One day sightseeing tour from Varna to the region of Ruse on Danube River

This is a one-day sightseeing tour starting from Varna, Bulgaria. The tour includes the following places: The Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo (UNESCO) and the Nature Park “Rusenski Lom”, the orthodox cave monastery “Saint Dimitar Basarbowski” and the city of Ruse on Danube River.

Type: one-day cultural heritage and sightseeing tour from Varna to the region of Ruse on the Danube river by car;

Duration: one day; 

Places included: The Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo (UNESCO) and the Nature Park “Rusenski Lom”, the orthodox cave monastery “Saint Dimitar Basarbowski” and the city of Ruse on Danube River.

Period of travel: year-round;

Tour mileage: about 450 km;

Price: please, take a look at the three options we offer below;

Wake up early and head first to the Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo, a UNESCO heritage site. The religious complex includes monolithic churches, chapels, and monasteries hewed out of the solid rock, which makes them pretty different from other monastery complexes in Bulgaria. You will find them near Ivanovo, 20 km south of Ruse, on the high rocky banks of the Rusenski Lom river, within the Rusenski Lom Nature Park. 

Then continue to the orthodox cave monastery “Saint Dimitar Basarbowski”. The oldest written mention of the Monastery dates to the 15th century in an Ottoman tax register. It is the only active rock monastery in Bulgaria. The path leading to the Monastery passes through a beautifully landscaped yard and ends at a well, which is considered holy.

The church is named after the monk – St. Dimitar Besarbovski, born in 1685 in the nearby village of Basarbovo. He spent his whole life here. In 1911 the archaeologist Karel Shkorpil visited the Monastery and described it in detail. In 1937 the monk Chrysanthemum settled in the Monastery and began renovating it.

The next stop would be Ruse where you can have lunch. Then have a stroll around the city centre and alongside Danube River.

People walking alongside the partially frozen Danube river; the harbour of the Romanian city of Giurgiu is visible in the back

Ruse is known for its 19th- and 20th-century Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture. You’ll not miss the Freedom Square, Ruse’s central square, where all major city events are held. The two main shopping streets – Alexandrovska Street and Borisova street cross it, so you can find a variety of small cafes, restaurants, and shopping places.

Dohodno Zdanie (

The Ruse Regional Historical Museum occupies the building of the former Battenberg Palace. You will see the archaeological collection of Shkorpil brothers and many others containing approximately 140,000 items, including prehistoric pottery and idol plastic arts, the Borovo treasure of the 4th century BC, the finds of excavations of the old Danube castles Yatrus and Sexaginta Pristaand, etc.  

However, the most exciting museum is the National Transport Museum with a good collection of old steam locomotives situated on the Danube bank, in the country’s first railway station, built-in 1866. 

Front view of well preserved old steam engines partially covered by snow

Have a pleasant evening stroll alongside the Danube river, enjoying the beautiful park and river panoramas.

In the late afternoon – departure back to Varna.


The preparation of a guided tour program/offer is free of charge. You’ll get a package price from us up front, which will include the services of a professionally qualified tour guide; accommodation; pick up and drop off from your hotel/accommodation; transportation by A/C vehicle, fuel and parking expenses; transfers from/to airport and all other additional services you might need.

You will get from us a Final Trip Plan of this tour in both web and pdf formats. Please have a look at sample web version with photos, maps and video here. Please download a sample version of a Final Trip Plan in pdf format here. 

You can use the Final Trip Plan to do the needed bookings and reservations by yourself.

The Final Trip Plan of the trip will contain: a web version of the tour; a pdf version of the tour (see the sample above), а short description (Resume); Basic information about the trip (duration, places to be visited, tour mileage, the period of travel;  а trip budget with detailed expenses table (downloadable pdf file); а Google map with the itinerary and bookmarks for places, hotels and restaurants; а link to a Google Earth interactive map with features like “Street view”, 3D etc; A link to a Google KML file, which can be uploaded to a cell phone and used during the trip; а detailed program day by day with activities and places to be visited, recommendations for accommodation and nice restaurants with links for bookings and reservations;

Additionally to the Final Trip Plan we make all the bookings and reservations on your behalf. We do this through our licensed travel agency “Thousand Voyages” Ltd.

Transportation and logistics: We coordinate, book and manage all the transportation elements of your trip – planes, trains, rent-a-cars, busses… everything to and from your destination, and between various places during your trip. 

Accommodations: We coordinate, book and manage all of your selected accommodations. We recommend the best options at every destination on your trip, including hotels, airbnbs, bed and breakfasts, that fit your tastes, budget and have availability during your travel dates. You will find the names of the properties in Final Trip Plan, with links to the websites or booking forms. Sometimes the chosen by us accommodation is not on or any other platform, especially those in the remote areas. In this case we provide the name of the owner and a telephone number. 

24/7 emergency support with a dedicated travel consultant: 4/7 Support throughout your journey (SMS, Email, Skype).

Secure Payments upon delivery of services: We offer two options: 1) PayPal – You will receive a PayPal invoice with the total amount to be paid. You can pay using your credit card or PayPal account; 2) A Revolut Business Account (in Euro) (UK) for a bank transfer.
Money Back Guarantee: In the unlikely event that you are not fully satisfied with our services, we offer a 100% money back return policy.
Discounts: We offer 20% discount voucher for next service;


We can take care of all your travel needs in Bulgaria, but if you prefer to make reservations by yourself, we would be thankful if you use the links below. We may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you very much!

Accommodation in Varna: Hostels from Hostel World / Hotels / Airbnb properties;

Accommodation in Ruse: List of hotels in Ruse, Bulgaria; List of Airbnb properties in Ruse, Bulgaria

Local Entertainment/Activities

Audio Guide for All Svishtov & Ruse Sights, Attractions or Experiences

Self-Guided Ruse Sights & Attractions

Day Trip to Ruse (Northern Bulgaria) from Bucharest, Romania


Free delivery worldwide (with no minimum spend) from Book Depository (Amazon), a leading international book retailer. Please click on the title of the book to read the full description and to buy it.

Bulgaria Bradt Guide

Lonely Planet Romania & Bulgaria

Insight Guides Pocket Bulgaria (Travel Guide with Free eBook)

Berlitz Pocket Guide Bulgaria (Travel Guide with Dictionary)

A nice collection of books about Bulgaria.



Guide to Bulgaria – Custom Travel Planning

You get paired with a travel planner (a human), who communicate with you and plans your entire trip. More details:

Guided Tours/Self-guided tours

We organise all kind of guided and self-guided tours in Bulgaria based on preliminary designed itineraries and programs published on our web site or based on your request.


Of course, we can organise all your stay in Bulgaria, including the accommodation but if you would like to search by yourself please consider using the following links.

Hotels / Airbnb properties / Hostels from HostelWorld;

Rent-a-car from AutoEurope;

Travel Insurance from World Nomads;

Flights/Airfares – flight itineraries and airfare quotes prepared by a real person;


We organise transfers according to your type of stay, the size of your group, your accommodations and your budget.

In case you need a visa for BULGARIA: Visa services from iVisa / Visa services from Visa HQ;

Entertainment / activities / entrance tickets and much more in BULGARIA from: Viator and GetYourGuide;

Art from BULGARIA: A huge collection of fine art prints, wall art, home decor, bedding, tech accessories, apparel, bags and so much more from BULGARIA; managed by Society6 with delivery worldwide;

Photography: High resolution images from BULGARIA – licenses and open edition prints are available;

All our services in more details;