11 DAYS, 10 OVERNIGHTS
1st day: Arrival at Sofia airport. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight accommodation.
2nd day: After breakfast - sightseeing tour of the Bulgarian capital. A walking tour around architectural and historical sights of one of the oldest towns in Europe, founded more than 5 thousand years ago. A visit to St George rotunda and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Lunch. Free time. Dinner and overnight accommodation.
3rd day: Breakfast. Departure to Rila monastery. A visit to the monastery and the museum next to it. Founded in 10th century by a monk Ivan Rilsky, Rila Monastery is one of the biggest monastery complexes on the Balkan Peninsula. It became a cultural and educational centre of Bulgaria already in the early Middle Ages. Icons by some of the most famous Bulgarian icon painters from 18th and 19th centuries have been preserved there. A rich collection of golden and silver coins, weapons and church objects is exhibited in the monastery museum. Lunch. Departure to Plovdiv. A short break in the mountain resort Borovets. Accommodation in a hotel in Plovdiv. A walking tour around the Old town. Plovdiv was founded on the place of a prehistoric settlement from the second millennium BC. The old town with its picturesquely decorated houses is a real open-air museum, which creates irresistible ambience. Dinner and overnight accommodation.
4th day: After breakfast - departure to Turkey. Lunch on the way. Arrival in Istanbul. Dinner and overnight accommodation.
A visit to a night club with a rich variety show and belly dances- on request.
5th day: After breakfast - departure to Cappadocia. Lunch on the way. Accommodation in a hotel in the town of Urgup. Dinner and overnight accommodation.
6th day: After breakfast - an excursion to Goreme valley - an open air museum. A visit to 7 of the numerous Christian churches in the rocks. The first Christian rock monasteries were founded in the 5th century AD. Cappadocia became one of the three main pillars of the Christianity together with Aton and Sinai peninsula. A lot of early Byzantine rock churches with frescos inside have been preserved. A visit to Uchisar fortress with a magnificent view to the whole Cappadocia region. A tasting of trademark local wines in a wine cellar. Dinner. Overnight accommodation.
7th day: Breakfast. Departure to the town of Mustafa Pasha - one of the important towns from Byzantine times and the period of Ottoman Empire, famous for its rich decorated houses and rock churches. A visit to the underground town Derinkoy, dug into rocks in several layers during the early Christian times as a refuge from the persecution. A visit to open-air museums in the valleys of Dervent, Zelve and Pasha Baglara. A visit to Caravanserai and a pottery. Dinner. Opportunity for an optional activity - a show Dervish dances (for additional payment). Overnight accommodation.
8th day: Breakfast. Departure to Ankara. Sightseeing tour of the Turkish capital by coach and a visit to Ata Turk mausoleum - the founder of modern Turkey. Arrival in Istanbul. Dinner. Overnight accommodation.
9th day: Breakfast. A sightseeing tour of the biggest Turkish city, picturesquely situated on two continents - Europe and Asia. A visit to the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome, the Theodosius obelisk and the Asian part of the city over the Bosphorus bridge. Lunch. In the afternoon - free time for shopping. Optional tours (for additional payment): a boat trip along Bosphorus with a visit to the Egyptian bazar or a visit to Topkapi - Sultans ' palace with the biggest jewellery exhibition from the Ottoman Empire. Dinner and overnight accommodation.
10th day: Breakfast. Departure to Bulgaria. Lunch on the way. Dinner and overnight accommodation in Sofia.
11th day: Breakfast. Transfer to the airport. Departure.