What You'll Do
Visit two of Bulgaria’ s most historic towns on a full-day excursion to the former medieval capital of Veliko Tarnovo and the village of Arbanasi. Drive through Tsarevets Hill and visit Samovodska Charshia
What to Expect
Located at the foot of the Balkan Mountains, on the historic hills of Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora, Veliko Tarnovo is a 135-mile (225 kilometer) drive from Sofia. One of the oldest cities in Bulgaria, it boasts more than 5,000 years of history. The first evidence of life in the city dates from the 3rd-Century BC.
During this 10-hour tour from Sofia, you will explore the old part of Veliko Tarnovo, visiting the Royal Palace that dates from the time when the city was the capital of Bulgaria.
Take in its lovely location on the 3 hills of Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora. You will explore some of its most historic buildings, such as St. Demetrius Church where the brothers Asen and Petar proclaimed the end of Byzantium rule in 1185.
The medieval city developed quickly as a fortress during the 12th - 14th-Centuries, turning into one of the most significant political, economic, cultural and religious centers of Bulgaria. The city was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1396.
After the Liberation and signature of the Berlin Treaty, Veliko Tarnovo became a temporary capital and you will see where the Constituent Assembly was called in 1879 at the Constitution of Tarnovo.
Today, Veliko Tarnovo is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bulgaria and the setting of Bulgaria’s second largest university.
You will also visit the lovely village of Arbanasi, which takes its name from the Albanian word for “land worker,” Arbërës or Arbanas.
The village is remarkable for its large number of historical monuments, including 17th and 18th-Century churches and many examples of Bulgarian National Revival architecture.
Set on a high plateau close to Veliko Tarnovo, you will explore its charming streets and see some of its historic buildings, before returning to Sofia for your hotel drop-off.
What's Not Included
Know Before You Go
• Comfortable shoes are recommended for the cobblestone streets of Tzarevetz and Arbanasi