Wonderful trip to Bulgaria and Greece that will last over two weeks where you will get the see the very best of Europe and return home with postcard-like memories from Sofia to Athens and onto the never ending beaches of Santorini and Mykonos.
Day 1 : Sofia arrival - Sofia City Tour
Arrival in Sofia. Transfer to the hotel and accommodation. Half-day city tour of Sofia. Visit to Alexander Nevski Cathedral - one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in Europe, as well as one of Sofia’s symbols and a primary tourist attraction; St. George Rotunda, St. Sophia Church, built by the Roman emperor Justinian in the 6th century, National Theatre, former Royal Palace, the Presidency, etc. Overnight in Sofia.
Day 2 : Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi
Breakfast. Departure for Veliko Tarnovo. Sightseeing tour of Veliko Tarnovo with a visit to the mediaeval citadel of the Second Bulgarian empire (12th-14th century) – Tsarevets. Free time for shopping on the old market street of Samovodska Charshiya. Sightseeing of Arbanassi, picturesque small village on the slopes above Tarnovo, famous for its fortress-houses and the beautifully decorated 16th and 17th century churches. Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 3 : Shumen – Varna
Breakfast. Departure for Varna. On the way visit to Madara Horseman, unique stone relief amidst the rocky Madara Plateau, created by the old Bulgarians, part of UNESCO world heritage list. Arrival in Varna in the afternoon. Sightseeing tour of the town, nicknamed capital of Bulgarian Black Sea Coast: Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, Varna Clock tower, Theater and Opera House, Roman Basilica, Roman Baths (Thermae). Overnight in Varna.
Day 4 : Balchik – Nessebar - Sunny Beach
Breakfast. Half-day tour to Balchik for a visit to the palace of the Romanian queen “Quiet Nest” with its extensive botanical garden, one of the largest on the Balkan peninsula, preserving thousands of rare plant species. Around noon departure to the South sea coast. Free time for beach and time at leisure. Overnight in Sunny Beach or Nessebar.
Day 5 : Nessebar – Stara Zagora
Breakfast. Sightseeing of Nessebar old town, included in the UNESCO world heritage list. In this small labyrinth you will get acquainted with magnificent Byzantine churches like St. Stephen and St. Spas, mediaeval fortifications, ancient theater and the local archaeological museum, preserving the long history of this ancient Greek colony. Free time. In the afternoon departure for the beautiful town of Stara Zagora. Evening walk in Stara Zagora around the Ancient Roman Forum. Overnight in Stara Zagora.
Day 6 : Kazanlak – Bachkovo Monastery – Plovdiv
Breakfast. Departure for Kazanlak. Visit to the famous Thracian tomb from 4th century BC. Free time. Departure for Bachkovo Monastery. Visit to the monastery, which dates back to the 11th century and is one of the most important and well preserved Bulgarian monasteries. The monastery is known and appreciated for the unique combination of Byzantine, Georgian and Bulgarian culture, united by the common faith. Overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 7 : Bulgaria Plovdiv City Tour - Rila Monastery – Bansko
Breakfast. Sightseeing tour of the old town: Plovdiv – the ancient Philipopolis is one of the oldest towns in Europe. It was inhabited by the Thracians, Romans, Goths, Slavs and Ottomans, whose traces have turned the town into a museum. Brilliant examples of the Bulgarian national revival period are preserved here. One can sit among the ruins of the ancient Roman theatre and feel the atmosphere of an extinct world. Departure for Bansko. On the way, stop for a visit of the beautiful Rila Monastery - the most exquisite example of the monastery art and architecture in Bulgaria. Guided tour of the monastery complex. Departure for Bansko in the afternoon. Accommodation and overnight in Bansko.
Day 8 : Bulgaria - Bansko – Greece - Thessaloniki
Transfer from Bansko to Thessaloniki, our professional driver who will transfer you to your hotel. It is your free day to explore and enjoy Thessaloniki on your own. Depending on the time of arrival, you can spend the day walking around, doing the shopping or relaxing in one of many cafes or Taverns in Thessaloniki down town. Overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 9 : Greece - Thessaloniki - Vergina- Thermopylae - Athens
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, drive to Vergina, the most important remains of the monumental palace of the Kingdom of Macedonia, lavishly decorated with mosaics and painted stuccoes, and the burial ground with more than 300 tumuli, some of which date from the 11th century B.C. One of the royal tombs is identified as that of Philip II, who conquered all the Greek cities, paving the way for his son Alexander and the expansion of the Hellenistic world. Lunch will be offered at a local restaurant in Vergina.
