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Bulgaria tours for seniors

Odyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted small group tours across Eastern Europe and beyond. We explore Bulgaria’s incredible natural beauty, its ancient multi-cultural heritage, World Heritage Sites, and fascinating cities, with some truly spectacular scenery along the way. This and more is all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group tours of Bulgaria, designed for the senior traveller, and led by experienced, and enthusiastic like minded people.

Situated at the eastern edge of the Balkans, Bulgaria has a rich, well-preserved history and vibrant culture just waiting to be explored. Religious art, monuments and iconography feature prominently in the picturesque towns and cities of Bulgaria, while old fortresses and crumbling ruins paint a picture of the nation’s storied past. Discover a land of architectural beauty and charming natural scenery as you uncover the hidden gems of this remarkable country.

The nation’s capital, Sofia, is an eclectic mix of Ottoman mosques, Roman ruins and modern architecture sitting beneath the formidable Mount Vitosha. Here you can discover more about Bulgaria’s complex history, visit the Archaeological Museum and see some incredible artefacts dating back to 400 BC, and relax in one of the cities’s vast parks. Plovdiv, the European Capital of Culture for 2019, is also Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city and there is no shortage of historical sites to explore. The city, once considered a pit stop between Bulgaria and Greece, has become a buzzing travel destination in its own right.

Outside of the cities you will find the impress Balkan mountains, beautiful, sandy beaches along the Black Sea, medieval castles hidden in forests, and five fertile wine regions producing delicious Bulgarian wines.

Bulgaria Tours

Hand crafted tours for mature world travellers

Budapest

23 days

Sep, Jun

Sofia, Bucharest and Budapest | Small Group Tour

Visiting Bulgaria, Hungary

Bulgaria and Romania have been at the crossroads of civilisations for centuries. This is a small group tour from one of the best small group tour companies for Europe, whose trips each day, select destinations from local guides that provide authentic experiences for our guests who are on holiday.

From A$11,750 AUD

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Discover Bulgaria

14 days

Sep, Jun

Discover Bulgaria

Visiting Bulgaria

Small group journeys to Bulgaria remain still off the beaten path as destinations for many mature couples and solo travellers. This European tour is led by a tour leader and supported by local guides who provide the authentic experiences our guests seek as they explore with like minded people.

From A$7,700 AUD

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Touring Bulgaria

The need to know

Getting around

Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. Buses are usually the most efficient way of getting between major towns and cities. Trains link most sizeable towns and cities, though if travelling by train, be sure to take an ekspressen (express) or bârz (fast) train, as the pâtnicheski (slow passenger) trains can take a very long time to cover the length of their journeys. Taxis are available in most cities and towns, although rates can vary.

Accommodation

In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our longstay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.

Tour Guides

Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.

Geography environment and weather

Bulgaria is situated in the south-east of Europe, and covers 110,879 square kilometres. The geography of Bulgaria is diverse, featuring mountain ranges, river valleys, open plains, and dense forests. Mountains and hills characterise the west and centre of the country, though the terrain flattens out towards the Black Sea to the east and the Danubian Plain to the north.

Bulgaria has a continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters. Depending on the time of year you intend to travel, check the weather reports and prepare accordingly.

World Heritage sites

Bulgaria has 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can view the official list of the sites here (https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/bg). A few notable heritage sites include:

Boyana Church, a medieval church containing stunning religious frescoes and medieval paintings
Srebarna Nature Reserve, a freshwater lake extending over 600 hectares with nearly 100 different species of birds
Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari, which showcases the striking architectural decor and styles of the former Thracian peoples who inhabited the region.

Festivals and events

Reading list

A Concise History of Bulgaria by R. Crampton
Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova
Under the Yoke by Ivan Vazov
Imagining the Balkans by Maria Todorova

Eating and Drinking

Meat and dairy are central to Bulgarian cuisine. Many dishes are served with a side of kiselo mlyako (yoghurt), while cheese is a commonly used ingredient in Bulgarian dishes, including Gyuvech (beef stew), shopska salad and banista pastries. Meat-based dishes include kebache (grilled mince meat), lukanka (Bulgarian salami) and meshana skara (mixed grill). Bulgaria is home to many unique beverages, including boza (a fermented beverage made of wheat, rye or millet), rakia (fruit brandy), aryan (a yoghurt based drink) and menta (spearmint oil-based liquor).

