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About Bourgas

The second largest city on the Black Sea coast, Bourgas is situated between the sea and two lagoon-lakes. Offering a real snapshot of the culture and character of the Black sea coast, its District Museum of History offers an insight into everyday life past and present. Nature lovers will love its Sea Garden Park - the perfect way to appreciate the city's wonderful setting whilst surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and artistic sculptures. From here, it's just a short, scenic descent to the beach.

 

Shore excursions in Bourgas

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Ancient Nessebar and Wine Tasting

Activity mediumRefreshments includedShopping

Duration: 5¼ hours

Visit medieval Nessebar, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and sample a selection of the area’s finest wines

Enjoy a relaxing drive to Nessebar, before taking a guided walk, viewing the exquisite examples of local medieval architecture, represented by The Churches of Christ Pantocrator and St. John the Baptist. Pass by the quaint Blessed Saviour and continue to the agora, where the ruins of the Old Metropolitan Church proudly stand.

Stroll along the winding cobbled paths and take a moment to admire the small town squares, surrounded by traditional wooden two-tiered houses, dating back to the 19th century before entering St Stephen’s Church, beautifully decorated with murals and icons from the 16th century.

Leave Nessebar and drive to the Pomorie Winery. One of the oldest wineries in Bulgaria, it houses over 100 oak casks where wines of local and international brands are produced.

After a short guided tour, you will join a wine-tasting session, with the winery’s own experts. Sample a selection of red and white wines, plus local brandy complemented with a cheese and salami hors d’oeuvre. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to purchase the wine of your choice if you wish.

Essential information

The walking tour of the Old Town of Nessebar includes cobbled streets with approximately 60 steps to be negotiated throughout; flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. There is a €2.50 charge for taking photographs in St Stephens Church, flash photography is not permitted.

Flavours of Bulgaria

Activity highMeal includedShopping

Duration: 6½ hours

Explore the treasures of ancient Nessebar with its local traditions, cuisine and culture

From Bourgas, enjoy a scenic coach ride to Nessebar, then begin your guided walk viewing exquisite examples of local medieval architecture, including The Churches of Christ Pantocrator and St. John the Baptist. Pass the diminutive but notable Church of the Holy Saviour and continue to the agora, where the ruins of the Old Metropolitan Church still remain.

Your walk continues through cobbled streets and village squares, to reach St. Stephan’s Church, beautifully decorated with murals from the 16th century. Enjoy some free time before driving to the village of Orizare; here you will find a charming complex exhibiting the lifestyle and customs of Bulgarian families from centuries past.

Step back in time in an old village home for a glimpse of traditional domestic life. In the garden, view the old watermill, its wheel is still turning after over a century of operation. Visit the private chapel with its beautiful hand-carved iconostasis and colourful murals before enjoying a lunch of traditional Bulgarian dishes, complemented with local wine and brandy.

The entertainment continues with a lively folklore performance by a local ensemble, including music and dance from the vibrant Bulgarian culture.

Essential information

This tour includes approximately 1½ hours of walking over uneven terrain, including cobbled streets and steps; flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. There is a €2.50 charge for taking photographs within St Stephens Church; the use of flashes is not permitted.

Highlights of Nessebar

Activity medium

Duration: 4½ hours

An introduction to the ancient town of Nessebar and the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast

Enjoy a scenic drive along the Maritime Park of Bourgas, passing salt lakes, small towns, and sea shores, until the Old Town of Nessebar emerges in the distance. Often referred to as ‘The Pearl of the Black Sea’, the old quarter of Nessebar has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Visit the 10th century St Stephen’s Church, with its colourful murals and exquisite collection of icons before strolling through narrow cobbled streets experiencing the romantic atmosphere of this enchanting town. Meander through small town squares, to reach the 4th century Old Metropolitan Church, situated on the highest point of the peninsula, where the Greek agora once stood, today sidewalk vendors offer an array of artwork and handicrafts.

Continue to the main gates of the old town, past the churches of St. John the Baptist and Christ Pantocrator, with their ornamental style architecture, before visiting the distinctive church of St. Spas, with its Eastern wall half submerged in the ground. Explore the Archaeological Museum, where chronologically arranged halls showcase jewellery, ceramic pottery, statues, and plaques, finally, enjoy some time at leisure before boarding your coach for the return drive to Burgas.

Essential information

There is approximately 1½ hours walking throughout this tour, including 60 steps and cobbled streets, comfortable flat walking shoes are recommended. There is a charge of €2.50 for taking photos in St Stephen’s Church, St Spas, and Archaeological Museum. Flash photography is not permitted inside the churches.

Mountains Villages and Customs

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 8 hours

Embrace the spirit of Bulgarian culture and visit two of the prettiest towns in the Balkan Mountain Range

A picturesque coach journey takes you inland to the architectural reserves of Zheravna and Kotel. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Balkan Range Mountain, both have retained much of their medieval character.

Upon arrival in Zheravna, stroll through the cobbled streets, aligned with period homes and absorb the quaint atmosphere of the town. Visit St. Nicholas Church, built in 1834 and admire its exquisite collection of icons, stone sculptures, and church plates.

Continue by coach to Kotel, a town rich in rare ethnographic treasures. Here, you will observe typical interior domestic decoration, traditional costumes and household utensils displayed in typical merchant’s housing.

Visit the Galata School, where colourful hand-woven icons, paintings and carpets are displayed. Crafts and folklore have always been important within Bulgarian culture, during your visit there will be a performance of national folklore songs and carpet making demonstration.

A typical Bulgarian style lunch will be served at a local restaurant before continuing the tour with a visit to the imposing Kotel Pantheon, dating back to the Bulgarian Revival Period.

Essential information

This tour involves approximately 1¾ hours of walking, including steps, cobbles and uneven ground; flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Modest dress is required for visiting St Nicholas’ Church. Photography is not permitted in the church. The order of visits may vary during high season.

Scenic Sozopol

Activity medium

Duration: 4 hours

Explore Sozopol – one of the oldest towns on the Black Sea coast dating back to the Bronze Age

A leisurely scenic drive takes you to Sozopol, one of Europe’s oldest settlements, founded almost 3000 years ago. Named by the Greek colonizers Apolonia, the town developed as a thriving port and commercial centre.

A guided visit to the Archaeological Museum will introduce you to this ancient town’s history and some of the fascinating discoveries made during recent excavations in the area.

Take a stroll through cobbled streets and picturesque squares bordered by timber houses with charming small courtyards. Step inside one of these courtyards to discover one of Sozopol’s true gems; the Holy Virgin Church. Built in the 17th century and partially submerged into the ground it boasts an intricate wood-carved iconostasis and icons.

Enjoy some free time to soak up the romantic ambiance of Sozopol and perhaps browse for souvenirs before boarding your coach for the return journey to the ship.

Essential information

This tour involves approximately 1½ hours of walking and standing on terrain including cobbled streets and steps, comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended. Photography is not permitted within the Holy Virgin Church and Archaeological Museum.

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