Nina Dobrev Leaving 'The Vampire Diaries'

PHOTO: Nina Dobrev attends the Bulgari Cocktail Event At Apicius as part of Paris Fashion Week at Apicius, July 8, 2014, in Paris.Rindoff/Le Segretain/French Select/Getty Images
Nina Dobrev attends the Bulgari Cocktail Event At Apicius as part of Paris Fashion Week at Apicius, July 8, 2014, in Paris.

Nina Dobrev will bid farewell to "The Vampire Diaries" at the end of this season.

The 26-year-old actress, who plays Elena on the CW series, made the surprising announcement Monday on Instagram.

She told her millions of followers she spent the weekend at Lake Lanier in Georgia with the cast and crew of "The Vampire Diaries" and continued, "I want to be the first to tell you that it wasn't just a holiday celebration, it was a goodbye party."

Dobrev noted, "I always knew I wanted Elena's story to be a six-season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime."

After listing Elena's ups and downs throughout the series, she invited fans to join her as she celebrates and prepares to say goodbye to her character before she moves on to the next chapter of her life.

She concluded, "Fasten your seatbelts. If you think you know what's coming, you don't."

Dobrev's statement was accompanied by a photo of her with series creator Julie Plec. In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Plec said, "Saying goodbye to Nina is both bittersweet and beautiful. After six-plus years together, the entire cast and crew of 'The Vampire Diaries' has reached a level of closeness that I don’t think any of us ever expected."

During her time on the show, Dobrev dated her co-star, Ian Somerhalder. They split in 2013, and Somerhalder is now engaged to "Twilight” alum Nikki Reed.

The season finale of "The Vampire Diaries" will air in mid-May. The CW has already renewed the show for a seventh season.

Dearest TVD Family, I've just spent the most beautiful weekend on Lake Lanier in Georgia with my own TVD Family, the cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries. I want to be the first to tell you that it wasn't just a holiday celebration, it was a goodbye party. I always knew I wanted Elena's story to be a six season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime. I was a human, a vampire, a doppelganger, a crazy immortal, a doppelganger pretending to be human, a human pretending to be a doppelganger. I got kidnapped, killed, resurrected, tortured, cursed, body-snatched, was dead and undead, and there's still so much more to come before the season finale in May. Elena fell in love not once, but twice, with two epic soulmates, and I myself made some of the best friends I'll ever know and built an extended family I will love forever. There's more to come before we wrap this up, and I promise you'll get to hear all about my experiences over the next month as we approach the season finale (I have given an exclusive interview for the June issue of SELF Magazine that I am excited for you to see!), but until then I invite you to hop on the roller coaster ride that is Elena Gilbert's life and join me as I celebrate her and prepare to say goodbye to her -- and to my work family -- as I move on to the next chapter of my life. I want to share this goodbye with all of you (this weekend's pictures were just the beginning). You, the wonderful fandom who gave more love, support and passion than anyone could have ever imagined seven years ago, when a young Degrassi girl from Canada showed up in LA to audition for 'that Twilight TV show.' ;-) I love you all. Fasten your seatbelts. If you think you know what's coming, you don't. Love, Nina

A photo posted by Nina Dobrev (@ninadobrev) on Apr 6, 2015 at 5:01pm PDT