In Bulgaria, there are more than 120 monasteries! The interest in them we can explain with their role in the historical and cultural evolution of the Bulgarian nation. They survived the cruelty times of the middle ages and the Ottoman period, the vandalism, the natural disasters. They were the source of light in the dark ages of the people, making literally schools for education, science, and religion.
Some of them are like open-air museums, still keeping their secrets. Join us to solve some of their mysteries, to see the biggest ones like Rila, Bachkovo, Troyan. Feel the spirit of the orthodox temples and look over the monks and the nuns. See the incredible frescos and icons, made by the different painting schools. Come to understand why these things are little pieces of heaven.
Sofia- Rila monastery-Plovdiv
Welcome to Sofia. Today we’ll see two UNESCO sites – Boyana church and Rila monastery. Transfer to Boyana – 30 minutes. The church is famous with its layers of paintings dated from 11th, 13th. and 19th. century. This is the Bulgarian Renaissance, 10 years before Giotto was born.
Transfer to Rila monastery – 2 hours. Rila monastery is the biggest monastery in Bulgaria, founded by John from Rila, the most famous Bulgarian saint. A guided tour of 1 hour and free time for lunch.
Transfer to Plovdiv – 2 hours and 30 minutes. Plovdiv is the second largest city and the cultural capital of Europe for 2019. Accommodation in a boutique hotel in the center of Plovdiv. Guided tour in the old part of Plovdiv.
Plovdiv-Bachkovo monastery- Shipka- Sokolski monastery -Veliko Turnovo
9.00. Hotel check-out. Transfer to Bachkovo monastery – 40 minutes. Bachkovo monastery is the second largest monastery in Bulgaria and it is a candidate of the list of UNESCO heritage for its old refectory with paintings dated the first half of 17th. century. Guided tour and free time.
Transfer to Arapovski monastery – 30 minutes. Transfer to Shipka monastery – 2 hours. , which is like a temple-memorial to thank the Russian soldiers who helped to Bulgarians for their liberation from the Ottoman period. Shortstop to Shipka pass to see the heart of Balkan mountain where were the battlefields between Bulgarians and Ottomans.
Transfer to Sokol monastery – 1 hour. A guided tour. Transfer to Veliko Turnovo – 1 hour. Veliko Turnovo was the capital of Bulgarian kingdom in 12th to 14th. century. Accommodation in a boutique hotel with a panoramic view to the King’s hill, where is the fortress.
Veliko Turnovo – Patriarch’s monastery-Arbanasi- Kupinovski monastery- Preobrajenski monastery- Veliko Turnovo
9.00. After breakfast, a guided tour in Veliko Turnovo. Visit the fortress and feel the history of the place. Transfer to Patriarch’s monastery – 30 minutes. Transfer to Arbanasi to see the church “The Nativity of Jesus” – 30 minutes. Transfer to Kupinovski monastery – 40 minutes.
Transfer to Preobrajenski monastery – 1 hour. Transfer to Veliko Turnovo – 15 minutes. Night in Veliko Turnovo.
Veliko Turnovo- Troyan monastery- Glozhene monastery- Sofia
9.00. Hotel check-out. Transfer to Troyan monastery – 1 hour and 30 minutes. Troyan monastery is famous as the biggest monastery in North Bulgaria and with its miracle icon, which saved a lot of pilgrims. It was a hideout of Vasil Levski, the national Bulgarian hero, who made a big conspiracy inside the Ottoman empire.
Transfer to Glozhene monastery – 1 hour and 30 minutes. Transfer to Sofia– 2 hours. End of the program.