Ancient Thrace – tour of wine and culture
8 days/7 nights
Sofia – Bachkovo – Plovdiv – Perperikon – Stone mushrooms – Gorno pole – Mezek – Harmanli – Haskovo – Uzundzovo – Aleksandrovo – Dimitrovgrad – Stara Zagora – Kazanlak – Damascene – Starosel – Sofia
- Explore the unique taste of Bulgarian wine and delicious cuisine
- Experience the culture and tradition while having a memorable trip following the footsteps of the Thracians
- Fully escorted tour with a professional tour guide in English
Day 1 Sofia (D)
Arrival in Sofia. According to the flight schedule transfer to the hotel. Time for rest and acclimate to what is to come.
Welcome dinner with glass of wine.
Overnight in Sofia.
Day 2 Sofia (B, D)
Today we are going to have a city tour of the Bulgarian capital once called by Constantine the Great “Serdica is my Rome”. Some of the places that we are going to see are: Alexander Nevski Cathedral, St. Sofia Basilica, following the famous yellow road is the former Royal Palace, also the ruins of Ancient Serdica. Next on the agenda for the day is a degustation of different Balkan rakia – time to be acquainted with delicious Balkan spirit drink, called rakia and learn a little about its history.
Optional: In the afternoon – visit of the Boyana church – a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church situated in the Boyana district, near Sofia. The monument is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The church is one of the most completely and perfectly preserved monuments of east European medieval art. The frescoes in the church, painted in 1259, make it one of the most important collections of medieval paintings.
Next is National Museum of History with its unique collection of Gold Treasures.
Overnight in Sofia.
Day 3 Sofia – Bachkovo – Plovdiv (B)
This day we are getting on the road with first stop – Plovdiv. It is one of the oldest cities on the Balkan Peninsula where many civilizations have left their mark. We are going to have a walking tour around Old Plovdiv where on both sides of its cobbled streets we are going to enjoy different house-museums and many unique Roman remains as: The Ancient Theatre, Roman Stadium, Odeon. It comes to spend quality time with some wine – the locals will show and tell us more about the local wine from the Thracian lowlands and the production of wine. But not only words will be our guide – a wine degustation is included in order the palate could know, too.
Optional: Visit Bachkovo monastery – dated back to 11 century, this is a place where many pilgrims come to enjoy not only the monastery itself but also the splendid nature around.
Overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 4 Plovdiv – Perperikon – Stone mushrooms – Gorno pole (B, D)
We have big day ahead of us – following the wine road in the Thracian inland. After Plovdiv we are headed to Kardzali area. First stop is ancient Perperikon – this rocky hill with its long history represents a spiritual place dated back to the Prehistoric ages. Mostly preserved are the ruins from the Thracian period where it was used as a sacred place with many altars; Roman Acropolis and Palace. After a morning filled with spectacular sights and history we continue towards the Stone mushrooms – this natural phenomenon is also called Stone wedding where we can let loose our imagination. This night we are going to settle in a nice rural house. There we can have a nice dinner with local specialties and great wine.
Overnight in village Gorno pole or similar.
Day 5 Gorno pole – Mezek – Harmanli – Haskovo (B)
Today is also a day of symbiosis between nature, history, and culture all in one. In the morning we set of upon the meanders of Arda River where on the end is awaiting us the famous Mezek tomb. It is one of the biggest Thracian tombs that are also used as temple heroon to honor the deified deceased. After that it is time for some wine tasting as there is one of the famous Thracian wines in the local winery. Next, we continue through this beautiful region with stop in Harmanli where we will go pass the Humpback Bridge and visit to “Museum of Bulgarian woman.” There we will witness folkloristic wardrobe of the past. Late afternoon – arrival in Haskovo: the town of the Holy Virgin.
Overnight in Haskovo.
Day 6 Haskovo – Uzundzovo – Aleksandrovo – Dimitrovgrad – Stara Zagora (B)
After breakfast we are going to see the famous monument of Holy Virgin and the bell tower. Next on the road is visit to a nearby village of Usundzovo where one of the biggest rural churches is placed. Now a small village but back in the day it was a big market center. Up the road is visit to Aleksandorovo tomb – a unique Thracian tomb with unique frescos, depicting the hunt in those times, but no only. One of the other interesting and little-known sights around is Dimitrovgrad – a symbol of the past regime, its center still represents the architecture of the Communist era in Bulgaria. Today’s stop on our wine tour is in winery Midalidare where we will taste some high-class wines and get to know the process of making and after that taste them. After that we continue towards Stara Zagora for dinner and overnight.
Overnight in Stara Zagora.
Day 7 Stara Zagora – Kazanlak – Damascene – Starosel – Sofia (B, D)
On this day we will pass through some more amazing sites and taste more flavors. The direction is up the Middle Forest where we will visit Kazanlak – in the heart of the Valley of the Thracian Kings. We will visit the famous Kazanlak tomb (UNESCO Heritage site). Also, this region is known for its Rose production and that’s why we cannot miss a visit to a rose oil distillery where we will see the process of making the famous rose oil. The afternoon we arrive in Starosel: this wine complex is our last stop from our wine journey where in this “Temple of wine” you will have the chance to make your own.
Late afternoon we arrive in Sofia. Time for rest and preparation for farewell dinner.
Overnight in Sofia.
Day 8 Sofia (B)
According to group’s flight schedule – transfer to the airport and time to say goodbye.