Sofia. Plovdiv, Bansko, Veliko Turnovo,
Black Sea Extension: August 20-25
Folk Culture, Folk Dancing, History, Art, Music, Adventure
When: August 7-20, 2023
Led by: Lee Otterholt
Guided by: Ventsi Milev
★ Visit historic Bulgarian cities and folkloric villages !
★ Meet Bulgarian folk dance groups!
★ Jam sessions led by Lee Otterholt.
Bring your instruments !
★ Our traveling staff includes guide Ventsi Milev, gaida player Ventsi Andonov,
and Nikolia Enchev, our Bulgarian folk dance teacher !
★ Land and Air price includes round-trip airfare, city tours, transfers, hotels,
two meals daily, and our own private bus.
Join our Bulgarian adventure!
The magic and adventure of Bulgaria !
Join us as we travel with local musicians and Bulgarian folk dance teacher, dance at the local Koprivshtitsa Folk Festival, explore monuments of ancient Thrace, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, and medieval Bulgaria, visit Sofia, scenic Bansko in the Pirin Mountains, artistic Plovdiv, 10th-century Rila Monastery with its icons and murals, dramatic Veliko Turnovo, medieval capital and birthplace of the Second Bulgarian Empire, and Black Sea extension
Price: Land Only: $3595
Black Sea Extension: ???
I can’t wait to go! Reserve my place with my $200 deposit per person.
See registration form and information below.
Or register through PayPal (no PayPal account necessary)
Jim Gold Bulgaria Tour: Dancing at the Koprivshtitsa Folk Festival!
Day 1: Monday, August 7: Depart from JFK airport in New York City. Or on airline of your choice.
Day 2: Tuesday, August 8: Sofia
Transfer to our hotel. Orientation and meet-and-greet dinner. Overnight in oyr 5 star Grand Hotel Sofia.
Day 3: Wednesday, August 9: Sofia & National Museum of History
Sightseeing tour of Sofia: Alexander Nevski Cathedral, National Parliament, Saint Sofia Basilica, 4th century Saint George Rotunda, ruins of Roman Serdica, and the National Museum of History. Optional visit to the Sephardic Synagogue, largest in Eastern Europe. Afternoon free. Dinner and live folklore show at Hotel
Days 4-7: Thursday to Sunday, August 10-13: KOPRIVSHTITSA FOLK FESTIVAL!
Held once every five years, the Koprivshtitsa Folk Festival brings together over 12,000 performers from all over Bulgaria, making it one of the biggest festivals in Europe! Three days of unforgettable folk dancing, singing, ethnic costumes, performing groups, and photo opportunities! Plus visit preserved houses from the Bulgarian revival period. Dinners and overnights in our country hotel in Koprivshtitsa.
Day 7: Sunday, August 13: KOPRIVSHTITSA—VELIKO TURNOVO
Collect your last glimpses of the Festival finale. Afternoon departure to Veliko (Great) Turnovo, Bulgaria’s medieval capital, established in the distant 1185. Dinner and overnight at Gurko Boutique Hotel.
Day 8: Monday, August 14: VELIKO TURNOVO and Arbanassi Village
Morning sightseeing tour of Veliko Turnovo. Visit the dramatic Tsarevets Royal Hill with palaces and churches perched on cliffs of Yantra River gorge. Afternoon drive to the charming village of Arbanassi, summer residence of medieval royalty where we’ll take a walking tour. Dinner and wine served at a local restaurant with live folk music show and folk dancing! Optional Sound & Light Show at the Tsarevets Royal Hill. 2nd overnight at our boutique Gurko Hotel.
