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Culture and Beach in Bulgaria: Balkania Tour, Self Drive 15 days
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Culture and Beach in Bulgaria à partir de 690 €

Circuit: 15 jours / 14 nuits base 2 personnes

Les points forts du voyage

The taste of freedom is:
- You leave when you want

- You visit what you like
- You eat what you like
- You stop whenever you like
- You organize it as you feel it


Your only constraint – to be in the hotel at night. It is a formula to make your holiday nice and different.
This tour is designed for people who want to discover the country while having   time to rest at the seaside. The  6 day holiday by  the sea in the middle of the tour is a welcome and  refreshing break. Because of  the nature of the tour we have chosen  Nessebar  as your resort but we can change it to another on demand.

The tour allows you to visit  many sites, the most important of which are:

- The Bulgarian capital - Sofia and its sites (the UNESCO listed Boyana Church)
- The Rila Monastery (UNESCO classified)
- Overnight stay near the Park of the Dancing Bears in Belitsa and the town of Bansko
- The Old Plovdiv (overnight stay)
- The Monastery of Bachkovo
- The village of Zheravna (overnight stay)
- Old Nessebar (UNESCO classified) - 5 nights on site
- The city of Varna
- The region of Shoumen (Madara Horseman - UNESCO classified)
- The town of Veliko Tarnovo and its many relics (overnight stay)
- The town of Kazanlak  with its UNESCO classified Thracian Tomb  (The Valley of the Thracian Kings with its tombs, the Valley of the Rose)
- The town- museum of Koprivshtitsa (overnight stay)


This list is indicative and depends on your interests and time you want to spend on each visit. You may be surprised by the country's wealth and variety of tours, both natural and cultural.

We remind you that we have total control of our products. Therefore, if some details of the tour suit you more than others, we can make changes on both the duration and itinerary.

Our team is at your disposal to answer all your questions relating to this tour and / or  its possible modification (please don’t hesitate to send us  a tailor-made tour request)



Votre voyage jour après jour

Day 1 - SOFIA – Discovery of the Capital 

You will be greeted at the airport by our car rental partner for the keys of your rented vehicle.
Depending on your arrival time, the first day you will discover the capital and the Sofiotes. You will do a panoramic tour or walking downtown  in order to discover the most beautiful historic buildings in the capital..
You will also find the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the incomparable collection of icons in the crypt(dating from the 12th to 19th century), , the Russian Church St. Nicolas, St. George Rotunda, the Basilica of St. Sophia, the Church of St. Petka Paraskeva , the Parliament located in the city centre, the Banya Bashi Mosque, built in 1576.

You will stay  in Sofia in a 3 *** hotel located in the residential suburbs of Sofia, Boyana, opposite the church carrying  the same name. At the foot of Vitosha, the hotel has only 6 rooms but they are nice and spacious.


Day 2 - SOFIA > Rila > Dobarsko – Spiritual Encounter 

Down towards the south, you will have a tremendous encounter  of the Rila  Monastery. This is the  emblematic symbol of the Bulgarian orthodoxy protected by the UNESCO for the quality of its iconostases, its architecture and  history. Nestled in a beautiful mountain scenery this visit will leave you breathless.
You will leave the Rila mountain range and  enter  the Pirin  Nature Reserve, (protected by UNESCO), characterized by its alpine landscapes, where bears and wolves still reside to reach the quiet and  authentic village of Dobarsko.
Dobarsko is a small friendly village, surrounded by nature. It offers superb views of the Pirin mountains.
Besides the beautiful scenery, the friendliness of its inhabitants, Dobarsko houses one of the 100 Bulgarian heritage monuments: St. Theodore's Church which dates back  to 1614.
Ecology, nature and authenticity are the words that best describe this village.

For fans you can do walks, especially to the falls Shtrokaloto (about 1 hour).. 
The village is also famous with the so-called “grandmothers of Dobarsko“(Dobarski babi). They perpetuate the songs and customs of the village. One should listen when they sing in the courtyard of the church dressed in colourful traditional clothes.

