Western Bulgaria and Eastern Macedonia

May 12 – May 23, 2022

C$3 125 / person

Single supplement:  C$495 / person

Western Bulgaria and

Eastern Macedonia

This tour is a great balance between yoga, exploring nature, cultural heritage, meeting and helping local people and having “Beyond ordinary experiences”.

Inclusions

In Bulgaria we include UNESCO protected sites, lovely nature and historical and archaeological sites.

  • All Yoga Travels Tours offer 1 Yoga Class per day along with other yoga activities throughout the tour.
  • All transfers
  • BB service
  • 11 FD English speaking guide in Bulgaria and Macedonia
  • Guide & Driver expenses (accommodation and meals)
  • Meals mentioned in the program
  • All entrance fees and mentioned in the program
  • Boat trip in Ohrid Lake
  • Local experiences in Berovo, Kavadarci, Bitola, Struga and Skopje

Hotels

In this itinerary we consider Hotels where you can practice yoga (mostly with nature surroundings)

SOFIA: Hotel Marinela 4* (or sim.)

VELIKO TARNOVOHotel Park Asenevci 4* (or sim.)

PLOVDIV: Hotel Landmark Creek 4* (or sim.)

BEROVO: HOTEL Manastir 4* (or sim.)

DEMIR KAPIJA: HOTEL & WINERY Popova Kula (or sim.)

BITOLA: Hotel Sumski Feneri 3* (or sim.)

OHRID: Hotel Park Lake Side 4* (or sim.)

SKOPJE: Hotel Next Door Park 4* (or sim.)

Exclusions

  • International flight & any airport tax
  • Beverages or personal expenses; Baggage fees; Tips; Personal insurance; flight tickets. All extras and all that is not mentioned i

Itinerary

Arrival in Sofia. Welcome by our English-speaking guide at the airport. Transfer to hotel for accommodation. Welcome Dinner in the hotel/or restaurant*. Depending on the time of arrival, we’ll have a tour of the city. (D)

After yoga activity and breakfast, departure for the visit of the monastery of Troyan, which dates from the 16th century, known by the paintings of the Bulgarian painter Zahari Zograf. As an important political and cultural centre of the Renaissance period, the monastery housed one of the Bulgarian revolutionaries, the national hero Vasil Levski. The visit continues to the medieval Bulgarian capital, Veliko Tarnovo and Mount Tzarevets, the main fortress of the Second Bulgarian Empire from 1185 to 1393, with its long ramparts that house the palace of the royal family and the patriarchal palace. Free time to explore the Samovodska Charshiya, alley with many shops for hand-made souvenirs and other traditional crafts. Departure for the beautiful village of Arbanassi, to visit the house Konstantsaliev, of the 17th century, well preserved and transformed into a museum. Tourists can visit the medieval church of the Nativity, known for its beautiful frescoed interior. Overnight in Veliko Trnovo (B).

After yoga activity and breakfast, departure to Kazanlak – the capital of the Valley of Roses, for the visit of the Thracian tomb of the 4th century BC, located near the ancient Thracian capital of Seuthopolis, Kazanlak. Composed of a masonry vaulted into a “tomb”, it contains, among other things, murals depicting a couple from Thrace at a ritual funeral ceremony. The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Departure for the monastery of Bachkovo, founded in 1083 by the Byzantine military commander, Grigorij Bakuriani. It is one of the largest and oldest Orthodox monasteries in Europe and is known for the unique combination of Byzantine, Georgian and Bulgarian styles. Transfer to Plovdiv. Accommodation. (B)

