste of the Bulgarians is shown by the fine hand-woven carpets and bright cushions.
 
 
Day 7
After breakfast enjoy an early morning sightseeing tour of the Old Town Plovidiv.
Mid morning drive via the largest winter resort in Bulgaria-Borovets-to the magnificent Rila Monastery.
Late afternoon departure for Sofia for a farewell dinner with typical Bulgarian folk dances and overnight.
Optional Activities
- Cultural Night - opera, theatre or concert
- Sofia by Night - night tour of Sofia (included a drink in chosen bar)

Sights to be visited throughout the day:
Plovdiv - the second largest city - A thousand years older than Sofia-Bulgaria’s second largest city, Plovdiv was founded in 342BC, when Philip II of Macedonia conquered the Thracian town of Evmolpia and named it after his own name-Philipopolis. Later the Romans invaded Thrace and called the city Trimontium. The 19th century, which marked the apogee of the Bulgarian Revival period was the century of the creation of what is now known as the Old Town Plovdiv. This is one of the most remarkable places in Bulgaria with its steep cobbled stoned streets, unique houses and romantic atmosphere. See 4th century BC Thracian wall paintings, the Roman amphi-theatre, Byzantine and medieval fortifications and 15th century Ottoman mosques.
Rila Monastery- Probably the most impressive monument of the Bulgarian Revival Period, Rila Monastery is nestled amidst the majestic beauty of the Rila Mountains. It still fascinates visitors with its harmonious and exquisite features. See the monastery’s most remarkable sights - the 14th century Hrelyo Tower, the five doomed main church, and the 19th century original monastery kitchens. The monastery museum presents a lavish collection of precious old manuscripts, documents and charters, a real treasure of icons, jewelry, wrought iron articles, masterpieces of woodcarving, an ethnographic exhibition of fabrics and carpets and a library containing more than 16 000 volumes. Rila Monastery is considered the largest monastery on the territory of Bulgaria and is included in the UNESCO List of World Heritage.
 
 
Day 8:
Breakfast and exclusive тransfer from the hotel to the Sofia International Airport.
 
 
PRICES:
 
Hotels category
 in Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo Varna Bourgas Plovdiv
In EURO per person
in double room
In EURO per person
in single room
5* hotels
1050
1230
4* hotels
690
860
3* hotels
510
680
 
 
THE PRICES INCLUDE:
-
7 overnights on BB basis
- 7 lunches and 7 dinners in recommended traditional or modern restaurants along the trip
-
Guide during the whole trip
- Entrance fees
- All services mentioned in the program
- A ticket for opera, theatre or concert
- All transfers according to the program with
a luxury air-conditioned bus
 
THE PRICES DON’T INCLUDE:
- Chosen optional activities
- All additional tours not mentioned above
- Personal expenses
- Air tickets
 
 
 (Sofia –Troyan Monastery – 194 km)
(Troyan Monastery – Veliko Turnovo -107 km)
 (Veliko Turnovo –Arbanassi and back-10 km)
 (Velio Turnovo –Madara Horseman-151 km)
(Madara Horseman – Pliska -15 km)
(Pliska – Varna – 80 km).
 (Varna –Nessebar-109 km)
(Nessebar – Bourgas-35 km)
 (Bourgas –Kotel – Zheravna-128 km)
(Kotel –Plovdiv-229 km)
 (Plovdiv-Borovets-140 km)
(Borovets-Rila Monastery-91 km)
(Rila Monastery-Sofia-120 km)
 
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