This unique medieval fortress was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom from 1185 to 1393.
What to Expect
Veliko Tarnovo is a city in north-central Bulgaria. Often referred to as the "City of the Tsars", Veliko Tarnovo is located on the Yantra River and is famous as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396), attracting many tourists with its unique architecture. The old part of the city is situated on the three hills Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, and Sveta Gora, rising amidst the meanders of the Yantra. On Tsarevets are the palaces of the Bulgarian emperors and the Patriarchate, the Patriarchal Cathedral, as well as a number of administrative and residential edifices surrounded by thick walls. Trapezitsa is known for its many churches and as the former main residence of the nobility. In the Middle Ages, the city was among the main European centers of culture and gave its name to the architecture of the Tarnovo Artistic School, painting of the Tarnovo Artistic School and literature.Arbanassi is known for the rich history and large number of historical monuments, such as 17th- and 18th-century churches and examples of Bulgarian National Revival architecture, which have turned it into a popular tourist destination. It is set on a high terrace above Veliko Tarnovo where you enjoy a scenic overview of the city and the fortress Tsarevets.
Veliko Tarnovo is located 220 kilometers from Sofia. You will start your journey at 8:00, from your hotel or accommodation in Sofia. On the way you will be able to stop for a short break in Yablanitsa, where you can try Halva – many types of dense, sweet confections, served across the Balkans. The crumbly base is usually made from tahini (sesame paste) or other nut butters, such as sunflower seed butter. When you arrive in Veliko Tarnovo you will have the opportunity to enjoy a great view of the fortress and take some photos before setting off on a climb to Baldwin's Tower and the top of the medieval hill - the Patriarchal Church of Tsarevets. On your way back to the vehicle, you may glance at the Assen's Dynasty Monument, and then stroll over Samovodska Charshia Street, where you will be able to buy a small souvenir of your exciting trip.
Before returning to Sofia, you will take a look at the oldest church in Arbanasi, the Nativity of Christ, with its beautiful frescoes from 1632. The mural paintings include the life of St. John the Baptist, patron of the church, and the wheel of life with the 12 zodiac signs.
- Transfer to and from your hotel/accommodation in Sofia
- Guide in English
- Parking fees
- Entrance fees
What's Not Included
- Personal expenses
Know Before You Go
Start: 8:00/End: 18:00
Recommended period: All year round
Driving time: 6h 30m approximately
Walking time: 3h 30m approximately
Handicap accessible: Very limited, lots of steps
Special requirements: Comfortable shoes (cobblestone streets)