This stop will give you a refreshing glimpse of these mountain people and their customs.

You  will sleep in a small family hotel with an excellent taverna and a swimming pool .

Step 165 km


Day 3 - Dobarsko > Bansko > Plovdiv – Crossing the Pirin massi

Your next stop will be the town of Bansko.Founded in the 15th century and located at 17 km away from Dobarsko, the small town manages to mix traditional Bulgarian architecture with holiday-resort flair.
The style of Bansko is representative of the rural landscape of  the 18-19 centuries.The unique in their kind fortified houses, are silent witnesses of the independent nature of its former inhabitants.
A significant number of these houses have now been converted to restaurants(mehana)where dinner is often a show, mixing live music,culinary delights and ancient customs.

On your way to  Plovdiv, you will  cross a region with beautiful landscapes and will pass by the spa town of Velingrad, the country's most famous  balneotherapy centre.

The town of Plovdiv,located in the Thracian plain, on the banks of the River Maritsa and on seven hills is the second largest urban centre of population, by area and by its place as a cultural centre. 

The Old Plovdiv, called the architectural reserve of the 18th and 19th centuries " is admired by all visitors. The remains of the Thracian civilization mingle with Roman  monuments, while the old Turkish mosques add an oriental flavour to a city where successive  and sometimes antagonists civilizations have managed to combine the best of what they had to offer  to create the original  personality of Plovdiv .
But above all the exceptional group of houses from the era of the national awakening in the "Trimontium" or Old Plovdiv are these  that gives this young and lively city its unique charm.
We offer you accommodation  in a small 3 *** hotel in Old Plovdiv with a quality restaurant and  splendid panoramic view over the city and the nearest architectural  sites.


Step 170 km



Day 4 - Plovdiv > Sliven > Zheravna – From the Rhodophes to the Central Balkan

After  leaving, 20 km from Plovdiv, you can make a stopover in the village of Bachkovo, best known for its famous monastery which is an important place for the Bulgarian spirituality. Founded in 1083 by the Byzantine commander Georgian Bakuriani, it remained the favourite destination of the Bulgarian tsars.
Asleep” under the Ottoman empire, the Monastery continued to receive support and donations from the christian population. The beautiful church St. Mary in the courtyard was built in 1604 and keeps a few sculptures from the 17th century. The last renovations took place in the years 1830 - 1840 with frescos from Master Zahari Zograf and his disciples.  
At the end of the Rhodopes, towards the Central Balkan, the road will  take you to the historic town of Sliven and its "voivods" glorious past.
You will then enter the Balkans to discover one of the most beautiful Bulgarian villages, picturesque and  typical, just  in the middle of the wilderness. Zheravna is one of the  architectural sites protected by the country. You will appreciate its countryside atmosphere, its house-museums, its warm taverns and the hospitality of the local people.  You will be able to visit the church St Nicolai  and its collection of icons from 16th and 17th century. To discover the traditional style of the region you may visit the house-museum of Yordan Yovkov and also the one of Rusi Tchorbadji that has  a small collection of carpets or the one of Sava Filaretov.  Excursions on foot  in the region are possible to discover its wildlife and its flora.  The area is extremely well stocked with game and fish and you will notice  it in your dining menu in one of the local taverns.  
You will sleep in one of the finest , if not the most beautiful guesthouses in the village, built of wood, with its charming landscaped courtyard and  its typical decoration. The rooms are absolutely splendid and this visit will bring you closer to the mountain spirit that prevails here.


Step 230 km


Day 5th to 10th - Zheravna > Nessebar – The golden beaches of the Black Sea

You will reach the ancient town of Nessebar on the Black Sea coast.  
Founded by the Thracians at the end of the 2nd millennium BC, Nessebar has a rich and eventful history due to its strategic location.
World Heritage Site by Unesco for its outstanding architectural ensemble of Byzantine style, with its famous churches, houses of the Renaissance, its narrow cobblestone streets that give the city a great interest and a special atmosphere.
Among the churches to see is that of the Christ Pantocrator currently used as an art gallery, the Church of St. Saviour and its famous frescoes or that of St. John The Baptist.

