Current Photo Tours 2018/2019 Schedule 

-Talks with Trekkers Photographers Series - October 23rd, 2018

- Grizzly Bear Tour BC Interior September 29th to October 6th, 2018

- Polar Bear Photo Tour Oct 27th to Nov 1st, 2018

- Borneo Photo Tour November 9th to 22nd, 2018

- Galapagos Islands Photo Tour Nov 30th to Dec 11th, 2018

- Costa Rica Photo Tour February 6th to 15th, 2019

- Bulgaria Photo Tour May 30th to 11th, 2019

- Our 2019 Tour Brochure available for download


   Bulgaria Photo Tour  


       "Bulgaria ... Steeped in History and Colour"    

   Any photographer would be happy to land in Sofia. A leisurely stroll around the city centre lets the visitor uncover Bulgaria’s diverse layers of history, mixing up Roman ruins and Soviet architecture, as well as Ottoman and Byzantine religious and cultural influences.

   We will start our exploration by visiting one of the world’s biggest Orthodox churches and a major Bulgarian symbol – the stunning neo-Byzantine Aleksander Nevski Cathedral. Famous for its gold-laden domes, the church commemorates the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died for Bulgaria’s independence during the Russo-Turkish War.

    I would like to invite you to join Photo Tour Trekkers photographer host Harry Cartner on a 10 day photo exploration of this amazing country.          

                      

                                                                                                 James Cowie

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Download our Bulgaria Tour Brochure


Bulgaria Photo Tour - May 31st to June 11th, 2019

Day One: Friday May 31st, 2019 Our motor coach departs London early afternoon for Pearson International airport. Guests departing from Toronto region will meet the group at Pearson International. Our Lufthansa flight departs for Sofia at 6:20 p.m.

Day Two: Saturday June 1st, 2019  Our flight arrives into Sofia International Airport where we will meet our guide who will assist in the transfer from the airport to our hotel which is approximately 30 minutes. Brief tour Sofia en route to your downtown hotel. Check in and time at relax. A short afternoon walking tour. Return to our hotel time to get read for our Welcome Dinner. 2 nights Niky Hotel Sofia (D) 

Day Three: Sunday June 2nd, 2019 Morning photo walk including the 4th century. St. George Rotunda, a fine monument of Roman architecture, we will also visit the St. Sophia Christian basilica which gave the city its name. The golden-domed Alexander Nevsky Memorial Cathedral with its impressive interior, exquisite murals, icons and colorful mosaics. We will have time to visit and photograph the Spanish-Moresque style synagogue and Jewish museum as well as the memorial commemorating the "Saving of the Bulgarian Jews." The synagogue, the church Sveta Nedelya, and the only surviving active mosque in town - are all facing each other, speaking of religious tolerance of Bulgarians throughout the centuries.  After lunch Mountain Vitosha tour with a visit to the 13th century Boyana Church, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Overnight Niky Hotel Sofia (B)(D)

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Day Four: Monday June 3rd, 2019 Breakfast at our hotel, check out and drive to Rila Monastery - the largest in the Balkans, another UNESCO site. We will spend time photographing and touring the monastery;  We will visit the five-domed Birth of the Blessed Virgin Church and the original monastery kitchens from the 19th century. We will then travel to the museum town of Melnik. Scenically located at the foothills of sandstone pyramids, this smallest town in Bulgaria is famous with its ancient architecture and red wine. This afternoon a photo walk visiting one of the old houses, masterpiece of early 17th century local architecture. Check into our hotel, Hotel Melink for 2 nights. (B)(D)

Day Five: Tuesday June 4th, 2019 After breakfast then depart for the Sandstone pyramids around Melnik and Rozhen monastery. The are a special place for photographers, We will make several photo stops on our drive to the Rozhen monastery. The landscape over the sandstone hills are great for photography. An afternoon visit to the Church of the Nativity where walls abound in biblical scenes and images, painted in the 18th century. The Melink region is famous for wines, the caves around Melnik provide excellent conditions for wines to mature. We will return to our hotel for dinner. Overnight Hotel Melink. (B)(D)

Day Six: Wednesday June 5th, 2019 Breakfast, check-out and today we will travel to Bansko. This quiet small town with 17th century old architecture is situated at the foot of the Pirin Mountain National Park. Everything is special in Bansko – traditional costumes, the local folklore singing and dancing, wonderful cuisine, and the people. We have time to do a photo walk along the cobblestone streets and visit the Holy Trinity Church built in the 19th century and known for its interior wood carvings and murals painted by local artists. Later this afternoon we will reach Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria and one of the oldest in Europe. We will check into our Expo Hotel for the next two nights. Dinner and evening at leisure, possible a good night for street photography weather permitting. (B) (D).

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Day Seven: Thursday June 6th, 2019 Morning photo tour of Plovdiv, including an opportunity to visit and photograph the Roman Theatre built 2nd century. A.D. St. Constantine and Helena Church also make great photo stops this morning. The narrow cobbled streets make for great photo opportunities. We will stop for  lunch in the garden of the traditional restaurant Paldin, built from the Roman fortified wall in Old Town. After lunch, photography at some of workshops of local artisans. 

Early afternoon depart to Bachkovo monastery. Founded in 1083 by Bacuriani brothers - military commanders in the Byzantine Empire, it boasts a rich museum collection and library containing valuable manuscripts in a lovely setting great for photography. Time permitting we will take the one hour drive from the Bachkovo monastery, to the Rhodope Mountains, to photograph the  “Miraculous Bridges” natural phenomena. Late in the afternoon return to our hotel for time to relax or to stroll the old city. In the evening there are often special events at the ancient Roman theatre from late May through October. You may decide to attend such an event optional (extra fee) should there be one during your visit. Dinner and overnight Expo Hotel. (B)(D)

Day Eight: Friday June 7th, 2019  Breakfast, check-out then travel to the Rose Valley. It includes Karlovo and Kazanlak fields, as well as some parts of the Nova Zagora fields. The Total area is about 3,300 square kilometers. We will stop for a visit to the oldest local distillery and learn about rose water and rose oil distillation. A great photo opportunity when we meet the local producers and taste the aroma of natural oils, produced here: rose oil and lavender oil. Then we will drive through the Valley of the Roses to Kazanlak. 

