Welcome to Plovdiv & Southern Mountains

Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city, Plovdiv anchors the region. Roman ruins and a sparkling artistic quarter provide a thrilling backdrop to the city’s calendar of festivals, which brims ahead of its reign as European Capital of Culture 2019.

Quiet winemaking villages snooze in Plovdiv’s surrounds, while the Rodopi Mountains reach south, dotted with ski centres such as Pamporovo. To the west lie the Rila Mountains, home to a monastery that is a spiritual lighthouse for all of Bulgaria.

Perhaps most spectacular is the Pirin Mountain range, which grumbles south of pleasant, student-filled Blagoevgrad. High-octane Bansko is the region’s leading ski and snowboard spot, but in spring and summer Pirin National Park comes to the fore: its hiking trails weave between gem-blue lakes, and up to arid peaks such as Mt Vihren (2914m).

Top experiences in Plovdiv & Southern Mountains

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Plovdiv & Southern Mountains activities

$41.78 Day Trips & Excursions

Wonderful Bridges, Bachkovo Monastery, Assen's Fortress Private Day Tour from Plovdiv

From Plovdiv head towards the Rhodope Mountains passing through the pretty town of Assenovgrad. Nearby see the remarkable remains of King Ivan Assen’s Fortress - a wise ruler of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. There find an ancient church dating from the 13th century painted with some authentic pieces of iconography. At the top of the fortress enjoy an awesome 360 degrees panorama all over the Rhodope Mountains, Asenovgrad town, The Thracian Valley and the imposing Balkan Range with its highest Botev Peak in the far distance.Next go deeper in the Rhodope Mountains towards the picturesque Bachkovo Monastery. The cloister is the second largest in Bulgaria, founded in 1083 and one of the most sacred places in the Bulgarian history. Inside the monastery visit the main church of Virgin Mary built in 1604 where a valuable icon of Saint Mary from 11-12th century AD is being kept. According to the legend and the big number of healed people this remarkable icon is believed to be miracle working. Attached to the Virgin Mary church see the Archangels' Church dating to the 12th century. The monastery refectory is another jewel in the complex which has preserved colorful murals from 1643. Together with the Doomsday fresco, witness the images of some prophets, saint-monks, ancient philosophers and writers as Socrates, Aristotle, Plato and many more. The panoramic mural painting on the outside wall of the refectory represents a bird’s eye view of the monastery with all the surrounding buildings from 1807. This is the biggest scenic mural on the Balkan Peninsula! In the second monastery yard finally visit the Saint Nikola church. In the second monastery yard finally visit the Saint Nikola church built between 1834 and 1837.Next continue the tour towards The Wonderful Bridges situated at 1450 m. a. s. l. in the heart of the lovely Rhodope Mountains. This unique nature phenomenon consists of two rocky bridges (height of 45 m) over a small river. The marble bridges were formed by an earthquake and the erosive activity of the once high-water river. Together with the Bachkovo Monastery and the Assen’s Fortress these outstanding nature bridges are also on the list of the 100 national tourist sites in Bulgaria. In summer the longest zip line on the Balkan Peninsula (240 m) stretching between the 2 bridges is available for the more adventurous travelers.Trip duration: 6.5-7 hours

$99.73 Day Trips & Excursions

Pirin Mountain, Melnik and Rozhen Monastery Full Day Tour from Bansko

You will be picked up from your hotel in Bansko at 9am and head straight to the Roshen Monastery. It is the biggest monastery in Pirin Mountains, in the southwest of Bulgaria and one of the few medieval Bulgarian monasteries.After touring the monastery and admiring its unique architecture, continue to Melnik, one of Bulgaria's smallest yet most scenic towns. In 1215 Melnik emerged as a capital of an independent feudal principality, ruled by Despot Alexis Slav, and the ruins of his fortress can still be seen close to the town. In Melnik itself, you will have chance to admire the National Revival period buildings, enjoy views of the dramatic Melnik sand pyramids, and stop at a local wine cellar for a wine tasting. Your tour ends with drop-off at your accommodation in Bansko.

$117.69 Day Trips & Excursions

Bansko 4x4 Tour to Melnik with Wine Tasting and Monastery

The smallest Bulgarian town Melnik offers an amazing scenery. The town is at the foot of a unique nature phenomena – the Melnik sand pyramids. In the year 1215 Melnik emerged as a capital of an independent feudal principality, ruled by Despot Alexis Slav. The ruins of his fortress near the town, are preserved till the present days. The houses in Melnik date from the National Revival period, with their interesting and typical architecture. The region of Melnik is famous also with its specific sort of grape. The town is the perfect place for wine tasting – there are numerous very special wine cellars in the area, where one can learn the history of the magic drink. Rozhen Monastery is the biggest monastery in Pirin Mountains, in the southwest of Bulgaria. It’s one of the few medieval Bulgarian monasteries, well preserved until today. The unique architecture of the monastery makes it a popular tourist destination. Enjoy this tour of the medieval Rozhen monastery, the picturesque town of Melnik and the best wines of this beautiful corner of Bulgaria

$10.74 Cultural & Theme Tours

Kapana Arts & Crafts District Tour

During the 2 hour walking tour of Kapana, the creative district of Plovdiv, you will have the chance to submerge into the history and the atmosphere of this 5 century old place. The Kapana Arts and Crafts District Tour welcomes its guests every Saturday and Sunday at 11 am at the Municipality building (the Town Hall). During the tour you will learn about the development of Kapana and how it was turned into the creative district of the city. The guests of the tour will have the chance to visit the workshops of local artisans and a contemporary art gallery and will have the opportunity to show us how skilful they are at the handicraft manufacturing.    

$65.46 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Half-Day Pirin Mountain Tour from Bansko with BBQ Lunch

Your tour starts with pickup from your hotel in Bansko.Set out on the scenic drive to the Pirin Mountain, one of the highest in Bulgaria, and spend some time relaxing, hiking in the countryside or admiring the views. Then, sit down to tuck into a traditional Bulgarian BBQ lunch, gazing out over the mountain landscapes. After lunch, return to Bansko, where your tour ends with drop-off at your hotel.

$125.72 Day Trips & Excursions

Yagodinska Cave Tour from Bansko by Private Car

Meet a driver at your hotel in Bansko, then make the 80-mile (129-km.) trip to Yagodinska Cave in a private vehicle, passing great views of Ropi Mountain and the Rhodopes.Upon arrival at the cave, which stretches 6.5 miles (10.5 km.) into the hillside, you'll join a tour through the labyrinthine tunnels and formations, searching out the cave's most remarkable formations. Following your time at Yagodinska Cave, this tour concludes with return transfer to Bansko, and drop-off at your hotel. 

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