A Taste of Medieval Bulgaria
Visit Bulgaria Day 1
We welcome you for your visit Bulgaria holiday in the city of Sofia and leave for the town of Vidin, where we will have lunch. In Vidin we will see Baba Vida Fortress – the only fully preserved medieval fortress in Bulgaria that lies on the very bank of the Danube River in the northern end of the beautiful town of Vidin.
For the nature-lovers we can offer a visit to the famous Belogradchik Rocks and Magura Cave, which are both located no more than an hour away from the town.
Overnight in a hotel in Vidin.
Visit Bulgaria Day 2
After breakfast we leave for the city of Ruse – Port of the Sixty Boats or later Ruschuk, the number one city in many terms in the past. The first railway station was constructed there, a contemporary publishing house was established, and a newspaper was issued. The city was the Headquarter of multiple consulates.
There will be a delicious lunch in Ruse.
Our impulse to get to know the history of the place will take us to the Regional Historical Museum where more than 130 000 monuments of culture are stored in. The only National Museum of Transport in Bulgaria is situated in Ruse, which is housed in the building of the first railway station in Bulgaria. Really interesting exponents can be found there like the coaches of the tsars Ferdinand and Boris III. Check in a hotel in Ruse and stay overnight.
Visit Bulgaria Day 3
Day 3 of our visit Bulgaria tour is marked with interesting places. After breakfast we will continue our tour with a visit to Cherven Fortress (Red Fortress). It is only 30 km away from Ruse and it is one of the most well-preserved medieval Bulgarian fortress. It used to be one of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom’s primary military, administrative, economic and cultural centrеs between the 12th and the 14th centuries.
Lunch will be in a local restaurant.
Next we will visit a site included in the UNESCO World Heritage List – The Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo. This is a complex of churches, chapels, monasteries and cells hewn out of solid rock. The frescoes are exceptionally artistic. The magnificent natural environment also adds to the unforgettable experience of the visitor to this complex.
Before dinner we can enjoy the blue Danube River, depicted by great composers and poets. Back to the hotel and stay overnight.
Visit Bulgaria Day 4
After breakfast, we will leave for the town of Pliska – the first capital of Bulgaria. There we will visit the historical complex that tells the story of the foundation of the capital.
Lunch in a local restaurant.
Only 12 km away from Pliska is the Madara Horseman. It’s not another fortress but a very important rock relief ever discovered on the territory of Bulgaria. It stands 23 metres above the ground and was carved in the 8th century AD. The Madara Horseman is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Back to the town of Shumen, check in the hotel and stay there overnight.
Visit Bulgaria Day 5
In the morning we leave for the town of Veliki Tarnovo. On the way we will visit the Veliki Preslav Museum Complex which preserves the remains of several medieval buildings, including the royal palace, one basilica, a couple of churches, a monastery and part of the town’s fortification wall. Veliki Preslav (Great Preslav) became Bulgaria’s biggest cultural and religious centre where hundreds of books were translated and many churches were built after the decision of Tsar Simeon the Great to move the capital from Pliska to Preslav.
Then, the town of Veliko Tarnovo. Often referred to as the ‘City of the Tsars’, Veliko Tarnovo is the crossing point of generations of Bulgarians and it has the spirit of bygone centuries, kept in its every stone. Visit Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo, and you will understand why it’s one of the preferred Bulgaria destinations. The most significant monument of culture in the town is the medieval fortress Tzarevetz, situated on the homonymous peak, surrounded on three sides by the river Yantra. This is going to be the highlight of the day. Our lunch will be in Veliko Tarnovo.
The afternoon we will spend walking on the narrow cobble-stoned streets of the town and explore its history and culture.
If it is possible we will pay another visit to the fortress Tzarevetz but this time at night when the audio-visual show called ‘Sound and Light’ makes the fortress look alive and reveals the colourful history of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. The show is one of the good Bulgaria tourist attractions.
Check in the hotel in Veliko Tarnovo and stay overnight.
Visit Bulgaria Day 6
In the morning we leave for the city of Plovdiv. On the way we will stop at Kazanlak – a small, picturesque town in the Valley of Roses and Thracian Kings. Before we reach Kazanlak and feel the specific atmosphere and flavour the town has, we will visit the Shipka Memorial on Stoletov Peak (a memorial to those who died for the Liberation of Bulgaria during the Battles of Shipka Pass in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78) and the Memorial Temple of the Birth of Christ (better known as the Shipka Memorial Church or Shipka Monastery). They will help you explore the history of that small, picturesque town a little bit. Then, in Kazanlak we will have our lunch and visit the Rose Museum.
We will proceed our journey to Plovdiv which is the second largest city in Bulgaria. Plovdiv is an important economic, transport, cultural, and educational centre. Plovdiv’s history dates as far back as 4000BC. It is one of the World’s most ancient cities and Europe’s oldest inhabited city — even beating Athens. In Plovdiv we will enjoy a visit around the Old Plovdiv, then we will have a short stop at The Statue of Milio – a popular, kind hearted and eccentric person from the near past of Plovdiv.
Check in a hotel and stay in Plovdiv overnight.
Visit Bulgaria Day 7
Plovdiv – Asenovgrad – Plovdiv (50 km, approximately 1 hour)
After breakfast we will visit the Asenova Krepost (Asen’s Fortress) – another medieval symbol of Bulgaria. Before it was conquered by the Bulgarians, the stronghold had been used by Thracians, Romans and Byzantines, respectively. The Church of the Holy Mother of God remains one of the best preserved buildings inside the castle.
We are back to Plovdiv. We will have our lunch there and enjoy a visit around the Old Plovdiv, then we will have a short stop at The Statue of Milio – a popular, kind hearted and eccentric person from the near past of Plovdiv.
Overnight in Plovdiv.
Visit Bulgaria Day 8
Plovdiv – Sofia (150 km, approximately 1 hours, 50 min)
When you visit Bulgaria, you can’t miss Sofia, the capital. In the morning we travel for Sofia. Once we are there, we will have a city tour around. That will include Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, built in the early 20th century in memory of the 200,000 Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian and Bulgarian soldiers, who died in the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–1878. It is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world; Boyana Church – one of the few complete and perfectly preserved medieval monuments; National History Museum – it contains more than 650,000 exhibits and is one of the largest history museums on the Balkans; The Presidency building and the Council of Ministers building.
Lunch in Sofia.
Overnight in Sofia.
Visit Bulgaria Day 9
As we are offering tailor-made tours, if you have a specific interest or a place you like to visit but it’s not mentioned in our itineraries, simply contact us and we can make the best program for you – individual or family.