Bulgaria Tours: Museum Towns and Bulgarian Traditions (Northern Itinerary) Programme - Theme Tours at Pictures of Bulgaria

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Bulgaria Tours: Museum Towns and Bulgarian Traditions (Northern Itinerary) Programme

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Programme Code: SIP 04
Tour Duration: 7 days / 6 nights

Sofia Arrival in Sofia. Check in the hotel. Panoramic city tour. Overnight.

Sightseeing during the day:
Sofia - Roads from all parts of the world have been meeting here nearly 7 000 years. Peoples have come and gone, civilizations have advanced and declined, but the city has remained. More than 250 historic, archaeological and architectural landmarks in the city which the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great once called "My Rome".

Our tour includes: National Archaeological Museum, National Theatre, Russian Church St. Nikola, Parliament Square, Alexander Nevski Memorial Cathedral with the most valuable collection of Bulgarian Icons (13-19th c), St. Sofia Church (6th c), St. George Rotunda (4th c), National Palace of Culture.

Troyan Monastery

Departure from Sofia to Central Bulgaria - visit Troyan Monastery, Oreshaka Exhibit of peoples' arts and crafts and Apriltsi village. Overnight.

Sightseeing during the day:
The Troyan monastery is known above all for the creative work of Zahari Zograph who painted both the exterior and the interior (a rare practice for the time) of the main church built in 1835, 7 km from the town of Troyan. It is a fine example of the impact of the popular conception of the world and the influence of housing architecture on religious construction. Here, Zahari Zograph repeated the social and moral in religious painting (the compositions Doomsday and the Wheel of Life), left his second self-portrait signed with amazing self confidence in spite of the Ottoman bondage, and painted the figures of Bulgarian and Russian saints. Besides, he painted a completely secular group portrait of the monastic brotherhood in the refectory - something highly unusual for the time.

National Fair - Crafts and Applied Arts in the village of Oreshak - Articles of the modern masters of art crafts and the applied arts are not only from Troyan and the region but from all over the country are exhibited in the numerous halls there. A part from the exposition is a bazaar, too.

Veliko Tarnovo


Breakfast. Departure towards Veliko Turnovo. Tour in the medieval caoital city of Bulgaria. Proceed to Arbanassi Museum Village, Petropavlovski Monastery, Bozhentsi museum village. Overnight in the nearby Kmetovtsi village.

Sightseeing during the day:
Veliko Tarnovo - One of the most picturesque Bulgarian towns. Known under the name of Tsarevgrad Turnov (i.e. King's Town) and Turnovgrad. In the town and its outskirts traces have been uncovered of life dating back to the late Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, the Bronze and the Iron Ages. After the foundation of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1186), the town becomes its capital. In 1393 the town is conquered by the Turks and burned down. During the years of Ottoman rule it is a fortress of the Bulgarian national spirit and one of the centres of the struggle for liberation. In 1879 the Constituent National Assembly has its first session here and adopts the Constitution of Turnovo - the first constitution of the Bulgarian state liberated in 1878.

Arbanassi - Austere houses that resemble minor fortresses on the outside with high, solid walls and heavy gates, iron, rids and secret hiding-places, but which are spacious and comfortable, richly decorated and furnished on the inside.

The village of Bozhentsi - Architecture and Ethnographic Reserve - almost all the buildings were built during the 18th in the typical of this region of Bulgaria Revival Style. In Bozhentsi one is carried away in the past and finds out an unsuspected idyll and calmness among the spiritually of the old houses. Every year in the beginning of September the village hosts a plain-air "Autumn in Bozhentsi", and from June to September - an exhibition bazaar of works of art is held there, too.


Kazanluk Tomb
Breakfast. Departure from Kmetovtsi to Gabrovo, crossing the Central Balkan Range to Kazanluk. Visit Kazanluk Thracian Tomb (UNESCO). Departure to Zheravna Museum town. Overnight.

Sightseeing during the day:
Gabrovo. It is situated in the immediate proximity of the geographical centre of Bulgaria and itself is a centre of humour and jokes. It originated during the Middle Ages as a strategic settlement, which poblation guarded the Balkan mountain passes. At the end of 12th century due to the proximity of the town to the Bulgarian state capital Turnovo, the handcrafts and trade developed here as crafts related to the maintainance and guard of the passes through the Balkan mountain - blacksmiths, armour and weapon smiths, etc. During the 19th century over 26 crafts were practiced here. The good quality of the Gabrovo made articles was known all over the world and even beyond it. There is a street in Bucharest now still named "Gabroveni". The quick economic growth and the national revival were the reason for the opening of the first Bulgarian secular school in 1835. Gabrovo continued to develop as the biggest textile centre of Bulgaria after the liberation and it was by no accident that it was nicknamed "The Bulgarian Manchester". The town is known for its beautiful revival houses, churches, bridges, drinking-fountains, a clock tower, etc. The town has been famous for the stinginess and sharpwittedness of its inhabitants from time immemorial due to which the unique in the world House of Humour and Satire is located there.

