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Group trips to Bulgaria, Bulgaria roundtrip, package tour in Bulgaria - Bulgaria Getaway 8 days Balkania Tour
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Escape to Bulgaria à partir de 1070 €

Circuit: 8 jours / 7 nuits base 2 personnes

Les points forts du voyage

We offer a surprising discovery of Bulgaria, mixing culture and traditions, nature and rural life, wellness and lifestyle, an immersion in the heart of the Balkans. Through its land at the crossroads of East and West, you will discover the different civilizations that have marked its history, enjoy unspoiled nature, taste traditional dishes in taverns . But above all, is the encounter of the local people and the folklore traditions  that will amaze you.

Despite its short duration the tour allows you to visit  many sites, the most important of which are:
- The Bulgarian capital - Sofia and its sites

- The Troyan Monastery
- The town of Veliko Tarnovo (overnight stay)
- The region of Shoumen (Madara Horseman - UNESCO classified)
- The Black Sea coast
- The city of Varna and its archaeological museum
- A boat trip on the river Kamchia
- The town of Nessebar (overnight stay in the UNESCO listed old city )
- The town of Kazanlak with its  UNESCO classified  Thracian Tomb(The Valley of the   Thracian Kings & Valley of Roses),visit a rose garden
- The city of Plovdiv and the Old Quarter (overnight stay)
- The town of Bansko and the village of Dobarsko with a concert from Dobarski Babi
- The Rila Monastery (UNESCO classified)

This list is not exhaustive and gives you an idea of ​​what to expect during the trip.
For more details, please see below “ Your Trip Day By Day“. You can also download and print the travel sheet on the bottom of this page by clicking Download the detailed program.

Balkania Tour‘s advice:
This tour has rich and varied program that allows you to discover  unexpected treasures of Bulgaria (villages, monasteries, historic sites, traditions ...) in just a week. Nevertheless the overall pace of the trip is bearable due to its longer stages(total length of the tour- approximately 1650 kms.).The stage by the Black Sea particularly brings a touch of variety and freshness to the trip.
The food and accommodation for this trip are especially strong points due to our selection of independent,mostly family-ran hotels and great local restaurants and taverns.

Votre voyage jour après jour

Day 1 - SOFIA - Discovery of the Capital

 You will be greeted at the airport and then transfered to your 3 * hotel (Hotel Budapest) which has a great location in the city centre near the cultural and historical sites.
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.

Before heading back to your hotel you will dine in a nice ,traditional, downtown tavern.

Day 2 - SOFIA> TROYAN> VELIKO TARNOVO - The city of the Bulgarian Tsars

You will leave early in the morning and following the North Slope of the Central Balkan you will get to your next destination- the Troyan Monastery.
The name of the town of Troyan is linked to the ancient Roman road - Via Traiana -linking  Moesia and Thrace to the Aegean Sea.
The foundation of the city dates back to the early 15th century when Bulgarians settled in this very inaccessible place to escape from the power of the Ottomans. Pottery and woodcarving crafts were among the most developed and allowed the enrichment of the city where talented masters have created beautiful models of the Bulgarian ecclesiastical architecture in the city and the region: for example, The Church of the Assumption in the Monastery of  Troyan  ,once the refuge of Vassil Levski.

After lunch at a tavern in Troyan, you will depart for a beautiful city with a glorious past - 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.
You will also visit the Church of the Forty Martyrs,which was founded by Tsar Ivan Asen II to commemorate his victory over the Byzantines on Forty Martyrs’ Day in 1230,and the Church of Sveti Dimitar,probably the best-looking of the surviving medieval churches,where during the consecration of the church the bolyari Petar and Asen announced their rebellion against Byzantium,and St Demetrius became the patron saint of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.
The shopping street of the city is a place full of life

After dining just a few miles above the city in Arbanassi- one of Bulgaria’s most picturesque villages,you will go back to Veliko Tarnovo to spend the night near the citadel in a  beautiful 4 * Hotel (Hotel Panorama),overlooking the meandering Yantra.

Stage - 270 Km

Day 3 - VELIKO TARNOVO>SHOUMEN> VARNA - The Pearl of the Black Sea



As you go along the north slope of the Central Balkan you will reach the town of Shoumen. The city as the area offers a page of history through its historical remains and the atmosphere that prevails..
Here you can also visit the second largest mosque in the entire Balkan region and the largest in Bulgaria - the mosque Tomboul
The region is very rich historically and you will discover 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 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.

 
After having lunch in a typical local tavern you will continue your way east towards  the Black Sea to reach Varna. "The Pearl of the Black Sea“ 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
Indeed, beside the beautiful beaches and parks this seaside resort offers many shops, diverse restaurants and trendy cafes. In summer it also becomes the country's cultural centre.

