On the steps of Ancient Bulgaria tour
Ancient Bulgaria Tour Day 1
Ancient Bulgaria Tour starts – Sofia – Perperikon – Kardzhali, 290km 3:30 hours’ drive
We welcome you for your ancient Bulgaria tour in the city of Sofia and leave for the town of Kardzhali. Kardzhali is a town in the Eastern Rhodopes and the area where the town is located now has been inhabited since Neolithic. When the Thracian tribes settled there they developed a highly advanced civilization. There are many stone castles and palaces that the Thracians built in the region. The most significant one, Perperikon we will visit. The medieval archaeological complex Perperikon is one of the most ancient monumental megalithic structures, entirely carved into the rocks. It is one of the most popular Bulgaria destinations. For thousands of years this place has been used by the people to worship their gods.
Then we will proceed to Kardzhali where we will have lunch.
Check in a hotel and stay in Kardzhali overnight.
Ancient Bulgaria Tour Day 2
We will start the day with a visit to another Thracian megalithic monument near the village of Tatul. It is one of the most imposing monuments on the territory of Bulgaria.
Next stop in our Bulgaria holiday will be the ancient Roman villa 2000 years old. It belonged to a Thracian aristocrat who received the status of a Roman citizen and he built a holiday residence. That was the most impressive and rich private villa of the time on Bulgarian lands. The name of the villa is Villa Armira.
Lunch in Harmanli.
Check in a hotel and overnight in Plovdiv.
Ancient Bulgaria Tour Day 3
Plovdiv – Starosel – Kazanlak, 290km 4:00 hours’ drive
We will start the day with a city tour around Plovdiv. We will visit 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.
We will proceed our journey to the village of Starosel. Starosel is known for the abundance of ancient Neolithic and Thracian sites. Among them are the underground temple – it is the largest of its kind on the Balkans, and a mausoleum. Another important site, the Horizont tumulus, contains the only known Thracian temple to feature a colonnade.
Our journey will carry on to Kazanlak – the main city of the Rose Valley. Kazanlak is also known as the Valley of the Thracian Kings – the region around Kazanlak is dotted with dozens of Thracian burial mounds. Among Bulgaria tourist attractions, Kazanlak is a unique place because there is beauty and life there. Here we will visit the Big Kosmatka (Golyamata Kosmatka) tomb. This is one of the most impressive tombs, not only because of its size but because of the fact that it hadn’t been looted. “This is probably the richest tomb of a Thracian king ever discovered in Bulgaria. Its style and its making are entirely new to us as experts,” said Georgi Kitov, the head of the team of archaeologists that found the tomb. We will also visit the Svetitsa tomb.
Lunch in Kazanlak.
We will visit one more tomb – the Thracian beehive tomb, a unique monument of the Thracian Culture included in UNESCO’s List of World Heritage.
Check in and overnight in Kazanlak.
Ancient Bulgaria Tour Day 4
Kazanlak – Nikopolis ad Istrum – Veliko Tarnovo, 150km 2:30 hours’ drive
In the morning we will leave for the Roman and Early Byzantine town of Nikopolis ad Istrum, another site on the ancient Bulgaria tour. The name means a Town of the Victory on the Danube River. The town was situated at the crossing point of two of the most important roads in Lower Misia – from Odessos (presently Varna) to the west Roman provinces and from Nove (presently Svishtov) to Byzantium (presently Istanbul).
Then, we will carry on to Veliko Tarnovo – the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. This is the town of many sightseeings. It is one of the liveliest Bulgaria tourist centres.
The most significant monument of culture in Veliko Tarnovo is the medieval fortress Tzarevetz, situated on the homonymous peak, surrounded on three sides by the river Yantra. When, in the times of the Second Bulgarian State, the town of Veliko Tarnovo was the capital, Tzarevetz used to be main fortress in the country. It wasn’t a closed fortress, though but a real medieval town. The fortress’ centuries-long life witnessed different events. It’s not surprising that it took half a century to restore Tzarevetz. Its restoration started in 1930 and finished in 1981 in honour of the 1300 anniversary from the establishment of the Bulgarian state.
Lunch in Veliko Tarnovo.
In the evening, if it is possible, we can enjoy the audio-visual show called Sound and Light, which reveals the colourful history of the Second Bulgarian State.
Check in a hotel and overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Ancient Bulgaria Tour Day 6
Veliko Tarnovo – Sveshtari – Ruse, 240km 3:45 hours’ drive
In the morning we will leave for the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari, the Thracian Royal Tomb. On the way we will visit the town of Isperih to have lunch there. Sveshtari is one of the most sensational discoveries during the past decade, dating back to the 4th-3rd century B.C. and it’s another site on the List of UNESCO Cultural Heritage sites.
Our tour will proceed to Ruse. When in Ruse, a nice walk around the town will take you to the Regional History Museum, displaying the Borovo Thracian Treasure. The walking tour will tell you why Ruse was even referred to as” Little Vienna”. It was because of its Neoclassicism style of buildings. Stunning and brilliant Austrian style architecture abounds, particularly around the city’s main square.
Check in a hotel and overnight in Ruse.
Ancient Bulgaria Tour Day 7
Ruse- The Rock hewn Churches of Ivanovo – Sofia 330km, 4:20 hours’ drive
After breakfast, we will start the day with a visit to 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. It’s completely different from other monastery complexes in Bulgaria.
Then we will head on back to the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia to continue our ancient Bulgaria tour. We will have our lunch there and then we will visit the ancient Roman town of Serdika – a large complex of houses, churches, fortification walls whose remains are presented between the Presidency and the Council of Ministers and Boyana Church. We will also see the 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; The Presidency building and the Council of Ministers building.