The Thracian Tomb in Kazanluk - It was built in 3rd c., discovered in 1944 and inscribed into UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979. The Kazanluk Tomb in south Bulgaria is of the beehive type and famous for its beautiful wall paintings. A corridor, 2m long, 1.10m wide and 2.20m high leads to a domed tomb, which is 3.25m high and has a diameter of 2.65m at the base. The unique murals, done in wet fresco and tempera, show battles and scenes from daily life. The pictures are realistically, showing many details of clothing and armour.


Breakfast. Tour of Zheravna and the nearby town of Kotel ( one of the main carpet centres in Bulgaria ). Departure to the National revival town of Kalofer. Overnight.

Sightseeing during the day:
Zheravna is one of the pearls of Bulgaria. Every building in the village is in itself a unique cultural monument. It has been preserved almost in its authentic appearance and atmosphere. The village preserves remarkable ensembles of Revival town lay-out and architecture like the church complex with St. Nikolai Church. It is worth mentioning the remarkable Hilendar Convent where "Slavonic and Bulgarian History was copied".

Kotel - the town of Kotel has been declared an architecture and historical reserve. There have been preserved about 110 houses from the Revival period. They are- one or two-storied, made of stone or wood carvings, huge eves, curved roofs and fantastic yards. In the Galatan School there is a museum exposition of brilliant fabrics - symbol of the ancient craft of carpet weaving - so typical of Kotel.



Breakfast. From Kalofer via Karlovo national revival town and the small Karlovo waterfall to Koprivshtitsa Museum town. Tour. Arrival to Sofia. Overnight.

Sightseeing during the day:
Kalofer - Its name can not be found in the ancient or the medieval history of our lands. On this place there were once thick, impassable and desolate woods. Due to the strong resistance, the Turks wiped out the town, but the proud and sturdy defenders remained unconquered. A group of 40 heroes roamed for long throughout the area, defending their fellow Bulgarians and arousing horror in the Ottomans. The Turks were powerless to deal with the detachment and so the Sultan gave their leader permission to settle in the woods along with his men, giving them privileges to establish a settlement. The city is the birthplace of the great Bulgarian poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev.

Karlovo - The town is situated in the valley of the same name, which is part of the famous Rose Valley, along the two banks of Stara Reka River. Karlovo`s remote past is not well explored. The village mounds, remains of Roman roads and constructions that were found in its vicinity can`t be related to certain names and events. Its greatest fame, however the town owes to the fact that it is the hometown of Mother Bulgaria`s greatest son - The Apostle of Freedom - Vassil Levsli.

Koprivshtitsa - In the Sredna Gora mountain range in Bulgaria lies the village of Kopvrishtitsa. The villiga is protected in its entirety as a historical monument. The numerous museums, the old stone bridges and walls, the wooden yard gates, 100-year-old buildings and courtyards in their typical colours, all take you back to times long time ago. Although centuries old, this celibrated village hasn't lost any of its vitality. Everywhere you go, you're encountered by the diversities of rural life. Horse-drawn wagons and mule carts make their way through the streets. There are not many places left in Europe that are as beautiful, peaceful and picturesque as Kopvrishtitsa
For Bulgarians Koprivshtitsa is a symbol for the freedom gained after hundreds of years of Turkish occupation. On the 20th of April, 1876 the first shots fell on the famous bridge, marking the beginning of the End of the 500-year Turkish occupation.

Sofia Breakfast in Sofia. Departure transfer.

All rates are in euro per person in double room.

The package price includes:
  • Transportation with luxury vehicle /according the tourist number/;
  • Accommodation at 3 star hotels in standard rooms on BB basis;
  • English / French / German / or Spanish speaking guide during the whole tour;
  • Entrance fees;
  • 1 FOC in single room for groups over 20 PAX.
The price excludes:
  • Meals not included in the programme;
  • Porterages;
  • Tips;
Transportation with:
  • 2 pax car, 3+1 seats, A/C;
  • 3 - 4 pax (minivan), 6+1 seats, A/C;
  • 4 - 5 pax (minibus), 8+1 seats A/C, Citoen Jumper or Volkswagen Caravelle - models 2003, or similar
  • 6 - 10 pax, 18+1 seats, A/C, Mercedes Sprinter or Peugeot Boxer -  models 2003, or similar
  • 11 - 20 pax, 29+1 seats, A/C, microphone, Mitsubishi Prestige - model 2004, or similar
  • 21 - 40 pax, 45+1 setas, A/C, microphone, Iveko - model 2000, or similar
  • 45+ pax, 52+1 seats, A/C, microphone, Neoplan - model 2000, or similar
  • Supplement for single room use - please look at the table
  • Supplement for lunch /3 coarse menu+mineral water/ - 8 euro pp per day
  • Supplement for dinner /3 coarse menu+mineral water/ - 10 euro pp per day
  • Japanese, Chinese, Turkish and Dutch-speaking guides - upon request