Bulgaria, 9 Days From $ 1,750 per person Themes
Eco Wildlife & Nature
- Visit the traditional Bulgarian villages of Panagiurishte city and Gorno Pole
- Stay at green lodges that support responsible travel
- Encounter Thracian heritage with a visit to the Panagyurishte History Museum (to observe Thracian gold treasure) and to the UNESCO-listed Kazanluk Thracian tomb (both from the 4th century BC)
- Visit the Old Plovdiv, which was founded by Philip, King of Macedonia and father of Alexander the Great and declared to be the European Capital of Culture for 2019
- Visit the East Rhodope Mountains, which is part of the Rewilding European Initiative
- Observe vultures, deer, storks and wolves in their natural habitat
- Witness a folklore performance and learn traditional Bulgarian dances during a workshop
- Cooking lessons bring out the flare and taste of Bulgaria
- Local cuisine and homemade food featured throughout the trip
Flexible date(s). Please Contact Us.
Kayaking & Rafting
Hiking & Trekking
History & Culture
Why Authentic Ecotourism?
The eco-certified company shares its passion of Bulgaria as well as knowledge of its nature, history and people.
Communities and culture
- Runs and supports conservation, education projects, charities and initiatives in the communities visited
- Runs tours to maximise the benefits on the cultural heritage of communities visited and incentivises them to maintain and protect their culture
- Develops capacity of the host communities to earn a living through tourism by supporting them to be part of a tourism network, understand the industry and get market access
- Keeps money local through (as much as possible) buying locally and staying at family-run guesthouses and hotels.
- Provides income generation activities through hiring, training and encouraging local people to be involved tourism
- Encourages guests to buy local crafts and services
- Provides high quality, environmentally friendly tours through training its guides to meet international guiding standards
- Raises awareness of our accommodation providers about how they can improve their environmental performance
- Raises awareness of the local communities about the importance of protecting the natural assets of Bulgaria and the rest of the world
- Provides rewarding work experiences to young Bulgarian employees
- Training: provides 50% contribution towards guide training costs for 2 new guides
- Encourages positive interaction with local people through pre-trip briefings of our guests and specific training of our guides
- Improves communication around the responsible aspects of tours
Day 1 - Arrival at Sofia Airport (D)
Arrival at Sofia Airport and direct transfer to Panagiurishte city, which is approximately 2 hours away from Sofia. Stay at a guest house.
Day 2 - Sightseeing Oborishte Area / Starosel Cellar & Tomb / Winetasting (B,D)
In the morning we visit Panagiurishte city by foot (possible to do it with a bicycle too) – an important center for the Bulgarian nation and liberty. Here, people initiated the April 1876’s Uprising against the Ottoman Empire, which resulted in liberation in 1878. We get familiar with the town and visit:
- Museum of History, which houses the Panagiurishte golden treasure – a Thracian treasure with a total of 6kg of 24-karat gold dating back to 4th – 3rd century BC.
- Djunova house – After we see the treasure we go to Djunova house to go deep into the golden craft. The house exhibits the “Panagiurishte goldsmith school” and also demonstrates the different techniques of manufacturing the gold: founding, enameling, forging, filigree. •
- Dudekova house – an architectural landmark from the period of the Bulgarian Renaissance which showcases the everyday life of the people during 19th century.
- House museum “Rajna Kniaginia” – Rajna Kniaginia was the first important woman in the modern Bulgara history - in particular during the 1876 Upraising.
- In the afternoon, we walk through the historical area “Oborishte” located only 10 km away into the forest of Sredna gora Mountain. At that place the first Bulgarian Grand National Assembly was found before the liberation from Ottoman Turks. It is possible to pay a visit the same day to Starosel Thracian tomb and have wine tasting at the cellar of Starosel (sampling also Bulgarian grape varieties)
Walking is approximately 1 - 3 hours, and transfers are between 1 - 2 hours, depending on what you want to see. This evening, we will stay at a guest house.
Day 3 - Hiking Central Balkan National Park / Sightseeing Thracian Valley (B,D)
A morning transfer to the city of Kaloffer in the Rose Valley. We start from Panitcite and we hike to Paradzhika with stunning views to Mt. Botev peak 2376m, and the reserve South Djendema.
