A Taste of Medieval Bulgaria
Visit Bulgaria starts – Sofia – Vidin Firstly, we welcome you for your visit Bulgaria holiday in the city of Sofia. After that we leave for the town of Vidin, where we will have lunch. In Vidin we will see Baba Vida Fortress – the only fully preserved medieval fortress in Bulgaria. It is a fortress that lies on the very bank of the Danube River. That is in the northern end of the beautiful town of Vidin. Next, for the nature-lovers, we can offer a visit to the famous Belogradchik Rocks and Magura Cave. They are both located no more than an hour away from the town. Overnight in a hotel in Vidin.
Visit Bulgaria Day 2
Vidin – Ruse (360 km, approximately 4 hour 50 min) Our holiday Bulgaria continues. After breakfast, we leave for the city of Ruse. This is the Port of the Sixty Boats or later Ruschuk, the number one city in many terms in the past. Interestingly, the first railway station was constructed there. A contemporary publishing house was established there as well. Also, they issued a newspaper there. The city was the Headquarter of multiple consulates. Of course, there will be a delicious lunch in Ruse. Our impulse to get to know the history of the place will take us to the Regional Historical Museum where more than 130 000 monuments of culture are stored in. The only National Museum of Transport in Bulgaria is situated in Ruse. It is housed in the building of the first railway station in Bulgaria. Really interesting exponents can be found there like the coaches of the tsars Ferdinand and Boris III. Then we check in into a hotel in Ruse and stay overnight.
Visit Bulgaria Day 3
Ruse Interesting places mark day 3 of our visit Bulgaria tour. After breakfast we will continue our tour with a visit to Cherven Fortress (Red Fortress). It is only 30 km away from Ruse and it is one of the most well-preserved medieval Bulgarian fortresses. It also used to be one of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom’s primary military, administrative, economic and cultural centrеs between the 12th and the 14th centuries. There will be lunch will be in a local restaurant. Next we will visit a site included in the UNESCO World Heritage List – the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo. This is a complex of churches, chapels, monasteries and cells hewn out of solid rock. The frescoes are exceptionally artistic. The magnificent natural environment also adds to the unforgettable experience of the visitor to this complex. Before dinner we can enjoy the blue Danube River, depicted by great composers and poets. Back to the hotel and stay overnight.
Visit Bulgaria Day 4
Ruse – Pliska – Shumen (140 km, approximately 2 hours) After breakfast, we will leave for the town of Pliska – the first capital of Bulgaria. There we will visit the historical complex that tells the story of the foundation of the capital. There is a lunch in a local restaurant. Only 12 km away from Pliska is the Madara Horseman. It’s not another fortress but a very important rock relief ever discovered on the territory of Bulgaria. It stands 23 metres above the ground and was carved in the 8th century AD. The Madara Horseman is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Back to the town of Shumen, check in into the hotel and stay there overnight.
Visit Bulgaria Day 5
Shumen – Veliko Tarnovo (165 km, approximately 2 hour 15 min) In the morning we leave for the town of Veliko Tarnovo. On the way we will visit the Veliki Preslav Museum Complex which preserves the remains of several medieval buildings. The buildings included the royal palace, one basilica and a couple of churches. There is a monastery and part of the town’s fortification wall as well. Veliki Preslav (Great Preslav) became Bulgaria’s biggest cultural and religious centre. What is more, hundreds of books were translated. Not only that but many churches were built as well. It all happened after the decision of Tsar Simeon the Great to move the capital from Pliska to Preslav.
City of the Tsars
Then, people often refer to the town of Veliko Tarnovo as the ‘City of the Tsars’. It is the crossing point of generations of Bulgarians. It also has the spirit of bygone centuries, kept in its every stone as well. Visit Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo, and you will understand why it’s one of the preferred Bulgaria destinations. The most significant monument of culture in the town is the medieval fortress Tzarevetz. The fortress is on the homonymous peak, surrounded on three sides by the river Yantra. Definitely, this is going to be the highlight of the day. Our lunch will be in Veliko Tarnovo. We will spend the afternoon walking on the narrow cobble-stoned streets of the town exploring its history and culture. If it is possible we will pay another visit to the fortress Tzarevetz but this time at night when the audio-visual show called ‘Sound and Light’ makes the fortress look alive and reveals the colourful history of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. The show is one of the good Bulgaria tourist attractions. Check in the hotel in Veliko Tarnovo and stay overnight.
Visit Bulgaria Day 6
Veliko Tarnovo – Plovdiv (210 km, approximately 2 hour 40 min) First thing in the morning, before we leave for the city of Plovdiv, is breakfast. On the way we will stop at Kazanlak. Although a small town in the Vllaey of Roses and Thracian Kings, it is a very picturesque place. Before we reach Kazanlak and feel the specific atmosphere and flavour the town has, we will visit the Shipka Memorial on Stoletov Peak. It is a memorial to those who died for the Liberation of Bulgaria during the Battles of Shipka Pass in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. And it is also the Memorial Temple of the Birth of Christ (also the Shipka Memorial Church or Shipka Monastery). They will help you explore the history of that small, picturesque town a little bit. Then, in Kazanlak we will have our lunch and visit the Rose Museum. We will proceed our journey to Plovdiv which is the second largest city in Bulgaria. Plovdiv is an important economic, transport, cultural, and educational centre. Firstly, Plovdiv’s history dates as far back as 4000 BC. It is one of the World’s most ancient cities and Europe’s oldest inhabited city — even beating Athens. In Plovdiv we will enjoy a visit around the Old Plovdiv. Then we will have a short stop at The Statue of Milio – a popular, kind hearted and eccentric person from the near past of Plovdiv. Check in a hotel and stay in Plovdiv overnight.
Visit Bulgaria Day 7
Plovdiv – Asenovgrad – Plovdiv (50 km, approximately 1 hour) After breakfast we will visit the Asenova Krepost (Asen’s Fortress) – another medieval symbol of Bulgaria. Before the Bulgarians conquered it, Thracians, Romans and Byzantines, respectively used the stronghold. The Church of the Holy Mother of God remains one of the best preserved buildings inside the castle. Here we are, after the short journey – back to Plovdiv. However, the tour is not over yet. We will have our lunch there and enjoy a visit around the Old Plovdiv. After that – a short stop at the Statue of Milio – a popular, kind hearted and eccentric person from the near past of Plovdiv. Overnight in Plovdiv.
Visit Bulgaria Day 8
Plovdiv – Sofia (150 km, approximately 1 hours, 50 min) When you visit Bulgaria, you can’t miss Sofia, the capital. In the morning we travel for Sofia. Once we are there, we will have a city tour around. Certainly you don’t want to miss a city tour Sofia. That will include Alexander Nevsky Cathedral first. It was built in the early 20th century. The cathedral is there in memory of the 200,000 Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian and Bulgarian soldiers, who died in the Russo-Turkish War, 1877–1878. It is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world. Another stop at Boyana Church. The church is one of the few complete and perfectly preserved medieval monuments. After that is the National History Museum. The museum contains more than 650,000 exhibits and is one of the largest history museums on the Balkans. Last but not least is The Presidency building and the Council of Ministers building. Lunch in Sofia. Overnight in Sofia.