Explore the rich culture, rural life and biodiversity of Bulgaria, one of Europe’s least known natural wonderlands. Along traditional shepherd's paths, forest tracks and ancient Roman roads, we pass through a mixture of silent forests, lush flower-filled meadows, rugged karst terrain and sandstone gorges to explore remote corners of this country. Over 15 days, learn about Bulgaria's fascinating past, visit medieval monasteries and spend time in quiet towns that preserve the charm and tranquillity of earlier centuries. While the human population has declined, in many places that has allowed for the regeneration of flora and fauna. From Sofia we journey south along the Struma Valley, detouring to the Rila Mountains to visit the Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We continue south to the foot of the Pirin Mountains and enjoy the architecture of Melnik. Making our way into the Rodopi Mountains, we explore the rugged beauty of the Kanina, Buynovo and Trigrad Gorges, with their rare flora and fauna and beautiful caves. The unique hospitality and traditions of the region's Bulgarian Muslim villages is also a highlight. Heading north we enter the Thracian Plain, stopping to enjoy wine tasting en route to Plovdiv, Bulgaria's vibrant second city. After enjoying the architectural and cultural treasures of the old town, we visit the Bachkovo Monastery and its frescoes, before visiting the Valley of the Roses. With two nights in picturesque Koprivshtitsa, we enjoy walks in surrounding Sredna Gora Mountains. We then make our way back to Sofia with time enjoy the capital’s main sites.