Departure in the morning to Sozopol. The city is an ancient seaside town with long history, ruled in turn by the Byzantine, Bulgarian and Ottoman Empires. In the 7th century B.C. the houses in the town were built of impressive stone blocks and above them was raised the famous statue of Apollo by the Greek sculptor Calamis, after which the town was named Apollonia. In the year 72 A.D. the Roman general Marcus Lucullus broke the last resistance of the Thracian tribes and conquered the town and the famous statue was taken as a trophy to Rome.
The town is a favorite place of artists and it has justly won the fame of being a town of artists and fishermen.
You will visit the Church of the Assumption in Old town. The church was built in the fifteenth century, on the site of an old Christian church. It is dug into the ground, and the east wall and the level of passing along the street, and looks almost indistinguishable from the house. This type of architecture is explained by the fact that under the Ottoman rule, the Christian churches had to be of a certain height. It was painted by the famous painters of the Debar school.
After that, about 12:30 you’ll have a time to take a walk through the beautiful old town and have a lunch. After lunch we will departure to Pomorie.
This city is situated on a narrow rocky peninsula. Pomorie was founded in the 4th century B.C. under the name of Anchialo by emigrants from Apolonia (present day Sozopol), but all the wooden building were destroyed by a fire in 1906.
Anchialo was a strategic center in the Odriskoto kingdom during 1st Century B.C. – 1st Century A.D. The period of a great growth of Pomorie started when Thrace became a Roman province. During the Roman period, Anhialo has flourished the most. After the Roman Empire accepted Christianity as its religion, the town became a religious center and even started minting its own coins.
During the Ottoman rule over the Bulgarian territories, the town Pomorie became well known for its thermal springs as well as for wine and salt production.
There are houses from the National Revival Period in the eastern part of the town as well as several churches with valuable wood carved iconostasis and icons. Once Bulgaria has been liberated from Ottoman Yoke in 1878, Anhialo lost its status of an important trade center because of the growth of Bourgas, and it remained in the shade of Burgas. When Anhialo started its development as a tourism spot, its name has been changed to Pomorie.
You will visit the Ancient Thracian beehive tomb. The tomb - mausoleum was built in the 3th century A.D. for the representatives of a noble aristocratic family who was living in the ancient Thracian city Anhialo;
The Pomorie monastery St. George the Victorious - was established in the 7th century but was later destroyed during the Ottoman invasion in the late 14th century. The legend further says that after that Selim Bey and his entire family converted to Christianity. The bas relief that he found in the yard is still kept and can be seen in the monastery. Selim Bey also built a small chapel close to the holy spring that laid the foundations of the present-day monastery. After he widowed, Selim Bey became the first father superior of the monastery. The present-day church was built in 1856 over the foundations of the preceding one. The church preserves valuable examples of the iconographic art of the 18th and 19th century.
Checking into a hotel and overnight.
Breakfast is followed by departure towards the town of Nessebar. Founded by settlers from Miletus as Mesembria it was subsequently conquered by the Romans and gradually declined. Around the 7th and 8th century it began to be called Nessebar – a name given to it by Slavic tribes. Today Nessebar is a historical reservation and a national museum town typical for its wooden houses with stone foundation, narrow, and crooned cobbled streets, small courtyards full of fig trees and vine arbours.
The churches of St. John the Baptist and of St. Stephen date from the 10th and 11th centuries. The greatest number of churches are featured the so called “pictorial style” and they were built during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.
The Church of St. Stephen, also known as the New Metropolia, dates back to the period 11th – 13th centuries. It is part of architectural and historical reserve in the city, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the 100 national tourist sites.;
The Church of Christ Pantocrator, one of the best preserved medieval temples, is situated in the centre of Old Nessebar. The temple was built in the 13th – 14th centuries and has a rectangular shape. The church is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and is located on Mesembria Street, near the entrance to Nessebar''''s old town. Nowadays, it houses an art gallery which exhibits works of Bulgarian artists. The best-known feature of Nessebar’s old town is the Church of Christ Pantocrator and its rich and colorful decoration of its exterior walls;
The Church of Saint Sofia - the basilica was constructed in the late 5th and early 6th century. Its present appearance was dated from the beginning of the 9th century when it was reconstructed. During the Middle Ages it served as a cathedral for the bishopric eparchy centered in Nessebar.
After that we will departure to Varna. Checking into a hotel and overnight.
Varna is the third largest city in Bulgaria and the largest one on the Black Sea shore, called “The sea capital of Bulgaria”. The town can look back on a long history stretching over 2500 years. It was founded in the 6th century B.C. by the Greek colonists from Asia Minor, who called it Odessos. Subsequently, it experienced all the trials and tribulations which beset the Balkan lands, passing consecutively passing into the hands of the Thracians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, not to mention the various barbarian tribes that held it for short period of time.
In 681 the Bulgarian khan Asparouch conquered it and then it became a Bulgarian town, getting its present name Varna. In the days of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (13-14 century) Varna was a bustling commercial center, which traded with the foremost ports at the time: Constantinople, Genoa, Venice, and Ragusa. Lastly, during the days of the Ottoman rule, Varna assumed even greater importance.
In 1866 was built the first railway from Varna to Rousse, connecting the port via the Danube and Bucharest with Central and Western Europe. At the present time, the town is advancing as an important seaport, a centre of shipbuilding and engineering and as а very extensive tourist destination. In Varna we are going to visit the Roman Baths - they are one of the most preserved architectural monuments of the Roman Age in Bulgaria (1st – 4th century AD). This is the largest roman bath on the Balkan Peninsula – with an area of 7000 square meters. It is the forth in size in Europe – among the baths of Karakala and Diocletian in Rome and Trevira (Trier, Germany). It was used by the end of 3rd century;
Then we will stop to visit the Cathedral “The Assumption of Holy Mother” - one of the most visited places by tourists and among the symbols of the sea capital. The first stone upon the construction of the temple was placed by Prince Alexander I of Battenberg (1857 - 1893) in 1880. After the consecration, the prince reprieved all the prisoners from the Varna prison, for which three months of their sentences were remaining. The name that was chosen, The Assumption of Holy Mother, was in the memory of the Russian Empress Maria Alexanrovna, benefactor of Bulgaria and aunt of the Prince;
After that we will visit the Park-Museum of military friendship 1444 “Vladislav Varnenchik” - The park-museum „Vladislav Varnenchik” is a memorial complex, situated in the center of the battlefield, in the middle of an unique park on an area of 30 decares. In the exposition every visitor has the possibility to see: arsenal and equipment from XV century, found on the battlefield (helmets, cross-bows, swords, shields, spears, etc.), paintings, sculptures, prints and other works of art, dedicated to the battle of Varna - flags, models, tickets and coats of arms;
Our last stop for the day is Festa Dolphinarium- it is situated amidst the greenery of the Seaside Garden of Varna and offers a wonderful view over the sea. The dolphins and their coaches present the unique Dolphin show. You will see the incredible sporting and acrobatic skills of our inmates. Height jumps for which we, humans, can only dream. Double somersault, triple axel. You will see how dolphins rescue people in water. Overnight