Time permitting, we will take a city tour of Kazanlak including the Thracian Tomb and the Tyulbe (small Islamic mausoleum, 15th century). The Kazanlak Tomb is a Thracian Tomb from the late 4th to early 3rd century B.C. and is on the UNESCO World Heritage site. The funeral objects and frescoes depicting hunting scenes and the funeral suggest that a Thracian king was buried here. The frescoes are the finest masterpiece of Thracian art. One night Kazanlak Palace Hotel. (B)(D)

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Day Nine: Saturday June 8th, 2019 Breakfast, check-out and proceed with our Kazanlak tour. Later in the morning we will drive up to the mountain ridge and Buzludzha. This is a great place for a photo stop. The controversial & decayed communist party monument turned out to be a focal point for young photographers. Our next stop is in Shipka - the peak where the most decisive battles were held in 1877-1878 for the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman domination. There is a monument on the top and a wonderful panorama of the Central Balkan Range.  We will continue on to Etara to visit the Ethnographic Open-air Village Museum.  Everything surrounding the visitor brings us back to the period of Bulgarian Revival with numerous workshops where even today the craftsman work, using the same instruments and techniques. After time for photographs we will drive onward to Veliko Tarnovo. 2 Nights Gurko Hotel (B)(D) 

 Day Ten: Sunday June 9th, 2019 Breakfast then a morning tour of Veliko Tarnovo, the capital city of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom 12th to 14th century. We will visit the fortress on Tsarevets Hill, the hill where Baldwin's Tower still rises, and Patriarchal Church. We will take a photo walk downtown in Samovodene market place, brought back to life by artists and craftsmen, who create and sell exquisite items in their small workshops. This afternoon  an excursion to the medieval village of Arbanassi, rich in churches, monasteries and old Bulgarian houses, dating back to XVII century, decorated with unique paintings and wood carvings. Our visit will offer up many photo opportunities. Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo, Gurko Hotel.(B)(D)

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Day Eleven: Monday June 10th, 2019 Breakfast, check-out then drive to Troyan and cross the Balkan range at Troyan-Karnare Pass. Great photo opportunities as we enjoy beautiful panorama from the mountains down to the valley. En route we can stop for a visit to Troyan monastery. We will then travel Koprivshtica, a town where the past seems to come alive. Situated at an altitude of some 3,000 feet above sea level amid lovely meadows and pine forests, the town has long had a magnetic appeal for tourists. We will have time to do a walking visit of the town centre including a visit to the beautiful old Bulgarian-style houses of Lyutov, Debeljanov, and Kableshkov, which will fascinate you not only with their original architecture but also with their interior 19-century decoration and furnishing. Every single house here is part and parcel of Bulgaria’s history. It was here that the first shot of the April Uprising against Ottoman rule rang out in 1876. En route Troyan to Sofia we will stop for a visit of the natural phenomena Saeva Dupka Caves. Here we will experience some of the most beautiful cave formations formed millions of years ago. Overnight in Niky Hotel Sofia. (B)(D)

Day Twelve: Tuesday June 11th, 2019 Breakfast, check out of our hotel around 8:30 a.m. and depart for Sofia International Airport. Our Lufthansa flight departs at 12:55 p.m. arriving Pearson International in Toronto at 6:30 p.m. After clearing customs we will say good bye to any guests from the GTA region or traveling onward, meet our motor coach returning to London by 8:30 p.m.(B) 

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The cost of our Bulgaria Photo Tour is $3,250.00 per person CAD based on double occupancy including air via Lufthansa Airlines, plus air and taxes of $669.94 CAD and $17.19 HST. Single supplement is available for an additional $495.00 CAD. 

Includes:

- Round trip motor coach via Cherrey Coach Lines to Pearson Airport, Toronto,

- Departures from London, and Woodstock, other pick up points where possible,

- Round Trip Airfare via Luthansa Airlines,

- All airport and hotel transfers,

- Accommodations and meals during our tour, as specified in our itinerary,

- Meet and greet at Sofia International Airport,

- Transportation in our own private mini bus,

- English speaking guide and driver while touring Bulgaria,

- A map of Bulgaria

- Tour hosted and escorted by photographer Harry Cartner

Excludes:

- Alcoholic beverages,

- Laundry and tips,

- Entrance fees to museums and sites,     

** Schedule may vary according to weather and travel conditions.

** Guests must have a valid passport, your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after your return travel date.         


A non refundable deposit of $675.00 CAD is required at time of booking. The balance of $3,262.13 payable 60 days prior to departure. We recommend the purchase of travel and health insurance as this tour takes us out of the country.


 Booking space for this tour may be done by clicking on the registration link below.

Questions please contest:

James Cowie by email:  jcowie@tourcanvacations.com
                          phone: 1-416-391-0334 ext. 2688
                                      1-800-263-2995 ext. 2688
 
Padma Rao by email:    padma@tourcanvacations.com
                          phone: 1-416-391-0334 ext. 2672
                                      1-800-263-2995 ext. 2672
 

Link for Tour Registration
Bulgaria Tour Brochure

Photo Tour Trekkers / Tourcan Vacations
245 Fairview Mall Drive, Suite 203
Toronto, Ont. M2J 4T1
 

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