You will sleep in a splendid 4 * hotel (Hotel Romance),in the resort of  Sts. Constantin and Helen ,just a few km from Varna
Stage - 240 Km


Day 4 - VARNA> NESSEBAR - The city's  40 churches


Before heading down  south along the Bulgarian coast, you will visit the Monastery of Aladzha. 16 km from Varna, a Christian church may have existed here as early as the 4th century AD though the cave monastery itself was probably established during the12th century. Dug into a massive vertical limestone, it was probably  set at this location for its beneficial microclimate. Declared national antiquity, it functions as a museum since 1906.
Leaving Varna, you will make a short stop at the mouth of the Kamchia river for a boat trip to discover this Nature Reserve.
You will follow the coastline of the country through various villages like Biala,Obzor, Cape Emine which is worth a visit for its  beauty.
You will reach the ancient town of Nessebar. 
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.
Nesebar has the privilege to offer culture, beaches of fine sand and festive mood and the proximity to other sea resorts has undoubtedly made it the most publicized of the Black sea’s attractions.

You will spend the night in a splendid 3* hotel(Hotel Royal Palace)located in the historical part.

 Stage - 120 Km

Day 5 - NESSEBAR> KAZANLAK> PLOVDIV - The Valley of the Thracian Kings

Following the south side of the Central Balkan you will stop in the town of Kazanlak,a veritable repository of the Thracian civilization. Indeed, it is here that was discovered  the first royal tomb of the time. It is 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.
Just 12 km North of Kazanlak,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 in 1902 in memory of the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878),which liberated the Bulgarians from the Ottoman yoke.In 17 marble sarcophagi,the crypt of the church, contains the remains of soldiers killed in combat in 1877.
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.Located near the remains of Seuthopolis, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Odrysses,it was recently open to the public.
 
The Valley of Roses

You are at the heart of this valley, also called Valley of the Roses.
A worldwide-known festival takes place here in  the first weekend of June. This date coincides with the flowering period, just before the harvest, when the rose fields are the most beautiful  That's really the time to visit the region if the rose industry fires your imagination.
Organised for the first time in 1903,the festival was dedicated to the beauty and grace,the main attributes of the rose.Flowers, colours, ethnic dances and festive events are the ingredients of this event, whose highlight is the crowning of the Rose Queen.
The secret of the”nowhere equaled” quality of  the Bulgarian rose comes from years of development and production.The soil and climate are very favourable too.
The rose oil is called "the liquid gold" of Bulgaria, because it is a very expensive product used by many brands of perfume, chocolate, liqueur and jam. The rose oil is three times more expensive than gold. One litre of rose oil is extracted from 3,000 kg of rose. All flowers are hand picked and carefully preserved for distillation.

 To discover the manufacturing process you will visit a distillery, and see a small museum.

You will continue south towards the town of Plovdiv.
Located in the Thracian plain, on the banks of the River Maritsa and on seven hills,this is the second largest urban centre of population, by area and by its place as a cultural and historical  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 antagonist 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.
 A walk along the central pedestrian street of Prince Alexander of Battenberg with its neo-baroque facades will take you to the Church of  Sts. Constantine and Helena with its icons of the master Zahari Zograf,the  Djoumaya Mosque, the Roman amphitheatre and the museum houses of Balabanov,Hindlian,Kuyumdzhioglu and Lamartine.

You will sleep in a 4 * hotel,(Trimontium) located  at the entrance to the main pedestrian street in the very heart of the city.
Stage - 360 Km


Day 6 - PLOVDIV> BANSKO– In Pirin
After finalizing the last visits of Plovdiv, you will cross the beautiful Mountains of Rhodopes and Pirin.
You will make a short stop in the invigorating spa town of Velingrad.

Located in the centre of the valley Chepinska in the most beautiful part of  the Western Rhodopes and  at 800 m altitude, this is the largest resort spa in the country watered by 80 natural springs, including the famous Kleptouza, the largest karsts spring in Bulgaria. According to a legend , the mythical singer Orpheus lived in this area.

To reach your next stop-the small town of Bansko,you will cross a national nature reserve-the Pirin National Park,which covers most of the Pirin mountains in southwestern Bulgaria and is listed as World Heritage by UNESCO.It covers an area of 274 sq km (27,400 ha) at an altitude ranging from 1008 to 2914 meters.

