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Monasteries of Veliko Tarnovo (Great from Sofia, Varna, Burgas or Plovdiv

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Veliko Tarnovo was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185 – 1393) after the brothers Asen and Petar led an uprising, which ultimately ended the 167 years of Byzantine dominion. Soon after, the town flourished and for the period 12th – 14th century it was the most unconquerable Bulgarian fortress, as well as the cultural and intellectual center of Bulgaria.

Besides its historical hills, Veliko Tarnovo is also famous for its multiple orthodox temples- from medieval churches to the numerous monasteries situated in the vicinity of the town – Patriarsheski, Preobrazhenski, Arbanashki, Plakovski, Kapinovski, Kilifarevski, and getting to some of them is possible by foot via several eco paths. Silent companion among this route is the Central Balkan, with its deep forest and endless ripples.

This tour is ideal i you are vacationing around Burgas or Varna, or visiting Sofia or Plvodiv for work or leisure and have few days to spare. It can be shortened or extended best on your preferences, or combined with other destinations around Bulgaria.

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Day 1

Locations: Veliko Tarnovo Sofia Veliko Tarnovo (230km, 2H45min), Varna Veliko Tarnovo ( 225km, 2H45min) , Burgas Veliko Tarnovo (217km, 2H45min), Plovdiv Veliko Tarnovo(205km, 2H30min)

Arrive and check-in at the hotel. Leisurely walk around the city’s Samovodska trade street and the quaint Gurko Street, with traditional houses stacked next to each other, overlooking the Yantra River.

Day 2

Locations: Veliko Tarnovo Patriarsheski Preobrazhenski Arbanashki Lyaskovski Monasteries (40km round trip)

The day starts with Tzarevets Fortress and later continues with the visit at each of the above listed monasteries. They are all in the vicinities of Veliko Tarnovo, 5-10km apart.  On the way, also explore the museum-village of Arbanasi and after the visit at St. Peter and Paul monastery in Liaskovets, relax with a sip of still and sparkling wines at the Lyaskovets winery.
Overnight at Veliko Tarnovo.

Day 3

Locations: Day 3 Veliko Tarnovo Dryanovo Monastery Sokolski Monastery Tryavna Kilifarevski, Plakovski and Kapinovski Monasteries (150 km round trip)

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. Then we start the drive back on a different route via Tryavna- a small city known for the Artistic School during the Revival period. See woodcarving at its finest at several of the houses in the town, walk the cobblestone streets, take a picture of the Clock Tower, see how classes went back in the Old School. Visit the Museum of Icons, displaying exhibits over 160 original icons and tools that belonged to icon-painters from Tryavna. Later continue to the cluster of monasteries, all withing few kilometers of each other- Kilifarevski, Plakovski and Kapinovski Monasteries.
Overnight at Veliko Tarnovo.

Day 4

Locations: Veliko Tarnovo Sofia (230km, 2H45min), Veliko Tarnovo Varna (225km, 2H45min), Veliko Tarnovo Burgas (217km, 2H45min), Veliko Tarnovo Plovdiv (205km, 2H30min)


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