Arrival in Sofia. Accommodation. Guided sightseeing tour of the city center, including visit to Alexander Nevski Cathedral - one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in Europe, as well as one of Sofia’s symbols and primary tourist attractions; St. George Rotunda, St. Sophia Church, built by emperor Justinian in the 6th century, the National Theatre, the former Royal Palace, housing the National Art Gallery and the Ethnographic Museum, the Presidency, etc. Free time in the city centre and main trade area around Vitosha Boulevard. Optional dinner at traditional restaurant with folklore music and dances. Overnight in Sofia.
Breakfast. Departure for Rila Monastery - the most beautiful and the most important monastery in Bulgaria, founded in the 10th century and nowadays included in the world cultural heritage list of UNESCO. Tour of Rila Monastery and its museum. Visit to the monastery church of the Nativity of the Virgin. One of its greatest treasures is the wooden iconostasis, some 14th and 15th century icons, wall paintings, made by the famous artist Zahari Zograph. Walk around the monastery - Hrelyo’s Tower, the old kitchen. Drive to Melnik. Walking tour in the smallest town in Bulgaria with an optional wine tasting in Kordopulova Museum House. Accommodation in Sandanski. Overnight.
Breakfast. Departure for Greece. Drive to Thessaloniki. Sightseeing tour - the White Tower - a symbol of the city, St. St. Cyril and Methodius Church, Navarino Square with the Palace of Galerius; Arch of Galerius; Turkish Baths; Roman Forum; St. Demetrius Church where the relics of the saint are preserved for worship; Eptapirgio Fortress. Free time in the old part of the city for visiting the famous market. Drive to the town of Kalambaka. Accommodation and overnight in Kalambaka.
Breakfast. Visit to the unique monasteries of Meteora. The rock monasteries have been characterized by UNESCO as a unique phenomenon of cultural heritage and they form one of the most important stations of the cultural map of Greece. Visit to two of the six functioning monasteries there. Free time in the picturesque town of Kalambaka, nestled in the shadow of the giant rocks of Meteora. Drive to Vergina - the first capital of Ancient Macedonia. Visit to the famous tomb of Philip II the Macedon and the museum. Departure for Kastoria. Accommodation and overnight in Kastoria.
Breakfast. Sightseeing tour in Kastoria. Located on the shores of Orestiada Lake the town impressess the eye with its romantic narrow streets and Byzantine churches. Departure for North Macedonia. Sightseeing tour in Bitola - once most important trade center in Macedonia, for which reason even today there are honorary consular representatives of France, Great Britain and Turkey, and Bitola is known as the City of Consuls. Visit to the Revival church of St. Demetrius from 1830. Visit to the archaeological reserve Heraclea Lyncestis. Free time. Departure for Ohrid Riviera. Accommodation and overnight in Ohrid.
Breakfast. Walking tour in old Ohrid – tourist pearl of North Macedonia, city of 365 churches, part of the list of world cultural heritage of UNESCO. During this tour (appr. 3 hours) you will have the chance to see some of the masterpieces of Byzantine architecture and art on the Balkans: St. Sofia Church, St. Virgin Mary Peribleptos Church, St. John Kaneo Church, St. Clement and Panteleymon Church. Old town of Ohrid hides many other treasures too: Ancient Theater, Tsar Samuel’s Mediaeval Fortress, Robevi House – local historical and ethnographic museum, craftsmen workshops for production of paper, Ohrid pearls, wooden sculptures, etc. Free time in the town center. In the afternoon – drive to St. Naum Monastery, located 27 km south of Ohrid, on the lakeshore. Founded in the beginning of 10th century by one of the patrons of this area, St. Naum, this monastery is considered to be sacred place by both local Christians and Muslims. Tour of the complex – Church of the Archangels, St. Petka Chapel. Optional dinner at traditional restaurant in Ohrid with live music. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Ohrid.
Breakfast. Departure for Skopje. City tour in the center of Skopje: Macedonia Square with the monumental sculptures of the “Skopje 2014” project, Mother Theresa’s Memorial House, the cathedral temple of St. Clement of Ohrid, built in 1990, Skopje Old Market (“charshiya”) from the times of the Ottoman empire, Skopje Fortress. Visit to the church of St. Spas – one of the most beautiful examples of Balkan Baroque. Here you can witness the well preserved iconostasis of Filipovi brothers from the beginning of 19th century with impressive deep woodcarving. Departure for Bulgaria. Arrival in Sofia in the evening. Accommodation and overnight in Sofia.
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport and departure from Sofia.