The best travel route in Bulgaria in 12 days.
Summary of contents of this page:
- The best travel route in Bulgaria in 12 days.
- Day 1. Sofia.
- Day 2. Koprivshtitsa.
- Day 3. Karlovo.
- Day 4. Plovdiv.
- Day 5. Burgas, Sozopol and Pomorie.
- Day 6. Nesebar.
- Day 7. Varna.
- Day 8. Veliko Tarnovo.
- Day 9. Arbanasi and Tryavna.
- Day 10. Etara.
- Day 11. Troyan Monastery.
- Day 12. Sofia.
- ” What to see in Bulgaria in 12 days ?”
- Additional day to the route 12 days: Visit the Rila Monastery.
If you are thinking of traveling to Bulgaria soon, and you don't have many references about what to see in Bulgaria , here we make you our proposed route through Bulgaria. And please note that we can offer you a trip of “hotel + rental car + practical guide in a .pdf file with the itinerary and travel tips” or a “private tour with Spanish speaking guide”… You can contact us for more information if you are interested in it..
Travel route through Bulgaria recommended by hikingeuropa.com: We are specialists in active travel in Bulgaria.
Day 1. Sofia.
Arrival in the capital, Sofia. Transfer to the hotel. Accommodation in Sofia.
Sofia is the most important and populated city in the country. Sofia's population is just over 1,2 million people and is located at the foot of the Vitosha mountain.
Day 2. Koprivshtitsa.
After breakfast transfer to the city of Koprivshtitsa (108 km, 2 hours approx.). It is a town that seems anchored in time and has magnificent examples of Bulgarian Renaissance houses from the 18th and 19th centuries belonging to the wealthiest families of the time. It is called a city-museum because nothing less than 383 monuments and buildings as artistic heritage of Bulgaria. If you accept our proposal, we will later recommend the most interesting house-museums to visit among all those in this small city.…
In the afternoon after eating in some of Koprivshtitsa's traditional Bulgarian food restaurants, transfer to the vicinity of the city of Karlovo (55 km, 1 hour approx.) where they will stay on the outskirts of the city in a small hotel-winery surrounded by the vineyards that are cultivated to produce the wine in said winery. Accommodation and dinner at Hotel-winery 3***.
Day 3. Karlovo.
In the city of Karlovo you can have an approach to the famous “Valley of the Roses”, the valley is known for the massive cultivation of rose bushes for the production of rose oil, of which Bulgaria is the world's leading producer, and that exports for the manufacture of perfumes (as Channel No. 5 and others). In Karlovo you can visit a couple of museum houses where the ancient process of distilling rose oil from rose petals is shown. You can also visit a rose oil distillation factory and buy various products derived from the rose.: perfumes, soaps, sweet, drinks and more…
Then transfer to the city of Plovdiv (65 km, 1 h 10 min.). In our program about ” what to see in Bulgaria in 12 days ” could not miss Plovdiv. Visit of this city that was the European City of Culture 2019, It is the second largest city in the country and the oldest in Europe with 6.000 years of history, older than Rome and Athens, even that Istanbul. Therefore, after Sofia, It is the essential city to ask what to see in Bulgaria . Vestiges of the Thracian civilization (the oldest civilization in Europe and ancestors of today's Bulgarians) intermingle with Roman monuments, while ancient Ottoman mosques add an oriental fragrance to a city, where the civilizations that followed have made it a unique and original city. Accommodation: Plovdiv.
Day 4. Plovdiv.
After breakfast at the hotel, taking advantage of the coolness of the morning you can take a walk through the Old Quarter of Plovdiv and visit its house-museums, the Ethnographic Museum, the Roman Amphitheater, etc…
We leave inland Bulgaria to reach the Black Sea, specifically to the city of Burgas (254 km, 2 h 30 min. ).
Day 5. Burgas, Sozopol and Pomorie.
From Burgas you can do two excursions, one to the south to the typical village of Sozopol and the other to the north to the seaside resort of Pomorie.
Sozopol (a 34 km, 30 me from Burgas) has a population of around 5000 population. It is next to Nesebar, one of the oldest cities on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast and one of the most popular maritime resorts in the country. The beautiful old town and its romantic atmosphere attract many tourists from all over the world. The city is divided into old and new and also has 2 good white sand beaches. The old town of Sozopol is one of the favorite places for romantic walks through its cobbled streets and old houses. Many hotels are concentrated in the new part of the city, restaurants and entertainment venues.
For his part Pomorie (a 20 km, 25 me from Burgas) is famous for the mud baths that visitors can take freely in the lagoon adjoining the city, applying them on the body. Pomorie also has good beaches with fine sand and the Black Sea maintains a very pleasant water temperature for swimming.. It is a rest day in the middle of the trip to relax on the beach or have some fun mud baths. It is a town basically destined for summer beach tourism.
In the afternoon, return to Burgas and spend the night in the same hotel in Burgas..
Day 6. Nesebar.
