In August 2000, a sensational discovery occurred near the village of Starosel, in central Bulgaria. Archaeologists found the enormous temple of what is believed to be a Thracian ruler, possibly Sitalkes I, the first king of a combined Thracian empire. The Starosel Thracian Temple is the largest discovered so far dating back from the 4-5 centuries B.C. This impressive site is also known as the Starosel Thracian cult complex because several tombs were found around the central temple.
First we explore the temple and two tombs near Starosel then we continue to Hisarya (population: 7000 people) - a small resort town famous for its hot mineral springs. Located in the outskirts of the Sredna Gora mountain range at 346 m. a. s. l., it boasts of a very mild climate and over two dozen mineral springs, which make it a favorite spa destination for many Bulgarian and foreign tourists. Hisarya is one of the 3 international spa resorts in Bulgaria, notorious for its significant Roman remains as well. These ruins are visible everywhere - public buildings, a small amphitheatre, the barracks of the Roman garrison, the foundations of a couple of the oldest churches in Bulgaria, as well as the best-preserved Roman fortress in Bulgaria. The southern fortress gate is known as "The Camels", because it had broken in the middle and looked like two camels facing each other, before it was partially restored in the early 20th century.
In Hisarya we go on a lovely walk in the town's green parks among mineral hot springs, fountains and Roman ruins. Optionally we visit the local historical museum as well. If the weather allows it we can spend some time in the warm mineral waters of the town's outdoor public swimming pool.
Period: Year round
Trip duration: 5 - 6 hours
Included: English speaking tour guide, transfers from/to your hotel in Plovdiv
Not included: Starosel Thracian temple entrance fee (1,50 EUR), Hisarya museum entrance fee (0,50 EUR) - optional, swimming pool entrance fee - optional, food and tips