Later we descend to Kaloffer monastery (for a picnic lunch) and walk the Eco-trail Biala Reka. In the afternoon we explore the Valley of Roses and of Thracian kings : we have stops at Tarniceni Rose distillery (since 1900), The Kazanluk Thracian Tomb (4th century BC, Unesco world heritage site). From the middle of May to the middle of June, a huge Rose Festival take place here.
The hiking time is 3-4 hours with an ascent of 350 m. This evening, you will stay at a guest house.
Day 4 - Horseback Riding / Gorno Pole (B,D)
In the morning, you will go horseback riding in the area of Sredna gora Mountain. Depending on your riding level, we will make a round trip of Panagiurishte or get deeper in the mountain.
In the afternoon, we'll transfer south to East Rhodopean village Gorno Pole. You will stay at a guest house this evening. Walking time today of 3 - 5 hours.
Day 5 - Gold Panning / Rafting (B,L,D)
We start with a visit to the conservational center in the town of Madjarovo, which houses an interactive exhibition for the lifecycle of a vulture. Shortly after that, we will meet a local specialist, an ex-miner, who will show us the old method of gold panning and tell us stories about the good old times of the area.
Then we jump on rafts or kayaks following the gorge of the same golden river – Yantra. We pass by vultures nests, so it necessary to bring your camera. Picnic – lunch on the shores of the river. A short transfer takes us back to Gorno Pole. In the afternoon, we will put into practice traditional Bulgarian dances. You will be taught on how to make the precise steps for “pravo horo”, “ruchenitsa”, etc, as well as what are the local dresses and coloring. This evening, you will stay at a guest house.
Day 6 - Cooking / Wildlife Observation (B,D)
In the morning, you will go to the garden and pick up vegetables. After that, Bety and you will prepare a local specialty. Bety has all the knowledge from the previous generations and knows how to excite any kind of appetite. She is a member of the Slow Food Association.
Free time in the afternoon to pick up strength for the night observation. Marin Kurtev, a local representative of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, will take us to the specially constructed hiding place. We start at 17:00 and transfer to the location in order to safely observe vultures and wolfs in their natural habitat.
He will entice the animals with food, so that he makes sure that you will capture the best pictures. We will spend about 4-5 hours in the hiding place and the real chance to see wolf is 20%. Other possible species to be observed in the area: deer, black storks. Back at the house around midnight.
Day 7 - Wild Farm Activities / Wildlife Observation (B,D)
In the morning, you will observe wild farm activities so that we come closer to the rural field work – such as mowing, haying, sowing, weeding and digging in the garden, picking herbs and mushrooms, etc.
Free time in the afternoon, so that we pick up strength for the night. You will spend second night in the hiding place with the goal to see more of the wildlife. You will be back at the house at about midnight.
Day 8 - Bachkovo Monastery (11th Century) / Plovdiv City Tour (B,D)
After breakfast, we drive through the vast Rhodope Mountains and head to the second largest Bulgarian monastery – Bachkovo Monastery. It was founded in the 11th century and is very renown because of the miraculous icon of the “Virgin Mary” in the main church, which attracts hundreds of pilgrims each day.
Then you can walk to the sacred spring called “Aiazmo” above the monastery where the icon was taken to be hidden from the Ottoman attacks. In the afternoon, we drive to Plovdiv - the second largest Bulgarian city.
In Plovdiv you will explore the Old Town with numerous cultural monuments from different historical periods. Among them are the Roman Theatre, the Roman stadium, the Ethnographical Museum, the East Gate from the 4th century, churches, Djumaya Mosque (14-15th century), mansions from the еarly 19th century and more. The modern town is dotted with shops and bars – a pedestrian street crosses from one end to the other. Stay this evening at a guest house.
Day 9 - Transfter to Sofia / Departure (B)
Transfer to Sofia Airport (approximately 1 1/2 hours)
- Lunches according to the itinerary package
- Personal expenses
- Insurance (Medical and Travel)
- Anything not specifically mentioned in the program
- Accommodation in guest houses and hotel in Plovdiv
- Breakfasts and Dinners as noted in the package itinerary
- All transfers according to the program with driver and private vehicle
- English - speaking licenses guide
- Specialized guides for specific activities such as sailing, rafting/kayaking, mountain biking, horseback riding, wildlife observation
Other Necessary Information
Please contact us if your group is larger than 4 people as discounts will apply.