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Travel to Bulgaria - Walk of Bulgarian taste, 12 days Self Drive
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Walk of Bulgarian taste à partir de 550 €

Circuit: 12 jours / 11 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 great  formula to make your holiday nice and different.

 

This tour will allow you to discover the true nature of Bulgaria, its roots, its traditions, its way of life in regions with strong cultural identity- the Central Balkan and Rhodope Mountains. An extension of 2-3 days (or more) to the Black Sea coast and its golden-sandy beaches can be easily adapted to the tour .

 

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 Troyan Monastery

- The village-museum Bozhentsi (2 nights stay)

- The town of Veliko Tarnovo and its many relics (overnight stay )

- The region of Shoumen (Madara Horseman - UNESCO classified)

- The village of Zheravna (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)

- The Old Plovdiv and Batchkovo  Monastery (overnight  stay nearby)

- The Rhodopes with their traditions and ancestral villages ( Shiroka Laka and Kovatchevitsa - overnight stay)

- Town-museum of Melnik (overnight stay)

- Overnight stay near the park of dancing bears in Belitsa and the town of Bansko

- The Rila Monastery (UNESCO classified)


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 - 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.You have the added benefit of internet,free parking and present on site owner available to answer your first questions(in English)
 
 
Day 2  - Sofia > Troyan > Bozhentsi - Spiritual break 
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.
Just next to it  is located an  exposition of the arts and trades of the master craftsmen in  the country.  We advise you to visit it because this is also an opportunity to buy some quality souvenirs or valuable objects
Then you will continue your way towards Bozhentsi, where you will stay overnight in a charming guesthouse built in the traditional architectural style of the region.
(280 km)
 
Day 3 - Bozhentsi and its surroundings - The villages of the Central Balkan
The visit of Bozhentsi will enchant you. The village is well known for its preserved architecture, its restored houses with tiled roofs and in "national awakening" style nestled in a natural setting. The local cuisine is also famous - taverns with rich menus and friendly staff.
You can also visit the beautiful town of Tryavna.It attracts tourists from Bulgaria and abroad for its rich cultural and historical heritage and for its architecture in the style of the Bulgarian National Revival.Specialized in the decorative arts, its main street is very charming and it will allow you to buy  some original souvenirs.
Next you will  have the opportunity to make one of the most unforgettable visits-the picturesque open-air museum of Etara. It is an ethnographic village created in 1964 which recounts the lifestyle of the region in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Three  kilometres away is the Monastery of Sokolovo .Built in 1833, in a true corner of paradise, it is richly decorated with frescoes and  it shelters valuable icons .
The master Kolio Fitcheto also contributed to its beauty by building a fountain, a true masterpiece. The tranquility that prevails and the breathtaking view will help you rise above the material world.
You will stay a second night in the same guest house in Bozhentsi.
 
Day 4 - Bozhentsi > Veliko Tarnovo - A page in the history of Bulgaria
In  about  50 km you will 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.
Next you will reach the village of Arbanassi.
Hiding high on a plateau, 4km northeast of Tarnovo,and overlooking Tsarevets and Trapezitsa to the south,Arbanassi is one of Bulgaria’s most picturesque villages.It has old beautiful fortress-like stone houses and churches decorated with murals from a high artistic value. You can visit one of the finest of Arbanasi’s old houses,the Konstantsaliev house,named after the family who build and owned the house.Following restoration work in 1958, the building houses a museum of the lifestyle of the local population in the nineteenth century. 
The beautiful Church of the Nativity from the 15th century and its incredible iconostasis of 3500 characters painted in the 16th to the 18th century is a recommended visit,as is the Monastery of the Transfiguration. Located 6 km from Veliko Tarnovo on a peak,it  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 extraordinary value .
 (70 km)
 
Day 5 - Veliko Tarnovo > Shoumen > Zheravna - The origins of the Bulgarian state
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. The symbolic power of this sculpture is so big that you can even find it on  the Bulgarian currency.
There is also the imposing monument dedicated to the "creators of the Bulgarian State" opened  in 1981 to celebrate 1300 years of the existence of Bulgaria.
Your next stop will allow you 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.
(260 km)

 

Day 6 - Zheravna > Kazanlak > Kalofer - In the Footsteps of the Thracians

Following the south side of the Central Balkan you will descend into the plain,where 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.
Now you are in the Valley of the Thracian Kings with hundreds of graves based on the same model which consists of a mound and chamber where the deceased was buried with  his valuables and objects of his status.
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 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.
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.   
You will be staying in a family-run hotel situated along a small river in the countryside.
(185 km)
 
