2017 Bulgarian Wine...Or How To Resist Old Age

About

Bulgaria is one of the three biggest wine producing nations in Eastern Europe. The Bulgarian wine industry has been transformed during the last two decades. It's 100% private now. Different international projects helped bring our wine industry up to global standards. Many new wineries already make an impression with its well-crafted wines.

Bulgaria has 5 wine growing regions - the Danube Valley, The Black Sea, the Strouma Valley, the Rose Valley and the Thracian Valley.

You will visit 6 wineries in 3 Bulgarian wine growing regions. You will taste the local cuisine and organic food. The only reason it is not marked as eco-food is because you'd have to label all foodstuffs like that.

Highlights

Wine tasting sessions in the region of Melnik, Plovdiv and the Rose Valley along with some cultural and historic sightseeing.

Itinerary - 2017 Bulgarian Wine...Or How To Resist Old Age

Day 1: SOFIA

We will meet you at the airport and assists for a transfer to your downtown hotel. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Sofia, a pleasant city of boulevards and open spaces and see the city's most important places of worship - Alexander Nevski Memorial Church and St. George Rotunda. Tour proceeds with panoramic sightseeing of the National Library, Sofia University, Borisova Garden, and the National Palace of Culture.
Later enjoy a welcome dinner with a glass of wine from the region of Northern Bulgaria.

D, Overnight in Sofia in a 4* hotel.

Day 2: SOFIA- Rila Monastery - Melnik – SANDANSKI (260 km)

After breakfast we drive to Rila monastery (UNESCO's List of Cultural Heritage). It is located some 120 km to the south of Sofia, in the heart of the Rila Mountain. Founded in the 10th century, it has been the biggest spiritual and cultural center in Bulgaria for hundreds of years. The visitor's first sight of Rila monastery huge towering walls gives the impression of a fortress. However, a step through the archway produces a wonderful surprise. The Rila monastery is the largest in the Balkans and included in the List of World Cultural Heritage. Tour of the monastery includes a visit to the Monastery Church, which is of particular artistic value, for it was adorned by the foremost 19-century masters of the Samokov, Bansko and Debar schools of painting and woodcarving. 
En route to Sandanski, we stop for a wine-tasting session in one of the best Strouma Valley wineries.

Proceed to Sandanski and check in at a 4* Spa hotel. Later on we drive to the museum town of Melnik to see the mystery of the sandstone pyramids. Sandstone is the best environment for the production and maturing of the world-famous Melnik red wine. Visit a small, boutique winery close to Melnik and enjoy a wine-tasting session. The unique Melnik broad-leaved vine variety has been cultivated in the region for centuries and local wine makers had been inspired to create special wines.

Your dinner will take place in a local tavern in Melnik, featuring homemade cuisine from the Pirin Region. 
We drive back to Sandanski for overnight at the 4* hotel Sandanski Spa.

B,D, Overnight in Sandanski in the 4* Sandanski Spa hotel.

Day 3: SANDANSKI - Velingrad - Ognyanovo/Brestovitza – PLOVDIV (250 km)

After breakfast we leave for Velingrad; driving through a beautiful mountainous region, where you will see the Pirin and Rila Mountains to the north, and the Rhodope Mountain to the east. Visit Ognyanovo (or Brestovitza) winery in the Thracian valley and enjoy a wine tasting session, including the indigenous Bulgarian red grape variety - the famous Mavroud. 
Drive on to Plovdiv. Check in at hotel. Evening at leisure and for individual discoveries of this charming city.

B, Overnight in Plovdiv in the 5* Grand Hotel Plovdiv for 2 nights.

Day 4: PLOVDIV- the Thracian Valley and the Rose Valley Wine Regions (100 km)

Today's programme is quite busy and includes visits to 3 wineries - in the villages of Popovitza, Pesnopoj and Starosel. We will meet local wine makers and taste their best wines during the wine tasting sessions.

"Farewell dinner at "Hebros" restaurant- one of the finest places in the Old city, "2013 Travellers Choice" winner (Trip Advisor).

B,D, Overnight in Plovdiv.

Day 5: PLOVDIV –SOFIA AIRPORT (150 km)

Enjoy a morning city sightseeing of Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city and one of the oldest in Europe. Your mainly walking tour includes the Old City with its typical National Revival architecture and peaceful atmosphere. Before noon you will leave Plovdiv en route to Sofia airport to catch your connecting flight home.

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