Taste of Southern Bulgaria (Wine, Food & History Tour)

Experience 8 days of complete sensory immersion during this exclusive wine and dine tour in Southern Bulgaria.

Wine tasting, Food tasting, Culinary experience, Local activities, Walking & Sightseeing
Date of the tour

When to book - availability

Tour dates: 6-13 April 2020 ; 12-19 October 2020
April, October
Every day
2 pm


  • Visit four different wine regions in Bulgaria discovering their local wines, food, culture and traditions
  • Enjoy the hearty local cuisine and rich cultural heritage of this Balkan country.
  • Explore some of the most acclaimed wineries and some “hidden winery gems”.
  • Learn more about the longstanding history of winemaking on these lands.
Languages: English
Duration: 8 hours
Group size: min 4 persons (booking for 1-3 is possible, you will join other people)
Starting / Meeting point: Sofia Airport or Centre

Enjoy an 8-day group wine tour in the undiscovered wine country of Bulgaria. Taste unique local wines such as Mavrud and Broadleaved Melnik. Discover the long history of wine making on the lands of modern Bulgaria. Uncover the fascinating stories behind the wines. Experience the passion of the Bulgarian winemakers and winery owners. Learn more about the wines, terroir, wine making and history of Bulgaria. Visit three unique and traditional wine regions in Bulgaria: The Thracian Valley, The Valley of Roses & The Struma Valley. The Thracian Valley is Bulgaria’s largest wine region. It is an under-the-radar wine region that was recently selected as Best Wine Travel Destination of 2017 by Wine Enthusiast. Explore Plovdiv and its many layers of history from the Thracian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras. Plovdiv was European Capital of Culture in 2019. Enjoy the city and its magical atmosphere. A micro-region within the larger Thracian Valley is the South Sakar region – an authentic wine area that offers great wines and great food. The Valley of Roses is the smallest wine region with aromatic wines that match the aromatic roses that grow in the fertile valley. The Struma Valley & Melnik Wine Region introduce us to native grape varieties such as Broadleaved Melnik and Melnik 55. The small town of Melnik brings us back to a forgotten time. The entire town is a historical architectural reserve with houses, churches and relics from mainly the 18th century. Sample local Balkan foods. Discover cultural gems such as the Rozhen Monastery and the Old Town of Plovdiv. Experience it all on this wine, food and history wine tour!

Day 0. Individual Arrivals

For those who want to spend a day exploring Sofia, we can arrange overnights in Sofia and airport transfers. See Practical Information for prices.

Day 1. Arrival to Sofia

Sofia – Plovdiv

Arrival to Sofia Airport. Group transfer from Sofia Airport to Plovdiv at latest 14:00. Check-in to your centrally located 3-star hotel. Guided walking tour of Plovdiv and Old Town Plovdiv (2h). Plovdiv is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe and one of the oldest cities in the world. The ancient city is also the cultural heart of Bulgaria. Plovdiv will be European Capital of Culture in 2019. Your first day in Bulgaria ends with a welcome dinner!

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Plovdiv

Day 2. Wines from The Valley of Roses

Plovdiv – Chateau Copsa – Sopot Winery – Plovdiv

We start the day with a visit to Chateau Copsa located in the foothills of the gorgeous Balkan mountains. The chateau is a high-quality wine producer, and we get to try a native wine from the grape ‘Karlovski Misket’ during our tasting of 5 wines. The Misket grape is a native variety that takes its name from the nearby town of Karlovo. Continue our day in the Valley of Roses at a nearby winery – Sopot Winery. At Sopot Winery, we enjoy a lunch paired with wines before we take a walk through the winery. We head back to Plovdiv in the late afternoon. The evening is free to explore the city further at your own pace. Your tour leader will be happy to help with restaurant recommendations and bookings.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Plovdiv

Day 3. Exploring the Plovdiv Wine Region

Plovdiv – Manastira Winery – Villa Yustina – Plovdiv

A lot of fun wine adventures are planned today. You will learn about the region surrounding Plovdiv (The Thracian Valley), enjoy gorgeous views, visit 2 different wineries and taste a total of 10 wines. The first winery is Manastira Winery, which is located about 1 hour from Plovdiv in a scenic region known for its culture, history and wine making. The boutique wine cellar opens it doors and invites us into the modern estate for a memorable tour and tasting of 5 wines. Continue to Villa Yustina for a walk through the vineyard park and a spectacular wine-paired lunch in the charming tasting room. Return to Plovdiv. Your evening is free to enjoy. Your tour leader will be happy to help with restaurant recommendations and bookings.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Plovdiv

