The Bulgarian Wine and Rakia tour is an 8 day journey through Bulgaria’s history, culture, food & wine. Taste excellent wines that have been made since the of the Thracians. Rakia the fruit brandy popular in the Balkans.
10 days to Visit: Sofia, Troyan, Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanassi, Lyaskovets, Etara, Kazanlak, Karlovo, Plovdiv, Bachkovo, Starosel, Panagurishte, Sofia
The Bulgarian Wine and Rakia Highlights:
- Wine tasting in Sofia
- Rakia tasting in Troyan Monastery
- Dinner with tasting of 3 wines at Hadji Nikoli Inn in Veliko Tarnovo
- Cooking lesson and lunch in Arbanassi
- Lyaskovets winery
- Rakia tasting in Karlovo
- Wine Tasting in Plovdiv
- Thracian lowlands winery
- Starosel winery
Day 1 – Sofia (D)
Transfer from the airport and accommodation in Ramada Sofia 4* or similar. Welcome dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 2 – Sofia
A panoramic tour around Sofia and visit to the most fascinating places of interest: the Alexander Nevski cathedral, the St. Sofia church which had given the name of the city, the antique Roman Forum dated III-IV-th century (the time of the Emperor Constantine the Great), the quadrangle of tolerance with the temples of the major religions in Bulgaria: the Christian Orthodox, the Catholic, the Muslim and the Jewish, the square with the Royal palace, the boulevard to King Liberator, the Parliament, the National Theatre, and the historical and cultural centre of the capital.
We 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. Visit a wine bar in Sofia, where you can taste 3 premium wines from different Bulgarian wine regions. Dinner and overnight in Sofia.
Day 3 – Sofia – Troyan – Veliko Tarnovo (B,L,D)
Visit the Troyan Monastery and taste “Rakia” made by the monks according to a secret recipe. The monk’s Rakia received its first international prize during the wine and spirit exhibition in Paris in 1896. Departure to Veliko Tarnovo, the capital of the Second Bulgarian kingdom.
Dinner with wine tasting at at restaurant “Hadji Nikoli Inn”which won the Special award “Building of the Year 2010”. Built in 1862, it is one of the most valuable specimens of monumental public architecture of the late Revival period.
The restaurant of the Hadji Nikoli Inn offers a unique atmosphere of comfort and authenticity with perfect service, European and Bulgarian traditional dishes, a gourmet menu, a wide collection of high-quality Bulgarian wines and wines from all over the world which are carefully selected by a team of dedicated oenologists. There are several lounges in the restaurant located on two floors.
Accommodation and overnight in Grand Hotel Yantra 4* (or similar).
Day 4 – Veliko Tarnovo – Arbanassi – Lyaskovets – Veliko Tarnovo (B,L)
We start with a sightseeing tour of Veliko Tarnovo. See the historic Tsarevets Hill with the Fortress, the Patriarchal church, the Royal Palace and the Emperor Bolduin’s tower. A panoramic tour of the town, stroll along the old Trade Street “Samovodska charshia”.
Next we depart for the village of Arbanassi. The village is famous for its ancient, richly decorated churches and magnificent architecture. It used to be a residence of the Bulgarian kings.
Take part in the preparation of the two most remarkable meals in the Bulgarian cuisine – banitsa and yogurt. The first one (banitsa) is a type of filo pastry, a traditional food, which is a symbol of Bulgarian cuisine and traditions. The second one – the yogurt, is widely-used by the locals in daily cuisine. Some people, even in the bigger cities, still make it at home by themselves. The culinary lesson is followed by a traditional lunch of typical local meals.