After lunch drive back to Athens. On the way, make a short stop at Thermopylae where a fierce battle took place between the Persians and Greeks during the Persian invasion of 480-479 BC. The Greek force (300 strong) was very small but was determined to make a stand against the huge Persian army. Arrive in Athens early in the evening for overnight at the hotel.
Day 10 : Greece - Athens Sightseeing Tour With Acropolis & Half Day All in One
After breakfast, we will start the tour of the city of Athens, visiting Syntagma Square - the center of modern Athens and view the changing of the guard in front of the Parliament building. On the way to Acropolis, we will have a stop to the Panathenaic Stadium-made of white marble- where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. The impressive, work of Art, Stadium was the finish line of the Marathon Race of Athens 2004 Olympics. We will also see the Temple of Olympian Zeus - the largest Temple ever built in Greece. We will view the National Gardens, the Academy, the National Library, the University, and finally we will visit the most magnificent monument in the world - the Parthenon on the Acropolis. Then drive to Piraeus, Greece's main port and continue by the costal road to Kastella, a picturesque hill area overlooking the Mikrolimano yacht harbour, having the opportunity to see numerous restaurants and cafes by the sea.
On the way to Mesoghia and the Winery, enjoy the journey through the southern suburbs of the city, along the coastal avenue of Athens Riviera with its magnificent view to the sea. Arrive at the Winery* and enjoy the visit. Drive to Porto Rafti Area by the sea. Right after, drive to McArthur Designer Outlet shopping village. In continue, we drive at a Pottery workshop to see the craft of making vases and the exhibition of different products. Afterwards, drive back to hotel, passing by the facilities of the Olympic Athletic Center of Athens, where the majority of the athletic events were held during the 2004 Olympic Games. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11 : Greece - Athens to Santorini
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Piraeus port for a boat to Santorini. Arrival transfer from Santorini port to hotel. Then spend the whole day at leisure. Experience the delicacies provided by the local taverns, making sure to taste the local ‘fava’ dip. You can’t come to Santorini Island without watching the sunset from picturesque Oia at the top of the island. Why not enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants in Oia while you’re there. Perhaps visit the pretty village of Megalochori with its 17th-century houses is also visit worthy, as is the archaeological site at Akotiri. Overnight in Santorini.
Day 12 : Greece - Santorini
Breakfast at the hotel. Your stay in Santorini Island gives you the freedom and flexibility to enjoy your time on the island at your own leisure. Gaze in wonder at the submerged caldera, epicentre of what is probably the biggest volcanic eruption in recorded history. One side of Santorini Island is balanced on the edge of the caldera while the other side is flat and contains many beaches of which there are white, red and black! One of the main beaches is Perissa which is a black beach, be sure to check out breath-taking Red beach with its high red cliffs and hand size pebbles submerged under the clear water. From Kamari vilage, you can take a caique (traditional fishing boat) to visit Anafi isle or to join other Santorini beaches.
Experience the delicacies provided by the local taverns, making sure to taste the local ‘fava’ dip. You can’t come to Santorini Island without watching the sunset from picturesque Oia at the top of the island. Why not enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants in Oia while you’re there. Perhaps visit the pretty village of Megalochori with its 17th-century houses is also visit worthy, as is the archaeological site at Akotiriri. Overnight in Santorini.
Day 13 : Greece - Santorini - Mykonos
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Santorini port for a boat to Mykonos. Arrival in Mykonos Port and transfer to the hotel. Then spend the whole day at leisure. Enjoy your day on this Cycladic Island known for its great night life and the town’s Cycladic architecture. Mykonos beaches a must to experience, such as Platy Gialos, Psarou, Ornos, Paranga “Paradise”, “Super Paradise”, Elia, Kalafati, Kalo Livadi. On Mykonos western shore are Agios Stefanos, Houlakia, Tourlos, Megali-Ammos. Walk through the narrow alleyways in Mykonos town and visit beautiful churches and the famous windmills. Overnight in Mykonos.
Day 14 : Greece - Mykonos
Breakfast at the hotel. Day free to explore the island on your own. Mykonos Island is the most famous and cosmopolitan tourist island in the Eastern Mediterranean amongst the Cyclades, something which is not just by chance.
Expect to experience the exquisite visuals of white-washed houses, proud windmills, and a multitude of chapels, busy back streets with balconies full of flowers and a multi-coloured fleet of fishing boats at the port. If you’re after a bit of history and culture, the island has five museums you can visit as well as a beautiful church. The church of Panagia Paraportiani is located beyond the Delos Ferry Quay on the way to Little Venice. Overnight in Mykonos.
Day 15 : Greece - Mykonos – Athens – Tour End
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Mykonos port for a boat to Piraeus. When you arrive at Piraeus port you will be transferred to Athens International airport for a flight back home.