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Bulgaria's Hidden Heritage & Railways

Delve into the heart of Bulgaria and uncover the story of the country’s rich history on this fascinating tour. Enjoy memorable travel experiences as you journey by coach and rail across Bulgaria’s beautiful mountainous landscape to river valleys and the Black Sea Coast. You’ll discover no less than three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, along with monasteries and museums which mark thousands of years of historic heritage. With a ride on a narrow-gauge railway up to the highest train station in the Balkans, you’re guaranteed a holiday to remember.

Tour Includes

  • 9 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • 9 evening meals and 3 lunches
  • Return scheduled flights from London Heathrow to Sofia
  • Airport transfers in Bulgaria
  • Coach transfers for excursions
  • Services of an experienced Tour Manager and local guide

10 days from £2,149pp

Travel Options
Outbound &
Inbound Travel
Outbound
Travel
  • By Air By Air
Inbound
Travel
  • By Air By Air
On-Tour
Experiences
  • Coach Excursions
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Itinerary

Please choose your preferred 10 day itinerary

Make your own way to London Heathrow airport for your flight to Sofia. On arrival, we’ll be met and transferred to our hotel. Enjoy a welcome dinner this evening.

Includes Dinner

This morning, we’ll transfer to the railway station, where we will enjoy a scenic journey to Veliko Tarnovo. We’ll pass through several picturesque gorges, including the Iskar Gorge. These gorges are known for their dramatic rock formations and lush greenery. The route takes you through the Balkan Mountains, which provide breathtaking views of rugged peaks and dense forests. This part of the journey is particularly scenic, especially during the changing seasons.

On arrival, we’ll enjoy lunch in a local restaurant in Veliko Tarnovo. This afternoon, we’ll enjoy a guided tour of Veliko Tarnovo. The town became the capital, political, administrative, religious, and cultural centre of the restored Bulgarian state in 1186 after a two century Byzantine rule. You will visit the ruins of the fortress Tsarevets, where the Tsar's palace was once located. We’ll then visit the craftsmen's street Samovodska Charshiya, where you can take in the 200-year-old buildings and a very special atmosphere. Following the tour, we’ll check in at the hotel and enjoy dinner this evening.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Veliko Tarnovo Tsarevets Fortress

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll travel by coach to Arbanasi Village. Arbanasi was founded in the 15th century by Bulgarian, Greek and Albanian Christians. Here, you can admire the Nativity of Christ Church from the 17th century with its astounding frescoes.

Afterwards, we’ll continue towards Ruse, where we’ll enjoy a guided tour including a visit to the Museum of Transportation. Explore the charming streets and squares of the city centre, which showcase a mix of architectural styles from different periods.

We’ll return to our hotel in Veliko Tarnovo for dinner.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Ruse with Guided Tour Arbanasi

We’ll enjoy breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the railway station, where we board the train to Kazanlak. The train journey between these cities takes you through the Bulgarian countryside, offering views of fields and villages.

On arrival in Kazanlak, we’ll learn about rose oil, for which Bulgaria is known worldwide. The cultivation and production are concentrated in the region north of Plovdiv, also known as the Rose Valley. The flowers used for oil production are picked by hand and finally processed by steam distillation in rose oil. In the afternoon, we include a visit to the Thracian tomb of Kazanlak, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tomb is famous for its architecture and lively murals representing the preparation of the king and his queen for life after death.

Later, we continue by coach to Burgas for dinner and an overnight stay.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Kazanlak Kazanlak Thracian Tomb

After breakfast at the hotel, we enjoy a guided tour of the ancient town of Nessebar. The old town of Nessebar is located on a picturesque peninsula and because of its significant cultural and historical monuments and unique location, the Old Town has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The city was founded about 3,000 years ago and experienced Greek, Roman and Ottoman rule during its rich history. We include a seafood lunch at a local restaurant by the sea.

