Top Sights of Varna by Private Vehicle & Guide
There is a significant number of steps throughout the tour.
Don't forget your camera for some amazing photo opportunities along your tour!
Tour Participation Requirements
Varna is famous for 1) its wide Black Sea beaches; 2) its good-time pop culture scene; 3) its reputedly life-prolonging Bulgarian yogurt, made from a strain of Lactobacillus unique to this country; and 4) its rich history and world-class archeological treasures.
Today, you'll focus on item number four. Your sightseeing drive winds through modern Varna, then stops at a particularly handsome building for a tour of the Varna Archaeological Museum. Its enormous collection covers all your favorite millennia.
But the absolute showstopper is the "Gold of Varna" - a fabulous trove of more than six kilos of the oldest worked gold objects ever unearthed (in this case, by accident at a construction site near there in 1972). The hands that made these pieces were smithing gold in 4600 B.C. even before the Mesopotamians or Egyptians.
Later, after a brief episode of time-travel, you'll arrive at Varna's comparatively modern Roman Thermal Bath ruins, built in the 2nd century. This elaborate structure was akin to a Canyon Ranch spa of its day with hot baths, gymnastic and sport halls called palaestras, relaxation rooms, and meeting spaces. No spin classes, though.
You'll also visit Aladzha Monastery, a 13th-century cave complex carved into a steep limestone rock face. Aladzha means colorful in Turkish, likely due to the bright frescoes and mosaics that once adorned the monks' cells and common rooms. That's them, way up there on the cliff. As you explore these surreal dwellings, you'll get a sense of what Aladzha life might have been like. And thank your lucky stars you never had to sleep there. Or find the bathroom at night.
Bulgaria's highest-flying claim to fame
In 1977, NASA's Mariner I probe blasted off, headed for deep space with a message of Earthling greetings to any life-forms it might someday encounter. Music is a big part of that message, since you assume every creature in the universe can appreciate Bach, Mozart, and Chuck Berry. And, as it turns out, Valya Balkanska, whose Bulgarian folk tune Izlel ye Delyo Haydutin is included in the probe's music mix. It's apparently really danceable.
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