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Grand tour – architecture and history

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Bulgarian Architecture Tour

Bulgaria has unique, well preserved monuments of the architecture, dating back from the antiquity till the 18th and 19th century. This tourwill give you the chance to witness the amazing and unique historic heritage, hidden in the Bulgarian villages, monasteries and town-museums.



Arrival. Transfer to the city of Blagoevgrad. Overnight.


Breakfast. HD tour to Rila Monastery, which is the biggest monastery in Bulgaria and is located in the beautiful Rila Mountains. Transfer to Melnik. Tour of Melnik, – the smallest town in Bulgaria and the nearby sandstone Pyramids, which are famous tourist destination, because of the beautiful landscape. Overnight

Rila Monastery, Bulgaria

Rila Monastery, Bulgaria

  Rila Monastery was founded in the 10th century by St. John of Rila, a hermit canonized by the Orthodox Church. His ascetic dwelling and tomb became a holy site and were transformed into a monastic complex which played an important role in the spiritual and social life of medieval Bulgaria. Destroyed by fire at the beginning of the 19th century, the complex was rebuilt between 1834 and 1862. A characteristic example of the Bulgarian Renaissance (18th–19th centuries), the monument symbolizes the awareness of the Slavic cultural identity during the centuries of Otoman occupation.

The first written evidences for the Melnik Fortress refer to the beginning of the 11th century.

Melnik, Bulgaria

Melnik, Bulgaria

The first settlers on the territory of contemporary Melnik were the Thracians, and more particularly the Thracian tribe Maedi, of which the legendary rebel Spartacus originates. A few centuries later the Romans lived on this ground. This is proven by the ancient Roman bridge, which is still preserved in the town of Melnik.


Breakfast. HD tour – Kovatchevitsa and Leshten – situated in a remarkable valley between  the mountains, these old villages are famous for their old houses and specific architecture. Transfer and tour at Shiroka Laka. Overnight.


Kovachevitsa village

Kovachevitsa village

The village of Kovachevita is an appropriate destination for the admirers of country tourism and relaxation. Besides having the option to walk along the narrow cobblestone streets, and stay in a typical Kovachevitsa house, tourists can taste traditional Bulgarian dishes and enjoy the tranquility of the Rhodope mountain.

The village of Leshten attracts tourists with its authentic look of its old houses, preserved since the Bulgarian Revival (18th – 19th century).

Shiroka Laka

Shiroka Laka

  Shiroka laka was founded in the 17th century and has now become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bulgaria. The village has preserved its architecture from the Bulgarian Revival Period, its musical culture, beautiful landscapes, and rich history.


Breakfast. Transfer to Plovidiv, visit of Bachkovo Monastery, which is one of the oldest and biggest monasteries in Bulgaria and has a interesting and beautiful architecture. HD tour of Plovdiv – visit of the Old Town and the ancient theater, which are famous for the specific medieval architecture. Overnight.

Bachkovo Monastery – the second largest monastery in Bulgaria which dates from the middle ages.

Bachkovo Monastery

Bachkovo Monastery

The monastery was founded in 1083 by the Georgian Gregoriy Bakuriani, who donated the land. For a long time the monastery was Georgian.

Plovidv is considered to be one of the oldest cities in Europe. Here you will see the remains of a Thracian fortress (5th century BC) and well preserved remains from Roman times to our days.

Plovdiv, Old Town

Plovdiv, Old Town

  The Old Town is a marvelous site, with its picturesque churches, the mosque and many houses with the architecture, the specific atmosphere and the spirit of Bulgarian Revival period.

Your guide will show you the fabulous remains from the Ancient Roman Empire – the Roman Stadium, the Roman Forum, the Amphitheater.


Breakfast. Tour of Koprivshtitsa, best known for its architecture and main role in the National revival period. Transfer to Zheravna – a little village in the mountains with really special architecture for the region. Tour. Overnight.

Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria

Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria

  Koprivshtitsa is announced for National Town-Museum. The architecture of the town reflects the historical development growth of Bulgarian traditional traditions.

Zheravna – The region of the village has been inhabited ever since Zheravnathe ancient times. In the 17th century Zheravna became a big handcraft and culture center with a population of a couple of thousand people, a main street and lots of shops. The main occupation of the local people was sheep breeding, together with different handcrafts.


Breakfast. 2 hours walking tour. Visiting Elena and Arbanasi. HD tour of Veliko Tarnovo, which is known as The Town of Tsars. Overnight.

