28 SEPT-10 OCT, 2021
with Jeremy Woodhouse
(12 days/12 nights), maximum group size 6
Mountains & Forests
Bulgaria’s untamed landscapes quicken the pulse of hikers, mountain bikers and skiers. Seven mountain ranges ripple across the country; glacial lakes sparkle between these snow-dusted peaks, and tangles of forest conceal wolves, bears and lynx, a glimpse of Europe’s primeval past. Networks of trails and hizhas (hiking huts) allow access to such raw beauty as mist-cloaked panoramas in the Stara Planina range and sunrise from Bulgaria’s second-highest peak, Mt Vihren (2915m). Between trekking among Rodopi villages, thundering across ski fields in Bansko or birdwatching in Pirin National Park, Bulgaria has much to delight (and exhaust) lovers of the great outdoors.
Churches & Religious Art
No visitor to Bulgaria can fail to be impressed by its religious art, from vast gold-domed churches to miniature icon paintings. Sofia’s Aleksander Nevski Church and 10th-century Rila Monastery draw visitors and pilgrims galore, while Tryavna’s wood carvings and Bachkovo’s apocalyptic murals are gathering fame. But Orthodox churches in even the tiniest villages have much to admire: emotive paintings of saints, often set in carved wooden screens (iconostases), appear magical when bathed in flickering candlelight. Almost as spectacular are the settings of many sacred buildings: granite cliffs, thrashing streams and lonely mountain passes.
Whispers of history emanate from Bulgaria’s fortresses and ruins. Caves secreted in Bulgaria’s river-sculpted wilds hold traces of Neolithic settlements. The mysterious Thracians left behind dazzling hauls of gold and silver, and tombs that can be explored to this day. The Romans built cities of breathtaking scale, the bathhouses, walls and amphitheatres of which sit nonchalantly in the midst of modern cities such as Varna and Plovdiv. Successions of tsars strutted along the ramparts of Tsarevets Fortress at former capital Veliko Târnovo. And these histories are no less relevant today, with Thracian art and Bulgaria’s victory over the Ottomans continuing to inspire
Arrival, Departure & Visa
Arrival & Meeting Place
Most international visitors enter and leave Bulgaria via Sofia Airport, and there are frequent flights to the capital from other European cities.
Visas are not required for EU citizens. Citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA can visit visa-free for up to 90 days.
Spring and autumn have warm weather and a calendar of cultural celebrations. Spring melt can be hazardous; otherwise, weather is ideal for outdoor exploration. Sights and attractions open again after winter, with fewer tourists than high summer.
Bulgarian, an Indo-European language is the official language of Bulgaria and is spoken by a majority of the country’s population.
The Bulgarian lev is the official currency of Bulgaria, and its code in the international money markets is BGN. The currency derives its name from the Bulgarian term “lev,” which loosely translates to “lion.”
6 SPOTS OPEN
TOUR COST: $5,850
Group size 6
Tour Price Includes
- Transfers at the beginning and the end of the tour (unless you are arriving early or leaving after the official tour is concluded)
- Ground Transportation with local photographer/guide for 12 days
- All meals
- Tour accommodation, as listed
- National Parks entry fees
Tour Price Excludes
- Arrival/departure flights
- Travel insurance
- Pre- and post-tour accommodation
Paying by check
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Paying by Wire Transfer
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Dress for the Weather
Important note on weather and clothing: In late September/early October, weather can be rather cool in the mountains, so hats and gloves are recommended to ensure your comfort. We may/hope to get some snow, especially in the mountains so warm clothes are recommended.
- Bring you own laptop computer and storage media
- Camera body(s)
- Lenses, 16-35mm, 24-70mm zoom and 70-200mm zoom or similar lenses are very good
- Light bag for easy hiking with camera bodies and accessories
- Cleaning kit for cameras and lenses
- Rain/dust covers for cameras and lenses
- Charger for batteries
- Spare batteries
- Spare Memory cards
- Memory card reader
- USB key to exchange images
Also good to have
- Good quality polarizing filter