Day 9: Tuesday, August 15: VELIKO TURNOVO—Etara—Shipka Pass—PLOVDIV
Morning drive south through the Balkan range and the world-famous Valley of Roses and Valley of the Thracian Kings (in UNESCO World Heritage list since 1952). We’ll stroll around Etara – open air Crafts Museum displaying two centuries of country houses and crafts. We’ll pay a visit to the exquisite gold-domed Shipka Memorial Church and to one of the richest and best preserved Thracian Tombs in the area. Afternoon arrival in Plovdiv. After hotel check-in, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Plovdiv’s Old Quarter, often compared to Montmartre Hill in Paris for its art galleries and antique shops. View masterpieces of 18-19th century Bulgarian city architecture, a 15th century Mosque, a 2nd century Roman Theater, and the country’s richest Ethnographic Museum. Dinner at Alafrangi Restaurant where Pope John Paul 2nd lunched during his visit in 2001. Overnights in the 4-star Trimontium Ramada Hotel in Plovdiv.
Day 10: Wednesday, August 16: PLOVDIV—Bachkovo Monastery
This morning sleep late or walk along the city’s main pedestrian street, offering excellent shopping opportunities. Noon departure to 11th-century Bachkovo Monastery with its exquisite murals and icons. Meet the monks. Then we’ll stop at the 13th-century Assenova Fortress and enjoy panoramic views of the Thracian Plain and city of Plovdiv. Overnight in the 4-star Trimontium Ramada Hotel in Plovdiv.
Day 11: Thursday, August 17: PLOVDIV – across the Rhodopes – BANSKO
A day in the deep countryside. After breakfast, we’ll carry on southwest across the Rhodopes, birthplace of mythological Orpheus; first on board of our coach and then on the highest-on-the Balkans narrow-gauge railway! During the 1 ½ hour mountain ride, enjoy a dancing workshop. See if the locals travelling along will share with you this unique on-wheels dance experience. Upon arrival in Bansko we’ll check-in at the luxurious Hotel Kempinski Grand Arena, and if still full of energy and eager to explore we’ll journey on to one of the many quaint villages and small towns around Bankso. Dinner at hotel or local tavern. Overnight in 5-star Kempinski Grand Arena in Bansko.
Day 12: Friday, August 18: BANSKO and Dobarsko Village
Walking tour through Bansko, a stronghold of Bulgarian culture and tradition. Then we head for the mysterious village of Dobarsko, where the local choir Dobarski Babi will give us a private performance followed by a traditional Bulgarian “Banitsa” and yogurt snack. In late afternoon come along for a picnic dinner at Chalin’s Farm, including horse cart ride, wine, and live folk music. Second overnight in Bansko.
Day 13: Saturday, August 19: BANSKO – Rila Monastery – SOFIA
Following breakfast our journey will take us north into Rila Mountain (highest on the Balkans) to the world famous UNESCO listed site, 10th century Rila Monastery, one of the most impressive on the continent with its abundance of frescoes and unique architecture. En route – an hour stop in Blagoevgrad (home to the US University in Bulgaria), including a walking tour of its charismatic Old Quarter. At Rila Monastery if you wish you may have freshly caught mountain trout lunch. Then continue north to Sofia once again. Afternoon and evening free for extra Sofia sightseeing and shopping. Farewell dinner with wine at 5-star Radisson Hotel. Overnight at 5-star Grand Hotel Sofia.
Day 14: Sunday, August 14: Aug 20, DAY 14: SOFIA, Departure
Transfer to Sofia Airport for return flight to JFK airport in the USA.
Or join our 5-day/4-night BLACK SEA EXTENSION August 20-25.
Includes round-trip transportation, half-day sightseeing tour of Old Nessebar (UNESCO world heritage) , 4-star hotel on the Southern Black Sea coast, breakfasts, full day excursion to Varna, including Archaeological Museum, sun, sand, beaches, swimming, and more.
About Jim Gold
Jim brings a love of music, people and languages to his tours and dance classes, making them a joy for all ages. For over 25 years, he has led Jim Gold International Folk Tours to Bulgaria, Greece, Norway, Turkey, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Croatia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Egypt, Tunisia, Russia, the Baltics and Spain to experience their history and culture, from a folk dance perspective. He is also the author of ten books. His latest is: 50 Folk Dances Choreographed by Jim Gold. Jim is a classical guitarist and folk singer as well. He has performed on TV, at universities and schools, and on national radio.