Elena-town  Elena – Among the most interesting landmarks of Elena is the architectural ensemble “The Five Houses of Razsukanov”, built by the wealthy Harzhi Dimitar Razsukanov in the end of 18th century and the beginning of 19th century. Each of the houses has it’s own architecture by which it differentiates from the others, but the fasade of each of them is harmoniously connected to the neighboring houses. The symbol of the town of Elena is the Clock Tower, which is situated at the highest place in the center of the town. It was built in 1812 and it’s one of the first in the country.

Veliko Tarnovo is one of the oldest towns in the country, as it’s history dates back to more than five thousand years, which is proven by the archaeological excavations.

Tsarevets Castle, Veliko Tarnovo

Tsarevets Castle, Veliko Tarnovo

The upsurge of Veliko Tarnovo is related to the period of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185 – 1396). In 1185 the town was declared a capital of the restored Bulgarian State by the brothers Asen and Petar, which marked the end of the Byzantine dominion, that continued for 167 years.

After its selection fot a capital, the town developed fast, as within the period 12th – 14th century it was the most unconquerable Bulgarian fortress, as well as a cultural and intellectual center of Bulgaria and the Balkan peninsula.

Arbanasi, Bulgaria

Arbanasi, Bulgaria

  The village of Arbanasi is located on a high plateau 5 km from the city of Veliko Tarnovo.

It is known, that the village existed during the time of the Second Bulgarian State (1185 – 1396). At that time the Bolyari (nobles) living in the capital of Tarnovo, used it as a summer residence. According to the legend, the Tsar of Tarnovo minted coins here.


Breakfast. Visiting of Tryavna, Bozhentsi, Etara – the ethnographic museum. Transfer to Sofia.

Ethnographic Complex Etar, Gabrovo

Ethnographic Complex Etar, Gabrovo

  The Architectural And Ethnographic Complex Etar is situated on the outskirts of the town of Gabrovo. It is an open air museum. The Complex was established in 1964 and was declared an architectural and ethnographic monument of national significance. The museum contains of a total of 50 sites – houses with handcraft workshops, water installations and other buildings. The only collection in Bulgaria of technical installations driven by water – filling mills, water mills, grindstones, etc., are situated here. 16 houses can be seen on the handcrafts bazaar (the central commercial street) in the Etar, which are exact copies of buildings existing in the past in Gabrovo and the region. On the crafts street, the visitors can observe in real time the work of the craftsmen. Multiple handcrafts are presented – bell-making (manufacturing of wrought bells for animals), pottery-making, sugar-making (manufacturing of sugar articles), furriery, manufacturing of copper vessels, etc.

Bozhentsi – a pretty village in the area of Gabrovo and one of the most beautiful architectural



reserves in Bulgaria. Here one can discover an unforgettable atmosphere – history and nature combined.

Tryavna-1  Tryavna still keeps the spirit of this period even today. The Clock Tower – one of the symbols of the town, stands in the center of the town. It was built in 1814 and rises to 21 m of hight. The tower was declared an architectural-construction monument of national importance


Breakfast. HD tour of Sofia where you can enjoy the ancient and the modern city. Overnight.

King's Palace, Sofia

King’s Palace, Sofia

Sofia, National Theater

Sofia, National Theater

  Sofia – panoramic tour on foot, during which you will see the main sights – Alexander Nevski Cathedral, Parliament, Banya Bashi Mosque, The Synagogue, National Theater, Kings’ Palace


Breakfast. Transfer to the airport.

Additional Days

You may add more days to your tour at special price for accommodation to explore Sofia by yourself or to join Zelanos one-day tours.

Prices: Upon request

  • Person in DBL / TRPL

  • Person in SNGL

  • Child 2 – 11.99 y.o.

  • Infant 0 – 1.99 y.o. – FREE

Included in the prices:

  • 8 BB

  • Arrival, departure transfer

  • Seat in luxury mini-van or mini-bus

  • English speaking guide

  • English speaking chauffeur

  • All entrances in the sites visited during the tour

Supplements – optional:

  • Lunch

  • Dinner

  • Accommodation in 4* and 5*  hotels supplement per person

Additional nights in Sofia, per person, per night:

  1. Hotels 3*

  2. Hotels 4* / 5*


Please, send request for rates

Optional excursions:

  • Wine tasting in Brestovitsa or Lyaskovets

  • Folklore Dinner in Plovdiv

  • Folklore Dinner in Sofia

  • Boyana church and National Historical Museum