6 Days Wine & Culture Tour in Bulgaria

6 Days Wine & Culture Tour in Bulgaria

  • Rozhen - Melnik

Wine and Culture Tour in Bulgaria

An authentic 6-day tour of Bulgaria that combines the best the country has to offer: delicious food, fabulous wines, breathtaking nature and fascinating culture. Visit five unique wineries that are all producing amazing, award-winning wines and are part of the new wave of artisanal fine wines. Experience the best of the many local specialties through wine tastings and culinary delights. Visit 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. Sign up now!

Highlights

  • Visit to 4 wineries
  • Informative wine tasting sessions
  • Introduction to local grape varieties such as Melnik 55 and Broadleaved Melnik
  • Visit the Rila Monastery: A UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visit Sofia - the eclectic capital of Bulgaria
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • 4 days with instruction
  • Bulgarian, Danish, Italian, English
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You will be spending 3 nights in a traditional Melnik guesthouse in shared ensuite double rooms and 2 nights in a centrally located 4-star hotel in Sofia in shared ensuite double rooms.

Day 1

  • Arrival to Sofia airport and group transfer at latest 14:00.
  • Group transfer to a charming guesthouse in Melnik micro-region.
  • Enroute, you visit the 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

  • After breakfast, you start your day of wine tasting at the acclaimed Villa Melnik. Here, you are warmly welcomed by a winery representative, who will give you 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 you 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, you 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.
  • You 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

  • Today’s program takes you to the border of Bulgaria and Macedonia.
  • Here, you 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, you taste four interesting wines followed by lunch.
  • Before heading back for the day, you 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

  • After breakfast, you check out of the guesthouse.
  • Visit the interesting Rozhen monastery followed by lunch in Rozhen village.
  • On your way to Sofia, enjoy 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 you 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

  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • This day is for you to explore the eclectic capital of Bulgaria. Your host recommends 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

  • Breakfast at your hotel before checking out at latest 12:00.
  • The hotel reception can help you get a city taxi to the airport.
  • End of tour.

Medi Valley

The area around the Struma River in southeastern Bulgaria was inhabited in ancient times by the Thracian tribe Medi. The most famous Medi is Spartacus - the slave who started a revolution against the Roman Empire. As all Thracian tribes, the Medi also worshiped wine, which played an important role in their religious rituals. Following the Thracian heritage on these lands, Medi Valley specializes in producing high-quality, boutique wines with a distinct character. Located nearby the biggest and most famous Bulgarian monastery, Rila monastery, Medi Valley is one of the highest wineries in altitude in Bulgaria and provides а warm welcome to each visitor that stops by.

Orbelia

The Orbelia winery is situated in one of the sunniest places in Bulgaria, where wine has been produced since Thracian times. In fact, Orbelia, meaning the White Mountain because of the all-year snow caps, was the Thracian name of the mountain, in which foothills the winery is situated. Orbelia winery diligently caters to promoting the local varieties such as Shiroka Melnishka loza, Sandanski misket and Kerazuda. Orbelia provides an authentic atmosphere of Bulgarian hospitality, garnished with excellent wines and beautiful surroundings.

Orbelus

Surrounded by seven mountains in the Melnik region in southwestern Bulgaria lies the organic winery Orbelus. Not only is the winemaking process organic but also the architecture of the winery reduces the input of resources such as lighting, heating and cooling. This provides for a wine experience in full unison with nature. These environmental considerations do not come at the expense of the wine quality; Orbelus has already gained international recognition, including a gold medal from the prestigious Millésime Bio Challenge. Staying true to its Melnik origins, Orbelus emphasizes the local varieties and presents them in a different way to its visitors - the organic way.

Villa Melnik

The Melnik region has been and still is one of the most famous wine regions in Bulgaria. Each year, Winston Churchill himself used to purchase 500 liters of the traditional Melnik variety - Shiroka Melnishka loza. With such a history, it is not surprising that one of the newest wineries in the region - Villa Melnik - has quickly gained recognition for its high-quality wine, beautiful winery and warm hospitality. Villa Melnik has even dared to produce wine with its own grown Mavrud variety -

traditionally the undisputed master of another wine region in Bulgaria - the Thracian Valley. Such boldness and distinct character are typical for Villa Melnik, which makes a visit to the winery indispensable for every wine explorer of the area.

This retreat will take place in Bulgaria. The Melnik and Struma Valley Wine Region is one of five broad wine regions located in the south-west of Bulgaria close to the Greek and Macedonian borders.

The wines from the Melnik region were proudly present at the tables of the European royal families in the 17-18th centuries and, in addition, the local variety Shiroka Melnishka Loza (Broadleaf Melnik) was among Winston Churchill’s favorites.

  • Cultural sightseeing
  • Tasting unique wines
  • Walking trips
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • All ground transportation mentioned in itinerary
  • Daily breakfast, lunch on day 2 (tapas-style), 3 and 4, dinner on day 1 and 2
  • Group transfer on day 1 from Sofia Airport to Melnik
  • Meet and greet at Sofia Airport upon arrival
  • Private tour leader from Bulgaria Wine Tours
  • Tastings at 4 wineries: Villa Melnik, Orbelus, Orbelia and Medi Valley
  • Tour operator insurance from Groupama Insurance in case of non-provision of services
  • Visits to 3 cultural heritage sites: Kordopulov House and the town of Melnik, Rozhen Monastery and Rila Monastery
  • Extras and incidentals
  • Flight tickets
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned in the tour description
  • Private transfers
  • Tips
  • Travel and medical insurance (please consult your insurance provider)
  • Visa fees, if applicable

Arrival by airplane

The nearest airport to the location is Sofia Airport (SOF). Bulgaria Wine Tours will pick you up at 14:00 from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 45 days before the arrival date.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Bulgaria Wine Tours organizes wine tours in Bulgaria that also focus on cultural heritage, traditions, cuisine, and nature.

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6 days / 5 nights

Availability

Arrival: Monday March 12, 2018
Departure: Saturday March 17, 2018

Avaiilability

This tour is available all year round upon request with a minimum of 4 participants. Please send your inquiry to Bulgaria Wine Tours.

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