Located in the northern peninsula of Nessebar, the luxurious Nessebar Royal Palace is located in the heart of the ancient city of Nessebar about twenty meters from the Black Sea.  The hotel offers all the comforts to make your stay pleasant and enjoyable. The Byzantine ruins around the hotel will add even more charm and depth to your vacation. The location of the hotel, the beautiful beaches and facilities of the resort will absolutely delight you 


Step 145 km


Day 11 - Nessebar > Varna > Shumen – The Bulgarian coast

You will follow the coastline of the country through various villages like Cape Emine(worth a visit for its exceptional beauty), Obzor and Biala.
You will reach Varna, "The Pearl of the Black Sea “which has a high international reputation. You can visit its magnificent cathedral, the Naval Museum with its botanical garden, its exceptional archaeological museum where you will discover the oldest worked gold in the world and its Roman baths. A city full of charm.

You will follow the Balkan range  to find the remains of the glorious past of the Bulgarian Khans.
Indeed, in this part of the country are located  the first two historical capitals of Bulgaria (Pliska and Veliki Preslav).
You  will arrive in Shoumen where  you can visit the second largest mosque in the entire Balkan region and the largest in Bulgaria - the mosque Tomboul.
Its  Koranic library is the most beautiful and furnished  in the country. Its name is due to the bulbous shape of the  25 meters high dome ,built in  Turkish Baroque style .
You can also admire the Madara Horseman bas-relief carved in stone at 23 m above the ground . It is representing a horseman whose mount is trampling a lion( symbol of Byzantium) with the assistance of a greyhound . It is world heritage of UNESCO. The symbolic power of this sculpture is so big that you can even find it on  the Bulgarian currency.


You will stay in a 3 *** hotel located in downtown.


Step 185 km


Day 12 - Shoumen > Veliko Tarnovo – City of the Bulgarian Tsars
You continue along the north slope of the  Central Balkan to reach the town of Veliko Tarnovo. The capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire between the 12th and 14th century was considered the most beautiful city in the Balkans after Constantinople. Destroyed by the Turks in 1393, we can still admire the fortifications. The city tour is impressive because of  its rich history, natural beauty of the site, its houses hanging above the Yantra River, all in a medieval setting. The visit of the citadel - Tsarevets is a must to enjoy this slice of history.  

The village of Arbanassi located 4 kms away will be a delightful visit.The  Classified village- museum, has old beautiful fortress-like stone houses and churches decorated with murals with the highest artistic value. You can visit the house Konstantsilev (transformed into a museum) before seeing the beautiful Church of  the Nativity.
The Monastery of the Transfiguration, located 6 km from Veliko Tarnovo on a peak, is an outstanding example of architecture and icon painting from the period of the Bulgarian national awakening . You will see the  "Judgement Day" and the "life cycle", two compositions of great value .

You will sleep in Veliko Tarnovo in a beautiful family hotel  with an excellent taverna and a magnificent view over the river Yantra.


Step 140 km


Day 13 - Veliko Tarnovo > Kazanlak > Koprivshtitsa – The Valley of the Tharcian Kings 

Through  the Shipka Pass to reach the southern slopes of the Balkan,located on the heights of the Shipka village is one of the places you should not miss. The beautiful Russian Orthodox church (Church of the Nativity) was built by the Bulgarians to thank the Russians for having helped them out of the Ottoman yoke.Here you will have a beautiful view of a portion of the Valley of the Thracian Kings and outlined several Thracian mounds including the royal tomb of Seuthes III - The Great Kosmatka.
Descending into the plain,you are now crossing the Valley of the Thracian Kings,where a stop in  the town of Kazanlak-a veritable repository of the Thracian civilization,is a must. Indeed, it is here that was discovered  the first royal tomb of the time-a world heritage of UNESCO.
Its visit is highly recommended  to  discover this little-known people, which were  the most powerful in Europe and the Mediterranean long before the Romans.
Here you can also enjoy visiting the Museum of the Rose, which is a specialty of the country (Bulgaria is the first world producer of rose oil required for the manufacture of perfume). Besides, the valley is also called” Valley of Roses "and you'll discover the different uses of this flower.