After yoga activity and breakfast visit of the city of Plovdiv, built on seven hills, which is a characteristic that is a distinct part of the city’s history. Its history goes back 4000 BC and makes it one of the oldest cities in Europe. In the 4th century BC, it was conquered by Philip of Macedonia. It is the only Bulgarian city, declared twice “European Capital of Culture” in 1999 and 2019. Visit of the old town, located on the hill Nebet Tepe including the ethnographic museum, the Roman theatre and the church «Saints Constantin and Helena». See the Roman stadium and mosque located in the city center. Transfer to Koprivshtizsa, one of the best-preserved architectural heritage cities in Bulgaria. It houses nearly 400 intact buildings from the period of the Bulgarian National Renaissance. It seems that time has stopped, especially because it is still “decorated” with the rhythms and traditions of country life. Visit the

historical center of this city, which hosts some of the most beautiful historical houses in Bulgaria. Today, there are more than sixty of these houses, built between 1700 and 1800. Visit of the Church of the Virgin (Uspenie Bogirodichino) and visit of the two houses – museum. Free time to feel the spirit of Koprivshtizsa. Before returning to Sofia, visit the monastery of Kremikovzi, founded in the 14th century, under the reign of Tsar Ivan Alexandar. At that time, about 14 new monastic complexes were erected around Sofia. Destroyed in 1332 and rebuilt in 1493, the year that also built the church of St: George, whose interior contains frescoes of exceptional value, a kind of gallery of masterpieces created by great artists of the school art Tarnovo. Arrival in Sofia for accommodation. (B)

After yoga activity and breakfast, visit the capital city of Bulgaria: St Sophia Church, St George’s Church, Alexander Nevsky Memorial Cathedral. The magnificent building rises gloriously in the center of the city, officially opened in 1912, in honor of the 200,000 Russian warriors who died during the liberation war. Departure for the monastery of Rila, the most important Orthodox monument in the Balkans (UNESCO). The Sainte-Rila cloister was founded in the first half of the 10th century. Its history is directly linked to Saint John of Rila, a Bulgarian hermit who settled in the region and dedicated his life to fasting and prayer. The monastery was originally located near the cave where the saint lived. After his death in 946, Saint John was buried in the cave in which he found solitude. Throughout the centuries, the monastery of Rila has always been the spiritual, educational and cultural center of Bulgaria. Departure for Macedonia. Accommodation and dinner. (B,D)

After yoga activity and breakfast visit of Berovo and walk to the lake and the dam. Berovo Lake or Ratevo Lake – an artificial lake located in the Maleshevo area near the village of Ratevo, ie the town of Berovo whose names are named after them. Light excursion from the border with Bulgaria to the Klepalo sheepfold. Assistance in the artisan production of cheese * (if possible). Mountain excursion and welcome of berries or mushrooms together with local experts (depending on the season). The area is well known for the greater amount of oxygen in the Balkans, which is why the city of Berovo is also called “air bath”. In Berovo and Maleshevo there are many traditional medicines made from natural ingredients for various diseases. You can’t leave this area without pine syrup or honey, a cure for respiratory diseases. Overnight. (B)

After yoga activity and breakfast, visit of the monastery of St. Arhangel Mihail and having the chance to visit the mosaic workshop within the monastery. This day is dedicated to traditional crafts from the region of Berovo and having a light excursion to Pehcevo. Visit of weavers and blacksmiths workshops. Optional is organizing folk performance within the hotel (B)

After yoga activity and breakfast departure. The waterfall of Smolari or Smolaré is a natural waterfall located near the village of Smolari, located in the municipality of Novo Selo, in the southeast of Northern Macedonia. The highest waterfall in the Republic of Macedonia. It lies at an altitude of 630 metres in the Belassitsa massif, which marks the border with Greece, and is part of the Lomnitsa, a small mountain river. The Smolari waterfall is the highest Macedonian waterfall, measuring 39.5 meters in height. It is one of the most important tourist sites of this region of the country. Departure to the beautiful wine region, in Demir Kapija, dinner, wine-education and overnight. (B,D)

