Conference Field Trip


The trip will be held on September 15th-16th and will include a visit to Maritsa East Coal Basin and fascinating tourist attractions of Plovdiv region and Koprivshtitsa. 


Day 1 September 15th 2021
08:00 Departure from Sofia
11:00 – 13:00  Arrival and a visit of Maritsa East Coal Basin             
13:00 Departure to Stara Zagora region
13:30 – 14:30 Lunch in a local restaurant
14:30  Departure to Plovdiv
16:00 Arrival to Plovdiv, check-in and free time
19:00 – 22:00  Dinner in Plovdiv

Day 2 September 16th, 2021
09:30 Departure from hotel
10:00 - 12:30 Sightseeing tour of Plovdiv                                  
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch in a local restaurant
14:00 Departure for the town of Koprivshtitsa
16:00 Arrival in Koprivshtitsa
16:00 - 18:00 Sightseeing tour of the Old Town
18:30 – 20:00 Dinner in a local restaurant
20:00 Departure for Sofia
21:30 Arrival in Sofia

Maritsa East Coal Basin

This two-day field trip will explore Bulgaria’s most important coal resource and will provide a glimpse into the Bulgarian culture and cultural heritage.

The first day of the trip will introduce you the Bulgaria’s largest and most important fossil fuel resource. Located some 230 km to the east of the capital city of Sofia lies the vast Maritsa East Basin, which covers an area of nearly 240 km2 within the peaceful plane of the Upper Thracian Valley. The basin hosts over 3 billion tons of low rank coal, concentrated within a 35–40 m thick Miocene-aged lignite-bearing complex with up to three lignite seams. The latter formed due to deposition of organic material within a vast gymnosperm-dominated forest swamp and show remarkable preservation of centimeter-to meter sized wood fragments and trunks
Photo: I. Kostova

Among the lignite seams, the second one is 15–25 m thick and is bearing the largest fossil fuel resources. The thick lignite-bearing complex and the relatively thin overburden rocks (10–120 m) facilitate open-pit mining within the Maritsa East mining complex. Large rotary excavators ensure annual lignite extraction of over 20 million tones, which are being utilized for energy production in four adjacent thermoelectric power plants with total installed capacity of 3364 MW. The Maritsa East mines and power plants are interdependent as the only market for coal is the power plants, while the power plants have no other supplier of coal but the mines. The biggest TPP in this energy complex is Maritsa East 2 and consists of eight generating units and all of them are equipped with Flue Gas Desulphurization installations (FGD) with more than 96% efficiency. The subject of activity of the power plant is generation and sale of electricity, and provision of cold reserve. With its total capacity of 1620 MW the plant is a major electricity generator satisfying the needs of households and businesses both in the country and abroad. TPP Maritsa East 2 EAD is a strategic site of national importance. For nearly 70 years now, the Maritsa East mining complex ensures Bulgaria’s energy independence and is currently responsible for over 40% of the energy mix.
Upon arrival, after a short introduction to the history of the mining activities in the area and the geological settings, we will have the possibility to get in touch with the petrological features of the lignite.

Photos: I. Kostova

Photos: A. Zdravkov

Photos: I. Kostova

Photos: I. Kostova

The second day of the trip will be devoted to Plovdiv and Koprivshtitsa.


Ancient Theatre, Plovdiv, Photos: Internet
Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia. It is a picturesque town, with many parks and gardens, museums and archaeological monuments. Plovdiv’s appeal derives first from its lovely old town, largely restored to its mid-19th-century appearance and full of winding cobblestone streets. It is an imposing open-air museum situated on the three hills of the ancient Trimontium. 

The Old Town is literally packed with atmospheric house-museums and art galleries and, unlike many other cities with ‘old towns’, has eminent artists still living and working within its tranquil confines. One of the most remarkable sights, the Ancient Theatre (a well-preserved Roman theatre), is located there and still used for open-air performance.
Plovdiv has been selected for European Capital of Culture for the year 2019.
Plovdiv, Photos: Internet

Koprivshtitsa is ranked 21st among the 30 most beautiful towns in Europe, according to the Japanese Association of Travel Agents (JATA).
Koprivshtitsa is located 110 km east of Sofia and 90 km north of Plovdiv. The town is situated in the picturesque valley along the Topolnitsa river, in a mountainous region, in the heart of the Central Sredna Gora Mountains, at 1030 meters above sea level.
In 1971 Koprivshtitsa was granted the status of an architectural and historical reserve, and in 1978 – the status of an architectural reserve of international importance and a settlement for international tourism. The city preserves over 300 monuments of culture from the Bulgarian Renaissance. The city's greatest fortresses are the houses of this period with colorful courtyards surrounded by high stone walls and wide wooden gates, some of which have been converted into museums.

Koprivshtitsa, Photos: Internet

Price per person: 310 Euro
Rate includes: an overnight in a single studio in Sankt Petersburg Hotel 4* in Plovdiv, 2 lunches, 2 dinners, transportation, professional tourist guide in English, professional lectures, museum fees, field trip booklet, mineral water. The rate is valid at the minimum of 15 fully paid field trips. Field trip early booking until July 16th is highly recommended. The reservation is guaranteed by full payment of the amount due. A confirmation letter and invoice(s) will be duly sent after receiving the respective payment(s).

Supplement for accompanying person: 165 Euro, including accommodation, lunches, dinners, transportation, professional tourist guide in English, professional lectures, museum fees, field trip booklet, mineral water.

  • Before July 30th, 2021 – 100% refund (excl. 40 Euro administrative fee)
  • Before August 13th, 2021 – 50% refund (excl. 40 Euro administrative fee)
  • No refunds will be given after August 13th, 2021 or for no-show.