Turkey and Bulgaria – SPA and history
14 day tour
Tour dedicated to the majestic history and culture of the ancient Turkey and Bulgaria, and also to leisure and SPA in some of the best Balneological resorts in Europe.
Day-1. Arriving. Arriving in Istanbul. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Istanbul. Day-2. Istanbul. Breakfast in the hotel. Full day tour of the city of Istanbul. Istanbul is Turkey’s most populous city as well as its cultural and financial hub. Located on both sides of the Bosphorus, the narrow strait between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul bridges Asia and Europe both physically and culturally. Istanbul’s population is estimated to be between 12 and 19 million people, making it also one of the largest cities in Europe and the world. Today it is time to visit some of the main highlights of the multi-million city: the Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), Basilica Cistern, the Theodosian Walls, the Spice Bazaar and the world famous covered bazaar Kapili Carsi.
Dinner upon request. Free time. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day-3. Istanbul Breakfast in the hotel. Another full day tour of the vast city of Istanbul. Today we will visit the beautiful Galata – Beyoglu district. Galata gained it’s importance by the virtue of transforming into a trade colony of the Genoese and the Venetians, beside then-Byzantine Constantinople. After Ottomans captured Istanbul, the autonomous status of Galata was left untouched, except that its city walls were razed. Visitation to the amazing Galata Tower, the commercial Istiklal Avenue, the Taksim square, Maiden’s Tower and the bridge at the Golden Horn. Dinner upon request. Free time. Overnight in the same hotel in Istanbul. Day-4. Istanbul – Sozopol – Pomorie. (Driving duration 4.30 hours; 380 km.) Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer from Istanbul to the town of Pomorie in Bulgaria. On the way we will visit the old town of Sozopol. Sozopol’s Old Town was declared a museum-reserve. It includes more than 180 old style houses, constructed from the middle of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th century. In 2010, during archeological excavations at the nearby Saint Ivan (Saint John’s) Island, researchers unearthed the holy relics of Saint John the Baptist. Spa and seaside resort Pomorie is a town and seaside resort in Southeastern Bulgaria, located on a narrow rocky peninsula at the Bourgas Bay on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. The lagoon Lake Pomorie, the northernmost of the Bourgas Lakes, lies in the immediate proximity. Pomorie SPA and wellness resort is fine combination of unique nature resources and is a perfect site for all year round relaxation and medical treatment. The curative effect is a result of the complex action of chemical biological, electro dynamical and mechanical factors of the curative mud. The medical mud is sedimentary – firth, black, fat on touch, smelling of sulphur-hydrogen, and silicate – carbonate bones and low containing of gypsum. The beach is on average 5 km long and 30 m wide. Dinner upon request. Free time. Overnight in a hotel in Pomorie. Day-5. Pomorie SPA – Nesebar. (Driving duration 0.40 hours; 35 km.) Breakfast in the hotel. Short transfer and tour at the town of Nesebar. Nesebar (part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage) is one of the most ancient towns in Europe, founded 3200 years ago. During Antiquity the town was called Mesembria. Ever since it was founded, it has always been surrounded by fortified walls, some remains of which have survived to this day. Free time for SPA. Dinner upon request. Overnight in the hotel in Pomorie. Day-6.Pomorie – Kazanlak – Starozagorski Mineral Baths. (Driving duration 3 hours; 270 km.) Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to the Starozagorski mineral baths resort. On the way, visit to the Kazanlak Thracian tomb and the Valley of the Kings. There are many mineral water springs on the territory of the Starozagorski mineral baths. The water springs with a 12 liter per second capacity, from a depth of around 1600 m. and with a temperature of around 40° C. It is lightly mineralized, containing hydro-carbonates, sulfates, calcium, magnesium, silica and fluorine. It is used for treating respiratory, kidney and stomach problems. The biggest springs are developed into the resort’s main Thermal bath building, with a couple of mineral water fountains outside. Other springs are used for providing spa and balneotherapy services by hotels and medical centres. The Kazanlak Tomb, UNESCO world heritage site, based on its architectural outlook, belongs to the dome tombs, typical for the Thracian funeral architecture from the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 3rd century BC. The tomb is one of the best preserved pieces of art from the antiquity in the world. The Valley of the Kings is full of remains. There you will see different tomb of different kings ruled the Thracian territories during the ages – here is the tomb of the mighty Thracian king Seuthes III. Dinner upon request. Free time. Overnight in a hotel in Starozagorski mineral baths. Day-7. Starozagorski Mineral Baths SPA. Breakfast in the hotel. Free time for leisure and SPA procedures. Dinner upon request. Free time. Overnight in the hotel in Starozagorski mineral baths. Day-8. Starozagorski Mineral Baths – Starosel – Hisarya. (driving duration 2 hours; 155 km.). Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer from Starozagorski Mineral Baths to the town of Hisarya. On the way, tour to the Starosel Thracian temple. The town of Hisarya is located in the central part of the country at 360 m above the sea level. The town of Hisarya is famous for its thermal mineral waters from 22 springs with proven therapeutic properties. Hisarya is one of the most famous Bulgarian resorts with millennium-old history (since 5th century BC), closely related to the incredible combination of warm mineral waters, mild climate and strategic geographic location. This is a settlement named after the Emperor Diocletian, and well known as the beautiful big white marble town with the incredible thermal baths, some of which are operational even today. In terms of preservation and originality of the fortification system and the architecture, the Roman town of Diocletianopolis ranks among the first in Europe. In many parts the fortress wall is as high as 11 meters, and the south fortress gate is 13 m high. The mineral water from “Lilly-of-the-valley” spring is hyper-thermal – 44 oC, with total mineralization of 0.270 gr/l. It is described as hydro-carbonate, sulphate, sodium, fluorine, silicon, containing radon. It is suitable for drinking, inhalations and for external balneological therapy. The mineral water from “Momina banya” (Maiden bath) spring is hyper-thermal, 55 oC temperature, with total mineralization of 0.230 gr/l. It is described as hydro-carbonate, sulphate, sodium, fluorine, silicon, radon, containing hydrosulphide. It is suitable for drinking, inhalations and for external balneotherapy. Starosel is mainly known for it’s abundance of ancient Neolithic and Thracian remains, some dating from 5th-6th millennium BC. In antiquity, it was an important and wealthy Thracian city in the 5th century BC, as evidenced by the excavations, made in the 20th century. The largest underground temple in the Balkans, along with a mausoleum, were found under the Chetinyova Mogila. The temple, as well as the nearby Thracian king’s residence under Mount Kozi Gramadi, were likely built during the reign of Amatokos II (359-351 BC) Dinner upon request. Free time. Overnight in a hotel in Hisarya. Day-9. Hisarya SPA. Breakfast in the hotel. Free time for leisure and SPA procedures. Dinner upon request. Free time. Overnight in the hotel in Hisarya. Day-10. Hisarya – Plovdiv – Bachkovo monastery – Velingrad. (Driving duration 3.15 hours; 200 km.) Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer from Hisarya to the town of Velingrad – the SPA capital of the Balkan peninsula. On the way we will visit the ancient city of Plovdiv, Bachkovo monastery and the Asenova fortress. Plovidv is considered as one of the oldest cities in Europe. Here you will see remains of the Thracian fortress (5th century BC) and well preserved remains from Roman times to our days. The Old Town is a marvelous site, with picturesque churches, the mosque and many houses with architecture, specific atmosphere and the spirit of Bulgarian Revival period. Your guide will show you the fabulous remains from Ancient Roman Empire – Roman Stadium, Roman Forum, and Amphitheater. Bachkovo Monastery – the second largest monastery in Bulgaria dates from the middle ages. The monastery was founded in 1083 by the Georgian Gregoriy Bakuriani, who donated the land. For a