THE ANCIENT THRACIAN HERITAGE
Duration: 8 days / 7 overnights
Route: Sofia – Plovdiv – Kazanluk – Veliko Tarnovo – Sofia
Info: We will take you to the golden age of thracian kingdoms and culture.
*** The program can be changed upon client’s request.
Day 1: Sofia (D)
Meet and greet your guide at Sofia airport, transfer to your hotel. Dinner in the hotel.
Overnight in Sofia.
Day 2: Sofia (B, L, D)
Breakfast. Morning sightseeing tour of Sofia. See the gold domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Crypt – a precious museum of Orthodox Art, 4th c. AD St. Sophia church, 4th c. AD St. George Rotanda, 11th century AD Church of St. Petka of the Saddlers. Lunch. Afternoon visit оf the National Museum of History and UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage listed Boyana church with astonishing 13th century AD frescoes.
Dinner at a traditional folk style restaurant.
Overnight in Sofia.
Day 3: Sofia – Plovdiv – Bachkovo Monastery – Plovdiv (B, L, D)
Breakfast. Departure to Plovdiv, Bulgarian second largest city. Sightseeing tour of the Old Quarter including the 2nd century AD Roman amphitheatre, Ethnographic Museum, 4th century AD St. St. Constantine and Helena Church, Balabanova’s House and Jumaya Mosque. Lunch in the famous Alafrangite restaurant. Afternoon visit of the 11th century AD Bachkovo Monastery, second largest in Bulgaria, with original architecture and spectacular 17th century AD frescoes. Visit Assen’s Fortress famous with it 13th century church of St. Mary of Petrich – one of the best examples of medieval architecture in Bulgaria. Continue back to Plovdiv for dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 4: Plovdiv – Kurdjali – Plovdiv (B, L, D)
Breakfast. Continue to the town of Kurdjali in the Rhodopes Mountains and visit the recently discovered sacred town of the Thracians – Perperikon with Dionysus’s sanctuary (6-5th century BC). The ancient Thracian city is located in the Eastern Rhodopes, 15 km northeast of the present-day town of Kurdjali, on a 470 m high rocky hill. Dating back to the New Stone Age the complex includes: a massive fortified wall; Acropolis – an enormous stone block, situated on the highest part of the hill; a palace – hewn into the rock with 10 000 m² of size; northern and southern suburbs- represents a kind of short streets right into rocks, buildings and tombs. Lunch and time for enjoy the largest megalith ensemble in the Balkans and the beautiful panoramas. Afterwards, set off for Kurdjali. Dinner in the hotel. Overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 5: Valley of the Thracian Kings – Plovdiv – Starosel – Kazanluk (B, L, D)
Breakfast. Drive to Kazanluk, situated in the middle of the Valley of the Thracian kings. On our way we visit the Starosel with Chetinyova hill (recently discovered 5th century BC Thracian sanctuaries once used as a temple as well as a Thracian tomb). The Necropolis consists of eight mounds, each with different size. The tomb is located in a mound with 20 m of height and 85 m of diameter, figuring as a fortified wall. The sanctuary enter is 1.60 wide and its decoration is well known as „wolves teeth“. Lunch in the region. Afternoon visit of Goliamata Kosmatka Tomb dating back to 5-4th century BC where is situated one of the most majestic and rich Thracian Tombs with a completely preserved grave of the Thracian King Seuthes III, buried with his horse. Afterwards we will enjoy the unique tomb at Ostrousha Funeral Complex (5th century BC) and the Svetitsata Tomb belonging to the mighty Thracian King Teres who reigned during the 5th c. BC. A horse’s skeleton, weapons, a silver jug, silver decorations for horses’ ammunition, coins from the time of Philip of Macedonia, pottery and other objects of high artistic value have been discovered in the mound.
In the late afternoon, arrival in Kazanluk and dinner. Overnight in Kazanluk.
Day 6: Kazanluk – Veliko Tarnovo (B, L, D)
Breakfast. Morning visit of the National Museum of History in Kazanluk where some of the unique Thracian golden treasures discovered in the region are on display. Here the ‘must-visit’ places are the Ethnographic complex Kulata and the famous 4th century BC Kazanluk Thracian Tomb. The tomb is part of a large Thracian necropolis. It comprises a narrow corridor and a round burial chamber, both decorated with murals representing a Thracian couple at a ritual funeral feast. The monument dates back to the 4th century BC and has been on the UNESCO protected World Heritage Site list since 1979. After lunch departure to Veliko Tarnovo – the medieval Bulgarian capital. We cross the Balkan Range via the Shipka Pass to visit the Russian Memorial Cathedral of Shipka and the open-air museum Etara. Proceed to Veliko Tarnovo. Dinner in the hotel. Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 7: Veliko Tarnovo – Sofia (B, L, D)
Breakfast. Sightseeing tour of Veliko Tarnovo: Tsarevets Holly Hill, church of St. Peter and Pavel, 9th century AD church of St.40 Martyrs. Proceed to Arbanassi museum village with visit of Church of Nativity (16-17th c. AD) and the Konstantsaliev house-museum.
Lunch and time for leisure.
Drive back to Sofia and dinner in the hotel.
Overnight in Sofia.
Day 8: Departure (B)
Breakfast. Transfer to Sofia Airport according the flight schedule. Have a safe flight back home!