Transfer to the ancient coastal town of Nesebar (nail 2 hours, 100 kilometers from Burgas). Nesebar is one of the oldest cities in Europe, founded ago 3.200 years. Currently its old town is a maze of pedestrian streets between picturesque old town-style houses and Byzantine-style churches, thanks to this Nesebar is a UNESCO World Heritage city. It is one of the most visited places by tourists in the country.
In the afternoon transfer to the city of Varna (101 km, 2 hours approx.) and hotel accommodation in Varna.
Day 7. Varna.
Varna's strategic location on the map of Southeastern Europe made the city, since ancient times, in one of the largest settlements in the Black Sea, You can see multiple monuments on it exposed in the Archaeological Museum of the city. Its impressive collection includes remains of the Chalcolithic Necropolis of Varna: where it stands out the oldest gold treasure in the world found to date, that has more than 6.000 years.
Another of the most interesting places in the city are the Roman Baths, which are the largest Roman bath on the Balkan Peninsula, with an area of 7.000 square meter. The hot springs rank fourth on the list of the largest hot springs in Europe, after the Baths of Caracalla and Diocletian in Rome and in Trevira (Germany). They were used until the end of the 3rd century.
In the afternoon transfer to the city of Veliko Tarnovo (222 km, 3 h. approx from Varna). Accommodation in hotel in Arbanasi (district of Veliko Tarnovo).
Day 8. Veliko Tarnovo.
The city of Veliko Tarnovo was the ancient capital of Bulgaria during medieval times. It is currently the main university city in the country, which brings a lively and youthful life to the city. Once there you can take a walk through the center of Veliko Tarnovo, or visit the medieval fort of Tsaravets. Accommodation and overnight at the same hotel in Arbanasi the day before.
Day 9. Arbanasi and Tryavna.
After breakfast, in the morning you can take a walk through the quiet streets of Arbanasi to see its old houses, which were owned by wealthy merchants in the 17th century, You can visit one of them that has been rehabilitated as a house-museum. The rest of the houses are large mansions of the wealthy families of the neighboring town of Veliko Tarnovo, which makes Arbanasi a luxury residential complex, but the houses maintain all the aesthetics of old houses with natural stone walls…You can also visit here two famous churches from medieval times with wall paintings of great artistic value..
Finally transfer to a small town with typical Bulgarian architecture near the city of Tryavna ( a 53 km, 1 h. 10 min de Arbanasi). In our personal opinion it is one of the most beautiful traditional architecture towns in the whole country.
Accommodation in traditional Bulgarian country style Hotel. Here there are several restaurant-terrace , ideal for a good summer dinner in the open air trying the typical Bulgarian recipes.
Day 10. Etara.
After breakfast at the hotel amid the tranquility of the mountains, short walk at your own pace through the village, which is a small town that seems stopped in time, from the time of the 19th century, with its cobbled streets and its houses with roofs of large slate plates.
After a short drive to reach the museum-town of Etara, 22 km, 40 min. Visit to “Etara” - an open-air museum that reproduces the environment, artisan trades and 19th century traditions where artisans sell their products directly in their workshops open to the public.
Then transfer to the center of the Central Balkan Mountains (101 km, 1 h 40 min aprox.). Hotel accommodation in the city of Troyan.
Day 11. Troyan Monastery.
Visit to the Troyan Monastery. The Troyan Monastery is an important center of cultural and spiritual life during the time of the Bulgarian Renaissance. It also gave shelter to the Bulgarian rebels who fought against the Ottoman occupiers in the 19th century. It was founded at the end of the 16th century and is the third largest in the country. Within the Troyan Monastery complex you can visit the 2 courtyards, church, the bell tower, the cemetery, the ossuary, a museum and 3 gift shops… Outside there are a couple of restaurants where you can taste the rich grilled river trout, typical of this mountainous region.
Adjacent to the Monastery is Bulgaria's best Handicraft Museum with a well-stocked shop for handicraft products and gifts, at more reasonable prices than in the cities…
Transfer to Sofia (180 km, 2 h 20 min. aprox.). Accommodation in hotel in Sofia.
Day 12. Sofia.
Stroll through the center of Sofia to see the highlights of the extensive cultural heritage of the Bulgarian capital: We will see the Alexander Nevski Orthodox Cathedral, we will observe the Sveta-Nedelya square, the Roman rotunda of St. George, dating from the 4th century and is one of the oldest in the Balkans, the churches of San Nicolás, the classical building of the Ivan Vazov theater. The mosque, the synagogue, the natural hot springs, etc… At the time indicated by the flights transfer to Sofia airport. End of program ” what to see in Bulgaria in 12 days ” and delivery of the rental vehicle at Sofia airport.
Summary diagram of our circuit:
” What to see in Bulgaria in 12 days ?”
Additional day to the route 12 days: Visit the Rila Monastery.
And in our recommendation of the best travel route through Bulgaria we cannot forget the jewel of the Bulgarian Orthodox monasteries, the Rila Monastery, what is UNESCO World Heritage. So for the non-superstitious you can leave your visit for the day 13 of the program…, it is located south of Sofia, and requires the full day to go, visit it and return to Sofia. So if you can extend your stay one more day, and you like to visit these kinds of places, Do not miss it. More information about Rila Monastery here.