Bulgaria is located in the south-east of Europe and has a coast on the Black Sea as well as borders with Romania, Greece and Turkey. The country has a long history and there are some amazing Bulgaria tours to help you to enjoy the best of it.
The Best Bulgaria Tours
Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and also the largest city. It’s home to the fantastic Alexander Nevski Cathedral. Sofia sits at the foot of Vitosha Mountain and is located midway from the Black Sea to the Adriatic Sea. It has a long history including being part of the Roman Empire, Visigoths, Huns and Byzantines before being part of Bulgaria. It is now a cultural and commercial centre as well as a very affordable place to visit.
Secrets, Facts, and Legends of Sofia: Full Day Tour
See the best of Sofia with this full day tour. It starts at the Vitosha Mountain with its tower and amazing views of the city. It also includes The Bells complex, where children from 135 countries gathered in 1979 for the Flag of Peace initiative.
Travel back to the city centre for a walking tour that includes the National Archaeological Museum, the oldest building in Sofia, the church of St George and the medieval mosque. Then go to the ‘Ladies Market’ where much is unchanged since the late 19th century. The tour then includes the synagogue and Catholic Churches in the Square of Tolerance and the Sofia History Museum.
Sofia Afternoon Walking Tour with Wine and Food Tasting
This tour includes some of the best sites and tastes of the Bulgarian capital. It starts with the National Theatre, the former royal palace before visiting the Art Club café with its famous shopska salad. Net see the various churches around the Small Jerusalem area before visiting the Central Hali Market with its fresh sweets and fruits. Finally, stop at a traditional Bulgarian restaurant to sample local food and wines.
Tours from Sofia
Sofia is a great city to visit and also to use as a base to explore more parts of Bulgaria.
From Sofia: Rila Monastery and Boyana Church Tour
This Bulgaria tour allows you to visit two of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a single day. The first part of the tour includes a visit to Rila Monastery in the Rila Mountain. This is the largest and most important Orthodox cloister in Bulgaria and has amazing frescoes painting during the National Revival period.
The second part of the tour visits the Boyana Church in Sofia. Historically significant, it dates from Byzantine times and is where the tradition of illustrating biblical figures with emotions and placing them alongside local aristocracy began.
Bulgaria Tours – Sofia: Rila Monastery, St. Ivan Rilski Cave & Stob Pyramids
Rila Monastery is one of the most famous sites in the country and this popular Bulgaria tour is a great way to see it. Visit the cave where St Ivan Rilski (St John of Rila) founded the monastery as well as the nearby Stob Pyramids natural phenomenon.
Sofia: Saeva Dupka, Devetashka and Prohodna Cave Day Tour
If you love to see natural wonders, this tour is perfect. It starts with Saeva Dupka with its 400 metres of corridors and five galleries. See the Harmana gallery with its stalactites and stalagmites along with the largest stone column found in Bulgaria.
Next see the naturally illuminate Prohodna Cave, known as the Eyes of God Cave with its 45 metres entrance. Finally, visit the Devetake Cave which is over 2400 metres long and 60 metres high which has featured in many Hollywood films.
Plovdiv and other Bulgaria tours
Plovdiv is the second largest Bulgarian city, known as Philippopolis to the Ancient Greeks and originally being a Thracian settlement. It is a popular place to visit and there are lots of great tours around and from the city to enjoy.
Rose Valley & Valley of the Thracian Kings Day Tour
This day tour starts with the Rose Museum in Kazanlak dedicated to the harvesting of roses and the production of the famous Bulgarian rose oil and is the only museum in the world on the subject. Then visit the local history museum before moving to the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
After lunch, the tour stops at the Golyama Kosmatka Thracian tomb, one of the largest mounds in the region and dating from the 5th century, believed to be the tomb of Seuth III, one of the greatest Thracian kinds.
Bulgaria Tours – Bachkovo Monastery, Asen’s Fortress & Wonderful Bridges
See the best of the area around Plovdiv with this tour. It starts with the Asen’s fortress near Asenovgrad with its 12th-century church and authentic iconography as well as carvings made by King Ivan Asen himself. Then visit the Bachkovo monastery, the second largest of the Bulgarian Monasteries which has an icon of the Virgin Mary that dates from the 14th century.
Finally, visit the Wonderful Bridges, 1450 metres above sea level in the Rhodope Mountains. These marble bridges were created by erosion and are home to the longest zip line in the Balkan Peninsula at 240 metres between the two bridges – if you are brave enough!
Bulgaria Tours – Plovdiv Old Town
This tour of Plovdiv Old Town includes an audio guide, a map and entrance tickets. You start at the Roman Stadium then move to Saborna Street and the Armenian Church Museum where a wooden board with the abbreviation INRI (Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews) is kept along with a number of artefacts from Armenian history.
The tour also includes visiting Nebet Tepe with its views across the city and Artisans Street. Next, see the East Gate of Philippopolis and the Small Basilica before visiting the Great Basilica and the Trakart Museum.
Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa Full-Day Tour from Sofia
This tour includes both the second largest city in Bulgaria, Plovdiv and the fascinating town of Koprivshtitsa. The tour starts around Plovdiv and includes the main sights including the Old Town, the Roman Theatre and the Ethnographical Museum. Then you move on to Koprivshtitsa with its 19th-century architecture. See the slopes of Sredna Gora Mountains, the scene of the battle of liberation for Bulgaria and the museum that is now there.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for your Bulgaria Tours
Travel insurance is so important as it will help you with emergencies and unexpected costs on your trip. Make sure that you declare any pre-existing health conditions so that you are covered for those. Check your cover for accidents and medical care and also lost baggage or getting things stolen. Remember to report as soon as something goes wrong on your trip because some travel insurance companies require you to report something that you want to claim for within 24 hours. Read the fine print carefully when you sign up. I always recommend World Nomads. You can get a free quote here:
Further Reading for your Travels to Bulgaria
With the fabulous Churches, Monasteries, history, mountains and beaches, there are just so many reason to visit Bulgaria. Sofia – the capital city – is likely to be where you initially base yourself. I also recommend the free walking tour in Sofia and the New Sofia Pub Crawl.
There are some great cities other than Sofia for you to explore or use as a base…
If you are travelling around Bulgaria, you might also like to read about some of the best Bulgaria Tours.