Depart the US and fly overnight to Bulgaria. Upon arrival in Sofia, Bulgaria you will be greeted by Stone & Compass staff and be transported to your hotel. Our first group gathering will be a welcome dinner in the evening, spend some time getting to know one another and building connection as a group.
Sunday, September 15: Wake up & Hike up!
The first full day of this trip in Bulgaria will include traveling to the Rila Mountains, just south of Sofia. After an exhilarating ski-lift ride to the top, we’ll shake off the last of our jet lag with a challenging hike to view the beautiful 7 Rila Lakes. Bring your warm clothes because it’s cold up there! Afterwards, we check into a spa resort for a well-deserved rest where we can let the healing hot mineral waters of Bulgaria take our stress away.
Monday, September 16: Exploration!
Enjoy a spa breakfast and perhaps a last mineral soak before checking out of the spa resort. A stop at Rila Monastery with its stunning views and spiritual serenity will be a striking memory as we travel to the Stone & Compass retreat center, our home for the week.
Tuesday, September 17: Diving in!
This day is about settling into our programming. You choose what works for you while also having enough ‘me’ time to relax and center yourself on your own. Morning yoga and Pilates classes will be offered as well as afternoon life creative movement and knitting. Don’t forget to leave some time to enjoy the pool and 2200 acres of the property.
Wednesday, September 18: Exploration!
A brief drive allows us to take a step back in time as we enter the gates of Etara, a living museum featuring a traditional craft marketplace. Wind your way along the river while the waterwheels power machinery used for woodcarving, pottery, weaving, and silversmithing, among others. Try traditional apple pastry from the bakery or Turkish coffee brewed over hot sand while you watch the artisans at work and shop for unique
handcrafted items. After strolling the many facets of the historical village, we explore Bacho Kiro Cave. Late afternoon time by the pool and/or participating in a life coaching, dancing, mediation, yoga, or Pilates class.
Thursday, September 19: Dive deeper
Balancing excursions with total relaxation and rejuvenation is what this trip is about and thus on this day you get to choose what relaxation and rejuvenation means to you at this moment. Sleeping in? Early morning yoga? A walk in the woods? All this and more will be options for you pick from on this day where Stone & Compass is your home away from home.
Friday, September 20: Wrapping It All Together!
We will take in majestic sights as we hike along Emen Gorge and end up at a beautiful waterfall and watering hole to have lunch and check off ‘swimming under a waterfall’ from our bucket list. In the evening our final group dinner at the center will include an interactive dance performance by Bulgarian traditional dancers in the barn.
Saturday, September 21: Sofia!
If you are not choosing to extend your stay to Sozopol (see extension options) you will wake and travel to Sofia in the morning. In the late afternoon/evening you will have a guided walking tour of this beautiful capital city of Bulgaria.