Bulgaria Self-drive Travel Adventure

9 - 12 Days
TYPOLOGIES

AUTO

DIFFICULTY

Medium

MIN. AGE

18 years

On request

Start and end your explorative travel quest in the beautiful city of Sofia!

With fewer crowds, exciting travel activities, stunning architecture, rich history, pulsating nightlife, terrific landscapes, and their famous Black Sea beaches; Bulgaria is one tourist country with a lot to do and see!

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And to make things more adventurous, we are adding a mind-blogging treasure hunt game for extra fun! Your 11-day sailing adventure will take you through 8 different locations in Bulgaria, where you will search for clues, dig up answers and follow mysterious trails to your final destination! But, that’s not all! You also stand a chance to get 100%, 50%, or a 25% refund of your participatory fee when you become our first-place, second-place, or third-place winner!

Come and experience a truly once-in-a-lifetime Bulgaria travel adventure!

Day by day

Arrival Sofia Airport, car delivery and departure to Rila Monastery UNESCO site, located less than 2 h drive from Sofia. Check in at a family-run hotel, located close to a small river, just 5 km before the monastery. The hotel has a traditional restaurant, where you can try local specialties – monastery beans soup, mountain trout, pancakes with forest fruit jam, etc.

Approximate mileage: 120 km

Visit of the monastery and pleasant walk in its surrounding area. Enjoy the unspoilt nature of Rila Mountain – the highest mountain on the Balkan peninsula, declared a National Park.

Continue south to Bansko museum village, located at the foothills of another mountain – Pirin National Park ( UNESCO list ). Explore the old town of Bansko, its traditional architecture, museum houses and St. Trinity Church.

Check in at a family-run hotel.

Approximate mileage: 100 km

Today we can suggest 2 options:

If you are a mountain lover and like to walk/ hike – you can drive to the nearby town of Dobrinishte ( 6 km ) and take the seat lift from Gotse Delchev hut to Bezbog hut ( 2236 m above sea level ) then have a pleasant walk to Bezbog lake and Popovo lake.

If you prefer to do sightseeing, you can drive south from Bansko towards Melnik ( the smallest Bulgarian town ), located at the foothills of some sandstone pyramids in which wine cellars were dug and to Rojen Monastery ( one of the oldest preserved monasteries in Bulgaria ) with wonderful panorama towards the border mountains with Greece.

Back to Bansko and spend the night in the same hotel.

Approximate mileage – option 1: max. 30 km/ option 2: max. 230 km

Today you leave Bansko, crossing part of the Rhodope mountains to explore Plovdiv. Plovdiv has been European capital of culture in 2019 and is one of oldest inhibited cities in Europe. You will be able to see the Old Plovdiv Architecture reserve with its cobble stone streets, museum houses, galleries and artists, small restaurants, the ruins of Roman times – the Ancient Theatre, Stadium, Forum, etc. etc. If time permits, we suggest to visit Kapana – the artistic neighbourhood of Plovdiv and the longest pedestrian street in the world.

Check in at your hotel and overnight.

Approximate mileage – 170 km

Morning departure to Kazanluk - the centre of the Valley of Roses, known as well as the Valley of the Thracian kings. In the past, 75% of the world rose attar was produced here. Nowadays, Bulgaria is among the top 4 producers in the world of roses, as well as leading producer of lavender oil. You will be able to visit the regional history museum of Kazanluk ( one of the oldest and richest museums in Bulgaria ), Kazanluk Thracian tomb ( UNESCO site, copy, 3rd c BC ), Goliama Kosmatka Thracian tomb ( 5th c BC ), the Museum of Rose, etc. etc.

In the afternoon continue towards the Black sea coast and Nessebur UNESCO town.

Check in at your hotel and time to enjoy the sea.

Approximate mileage -  380 km

Possible visit of the Old Nessebur, located on a small peninsula with many medieval churches and the local museum or relax on the beach.

Overnight at the same hotel.

Depart north, along the Black Sea coast to Varna.

Varna is the largest Bulgarian city on the Black Sea coast. It was an inhabited place even before the Greeks established the colony of Odessos there about 580 B.C. Later, under the Romans and their successor, the Slavs, Varna became a major port trading with Constantinople, Venice and Dubrovnik

Possible visit of the archaeology museum to see the oldest gold treasure in the world, dating from 4,600 BC to 4,200 BC, and discovered in Varna Necropolis.

See the central part of the city, the Sea garden, the Cathedral, etc.

Overnight at a hotel.

Approximate mileage: 100 km

Today you depart east with many possible stops before you reach Arbanassi museum village: the Petrified stones ( Pobiti Kamuni ), Devnya museum of mosaics, Madara Horseman UNESCO site, Shumen, the remains of the capital cities of the 1st Bulgarian Kingdom – Pliska and Preslav, etc.

Arrival in Arbanassi museum village, located on a hill above Veliko Turnovo. Check in at a traditional hotel, overnight.

Approximate mileage: 100 km

Day dedicated to Veliko Turnovo - explore the Medieval capital city of Bulgaria ( 11-14th c ), picturesquely located on 4 hills above Yantra river. You can walk in the Old town of Veliko Turnovo with Samovodska Charshia – the street of traditional crafts - potter, artisan cutler, coppersmith, carver, confectioner, weaver, icon-painter's studio, photographer, café, a workshop where kadaif (a classic Middle Eastern pastry) is made, and a bakery – all in the style of the first decades of the 20th Century, Gurko Street and others.  Visit Tsarevets Royal hill with the medieval fortress, Patriarh`s complex and Baldwin tower – the leader of the 4th Crusade, who was imprisoned there.

Not far from Veliko Turnovo you can visit Transfiguration and / or Petropavlovski Monastery.

Approximate mileage: 50 km

Departure to Sofia, arrival after 3.5 h.

Free time to explore the capital city of Bulgaria.  A number of ancient Roman, Byzantine and medieval Bulgarian buildings have been preserved in the city and its outskirts, including the UNESCO World Heritage site Boyana Church, the 4th c St. George Rotunda and the early Byzantine Basilica of St Sophia from 6th century. You will see as well Alexander Nevski Memorial Catheral, Parliament Square, Sofia University, National Theatre and the Old City Garden, the former Royal Palace, the ruins of Ancient Serdica close to the Presidency and Arena di Serdica.

Free time and drop off the car at Sofia Airport.

( please note the rent-a-car tariff is calculated on 24-h rent base )

What's included

  • 10 nights accommodatuon at selected family-run hotels, private facilities in each room
  • Breakfast at the hotels
  • 10-days rent-a-car type Ford Focus, Toyota Auris or similar, pick up and drop off charges Sofia Airport

Not included

  • Flights before and after the tour are not included in the tour price.
  • Travel insurance is not covered in the tour price.