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Bulgaria - Forests & Folklore - Walking Holiday

Region: Europe // Dates: 09 - 23 October 2020
Bulgaria - Forests & Folklore Walking Holiday

Explore the rich culture, rural life and biodiversity of Bulgaria, one of Europe's least known natural wonderlands. Along traditional shepherds' paths, forest tracks and ancient Roman roads, we pass through a mixture of silent forests, lush meadows, rugged karst terrain and sandstone gorges to explore remote corners of this country. Over 15 days, we 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, this has allowed for the regeneration of flora and fauna. From Sofia we journey south along the Struma Valley, detouring at 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, the smallest town in Bulgaria. Making our way into the Rodopi Mountains, we explore the rugged beauty of the Kanina, Buynovo and Trigrad Gorges, with their rare flora, fauna and beautiful caves. The unique hospitality and traditions of the region's Muslim villages is also a highlight. To the north, we enter the Thracian Plain, stopping to enjoy wine tasting en route to vibrant Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city. After enjoying the architectural and cultural treasures of the old town, we visit the Bachkovo Monastery and its frescoes. Nearby the Valley of the Roses is one of the largest producers of rose oil in the world. Based for two nights in the historic town of 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 with over 2000 years of history including Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Soviet occupation.

Overview

Explore the rich culture, rural life and biodiversity of Bulgaria, one of Europe's least known natural wonderlands. Along traditional shepherds' paths, forest tracks and ancient Roman roads, we pass through a mixture of silent forests, lush meadows, rugged karst terrain and sandstone gorges to explore remote corners of this country. Over 15 days, we 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, this has allowed for the regeneration of flora and fauna. From Sofia we journey south along the Struma Valley, detouring at 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, the smallest town in Bulgaria. Making our way into the Rodopi Mountains, we explore the rugged beauty of the Kanina, Buynovo and Trigrad Gorges, with their rare flora, fauna and beautiful caves. The unique hospitality and traditions of the region's Muslim villages is also a highlight. To the north, we enter the Thracian Plain, stopping to enjoy wine tasting en route to vibrant Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city. After enjoying the architectural and cultural treasures of the old town, we visit the Bachkovo Monastery and its frescoes. Nearby the Valley of the Roses is one of the largest producers of rose oil in the world. Based for two nights in the historic town of 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 with over 2000 years of history including Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Soviet occupation.

Highlights

Highlights:
  • Ramble through rural landscapes with deep gorges, spectacular caves, forests & meadows
  • Delight in the Autumn colours as the patchwork of golden trees contrast with the dark green conifers
  • Absorb the tranquillity of Bulgaria's finest monasteries including Rila, Rozhen & Bachkovo
  • Discover the hospitality & cultural traditions of remote Bulgarian villages
  • Delight in the architecture & beautifully preserved towns of Melnik, Leshten, Kovachevitsa & Koprivshtitsa
  • Taste traditional Bulgarian & Balkan cuisine with regional wines
  • Discover the secrets of Bulgaria's world-famous rose oil in the Valley of the Roses
  • Experience the history of Sofia & the charm of Plovdiv

Details

Details:

09–23 October 2020 (14 nights)

Twin share/person (starts/ends Sofia)
Advanced Early Bird: A$4,390 until 17/02/2020
Regular: A$4,890
Single Supplement: A$550
Note: For guests who request a single room the single supplement will be charged. For single people who prefer to share, we will try to find a suitable room-mate, but if this is not possible the single supplement surcharge will apply.

Minimum Group Size: 8 guests

Special Interest:
History, Culture, Botanical

Walk Rating:
Easy to Moderate: 5–15km per walking day with some challenging options (some rough and undulating sections with steeper ascents and descents). Age is not necessarily as important as your fitness and recent walking experience, and anyone of reasonable fitness should be able to join this tour. We reserve the right to be flexible with the itinerary to allow for unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions and group fitness.

Tour Itinerary

To download the Detailed Tour Itinerary simply click on the link below:
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Leader

Related items

  • Neli Radkova

    Neli Radkova got the adventure bug at an early age, being just 4 years old when she climbed her first mountain, one of the highest and wildest in Bulgaria. Her fascination with the mountains quickly turned into her passion and she took every opportunity to explore them, either as a hiker, mountain-biker or as a competitive orienteer. Over the years, Neli has undertaken multiple summer and winter climbs on some of the highest and most demanding alpine peaks in the Bulgaria, as well as having completed the demanding Kom-Emine Trail, a 650km route along the ridgeback of the Stara Planina mountain range. With a wealth of mountain experience behind her, Neli quickly gained her certification as a mountain guide, and by the end of her teenage years was already starting to lead groups. She has subsequently gone on to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in International Tourism and a Master’s Degree as a professional coach in orienteering. As well as her mountain and sporting background, Neli is also passionate about nature, in particular birds, and whenever she is in the mountains, she keeps her eyes open for an opportunity to observe rare flora and fauna. Neli has been leading groups for 10 years now and is known for her bubbly personality, warm caring nature and infectious enthusiasm for both the culture and wildlife of Bulgaria.

Gallery

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