This is a one-day slow sightseeing tour by car starting from Varna, Bulgaria. You will visit the following places and will stay there enough time to fully enjoy the area: Madara Horseman and Madara archaeological reserve; the Pliska National Historical and Architectural Reserve; the town of Shumen with Shumen fortress, Tombul Mosk and the Memorial Complex “Founders of the Bulgarian State”.
Type: one day cultural heritage and sightseeing tour from Varna to Shumen by car;
Duration: about 9 hours;
Minimum number of attractions to be visited:Madara Horseman and Madara archaeological reserve; Pliska National Historical and Architectural Reserve; the town of Shumen with Shumen fortress, Tombul Mosk and the Memorial Complex “Founders of the Bulgarian State”;
Price: We specialise in tailor-made travel to Bulgaria and our travel suggestions are individually designed to suit your personal requirements. If you would like us to contact you with a proposal for this tour, please use the form at the end of this page or the other communication channels on our contacts page.
Tour dates: all year round;
Tour mileage: about 220 km;
Minimum number of travelers: 2
The tour starts at 9.00 AM from your accommodation in Varna. In about an hour drive we’ll reach our first destination, Madara archaeological reserve, featuring a rock relief sculpture from the dawn of the Bulgarian state back in the 8th century. Because of its uniqueness, the Madara Horseman relief is included in the list of the UNESCO world cultural heritage sites.
Having spent about an hour at Madara, we will continue our trip to Pliska National Historical and Architectural Reserve. It is located roughly 29 km from Shumen and just 2 km from present-day Pliska, where you will visit the remains of Bulgaria’s first capital. Pliska was the capital of the First Bulgarian Empire, from 681-893. Nowadays the Eastern Gate is well preserved and can be visited. About 1.5 km from the Gate is the Great Basilica. You can also walk through the Imperial Palace, as the Omurtag Palace is called, since that was its function when Bulgarian rulers occupied it during the first half of the 9th century. Everywhere there are fragments of ornamental building blocks topped with cornices, along with baths aqueducts, and cisterns.
The next stop will be the town of Shumen, where you will have lunch, before proceeding with the sightseeing.
You’ll visit the Shumen fortress located on a high plateau, 2 km from the town and dated as far back as the Troyan war (about 13 c BC). You’ll visit shortly also the Sherif Halil Pasha mosque (also known as the Tombul Mosque), the largest mosque in Bulgaria and one of the largest in the Balkans.
Then you’ll continue to the panorama spot above the town with the memorial complex “Founders of the Bulgarian State”, showing the main historical events from the foundation of the Bulgarian state in 681 to the 10 th century. You’ll have also a walk in the old part of the town, before setting off back to Varna and your accommodation.
Guided and self-drive tours
A guided tour shall include: services of a professionally qualified tour guide; pickup and drop off from your hotel/accommodation in Varna; transportation by A/C vehicle, fuel and parking expenses; transfer from/to airport and all other services you might need.
A guided tour does not include: international air fares; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature.
A self-drive tour shall include: hotel reservations depending on your preferences (if needed); maps and detailed itinerary description + GPS coordinates of the places; information for places of interest; car rental depending on your preferences; extensive pre-arrival information and services and all other services you might need;
Typically a self-guided tour does not include: flights to/from Bulgaria; fuel, food; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature.
Please fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.