Crossing the Staga ridge,which joins the Balkan range to the Sredna Gora,the road enters the small town of Kalofer.Nestled in a lovely valley,and cut through by the river Tundzha, in symbiosis with nature, it is a place of rest and discovery.
This small mountain town  has a  very strong traditions which is certainly inherited by its history and its famous "children" including the legendary poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev.

Finally you will reach the colourful town of Koprivshtitsa, which played a major part in the Great Revolution of April 1876 for the liberation from Ottoman rule.
Preserved in its authentic appearance, nestled in the mountains, it is a page of Bulgarian history which deserves to be told. Most houses here are built of wood, painted  in bright colours and give a unique touch to this place of rest.House- museums redrawing the big history of this small town will enrich you.  
All here is loaded with history.
In  Koprivshtitsa you will sleep in a small guest house in traditional style  with only 5 rooms. Locals are famous with their kindness and hospitality


Step 185 km


Day 14 - Koprivshtitsa > Sofia – Back in the capital


On leaving, you can visit the city of Hissaria.  Founded by the Romans and famed for  its thermal qualities, it was also the location of privileged treatment for Roman emperors. In the same area in August 2000 near the village of Starosel beside Hissaria, was discovered the largest Thracian sanctuary. Dated  back to 5th century BC,  it was probably built  in honour of Sitalkes I, the first Thracian emperor who ruled from the Danube to the Aegean Sea.

You will arrive in Sofia, to take advantage of the last moments in Bulgaria and to finish the visits that you have not had the time to do on the first day or why not do a little shopping   

You will sleep in the same hotel 3*** that on the day of your arrival.

Step 107 km


Day 15 - Sofia – Departure

After returning back your vehicle, you will fly home to get back to your normal life after this lovely break in Bulgaria

















Prix par période/ par personne/ en chambre double

1) du 01 April au 30 April 690 €
2) du 01 May au 30 June 890 €
3) du 01 July au 31 August 990 €
4) du 01 September au 30 September 890 €
5) du 01 October au 31 October 690 €

Prix par période/ par personne/ en chambre individuelle

1) du 01 April au 30 April 1090 €
2) du 01 May au 30 June 1490 €
3) du 01 July au 31 August 1640 €
4) du 01 September au 30 September 1490 €
5) du 01 October au 31 October 1090 €
Le prix comprend Le prix ne comprend pas

- Filing Fees

- The delivery and recovery of the rental car at the airport in Sofia

- Renting a vehicle Economy Class (2 pax), intermediate (3 pax) or higher (4 pax) in unlimited mileage,  insurance and road taxes, assistance 24/7

- Accommodation in guest houses, hotels 3 stars (double occupancy)

- Breakfast  

- The travel and vouchers with map and / or indications for hotels

- Hotline Balkania Tour 24 / 24

- The return flight ( check prices and book )

- Airport taxes

- The cancellation insurance, repatriation and medical expenses

- Deposit for the rented vehicle

- Fuel

On vous dit tout

Air Flight

You can always check the price of airline tickets and book through the functionality available to you on our website. Click ticket from the home page.


Discounts for children

- Children under 2 years - free. The child does not have a seat reserved for the transport and will share the room with 2 adults (extra bed)

- Children from 2 to 12 years - 20% discount. The child shares the room with 2 adults (extra bed)

- The number of children sharing room with 2 adults is limited to 2


Book early, pay less

- For bookings made at least three months in advance a discount of 5% will apply


- No minimum number of participants. For groups over 5, thank you for contacting us so that we can make you an offer  for your situation.

- If you do not sleep in the accommodation provided, no refund will be considered and your night will be charged to you.

- Upon delivery of the vehicle, a deposit of 100 to 300 € depending on the class of vehicle will be required. It will be returned when the vehicle is returned if no damage has occurred

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