Bulgaria Super Tour
Cultural and Sightseeing
This tour will show you three of the most visited tourist sites of Bulgaria – Plovdiv, Kazanlak Thracian Tombs and Veliko Tarnovo.
The Bachkovo Monastery is an important monument of Christian architecture and one of the largest and oldest Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Europe. It is directly subordinate to the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The monastery is known and appreciated for the unique combination of Byzantine, Georgian and Bulgarian culture, united by the common faith.
Plovdiv is one of the oldest European towns as old as Troya and Mikena. It has existed as a settlement for 8000 years and became a town some 3000 years ago during the Troyan war. In 342 BC it was conquered by Philip ІІ of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great who renamed it “Φιλιππόπολις”, Philippopolis or “the city of Philip” in his honour. Later, it was reconquered by the Thracians who called it Pulpudeva (a reconstructed translation of Philipopolis). With the establishment of Bulgaria in 681, Philipopolis became an important border fortress of the Byzantine Empire. In 1364, the Ottoman Turks under Lala Shakhin Pasha seized Plovdiv. The Turks called the city Filibe which comes from “Fhilip”.
Kazanlak is located in the very central part of Bulgaria, right in the heart of the Valley of Roses or also known as the Valley of the Thracian Kings. The oldest settlement in the area of the modern-day city dates back to the Neolithic era (6th-5th millennium BC). During the 4th-3rd centuries BC the Thracian ruler Seuthes the 3rd took an important place in the historical development of Thrace during the Hellenistic era. The Thracian city of Seuthopolis was discovered near Kazanlak and thoroughly studied at the time of the construction of the Koprinka Reservoir. Kazanlak is also the centre of the rose oil extraction in Bulgaria. It is the only place in the entire world that can grow a particular rose (Rosa Damascena, or Rose from Damascus), that is one of the most widely recognisable national symbols.
Veliko Tarnovo is a city in north-central Bulgaria. Often referred to as the “City of the Tsars”, Veliko Tarnovo is located on the Yantra River and is famous as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396), attracting many tourists with its unique architecture. The old part of the city is situated on the three hills Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, and Sveta Gora, rising amidst the meanders of the Yantra. On Tsarevets are located the palaces of the Bulgarian emperors and the Patriarchate, the Patriarchal Cathedral, as well as some administrative and residential edifices surrounded by thick walls. Trapezitsa is known for its many churches and as the former principal residence of the nobility. In the Middle Ages, the city was among the leading European centres of culture and gave its name to the architecture of the Tarnovo Artistic School, painting of the Tarnovo Artistic School and literature.
Arbanassi is known for the rich history and a large number of historical monuments, such as 17th and 18th-century churches and examples of Bulgarian National Revival architecture, which have turned it into a popular tourist destination. It is set on a high terrace above Veliko Tarnovo where you enjoy a scenic overview of the city and the fortress Tsarevets.
An option for this tour is the Saeva Dupka Cave. The cave’s five halls and 400 metres (249 miles) of corridors offer some of the most beautiful cave formations in the country. The cave has hosted many choral music performances, thanks to the excellent acoustic conditions. Saeva dupka was named after two brothers, Seyu and Sae, who used it as a hiding place during the Ottoman occupation of Bulgaria. Recent excavations have shown the cave was inhabited since Roman times. Saeva dupka is one of the top 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria.
The tour will include: during the first day you will visit Bachkovo Monastery; while exploring Plovidv you will enjoy the historic quarter of the city, you will see beautifully decorated period houses, the ancient fortress wall, the Roman forum and stadium and magnificent churches. The Old city of Plovdiv with its museums, historical sites, old houses and paved streets is a beautiful place for sightseeing; during the second day you will have the opportunity to visit Kazanlak Thracian tomb (UNESCO), Goliama Kosmatka Seuthus the 3rd Thracian Temple, the Shipka Memorial Church, the Dryanovo Monastery and the Etara; during the third day you will visit Veliko Tarnovo, climb Tsarevets Fortress and Arbanassi with its amazing church (Nativity of Christ) with its absolutely fascinating frescoes from 1632 and one of the oldest iconastasis; there will be an option (subject of time availability) for you to visit a cave that was used as a hiding place during the Ottoman occupation of Bulgaria.
Recommended period: March-November. All year round is possible.
Driving time: 18h 00m approximately 660 kilometres (410 miles).
Walking time: 3h 00m per day approximately.
Handicap accessible: Yes, fairly accessible.
Special Requirements: Comfortable shoes.