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Bulgaria ten day itinerary - feedback welcome

1 – London to Bucharest

2 – Bucharest

3 – Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo

4 – Veliko Tarnovo

5 – To Plovdiv

6 – Plovdiv

7 – Asen’s Fortress, Bachkovo Monastery

8 – To Sofia

9 – Sofia

10 – Sofia

11 – Sofia to London

This is my current itinerary - any feedback welcome! I also have 1 extra day - where would you use it? More time in any of the places listed or would you try to fit in a visit to Burgas / Nesebar / Sozopol?

Thanks

Posted by
7572 posts

Our trip was over 15 years ago, and we were mostly using the Lonely Planet guidebook for inspiration, but Veliko Tarnovo was more enjoyable than Sofia. Maybe spend your extra day with a night there. Be sure to visit the Tsarevets Fortress on the eastern edge of town.

I wonder how you’re getting from Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo - train? We rented a car in Sofia, and drove around Bulgaria, before returning it and taking a night train to Bucharest for our flight west. Among the places we visited were Ledenik just west of V. Tarnovo, and driving over Shipka Pass to visit Kazanlak and the 2,400 year old Thracian tombs, the Valley of Roses (rose oil and rose perfumed cosmetics and lotion, plus a wine region), and Stara Zagora. Maybe one of those could be a one-night stay on your extra day.

We didn’t have time to visit the coastal cities on the Black Sea.

Posted by
27357 posts

I think you've got--comparatively speaking--enough time in Sofia. I preferred Veliko Tarnovo and Plovdiv to Sofia. I did like Nesebar and Sozopol for a change of pace. As coastal towns, they attract a lot of visitors during beach season, but I still enjoyed the historic architecture.

I'm not sure there's a great deal of tourist interest in Burgas, but Google identifies some museums. I didn't find the city's architecture very appealing, but I may have missed the best areas; I stayed in Burgas primarily in order to take day trips to Nesebar and Sozopol.

Posted by
2455 posts

I suggest you fit Rila Monastery into your itinerary, either as a day trip from Sofia, or better as an overnight visit. It is a beautiful site in a beautiful forested area. Especially lovely at night when it is quiet, in the dark, but with many lights. In addition to the monastery itself, there is a good museum there. If you can stay right on the grounds, you can attend the very small chanting service conducted by the monks around dawn, quite special, for a while. I believe that Rila Monastery is considered the #1 site in Bulgaria.