Itinerary

Sat 27 Jun

Early afternoon arrival at Sofia airport and transfer (approx. 1 hour 45 minutes) to the 4-star Grand Hotel in the heart of the ancient city of Plovdiv, where you will be based for the next three nights. A welcome dinner will be served that evening in a local restaurant.

Sun 28 Jun

The day starts with a walking tour of Plovdiv. Join your guide to explore this city which, like Rome, straddles seven hills. Founded by Philip of Macedon, it is Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city and more ancient than Bulgaria itself. Little is left today of the early city, but much of the Roman one survives, including the forum, stadium, fortress and amphitheatre. You will also visit the romantic Old Town with its colourful 19th-century mansions. Lunch and the afternoon are at leisure before departing to the award-winning Villa Yustina Winery, situated on the edge of the Rhodopi Mountains, for dinner and wine-tasting.

Mon 29 Jun

A full-day excursion to Kazaniak. The town is the centre of rose oil extraction in Bulgaria and your first stop will be at a distillery with the chance to taste some rose brandy. Kazaniak is home to the country’s largest and best-preserved Thracian tombs, and a visit to the archaeological museum will reveal many treasures, including a 23-carat gold mask of an early Thracian ruler. The tour ends with lunch in a local restaurant, after which there will be some time for you to explore independently before returning to Plovdiv and the evening at leisure.

Tue 30 Jun

Depart this morning for Sofia via the magnificent medieval monastery at Bachkovo. Its centerpiece is the early 17th-century Church of Sveta Bogoroditsa which contains colourful frescoes and houses a much-cherished icon of the Virgin Mary. Lunch will be served in a local restaurant before continuing to Sofia where you will check in at the 5-star Arena di Serdica Hotel. It is a short walk to the opera house for the early evening performance of Parsifal. After the opera, there will be an opportunity to meet the artists.

Wed 1 Jul

Meet your guide this morning for an excursion to Rila monastery, the largest Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. Founded in the 10th century by St. Ivan of Rila whose humble dwelling and tomb became a holy site which later developed into a monastic complex known today for its frescoes, museum and exquisite architecture. Lunch is in a local restaurant after which you will return to Sofia for the rest of the day at leisure.

Thu 2 Jul

This morning join your guide for a city tour of Sofia. Visits include the 6th-century basilica St. Sofia, the National Theatre and delightful fountains and garden, the imposing St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, with its glittering golden domes, and the archaeological museum. Enjoy a farewell lunch in a local restaurant with a little time to relax before walking to the theatre for the early evening opera performance.

Fri 3 Jul

Transfer to the airport for the early afternoon flight home.

Programme

30 Jun 18.00

PARSIFAL WagnerInc

D: Plamen Kartaloff

C: Ira Levin

Cast: tbc

2 Jul 18.00

DIE WALKÜRE WagnerInc

D: Plamen Kartaloff

C: tbc

Cast includes: Catherine Foster

Flights

British Airways

27 Jun London Heathrow - Sofia dep: 07.45 arr: 12.55

3 Jul Sofia - London Heathrow dep: 14.15 arr: 15.45

Flight schedules are subject to alteration.

Flights from other UK airports can be arranged on request.

SHOULD YOU WISH TO EXTEND YOUR STAY BEFORE OR AFTER THE GROUP TOUR, PLEASE CONTACT US.

Prices per person

Tour price £1675
Single room supplement £225
Club Europe flight upgrade from £350
Land-only tour price £1525
Deposit required £350
Tour code SOF1

Tour price includes: Flights and airport taxes, group transfers from and to airport and for included activities where applicable, accommodation, breakfast daily, four lunches, two dinners, wine-tasting, sightseeing tours as described including guides and entrance fees, first category ticket for each included performance, opera synopses, restaurant guide and city notes, the service of our local representative or tour manager.