Bulgaria - Wine tour

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Bulgaria - Wine tour

 

BULGARIAN WINE TRADITIONS - THRACIAN ROOTS IN VITICULTURE,

WINE REGIONS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE


 


Day 1: Sofia

Arrival in Sofia - one of the oldest cities in Europe. Transfer to the hotel. Explore the ancient and modern city of Sofia; the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the House of Parliament, Russian Orthodox church, National Theatre, the Presidency. Optional – dinner in a typical Bulgarian restaurant with folklore music and fire dancing. Overnight stay.

 

Day 2: Sofia – Rila Monastery – Sandanski  /240 кm/          

Breakfast. Departure to Sandanski; on the way visit to Rila Monastery - included in the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage. The Rila Monastery is one of Bulgaria’s symbols and a popular touristic destination.

The monastery was found in the first half of the 10th century AD. Its history is directly connected with the first Bulgarian hermit, Saint John of Rila, or ‚Ivan Rilski’, who chose this place to pray in seclusion. Through the ages the Rila Monastery served as a spiritual, educational and cultural centre for the Bulgarians. Most of the present complex of the Rila Monastery dates from the 19th century. The oldest building here is the Hreliova Tower. Every inch of the principal church here, Nativity of Mary is covered by frescoes, work of the most renowned Bulgarian Renaissance painters.

From the end of the 19th century onwards the Rila Monastery has a museum with historical exhibits from the region. The exposition includes important examples of Bulgarian and foreign art from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The most precious exhibit is the finely carved wooden cross, work of Father Rafail. He worked on his masterpiece for years, using the finest chisels and tools, and completed it in 1802, losing his eyesight due to the strenuous work. The cross represents 36 Biblical scenes, eighteen on each side, with over 600 miniature figures.

Lunch at a local restaurant.

Arrival in Sandanski. Overnight stay.

 

Day 3: Rojen Monastery – Melnik – Bansko  /200 кm/

Breakfast. Departure to the Rozhen Monastery “Nativity of the Virgin”.

Situated far to the south in the Pirin area, 6km from Melnik is the only monastery restored during the first centuries of Ottoman rule which has survived till now. 

The present appearance of this old monastery dates back to 16th century. According to one inscription, the image of Christ Pantocrator together with the 12 apostles above the entrance gate of the Holy Virgin main church, was painted in 1597.

Melnik - the smallest Bulgarian town located amidst a natural fortress of majestic sand stone pyramids with its impressive 18-19th century houses. It is well known as the centre of viticulture and the red wine industry.

Wine tasting at one of the emblems of winemaking in Melnik region -Kordopulova house. More than 260 years the Kodopulovata house, built in 1754, is the - the biggest Revival house in Bulgaria and the Balkans. The house belonged to the famous Melnik family Kordopulova who traded with wine across whole Europe, and even in Venice.

Kordopulova house is part of the 100 National Tourist Sites of Bulgaria. The tour includes wine tasting, a visit in the house - museum Kordopulova house, a visit to the tunnels, which matures wine. Lunch in Melnik.

After lunch departure to Bansko. Accommodation in the hotel. Dinner at local restaurant with typical for the region live music. Overnight stay.

 

Day 4: Bansko – Pazardjik – Plovdiv /160 кm/

After breakfast departure to Pazardjik via Yundola. On the way -wine tasting of local white, red and rose wines in “Manastira” celler. “Manastira" winery is located in Thracian Valley, in the tiny village of Lesichovo, province of Pazardzhik. It is specialised in producing high quality wines from grapes raised in their own vineyards.

The selected variety of grapes are the white varieties - Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and red grapes Merlot, Syrah, Ancelotta, Mavrud and Cabernet Sauvignon.

After the wine tasting – departure to the second largest city in Bulgaria -Plovdiv. Accommodation in a hotel. After short break - about 5.00 pm.-city tour of Plovdiv.

Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria and an administrative centre of Plovdiv County. The town in its present appearance was built around seven hills – the hills of Plovdiv (Plovdiv Tepes) which are an inseparable part of the city’s history. Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe – the beginning of its history dates back to 4,000 years BC. In the beginning the ancient settlement was situated on the natural elevation between Nebet, Taksim and Dzhambaz hills (the Three Hills)

Famous historical monuments include the Roman Stadium, the Ancient Theatre, the charming Old Town and more. Plovdiv is a spectacular city combining millennia of history, unique laid back atmosphere and natural beauties including the picturesque six hills, the peaceful Maritsa River and the mystical Rhodope Mountains nearby. The city has several museums – historical, archaeological,

 

Day 5: PlovdivMogilovoNesebarVarna /400кm/

After breakfast – departure to the village of Mogilovo. Visiting of local wine cellar with one of the best Museums of wine – rich ethnographic collection of the products of different crafts connected with viticulture and wine production. Interactive 3D presentation of history of wine making in the region. Lunch and wine tasting in the restaurant of the cellar.

Departure to Nessebar.

Nessebar is one of the oldest towns in Europe, more than 3000 years old included in the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage. At the beginning of the 6th century BC, the city became a Greek colony. The city’s remains include the acropolis, a temple of Apollo, an agora and a wall from the Thracian fortifications. Nessebar have impressive number of churches and a fortress which date from the Middle Ages, when this was one of the most important Byzantine towns on the west coast of the Black Sea. Wooden houses built in the 19th century are typical of the Black Sea architecture of the period.

 Departure to Varna. Accommodation in a hotel. Overnight.


Day
6: VarnaEvksinogradAladja MonasteryVarna /15 кm/

After breakfast, visit of the park and the cellar of the Evksinograd palace. Tasting of 3 types of wines and cognac Evsiniak. Lunch at the seaside. Visit to the medieval rock-hewn monastery- Aladzha Monastery, located 17 km. from Varna and 3 km. from Golden Sands inhabited by monks hermits. The premises of the monastery are carved on two levels in almost 40 meters high limestone rock. Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay.

 

Day 7: VarnaVeliko Tarnovo /250 кm/

After breakfast departure to Veliko Tarnovo. The city is the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire and thanks to its rich cultural heritage is an important tourist center. Accommodation in a hotel. Lunch in a traditional Bulgarian restaurant. Visit the Tsarevets - the main fortress of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Free time. In the evening -audio visual show "Sound and Light" - recreates the glorious and tragic story of the Second Bulgarian kingdom. Dinner. Overight stay.

 
Day 8: Veliko TarnovoSofia /250 кm/

After breakfast departure to Sofia. Accommodation in the hotel. After a short break - visit to the Boyana Church, included in the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage and has preserved frescoes of an unknown artist, which date back to the year 1259. The frescoes impress with the spirituality and expressiveness of their images, created 7 years before the birth of Giotto, considered as the first Renaissance artist.

FAREWELL DINNER we will explore the best of the night life Sofia can offer.


Day 9: Sofia

After breakfast FREE TIME for shopping or optional Visit to National Art Gallery. Back to the hotel for farewell drink. Transfer to Sofia International Airport for your flight back home.

 

 

 

 

 

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