Plovdiv City Tour

How to find the tour that suits your party best?

Looking for a small-group tours in Bulgaria? There are number of pre-set itineraries that you can find online. However, in most of the cases they look similar and it is hard for someone that doesn’t know too much about the country to make a decision. And as the saying goes “The Devil is in the details” (If you ask me so is the God), it is those details that have great impact on the overall experience you will get from your Bulgarian tour. Sometimes there will be places and things to do in a program that doesn’t interest you. Other times there will be sights that you would wish were in the itinerary, but will be missing.

So how do you choose the best Bulgarian tour for you?

The answer is that you don’t necessarily have to! As someone that has worked both behind the computer and on the field. Being a tour operator and a guide, I see that the pre-arranged tours often do not fit small groups.

The chances are, that small groups consist of family members, friends or/and colleagues. And if you are the one arranging, you probably have a specific vision on some of the experiences and visits you want for everyone.

You maybe need a more individual approach for the best result!

On my opinion that should be no harder than booking any other tour with fixed itinerary. With the only difference that it will be your unique tailored experience.

I have adopted this style of working a long time ago and it has proved amazing results every time! As I believe that flexibility and expertise in different areas of the tourism field is one of my greatest virtues.

Here’s what one of my clients shared about their small-group Bulgarian tour:

I did not expect that we would have such a seamless realization of our family trip to the Rhodope mountains.

Of course, first and foremost is the credit of my husband, an organized business person who dealt with contacts and arranging the whole trip.

The pleasant surprise came from the other side – our recommended guide Velislav really met all our requirements – for transportation, itinerary, overnights, sightseeing.

Although there are enough drivers in the family (I’m the only not that is not, actually), both young and not so young, we decided to indulge in lazy tourist enjoyment and since Velislav was a guide and a driver of the minibus for our small group of seven and one child.

Our desire was to combine Bulgarian mountain charms, architectural, historical and natural landmarks.

So, with the inevitable excess luggage, we left Sofia on the 1st of September and our first destination was the Rila Monastery. On the way before that we had lunch of fresh trout in a restaurant near the river which we highly recommend. Good weather was with us the splendor of the monastery was shining in the sun. We were taken by the views and immersed in history.

It is unfortunate that the famous monastery kitchen wasn’t open for visits. It would be curious for our daughter-in-law (who is a big fan of cooking and everything related to it) to see this amazing facility. But we went up with the tower of Hrelyo, and the view through the small crevices was touchingly impressive.

We continued past the popular ski resort of Bansko and arrived in Kovachevitsa, which I had heard so much about and, of course, the village won me over forever.

I’ve been languishing in old houses for a while, and here I was just numb.

We stayed at one of those 18c. houses – with great mountain views, large verandas, preserved traditional room style, a courtyard with lush green grass and flowers and friendly hosts. Drinking a cafe in such a veranda overlooking the mountain… what more does one need!

It was as if we were the only visitors at the moment and enjoyed the homey coziness and romance combined. Our breakfast in the morning was a home-made banitsa (traditional Bulgarian breakfast pastry with white cheese) and ayryan (yoghurt drink).

While walking through the village we came across a wonderful amateur ethnographic mini-museum. The hostess herself, an engineer from Sofia invited us from the street to look at the family house and the exhibition of fabrics and everyday objects of the old Rhodopes – with taste and understanding, with a sense and love of traditions.

We headed out to Dospat in the late morning and had lunch at the dam there.

The typical Rhodopean landscape is enchanting with the fresh green of the meadows and the piles of hay. The dark of the forests and the gentle patches of the tobacco plantations appearing on the most unexpected terrains.

In the afternoon, we dedicated ourselves to the narrow and moist paths between stalactites and stalagmites, among the quaint mysterious folds of the Yagodinska cave.

We continued to the Devil’s Throat cave, and marveled at the Trigrad Gorge.

Enriched by the views and experiences we finished the day in Devin, popular with its mineral waters and indulged in the pool and other spa facilities.

For our third day we traveled to Zlatograd.

On the way we stopped in Smolyan – the home town of our guide who we already call by his nickname “Velko”.  His recommendation for lunch stop again offered us a very pleasant surprise, because we were fascinated by the delicious dishes and the wonderful service.

And then, with great pleasure, we examined the town’s historical museum with its rich exposition.

And here we are in Zlatograd – the place that after Kovachevitsa deserves our hottest passions! We settled in the centre of the town near the river. Very nice hotel, traditional style rooms, cozy and welcoming. In the evening, we went for a walk and had dinner at a romantic traditional restaurant with tables in the large veranda. Where our noisy company seemed to spoil a bit the pleasure of the quiet people at the next table.

In the morning, of course, we toured the traditional cobblestone shops in the ethnographic complex and drank coffee prepared on the sand. Quite an amusing way to make coffee.

We were intrigued by the old-school classroom stuck to writing on the sand boards for a while. We just didn’t want to leave the town, and it took a while before we did.

Our next stop was the ancient Thracian complex of Perperikon. Some of us found themselves on the ruler’s throne.

Our family adventure was coming to an end – our last stay was in Plovdiv. And we were welcomed with warmth and beauty.

And in the morning the old town swallowed us up and we wandered the romantic streets for a long time.

Well – and how can we not be so pleased with so many beauties? Look at us, right?

Every day a different place, diverse, curious, affectionate! The known and the unknown Bulgaria has brought a lot of warmth, peace and inspiration to each of us!

And thanks to Velko, I really enjoyed it!