CELEBRATING 18 Years in 2016
Incredible Memories - One Tour at a Time

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2016 Tours

  Incredible India Feb/Mar  
  London Chelsea/Paris May  
  Spain - Gardens & Gaudi June  
  South Africa Oct  
  more to come    

2017 Tours

  Portugal Apr  
  more to come    



  • Pickup at Airport on Arrival
  • Delivery to Airport on Departure
  • 9 nights in various hotels
  • All Breakfasts
  • 7 Lunches
  • 7 Dinners
  • Private Concert in Arbanassi
  • Wine Tasting at Starossel Wine Cellar
  • Visits as outlined
  • Transport while on tour
  • Tips to Driver and Guide
  • Porterage of ONE bag at each hotel


Donna’s Choice of Hotels
For International Flights




June 3rd-12th, 2014

It is a joyful and flower filled time to be in Bulgaria…the spring holds such promise and here we will see plenty of that as we visit this stunningly beautiful lush green country. We start and end our tour is Sofia, the capital and largest city in Bulgaria with a population at just a little over 1 million people. It is a city of contrasts brought on by the various rulers over time. You will see modern mixed in with a number of ancient Roman, Byzantine and medieval Bulgarian buildings that are preserved in the center of the city. There are many green spaces as well and when we take to the ultra modern and very good highways to visit other equally splendid places you will see wildflowers along the roads that will take your breath away. You can sample the spring waters that flow down to the roadways where you can get it from special fountains, you can sample the cherries that are ready and ripe. You will see landscape that shows the Balkan Mountains as the backdrop with undulating fields of various crops all along the way. We travel right across the country to the Black Sea where I have chosen a beautiful hotel right on the beach so you can walk along the waters edge.

This country is also famous for its vegetables. In fact the very first hybrid tomato came from Bulgaria. We will enjoy wonderful healthy food. I was amazed at the variety and quality.

One of the highlights of being here in spring are the Rosa x damascene in bloom and you will indeed be here to see that, along with many other types of roses in bloom. These roses are only in bloom for a very short time so we are fortunate indeed!

Lonely Planet ranked this country as number 10 of top destinations to visit in 2011. I can see why now after having made a visit here ... please visit my trip recap at http://www.icangarden.com/Pix/bulgaria-2013-1.cfm  to get an idea of some of the things I saw and why I am pleased to offer this unique tour that is limited to just 15 people.

Please note that this tour does require some walking as we tour through some of the old parts with cobblestone streets. Good walking shoes or sandals are recommended. We do stay in many hotels on this tour, but the country is not large and the landscape is beautiful and gives us the opportunity of seeing much while here…live out of that suitcase!

June 3, 2014 Tuesday Arrival Day
Arrival at Sofia, Bulgaria Airport where you will be met and taken to your hotel. We have arranged for you to enjoy dinner at the hotel when you arrive.
Your Hotel – Crystal Palace

June 4, 2014 Wednesday Sofia
Walking tour of Sofia to enjoy the symbols of the city – St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St. Sofia Church and Rotund St. George – built by the Romans in the 4th Century , a visit to the National Art Gallery in the former Bulgarian Royal Palace, time in the Sofia Botanic Garden – a gem!, the petite and exquisite Boyana Church – built in the 10th Century and the National History Museum – filled with treasures including the oldest gold artifacts and jewelry in the world.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

June 5, 2014 Thursday Sofia to Veliko Tarnovo
Visit to a street market to see stands and stands of fresh flowers, bouquets, fruits and vegetables. Then a visit to see some Vertical Walls that have been planted in an office building in the lobby… planted on either side of doors leading outside to a small garden area it is a lovely use of plant material. We depart for Arbanassi and enjoy lunch there. We visit the Nativity Church – a small church totally covered in paintings and frescoes. Afterwards enjoy a private concert of orthodox chants. We check into our hotel and enjoy being in the old quarter where we can walk to see the local craft shops. We enjoy dinner tonight in a place noted for its history as well.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Your Hotel – Yantra Grand Hotel

June 6, 2014 Friday Veliko Tarnovo to Balchik
After arrival into Balchik we will first enjoy lunch, looking out over the Black Sea, then to visit one of the most enchanting landmarks – the Botanic Gardens situated within the borders of the Summer Palace of the Romanian Queen Maria Alexandrina Victoria De Edinburgh. It is here you will spend the rest of the afternoon and evening wandering these lovely gardens - especially take time to enjoy the rose gardens by the Black Sea, enjoying the walk along the water or just resting in your room as our hotel is visible from where we enjoy lunch. You will have time to enjoy wine tastings within the Palace Grounds – you must try the fig wine, stand alone in the rose garden just inhaling the intoxicating fragrances of so many roses, or wander around the grounds enjoying each area. There is a great area filled with signs and pictures letting you know about each of the areas and how they played in her life here. She hated leaving this place. You will see why.
Breakfast and Lunch, dinner on your own
Your Hotel – Regina Maria

