CSUDH: Water Sustainability and Geodiversity in the Balkans (2023)

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Los Angeles
Max People : 20
Tour Details

Bulgaria’s indigenous water resources derive largely from mountain watersheds where orographic effects enhance precipitation. These watersheds provide resources upon which lowland communities, industry, and irrigation depend. On the basis of a comprehensive network of water management structures, Bulgaria has been able to harness a considerable proportion of internal water resources for human use, although the nation is, by European standards, dry.

Knight, C. G., & Staneva, M. P. (1996). The water resources of Bulgaria: an overview. GeoJournal, 40(4), 347–362.

Knight, C. G., & Staneva, M. P. (1996). The water resources of Bulgaria: an overview. GeoJournal, 40(4), 347–362.


June 5 – 16, 2023


Dr. John Keyantash, Chair Dept. of Earth Science and Geography

Departure & Return Location

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)


CSUDH Students



Subject to change
Day 1

We will take a late afternoon/early evening flight to Sofia, Bulgaria. This will be an overnight flight with a stop in one of Europe’s large cities. Arrival in Sofia is on the afternoon of day 2 considering the 7-hour time difference.

Day 2

In the early afternoon we will arrive in Sofia, Bulgaria. We spend the night in Sofia and adjust to our new surroundings. You can explore in the late afternoon before heading off to a Welcome Dinner.

Day 3

Enjoy a morning tour of Sofia and explore Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and other historic landmarks.

Later, today we will travel to the town of Bansko. Bansko is located in southwestern Bulgaria, at the foot of the Pirin Mountains. It sits at an elevation of 1200m above sea level. Here we will learn about the city’s use of water and how it plays a large role in recreation and tourism in this area.

Night in Bansko

Day 4
Bansko/White-Water Rafting/Stolat

We will wake early for a white-water rafting adventure near Bansko.

Afterward, we will travel from Bankso to Stolat, home of Stone & Compass, your home away from home in Bulgaria.

Day 5

Spend the day exploring a local oasis. We will learn more about how Bulgarian’s are using the environment to conserve water in areas like this, but also utilize them – making them accessible to the public for recreation and enjoyment.

Afternoon: Class meeting time

Day 6
Veliko Turnovo/Arbanasi

Today you will enjoy a day trip to the 2nd Bulgarian empire’s capital city of Veliko Tarnovo. Here you will have the opportunity to climb Tsaravets Fortress which was the hub of this medieval city. Shopping, gelato, and traditional crafts make Veliko a favorite of all who visit. Participate in on-the-go lectures as we pass through hundreds of years of history.

After lunch, we will visit the Church of the Nativity in Arbanasi.

Tonight, we have a special pizza dinner with Bulgarian Dancers back at the Center.

Day 7
Nicopolis ad Istrum

Today we day trip to Nicopolis ad Istrum. This ancienttownislocatednearthevillageof Nikyup, 20 km from the town of Veliko Turnovo. Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by the Roman Emperor Trajan after his victories over the Dacians in 101 and 106. It was built over an area of 30 hectares and is surrounded by fortress walls.

Afternoon: Class meeting time

Day 8
Troyan Monestary/Chiflik

Visit the famous Troyan Monestary. Head to the town of Chiflik to have the opportunity to see and experience one of Bulgaria’s 700 geothermal hot springs. Meet with the director of the hot springs to learn more about their efforts to keep the springs open and encourage tourism through this natural resource.

Day 9
Devatashka Cave and Krushuna Waterfalls

Spend the day visiting two of Bulgaria’s beautiful natural resources. Starting in the morning we will visit Devatashka Cave.

In the afternoon we will head to Krushuna Waterfalls.

Afternoon: Class meeting time

Day 10

Today you will visit an ethnographic open air living museum “Etara” where you will get to see craftsmen working on traditional water powered machinery. Learn more about the integral role water played in traditional Bulgarian life. Etara is also a great place to sample traditional sweets and baked goods and buy handcrafts to bring home to your family and friends.

We will have lunch in Etara at a mehana near the river.

Afternoon: Class meeting time

Day 11

Today we wake early to travel through the Shipka Pass on our way to Bulgaria’s second largest city, Plovdiv. Here we will see the ancient Roman amphitheater, explore the old town and learn more about the Roman ruins spanning the length of the pedestrian walking street.

Students will have time to explore the main street, shops and park this afternoon. We continue to Sofia for lodging and Departure Dinner.

Day 12

Wake today and cherish the memories you have made as we head back to the US.


Price Includes

  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Translator
  • Museum/Historical Site Admission Fees
  • Transportation
  • Tour Guide(s)

Price Excludes

  • Roundtrip Airfare
  • Private ExpensesSnacks, gifts, shopping, etc.
  • Alcohol not included

Payment can be made in full or following the payment schedule below.

Total Price




Due:  May 1, 2023

Final Payment


Due:  June 1, 2023