Day 1 Arrival in Sofia, transfer & orientation 16.00 - 18.00
The modern capital of Sofia has a long history literally hidden beneath it. Visit the now revealed Roman ruins in the heart of the city and contrast this with the imposing Soviet buildings atop. Not just a historic city, Sofia embraces the modern and chic. You can stock up for the tour in Prada, Louis Vuitton and Hugo Boss. Sink a few Guinness in JJ Murphy's lively Irish boozer, before whiling away the wee small hours in the bohemian Candle Bar, short on electricity, long on atmosphere. Whatever you choose to do, we are on hand to see you safely there and back.
Day 2 Sofia - Troyan 10.00 - 14.00
A short detour en route to Troyan, our first tour stop is at the awesome Saeva Dupka Cave complex. We will be on hand to escort you through these limestone karst caves that frequently appear on internet picture galleries and is our first chance to test those gear changes as we leave the main road. Troyan is the ceramics capital of Bulgaria and provides ample opportunity for some early souvenirs. It is also blessed with one of the most impressive monasteries in the country, and a visit to this working, and beautiful religious icon is a genuine 'must'. Troyan has a multitude of evening entertainment options catering for all tastes. Al fresco dining on a warm Troyan evening is a great way to conclude our day.
Day 3 Troyan - Veliko Tarnovo 10.00 - 14.00
Today takes us further East on on some of the prettiest roads in Bulgaria. Time to hone those Trabant skills and enjoy some terrific scenery! Our destination is Veliko Tarnovo (VT), the ancient Capital of Bulgaria. VT has a rich history, cobbled streets, houses perched impossibly on the edge of the river Yantra, and an imposing fortress. With 10,000 students, the city has a terrific evening culture and we want to give you as much exploring time in VT as possible. Allow time for a walk around the old town and market. The spectacular Laser Light Show from Tsaravets Fortress should form part of any visit, and we will be there to guide you to the best views.
Day 4 Veliko Tarnovo - Tryavna 12.00 - 14.00
Another exciting drive on windy rural roads brings us to Tryavna. This small town offers the chance to see and buy artisan wares. It is one of the prettiest towns in the entire country. Cutesy? Yes. Touristy? Possibly. But it is an exemplar of traditional Bulgarian architecture and crafts, very seldom visited by Western European travellers who tend to gravitate towards the Black Sea resorts. Tryavna is the perfect place for relaxing after a hard day behind the wheel. We'll show you the way to the best restaurants and bars, so you can enjoy vibrance and peace blending in perfect harmony.
Day 5 Tryavna - Kazanlak 10.00 - 15.00
The morning drive involves traversing the Shipka Pass, a thoroughly absorbing and exciting drive around hairpin bends up to an altitude of 3820ft. It is famous in Bulgarian culture as the site of a crucial struggle between Bulgarians in their fight for liberation from the Ottoman Empire. It is also close to the Soviet monument of Buzludzha, a must-see detour while in the area. Bulgaria produces 70% of the world’s rose oil and Kazanlak is at the heart of this globally renown enterprise. Our trip to the Rose Museum is well worth the trouble, as is the home of the UNESCO Thracian tomb at Seuthopolis.
Day 6 Kazanlak - Plovdiv 10.00 - 14.00
Bulgaria’s second city, Plovdiv, is also considered by many to be its most interesting and attractive. It's no surprise therefore that it has the honour of vying for European Capital of Culture in 2019. It has variously been invaded by Persians, Greeks, Celts, Romans, Goths, Huns, Crusaders Turks and now us! Plovdiv provides us with the perfect setting to cut loose and enjoy our final night. There's a host of things to see in Plovdiv, both old and new. This UNECSO heritage site, particularly the amphitheatre, remains a 'must see'. Ask us for directions and restaurant recommendations, or you'll be bamboozled by what's on offer!
Day 7 Plovdiv - Sofia 9.00 - 11.00
After a hearty last breakfast, we drive back to Sofia for final farewells to new friends, vehicle handover and transfers to the airport.