TOURS AROUND BOROVETS

Sofia City

Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia

The Ethnographic museum in Plovdiv

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and a great place to spend a day touring its historic, archaeological and architectural landmarks. Some of the interesting places you will see include:

  • St. Sofia Church
  • The Alexander Nevski Cathedral – including the icon exhibition in the crypt of the cathedral.
  • St. George’s Rotunda
  • The National Palace of Culture
  • The President Residence
  • The Church of St. Nedelya
  • Vassil Levski Monument
  • Alexander Battenberg Square
  • The National Theatre Ivan Vazov
  • The National art Gallery
  • The Archaeological Museum
  • Sofia University

If desired you can also be spend time visiting some of Sofia’s main shopping districts. We are happy to discuss the tour options with you and tailor it to your preference.

Rila Monastery

The Rila Monastery

Visiting the Rila is a must-do trip for anyone who has come to Bulgaria. It is the largest and most impressive monastery in Bulgaria and a protected UNESCO heritage site. The story of this monastery reflects the entire history of the Bulgarian state and the Bulgarian people. To this day the monastery remains an important pilgrimage location for all Bulgarians who visit it regularly to revive their souls.

The original monastery buildings date from the late 10th century, and were set up by the monastic community around St. Ivan Rilski. In the 14th century they were turned into a fortress by Hrelyo Dragovol, a feudal warlord. Over the centuries the monastery has been rebuilt, destroyed and reconstructed several times. Today it forms part of an impressive complex of cultural, religious, dwelling and farming buildings located high in the Rila mountains.

From the outside the monastery is ringed by high stone walls giving it the appearance of a fortress. Once inside the gates however this impression is dispelled by the harmonious beauty of the interior. Graceful arches surround the cobbled courtyard and wooden balconies enclose the rows of monastic cells. Inside you can visit the “The Nativity of the Holy Virgin" church. The church is lined on the outside with rich multicoloured frescos and inside with magnificent icons and carvings. Other interesting parts of the tour include, The Monastery Kitchen, Hrelyo’s Tower, The coffin of Tsar Boris III, The Transfiguration Chapel and The Monastery Museum. The Rila Monastery Museum possesses a rich collection of extremely valuable exhibits both in the exposition halls and in the monastery vaults. The exhibits are grouped to map the evolution of the monastery and its cultural, religious and nation-consolidation role.

At lunchtime or after visiting the Rila Monastery, we can arrange a tasty meal at one of the local restaurants close to the monastery. Fresh trout, from the Rilska River that runs by the Rila Monastery, is one of favour dishes here. Before that you will have the chance to buy locally produced wines, honey, wood-carved items and other souvenirs in the small shops and stall around the monastery.

Plovdiv's Ancient City

The Amphitheatre in Plovdiv

Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria and one of the oldest towns in Europe. Older than Rome, Athens, and Constantinople, this town of the hills is a bridge between the ancient and the new history. Over the centuries it has been inhabited by the Thracians, Romans, Goths, Slavs and Ottomans whose traces have turned the town into a living museum. The Ancient Plovdiv Architectural Reserve is of particular interest. Situated picturesquely on three of the Plovdiv’s seven hills, it is located on a real crossroad of civilizations. Here you can see the “St Constantine and Elena” church, The Roman Amphitheatre, The Roman Stadium, residences of Bulgarian merchants built in typical Revival style, the Ethnographic Museum, several art galleries and much more. You can also take a stroll by the Maritsa river or spend some time shopping in the New Town.

Koprivshtitsa Museum Town

House in Koprivshtitsa

Koprivshtitsa is one of the few Bulgarian towns, still preserving the atmosphere of the Bulgarian National Revival period of the 19th century. The town is nestled in the wooded hills of the Sredna Gora mountains. This unique museum village boasts a large number of architectural monuments, cobblestone streets, and stone bridges that arc gently over the lovely Topolnitsa river. Much of the village has been restored to its original appearance with many museums housed in the original Revival period homes. Collections of ethnographical treasures, old weapons, National Revival works of art, fine fretwork, household weaves and embroidery, national costumes and typical Bulgarian jewellery are on display in the museums. It was here too that the first shot of the April Uprising against the Ottoman occupation was fired in 1876 and there are several monuments to mark the event. During the trip you can visit the 6 main museums in Koprivshtitsa, have lunch in one of the many authentic Bulgarian restaurants and stroll through the rambling cobblestone streets to meet the modern day inhabitants of the village.

Hissar Spa Town

The town of Hissar (sometimes written Hissarya) is situated in the verdant foothills of the Sredna Gora Mountains. It is a world famous balneotherapy resort and one of the biggest in Bulgaria. The modern health resort, with its more than 20 mineral springs and mild climate, has a rich and ancient past.

Hissar

It was founded by the Romans who built marble baths, aqueducts, temples and – after raids by the Goths in the 3rd century – fortifications to protect the town which they called Augusta. When the Turks invaded Bulgaria, the town put up a rugged resistance, for which it was completely destroyed and the population massacred. In the 17th century the Turks finally appreciated its natural assets and re-populated the ex-resort, giving it its present name - Hissarya (Fortress) because of the many fortress remains in it.

Today Hissar is a flourishing town and resort of national importance. Hissar's mineral waters are characterized as slightly mineralized, hydrocarbonic-sulphate-sodium, with a high alkaline reaction (pH 8.3 to 9.02). The water’s temperature is 24°-49°C and is said to cure diseases of the kidneys, liver, gallbladder, gastritis, diabetes and many more. The most famous spring is the one in the Momina Banya Quarter (Maiden Bath) with its radioactive alkaline water.

Its 4th century walls still look impressive and are some of the best-preserved fortress defences in Bulgaria. Other interesting sites are the banski buildings (baths) at the springs of Havuza, Momina Banya and Indzheza, the Old-Christian Basilicas from the 5th and 6th century, the Church-Tomb from the 10th-12th century, the Holy Virgin Temple in the Momina Banya Quarter, the St. Dimitur Temple in Verigovo Quarter, the St. Pantaleimon Temple, St. Peter and Paul Church and many more.

Note: It is possible to combine the Hisar and Koprivshtitsa tours.

Spa Tours

The villages around Borovets contain many old spa areas. Since Roman times the areas of Dolna Banya, Pchelin and Momin Prohod have been famous for their mineral springs. Situated to the east of Borovets on the Thracian plain the area is recognised as one of Bulgaria’s most ecologically pure areas due to the high ionisation in the air.

The popularity of the mineral springs dates back to ancient times. According to legends, soldiers of the Bulgarian King Samouil, as well as Bulgarian rioters during the Ottoman rule later on (so-called “haiduti”) used to come here to have their wounds healed. Moreover, local people tell stories of childless women who gave birth to long-cherished children after taking a bath in the mineral waters of Pchelin.

Nowadays there are several modern spa pools in the area, where you can spend the day just relaxing by the pool or partake in one of the many invigorating spa treatments. Check with us for the best options. Dolna Banya and Pchelin are just a short distance from Borovets and we will be happy to give directions and arrange a transfer if necessary.