Thracian Valley & Central Balkans
Fly EasyJet from Gatwick airport, leaving at 9.30am to Sofia, Bulgaria, landing at 11.30am local time.
You’ll catch a luxurious private bus which takes the group to the town of Plovdiv, located in the heart of the Thracian Valley, the cultural capital of Bulgaria and Europe’s oldest, still-populated, settlement. The trip by road will take between 1 1/2 and 2 hours. Accommodations will be in one of the picturesque Old Town’s hotels.
The group will grab a late lunch, after which we will tour High Street and the Old Town. Afterwards, there will be a few hours of free time for everyone to indulge in the sights and sounds of the town.
In the evening, we meet back up at the hotel for dinner. After dinner, we head to tour Kapana (The Art District).
Wake up early to grab breakfast at the hotel before travelling to Bachkovo (1 hr drive)
You will explore the famous monastery and its grounds along with the hill market where we will take a break to grab some lunch.
We proceed to Asen’s Fortress (Asenova Krepost). A medieval fortress ruins and church, perched at the top of one of the hill peaks before Asenovgrad. The bus will leave us at the base of the hill, after which we climb 1.2 km to get to the fortress.
Next we head into Asenovgrad, a town famous for its strong faith and excellent tailors. We will tour the centre of town before heading back to Plovdiv for the evening.
Wake up early to grab breakfast and checkout of hotel. We will proceed to travel to Starosel (Thracian Ritual Complex) (1 hr drive) – explore the complex and visit the famous wine cellars to taste the famous local ‘Starosel’ wine. We then proceed to Hisarya – famous for its mineral springs and Roman ruins. Accommodations in a local hotel.
After check-in, we tour some of the local sights in the centre of town, after which we take some free time off for lunch and self-exploration (visiting the local thermal baths are highly recommended). We meet back at the hotel in the evening for some dinner and relaxation.
Wake up early for breakfast and check-out of the hotel. We travel to the historic town of Karlovo – one of the famous Bulgarian National Revival towns, located in the Valley of Roses (1 hr drive) – we tour the historical Old Town Karlovo. Accommodation in a local hotel.
Travel to the Plovdiv (1 hr drive), the second largest city in the country, sightseeing in the town, visiting the old part of town and the Roman theatre and museums. Accommodation in a local hotel.
Travel to Shipka (2 hrs) and visit the Memorial church and Shipka pass, where stands an imposing monument and chapel in honour of those who died in the 1887 liberation war (1 hr drive). Drive back to Plovdiv for the night. Accommodation in the same hotel as the previous day.
Early start, breakfast at the hotel, then a 1 ½ hour drive to Sofia, check in at a central hotel. Visit to Boyana Crypt, explore the busy streets and cultural sites of Sofia. Lunch at a local restaurant. Free time in Sofia, suggestions for visits to museums, cultural sites, etc. Celebratory dinner at a local restaurant.
Breakfast at the hotel. Minibus drive to the airport and fly out with EasyJet – departure at 11.30am, Sofia, Terminal 1, landing at Gatwick airport at 1.30pm.