Wine and culture tour of Bulgaria 12-17 March 2018
- 2 persons and more: €560.00 per person
When to book - availability
- Visit five unique wineries that are all producing amazing, award-winning wines and are part of the new wave of artisanal fine wines of Bulgaria.
- Experience the best of the many local specialties through wine tastings and culinary delights.
- Visit 3 cultural heritage sites: Kordopulov House & the town of Melnik, Rozhen Monastery and Rila Monastery
- Explore the eclectic capital of Bulgaria
On the Wine and Culture tour, you will visit five unique wineries that are all producing amazing, award-winning wines and are part of the new wave of artisanal fine wines of Bulgaria. Experience the best of the many local specialties through wine tastings and culinary delights. The wines from the Melnik region are unique and the regional pride is the native red grape variety Shiroka Melnishka Loza (Broadleaf Melnik).
This tour also includes visits to two famous Bulgarian monasteries – Rila Monastery (the largest monastery in Bulgaria and featured on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1983) and Rozhen Monastery. Sofia is the perfect way end to this memorable tour. Join us!
Day 1: March 12, 2018
Arrival to Sofia airport and group transfer at latest 14:00. Group transfer to a charming guesthouse in Melnik micro-region. Enroute, we visit our first winery - the Medi Valley winery named after the Medi Thracian Tribe that occupied the area a long time ago. Continue to the town of Melnik – the smallest town in Bulgaria. Check-in to your shared ensuite rooms. Welcome dinner at guesthouse.
Day 2: March 13, 2018
After breakfast, we start our day of wine tasting at the acclaimed Villa Melnik. Here, we are warmly welcomed by a winery representative, who will give us a behind-the-scene tour of this vibrant and modern winery. A highlight of this tour is the labyrinth-like underground wine cellar where wines rest in bottles and barrels to age and reach their full potential. A tasting of six wines accompanied by appetizers in the charming tasting room follows before we move on to the next unique winery of the day.
Orbelus is a winery located not too far from Villa Melnik. It is unique for several reasons. Firstly, the architecture of this winery is original and innovative to say the least. The shape of the winery resembles a large oak barrel buried into the ground on the top of a hill. It is also one of Bulgaria’s few certified 100% organic wineries. Here, we learn about the difference between organic and conventional wines and taste a selection of five fine wines. Does organic wine taste differently than conventional wine? Many questions will be answered during this tour and tasting. We move on to the small town of Melnik – Bulgaria’s smallest town. Visit to the Kordopulov House – a mansion once owned by a rich merchant in the 1700s. The house is built in National Revival style and boasts of an impressive underground wine cellar typical for this region in this time period. Walk around the charming town before dinner is served in a traditional restaurant in Melnik.
Day 3: March 14, 2018
Today’s program takes us to the border of Bulgaria and Macedonia. Here, we visit the exquisite Orbelia winery. Built in traditional-style and located in the very southwest of Bulgaria at the foot of the Belasitsa Mountain, Orbelia lies close to where the borders of Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece meet. Orbelia is the Thracian name of the mountain. It means White Mountain and is derived from the fact that the mountain peak is covered by snow all year round. Here, we taste four interesting wines followed by lunch.
Before heading back for the day, we visit the Rupite area and tell the tales of Baba Vanga [Grandma Vanga] – a famed blind prophet that lived in the area who could foretell past, present and future. Return transfer to guesthouse. Free evening.
Day 4: March 15, 2018
After breakfast, we check-out of our guesthouse. Visit to the interesting Rozhen monastery followed by lunch in Rozhen village. On our way to Sofia, a visit to another more famous monastery - the Rila Monastery. Not only is Rila the largest monastery in Bulgaria, it has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1983. Transfer to your hotel in Sofia. Arrival in the early evening. This is where we say goodbye as the last day in Sofia Is self-guided. Your tour leader will be more than happy to give recommendations on what to do and where to eat in Sofia.
Day 5: March 16, 2018
Breakfast at your hotel. This day is for you to explore the eclectic capital of Bulgaria. We recommend taking the Free Walking Tour of Sofia, strolling down Vitosha Boulevard, drinking a glass of wine at Grape Central wine bar and tasting delicious food in one of the many restaurants.
Day 6: March 17, 2018
Breakfast at your hotel before checking-out at latest 12:00. The hotel reception can help you get a city taxi to the airport.
NOTE: As this is a group tour, it will not be possible if at least 4 minimum people book the tour (if the minimum number will not be reached, a refund will be possible)
- Meet & Greet at Sofia Airport upon arrival
- Group Transfer on Day 1 from Sofia Airport to Melnik
- All ground transportation mentioned in itinerary
- 3 nights in Melnik Guesthouse in shared ensuite double rooms
- 2 nights in centrally located 4-star hotel in Sofia in shared ensuite double rooms
- Tastings at 4 wineries: Villa Melnik, Orbelus, Orbelia and Medi Valley
- Meals: Daily breakfast, Lunch on days 2 (tapas-style), 3 & 4 and Dinner on days 1 & 2
- Visits to 3 cultural heritage sites: Kordopulov House & the town of Melnik, Rozhen Monastery and Rila Monastery
- Tour Leader from Bulgaria Wine Tours
- Tour Operator insurance from Groupama 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
- Travel and medical insurance (please, consult your insurance provider)
- Visa fees, if applicable
- Extras and incidentals
- Single room supplement