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Classic Monastery Tour

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A tour around Bulgaria, including the major monasteries as well as historic and natural sights in betweeen.

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Day 1

Locations: Sofia

Arrival in Sofia. Meet and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2

Locations: Sofia

Explore the city and visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Church of St Sophia, the Rotunda of St George. While navigating the small streets or the boulevards of the city’s center, stroll by the marvelous National Theatre, the National Art Gallery, the Parliament and the Presidency.  In the afternoon visit the National History Museum and the Boyana Church, a small church, nestled in the skirts of Vitosha Mountain, famous for the 13th century wall-paintings, demonstrating the exceptional achievements of the Bulgarian medieval culture and art.

Day 3

Locations: Sofia Glozhene Monastery (100km, 1H) Troyan Monastery (80km, 1H) Veliko Tarnovo (100km/1H15min)

Departure to Veliko Tarnovo, the capital of Medieval Bulgaria. On the way stop at Glozhene Monastery, a 13th century sanctuary dedicated to the icon “St.George the Victorious”, and they continue to Troyan Monastery, the coutnry’s third largest monastery. In the afternoon, after check in, explore Veliko Tarnovo and the city’s Samovodska trade street and the quaint Gurko Street, with traditional houses stacked next to each other, overlooking the Yantra River.

Day 4

Locations: Veliko Tarnovo

Explore Tsarevets Royal Hill and the medieval fortress above the river Yantra and later visit one of the most significant church from that time, “St. Forty Holy Martyrs, an emblematic testimony of the glorious Bulgarian Tzars. Continue to Preobrajenie Moanstety, once the biggest center of literacy and later restored by two of the biggest craftsmen of the Revival Movement- Zahary Zograf and Kolio Ficheto. Continue to Arbanassi museum village and finish by exploring the St Peter and Pavel Monastery near Liaskovets.
Overnight at Veliko Turnovo.

Day 5

Locations: Veliko Tarnovo Dryanovo Monastery (30km, 30min) Sokolski Monastery (30km, 30min) Plovdiv (135km/2H)

Depart for the Dryanovo Monastery, one of the centers of preparation of the April Uprising (1976) for liberation from Ottoman occupation. Continue to Etura, an outdoors  Ethnological museum and visit the near by Sokolski Monastery, another home to the revolutionary rebels. Cross the Balkan Mountains over the Shipka pass, visit the Thracian tomb at Kazanluk, a UNESCO heritage site and a late afternoon arrival in Plovdiv.

Day 6

Locations: Plovdiv Asenovgrad(20km, 20min) Bachkovski Monastery (10km, 15min) Rhodope Mountain (50km, 45min)

Walking tour of the city. Visit the Old Town, center of the mature Bulgarian civil architecture of the Revival Period. Explore the 2000 years old Roman Theatre, the Ethnographic Museum, the Byzantine and medieval fortifications. Depart for the Fortress of Asenovgrad and then to Bachkovo monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in Bulgaria, a true masterpiece of the 12th century Orthodox art. The day wraps up with a scenic derive through Rhodope Mountains arriving to the village of Gela.

Day 7

Locations: Rhodope Mountain Melnik( 170km, 3H) Rozhen Monastery (5km, 10min) Sandanski (20km, 25min)

The panoramic drive through Rhodopes continues until we reach Melnik, the smallest town in Bulgaria, famous for the sand pyramids above it and its wine. Enjoy some wine tasting, especially the unique Bulgarian brand Wide Melnik Vine. Continue to the near by Rozhen Monastery, the largest in Pirin Mountain, and then to Sandanski and indulge yourself in the spa or in the natural mineral pools.

Day 8

Locations: Sandaski Rila Monastery (100km, 1H30min) Sofia (100km 1H30min)

After a leisure stroll in Sandanski or another rejuvenating session, continue to Rila Monastery-  the most beautiful monastery, dating back to 10th century hidden in the impressive Rila mountain. The Rila Monastery can be briefly described as a combination of monumental architecture and rich history. Lunch in a cozy restaurant including typical specialities – bean soup, grilled trout and pancake with home-made jam. Return to Sofia.

Day 9

Locations: Sofia

Transfer to the airport for departure.

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Visit Bulgaria  (21 January 2014 03:59)

We simply have to share this beautiful travel blog about #RilaMonastery:

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