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UNESCO Heritage Tour & In Between

11 days  |  History Tours 1 Comments  |  Write a comment

This tour showcases the UNESCO heritage sights in Bulgaria, with the addtion of all major places of interest along the way.
There are nine sights around Bulgaria (seven architectural and two natural) that are part of the UNESCO heritage list: Boyana Church, Rila Monastery, Pirin National Park, Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, Ivanovo Rock Monasteries, Biosphere Reservation Srebarna, Sveshtary Thracian Tomb, Madara Rider and the coastal town of Nessebar.

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Day 1

Locations: Sofia

Arrival, 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 Kazanlak (230 km, 2Hr30min) Veliko Tarnovo (100km, 1Hr30min)

Depart for the Thracian tomb near Kazanlak- a testament to the Thracian culture. Accidentally found in 1944, the tomb dates back to 4th-3rd century BC, and most notable among its claims to glory are the remarkable antique paintings and sculptures. Continue to the tomb of Tzar Sevt and see the church in the small town of Shipka before crossing the Balkan Mountain over the Shipka pass. Walk through the outdoors ethnographic center Etar and then continue to Veliko Tarnovo.

Day 4

Locations: Veliko Tarnovo

Veliko Tarnovo, capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire in 12- 14th century, has a rich and long history and is spread across several hills, with fantastic views. Explore the medieval forest of Tsarvets, visit the numerous churches and monasteries in the vicinities, dating back to the early centuries of Christianity, walk the coble stone streets and soak into the city’s atmosphere.

Day 5

Locations: Veliko Tarnovo Ivanovo Rock Monasteries (100 km, 1Hr30min) Srebarna (120 km, 1Hr30min) –Sveshtary (70km, 1Hr) Madara (85 km, 1Hr15min) Varna (80km, 50 min)


Start with a drive to Ivanovo Rock Churches located near the town of Ruse, the biggest city on the bank of the Danube River. A stair cases in the rocks provides access to the various churches and chapels, The wall paintings in the church “St. Mary” are among the most representative models of Paleologus Art on the Balkan Peninsula and the reason for their inclusion by UNESCO. Continue the driver parallel to Danube River until we reach the biosphere reservation by the village of Srebarna,  part of the migratory bird path from Europe to Africa - Via Pontica. See the birds’ nests on the floating reed islands, which never flood because they follow the vertical movement of the water. The drive continues to the Thracian tomb of Sveshtary, quite large in size, and whose chamber ceiling is held by statues of women with raised hands, still preserving the remains of a colorful decoration. From then continue to the Madara Archelogical Reserve, which displays several monuments from various periods. Among the towering cliffs is the most notable artifact- the stone carving relief known as the Madara Rider, a mythical horseman, with a sword in his hands and a lion at his feet. The long day ends in the biggest city on the Balck Sea Cost- Varna.


Day 6

Locations: Varna


A day to relax and explore this beautiful seaside city. Varna is the third largest city in Bulgaria, a major port with an economical and cultural importance, often called the Sea Capital of Bulgaria. Stroll through the Sea Garden, enjoy a dolphin show at the Dolphinarium, see the biggest Roman Baths on the Balkan Peninsula or simple chilax on the endless beach surrounding the city.

Day 7

Locations: Varna Nessebar (98km, 1Hr30min) Plovdiv (300km, 3Hr)

Nessebar is charming coastal town, located on a small peninsula built by rocks and linked with the mainland by a narrow 400 m long isthmus. During  Thracian times the town was a port, but towards the end of the 6th century B.C. the Byzantines turned it into a lively trade center while preserving its Thracian name of Mesambria. Some of the finest achievements of church architecture are preserved here. The ancient fortress wall, the town's mediaeval churches with remarkable architecture and the traditional houses give Nessebar a unique vibe.
Later in the afternoon, continue to Plovdiv.

Day 8

Locations: 8 Plovdiv Bansko (150km, 2H15min)


Discover Bulgaria’s second largest city- Plovdiv. Situated on seven hills, the city combines the history of the Thracians, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans, with each of those empires giving the city a different name and influencing the city architecture. Plovdiv has several museums and its most famous landmarks is the architectural complex of the Ancient Plovdiv, still preserving beautiful Bulgarian Renaissance houses and boasting great restaurants.
Later afternoon depart for Bankso, driving among Rhodope and Pirin Mountains.

Day 9

Locations: Bansko, Pirin National Park


Famous mainly as a ski and snowboard destination, Banko is actually quite scenic town, situated at the foothill of the majestic Pirin Mountain. Whether you decide to take onto the many hiking routes of varying difficulties or explore the Old Town with its house-museums, icon exhibitions and great local restaurants, you will truly experience the spirit of Pirin.

Day 10

Locations: Bansko Rila Monastery (94km, 1Hr15min) Sofia (120km, 1Hr45min)

Depart for the most famous and grand monastery- St Ivan of Rila, a symbol of Bulgaria. Surrounded by 20 m-high stone walls, the monastery includes the monastery courtyard, the Birth of the Virgin Mary Temple, Hrelyo’s Tower, the museum and the residential and the farming buildings. There are around 300 rooms in the monastery, 100 of which are monastic cells. Afternoon arrival at Sofia.

Day 11

Locations: Sofia

Transfer to the airport for departure.

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Nikolay  (06 March 2013 10:31)

The tour looks very interesting!

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Boyana church, Sofia Added by: Nikolay Ivanov
National Palace of Culture, Sofia Added by: Nikolay Ivanov
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Boyana church, Sofia Added by: Nikolay Ivanov
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