Plovdiv Province
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Plovdiv Province Day Trips

Plovdiv: Full-Day Small Group Excursion from Sofia

1. Plovdiv: Full-Day Small Group Excursion from Sofia

This full-day trip begins with a 2-hour drive from Sofia to Plovdiv, one of Europe’s oldest towns. On a guided walking tour, discover the history and culture of this 8,000-year old city that was settled by Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Bulgarian civilizations. See the sights of the old town, including museums, historical monuments and revival period houses lining the cobbled streets. Explore the Ethnographical Museum and the impressive Roman Theater. An English-speaking guide will accompany the group throughout the day and will point out the most interesting architectural and cultural treasures of the region and provide commentary on modern life in Bulgaria.

From Sofia: Plovdiv, Asen's Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery

2. From Sofia: Plovdiv, Asen's Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery

After you have been picked up from your hotel or accommodation in Sofia, enjoy an hour and a half scenic drive to Plovdiv.  Visit sights of historic importance such as the Roman Theatre and the Roman Stadium. Walk around the Old Town and admire the architecture of the houses, museums and cobbled streets typical of the Revival Period. After a traditional Bulgarian lunch, take a 25-minute drive to Asenova Fortress situated on the top of a cliff in Rodopi Mountain. Admire this medieval building and breathtaking views across the valley.  Visit Bachkovo Monastery, founded in 1083 and see the beautiful mural paintings which are still preserved today. End your tour with a drive back to Sofia where you will be dropped off at your accommodation.

Sofia: Adventure Tour to Plovdiv and Rhodope Mountain

3. Sofia: Adventure Tour to Plovdiv and Rhodope Mountain

Your tour starts with pickup from your hotel/accommodation in Sofia at 8:00AM. After an approximate 1.5-hour drive, you will reach Plovdiv. Once there you will visit the highlights, such as the 1st-century Roman Theatre, the 2nd-century Roman Stadium, the oldest mosque on the Balkans, and an old pharmacy. You will then have the chance to take a walk through the Old Town where you can observe the typical Revival Period houses, museums, and narrow cobblestone streets. Scheduled throughout your itinerary are visits to 5 sites, as well as the top of the main hill which provides great views over the whole city. After you finish your exploration of Plovdiv, you will drive south to the Rhodope Mountain. This road is very scenic, and you will soon reach Vucha Dam where you will be picked by a boat before being taken to a place where you can enjoy lunch. Whist at this scenic location, you can also enjoy a nice walk up to the cliffs, a boat trip on the reservoir, and take the opportunity to hire a waverunner. At the conclusion of this unforgettable experience, you will head safely back to Sofia.

From Plovdiv: Bachkovo Monastery & Asen’s Fortress Tour

4. From Plovdiv: Bachkovo Monastery & Asen’s Fortress Tour

Drive to the dramatic Rhodope Mountains for this half-day tour from Plovdiv, passing the pretty town of Asenovgrad to see the remarkable fortress remains of King Ivan Asen, a wise ruler of the 2nd Bulgarian Kingdom. Visit the 13th-century Church of the Holy Mother of God to admire the historic iconography and stone inscriptions. Enjoy panoramic views of the mountain scenery, and learn why the fortress gained importance in the Middle Ages, and how it was conquered by the armies of the Third Crusade. Next, head to picturesque Bachkovo Monastery deeper in the mountains. Founded in 1083, and one of the most sacred places in Bulgarian history, the monastery’s main church contains a valuable icon of the Virgin Mary from 1310 that, according to legend, can work miracles. Admire the 12th-century Church of the Archangels and its 19th-century paintings. The refectory, with beautifully preserved murals from 1643, is another jewel. Together with the Doomsday fresco, marvel at images of sainted monks and ancient philosophers, such as Socrates, Aristotle, and Diogenes. Admire the stunning mural on the outside wall of the refectory, representing a bird’s eye view of the surrounding buildings. The monastery tour ends at the Church of Saint Nikola, built between 1834 and 1837, but nature lovers can continue with a short walk in the “Red Wall” nature reserve, hiking to a beautiful waterfall, located some 15 min. away from the cloister.

