Bulgaria, a land full of historical treasures, breath-taking scenery, charming wooden houses. Wonder at the majestic Tsarevets Fortress, admire the artisans street, enjoy walking the city and treat yourself with some of the best food in the Balkans.
What to Expect
This one-day route will do: Bucharest-Giurgiu-Ruse-Veliko Tarnovo-Arbanassi Village and return to Bucharest.
First important stop will be at Basarabov Monastery, built in a cave. It is here that the relics of St Dimitrie Basarabov, Saint Dimitrie the New-patron saint of Bucharest were found! It's the only cave monastery in Bulgaria still inhabited by monks and maintained for tourists and the faithful.
Continuing on the footsteps of the old Vlachs you arrive to Veliko Tarnovo, the former capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1187-1393).
Veliko Tarnovo impresses with its location on the hills around the medieval fortress, the story of the four Asan kings, and the fragrance of roses.
Asan was an army commander and founder of the Asan dynasty. Together with his brother Petru, acknowledged king by the Pope of Rome, they founded the Kingdom of the Bulgarian Vlachs. Following victories against the Byzantium emperors, with the help received from Romanians north of the Danube, the brothers acquired recognition as emperors.
Veliko Tarnovo Fortress is famous for its remarkable architectural monuments, miniatures, mural paintings, literature, arts and crafts. It is located on the main road connecting Europe with Asia Minor in the valley of the Yantra river. From its glory days as the king`s capital we can still see a lot even today, but the town is still holding secrets and legends referring to hidden royal libraries and treasures from the burned monastery.
Tour the impressive Tsarevets Fortress, then enjoy free time on Samovodene Street with its artisan shops. Continue to the nearby village of Arbanassi, a World Heritage Site.
The name of Arbanassi Village comes from the Albanian word Arbërës or Arbanas, which means "land worker". Free time for lunch in one of the many traditional restaurants in this charming village. Then visit Konstantzalieva House, built in the 17th century and belonging to one of the rich merchant families of the place.
Complete your tour with the half underground Church of the Nativity, the earliest in Arbanassi. The iconostasis of this church is one of the earliest examples of superb woodcarving work in Bulgaria. Most of the depictions in the gallery represent the menealogy from January, February and March. These calendar series comprise stories from The Old Testament - scenes revealing the martyrdom of different saints.
Drive back to Bucharest with arrival in the evening; transfer to the hotel.
- Transport by car/minibus fuel
- Parking fees
- English speaking guide/driver
What's Not Included
- Lunch (aprox. 10 Euro/person)
- Entrance fees to Basarabov Monastery, Tsarevets Fortress, Konstantzalieva House, Church of the Nativity (aprox. 15 Euro/person)
- Video and photo fees
Know Before You Go