32 days in Bulgaria Itinerary

32 days in Bulgaria Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Bulgaria trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

32 days in Bulgaria Itinerary

Start: Cape Town
Fly:  18​h 15​min
1
Sofia
— 5 nights
2
Veliko Tarnovo
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Varna
— 4 nights
bus:  1​h 45​min
4
Nessebar
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
5
Plovdiv
— 5 nights
train + taxi:  2​h 30​min
6
Bansko
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h
7
Rila
— 4 nights
Drive + Fly:  21​h 45​min
End: Cape Town

5
nights
Sofia

Sofia ©
Spend time in one of Europe's oldest cities, the vibrant Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
Sofia is known for historic sites, fun & games, nightlife, museums, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: pause for some serene contemplation at St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, take in the spiritual surroundings of Temple Sveti Nikolay, see the interesting displays at National Museum of History, and take a stroll through Vitosha Boulevard.

For traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Sofia online route builder .

Cape Town, South Africa to Sofia is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Cape Town in August, expect Sofia to be somewhat warmer, temps between 34°C and 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can drive to Veliko Tarnovo.

Things to do in Sofia

Historic Sites Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Aug 30 — Sep 5:
Highlights from your plan
St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral ©
St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral
Boyana Church ©
Boyana Church
Room Escape Games

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. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Veliko Tarnovo: Devetashka Cave (in Devetaki), Thracian Tomb (in Kazanlak) and Open Air Ethnographic Museum ETAR (in Gabrovo). There's much more to do: delve into the distant past at Tsarevets, pause for some serene contemplation at Chiesa della Nativita, admire the sheer force of Kaya Bunar, and identify plant and animal life at Valley of Roses.

To find ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read Veliko Tarnovo online trip itinerary maker .

Drive from Sofia to Veliko Tarnovo in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In September, daytime highs in Veliko Tarnovo are 29°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) early enough to drive to Varna.

Things to do in Veliko Tarnovo

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Devetashka Cave, Chiesa della Nativita, Valley of Roses, Buzludzha, Open Air Ethnographic Museum ETAR
Find places to stay Sep 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Devetashka Cave ©
Devetashka Cave
Tsarevets ©
Tsarevets
Open Air Ethnographic Museum ETAR ©

4
nights
Varna

Varna ©
Combine historical exploration and seaside relaxation at Varna, Bulgaria's coastal Black Sea city.
Explore Varna's surroundings by going to Cape Kaliakra (in Dobrich), Palace and Botanical Gardens of Balchik (in Balchik) and Madara Rider (in Shumen). There's still lots to do: take in nature's colorful creations at ''Primorski'' park, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Dolphinarium Varna, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, and examine the collection at Ретро Музей/Retro Museum.

To find ratings, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Varna trip planning app .

Getting from Veliko Tarnovo to Varna by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 29°C in September, and nighttime lows around 16°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can take a bus to Nessebar.

Things to do in Varna

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Cape Kaliakra, Palace and Botanical Gardens of Balchik, Monastery of Saints Constantine and Helena, Aquapark Aquamania, Madara Rider
Find places to stay Sep 9 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Palace and Botanical Gardens of Balchik ©
Cape Kaliakra ©
Cape Kaliakra
''Primorski'' park ©
''Primorski'' park

4
nights
Nessebar

Nessebar ©
Between the ruggedly beautiful Balkan Mountains and shores of the Black Sea lies the World Heritage Site, Nessebar.
Change things up with these side-trips from Nessebar: Sea Garden (in Burgas) and Sozopol Old Town (in Sozopol). There's much more to do: make a splash at Action Aquapark, get out on two wheels at Karting Sunny Beach, get your game on at CRG Airsoft Arena, and find something for the whole family at Sunny Beach Luna Park.

To see photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Nessebar trip maker tool .

Getting from Varna to Nessebar by bus takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive. September in Nessebar sees daily highs of 29°C and lows of 17°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can go by car to Plovdiv.

Things to do in Nessebar

Theme Parks Parks Spas

Side Trips

Sunny Beach, Sozopol Old Town, Sea Garden
Find places to stay Sep 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Action Aquapark ©
Action Aquapark
Sozopol Old Town ©
Sozopol Old Town
Aqua Paradise Ltd ©
Aqua Paradise Ltd

5
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.
Explore Plovdiv's surroundings by going to Bachkovo Monastery (in Bachkovo) and Central Balkan National Park (in Kalofer). The adventure continues: don't miss a visit to Plovdiv Old Town, see the interesting displays at Ethnographic Museum, get your game on at Level Up, and steep yourself in history at Assen's Fortress.

To see where to stay, photos, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Plovdiv journey planning tool .

You can drive from Nessebar to Plovdiv in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and train. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in September, and nighttime lows around 16°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) to allow time to travel to Bansko.

Things to do in Plovdiv

Fun & Games Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Perperikon, Central Balkan National Park, Bachkovo Monastery, Assen's Fortress
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Old Plovdiv Retro Photo ©
Old Plovdiv Retro Photo
Plovdiv Old Town ©
Plovdiv Old Town
Plovdiv Roman Theatre ©
Plovdiv Roman Theatre

4
nights
Bansko

Bansko ©
Boasting the longest ski runs in the country, Bansko offers one of the best ski resort locations in Bulgaria.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Bansko: Episcopal Basilica (in Sandanski), Pirin National Park (in Pirin) and Melnik (Rozhen Monastery & Kordopulova House). There's lots more to do: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Vihren, test your team's savvy at popular escape rooms, tour the pleasant surroundings at Ski Bansko, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Church.

For reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Bansko tour builder site .

You can do a combination of train and taxi from Plovdiv to Bansko in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Plovdiv in September, plan for slightly colder nights in Bansko, with lows around 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Rila.

Things to do in Bansko

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Melnik, Blagoevgrad, Bezbog - peak in Pirin Mountains, Pirin National Park, Episcopal Basilica
Find places to stay Sep 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Pirin National Park ©
Pirin National Park
Vihren ©
Vihren
Ski Bansko ©
Ski Bansko

4
nights
Rila

Rila ©
Rila is a town in southwestern Bulgaria, in Rila Municipality, part of Kyustendil Province. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rila: The Big Drinking Fountain (in Samokov) and Borovets (Tsarska Bistritsa, Borovets Ski Resort, & more). There's still lots to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Rila Monastery, explore the striking landscape of Rila National Park, and look for all kinds of wild species at Dancing Bears Park.

To see other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Rila tour app .

You can drive from Bansko to Rila in 2 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 29°C in September, and nighttime lows around 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Rila

Parks Nature Winter Sports

Side Trips

Borovets, Dancing Bears Park, The Big Drinking Fountain
Find places to stay Sep 26 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Rila National Park ©
Rila National Park
Rila Monastery ©
Rila Monastery
Yanakiev Ski and Snowboard School ©
Yanakiev Ski and Snowboard School

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