17 days in Bulgaria Itinerary

17 days in Bulgaria Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Bulgaria itinerary planner

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Route & dates

17 days in Bulgaria Itinerary

Start: Sofia
Drive:  2 h 30 min
1
Melnik
— 1 night
Drive:  5 h
2
Veliko Tarnovo
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
3
Varna
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
4
Sozopol
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 30 min
5
Smolyan
— 1 night
Bus:  1 h 45 min
6
Plovdiv
— 4 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
End: Sofia

1
night
Melnik

Melnik ©
Melnik is a town in Blagoevgrad Province, southwestern Bulgaria, in the southwestern Pirin Mountains, about 440 m above sea level. On the 20th (Fri), head outdoors with Rupite and then stroll around Townpark - Градски парк. On the next day, make a trip to Rozhen Monastery, then explore the striking landscape at The Melnik Pyramids, then do a tasting at Villa Melnik Winery, and finally don't miss a visit to Kordopulova House.

To see traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Melnik vacation planner .

Sofia to Melnik is an approximately 2.5-hour car ride. You can also take a train; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to go by car to Veliko Tarnovo.

Things to do in Melnik

Parks Outdoors Wineries

Side Trips

Villa Melnik Winery, Townpark - Градски парк, Rupite
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 21:
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Villa Melnik Winery ©
Villa Melnik Winery
Rozhen Monastery ©
Rozhen Monastery
Kordopulova House ©
Kordopulova House

4
nights
Veliko Tarnovo

Veliko Tarnovo ©
Veliko Tarnovo is a city in north central Bulgaria and the administrative centre of Veliko Tarnovo Province.Often referred to as the "City of the Tsars", Veliko Tarnovo is located on the Yantra River and is famously known as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, attracting many tourists with its unique architecture. Discover out-of-the-way places like Shipchenski monastery (St Nikolay) and Asen's Monument. Get out of town with these interesting Veliko Tarnovo side-trips: Freedom Square (in Ruse), Troyan Monastery (in Troyan) and Buzludzha (in Kazanluk). And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at Open Air Ethnographic Museum ETAR, take in the spiritual surroundings of Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration of God, take in the local highlights with Walking tours, and don't miss a visit to Samovodska Charshiya Complex.

To see ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read our Veliko Tarnovo online vacation builder .

You can drive from Melnik to Veliko Tarnovo in 5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. In December, daytime highs in Veliko Tarnovo are 7°C, while nighttime lows are -4°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Varna.

Things to do in Veliko Tarnovo

Historic Sites Museums Tours

Side Trips

Lyaskovets Monastery "Sv. Sv. Peter and Paul", Freedom Square, Open Air Ethnographic Museum ETAR, Shipchenski monastery (St Nikolay), Buzludzha
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Troyan Monastery ©
Troyan Monastery
Shipchenski monastery (St Nikolay) ©
Shipchenski monastery (St Nikolay)
Freedom Square ©
Freedom Square

4
nights
Varna

Varna ©
Combine historical exploration and seaside relaxation at Varna, Bulgaria's coastal Black Sea city.
Step off the beaten path and head to Irakli Beach and Antique Village. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Varna: Sveti Vlas (Church of St. Afanasiy the Great & Church of St. Blaise), Aquapark Aquamania (in Albena) and Nessebar (Church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, Winery Messembria, & more). There's lots more to do: try to win big at INTERNATIONAL Hotel Casino & Tower Suites, get your game on at Varna Karting Track, examine the collection at Butterfly House Varna, and admire the natural beauty at Botanical Garden Ecopark.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Varna journey planner.

You can drive from Veliko Tarnovo to Varna in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from Veliko Tarnovo in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Varna, with lows of 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to drive to Sozopol.

Things to do in Varna

Historic Sites Parks Fun & Games

Side Trips

Nessebar, Sveti Vlas, Irakli Beach, Aquapark Aquamania, INTERNATIONAL Hotel Casino & Tower Suites
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Church of Saint Sophia ©
Church of Saint Sophia
Irakli Beach ©
Irakli Beach
Winery Messembria ©
Winery Messembria

2
nights
Sozopol

The romantic atmosphere that lives on in this old city, located along the stunning Black Sea coast, makes Sozopol a popular seaside getaway.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): make a trip to Beglik-Tash, then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, and then make a trip to Yuzhna krepostna stena i kula. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: make a trip to Kilometre zero, explore the activities along Pomorie Lake, then don't miss a visit to Monastery of St. George, then go for a walk through Church of The Most Holy Mother, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius.

To see more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Sozopol online vacation planner .

Traveling by car from Varna to Sozopol takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 9°C, and evening lows to 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can drive to Smolyan.

Things to do in Sozopol

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Pomorie, Kilometre zero, Beglik-Tash
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Yuzhna krepostna stena i kula ©
Yuzhna krepostna stena i kula
Monastery of St. George ©
Monastery of St. George

1
night
Smolyan

Smolyan ©
Start off your visit on the 1st (Wed): fly down the slopes at Pamporovo Ski Resort, then don't miss a visit to National Astronomical Observatory at Rozhen, and then make a trip to The Wonderful Bridges.

For maps, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Smolyan tour planner.

Getting from Sozopol to Smolyan by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to take a bus to Plovdiv.

Things to do in Smolyan

Parks Outdoors Winter Sports

Side Trip

National Astronomical Observatory at Rozhen
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Pamporovo Ski Resort ©
Pamporovo Ski Resort
The Wonderful Bridges ©
The Wonderful Bridges

4
nights
Plovdiv

Plovdiv ©
Though it is often seen as merely a stopover city, Plovdiv is actually a lively university town with bohemian cafes, a thriving art scene, and exciting nightlife.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Villa Yustina and Room Escape Games. Venture out of the city with trips to Horseback Riding Tours (in Borovets) and Sofia (Sofia University Saint Kliment Ohridski, National Museum of Military History, & more). Next up on the itinerary: examine the collection at Regional Archaeological Museum Plovdiv, make a trip to Agora, admire the striking features of Hisar Kapia, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at "St. st. Konstantin and Elena" Church.

For other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Plovdiv trip builder site .

You can take a bus from Smolyan to Plovdiv in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In January in Plovdiv, expect temperatures between 6°C during the day and -3°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can go by car back home.

Things to do in Plovdiv

Museums Outdoors Wineries

Side Trips

Sofia, Horseback Riding Tours, Villa Yustina, Assen's Fortress
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
National Museum of Military History ©
Villa Yustina ©
Villa Yustina
Horseback Riding Tours

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