Starosel Thracian Temple and Hissaria Spa Resort Day Tour

5. Starosel Thracian Temple and Hissaria Spa Resort Day Tour

In recent years archeologists made a sensational discovery near the village of Starosel in central Bulgaria. They uncovered the enormous temple-grave of what is believed to be a Thracian ruler, possibly Sitalkes I, the first king of a combined Thracian empire. On this 5-hour trip you’ll stop first to visit the temple and then continue on to Hissaria, a small resort town noted for its hot mineral springs. Located near the Sredna Gora mountain range, it boasts a very mild climate and over 2 dozen mineral springs. The Starosel temple dates to the 4th or 5th century B.C. This impressive site is also known as the Starosel Thracian Cult Complex, as several tombs were discovered around the central temple. Hissar is one of the 3 international spa resorts in Bulgaria, and is also known for its Roman ruins. The ruins are visible everywhere, and include public buildings, a small amphitheater, the barracks of the Roman garrison and the best-preserved Roman fortress in the country. Take a walk in the town’s green parks and pass mineral hot springs, fountains and ruins.

From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Plovdiv and Asen's Fortress

6. From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Plovdiv and Asen's Fortress

After a 2-hour drive, begin this full-day tour in one of Europe's oldest towns, Plovdiv. Walk along cobblestone streets and visit a 19th-century house to learn about the local production of alcoholic drinks and rose oil products. Explore the Roman Theater, Roman Stadium and church with virtual reality glasses before enjoying 2 hours of free time to walk around and have lunch and coffee along the main pedestrian street. After exploring Plovdiv, meet your van and guide to make the 30-minute drive to Asen's Fortress. Admire this beautiful, medieval structure and learn about the history of the place before taking photos from the top. Start your journey back to Sofia with an expected arrival time of approximately 6:00 PM.

Rila Monastery: Day Trip to Bulgaria's Orthodox Jewel

7. Rila Monastery: Day Trip to Bulgaria's Orthodox Jewel

Rila Monastery, at an elevation of 1,147 meters, is situated along the Rilska River in the highest mountains of the Balkan Peninsula. Founded in the 10th century by the hermit St. Ivan Rilski, it is today Bulgaria’s most famous site. Known also as the Holy Rila Retreat, it is considered to be the most outstanding monument of the Bulgarian National Revival period, and the ultimate expression of the Bulgarian genius in matters of spirit, culture, architecture, construction, icon painting, and woodcarving. The monastery, as it now stands, was built in the period 1816-1847. The first stop at the monastery is the main church, the Nativity of the Virgin, elaborately decorated with murals both inside and outside. The church houses the holy relics of St. Ivan Rilski as well as the tomb of Boris III, the last Bulgarian king. Next to the main temple is the only structure that remains from the 14th century: the Tower of Hrelyu. This strong fortification was erected by the local feudal lord Hrelyu in 1334. The Transfiguration Chapel on the top floor features precious murals from the 14th century. In the monastery museum you’ll see the impressive wooden cross carved by the monk Rafail. This unique piece of art contains 36 scenes from the Bible and about 600 figures as small as a grain of rice. Before visiting the monastery you have the option of enjoying lunch at a restaurant perched above the Rilska River to try the local speciality; grilled or fried trout.

Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanasi & Shipka Memorial Church Tour

8. Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanasi & Shipka Memorial Church Tour