Afterwards, we continue to Plovdiv, where we check into the hotel for dinner and a relaxing evening.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Nessebar with Guided Tour

This morning, we enjoy a guided tour of Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria. The city is among the most remarkable places in Bulgaria, as well as one of the oldest continually inhabited settlements in Europe. It keeps well-preserved remains of different civilizations: Thracians, Romans, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. We will reach the old town through the renovated main pedestrian zone, which has a Mediterranean flair. We visit the remains of the Roman stadium, which is one of the best-preserved Roman theatres in the world.

In the afternoon, we travel by coach to the Bachkovo Monastery, a beautiful 11th-century monastery in the Rhodope Mountains. The monastery has a 300-year-old Dschindschifil tree from which the monks produce brandy! Let yourself be enchanted by the remarkable frescoes and murals from various eras and learn more about the important role of the monastery over the decades as the guardian of Bulgarian culture and language. The region around Plovdiv is famous for its wine production – even the Thracians produced wine here 2,500 years ago.

We end the day by visiting a wine estate. Here, we’ll sample sparkling wine, take a tour of the production facilities, and enjoy dinner with wine from the Thracian region.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Wine Tasting & Tour Plovdiv with Guided Tour Bachkovo Monastery

Today, we board the train to Avramovo and enjoy a ride on the single narrow-gauge railway from the town of Septemvri to the highest train station in the Balkans – Avramovo, which is 1,267 meters above sea level. The journey is a scenic and unique experience, offering breathtaking views of the Rhodope Mountains. Expect to see lush greenery, picturesque valleys, and catch glimpses of small villages along the way. Sit back, relax and enjoy picturesque mountain views and an included glass of wine.

On arrival in Avramovo, the coach will be waiting, and we continue to Bansko. On arrival, we include a short tour of the largest ski resort in Bulgaria. You will be particularly impressed by the architecture of the houses, a mixture of stone and wood. We check into our hotel and enjoy dinner this evening.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Ski Resort Tour Rhodope Narrow-Gauge Railway

This morning, we visit the authentic village of Leshten. This charming village is located in the majestic mountains of Bulgaria. With its traditional wooden houses and cobbled streets, this village offers a journey back in time to authenticity and tranquillity. Here, you can enjoy nature walks, explore ancient churches, and enjoy the hospitality of the locals.

We then visit the authentic village of Kovachevitsa, where we take a short tour and visit the old school. We’ll be welcomed by the locals who will show you traditional crafts and activities of the region. We also include lunch with traditional bakery products, desserts and drinks.

We return to Bansko and enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Lunch

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Leshten Kovachevitsa

We travel to the Rila Monastery, a UNESCO monument and one of the symbols of Bulgaria. Founded in the 10th century, it is the biggest and most beautiful orthodox monastery in eastern Europe. Located in the heart of Rila Mountain at an altitude of 1147m above sea level, it offers spectacular view of the forested valley. You will visit the residential and farming buildings, the monastery-museum and Hreliov’s Tower, which are all surrounded by a 22-metre-high stone wall. Built like a fortress, the architecture of the monastery is distinguished by arches and colonnades, covered wooden stairs, and carved verandas.

We continue to Blagoevgrad, where we board the train to Sofia. The train journey from Blagoevgrad to Sofia takes you through picturesque landscapes, traversing the southwestern part of the country. On arrival in Sofia, we transfer to our hotel for our final overnight stay. This evening, we head to a traditional folklore restaurant for a farewell dinner including a glass of wine or beer.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Rila Monastery

After breakfast, we include a visit to the Locomotive Depot, followed by a guided tour of Sofia, where you’ll see Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the capital’s oldest monument, and St. George’s Rotunda, which was built as Roman baths before becoming a Byzantine church.

Later, we head to the airport for our return flight back to London Heathrow.

Includes Breakfast

Included Highlights

Locomotive Depot Visit Sofia with Guided Tour

You don’t have to worry about travelling with your luggage on the trains on this tour as our coach will transfer this for you – you can simply gaze out of the window and enjoy the view.

Accommodation

You will stay for two nights in Sofia, two nights in Veliko Tarnovo, one night in Burgas, two nights in Plovdiv and two nights in Bansko. 

