1 Day – SOFIA
Arrival at Sofia airport. Half-day sightseeing tour of the city, including a walk in the central area with visit to Al. Nevski Cathedral, St. George Rotunda (4th C. AD), St. Sofia church. Overnight in Sofia.
2 Day – SOFIA – RILA MONASTERY – SANDANSKI
After breakfast drive from Sofia to Rila Monastery – visit of the largest and one of the oldest Bulgarian monasteries (10th C.), included in the UNESCO World Heritage List with medieval defence Hrelyo tower from the 14th c. and fine frescoes. Departure for Sandanski – famous spa resort with wonderful climatic conditions. Overnight at Sandanski hotel.
3 Day – SANDANSKI – MELNIK – ROZHEN MONASTERY – BANSKO
Drive to Melnik – museum town, scenically located at the foothills of sandstone pyramids, famous for its ancient architecture and red wine. Visit of the Rozhen monastery. Drive to Bansko – typical mountain settlement with old traditional houses and taverns with specialties of the local cuisine. Overnight in Bansko.
4 Day – BANSKO – PLOVDIV
Departure to Plovdiv across the magnificent nature of the Rhodopes mountain. On the way visit of Dobarsko village and its St. St. Thereon and Theodore church (1614) – UNESCO protected monument of culture with unique mural painting featuring Jesus Christ in “a rocket”. In the afternoon sightseeing of the old part of Plovdiv (by foot mainly) with beautiful houses from the Bulgarian Revival period (18th – 19th c.). Overnight in Plovdiv.
5 Day – PLOVDIV – BACHKOVO MONASTERY – VELIKO TURNOVO
Visit of the Bachkovo monastery (11th c.), the second biggest monastery in the country with frescoes from the 17 th c. Drive through Shipka pass to Veliko Turnovo – the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (12th-14th c.), picturesquely situated on the hills at the banks of the meandering river Yantra. On the way stop at Shipka Memorial church with golden doms. Overnight at hotel in V.Tarnovo.
6 Day – TURNOVO – ARBANASSI – ST. PETER AND PAVEL MONASTERY – TURNOVO
Sightseeing V. Turnovo with entrance to the Tsarevets hill with ruins from the king’s palace and the medieval fortress. Visit of the Arbanassi village – architectural reserve with houses and churches from 17th –19th c. and of Jesus Christ’s Nativity church which interior is covered in frescos depicting 2000 scenes). Visit of the St. Peter and Pavel monastery is one of the best preserved monasteries from 12 – 14th C. Overnight in Veliko Turnovo.
7 Day – VELIKO TURNOVO – TROYAN MONASTERY – SOFIA
Drive to Sofia. On the way visit of the Troyan monastery built in the style of the Bulgarian Renaissance in 17th C. The frescoes of the monastery and the church “Assumption of Virgin Mary” were painted in 1847-1849 by the famous Bulgarian artist, Zahari Zograf from the Samokov school of art and iconography. Overnight.
8 Day – SOFIA – NIS
Visit of the Boyana church with unique frescoes from the 13th C., a monument of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Departure to Nis – Serbia. Sigthseeing and visit to Nis fortress, cultural and historical monument - an edifice that dominates the urban nucleus of the city. Departure to the ancient royal property with luxurious residence Mediana, an important archeological site from the late Roman period, placed in the suburb of the antique Niš - Naissus. Dinner and Overnight.
9 Day – NIS – KRUSEVAC – LJUBOSTINJA MONASTERY – KALENIC MONASTERY – VRNJACKA SPA
Departure to Krusevac. Visit to Lazarica church, an endowment of Prince Lazar. Departure and visit to Ljubostinja monastery, the foundation of Princess Milica and Prince Lazar. The church is dedicated to the Dormition of the Holy Virgin and belongs to the Morava School. Visit to Kalenic monastery, foundation of protovestiar (high Byzantine title) Bogdan. The church, dedicated to the Presentation of the Holy Virgin, was built and painted between 1407 and 1413. Departure to Vrnjacka Spa. Dinner in a restaurant with traditional specialties. Overnight.
10 Day – VRNJACKA SPA – ZICA MONASTERY – TOPOLA – OPLENAC – BELGRADE
Journey to Zica monastery, a principal endowment of King Stefan Prvovencani (1195-1223), built between 1208 and 1220 and by its architecture belonging to Raska School. Departure to historical town - Topola and Oplenac, picturesque landscapes with endless clearings, valleys in the heart of Serbia where the Serbian kings of the Karadjordjevic Dynasty were being buried. Visit to Military museum, church, commemorative school and fountain which represents a memorial compound of buildings proclaimed for the protected cultural wealth. Departure to Belgrade. Dinner. Overnight.
11 Day – BELGRADE – MARADIK – KRUSEDOL MONASTERY – SREMSKI KARLOVCI – NOVI SAD – BELGRADE
Departure to Maradik. Visit to the ethno–house in Maradik, where are kept the authentic exhibits, between 50 and 200 years old. Visit to Krusedol monastery – established by Bishop Maksim (Djordje Brankovic) in 16th C. and presents one of the most beautiful monasteries on Fruska Gora. Departure to Sremski Karlovci - small baroque town, famous for its beautiful architecture and visit of the Orthodox church, Patriarchy court, Orthodox Seminary, Roman Catholic church. Departure to Novi Sad. Panoramic sightseeing of the most significant city sights, short walk in pedestrian zone (Sloboda Square, Cathedral, City Hall and Orthodox Church). Return to Belgrade. Dinner. Overnight.
12 Day – BELGRADE
Panoramic and walking sightseeing of Belgrade with local tourist guide - Kalemegdan fortress - primary bulit by Celts in the III century BC, Republica Square, Knez Mihailova Street - main pedestrian zone, Terazije, Parliament, St. Mark church. Transfer to the airport.
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