Wine and Culture Tour

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Wine and Culture Tour 2017-08-04T21:52:37+00:00
  • The organic Orbelus winery: 72 hours wine getaways
  • Rila Monastery - the largest Bulgarian monastery
  • Day wine tour: Medi Valley
  • Wine Tasting
  • Orbelia winery in Melnik wine region

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. 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. Experience the best of the many local specialties through wine tastings and culinary delights. 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 favourites. 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!

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Day 1.

Arrival to Sofia and group transfer at 14:00. Group transfer to Zlaten Rozhen Wine Cellar & Hotel in the village of Rozhen. Check-in to your shared ensuite room. Wine tasting, followed by dinner at the hotel restaurant serving traditional cuisine. In the case of an early arrival, there will be time to walk to the nearby Rozhen Monastery before dinner.

Meals included: Dinner

Accommodation: Zlaten Rozhen Wine Cellar & Hotel (3 stars)

Day 2.

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 in order to age and reach their full potential. A tasting of six wines accompanied by appetizers in the charming tasting room follows before we bid our hosts at Villa Melnik farewell and 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. Return transfer to hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Tapas-style lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Zlaten Rozhen Wine Cellar & Hotel (3 stars)

Day 3.

Today’s program takes us to the border of Bulgaria and Macedonia. Here, we visit the exquisite Orbelia. Orbelia winery is built in traditional-style and located in the very southwest of Bulgaria at the foot of the Belasitsa Mountain, 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 in the Orbelia Restaurant. 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 hotel. Visit to Rozhen monastery, if not already visited during Day 1. Free evening.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Zlaten Rozhen Wine Cellar & Hotel (3 stars)

Day 4.

After breakfast, we check-out of Zlaten Rozhen Wine Cellar & Hotel and head to the Medi Valley winery, named after the Medi Thracian Tribe that occupied the area a long time ago. Interesting fact about the Medi Thracian Tribe is that the legendary Spartacus was from the this tribe. Here, our winery guide will show us around this impressively modern winery. Tasting of five wines in the charming tasting room. Next, a visit to the famous Rila Monastery. Not only is it the largest monastery in Bulgaria, the Rila Monastery has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1983. Lunch on the way to Rila Monastery. Transfer to your hotel in Sofia. 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.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Centrally located hotel in Sofia (4 star)

Day 5.

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.

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: Centrally located hotel in Sofia (4 star)

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.

Meals included: Breakfast

Included in the price of the tour:
✓ Transportation from and to Sofia/Sofia airport
✓ All ground transportation with a minivan/car included in the tour’s itinerary
✓ 3 nights at Zlaten Rozhen Wine Cellar & Hotel (3 stars) in shared ensuite doublerooms
✓ 2 nights at a centrally located hotel in Sofia (4 stars) in shared ensuite doublerooms
✓ 2 dinners on Day 1 and Day 2
✓ 2 lunches on Day 3 and Day 4
✓ Wine tasting at Zlaten Rozhen, incl. water and appetisers
✓ Visit to Rozhen monastery
✓ Wine tasting at Villa Melnik, incl. water and appetisers
✓ Wine tasting at Orbelus, incl. water and appetisers
✓ Visit to Kordopulov House museum in Melnik
✓ Wine tasting at Orbelia winery, incl. water and appetisers
✓ Visit to Rupite area
✓ Wine tasting at Medi Valley, incl. water and appetisers
✓ Visit to Rila monastery
✓ Breakfast on all days except for Day 1
✓ Tour leader from Bulgaria Wine Tours
✓ Guided tours of wineries by onsite winemaker
✓ Tour operator insurance from HDI Insurance in case of non-provision of services
Not included in the tour price:

  • 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
  • Tips

Price of the tour: 

  • € 510 per person (*)(**)

* The BGN/EUR exchange rate is fixed at  1 EUR = 1.95583 BGN (http://www.bnb.bg/?toLang=_EN)

** Price per person is based on double occupancy e.g. two persons sharing a room

Payment:

  • A non-refundable deposit of 30% of the total tour cost is required to be paid within 7 days of the invoice issue date unless otherwise agreed with the Company.
  • The balance of the amount due to the Company must be paid no later than 45 days before departure unless otherwise agreed with the Company.
  • In the event that the Client makes a booking within 45 days of departure of the tour, the full tour price must be paid up-front.