Hotel Coop

The 4-star Hotel Coop is ideally located in the centre of Sofia, just a 5-minute walk from Serdika Metro Station and 500 metres from Alexander Nevski Cathedral. The hotel has a sauna, fitness centre, bar and restaurant. Bedrooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, mini bar, free WIFI and safe. There is also a 24-hour front desk and gift shop at the hotel.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

General
  • 4 Star
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Sauna or Steam Room
Room
  • TV
  • Safe Box
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fridge
  • Shower or Bath
  • Telephone
  • Free Wifi
Service
  • Gym
Hotel
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • WiFi Available

Grand Hotel Yantra

The 4-star Grand Hotel Yantra is situated in the centre of Veliko Tarnovo with spectacular views of the Tzarevets Fortress and the historical settlement of Arbanassi. There’s a lobby bar, Vienna Café and restaurant serving a variety of international and local Bulgarian dishes. Attached to the restaurant is "Trapezitsa" panoramic terrace with views over Tsarevets Castle, Trapezitsa Hill and the Yantra river. Bedrooms have views of the Tsarevets Fortess, free WIFI, minibar, cable TV, telephone and private bathroom.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

General
  • 4 Star
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Indoor Swimming Pool
  • Sauna or Steam Room
Room
  • TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fridge
  • Shower or Bath
  • Telephone
  • Free Wifi
Service
  • Safe Box in Reception
  • Room Service Available
  • Laundry Service
Hotel
  • Swimming Pool
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • WiFi Available

Hotel Bulgaria

The Hotel Bulgaria is a 4-star hotel situated in the centre of Burgas close to the administrative and financial buildings. Being on the crossroad of the two main pedestrian streets, it is close to many of the city's restaurants, shops and café's as well as the sea garden and the beach. The hotel has 17 floors, each of them with a spectacular view to the Gulf of Burgas or the old town. Bedrooms are air-conditioned and have work desks, cable TV and tea and coffee making facilities. Bulgarian cuisine is served at the restaurant and there’s also a mezzanine bar, piano bar and indoor swimming pool and spa plus free WIFI throughout.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

General
  • 4 Star
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Indoor Swimming Pool
  • Sauna or Steam Room
Room
  • TV
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe Box
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fridge
  • Free Wifi
Hotel
  • Swimming Pool
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • WiFi Available

Hotel Imperial

The 4-star Hotel Imperial is ideally located in a central and quiet area, within walking distance of Plovdiv's cultural heart, The Old Town, and only minutes away from the city's shopping districts. Bedrooms feature a flat-screen TV with cable channels, ? minibar, a safety deposit box, a private bathroom with hairdryer, individual air-conditioning and free high speed wireless internet. There’s a bar and the restaurants and beautiful garden offer unique culinary experiences. There’s also a wellness area with aroma sauna, Finnish sauna, steam bath, infrared cabin, jacuzzi and relaxation area.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

General
  • 4 Star
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Sauna or Steam Room
Room
  • TV
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe Box
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fridge
  • Free Wifi
  • Iron or Trouser Press
Service
  • Bureau de Change
  • 24 Hour Front Desk
  • Laundry Service
  • Gym
Hotel
  • Bureau de Change
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • WiFi Available

St Ivan Rilski Spa Resort

The 4-star St Ivan Rilski Spa Resort is located in the mountain resort of Bansko. The hotel has a terrace, restaurant, bar, 24-hour front desk and free WiFi. The hotel also has a year-round outdoor swimming pool, indoor pool, fitness centre and garden whilst the wellness area includes sauna and a hot tub. Bedrooms feature tea and coffee making facilities, free toiletries, and free WIFI.

Hotel Facilities

Need further information? Fill in our enquiry form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can

General
  • 4 Star
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Indoor and Outdoor Swimming Pool
  • Sauna or Steam Room
Room
  • TV
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Telephone
  • Free Wifi
Service
  • Gym
Hotel
  • Swimming Pool
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • WiFi Available

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