Los Angeles, May 2006 — In off-the-beaten track Bulgaria, where the dollar goes further, Continental Journeys offers an eight-day tour costing $799 per person, double occupancy, on all departures. "Discover Bulgaria" explores centuries-old cities such as Sofia, Veliko Turnovo and Plovdiv that are a mix of Eastern and Western cultural heritages and countryside with its frescoed monasteries, museum villages, handicrafts, traditional life and rugged mountains. Departures are scheduled from Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, one to four times per month to October 7. The company also offers three other all-Bulgaria tours as well as packages that combine Bulgaria and Romania.

Far from a no-frills package, the tour features first-class hotels, breakfast daily, six lunches, seven dinners, extensive sightseeing with an English-speaking tour escort, deluxe motorcoach or car transportation, transfers, hotel service charges and taxes. Single supplement is $199. Transatlantic flights can be booked through the company.

Bulgaria, originally ancient Thrace, has been shaped by foreign migrations and invasions since 342 B.C: Macedonians, the Roman and Byzantine Empires, Slavs, Bulgars, Ottoman Turks and Russians. In Sofia, a city of boulevards, parks and cafes, tour participants visit the gold-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral; fourth-century St. George's Church, formerly a Roman rotunda; and the National Museum of History. Highlights of Veliko Turnovo, the medieval capital, are fortified Tsarevets Hill, 19th-century National Revival architecture, and a sound and light performance, and in Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city, the Old Town, Thracian gold in the Ethnographic Museum, the Roman amphitheater and Jumaya Mosque.

The scenic route also takes in frescoes and icons in renowned Rila and Bachovo Monasteries, both World Heritage Sites; Etura open-air ethnographic museum, where artisans demonstrate making copper, textiles and pottery; extensive handicrafts shopping; and traditional buildings in the museum villages of Arbanassi and Bozhentsi; Shipka Pass in the Balkan Mountains; the famous Valley of the Roses and the mountain resort of Borovets.

Continental Journeys specializes in independent, escorted and customized vacations to Eastern and Central Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltics and Russia; tel. (800) 601-4343 or (818) 995-8643; fax (818) 995-8673; e-mail info@continentaljourneys.com; and web site www.continentaljourneys.com.

For more on Bulgaria at ITKT

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