Bansko is a small town founded in the 15th century,which manages to mix traditional Bulgarian architecture with holiday-resort flair.This is the newest and the most dynamic of  the Bulgaria’s winter sports resorts which holds the record for snow in both quantity and duration as you can ski here from December 15 to May 15. At an altitude of 925 m,located in the highest and also the most beautiful part of the Pirin Mountain, Bansko offers a stay in a wintry resort where the local people have managed to preserve the originality of its traditions, of its cuisine and craft industry and there are  many cultural events all year around .Its name comes from the old Bulgarian word "ban", which means"master."
The style of Bansko is representative of the rural landscape of  the 18-19 centuries. Unique in their kind fortified houses, are silent witnesses of the independent nature of its former inhabitants. The timber-framed stone houses which hides behind thick walls with stout double doors and loopholes in the walls used for protection are also “home” to one or more of secret hiding places.
Some of these houses are now converted to restaurants(mehana)where dinner is often a show, mixing live music, culinary delights and ancient customs.
Stroll around the old neighbourhood . Visit the typical for Bansko Veljanov house with its magnificent murals. Also, stop at the church of St. Trinity(a great example of the Bulgarian Renaissance in 1885 )and admire its imposing tower.
Decorative art - painting, woodcarving, was so well developed here that during the Bulgarian Renaissance the town gave birth to its own style.

After 17 km you will arrive at your accommodation, in a quiet and authentic village.
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.
The Celebrities of the village are the grandmothers of Dobarsko (Dobarski babi). They perpetuate the songs and customs of the village dressed in the colorful traditional clothes of the region. They will perform for the group in the tavern of a small family hotel that will welcome you for dinner.

Dinner and overnight in a nice 3 * hotel (Hotel Martin).
Stage - 190 Km

Day 7 - BANSKO> RILA> SOFIA - Meeting spiritual Rila

In the morning you will leave towards the capital to visit the largest and most famous monastery in the Balkans, the Rila Monastery.

 The monastery  is the  emblematic symbol of the Bulgarian orthodoxy protected by the UNESCO for the quality of its iconostases, its architecture and its history. It is built on the right bank of the river Rilska in the Rila National park. This is the most-visited place in Bulgaria  It occupies an area of 8800 m² ,has  4 sections and 300 cells for monks.  .
The monastery was founded by St. John of Rila in 930, but its structure as we know it dates back to 1335 under the regency of Hrelio whose interior defensive tower still bears his name.
Its arches, columns, woodwork and paintings are of exceptional beauty. The church of the Dormition of the Virgin is regarded as the best decorated in frescoes in Bulgaria. Its carved wooden iconostasis is unique in its kind.

The Monastery Museum introduces us to its long history with objects of great value: icons, holy books, altar crosses  among which  the exceptional Cross of the monk Raphail, sculptured on wood that took him 12 years to finish, glagolitic manuscripts from the 19th century, the Gospels on parchment from the 13th century.
The monastery is the conservatory of the Bulgarian identity, an emblem of resistance, located in a beautiful setting of forested mountains. Impressive

After having lunch  in a restaurant with sumptuous seafood specialties, you will leave for the capital.
You will  stop in  the residential suburb of Sofia, Boyana, at the foot of Mount Vitosha, to visit the National Museum of History  and to see its collections which will help you understand the long history of Bulgaria.
You will sleep in the same 3-star hotel as on the day of your arrival.

Stage - 200 km

Day 8 - SOFIA - Departure for UK
Depending on your departure time, you will have some free time before being transferred to the Sofia International Airport and depart for UK.

Prix par période/ par personne/ en chambre double

1) du 01 April au 30 June 1070 €
2) du 01 July au 31 August 1090 €
3) du 01 September au 31 October 1070 €

Prix par période/ par personne/ en chambre individuelle

1) du 01 April au 30 June 1220 €
2) du 01 July au 31 August 1240 €
3) du 01 September au 31 October 1220 €
Le prix comprend Le prix ne comprend pas
- Transfer airport - hotel - airport
- Accommodation in 3 and 4 star hotels
- Full board except drinks from dinner day 1 to breakfast day 8
- Transport by air-conditioned coach or minibus depending on group size
- Visits and entrance fees for museums and sites mentioned in the program
- An English-speaking guide member of the National Association of Bulgarian Guides
- Concert of the Bulgarian Voices Day 7 in Sofia for groups over 15 persons
 The return flight ( check prices and book )
- Airport taxes
- The cancellation insurance, repatriation and medical expenses
- The paid options not included in the program
- The tip for the guide(at your discretion)
- Drinks and personal expenses
- Single room supplement-€150

On vous dit tout

IMPORTANT
The order of stages may be changed without notice according to local requirements or certain climatic conditions. Moreover, because of national or religious holidays, some entries of monuments can be limited or eliminated. However, no refund will be considered in such circumstances!

HOTELS

The listed hotels  can be replaced with equivalent accommodation.

DATES FOR  2012
from 12th May to 19th May
from 8th September to 15th September

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