Day 7 - Kalofer > Koprivshtitsa > Batchkovo - From the Central Balkan to the Rhodopes
About fifty km away is 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 are built of wood, painted  in bright colours and give a unique touch to this place of rest.The house- museums redrawing the glory history of this small town will enrich you.  
The houses of Lutov and Oslekov  are great examples for a typical Koprivshtitsa’s house if you do not have time or do not want to visit them all. 
Then you will be visiting the ancient city 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.
In the afternoon you will head south,across the Thracian plain to reach the foot of the Rhodope massif and the village of Bachkovo.
Bachkovo is best known for its famous monastery which is an important place for the Bulgarian spirituality. Founded in 1083 by the Georgian Pakuriani, Byzantine commander 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.
You will sleep in a family hotel situated along the river opposite the monastery.  
(200 km)
 
Day 8 - Batchkovo > Shiroka Laka > Kovatchevitsa - The villages in the Rhodopoes
Next you will penetrate the Rhodopes massif, characterized by its round highlands and Pomak and Turkish villages identifiable thanks to the white minarets of their mosques.  The Rhodope massif is still a sparsely inhabited environment and the nature reigns here.  
Beautiful wild landscapes will  follow your route before you arrive at an authentic and untouched by tourism place.-Kovachevitsa. The village will allow you to discover the life in  the 19th century Bulgaria. You will even have the feeling that the time has stopped there. Situated alongside  river Kanina, its existence dates back to the beginning of the 17th century. Bulgarians who fled the Turkish islamization settled there. Even nowadays Kovachevitsa has  preserved the atmosphere of the past thanks to its houses with  beautiful slate roofs and its “fortified” architecture”.
You will sleep in Kovachevitsa in a guest house whose  owners will offer you a dinner in their tavern.  You can ask them for a trip in the forest  in an old Jeep from the Russian era which is a great experience.  Various excursions are possible.
(220 km)
 
Day 9 - Kovatchevitsa > Melnik - At the Greek border 
Heading towards the very south of the country, you will reach the small town of Melnik . The natural pyramids that surround it are unique  natural phenomenon .The nature as a prime contractor has created a picture that reminds us of an unusual succession of pyramids, formed at the mercy of the weather.
The sunset is a moment of such a high emotional intensity that will add a romantic touch to your stay.
The town is centred around a single main street running  alongside the riverbed from where you can admire the special architectural style of this region. You can visit house- museums, especially the one of Kordopulov; also stop in the friendly taverns and leave yourself to be carried away by this detached atmosphere.
Horse riding for amateurs, can be arranged.
A few km from Melnik, in the heart of Bulgarian Macedonia you can do a tour to the spa resort of Sandanski. This could be a refreshing break because of its large botanical park at the foot of the Pirin mountain. The most talked-about  gladiator of the Roman world Spartacus is likely to have been born in the Thracian settlement formerly established on the current site of Sandanski
You will sleep in a family-run 3*** hotel with a good tavern in the historic centre of the town. Ideal opportunity to taste the local specialties.
(90 km)
 
Day 10 - Melnik > Bansko >Dobarsko - In the Pirin
In the morning you  will continue further in the Pirin massif to reach your next stop.
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 Mountains, 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
A few kms from Bansko, in Belitsa, is the” Park of the Dancing Bears“, or rather ex-dancers.
There is a strange attraction in Bulgaria, perpetrated by the gypsies, which consists of making the brown bears dancing. In order to eradicate this practice a foundation largely sponsored by Brigitte Bardot was created.The road to the park is long and quite difficult,but an emotional encounter with the Bulgarian King of the mountain in an environment as close to its natural habitat as possible will be the reward for your efforts.
In the evening you will stay in Dobarsko,  a quiet, authentic 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
You  will be accommodated  in a small(2*),family-run  hotel with a large tavern where the locals gather-a good opportunity to meet and  talk to these  genuine people,and get a refreshing glimpse of their lifestyle and customs.

(120 km)
Day 11 - Dobarsko > Rila >Sofia - Spiritual Encounter
In the morning while heading back towards the capital you will 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
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 . 
You will sleep in the same hotel 3*** that on  the day of your arrival.

 (220 km)
Day 12 - Sofia - The 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 June 550 €
2) du 01 July au 31 August 620 €
3) du 01 September au 31 October 550 €

Prix par période/ par personne/ en chambre individuelle

1) du 01 April au 30 June 740 €
2) du 01 July au 31 August 810 €
3) du 01 September au 31 October 740 €
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 24h/24
- Accommodation in guest houses, hotels 2 and 3 stars (double occupancy)
- The breakfast 
- The travel and vouchers with map and / or indications for hotels
- Hotline Balkania Tour 24h/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 sharing 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

Important
- 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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