Health and safety

Generally speaking, Bulgaria is safe to travel around in, though always exercise common sense when travelling. Be advised however that pickpocketing and purse snatching is common, so pay attention to your personal security.

Electrical supply

Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. Bulgaria’s electricity supply runs at 230V and 50Hz. Bulgaria uses both the Type C and Type F electric plugs, so make sure you have the right travel adaptor with you.

Tour Reviews

We found all the guides in each place excellent, some more than others, but always knowledgeable and obviously in love with their chosen careers. David our coach driver was excellent also, coping with some difficult situations with a cool head and providing us with a running commentary on a country he knows so well - especially Norfolk his home county!

Sally and Angus H. June 2017

Rural Britain | Walking Small Group Tour

Overall the trip was great and met my expectation.

Errol H. June 2017

Rural Britain | Walking Small Group Tour

Our guide Filiz was wonderful, very well informed, historical insights very helpful, her care for our well being exceptional. Could not have wished for a better tour leader.

Participant 2017

Ancient Turkey escorted small group history tour

We felt safe in Turkey and found the people friendly and helpful. Prices were excellent and the food almost universally magnificent. There is so much to see in the natural and built environment and the wonderful archaeological sites. It is sad to see the ordinary people and businesses suffering from the lack of tourists. Mary B. Sep '17

Participant 2017

Ancient Turkey escorted small group history tour

The geographical wonders offered by Iceland and Greenland left me in awe. The grandeur and spectacle of the countryside is breathtaking. Our leader (Rob) was excellent: well-researched, friendly, organized and good-humoured.

Participant 2017

Iceland cultural and wilderness small group tour

The country was apparently calm and safe. People were friendly and helpful. Such a pity there has been such a down turn in tourism. Ros & Tony S. Sep '17

Participant 2017

Ancient Turkey escorted small group history tour

Wife Brenda and I just completed Odyssey tour in UK entitled “Canals and Railways” led by Mal Bock. Absolutely superb, and Mal’s leadership faultless. Extremely good value considering only seven guests, superb local guides and drivers, a most comfortable coach with seating for 24. . Hotels chosen were excellent, most with real character, not places one would have chosen without local knowledge and recommendation, . My wife and I have visited the UK many times- I was born there, but we saw so many places which were new to us. Thank you Odyssey!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ian Sanderson

Canals and Railways in the Industrial Revolution Tour | Tours for Seniors in Britain

I was impressed by the number of places we visited. It was a very full itinerary which I like. We saw things of interest every day. I see no fault with the tour.

Participant 2017

Anglo French Tour | Normandy, Brittany, Channel Islands tour

FAQs

What time zone is Bulgaria in?

Bulgaria has a single time zone, Eastern European Time (UTC+2). Daylight savings commences on the last Sunday of March and ends on the last Sunday of October.

Is tipping customary in Bulgaria?

If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you tip an appropriate amount for services. Tipping has become increasingly widespread in tourist areas, with a tip of between 5 and 10% common for taxi drivers, tour guides, and hotel and restaurant staff.

What is the internet access like in Bulgaria?

Wifi should be availabe in most hotels, cafes and restaurants when travelling in Bulgaria.

Can I use my mobile/cell phone while in Bulgaria?

Check with your cell phone provider to see whether you’re able to make calls and use data while in Bulgaria. Many providers will allow you to pay a daily fee that allows you to make calls and check the internet while only being charged your regular rates. However, be certain to inform your provider that you’re heading overseas, because just like a bank they can turn off your service as a result of unusual activity.

Articles about Bulgaria published by Odyssey Traveller

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.

External articles to assist you on your visit to Bulgaria

Responsible travel tips for Bulgaria

  • Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although many locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
  • Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  • Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
  • When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Museums and galleries are often closed on Mondays. Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Consider contacting your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of leva in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.

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