After yoga activity and breakfast nice hike walk around Demir Kapija, the town with more then 3500 year of wine production. Departure to Kavadarci. We will visit the private workshop of woodcarving where you will learn more about the impressive story of our local hero: https://www.balkanprime.tours/en/blog/article/when-a-grain-size-of-faith-gives-you-an-endless-strength.The journey in the wine area will be enriched with the tasting of the best Macedonian wines in one of the most famous winegrowers in Macedonia. Departure towards Bitola to visit the ancient Roman city of Heraklea, founded by Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great, around the middle of the 4th century BC Among the most interesting remains of the site you can admire: the baths, the colonnade, the amphitheater, the remains of the two basilicas, both with beautiful and colorful mosaics (5th century) depicting geometric figures, trees, birds, flowers and animals. Short visit of Bitola, conquered by the Turks in 1382, the city assumed the new name of Monastir. Dozens and dozens of mosques built by the Turks during their domination that lasted more than five centuries, about a dozen remain; the most beautiful is the sixteenth-century Isak Dzamija, so called because it was built at the expense of a rich merchant named Isaac. Walk along the “City of Consuls” street. *Unique experience from a local family in Bitola that organizes an unforgettable lunch in their home offering traditional Macedonian dishes: https://www.balkanprime.tours/en/blog/article/feast-for-the-senses-at-sandra-s . Accommodation and overnight in one peaceful boutique hotel near Bitola. (B,L)

After yoga activity and breakfast way to the Macedonian pearl and UNESCO protected area, Ohrid. Visit the old town of Ohrid, the most beautiful city in Macedonia and one of the most fascinating on the UNESCO-listed Balkan Peninsula. Visit to St. BogorodicaPerivlepta (1259) which is characterized by its Byzantine shapes and patterns, then the St. Sophia erected between 1037-1056 (impressive frescoes dating from the 14th century). Discovery of Plaosnik (St. Clement and Panteleimon) (from outside)- it is best to visit the museum of icons next to the church of St. Mary Perivlepta, and the church of St. Kaneo (from outside) representing one of the symbols of Ohrid. Boat trip to the monastery of Saint-Naum and having the chance to enjoy one of the oldest lakes in Europe and chance to see the pile dwelling on water that according to the archaeological research, existed at the same place in the prehistoric era. (B)

Departure for Struga, meeting with locals. Struga is famous for the Struga Poetry Evenings festival; poets from all over the world come to Struga and read poetry. The only person who can present the history of this event and the history of this beautiful city is Dusko Gjorgon, he has been an official photographer of the event for 50 years, we will visit his gallery which is part of the family home. He will welcome you with his wife in the traditional way. He has made a gallery of all the winners (in his own house and will tell you interesting anecdotes related to this event. His wife will welcome you with coffee and homemade cakeshttps://www.balkanprime.tours/en/blog/article/moments-in-time-caught-in-the-corner-of-one-studio-in-struga. Continuing to Skopje and having a stop in Tetovo where you will visit one of the most impressive and unusual for the Islamic religion – the Painted Mosque. Continuing to Skopje. Visit of the city of Skopje. The old part and the modern part. Guided walking tour of Skopje: the fortress of Kale located in the old town. The church St. Spas-St. Sauveur or Ascension with the incredible iconostasis six meters high and ten meters long, realized entirely by sculpture of the Filipovski brothers between 1819-1824. Stroll through the old bazaar and the Stone Bridge that has acquired this symbol status not only for its historical value, but also because it connects two very different parts of the city. Having a unique experience to meet Deko who will tell you the story of the Macedonian Rubin, you will feel his passionate dedication to what he does, he is one of our heroes today https://www.balkanprime.tours/en/blog/article/The-charm-and-strenght-of-Macedonian-Ruby-Deko . Visit the Mother Teresa Memorial Centre and its place of birth, followed by the city’s old train station. See the modern part of the capital of Macedonia. (B)

After yoga activity and breakfast depending on the free time before departure enjoying a little bit more

Transfer to the airport.

Don't miss this opportunity !

Places are limited.