Idea for Itinerary: 7 days
Sofia - Boyana Church - Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo - Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari - Madara Rider -Ancient City of Nessebar - Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak - Sofia
Best time to travel: June to September
Transportation: best way to travel is by car.
This itinerary is perfect combination between several of the most significant archaeological, historical and cultural sites in Bulgaria all included in UNESCO World Heritage list, wine testing on the bank of the Danube River, and relaxing vacation on a beautiful white sand beach on the Black sea coast.
Boyana Church - Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo - Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari
The first place to visit today represent one of the most complete and well-preserved monuments of mediaeval art in the Balkans. The Boyana Church was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979. It is a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church from late 10th century located in Sofia. The building was enlarged at the beginning of the 13th century and the frescoes from that time owes the church world fame.
01.04 - 31.10: 9.30 am to 17.30 pm
01.11 - 31.03: 9.00 am to 17.00 pm
works every day
Adults - 10 bgn (5 eur) per person
The second place - Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979, the same year as Boyana Church. A complex of rock-hewn churches, chapels, monasteries and cells, completely different from other monastery complexes in Bulgaria. They are noted for their frescos dating back from the 13-14 century painted on the rock walls.
It is about 4 hrs (300 km) driving from Sofia.
01.04 – 30.11: 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
works every day
01.12 – 31.03: The site is closed for visits, and opens only upon a preliminary request
Adults - 4.00 bgn (2 eur) per person
For school students, university students, seniors – 1.00 bgn (0.5 eur) per person
We suggest to spend the night at Seven Generations Winery Hotel where you can do wine testing and nice dinner. It’s in about 18 km from Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo. The landscape is fascinated with lines of vineyards and the river Danube on the horizon.
Sleep: Seven Generations Winery Hotel
Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari - Madara Rider -Ancient City of Nessebar
Today is time to travel back to the era of the Thracians. The Tomb of Sveshtari is located about 110 km from here. Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari is one of the most impressive tombs in Bulgaria. It’s a Getic tomb from the 3rd century BC and one of the nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bulgaria. Discovered in 1982 is extremely rare and very well preserved monument which reflects the fundamental structural principles of Thracian cult buildings.
17.03 – 30.11: 9.30 am to 4.30 pm
closed Monday and Tuesday
01.12 - 16.03 - The site is closed for visitors.
Adults – 10 bgn (5 eur)
Students and seniors – 5 bgn (2.5 eur).
Next place for today is the Madara Rider or Madara Horseman, located about 80 km from here. It is an early medieval large rock relief carved on the Madara Plateau, near the village of Madara. One of the most mystical, special and full of history place in Bulgaria, included in the list UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1979.
The site is open year-round, every day
01.04 – 31.10:8.30 am – 8.00 pm
01.11 – 31.03: 8.30 am – 5.00 pm
The site is open all year around.
Adults - 4 bgn (2 eur)
Students and persons with disabilities - 1 bgn (0.5 eur)
In another 160 km you will reach your destination for the next 4 days. Ancient City of Nessebar is a unique example of a synthesis of the centuries and numerous civilizations have left traces here harmoniously fit in with nature. More than 3,000-year-old site of Nessebar was originally a Thracian settlement. After this at the beginning of the 6th century BC became a Greek colony. The town fell under Roman rule in 1st century BC. It was one of the most important strongholds of the Byzantine Empire from the 5th century AD, and was fought over by Byzantines and Bulgarians, being captured and incorporated in the lands of the First Bulgarian Empire
Sleep: There are bunch of great options where you can stay.
Day 3 / 6
Ancient City of Nessebar
You will have 4 full day in Nessebar to relax on the beautiful white sand beach, to explore the ancient city and enjoy some good seafood in some of the local restaurants.
Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak - Sofia
On the way back to Sofia you will visit the last site of UNESCO for this trip. This is the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak located about 220 km (2.30h) from Nessebar. Discovered in 1944, the tomb dates from the end of the 4th century BC.
It is about 240 km (2.40h) to get to Sofia from Kazanlak.