Rose Valley Tour
6 days/5 nights tour
Sofia – Rila Monastery – Plovdiv – Kazanlak – Gabrovo – Veliko Tarnovo – Arbanassi – Sofia
15th May – 15th June
Most important sights and attractions:
- Join the local people for rose-picking in the rose fields
- Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia – one of the oldest cities in Europe
- Replica of the UNESCO-listed Thracian Tomb in Kazanlak
- Old town of Plovdiv – 19th century houses and Roman ruins, including a Roman Theater in use today
- UNESCO-listed Rila monastery – the biggest Bulgarian spiritual centre
Day 1Sofia (D)
Arrival at Sofia airport. Transfer and accommodation at the hotel. Welcome dinner and overnight.
Day 2Sofia – Rila Monastery – Plovdiv (B)
After breakfast – panoramic tour around the Bulgarian capital and visit the most interesting historical sights: the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, St. Sofia Church, which had given the name of the city and the historical and cultural center of the capital.
Set off to Rila monastery (X c.) – the biggest Bulgarian spiritual center since the Middle Ages till nowadays, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is located in a picturesque mountain area. The Monastery has rich collection of icons and wall-paintings. Its museum keeps a real treasure: a wooden cross of just 81 cm height, carved with 104 religious scenes and 650 figures.
Return back to Sofia for overnight at the same hotel.
Day 3Plovdiv (B, L)
After breakfast – departure to Plovdiv – the “City of the seven hills’’. Plovdiv is the oldest city in Europe still existing today. It was called Philippopolis in the IV century B.C. in honor of King Philip II of Macedonia. Today Plovdiv is a cultural center of Bulgaria and was selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2019. Walking tour of the Old Town impressive with its houses-museums the Revival period like the Ethnographical museum; the Ancient Theater, the Fortress walls, the oldest church in the city – “St. St. Constantine and Helena”, etc. We will see the Muslim temple Dzhoumaya Mosque and the Roman Stadium on the main street of Plovdiv.
Lunch at a local restaurant in the old town.
In the afternoon – free time at leisure or possibility to book optional tours:
Optional tour 1: visit of Asenova Fortress and Bachkovo monastery – one of many beautiful places in Rhodopy Mountain. The monastery is famous with its miraculous icon of Virgin Mary and the beautiful frescoes in its refectory. We are going to visit the monastery, see the church and have a relaxed day.
Optional tour 2: Wine tasting in a reputed winery from the Thracian Lowlands
Overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 4Plovdiv – ROSE VALLEY – Veliko Tarnovo (B, D)
After breakfast – departure to Kazanlak – the capital of the rose valley. We will join the local people for rose-picking in the rose plantations near Kazanlak. Visit of an authentic operating rose – distillery and introduction to the technology of production of rose oil (a highly esteemed component in the perfume and cosmetics industry worldwide), tasting of rose products.
In the afternoon – visit of the replica of the Thracian Kazanlak Tomb, dating back to the 4th C. BC (listed in the world natural and historical heritage of UNESCO).
Next is Etara – a unique open air museum, reproducing the way of life of Bulgarians in the 19th c. It is a great attraction for tourists, one of the most visited places in the country.
Departure to Veliko Tarnovo. Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 5Veliko Tarnovo – Sofia (B, D)
After breakfast – city tour of the old capital of Bulgaria. Visit the historical hill Tsarevets with the Fortress, the Patriarchal church and Emperor Baldwin’s Tower. You will walk along the old Trade Street – “Samovodska charshia”.
Next is a visit to Arbanassi village, famous for its ancient rich decorated churches and magnificent architecture. It used to be a residence of the Bulgarian kings.
Departure to Sofia. Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Sofia.
After breakfast – free time. Transfer to the airport and flight back home.