The best of Eastern Bulgaria in 5 days

Ruse – Rusenski Lom Nature Park – Veliko Tarnovo – Arbanasi – Tryavna – Etara – Kazanlak – Nesebar

Type of interests: Historical, cultural, ethnographic, architectural

Appropriate for arrivals/departures from Bucharest, Varna, Burgas or Istanbul airports

Day 1: Arrival in Ruse

Pick-up from Bucharest airport (on request). Arrival in Ruse – the largest Bulgarian city on Danube river and the most significant river port. City tour in the center, known for its Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture, which gives Ruse also the name “The Little Vienna”.

Accommodation in Ruse.


Day 2: Ruse – Rusenski Lom Nature Park – Veliko Tarnovo

Visit of the four main tourist attractions in Ruse province, located in Rusenski Lom Nature Park:

– Basarbovo Monastery – an orthodox cave monastery, founded in the 14th century. The monastery is famous for being home and place of death of the monk St. Dimitar Basarbovski, who later became the patron of the Romanian capital Bucharest;

– Ivanovo Rock-hewn Churches – a group of monolithic churches, chapels and monasteries carved into rocks in the picturesque canyon of Rusenski Lom river. The complex is noted for its beautiful and well-preserved medieval frescoes. The churches are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list;

– Cherven fortress – one of the primary military, administrative, economic and cultural centers of the Second Bulgarian Empire (12th-14th century). The three-storey tower from the 14th century has also been fully preserved and was used as a model for the reconstruction of Baldwin’s Tower in Tsarevets, Veliko Tarnovo;

– Orlova Chuka cave – the second longest cave in Bulgaria, home to 14 species of bats.

Departure for Veliko Tarnovo – often referred to as the “City of the Tsars”, it is located on picturesque mountainous landscape around Yantra river. Being the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, it is attracting thousands of tourists every year with its rich history, large number of historical monuments and unique architecture.

City tour in Veliko Tarnovo:

– Samovodska charshiya – the market of the old city with traditional Bulgarian Revival architecture, nowadays housing dozens of craftsmen and souvenir shops;

– Tsarevets hill – served as the primary fortress of the Second Bulgarian Empire, housing the royal and the patriarchal palaces.

Accommodation in Veliko Tarnovo.


Day 3: Veliko Tarnovo – Arbanasi – Etara – Tryavna

Visit of Arbanasi – a picturesque village on a high plateau above Veliko Tarnovo, known for its traditional Bulgarian Revival architecture.

Departure for Tryavna – a cozy town at the foot of the mountain with a number of valuable examples from the Bulgarian National Revival period. Walk in the town square with the famous clock tower, built in 1814. Lunch in beerhouse “Tryavna”, situated on the bank of the river, where you can taste local craft beer.

Visit of the open-air ethnographic museum Etara. It presents Bulgarian customs, culture and craftsmanship from 19th century. It contains a total of 50 objects, including water installations and houses with real craftsmen’s workshops attached. You can see the craftsmen working on traditional crafts such as pottery, hammer-smith, icon painting, cutlery, woodcarving, cow-bells making, needlework etc. and buy from their products.

Visit of Sokolski Monastery – built in 1833 with the strong support of the people from the local villages. The monastery played an important role during the April Uprising in 1876.

Accommodation in Tryavna.


Day 4: Tryavna – Kazanlak – Nesebar

Visit of Kazanlak – known as The Town of Roses, it is the center of extraction of the world-renowned Bulgarian oil-producing rose. Visit of the main attractions in the area:

  • the Museum of Roses – it contains rich collection of objects, pictures and documents revealing the history and technology of the rose-oil production in Bulgaria, which is leader in the world production;
  • Thracian tomb of Kazanlak – dating back to 4th century BC, part of UNESCO World Heritage Site list because of its unique murals, masterpieces of the Thracian art;
  • Tomb of the Thracian king Seuthes III built in 5th century BC.

Departure for the seaside.

Visit of Nesebar – the town is located on a rocky peninsula, linked with mainland with narrow isthmus. Founded by the Thracians more than 3200 years ago, the Old Town is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site list for its ensemble of architectural monuments from the Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the National Revival period. The small town has more than 40 ancient churches, which are examples of Byzantine architecture and nearly 60 houses from the Revival period.

Accommodation in Nesebar.


Day 5: Departure

Departure to the airport or other drop-off point.

This is an example program and it can be modified according to your preferences and trip duration. Feel free to request any amendments to the suggested tour to better fit your requirements and schedule by filling our request form or by sending us e-mail at

More example programs for Bulgaria you can see here.