On this full-day excursion from Plovdiv you’ll begin your tour with a stop at Shipka Memorial Church, an outstanding Bulgarian Orthodox temple built in the late 19th century in the foothills of the Balkan mountain range. Continuing on, you’ll cross the Shipka Pass to reach one of the most amazing landmarks in Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo, the country’s former capital. The charming town attracts many tourists, drawn to its unique architecture and beautiful landscapes. Your first stop in town is the imposing Tsarevets Fortress, a hilltop medieval stronghold. Take a walk along lovely Turnovo Street, picturesque Gourko Street, and Samovodska Charshiya Street in the old town, where you’ll see shops selling arts and crafts and souvenirs. Enjoy lunch before heading to the nearby village of Arbanasi, one of Bulgaria’s most popular historical attractions. The village is best known for its 17th and 18th century churches and examples of Bulgarian National Revival architecture. See the oldest church in the village, the 17th-century Nativity of Christ. The interior of this impressive monument is a genuine art gallery, featuring murals with vast numbers of realistic figures and Biblical scenes, painted by unknown artists throughout the ages. Your final stop for the day is the Konstantsalieva House Museum, originally built in the 17th century and later beautifully restored in the National Revival style. It reflects not only the wealth of the owners but also the attention to detail and the quality of craftsmanship at that time.

Rose Valley & Valley of the Thracian Kings Day Tour

9. Rose Valley & Valley of the Thracian Kings Day Tour

Your first stop on this full-day tour is the small but charming Rose Museum in Kazanlak, featuring exhibits related to rose harvesting and rose oil production in Bulgaria. This is the only museum devoted to rose oil production in the whole world. Next you visit the local historical museum, dedicated to the rich cultural heritage of the Kazanlak region, including the tombs from the Valley of the Thracian rulers. Still in Kazanlak, explore the replica of the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, impressive for its unique frescoes dating from the 4th century B.C. The exceptionally well-preserved murals and the condition of the original structure reveal the high level of culture and pictorial art in Hellenistic Thrace. Enjoy lunch in a traditional restaurant in Kazanlak where you'll taste some local dishes and wine.  Continue to the Golyama Kosmatka Thracian tomb, one of the largest mounds ever found on the Balkan Peninsula, dating from the end of the 5th century BC. Archaeologists believe they have found the tomb of the greatest Thracian king, Seuth III. The final stop on the tour is Shipka Memorial Church which is an outstanding Russian Orthodox temple built between 1885 and 1902 in Shipka town at the foothills of the Balkan Range. The Shipka Monument complex is dedicated to the Russian, Ukrainian, and Bulgarian soldiers who died for the liberation of Bulgaria in the Russo-Turkish War from 1877-78.

From Sofia: Plovdiv Day Tour with Transfer

10. From Sofia: Plovdiv Day Tour with Transfer

Get out of Sofia and visit the ancient city of Plovdiv on a day tour. Visit the ancient site of Nebet Tepe, see some of its historical buildings, and move on to the modern Kapana district to stroll among trendy cafes and upscale restaurants. Enjoy a convenient pickup from your hotel in Sofia. Sit back and relax on the 90-minute drive to Plovdiv. Your first stop is Nebet Tepe, an ancient settlement founded around 4000 BC. Walk through this historic place and learn about its history from your guide. Next, see the Roman theater of Philippolis, one of the world's best-preserved ancient theaters. Afterward, marvel at the intricate wooden architecture of Hindliyan's House and Balabanov's House. Finish off your tour in the modern Kapana district with its cozy restaurants and fine dining. Explore the shops and have a walk down one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe before getting dropped off back at your hotel in Sofia.

Frequently asked questions about Plovdiv Province Day Trips

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Other Sightseeing Options in Plovdiv Province

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What people are saying about Plovdiv Province

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 190 reviews

Guide was knowledgeable & friendly the tour was excellent all 3 stops during the excursion were interesting & well worth seeing true out the tour the guide was informative & also allowed plenty of time for photographs i really enjoyed this day trip & would highly recommend it comfortable vehicle great guide plenty of historical things to see & learn about

Very good and informative Tour . Our tour guide Chris was very well organized and approachable/friendly . He was very knowledgeable and gave detailed information not only on Plovdiv area but also on the whole general history of bulgaria and traditional things in this country . He also gave us recommended places to visit . Good tour and bravo Chris!

Plovdiv was a positive surprise. Town full of history, soul and cosy places. Whole trip was very well organized and Daniel an excellent guide.

Amazing guided tour. Guide was highly accommodating and had excellent subject knowledge, can't recommend enough.

The guide was excellent he has a great knowledge about history and he is very interesting and friendly