— -- 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.