Day 4. Discover The South Sakar Micro-Region

Plovdiv – Bratanov Family Winery – Chateau Kolarovo –  Villa Bassarea (Sakar Tasting Room) – Plovdiv

After breakfast, we head to the South Sakar micro region. The members of the Bratanov family welcome you into their little wine production facility to taste their wines. Get to know the Bratanov family and enjoy an exclusive tasting in the barrel room. Continue to Chateau Kolarovo to meet the winemaker and enjoy an unforgettable tasting of 5 wines from their impressive range of wines. Enjoy a traditional, village-style lunch. The last stop of the day is Villa Bassarea and the Sakar Tasting Room, where you will be greeted by the friendly team behind this boutique wine cellar and regional tasting room. Return to Plovdiv. Your evening is free to enjoy.  Your tour leader will be happy to help with restaurant recommendations and bookings.

Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Plovdiv

Day 5. Entering The Struma Valley Wine Region

Plovdiv – Kiossev – Melnik

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and say goodbye to Plovdiv. Early departure to the region and town of Melnik. Our first stop is the charming family-owned winery – Kiossev Winery. Members of the Kiossev family will guide us through the history of their winery and wine-making family heritage. We enjoy a memorable lunch at the family winery accompanied by a selection of their wines. Continue to the Melnik region. Check-in to a traditional guesthouse. Free evening. There are several options for dinner. Your Tour Leader would be happy to point out the restaurants and assist with making reservations.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Accommodation: Traditional guesthouse in Melnik region

Day 6. All things Melnik

Melnik – Rupel – Villa Melnik – Rozhen Monastery – Melnik

Start the day by taking a guided stroll around the town of Melnik and learning more about the longstanding history, cultural heritage and wine making traditions. Visit  a traditional merchant house from the 18th – 19th century. Head out to Rupel Winery for a tour and tasting of 5 wines from the cellar. Enjoy a lovely lunch in a nearby restaurant before continuing to Villa Melnik. The Zikatanovi family give a warm welcome to their family winery. Enjoy an informative walk of the winery and end the day with a fantastic tasting of 5 wines from their collection in the tasting room. In the late afternoon, we visit the picturesque Rozhen monastery – the best preserved monastery from the Middle Ages – before heading back to the guesthouse for some relaxation. Return to your guesthouse. Enjoy a free evening.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Accommodation: Traditional guesthouse in Melnik region

Day 7. Exploring the Melnik Wine Region

Melnik – Orbelia – Orbelus – Melnik

We end the tour on a high note. Today, we visit Orbelia Winery and meet the family behind this family-run winery located under the Belasitsa mountains and not too far from the Macedonian border. We enjoy a tour and a memorable tasting of a selection of their wines including a few very interesting wines from local grapes. It is time for lunch in a nearby restaurant before we continue to our next destination: Orbelus Winery – a 100% Organic Winery. We enjoy a tour of the cutting edge production process at Orbelus and end the tour with a tasting of a selection of wines in the charming tasting room.  In the evening, we enjoy a farewell wine dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Traditional guesthouse/3-star hotel in Melnik

Day 8. Departure

Melnik – Sofia

After breakfast, check-out of your guesthouse. Transfer to Sofia Centre or Sofia Airport (3-3.5 hours). Option to extend stay in Sofia.

Meals: Breakfast

What's included

All ground transportation mentioned in itinerary Group transfer from/to Sofia Airport on Day 1 & Day 8 4 nights in 3-star hotel in Plovdiv (standard shared double rooms) 3 nights in traditional guesthouse/3-star hotel in Melnik (standard shared double rooms) Meals as per itinerary Tours and tastings at 11 wineries Guided walking tour of Plovdiv and Old Plovdiv Visits to the Rozhen Monastery & Traditional Merchant House in Melnik English-speaking Tour leader from Bulgaria Wine Tours Tour operator insurance from Armeec Insurance in case of non-provision of services

What's not included

Flight tickets Private transfers Meals and beverages not mentioned in the tour description Alcoholic beverages not mentioned in the tour description Travel and medical insurance (please, consult your insurance provider) Visa fees, if applicable Extras and incidentals Single room supplement Tips
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