1. From Bucharest: Small Group Day Trip to Medieval Bulgaria
Start by meeting your local guide at your hotel, then drive south from Bucharest towards the Romanian and Bulgarian border. After crossing the Danube River and the Friendship Bridge, you will enter Bulgaria. On the way towards Veliko Tarnovo, stop for an exclusive visit of the Rock-Hewn Churches next to the village of Ivanovo. These are Bulgarian Medieval churches, chapels, and monastic cells hewn into the craggy gorge of Roussenski Lom River. Inscriptions, portraits of saints, and other restored items are from the 13th century. Then, discover Veliko Tarnovo, which was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire and has a long tradition in the culture of Bulgaria. The city is rich in museums and historical sites, combined with a vivacious nightlife propelled by the students in one of the largest universities in Bulgaria. Take a walk on the Artisans Street where you have the chance to pass by workshops owned by Bulgarian families for generations, preserving the old traditions. Get the chance to see a fully functional coppersmith workshop to see the production of copper plates and cups used for Turkish coffee. Hike up the Tsarevets Hill with the remains of the castle and church of Bulgarian kings. Visit the Fortress, the Patriarchal Church, the Royal Palace, and Emperor Balduin’s Tower. Next, journey to Arbanassi and step back in time while wandering the streets lined with houses and churches dating back as far as the 16th century. Take a peek into the life of rich merchants from the 17th century while visiting the Konstantsalieva House, showing the lavish but simple lifestyle of the nobility. Next, stop for lunch in one of the many restaurants serving local food and savor the famous Bulgarian cuisine. Following this, begin the journey back to Bucharest.