About Lee Otterholt:
Lee Otterholt, born in the USA of Norwegian-American parents, has lived and worked most of his life in Norway as a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer. He founded the Center for International Folk Dance in Oslo; he was also professor of dance folklore at the Norwegian National College of Ballet, and University College of Oslo. Lee established folk dance and performing groups in Norway, taught at festivals and workshops throughout Europe, United States, and East Asia, and is the author of folk dance and instructional manuals used in Norwegian schools. Lee was one of the choreographers for the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer.
REGISTRATION FORM: Enclosed is my registration deposit of $200 per person.
Single supplement: $795. Additional charges: $185 hotel taxes and service. Gratuities and drinks during meals not included. Program subject to change without notice. Program subject to change without notice. Cancellations 90 days prior to departure: Total refund: Less than 90 days: No refund. Travel insurance always recommended.
Balance due April 25, 2022.
No. of people____Phone_(_____)_________________email_________________________
Make checks payable to: Jim Gold International
497 Cumberland Avenue, Teaneck, NJ 07666 U.S.A. Phone (201) 836-0362.
Web site at www.jimgold.com Email: email@example.com
JIM GOLD INTERNATIONAL: TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Air Transportation: International air not included except as noted.
Rates: Tour rates are subject to change in the event of currency fluctuations or increase in costs. Inclusive tour rates are per person in double occupancy. In case of computer or human billing errors, we reserve the right to reinvoice clients with corrected billing.
Reservations: Deposits and Payments: Deposit of $200 per person is required at time of reservation. Balance is due 90 days prior to departure date.
Changes: Prices and program subject to change without notice
Baggage: One baggage per person and a carry on is allowed.
Cancellations: Cancellations 60 days prior to departure: Total refund. Less than 90 days: No refund. Additionally, any cancellation fees imposed by the respective hotels, airlines, tour companies and cruise lines will be charged. Travel Insurance is non-refundable as are unused services.
Gratuities: Tipping to guides, drivers, transfer personnel and hotel staff is left to the discretion of the participants and is not included.
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Responsibility: Jim Gold International, Inc. Of 497 Cumberland Avenue, Teaneck, NJ 07666 U.S.A acts solely in its capacity as marketing agent on behalf of its suppliers such as air carriers, ground operator, taxi suppliers, motor coach suppliers, excursion or tour companies and hotels identified on documents supplied in connection with purchase of the tours. Jim Gold International, Inc. shall not be held responsible for any wrongful or negligent acts or omissions by any supplier or other party not directly owned or exclusively controlled by Jim Gold International, Inc. or by the failure of any equipment operated by any such supplier or other party. Jim Gold International, Inc. shall not be liable for any loss, injury or damage to person, property or otherwise, in connection with any accommodations, transportation, or other services, resulting directly or indirectly from any acts of God, dangerous incident to the sea, fire, breakdown of machinery or equipment, acts of government or other authorities, wars whether or not declared, hostilities, civil disturbances, strikes, riots, thefts, pilferage, epidemics, quarantines, medical or customs regulations, defaults, delays or cancellations of or changes to itineraries or schedules, or from any causes resulting from insufficient or improperly issued passports, visas, or other documents passports, visas, or other documents.
Neither Jim Gold International, Inc. nor any of its affiliates or subsidiaries shall be or become liable or responsible for any additional expenses or liability sustained or incurred by the tour member as a result of any of the aforementioned causes. Tour participant agrees that any claim against Jim Gold International, Inc. is subject only to the jurisdiction of the courts of the country in which the cause of action arose. The right is reserved to substitute hotels and to alter itineraries. The right is also reserved to cancel the tour prior to departure. If any tour is canceled prior to departure, Jim Gold International, Inc. will be responsible only up to the amount of monies Jim Gold International, Inc. received less any cancellation fee applied by a supplier as defined above. Travel Insurance is recommended.
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Phone: (201) 836-0362 www.jimgold.com e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org