• Vineyards in Eastern Rhodope
  • Katarzyna Estate - Eastern Rhodope wine region
  • Vineyards in Eastern Rhodope
  • The Amphitheatre of Plovdiv - still used to this day

Thinking of an off-the-beaten-path destination for your next wine tour? Think of Bulgaria. Gorgeous nature and glorious wines await you on this wine and nature tour. You will experience the rich cultural heritage and pristine nature of the Sakar and Eastern Rhodopes mountains – the region with the highest number of endangered bird species in Europe. Some even call the Sakar and Eastern Rhodopes wine region – the Bulgarian Napa Valley – because of the landscape dominated by vineyards and the multiple wineries situated close to each other.

Dates

October 23-27, 2017

Group size

Min. 4 persons

Price

€520 per person

Status

Open for bookings
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Day 1.

Arrival to Sofia. Group transfer to Plovdiv at 14:00. Check-in to your centrally located hotel. Guided walking tour of Plovdiv and Old Town Plovdiv (2h). Tasting of an interesting selection of five Bulgarian wines at a local enoteca. Evening is at your own leisure to explore the town. Your tour leader will be happy to give restaurant recommendations for dinner.

Accommodation: Centrally located hotel in Plovdiv (3 star)

Day 2.

After breakfast, check-out of the hotel. Transfer to the modern Zagreus Winery at 12 pm for the first tour and tasting of the day. Learn how wine is made from grapes to glass, and taste premium organic wines from local and international varieties. The next winery is the Bratanov Family Winery in Harmanli – a true family winery that is currently managed by a father and his two sons as well as extended family members. A unique tasting experience of unique wines awaits us at Bratanov. Transfer to the family-run organic farm and guesthouse “The Wild Farm” in the village of Gorno Pole. Group dinner in the guesthouse dining room.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: The “Wild Farm” Guesthouse

Day 3.

After breakfast, we drive to the heart of the Sakar wine country – the village of Kolarovo that lies surrounded by beautiful vineyards. Chateau Kolarovo is the first winery on the programme. Here, we will sample the wines and talk about the characteristics of the region. Just 5 minutes away lies the bigger Castra Rubra. Here, we will be welcomed with a tour of this impressive winery that boasts cutting-edge technology as well as excellent high quality wines. A tasting of five wines followed by a light lunch. Last on today’s programme is the small but charming Malkata Zvezda [the little star]. Tasting of a selection of wines. Return transfer to “The Wild Farm” guesthouse. Group dinner in the guesthouse dining room.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: The “Wild Farm” Guesthouse

Day 4.

After breakfast, we head to the village of Mezek that lies not too far from the Bulgaria – Greece border at the foot of the Eastern Rhodopes. The magnificent Katarzyna Estate welcomes us for a tour and tasting, accompanied by local appetizers. Next, a visit to the ancient Thracian tomb of Mezek and, lastly, we visit the Medieval fortress that has a fantastic view of the village of Mezek. You can even see Greece from the top of the fortress. Group dinner in the guesthouse dining room.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: The “Wild Farm” Guesthouse

Day 5.

After breakfast, we start our scenic four-hour roadtrip back to Sofia. We will have breaks along the way. Arrival to Sofia at 14:00. Continue your holiday with an extra day in Sofia, or transfer to the airport for a late afternoon or evening flight.

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
✓ 1 night at a centrally located hotel in Plovdiv (3 stars) in shared ensuite doublerooms
✓ 3 nights at “The Wild Farm” guesthouse in shared ensuite doublerooms
✓ 3 dinners at “The Wild Farm” guesthouse on Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4
✓ Lunch on Day 3
✓ Guided walking tour of Plovdiv
✓ Wine tasting at a local enoteka, incl. water and appetisers
✓ Wine tasting at Zagreus winery, incl. water and appetisers
✓ Wine tasting at Bratanov Family winery
✓ Wine tasting at Chateau Kolarovo, incl. water and appetisers
✓ Wine tasting at Castra Rubra, incl. water and appetisers
✓ Wine tasting at Malkata Zvezda
✓ Wine tasting at Katarzyna Estate, incl. water and appetisers
✓ Visit to Mezek Thracian tomb
✓ Visit to Mezek Medieval fortress
✓ 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: 

  • € 520 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 Nature tour we will visit the following wineries:

Zagreus

Zagreus was the God of Wine – one of the most important Thracian gods, which some historians believe was the inspiration for the Dionysus’ cult. Preserving the tradition, Zagreus winery focuses on working with the local red grape variety Mavrud. Apart from making high-quality red wines from Mavrud, Zagreus is a producer of an unusual white wine, as well as dessert wine from Mavrud. Most of Zagreus’ vineyards are also certified as organic.