After lunch we will visit Lyaskovets winery to taste of their well known wine and rakia varieties. Here is first winery in Bulgaria certified for producing natural sparkling wines (founded in 1863 as a cooperative). Return back to Veliko Tarnovo for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 – Veliko Tarnovo – Etara – Kazanlak – Karlovo – Plovdiv (B,L,D)
In Etara we view an open air museum, reproducing the way of life of Bulgarians from the 19th century. Next we set off to Kazanlak, the capital of the Rose valley and Thracian Kings. Visit the Museum of Rose and the replica of Thracian Kazanlak Tomb, dating back to the 4th C. B.C. It is listed in the world natural and historical heritage of UNESCO.
Then we leave for Karlovo for tasting local Rakia in the old town. In the late afternoon we will reach Plovdiv, the city of the seven hills founded by Philip of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great. Dinner with wine tasting in the old town. Accommodation and overnight in 4* hotel Ramada Plovdiv Trimontium in Plovdiv.
Day 6 – Plovdiv – Bachkovo – Plovdiv (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we visit Old Plovdiv, built in IV century before Christ from the King Philip of Macedonia. See the old part of the town with the Ethnographical museum, the St. Constantine and Elena Church, the Antique Theatre and the Roman Stadium.
Nest we tour the Bachkovo Monastery. Founded in 11th century by two Georgian brothers. This is the second largest Bulgarian Monastery after the Rila Monastery. There are extremely valuable frescos of biblical subjects from 16th century in the monastery. The Icon of Virgin Mary, the patron saint of the monastery, is considered as miraculous.
Wine tasting in Villa Yustina in the most famous wine growing region in Bulgaria – Thracian lowlands. The Mavrud wine variety is typical of the region. Return to Plovdiv. Dinner and overnight.
Day 7 – Plovdiv – Starosel – Panagurishte – Sofia (B,L,D)
This morning we depart for Starosel. The region was inhabited by Thracian tribes, led by powerful rulers. Visit the largest Thracian royal complex with a mausoleum, discovered in the 5th century BC.
Enjoy wine and rakia tasting at the Starosel winery. We will continue to Panagurishte – an old town of the period of the Bulgarian Renaissance. Visit of the ethnographical complex and its Historical museum. Here is the exhibition of the world-famous golden treasure. Accommodation, dinner and overnight in 4* hotel in Sofia.
Day 8 – Sofia (B)
After breakfast – transfer to the airport and flight back home.
- Sofia – Ramada Sofia 4*
- Veliko Tarnovo – Grand Hotel Yantra 4*
- Plovdiv – Ramada Plovdiv 4*
- Similar hotels will be used if these are booked out
2021 Price Per Person in Euro (min. 2 people)
- Price per person in Euro
- USD prices will vary with the exchange rate
- Large group prices are available on request click HERE
Book this Tour with Blue Danube Holidays
- Accommodation for 7 nights in 4* hotels
- Meals as specified (B,L,D)
- Wine tasting with High class wines (for all wine cellars)
- Dinner in an upper class restaurant in Sofia
- A/C bus with driver during the whole trip
- Parking fees and road taxes
- All entrance fees for the museums, sites and churches
- Professional English speaking guide throughout
- Porterage in the hotels
- Other meals than mentioned.
- Flights to Bulgaria
See our other Bulgarian tours here:
- Circle Tour EU1001 – 8 days Sofia to Tarnovo
- The Treasures of Bulgaria EU205 – 8 days from Sofia to veliko Tarnovo, Troyan, Valley of the Roses, Plovdiv, Backoro, Rila
- Bulgaria and Romania – 9 days – Sofia, Rila Monastery, Plovdiv, Kazanlak, Veliko Tarnovo, Bucharest, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Bran, Brasov, Sinaia, Bucharest – Tour EU206
- The Grand Tour EU1002 – 10 days from Sofia focusing on culture and nature
- Balkan Mountain Eco Adventure EU202 – 8 days through ancient mountain passes, eco parks, monasteries, medieval villages
- Rose Fields and Monasteries EU203 – 6 days of the most popular Bulgarian attractions
- Rose Festival in Bulgaria EU204 – 6 days during the famous Rose festival when the petals for rose oil are picked
Learn more about Bulgaria here