Payment method:

Payments are made in Euros or Bulgarian Leva.

  • Bank transfer to:

Bulgaria Wine Tours Ltd.

Bank name: Raiffeisen Bank

Bank address: 1 Knyaginya Mariya Luiza Str., Plovdiv 4000

BIC: RZBBBGSF

IBAN: BG09RZBB91551005461558

We will provide confirmation once the payment is received

During the Wine and Culture tour we will visit the following wineries:

Zlaten Rozhen

Zlaten Rozhen is a relatively new winery in the Melnik wine region, once the most famous wine region of Bulgaria. Zlaten Rozhen’s young and ambitious team strive to produce wine reminiscent of the times when wine from this region was served at the tables of respected Western European families. The winery owns a boutique hotel in the village of Rozhen, walking distance from one of the most beautiful Bulgarian monasteries – Rozhen monastery. The tasting room at the boutique hotel is the ideal setting to enjoy Zlaten Rozhen’s wine, while experiencing the rural atmosphere of the Melnik region.

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 litres 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.

Orbelus

Surrounded by seven mountains in the Melnik region in southwestern Bulgaria lies the organic winery Orbelus. Not only is the wine-making 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.

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.

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.

Arrival/Departure

  • Group transfer on Day 1 is from Sofia airport to Rozhen at 14:00. If you arrive in the early morning, you have the option of going into Sofia centre to explore.
  • A representative from Bulgaria Wine Tours will be by the information desk between the Arrivals and Departures Halls at Sofia Airport, Terminal 2 starting from 13:30 on Day 1. The representative will have a Bulgaria Wine Tours sign.
  • For arrivals at Sofia Airport Terminal 1, a representative from Bulgaria Wine Tours will meet you at the information desk in the main hall around 14:00. The representative will have a Bulgaria Wine Tours sign.
  • For late arrivals on Day 1, it is necessary to pre-book a private transfer or plan your arrival at the relevant location. We can assist you with that if you wish so.
  • Transport time between Sofia and Rozhen is about 3 hours.

Visa Requirements

  • In general, EU citizens do not require visas to travel to Bulgaria. Citizens of some other countries also do not need visas to travel to Bulgaria. For visa requirements to enter Bulgaria, please consult the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs at: http://www.mfa.bg/en/pages/109/index.html or the respective institutions in your country of residence.

Insurance

  • You are encouraged to purchase travel and medical insurance at your own judgement.

Notes

  • The tour does not require any special medical condition or fitness level. The tour does not involve intensive walking, hiking, or other physical effort apart from the normal efforts for sightseeing.

Additional services or surcharges

  • Please contact us for prices and information on private transfers from Sofia Airport to Rozhen
  • Single supplement: € 60

For any questions, please contact us at: +359 888 487 113 or email: info@bulgariawinetours.com or contact us through the Facebook page – Bulgaria Wine Tours.

Most importantly, we will do anything we can to make the tour a pleasant and memorable experience for you.

Enjoy Exploring! Enjoy Bulgaria!

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Why Choose Us

✓ Because we are the original tour operator in Bulgaria specializing in wine tours.

✓ Because we have visited each and every winery, hotel and place we offer on this tour in order to ensure the highest possible quality of the offered services.

✓ Because we work closely with the wineries and the hotels offered on this tour and we are flexible to accommodate your wishes.

✓ Because we have made academic research on the potential of wine tourism in Bulgaria: https://lup.lub.lu.se/student-papers/search/publication/4091904.

✓ Because we are promoting alternative tourism and helping the development of rural regions in Bulgaria.

✓ Because you will be supporting a young start-up.

✓ Because we will make sure you have fun and enjoy the tour!

Wine and Culture Tour Map

Tour map: Wine and Nature tour