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Bulgaria, the Balkans’ Hidden Treasure

6 days from only £599pp

Experience more with so much included

  • Discover Sofia on a guided walking tour and see the remarkable legacies left by the Thracians, Romans, Ottomans and more
  • Explore the picturesque Old Town of Plovdiv, a city more ancient than Rome, with its remarkably preserved remains and distinctive National Revival mansions, on a guided walking tour
  • Enjoy a guided tour of the UNESCO-listed Rila Monastery, a symbol of national identity, and visit its fascinating museum
  • Visit the Boyana Church, a 900-year-old chapel renowned for its rare and beautiful frescoes
  • Experience Bachkovo monastery, one of the most important monuments of the Eastern Orthodox world
  • Discover the Thracian lowlands, one of Bulgaria’s oldest and most notable wine regions, and visit a local producer to sample delicious wines
  • Return flights from a selection of regional airports, plus all hotel transfers
  • Five nights in four-star superior and four-star accommodation inclusive of all local taxes, plus breakfast and one dinner at a local restaurant
  • The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout

Selected departures from April to October 2019

 
At a Glance
5 nights in 4 to 4-star superior accommodation
Return flights & transfers
Programme of daily tours & visits
Daily breakfast & 1 dinner
Expert tour manager
Checked Luggage
 

Overview

Bulgaria is astonishing for its varied landscapes but perhaps more so for its unique blend of ancient history and contemporary culture. Visitors adore its fine-sand beaches and ski resorts, but one of Europe’s oldest countries holds many more surprises waiting to be unearthed. Fragments of Serdica – as Sofia the capital was known to the ancient Romans – were discovered as recently as 2010 and can be seen at the city’s central metro station!

A Thracian tribe, the Serdi, settled in the region as far back as the Bronze Age, but it was the conquering Romans who brought Serdica to its zenith during the reign of Constantine the Great. Throughout the Middle Ages, the Bulgarians and Byzantine Empire fought for control until Sofia was captured by the Ottomans and held for nearly 500 years. Independence came for Bulgaria in the late 19th century, but a post-World War II alliance kept the country under tight Soviet grip. As communist governments fell, Bulgaria was finally released and is now firmly focused on moving forward as one of the EU member states. The Bulgarians of today are incredibly proud of their heritage and rightly so. Millennium-old folk traditions run parallel with modern life, creating an endlessly fascinating culture. Keeping these customs alive are folk schools, where children learn the dances and songs of yesteryear. In many villages, it’s not uncommon to see locals travelling by horse and cart or trekking into the mountains with mules.

The landscapes of Bulgaria are as diverse as its cultural legacies. Spectacular mountain ranges offer world-class skiing and hiking trails, while the fertile plains of the northeast are commonly referred to as the country’s ‘breadbasket’. Different microclimates create ideal conditions for producing excellent red and white wines. The beautiful Kazanlak Valley is renowned for its roses, making Bulgaria one of the largest producers of quality rose oil.

When it comes to the cuisine, you may recognise flavours introduced by past rulers – the Greeks, Italians, Turkish and Russians – yet the result is unique. Bulgarian food tends to be fresh, hearty and satisfying. Soups, stews and salads commonly feature on menus alongside grilled meats. Try the classic combination of ‘rakia’ or Bulgarian brandy, along with a Shopska salad of tomatoes, red peppers, cucumbers and crumbled cheese.

During our riveting tour, you’ll experience Bulgaria’s historic heavyweights, Sofia the exuberant capital and Plovdiv the ancient cultural centre. We’ll visit some of the world’s best-preserved and most important religious sites, including the revered monasteries at Rila and Bachkovo, plus the incredible Boyana Church with its exceptional medieval art. Bulgaria has a millennium-old heritage of viticulture, which we’ll discover on our visit to a local wine producer – with a tasting included, of course. Gifted with the incredible heritage of so many ancient civilisations, Bulgaria is an extraordinary place to explore them all.

Your Itinerary

Price Includes

The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes return flights, airport departure taxes, five nights accommodation with breakfast and one dinner at a local restaurant, all local taxes, all tours as mentioned, all transport, guided tours of Sofia and Plovdiv, guided tour and entrance to Rila Monastery and museum, entrance to Boyana church, guided tour and entrance to Bachkovo Monastery, wine tasting and the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager.

Useful Information

Mobility

We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.

Fact File

  • Currency: Bulgarian lev
  • Deposit: £100 per person
  • Flight time: Approx. 3 hrs
  • Language: Bulgarian
  • Time zone: GMT+2
  • Country: Bulgaria

 

Transfer Times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

  Arrival airport    First hotel location    Transfer time    Final hotel location    Departure airport   Transfer time 
  Sofia Airport  Sofia  20 mins     Plovdiv    Sofia Airport    2 hrs 


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