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Bulgarian Monasteries

23 Apr — 7 May 2017 | Tour Director: Alex Koller

ACE Aquileia tour: Basilica of Aquileia

ix

Tour Director

Andrew Wilson portrait

Alex Koller , PhD

lecturer in art history and architecture

full biography and other tours

Itinerary

Day

1

Depart Heathrow 0820 on British Airways, arriving Sofia 1325. Transfer to Grand Hotel, central Sofia, for three nights. Afternoon: neo-Byzantine Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (huge crypt with icon collection) and National Archaeological Museum.

Day

2

Sofia: Boyana Church (13th century frescoes), National Museum of History, walking tour of central Sofia: beautifully restored synagogue (Moorish turrets), Banya Bashi Mosque, churches. Free evening.

Day

3

Whole-day excursion to small town of Koprivshtitsa (National Revival architecture), and Kremikovci Monastery.

Day

4

Zemen Monastery (14th century frescoes), 10th century Rila Monastery (wood-carvings, frescoes, icons), then continue to Interhotel Sandanski, for two nights.

Day

5

Melnik (remarkable wooden houses, medieval churches with valuable icons), medieval Rozhen Monastery (unique wood-carved altars) and Sandanski early-Christian basilica.

Day

6

Bansko (church, National Revival houses), Kovachevitsa (local architecture) with drive through Rhodope Mountains to Devin for overnight at Spa Hotel Devin.

Day

7

Shiroka Luka (stone-roofed houses), 11th century Bachkovo Monastery, then continue to Plovdiv for two nights at Grand Hotel Plovdiv.

Day

8

Plovdiv: old town (National Revival architecture), ethnographic museum, St Konstantin and Elena churches, House of Stepan Hindlian, Cumaya Mosque, Roman amphitheatre. Free evening.

Day

9

Starosel (recently discovered Thracian sanctuaries), Hisar (Roman remains) then continue to Kazanlak (archaeology museum, replica of the 4th century Thracian tomb), Thracian tombs of Golyama Kosmatka, Shushmanets and Ostrusha. Overnight at Hotel Palace, Kazanlak.

Day

10

Across historic Shipka Pass to Shipka (memorial church), then Sokolski Monastery, Etura (traditional rural architecture) and Preslav (archaeology museum, round church). Continue to Shumen (centre of Muslim minority) for overnight stay at Hotel Shumen.

Day

11

Tombul Mosque. Depart Shumen for Pliska site and Basilica, Madara Horseman (medieval rock carving on 300-ft cliff), Sveshtari (3rd century Thracian tomb), then continue to Arbanassi Palace Hotel for three nights.

Day

12

Environs of Veliko Turnovo (medieval capital): Arbanassi (merchant’s semi-defensive house), 12th century Tsarevets (royal palace and cathedral), churches.

Day

13

Ivanovo cave monastery (vast rock-hewn complex with 14th century murals), Cherven (medieval fortress).

Day

14

Preobrazhenski Monastery (murals, icons), Troyan Monastery (spectacular frescoes) then continue to Sofia for overnight stay at Grand Hotel.

Day

15

Free morning. Depart Sofia 1420 arriving Heathrow 1555.

Tour Dates

23 Apr — 7 May 2017

Days

15

Cost

£2225

Tour Code

BLGM-17

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Testimonial

Wonderful frescoes, icons etc in Bulgarian monasteries, also Thracian tombs. Exceptional Tour Director, so knowledgeable about all aspects of Bulgarian history, art and architecture.

ACE Customer Apr 16

Price includes:

return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, four lunches & 12 dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.

Not included:

travel insurance, single room supplement £185.

 
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