June 7, 2014 Saturday Balchik to Nessebar
After breakfast we will leave this lovely place and head to a gorgeous little garden center. Full of garden plants, flowers and accessories, I feel it will give you a great idea of what they offer to gardeners…everything!! Then on to Nessebar, a truly wonderful city and we are staying right in the heart of the old town. Our hotel is right by the Black Sea as well with fantastic views. Once in our hotel we will enjoy a sightseeing walk through the old cobblestone streets, checking out the Archeological Museum and one of the old well preserved small churches that have now been transformed into museums, then our guide will let us know some of the best places to enjoy dinner that evening. A UNESCO site.
Breakfast and Lunch. Dinner on own
Your Hotel – St. Stefan Boutique Hotel

June 8, 2014 Sunday Nessebar to Pavel Banya
A lovely day to enjoy the landscape as we drive to Kazanlak where we enjoy lunch, then visit the replica of a Thracian Tomb. The original is but 10 meters away but since it is so priceless and a UNESCO site, they built an exact replica of it so you could see for yourself just how magnificent it is. Dating back to the 4th century BC it depicts a ritual funeral feast. It is beautiful. From here we visit the House of Roses to munch on goodies made with roses and buy rosewater, soap and hand lotion among other things…all made with roses….because we are in the best possible area to be in now…the Valley of the Roses! Did you know that 85% of the rose oil sold in the world comes from Bulgaria…the rose is the Rosa x damascene. You will see fields and fields of these growing as we travel through this area. We continue our journey to Pavel Banya where we check into our hotel and enjoy dinner.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Your Hotel – Sevtopolis Pavel Banya

June 9, 2014 Monday Pavel Banya to Plovdiv
This morning we drive to the Village of Turnicheni to visit a family owned Rose Distillery. You will see both the old way of distilling rose oil and water and the new way. You will see how they gather the rose petals and how many tons are needed to make just one kilogram of rose oil. There is also a small rose museum here showing bottles and containers used for shipping this precious oil, which is more costly than gold. We should be able to step out into the rose fields for some photos as well. Then we head to Starossel Wine Cellar where we have a choice of either relaxing and wandering around the grounds – there are vineyards, orchards and small animal pets to see or spend some time relaxing in the spring water pool they have…truly inviting. We also enjoy a special lunch here and a wine tasting before continuing our journey to Plovdiv where we enjoy some rest time before dinner at Hemmingway.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Your Hotel – Trimontium Princess Hotel

June 10, 2014 Tuesday Plovdiv to Sofia
Before leaving for Sofia we take a walk to enjoy the old town of Plovdiv including Tsar Simeon’s Garden, the Ethnographic museum with its little courtyard and Hindliyan’s House, where once there flowed rose water out of the marble fountain in the parlour of this wealthy merchant. We also visit the Philipopolis Art Gallery and enjoy a lovely lunch here as well before our drive to Sofia. It is a small gallery but most of the art is owned by a private collector and they sure had an eclectic taste! The building and furniture inside is wonderful as well. Just outside Sofia we will make a short stop to the Palm Center, really an outdoor garden center with many varieties of plant material including a large variety of palms.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Your Hotel – Arena Di Serdica

June 11th, 2014 Wednesday Sofia
After breakfast you may want to see more of this hotel as it sits on top of Roman Ruins and you can see them from the lobby…quite something to see, or perhaps visit the spa. The day is yours to do as you please since we are in the heart of the walking and shopping area. We will also have a couple of optional suggestions with our guide to tempt you if you need further tempting!
Our farewell dinner tonight will be in a lovely and very special place.
Breakfast and Dinner, Lunch on your own

June 12, 2014 Thursday Departure Day
Arrangements will be made to the airport for departure.


click on the above buttons for the complete tour day by day itinerary or the registration forms
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Tour Dates: June 3rd - 12th. 2014

LAND only 2100 Euros p/p sharing or double
SINGLE Supplement 330 Euros (very limited)

See Highlights Box for all inclusions on this tour.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel | Journeys of Discovery Exclusive Travel Agent on this Tour

NOTE Minimum Tour guests 10. Do not book air until you have been advised that the tour is a go. If Carlson Wagonlit Travel is booking you as an air/land package then they will look after this for you.

Email: donna@icangarden.com