On the Traces of the Thracians
A 5-day excursion to a number of archeological sites in the region of Plovdiv and the Rhodope mountains – the remnants of the ancient Thracian civilization that used to inhabit these lands before the Roman Empire spread here. See what remains of a culture contemporary to Ancient Greece and Dacia.
• Tour the city of Plovdiv – 2019 European Capital of Culture
• Visit the Kazanlak Tomb – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
• See the Starosel Thracian Temple Complex
• Explore Perperikon – the Bulgarian Machu Picchu
• Visit the Rock Wonders of the Eastern Rhodope Mountains
On the first day of the excursion, we will go on a tour around Plovdiv, starting with a visit to the Old Town.
The Old Town is an architectural and historical reserve notable for its buildings in the style of the Bulgarian Revival Period. We’ll be visiting its major landmarks, among which are the Balabanov and Hindliyan houses, the Regional Ethnographic museum, and the Ancient Theatre of Philipoppol – one of the best preserved Roman theatres in the world. The first piece of Thracian heritage we’ll be getting in touch with is at the top of Nebet Tepe – one of the hills upon which the Old Town is built, and the location of what remains of an ancient Thracian fortress.
During the 12th century BC, the ancient Thracian city of Eumolpia was founded here.
Here we’ll take a lunch break at a traditional Bulgarian restaurant. From there we continue onto the ancient Roman Stadium, the northern part of which is uncovered and open to visitors. Our next stop is Kapana (i.e. “the Trap”) – Plovdiv’s famed art corner. The tour ends with a trip to the best shopping spots in the immediate area, where you can browse and shop for presents and souvenirs.
We will visit the famous Kazanlak Thracian tomb (4th – 3rd century BC). This Tomb is one of the most significant monuments of Thracian culture in Bulgaria, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is famous for its wall and ceiling murals depicting a historical event from the life of the distinguished Thracian ruler buried in the tomb. While we are in Kazanlak we will visit the beautiful Rose museum and you will learn the interesting history behind the production of Rose oil and the annual rose festival. While you're looking going through the museum you will enjoy the mesmerizing smell of the Bulgarian rose.
On the road to Plovdiv we invite you to visit the Rose ethnographic complex. You will have the opportunity to watch the process of rose oil production, which is something unique to this country.
This day takes us to the Starosel Thracian Temple Complex.
It dates back to the end of the 5th century BC. The complex consists of six underhill temples, as well as a multiple royal burial sites. Religious ceremonies dedicated to the Mother Goddess, her son the Sun, and Orpheus were performed in this temple. From there we move onto the Hisarya mineral water resort where we will stop for lunch. Once a Thracian city, it was later developed into a major cultural center by the Romans, and the remains of the ancient structures they built here stand to this day. Afternoon in the Hissar Spa Complex.
On this day we will be visiting the Thracian Complex of Perperikon. Part of this archaeological complex is a large megalithic sanctuary dating back to 8000 BC, making it older than the Egyptian pyramids. In the days of the Thracians, Perperikon was a sacred city carved into the cliffs, a capital and a royal castle behind fortified walls.
It reached its peak during the Roman Era. Some historians believe that Perperikon is the location of the ancient Temple of Dionysius mentioned in numerous ancient Greek texts.
Overnight stay at a gorgeous hotel near Kardzhali.
Today’s stop is the rock wonders of the Eastern Rhodope mountains, specifically the Stone Mushrooms rock formations located east of the village of Beli Plast. Some are as tall as 2.5 meters, with pink stalks and greenish caps. They are the result of intense underwater volcanic activity that occurred sometime during the Paleocene.
From there we will go back to Plovdiv and enjoy a walk through the city center and lunch at a local restaurant.
Overnight in Plovdiv.
Inclusion / exclusions
The price includes
• BB accommodation in 3-star hotels in double rooms with private facilities, with 1 overnight at the Rocca Resort
• The services of a tour guide
• Transfers along the route
The price does not include
• Entrance fees
• Lunches and dinners
• Single room: +15 € per person per night
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