Bratanov Family winery

Bratanov is a typical family winery – it was created through the hard work of a father and his sons. The family of the father Stoycho Bratanov is not new to winemaking – his great-grandfather used to have vineyards in the very same area where Bratanov’s own vineyards now stand. Situated almost at the point where the Maritsa River divides the Rhodope from the Sakar Mountain, this relatively new winery has boldly entered the Bulgarian wine market. Some of their wines have been awarded medals from prestigious competitions such as Decanter and the Balkan International Wiine Competition. Such recognition has not shifted the focus and ambition of Bratanov Family Winery – it still remains very much a family affair and as such everyone is deeply connected to the winery. So do not be surprised when the Bratanovi Family welcome you to their winery as if they are welcoming you to into their home.

Chateau Kolarovo

Chateau Kolarovo was established in 2009 by Stoyan Stoyanov. Originally from Stara Zagora, his family heritage brought him to the area and urged him to produce wine. As the name suggests Chateau Kolarovo is located in the village of Kolarovo in the southern Sakar mountains. The village of Kolarovo has about nine permanent inhabitants; however, there are four wineries in the village. This fact hints towards the fact that the area is highly suitable for viticulture. Chateau Kolarovo does not dazzle with appearance – the building where the winery is at present used to be an old cheese-manufacturing facility. It is quite possible that you might pass by Chateau Kolarovo without realizing that this is the actual winery. However, once you try the wine that is being produced here, it will certainly leave an impression on you and you will be coming back for more.

Castra Rubra

Castra Rubra winery is situated in the village of Kolarovo and is named after thne of the most important roads in the Roman Empire – Via Diagonalis – that connected Rome with Constantinople. Castra Rubra has rightly become one of the most famous Bulgarian wineries because of its unique architecture, technology and, of course, excellent wines. It is also the only Bulgarian winery that the prominent French oenologist Michel Rolland consults. Michel Rolland says that the terroir, the 40+ year old vineyards and the ambitious team at Castra Rubra are all prerequisites for the making of great wines.

Malkata Zvezda

Malkata Zvezda [The Little Star] stands at the crossroad of four ancient Roman roads, including the most important one – Via Diagonalis. Hence, the name comes from the star-like shape of the place where these roads meet. Because of this strategic location, this area was a “duty free” area in Roman times where the main commodity sold was wine. Malkata Zvezda exploits the best of their 30+ year old vineyards and produces remarkable red wines. These wines have also become popular in the sacred Mount Athos (Greece), where Malkata Zvezda annually sends shipments of their special brand “Sveta Gora” dedicated to the Bulgarian monastery in Athos. The team at Malkata Zvezda boldly experiments with the local varieties Mavrud and Pamid and its little star is shining ever brighter on the Bulgarian wine horizon.

Katarzyna Estate

Katarzyna Estate is yet another proof that the Eastern Rhodopes and Sakar wine region has the potential to make Bulgarian wine famous worldwide. If you miss the turn to the neat iron gate on the side of the road, you will end up at the border with Greece. Katarzyna Estate is located in the southernmost tip of the Eastern Rhodopes that roll over to Greece from here. The vineyards that surround the winery are located on plots of lands with various soil types and enjoy the highest number of sunshine hours in Bulgaria. In addition, the architecture, equipment and artistic elements of the winery itself are a testimonial to the meticulous work put into Katarzyna Estate. However, it is the wine and the stories behind it that leave the most lasting impressions here. Each label and each name has a fascinating story like the one of Katarzyna’s most successful brand – Question mark. It was the first wine to participate in a wine competition and the Katarzyna team did not expect much. They did not even have a name for the wine yet, so they just put a question mark instead of a name on the identifying label. Surely, the wine won the gold medal and the name (and label) remained. If you are still asking how good Bulgarian wine could be, then maybe Katarzyna Estate has the answers for you.

Arrival/Departure

  • Group transfer on Day 1 is from Sofia airport to Plovdiv 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.
  • Group transfer on Day 6 is just after breakfast – 10:00. You may be dropped off at Sofia airport or Sofia centre. Please inform us of your preference when you book.
  • For late arrivals on Day 1 or early departures on Day 5, 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 Plovdiv is 1.5-2 hours.
  • Transport time between “The Wild Farm” Guesthouse and Sofia is about 4 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 Plovdiv and from “The Wild Farm” guesthouse to Sofia
  • Single supplement: € 50

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 Nature Tour Map

Tour map: Wine and Nature tour