Self Drive Pirin and Rhodope Mountains

  • Description
  • Itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Departures and Prices
This tour is a nice mixture of stunning nature and charming architectural landmarks. You will experience alpine trekking among beautiful lakes and circuses, you will see impressive cave forms, as well as fascinating rural areas with authentically preserved architecture. You will visit the two largest cities in Bulgaria - Sofia and Plovdiv (European capital of culture for 2019).
Upon arrival pick up your car and explore Sofia numerous attractions. Visit some of the city's most remarkable sites such as: Alexander Nevski Cathedral gold domed Cathedral emblematic for Sofia, the church of st. Sophia which gave the name of the city, the Rotunda of St. George, which is the best preserved Byzantine building, the Russian church st. Nikolas, St. Petka medieval church, Banya Bashi Mosque, the ruins of ancient Roman Serdica and many more. Possibility to see Boyana church (included in UNESCO World Heritage List) lying at the foot of Vitosha Mountain or one of the numerous Sofia museums. Overnight. /B/
Board your car and head to Rila monastery - a national icon for Bulgarians, and a wonderfully situated monument of the highest architectural and historic interest. This monastery is a sanctuary of Bulgarian literature and spiritual life. Founded in the middle of the 10th century by St. Ivan of Rila it played a key role in preserving Bulgarian culture and language during the centuries. It is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. Visit the monastery church with its amazing frescos painted by the most famous Bulgarian finest artists from 19th c. as well as the monastery history museum housing a rich collection of artefacts connected to the history of the monastery and the spread of Christianity in Bulgaria. In the afternoon explore the sandstone Stob Pyramids - a natural rock phenomenon near the village of Stob. Proceed to Bansko for an overnight /B/
Drive from Bansko to hut Vihren from where you start hiking. Depending on your physical preparation, you can reach Muratovo Lake, Fish Lake, The Long Lake and The Eye. A stunning landscape of high peaks, jagged cliffs and beautiful lakes will accompany you throughout your trek. Back to Bansko. In the afternoon you will have free time to stroll through the town center with its winding streets, stone houses and numerous taverns. We can assist with mountain guide for your hike. Accommoadtion in Bansko. /B/
Drive from Bansko to nearby town of Dobrinishte and take the chair lift to Hut Bezbog from where you start hiking. Today's terrain is easy and gentle and you will reach Popovo lake - the largest and the deepest in Pirin Mountain. On the way back you may stop in the village of Dobarsko to see its well known church of st. Theodore Tyro and st. Theodore Stratelates. The church is noted for its abundance of original frescoes and icons, some of which are interpreted as portraying Jesus in a rocket. Back to Bansko for an overnight /B/ We can assist with mountain guide for your hike. Accommodation in Bansko. /B/
Today's journey passes along several fascinating architectural reserves - the villages of Leshten, Kovachevitsa, Delchevo - each of them takes you to the old times where peace and tranquility reign intact from the noisy civilization. Over the narrow cobbled streets are overhanging balconies and bay windows of two and three storey houses with stone roofs. Inside the houses have fireplaces and furnaces some of them still functioning just like in the old days. You may wish to see the uncommon eco village Omaya located near Goce Delchev. It expands on a vast area that features 2 natural lakes and an outdoor swimming pool. The houses are made of wood, clay and stone. Continue along the picturesque road crossing the Rhodopi Mountains and reach Devin where you stay for an overnight. /B/
After breakfast, we head to the pearl in the crown of the Rhodope Mountains The Yagodinska cave. Situated near Buynovska river, it is part of the Buynovsko Gorge and is with no doubt one of the most beautiful caves in Bulgaria. It is about 10 km long, with many labyrinths and abysses inside. It has amazing cave formations such as draperies, pipe-like stalactites, cave pearls and hanging stalactones. After visit to the cave, there is an option for a gentle walk above the Yagodina village. Back in Devin for a relaxed afternoon in the hotel spa center. Overnight in Devin /B/
You keep on exploring the mysteries of Thodope Mountains with a visit to Devils Throat. You may have heard the tale of Orpheus descending into the underworld to search for his beloved Euredice. It is believed that this happened in the Booming Hall, named after the deafening rumble from the waterfall, inside this exact cave. It is the second largest cave hall in Bulgaria where an entire two-story building can fit inside. After visit to the cave, there is a possibility for a trekking to the picturesque Chairski lakes area. In the afternoon, head to Plovdiv Bulgarias second largest city for an overnight /B/
Plovdiv is a town with millenium old history - contemporary to Troy and Mycenae it has preserved ruins from Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman periods. Explore the new part of the town where is the Roman Forum, Odeon and Stadium. Other points of interest are the Roman basilica and the culture center "Trakart" with well-preserved Roman mosaics. The old part of Plovdiv is also abundant with landmarks - fortress walls, ancient Roman theatre from 2nd c, Revival houses and churches, Old Pharmacy, art galleries and many more. In the afternoon, drive back to Sofia.

City Hotel name Number of nights
Sofia Hotel Budapest 3* or similar 1 overnight on BB basis
Bansko Family Hotel Bariakov 3* or similar 3 overnights on BB basis
Devin SPA Hotel Devin 4* or similar 2 overnight on BB basis
Plovdiv Hotel Seven Hills 3* or similar 1 overnight on BB basis
April 2019 - October 2019

Dates and prices:
Price for minimum 2 participants - per person in twin room sharing310.00

Single supplement per person:98.00

Price includes:
  • Accommodation on BB basis in 3* hotels (depending on the availability)
  • Car hire for 8 days economy class including unlimited mileage for Bulgaria, Insurance "Third Party Liability", road tax vignette for Bulgaria, CDW (Collision Damage Walver) and TF (Theft Protection)
Price excludes:
  • Refundable deposit of 300 euros will be taken on collection of the car
  • Fuel, parking fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Admission fees in museums
  • Guide service / mountain guide service

Note on prices:
The price is based on 3* hotels. We can upgrade to 4* if requested.

Driver must be between 23 and 65 years old Driver must have a valid driving license and minimum 1 year driving experience Driver must have a valid credit card.

Atlantic Tour is a member of BCCCI (Bulgarian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry)