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Wine Tour and Rila Monastery
Tour

Wine
Tour and Rila Monastery
SOFIA – RILA MONASTERY – MELNIK – SANDANSKI – BRESTOVITSA /TODOROFF’S WINERY/– PLOVDIV – ASSENOVGRAD – KAZANLAK – ARBANASSI –LIASKOVETS WINERY – VELIKO TARNOVO – MONASTERO DI TROIAN – PLEVEN /WINE MUSEUM/ – SOFIA

8 days
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Day 1

1st day

Arrival at Sofia – meeting and transfer. Sightseeing tour of Sofia. " It grows but does not age" – this is the motto of Sofia, capital of Bulgaria. The history of Sofia dates back to 7000 years ago. Today Sofia is a cosmopolitan and vivid city – as pertains to a true European capital. During our tour you will get a first impression of the most remarkable landmarks of Sofia. We will show you: St Alexander Nevski Cathedral– this is the finest architectural piece and the biggest memorial Church on the Balkan Peninsula. It was built in the beginning of 20 century. The Cathedral is proud of its superb collection of icons, which can be seen in the Crypt /with visit/; the Church of St Sofia gave the capital its name in the 14th century.; Sofia University - the first school of higher education in Bulgaria. National Library, and the National Assembly.; one of the prettiest churches in Sofia – the Russian Church of St. Nikolay.; the building of the Bulgarian Kings Palace of the third Bulgarian Kingdom. At present it hosts the National Gallery; and the Presidency. In the yard of Presidency is located the St George Rotunda – dating back from IV AD, with its well-preserved early medieval frescoes. Here are also the II century Byzantine ruins.; the St Nedelya Church – built in the period 1856 n- 1863 onto relis from the ancient Roman town of Serdica.; National Palace of Culture – the largest multi – functional complex for cultural and congress in South-Eastern Europe. Sofia city tour is with duration about 3 hours. Welcome dinner. Overnight.

Day 2

2nd day

Breakfast – departure to Rila monastery – the monastery is believed to have been founded by a hermit, John of Rila, in the 10th century, during the reign of the Bulgarian Tzar Peter (927-968). In 1976, while in 1983 it was inscribed in UNESCO’s list of world heritage.
- lunch with wine tasting – departure to Melnik - Melnik is situated in Pirin Mountain. It is the smallest Bulgarian town and the most significant memorial of Bulgarian Medieval and Renaissance culture. The town together with the Rozhen Monastery, situated near it, are natural and cultural – historical reserve. The most famous landmarks in Melnik are: Kordopulova House(the biggest one on Balkan Peninsula, dating from the Revival period in Bulgaria) with its incredible decoration and its huge wine – cellar; Bolyarska House, Pashova House, which is now a museum.Very interesting are the ruins of Saint Nikola Monastery (12 c.), Oppressor Slav’s Fortress ( 13 – 14c.), the Roman Bridge, the Old Turkish bath and also the remains of a couple of churches, which number was once 75. Continue to the nearby town of Sandanski. Dinner. Overnight.

Day 3

3rd day

Breakfast – departure to Plovdiv – the second largest city of Bulgaria. Plovdiv is Bulgaria’s first capital after the Liberation and its indelible marks are still to be seen today. – along the way lunch with wine tasting in the famous Todoroff’s winery in Brestovitsa – Wine production in this region dates from the ancient Thracian ages - a fact, which is evidenced by the numerous archaeological discoveries in the region. The tradition of wine producing, inherited from the ancient Thracians, reflects in the approach used in Todoroff Wine Cellar nowadays. Wine cellar was built by Andonovi brothers in 1945. Todoroff Boutique Wine Cellar is specialized in production of high quality red wines of "Mavrud", "Merlot" and "Cabernet Sauvignon" grape varieties in boutique series of limited quantity. Todoroff Wine Cellar is the perfect place to spend unforgettable moments close to the nature and surrounded by genuine red wines. Continue to Plovdiv. Dinner. Overnight.

Day 4

4th day

Breakfast – City tour of Plovdiv - During this city tour we will show you the Old town of Plovdiv, who combines some periods of the history of the city all in one, starting with the early years of the Roman rule and reaching the culmination of the architecture during the Renaissance, when most of the houses in this architectural preserve were built. One of the most famous old houses is the House of Balaban, which cultural events of different kind often take place. It was built in the beginning of the 19 th century and it is named after its last owner. Very well known is also the house in which the French intellectual Lamartine stayed during his short trip through Bulgaria in 1838. Today it is known as memorial house “Lamartine”. The house of the noted American landowner Stepan Hindilyan is a cultural memorial with national importance. The house of Nikola Nedkovich /1862 – 1863 /, currently a museum of the Revival city folklore is also an interesting place to visit. In the Old town of Plovdiv we will show you too the Ancient Theatre – one of the greatest and most famous sights here. A natural saddleback between [iDjambaz hill and Taksim hill had been used for its construction and its capacity had been one of 3 500 people. It was a center of cultural and political meeting until the end of 4 th century when a fire put an end of its functioning. You will have an opportunity to see the fortified walls of Filipopol, and to visit the St. Konstantin and Elena’s Church, built in 1832 by master Petko Boz. During Plovdiv city tour we will show you also the city center and most remarkable Djumaia Mosque /14 – 15 century/ - today an art and architectural monument. Lunch in Assenovgrad after wine tasting in the Assenovgrad Winery. Return back to Plovdiv. Dinner and overnight.

Day 5

5th day

Breakfast. Continue to Kazanlak and to the Rose valley. We will discover the Thracian Kazanlak Tomb from the end of the 4 th century with well-preserved wall paintings. The unique paintings represent interesting scenes and elucidate about unexpected aspects of the vital – it is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. Continue to the village of Arbanassi - (It is one of the most picturesque Bulgarian villages. The village is a architecture reserve and it is included in UNESCO list for world cultural heritage). Departure to Veliko Tarnovo. Dinner and overnight at Arbanassi.

Day 6

6th day

Breakfast – City tour of Veliko Tarnovo (Veliko Tarnovo is situated in Central Bulgaria it the skirts of Balkan Mountain. It is situated on the historical hills Tsarevets, Trapezica and Sveta Gora – over Yantra river. During this City tour we will show you: Tsarevets Hill -it was the main fortress of the medieval Bulgarian capital Veliko Tarnovo.; "The Renaissance and the Constituent Assembly" Museum - That is the place, where the first Prince of independent Bulgaria - Alexander Batenberg - was choosen; and here, too, in 1885 was taken the decision for the annexation of Eastern Roumeliya to the Kingdom of Bulgaria.; Samovodene Marketplace - The craftsmen, who work there in front of the eyes of the public, use the original technologies and tools. This place is one of the very few in Bulgaria, where the atmosphere of the Bulgarian Renaissance street has been preserved almost intact.; Gurko Street; The monument of the Assens is dedicated to the Bulgarian kings Assen 1st, Peter, Kaloyan and Ivan Assen 2d - the sovereigns, during which reign /1185-1241/ the Bulgarian Medieval State with Tarnovgrad as its capital reaches its highest political, economical and cultural point.; Stambolov Bridge – one of the most remarkable objects in the city. The bridge is 100 m long and 30 m high. It was built in 1892. Lunch and wine tasting in Lyaskovets winery. Dinner and overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.

Day 7

7th day

Breakfast – Departure to Pleven. Along the way visit to Troyan Monastery - must have been in existence long before the l5th century, as legends suggest. Lunch. Departure to Pleven. Visit the Museum of Wine. It is located in a cave formation consisting of five galleries with a total area of 650 sq.m. The cave is situated five kilometers away from the centre of the town of Pleven, in the middle of the Kailaka national park – in an extremely beautiful natural canyon with lots of lakes surrounded by hotel complexes, sports grounds and a zoo. The town of Pleven has been selected because of being the first wine-industry centre in Bulgaria. In 1890, the first and only professional school of viticulture and enology in the country was opened. In 1902, the first National Institute of Viticulture and Enology was founded in the town, the only one of its kind in the country to this day. The Museum of Wine is also a place where can taste wine and buy bottles of over 6 000 kinds of wine from all regions of Bulgaria. The Museum offers the biggest in Bulgaria exposition (of over 7 000 exhibits) of old wines – 30 to 90-year-old. Departure to Sofia. Accommodation at the hotel. Dinner and overnight.

8th day

Breakfast. Shopping time. Transfer to the airport. Departure.

 

Price for Wine Tour and Rila Monastery

The tour includes

- Transfer airport/hotel/airport;
- Accommodation at hotels 4 stars double rooms - 7 nights on BB base; 
- Tour escort with English/Russian speaking guide;
- Transportation during the whole trip with minivan and driver;
- Parking fees and road taxes;
- 5 degustation of wines;
- VAT.

The tour doesn’t include

- Entrances in museums;
- Other meals and beverages.

 

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