Wonderful Bridges, Bachkovo Monastery, Assen's Fortress Private Day Tour from Plovdiv
Discover 3 of the most famous 100 National Tourist Landmarks of Bulgaria during this bestselling day tour from Plovdiv. Walk around the 45 m high rock bridges named the Wonderful Bridges, situated at 1450 m. a. s. l. in the heart of the mystical Rhodope Mountains. On the way visit the impressive Asen's Fortress from 13th century and the second largest Bachkovo Monastery, founded in 11th century. Afterwards, visit the main church of Virgin Mary, which was built in 1604.
From Plovdiv head towards the Rhodope Mountains passing through the pretty town of Assenovgrad. Nearby see the remarkable remains of King Ivan Assen’s Fortress - a wise ruler of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. There find an ancient church dating from the 13th century painted with some authentic pieces of iconography. At the top of the fortress enjoy an awesome 360 degrees panorama all over the Rhodope Mountains, Asenovgrad town, The Thracian Valley and the imposing Balkan Range with its highest Botev Peak in the far distance.
Next go deeper in the Rhodope Mountains towards the picturesque Bachkovo Monastery. The cloister is the second largest in Bulgaria, founded in 1083 and one of the most sacred places in the Bulgarian history. Inside the monastery visit the main church of Virgin Mary built in 1604 where a valuable icon of Saint Mary from 11-12th century AD is being kept. According to the legend and the big number of healed people this remarkable icon is believed to be miracle working. Attached to the Virgin Mary church see the Archangels' Church dating to the 12th century. The monastery refectory is another jewel in the complex which has preserved colorful murals from 1643. Together with the Doomsday fresco, witness the images of some prophets, saint-monks, ancient philosophers and writers as Socrates, Aristotle, Plato and many more. The panoramic mural painting on the outside wall of the refectory represents a bird’s eye view of the monastery with all the surrounding buildings from 1807. This is the biggest scenic mural on the Balkan Peninsula! In the second monastery yard finally visit the Saint Nikola church. In the second monastery yard finally visit the Saint Nikola church built between 1834 and 1837.
Next continue the tour towards The Wonderful Bridges situated at 1450 m. a. s. l. in the heart of the lovely Rhodope Mountains. This unique nature phenomenon consists of two rocky bridges (height of 45 m) over a small river. The marble bridges were formed by an earthquake and the erosive activity of the once high-water river. Together with the Bachkovo Monastery and the Assen’s Fortress these outstanding nature bridges are also on the list of the 100 national tourist sites in Bulgaria. In summer the longest zip line on the Balkan Peninsula (240 m) stretching between the 2 bridges is available for the more adventurous travelers.
Trip duration: 6.5-7 hours