The Balkan Peninsula and Bulgaria in particular have since the time of Antiquity been a wine-making area. According to the Father of History – Herodotus – the predecessors of Bulgarians, the indigenous Thracians used to drink strong wine, without mixing it with water. Nowadays our lands are dotted with approximately 300 wineries. Wine-makers educated in France and Italy develop the local tradition and bring it up on a higher level. You’re welcome to discover the amazing tastes of Bulgarian wine with us!
Day #1 Sofia
Arrival to Sofia.
After settling in, a Sofia sightseeing tour follows to acquaint you with the history and beauty of the Bulgarian capital. A visit to the largest Orthodox church in the country is included – it features lofty domes, serene frescoes and dazzling mosaics.
Late afternoon visit to the House of Wine for an introduction to the country’s wine-making past and present. Tasting of some of the best Bulgarian white wines.
Included dinner followed by an opportunity to try rakia (local brandy) cocktails at a bar with a chick twist.
Day #2 Sofia - Plovdiv
Set out for Plovdiv – the second most populous Bulgarian city, appointed as European Capital of Culture for 2019. Enjoy a leisurely sightseeing tour to discover Roman ruins and 19th-century pastel coloured houses that rub shoulders in the cobbled Old Town.
Included lunch at a top-rated downtown restaurant.
The afternoon is set aside for your first encounters with the Bulgarian red wines that have made the name of the country well known in Europe. The region of Plovdiv is haven for Mavrud grapes, the oldest variety still grown in Bulgaria. You will discover different facets of it, as well as of few other varieties, with tastings at two different wineries.
Dinner and overnight at a boutique hotel where you can pamper yourself with SPA&wine treatments.
Day #3 Plovdiv - Bachkovo monastery - Stara Zagora - Elenovo village
This morning’s programme takes you to Bachkovo monastery – a keep of religion and Orthodox art ever since the 11th century. Enjoy a visit to the main church, monastery dining room and courtyard to discover stunning medieval frescoes.
Drive on further East through the fertile Thracian plain to stroll the linden-tree-lined streets of Stara Zagora, the once mighty Roman city Augusta Traiana. Lunch at a local restaurant.
Afternoon visit to nearby Karanovo village where you’ll get to explore the rich burial site of a Thracian man – complete with various funerary gifts and a chariot with two horses.
Late afternoon wine tasting, dinner and overnight stay at one of the most reputed award-winning wineries in Bulgaria. High-end Italian technology and know-how mix there with century-old local wine-making traditions.
Day #4 Elenovo village - Zheravna - Mogilovo village
Travel to Sliven – home of the oldest textile factory in Bulgaria and then head for Zheravna. This small quiet town reverberates with the vibes of past times. Cobbled streets, timber-faced houses and old church seem to take one 200 years back in time. Enjoy lunch at a traditional local restaurant.
Afternoon drive to Karnobat area where some of the most extensive vineyards in the country are located. Tasting at a local winery famed for its blends.
In late afternoon settle in for two-night stay at an upscale winery that entered hospitality business by purchasing a former school building that is now a small gem of a boutique hotel. Enjoy included dinner.
Day #5 Mogilovo village - Kazanlak - Shipka - Mogilovo village
Explore the central part of Bulgaria, rightfully dubbed the Valley of Thracian Kings as well as the Valley of Roses. Start by following the footsteps of Bulgarian Indiana Jones and visit two of the Thracian beehive tombs. The local History Museum where valuable funerary gifts are on display is also included. The serene gold-domed Nativity of Christ church in nearby village of Shipka comes as a bonus.
Included lunch at a local restaurant.
In late May and June millions of rose blossoms are hand-picked here to be turned into the world-famous essential oil cherished by giants of perfume industry like Givenchy and Dior. Enjoy a visit to a rose oil distillery to learn about the secrets of the “Bulgarian liquid gold” complimented with a tasting of rose jam, liqueur and brandy.
Head back for a wine tasting, dinner and overnight at the wine estate. You’re in for a treat at this place where wine is truly religion.
Day #6 Mogilovo village - Hisarya - Starosel - Sofia
Set off back to the west in direction to Sofia. Bask in the sun surrounded by the tranquil views of Sredna gora mountain and its rolling hills. Morning sightseeing of Hisarya – a SPA centre since Roman times where fortress walls of Emperor Diocletian still stand tall. Visit nearby Starosel – the largest Thracian cult centre discovered up to now in Bulgaria.
Enjoy lunch and wine tasting at a winery in the vicinity where the local reds will come alive at a tasting hall that is a replica of a Thracian temple.
Return to Sofia in late afternoon.