long time the monastery was Georgian. Asen’s Fortress is located 3 km. from the city, on the top of a cliff, on the left bank of the Asenitsa River. The first written reference to the fortress dates from the founding of the nearby Bachkovo Monastery. Arriving in Velingrad. Dinner upon request. Free time. Overnight in a hotel in Velingrad. Day-11. Velingrad SPA. Breakfast in the hotel. Free time for leisure and SPA procedures. Velingrad is located in the West Rhodopes. The climate is typical mountainous as the resort is situated some 760 m above the sea level. Due to its 80 mineral water springs Velingrad is one of the largest health resorts. There are plenty of sanatoria, clinics and modern SPA centres and hotels. In 2009 Velingrad was announced SPA Capital of the Balkans. Velingrad is the town with the largest resource of mineral waters in the country of a total flow rate of 143 l/sec. There are 3 mineral water springs in the town and its surroundings with various physical and chemical properties, named after the area where they are situated. “Chepino” mineral water spring – Hyper-thermal water with 48°C temperature and total mineralization of 0.187 gr/l. It is described as Hydro-carbonate, sodium, fluorine, silicon, radon, containing hydrosulphide. “Ladzhene” mineral water spring – hot water, 60°C temperature, with total mineralization of 0.317 gr/l. It is described as hydro-carbonate-sulphate, sodium, fluorine, silicon, radon, containing hydrosulphide. “Kamenitsa” mineral water spring – hot water, 90°C temperature, with total mineralization of 0.551 gr/l. It is described as sulphate-hydro-carbonate, sodium, fluorine, silicon, containing hydrosulphide and radon. The mineral waters are suitable for drinking and inhalations as well as for external balneotherapy. Dinner upon request. Free time. Overnight in the hotel in Velingrad. Day-12. Velingrad – Rila monastery – Sofia. (Driving duration 4.15 hours; 290 km.) Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to Sofia. On the way, visit to the world famous Rila Monastery. Rila Monastery is one of the symbols of Bulgaria and is also the most popular tourist destination. Throughout the centuries Rila Monastery has always been the spiritual, educational and cultural center of Bulgaria. It is part of the UNESCO list of the global heritage sites. Free time. Dinner upon request. Overnight in a hotel in Sofia. Day-13. Sofia. Breakfast in the hotel. Next is a Full day walking and transport tour of Sofia. It starts with a visit to Boyana church (UNESCO listed site), the National Historical Museum – holding many collections of artefacts of Balkan history. Next is a visit of the Museum of Communism, and proceed to the historical city centre, across the National Palace of Culture and through the ancient St. George Rotunda, the Administration of the President, the National Archaeological Museum, the 16th century Banya Bashi Mosque, St. Nedelya – old metropolitan cathedral, the National Theatre, the former Royal Palace, the Russian Church St. Nikolay, the National Assembly Square, where, in the middle of the square sits the impressive King Liberator monument, the Holy Synod, Saint Sofia Church, The Bulgarian National Gallery for Foreign Art, Alexander Nevski Cathedral – the biggest in Bulgaria and according to many – the most spectacular building in Sofia. Dinner upon request. Free time. Return to the hotel in Sofia. Overnight. Day-14.Departure. Breakfast in the hotel. Departure from Sofia airport. . .
An amazing tour that is designed to present the real beauty, culture and traditions of the ancient Balkan peninsula.
The tour duration is 14 days and 13 nights.
* Price: Upon request
Included in the prices:
- Two overnights on BB in high quality 4* centrally located hotels in Pomorie, Starozagorski mineral baths, Hisarya, Velingrad and Sofia
- Three overnights on BB in high quality 4* centrally located hotel in Istanbul
Urban Adventures tour in Sofia with visiting of all main sights in the capital city.
- Tours of Istanbul, Sozopol, Nesebar, the Kazanlak tomb, the Valley of Kings, Thracian temple in Starosel, Plovdiv, Bachkovo monastery, Asenova fortress, Leshten, Trigrad gorge, Shiroka Laka, the Wonderful Bridges, Bachkovo Monastery, Asenova fortress, Rila monastery and Sofia.
English speaking guide
All entrances in the sites visited during the tour
Arrival and departure transfer
Seat in modern vehicle – car, mini-van or mini-bus