Itinerary: Rock Monasteries & Medieval capital of Veliko Tarnovo
Basarbovski Rock Monastery "St. Dimitrius Basarbovski" is situated in the valley of Rusenski Lom river, near the village of Basarbovo, 10 km from the town of Ruse. It is the only active rock monastery in Bulgaria.
Two rooms and the cave dining room, built in 1956 are situated in the foot of the rocks. From this point, 48 stairs lead to a rock platform where the niche where St. Dimitrius slept is situated, according to the legend. To the right of it there is a rock church with a wood-carved iconostasis made in 1941, and next to it is the large icon of the saint, pictured in his full-length.
Ivanovo rock monastery "St. Archangel Michael" is situated 22 km from Ruse, within the borders of Natural Park "Rusenski Lom". A stair system in the rocks provides access for visitors to the various churches and chapels in the region. The monastery joins a number of complexes of rock premises. Wall-paintings which show the specifics of Bulgarian church art in the 13th – 14th century are preserved in six of the temples.
Veliko Tarnovo - Bulgaria's old capital and the site of great historical battles occupies a dramatic hillside location with the Yantra river winding through it. The whole town is postcard pretty in any season.
The relatively well preserved medieval Tsarevets fortress is the most visited historical site in the country. There is much more to see than Tsarevets, besides its historical hills, Veliko Tarnovo is also famous for multiple orthodox temples.
Be prepared to give your feet a good workout and wear sensible shoes as you explore the cobbled alleys and marvel at the houses built into the rocks overhanging the river.