TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Arrival. Transfer to the hotel.
Welcome to Europe!!!. On arrival at the airport we shall be waiting to transfer you to the hotel. You can enjoy free time until your tour starts, information about the meeting place and start time can be found on the information boards in the hotel reception area.
IMPORTANT - IF YOU REQUESTED ADDITIONAL NIGHTS on arrival at the hotel you will have your booking made but the guide of your trip will normally not arrive until the start of the included activities. YOUR TIME BEFORE THIS MOMENT IS THEREFORE FREE. At your hotel they can help you with all the information you need.
NB: The schedules you will find in this itinerary are approximate. The guide, depending on the situation and in order to improve the development of the circuit, may adjust the schedules.
TODAY´S HIGHLIGHTS: City tour in Athens.
We will enjoy a panoramic tour of the city with a local guide which includes the Presidential Palace, the Panathinaikos stadium where the first modern Olympic games were held, the national library, the bustling squares of the center; the new neighborhoods that emerged after the 2004 Olympic games. The tour will end at the Acropolis site (entry not included).
In the evening we include a transfer to the area of PLAKA, a place full of small Greek taverns where you can also enjoy this country´s folklore.
Athens- Kamena Vourla- Kastraki- Meteoras- Kalabaka.-
Total distance: 410 km.
Scenery: Views over the sea. Fantastic landscapes in the region of Meteoras, orthodox monasteries.
Notes: Wear appropriate clothing (women will have to wear the skirts that will be given at arrival to the monastery). Also foresee comfortable footwear... you will have to climb many steps in Meteoras!
08:00 hrs. Athens –departure-. We leave for the north of Greece. Pleasant Mediterranean landscapes.
10.15 hrs. - Kamena Vourla – Arrival.- Charming tourist centre by the sea amidst magnificent scenery. Time for a stroll and a coffee.
11.15 hrs. - Kamena Vourla –departure-. Continuation northbound. We make a brief stop at the gorge where the battle of Thermopylae took place.
13.45 hrs. Kastraki- stop for lunch in this picturesque town located at the foot of the Meteora. The views here are magnificent!. After lunch we will visit Meteoras an impressive place declared UNESCO World Heritage, an area that covers a few square kilometers and where an ancient monastic community and a rare geological phenomenon of huge rock pillars coexist in absolute harmony. We will see the whole valley and have the chance to go into one of the most famous monasteries (entrance included).
Accommodation in Kalambaka, a small town in the center of the Meteoras´ region. Dinner included.
Kalabaka- Thessalonica- Melnik- SandanskI.-
Total distance: 395km
Landscapes: Beautiful landscapes in the north of Greece and on the way to Bulgaria: mountains, isolated areas, forests.
Note: Remember to have your Passport ready, you will need it to enter in Bulgaria.
08.00 hrs.- Kalabaka.- Departure. We travel through the North of Greece, amidst pretty mountain scenery, to the Aegean Sea.
11.15 hrs.- THESSALONICA– Arrival-, time for a stroll and lunch in Greece’s second city.
14.00hrs.- Thesalonica- Departure. We travel towards the Pirin mountain, a World Heritage Site, areas heavily influenced by the Greek, Slavic and Turkish cultures. After this we go on our way towards BULGARIA, and the border pass. Schedules of this stage sometimes, can suffer important delays because of the border procedures.
16.45hrs.- MELNIK. Arrival. In Bulgarian Macedonia we stop in this picturesque museum village in beautiful scenery amidst a wine producing area. We will learn about the traditional Balkan ways of life.
17.45hrs.- Melnik. Departure.
18.15 hrs- SANDANSKI, arrival at this beautiful small spa city, the birthplace of Spartacus, dinner and accommodation.
Sandanski- Rila- Sofia.-
Total distance covered: 225 km.
Scenery: beautiful landscapes of the Balkans, with mountains, remote areas and forests.
Note: Wear suitable clothing to visit the monastery of Rila.-
08.30 hrs- Sandanski.- Departure.-
10.30 hrs - Rila Monastery - We visit this beautiful walled Orthodox monastery that is hidden hidden among forests and mountains within a national park. Time to look around.
11.45 hrs - Rila -Departure-.
14.00 hrs - Sofia -Arrival-. After time for lunch, we include a tour of the capital of Bulgaria, where we will see the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the Russian church, the mosque, its squares and avenues of Stalinist architecture. Free time.
Sofia- Bachkovo- Plovdiv.-
Total distance covered: 205 km.
Scenery: Large agricultural plains.
Note: Wear suitable clothing to visit the monastery of Bachkovo.-
08.30hrs.- Sofía. Departure.-
11.00hrs.- BACHKOVO MONASTERY, arrival to the Bulgaria’s second most important monastery, founded in the eleventh century, with its three churches and the life of its monks, and we feel it as a place full of peace.
12.00 hrs.- Bachkovo Monastery. Departure.
12.45 hrs.- PLOVDIV, After time for lunch, we visit the city with a local guide, which is one of the oldest in Europe. Here we include tickets to the Roman amphitheatre, the ancient chemist’s and the Armenian house. Free time to stroll in its beautiful historic town centre with its half-timbered houses. Dinner included.
Plovdiv- Kazanlak- Shipka- Etara- Arbanasi- Veliko Tarnovo.-
Total distance covered: 230 km. Scenery: We cross the valley of the roses with great color in season of flowering (May and June). Beautiful scenery across the Balkans mountain range.
Note: in some cases, Arbanassi visit may take place on Sunday instead of Saturday.
08.00hrs.- Plovdiv. Departure. Nice small roads through the interior of Bulgaria. We arrived to the valley of the roses.
KAZANLAK.- In the valley of the Roses, we will see KAZANLAK, where tickets are included to the replica of the Thracian tomb (Heritage of Mankind) and we will learn about the production of products derived from the roses.
11.30 hrs.- Kazalnuk. Departure. Amidst the mountains, we stop at the Russian church of SHIPKA, which reminds us the strong links that exist between the Bulgarians and the Russians and the help that Bulgaria received from Russia in its war of independence against the Ottomans.
13.15hrs.- ETARA, arrival at this charming village/ethnographic. We walk between their traditional houses and their artisan workshops. Lunch included in a typical restaurant.
15.30 hrs.- Etara. Departure.
16.45hrs.- ARBANASSI, arrival to the ancient trading city with its fortress-houses, where we visit the Church of the Nativity (entrance included).
17.45hrs.- Arrival in VELIKO TARNOVO, Bulgaria’s former capital, with a very picturesque mediaeval centre, along with its hill. .
Veliko Tarnovo- Dimitar Basarbovski- Bucharest.-
Total distance covered: 190 km.
Scenery: We crossed the Danube on the border.
Note: Keep your passport to hand, as it will be required on the border with Romania.
08.30hrs.- Veliko Tarnovo. Departure. We travel to Romania,
10.00hrs.- BASARBOVSKI MONASTERY, We stop at a place of pilgrimage dug out of the rock.
11.00hrs.- Barsabovski. Departure. We cross the border and the river Danube.
12.45 hrs.- BUCHAREST, arrival (variable schedules depending on the border procedures). After time for lunch, we take a panoramic tour of the city with its ancient quarter and the giant Parliament Palace. Free time. Dinner included.
After breakfast, end of our services.
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