Explore and sign up for our Day Tours, departing from Sofia (and in the future, from other places, too). These are stand-along tours, offering varied, off-the-beaten trail experiences in a day. They also work as pre- and post- tour extensions for those of you taking Bulgaria or Balkans tours with us. They run every day of the year, except the Serbia tour, which does not run on Mondays.
A day tour to Serbia’s third largest city, Nis, and the Serbian Balkan mountains
This is a short yet eventful day tour, from Sofia, across the border to southern Serbia, and back. We start early from Sofia to beat the rush hour traffic of the capital. In about an hour we arrive at the border with Serbia. We cross, and then explore either - depending on your interests - the scenic Poganovo monastery, dating back to the 1300s and located near the dramatic Erma river gorge, or the old Ottoman stone village of Gostusha, tucked in the Stara Planina, Balkan mountains of Serbia. After our visit to one of these sites, we take the picturesque old road to Nis. Nis is Serbia’s third largest city, and largest in the south of Serbia. It is a lively and interesting city, very close in culture to both Bulgaria and Macedonia. In Nish we will visit the Red Cross concentration camp, a camp where Gestapo and SS interned Jews and others during the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia in WW2. Then we will visit the Yugoslav spomenik, or monument at Bubanj, and learn more about Yugoslav nation-building. We cannot miss the skull tower - a tower of skulls built by the Ottomans after a failed Serbian uprising against Ottoman rule in the early 1800s. We will have a stroll through Nis, enjoy a good Serbian lunch, and head back across the border.
The price is 340 euro for 1 person, 560 for 2, 780 for 3.
This includes transportation with a comfortable vehicle with all road tolls, parking fees and cross-border insurance, a driver/guide, and entrance tickets. The cost excludes meals and drinks, medical and travel insurance, and any personal expenses such as phone calls and internet, and tips.
Hidden treasures west of Sofia
This tour explores the very little known areas west of Sofia. It has very short driving distances from Sofia, yet visits some fascinating and rarely visited sights. We hike the picturesque Erma river gorge (a part of it, across the border in Serbia, we visit on our day trip to Nis, Serbia). Then we explore an ancient deep well that doubled as a shrine during the Thracian times, a very rare Bogomil (medieval Christian heretic, the predecessors of Cathars) cemetery, and a forgotten communist-era memorial to Mother Bulgaria. This is the most active of our day tours, with around 5 miles of off-road, trail walking expected. We will enjoy a picnic lunch: we can either prepare a lunch pack from Sofia, or buy products from a village on the way. Do expect bumpy roads, incredibly scenic nature, quiet villages and many hidden sights.
The price is 250 euro for 1 person, 420 for 2, 590 for 3. This includes transportation with a comfortable vehicle with all road tolls, parking fees, a driver/guide, and entrance tickets, where applicable. The cost excludes meals and drinks, medical and travel insurance, and any personal expenses such as phone calls and internet, and tips.
The beauty of the Macedonian countryside – churches and towers.
This short, but eventful day tour offers you the opportunity to cross the border with North Macedonia - and not only get a stamp in your passport, but have a look at a fascinating, and little explored corner of Macedonia, with some high examples of Late Byzantine art, Ottoman and Yugoslav heritage. We start from Sofia earlier in the morning, heading south-west. As soon as we cross the border, we will stop at one of the oldest and largest monasteries in Macedonia, the monastery of St Joachim of Osogovo. It has two churches, one from the Medieval period, one from the mid 1800s, and a spacious residential wing. Our next stop is the town of Kratovo, inside the crater of a long extinct volcano. This is perhaps the most picturesque, and the least known town in Macedonia, with a preserved Medieval, Ottoman and Yugoslav atmosphere. We will have a traditional Macedonian lunch in town, and then explore some of the stone bridges and towers. In the afternoon we will head to see one of the richest decorated Medieval churches in Macedonia, the church of St George, in the village of Staro Nagorichane. It was built in the early 1300s and it’s one of the finest examples of the eastern European equivalent of the Renaissance – the culture of the Palaiologan Renaissance. We will marvel the intricate masonry and elegant murals adorning this holy place. Afterwards we drive back to Sofia across the border.
The price is 290 euro for 1 person, 485 for 2, 680 for 3. This includes transportation with a comfortable vehicle with all road tolls, parking fees and cross-border insurance, a driver/guide, and entrance tickets, where applicable. The cost excludes meals and drinks, medical and travel insurance, and any personal expenses such as phone calls and internet, and tips.
A day tour to natural wonders and elegant towns in Northern Bulgaria
You will be amazed at how many movies were filmed in the locations we will visit on this tour! We head north-east from Sofia. Our first visit will be to one of the most breath-taking natural phenomena in Bulgaria – the Devetashka cave. It’s a large karst cave, settled since prehistoric times, with large openings in the ceiling, from where the sunlight enters the spacious interior, creating a scene from another world. The cave is also home to one of the largest bat colonies ad a set for Hollywood action movies. Our next stop will be the town of lilacs – Lovech. A wooden covered bridge with artisans’ ateliers, a charming old town with houses from nineteenth century and remains of a Medieval fortress create a special vibe. We will have some time for lunch, before heading off to Staro Stefanovo. This charming village is a home to less than 50 people, easily outnumbered by the old houses of the village. The authentic stone houses, dirt streets and an elegant church from 1800s were a natural setting for many movies in the last 30 years. The serendipity of this place can only rival its hidden location. We will wander the empty streets and then we head back on the road to Sofia.
The price is 270 euro for 1 person, 455 for 2, 640 for 3. This includes transportation with a comfortable vehicle with all road tolls, parking fees, a driver/guide, and entrance tickets, where applicable. The cost excludes meals and drinks, medical and travel insurance, and any personal expenses such as phone calls and internet, and tips.
The best of the worst corruption practices today and yesterday!
This tour will take you to some famous buildings and unlikely spots in downtown Sofia. Corruption has been poisoning Bulgarian society for more than a century, and our last place among European countries in the World Corruption Index is not a surprise. How did little Bulgaria become a battlefield of the “affairs” of the Great powers during the summer of 1915? What was the cost of a banana during the communist period? How can one be paid for their services with “acorns”? Is it possible to buy “the games”? Why the great appetites in the field of large energy projects and EU funds? The answers of these questions will create a picture of tumultuous past and uncertain present: one of the many faces of contemporary Sofia.
The price is 120 euro for 1 person, 175 for 2, 215 for 3. This an experienced and fun guide, entrance tickets, where applicable. The cost excludes meals and drinks, medical and travel insurance, and any personal expenses such as phone calls and internet, and tips.