From Sofia to the Danube River eco tour

Duration: 7 days/6 nights
Country: Bulgaria

An ecotour in the Western part of the Balkan mountain range, during which we will enjoy beautiful scenery and unique rock formations, we will visit two of the most interesting caves in Bulgaria, as well as some monasteries and historic sites. The tourists will feel the Bulgarian villages atmosphere and will taste home-made ecologically clean food.

In this tour you will see also the natural phenomenon “Belogradchik Rocks”, which has been nominated for one of the New 7 Wonders of the World together with Grand Canyon in USA, Ayers Rock (Urulu) in Australia and other incedible creations of the planet Earth.

There are 2 of the “24 wonders of Bulgaria” included in this itinerary:
Boyana church (optional) (UNESCO object)
The Rocks of Belogradchik

Day 1 – Dance over Glowing Embers

Arrival to Sofia. Transfer from the airport and accommodation in 3* hotel. Dinner and overnight.

Optional: Dinner at a typical Bulgarian folk style restaurant. Excellent cuisine, rich selection of wines and folklore programme

Day 2 – A 8500 years Old Town

After breakfast – panoramic tour round Sofia (a 8500 years old town!) and visit to the most interesting historical and cultural sights: the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the Rotonda Church of St. George, the St. Sofia Church, which had given the name of the city, the antique Roman theatre dated III-IV-th century (the time of the Emperor Constantine the Great) and the historical and cultural center of the capital.

Visit of the Crypt of St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral
Visit of the Boiana Church

In the afternoon – take off to the natural park Vrachanski Balkan. Pass through unique rock formations, reaching 400 m hight. This is the canyon of Iskar river – the longest river in Bulgaria, flowing into the Danube. We will see the picturesque Lakatnishki rocks (where cliff-hanging is often practiced) and the Cherepishki Monastery, built on the bank of Iskar river, with a great library and wall-paintings from 14th c.

Accommodation, dinner and overnight in 3* hotel in Vratsa.

Day 3 – Iskar Canyon – a Paradise for Alpinists

After breakfast – visit the Historical museum in Vratsa, where the original Thracian gold treasure of Rogozen is housed (the biggest Thracian treasure in Bulgaria) and Vrachanski Balkan Natural Park – an unique reserve with 56 species of protected plants, 138 species of protected animals, more than 500 caves.

Visit of another natural phenomenon follows – Ledenika Cave, which is one of the most visited caves in Bulgaria. Due to its very good acoustic, underground symphonic orchestras often play in the cave.

Lunch in a rural house in Pavolche village. The hosts are famous with the home-made food in this area.

Take off to the town of Varshets, the most famous SPA resort in this part of Bulgaria, rich with mineral water springs with proven therapeutic effect.

Accommodation, dinner and overnight in 3* hotel in Varshets.

Day 4 – The Town of the Stone Figures

After breakfast – take off to the town of Belogradchik (“White town”) with beautiful rock figure formations. Climbing to the fort near Belogradchik and sightseeing round the picturesque rocks, each with its own name. Nature has been carving the stones for more than 200 million years. In the afternoon we will visit the fantastic underground world of Magurata Cave. On the rocks of the cave you can see pre-historical paintings from the 9th-8th c. B.C. These are real masterpieces of the prehistoric art in Southeast Europe. In the cave we will taste some sparkling and still wines, which are stored inside. At the end of this unique trip, we will have free time to relax near the Rabishko Lake – one of the oldest tectonic lakes in Europe. Prepare your photo cameras, as you can have good luck to see the Bulgarian Loch Ness – the big water bull “Rabin”. The legend of its fearful trumpet, described by a local people is still alive!

Accommodation, dinner and overnight in a 4* hotel.

Day 5 – Fortress over the Danube

After breakfast – take off for the town of Vidin, established in 3rd c. B.C. on the riverbank of the Danube. We will see Baba Vida – the only fully preserved castle in Bulgaria from the Middle ages, dating back from 10th c. This national cultural monument was used as a background for many movies.

We will see the St. Dimitrius Cathedral – one of the largest in Bulgaria; the cross-shaped military barracks from the beginning of 19th c.; the mosque of a local feudal lord Osman Pazvantouglu, ending on its top with… a heart (symbol of independence).

There will be a free time to walk around the park. With its original layout, the park is an historical landmark. The park combines an English park layout and Baroque garden styles. It is located along the bank of the Danube and includes wonderful beaches and recreation places.

Optional: a romantic boat trip along the Danube. We will enjoy some other places of interest of the town and a beautiful view to neighboring Romania

Return to Belogradchik. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.

Day 6 – The Carpet Makers

After breakfast we will leave for the town of Chiprovtsi – well known for its goldsmith traditions and the making of the famous Chiprovtsi style hand-woven carpets.

We will be guests at a local house, where we will learn the secrets of hand-weaving, dating back to 17th c.

We will also visit the Lopushanski Monastery, keeping one of the most exquisite wall-paintings in Northwest Bulgaria. The monastery is well-known for its excellent cuisine and aged wines.

Late in the afternoon – departure to Sofia through Petrohan passage, where we will become familiar with the technology of making the ecologically clean buffalo yoghurt. After tasting some yoghurt we will return to Sofia for a dinner and overnight in 3* hotel.

Day 7 – Flight back home

After breakfast – free time. Transfer to the airport and flight back home

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