Day 1. Sofia, Bulgaria
Meet our French speaking guide on your arrival at Sofia International Airport, leave for the city center of the Bulgarian capital and drop your luggage in your hotel.
Dinner at the hotel. Budapest Hotel 3 *
Day 2. Sofia - Koprivchtitsa - Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
After breakfast, leave early to reach the small town nestled in the Koprivshtitsa Mountain, from where the Great Revolution of April 1876 took place for the liberation of the Ottoman yoke.
You will discover a city that has preserved in its authentic aspect including its wooden houses that are painted with bright colors and give a unique touch to this place of rest.
Visit two museum houses of ancient revolutionary writers to understand the history of the city. Lunch in Koprivshtitsa.
Then leave for the beautiful city of Veliko Tarnovo, capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire between the 12th century and the 14th century. It was considered the most beautiful city in the Balkans after Constantinople.
Guided tour of the beautiful, well preserved and partially restored Tsarevets Citadel, which preserves the memory of the glorious epic that made the Assenids one of the most brilliant dynasties in Europe. You will admire the fortifications of the city and its houses hanging over the Yantra River.
Dinner and overnight in Veliko Tarnovo. Hotel Gurko 4 *
Day 3. Veliko Tarnovo - Madara - Varna, Bulgaria
After breakfast, head towards the Bulgarian coast.
On the way stop in the Shumen region to discover the remains of the glorious past of the Bulgarian Khans. You will visit Pliska and Véliki Preslav which are the first two historical capitals of Bulgaria
Join the village of Madara, to discover the Madara rider: bas-relief carved into the rock, emblem of the protobulgares, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Then arrive in the village of Kyulevcha, where you will enjoy a presentation of Bulgarian traditions by the grandmothers of the village - making holiday bread, old crafts, dancing and singing) in an ecological guesthouse. Lunch in the guest house.
After lunch, continue your journey and make a stop to discover one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena of Bulgaria - the Stones planted. Strange erected stone columns whose origin always provokes lively controversy
Arrival on the Bulgarian coast in Varna at the end of the day.
Dinner and overnight in Varna. Hotel Splendid 4 *
Day 4. Varna - Nessebar - Zheravna, Bulgaria
After breakfast, free morning to enjoy Varna, The Pearl of the Black Sea. Stroll through its pretty streets through boutiques and cafes or relax on its imposing beaches that have made the city famous internationally.
In the late morning, you go to a cellar, a beautiful stone house in which you taste the best wines of small producers in the country.
Join Roman Baths of Odessos (Varna) which are the largest Balkans and the 4th largest in the ancient Roman Empire. Lunch by the sea.
After lunch, take the road back along the south coast to reach Nessebar, a fortified island founded by the Thracians at the end of the 2nd millennium BC, and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Guided tour of the city with forty churches. Among which you will visit the most interesting one, that of St. Stefan then will make a walk in the peninsula.
Take the road again and join the land with the picturesque village of Zheravna. You will appreciate its country atmosphere, its museum houses, its warm taverns and the hospitality of the population.
Dinner and overnight in wooden guesthouses in Zheravna.
Day 5. Zheravna - Kazanlak - Plovdiv, Bulgaria
After breakfast, take the road to the Valley of the Thracian kings, the strongest civilization of its time that dominated much of Europe well before the Romans. Visit the tomb of a Thracian King, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and admire their funerary art.
Lunch in a tavern near the royal tomb.
Visit the magnificent Russian Shipka Church, built in honor of the Russians for their help against the Ottoman Empire.
Then discover the valley of roses, so called for the important production of rose oil which is one of the specialties of the country, it is besides the first world producer.
Visit a rose distillery and sample some rose products. You will learn more about the rose oil which is called the 'golden liquid' of Bulgaria because it is a very expensive product used by many reputed brands of perfume, chocolate, liquor and jam. Rose oil is three times more expensive than gold.
On the way you will make a stop in the village of Skobelevo.
Then go south to reach a millennial city: Plovdiv. Second largest city of Bulgaria is elected European Capital of Culture 2019.
Discover the Old Plovdiv, called "18th century and 19th century architectural reserve" arouses admiration offering a magnificent set of houses from the time of national awakening in the "Trimontium" or the old Plovdiv.
Dinner and overnight in Plovdiv. Hotel Trimoncium 4 *
Day 6. Plovdiv - Bansko, Bulgaria
After breakfast, start the Plovdiv guided tour. You will pass through the central pedestrian street of Prince Alexander of Battenberg where you can admire the Neobaro facades at a great pace before visiting the Saint Constantine and Helena church, the ethnographic museum, passage in front of the Dzhumaya mosque, the theater, the stadium and the Roman Odeon.
Lunch at a restaurant in Old Plovdiv where you will enjoy a demonstration of traditional Bulgarian dances.
Take the road through the Pitin Massif and join Kostandovo, where you will visit a rug making business whose excellence allows it to loyal prestigious clients like Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Mike Jagger.
Then you will reach the city of Velingrad, to take a small narrow-gauge mountain train and discover the beautiful mountain ranges of the Rhodopes. Arrival in the small station of Avramovo, the highest of the Balkans (journey time of about 1 hour).
Arrive late afternoon in Bansko, UNESCO-listed mountain town. Bansko is the newest and most dynamic winter sports resort in Bulgaria, which holds the snow record in terms of both quantity and duration, since it is possible to ski from December 15th to May 15th.
You will appreciate its fortified houses, unique in their kind are the witness of the independent character of its former inhabitants.
Dinner and overnight in Bansko. Martin Hotel 3 *
Day 7. Bansko - Rila - Sofia, Bulgaria
After breakfast, take the road back to Sofia.
On the way join the most famous monastery of the Balkans, the monastery of Rila. UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the most visited tourist place in Bulgaria.
Visit the guardian monastery of Orthodoxy when Catholic and Protestant churches wanted to settle in Bulgarian territory in the 19th century. Its arcades, columns, woodwork and paintings are of exceptional beauty. The Church of the Dormition of the Virgin is considered the best decorated with frescoes in Bulgaria. Its carved wooden iconostasis is unique in its kind. Admire the Khrelio Tower, a very well preserved medieval defense tower. Lunch at a restaurant by a river.
Then arrive in Sofia for your last night in Bulgaria.
Visit the National Museum of History to discover beautiful cultural objects and the turbulent history of the Bulgarian people.
Dinner in a typical tavern with traditional musical entertainment.
Overnight in Sofia. Budapest Hotel 3 *
Day 8. Sofia, Bulgaria
After breakfast, and depending on your departure time, you will have the opportunity to visit Sofia and discover among others the Orthodox Cathedral St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Petka Selliers, the Parliament, the Banya Bashi Mosque built in 1576.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight.