Bulgaria Tours: Wine Tour - Northern Bulgaria - Theme Tours at Pictures of Bulgaria

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Bulgaria Tours: Wine Tour - Northern Bulgaria

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Programme Name: Programme WINE TOUR - NORTHERN BULGARIA
Programme Code: SIP 05 Wine
Tour Duration: 8 days / 7 nights

DAY 1
Sofia Arrival in Sofia. Transfer and check in 3* hotel. Panoramic city tour of Sofia. Overnight in the hotel.

Sightseeing during the day:
Sofia - Roads from all parts of the world have been meeting here nearly 7 000 years. Peoples have come and gone, civilizations have advanced and declined, but the city has remained. More than 250 historic, archaeological and architectural landmarks in the city which the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great once called "My Rome".

Our tour includes: National Archaeological Museum, National Theatre, Russian Church St. Nikola, Parliament Square, Alexander Nevski Memorial Cathedral with the most valuable collection of Bulgarian Icons (13-19th c), St. Sofia Church (6th c), St. George Rotunda (4th c), National Palace of Culture.


DAY 2
Troyan Monastery

Oreshaka

Lyaskovets
Breakfast and departure towards Troyan Monastery (the 3rd largest in Bulgaria). Visit and proceed via to Lyaskovets winery. Wine tasting. Evening arrival in Veliko Turnovo. Check in 3* hotel. Free time. Overnight.

Sightseeing during the day:
The Troyan monastery is known above all for the creative work of Zahari Zograph who painted both the exterior and the interior (a rare practice for the time) of the main church built in 1835, 7 km from the town of Troyan. Here, Zahari Zograph repeated the social and moral "experiments" in religious painting (the compositions Doomsday and the Wheel of Life), left his second self-portrait signed with amazing self confidence in spite of the Ottoman bondage, and painted the figures of Bulgarian and Russian saints.

Oreshaka - The Oreshaka locality near Troyan - every year from June to September thousands of people flock to the Fair of Traditional Crafts. Articles of the modern masters of art crafts from all over the country are exhibited in the numerous halls there.

Lyaskovets and Lyaskovets winery - During the "Second Bulgarian Kingdom" (1185-1396) Lyaskovets people have been obliged to provide wine, grape and vegetables to the army and to the people in the capital. In 1936 Bulgaria got down under Turkish slavery, but the vine - growing has begun to be the main living to the Bulgarians. To be in possession of their vine - gardens they had to pay a special income. The income was natural - definite quantity of grapes. In 18th century the natural income was turned into monetary. When the co-operative had started work, there was 100 decares of land. Lyaskovets had been the center of the dessert grape producing. In 1926 there was the first export of wine - five wagons for Wien. In 1935 the wagons were already 688. In 1934 was built the first co-operative cellar. During the First World War in Lyaskovets there were 18000 decares of vine-gardens and the total land was 38 605 decares. Soon after the end of the war in Lyaskovets was established consumption -creative-credit co-operation. "Pchela" as a receiver of the older association from 1863

The cooperation "Pchela" /winery/ has come into being with forty members. Now there are already 572 members, the same number of consignees and works with 1000 hosts in total. In 1948 was built a distillery with uninterrupted action. In 1949 was established the local chemistry laboratory for the produce control. In 1953 have begun the building of a new wine cellar in the village Ressen with 3500 t capacity. In 1959 have begun the building of three wine-cellar either: - in Stragiza - 5 000 000 L capacity; - in Polski Trambesh - 3 500 t capacity; - in Lyascovets - 5 500 t capacity "Winery Lyascovets 1934" JSC is the first produser of natural sparkling wine in Bulgaria. Iskra trade mark was prodused for first time in 1959. In 1967 also in Lyascovets was established the first modern factory for natural sparkling wine. There some circumstances which are notable for our winery in comparison with the others. Here are interceded all kinds producing of the wine industry: own row material, primary wine producing of table, high quality and dessert wines, champagne wine materials, stabilized bottled wines, wine juice, wine distillate, grape and fruity high alcoholic drinks, grape oncentrate, sweeten alcohol drinks. In 1983 for the first time in our country have been established a special department for producing of souvenir bottles of 200 ml. Nowadays "Winery Lyascovets 1934" JSC is consisted of five wine cellars in Lyascovets, Ressen, Polski Trambesh, Stragica and Elena with total capacity 30 000 000 L.


DAY 3
Veliko Tarnovo

Arbanassi

Petropavlovski Monastery
Breakfast. Tour to see the Medieval Capital city of Bulgaria and the nearby museum village of Arbanassi. Afternoon visit of Petropavlovski Monastery. Return to Veliko Turnovo. Free time and overnight.

Sightseeing during the day:
Veliko Tarnovo - One of the most picturesque Bulgarian towns. Known under the name of Tsarevgrad Turnov (i.e. King's Town) and Turnovgrad. In the town and its outskirts traces have been uncovered of life dating back to the late Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, the Bronze and the Iron Ages. After the foundation of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1186), the town becomes its capital. In 1393 the town is conquered by the Turks and burned down. During the years of Ottoman rule it is a fortress of the Bulgarian national spirit and one of the centres of the struggle for liberation. In 1879 the Constituent National Assembly has its first session here and adopts the Constitution of Turnovo - the first constitution of the Bulgarian state liberated in 1878.

Arbanassi - Austere houses that resemble minor fortresses on the outside with high, solid walls and heavy gates, iron, rids and secret hiding-places, but which are spacious and comfortable, richly decorated and furnished on the inside.

Visit the Petropavlovski monastery.


DAY 4
Shumen

Madara Rider
Breakfast. Departure from Veliko Turnovo and short stop to visit Madara Rock Relief (UNESCO site). Arrival in Shumen. Visit Shumen winery and wine tasting. Overnight.

Sightseeing during the day:
Madara Rider - The Madara National Preserve is situated 17 km from the town of Shoumen. A range of cliffs show signs of human presence dating back to the III century B.C. The most famous sight here is a mysterious bas-relief known as the "Madara Horseman". Interesting about the relief is the fact that it is carved into the rockface at a height of 25m above the ground. The details are apparent by sunlight because the monument is so eroded. The carving is said to represent a horseman who is trampling a lion. He holds a pike in one hand and a wine cup in the other. There is a god behind the rider. There are inscriptions around the image of the Rider, which are written in old Greek language and telling about some Bulgarian rulers. The oldest inscription mentions the name of the Bulgarian Khan Tervel - probably the relief was carved in VIII c. There are different oppinions what the relief represents. The Rider of Madara is a unique example of the Bulgarian mediaeval art. It is included in the UNESCO list of cultural monuments with world significance.

Shumen is an old town of fortresses. Its foundation and development were connected with the fortresses at the eastern end of the Shoumen Plateau. The famous fortress of Shumen was built in 4 basic periods - early and late Antiquity, and early and late Midle ages. Here in 1882 the first Bulgarian brewery was established with Czrch capital - "Shoumensko pivo beer" is still among those much sought after.

Osmar Wine Cellar has been registered in the year 1994 and in 1999 has been build new modern cellar, combining in itself the classical wine making oak barrels, new technologies of the processing and bottling the wine. The capacity of the cellar now is 1.5 million bottles per year, currently only 500 000 bottles per year reached. The entrepreneurial skill in the wine making they inherit, as a family tradition from 150 years. The trade mark "Osmar Pelin" has been patented by The Bulgarian Patent Department under No 25439. Only Osmar Wine Cellar has the right to make and sell under this name. The wine "Osmar Pelin" is one of the kind in the world.


DAY 5
Gabrovo

Bozhentsi
Breakfast. Departure from Shumen via Gabrovo to Bojentsi museum village and the village of Kmetovtsi. Dinner with folklore performance. Overnight in hotel 3*.

Sightseeing during the day:
Gabrovo. It is situated in the immediate proximity of the geographical centre of Bulgaria and itself is a centre of humour and jokes. It originated during the Middle Ages as a strategic settlement, which poblation guarded the Balkan mountain passes. At the end of 12th century due to the proximity of the town to the Bulgarian state capital Turnovo, the handcrafts and trade developed here as crafts related to the maintainance and guard of the passes through the Balkan mountain - blacksmiths, armour and weapon smiths, etc. During the 19th century over 26 crafts were practiced here. The good quality of the Gabrovo made articles was known all over the world and even beyond it. There is a street in Bucharest now still named "Gabroveni". The quick economic growth and the national revival were the reason for the opening of the first Bulgarian secular school in 1835. Gabrovo continued to develop as the biggest textile centre of Bulgaria after the liberation and it was by no accident that it was nicknamed "The Bulgarian Manchester". The town is known for its beautiful revival houses, churches, bridges, drinking-fountains, a clock tower, etc. The town has been famous for the stinginess and sharpwittedness of its inhabitants from time immemorial due to which the unique in the world House of Humour and Satire is located there.

The village of Bozhentsi - Architecture and Ethnographic Reserve - almost all the buildings were built during the 18th in the typical of this region of Bulgaria Revival Style. In Bozhentsi one is carried away in the past and finds out an unsuspected idyll and calmness among the spiritually of the old houses. Every year in the beginning of September the village hosts a plain-air "Autumn in Bozhentsi", and from June to September - an exhibition bazaar of works of art is held there, too.


DAY 6
Shipka Church

Kazanluk

Wine Cellar in Brestovitsa
Breakfast. Departure from Kmetovtsi via Shipka pass (crossing one of the most beautiful parts of the Central Balkan Range) to Plovdiv. Visit the village of Brestovitsa and wine tasting at a boutique wine cellar. Return to Plovdiv. Overnight in 3* hotel.

Sightseeing during the day:
Shipka Church - In the surroundings of the town of Shipka, on the southern slopes of the Balkan, Bulgarians have built the Birth of Christ Memorial Church in honor to the to the heroes of the Russian-Turkish war of Liberation of 1977 - 1878 - Russian soldiers and Bulgarian volunteers. Its gold plated domes and beautifully ornamented facade stand out against the mountain and attract the attention of all heading for the Shipka pass.

Kazanluk. The town is located in the centre of the valley bearing the same name, whose eastern part is known beyond the boundaries of Bulgaria as the Valley of the Roses. In the Eneolith and Bronze Age was found the Thracian state of Odrissi. From those days are more than 12 burial tombs already found, the most inportant of which is, by no doubt, the Kazanluk tomb, offreing a unique insight into the life of the ancient Thracians. It is one of the 9 cultural, historic and natural sites in Bulgaria included in the UNESCO list of monuments of global importnace. By the end of the 19th century Kazanluk had become well-known for its production of rose oil.

Todoroff Boutique Wine Cellar in Brestovitsa is specialized in production of high quality red wines of "Mavrud", "Merlot" and "Cabernet Sauvignon" grape varieties in boutique series of limited quantity. The cellar is situated in one of the symbolic for the Bulgarian wine production villages - the village of Brestovitza. Wine cellar was built by Andonovi brothers in 1945. They were one of the most famous wine producers and wine dealers in Bulgaria of those days. In 1947 the cellar was nationalized by the Government and in 1992 was returned to the inherits. The present owner - Mr. Ivan Todoroff - bought the cellar in 2001 and made total reconstruction and modernization of the whole building complex. Now the wine cellar is a pretty complex, built in National Revival Period architectural style, equipped according to the most contemporary and modern technologies for wine production. Wine production in Plovdiv 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. This tradition, worshipped during the centuries, is based upon the fines and harmony of aroma and taste, along with the believe that making wine is a kind of Art.


DAY 7
Old town of Plovdiv

Bachkovo Monastery
Breakfast. Tour of Plovdiv and the nearby Bachkovo Monastery (the 2nd largest in Bulgaria). Late afternoon departure to Sofia. Check in 3* hotel.

Sightseeing during the day:
Plovdiv - The Ancient Theatre, the most impressive edifice of Roman time, was excavated during reinforcement works at the southern fortress wall. It offered almost 7 000 seats once. Nowadays it is used for staging opera and theatre festivals, concerts, municipal celebrations, etc. The present-day downtown section of Plovdiv lies on the ruins of an enormous Roman Stadium, which had a length of 180 m and was intended for 30 000 spectators. The contests held here were similar to the Greek Olympic Games and dated back to the rule of Emperor Septimus Severus (193 - 211 AD). An Ancient Forum was found next to today's Trimontium Hotel. Clearly visible here is the difference in the building structure of the Thracian agora made of sandstone and the Roman marble ruins. The beautiful houses in Old Plovdiv are dated back to the period of the Bulgarian National Revival. Many of them have been proclaimed for cultural monuments revealing the genius of the Bulgarian builders.

All sightseeing tours include the architectural and historical reserve Old Plovdiv. The millennial history of Plovdiv is reflected here with all its cultural diversity. The Three Hills, on which Old Plovdiv was built, are named Nebet Tepe, Djambaz Tepe and Taxim Tepe.

Bachkovo Monastery - One of the oldest monasteries in the Bulgarian lands, it rises in the picturesque Chaya river valley, 29 km south of Plovdiv. Founded in 1083, Bachkovo Monastery is chiefly known for its original architecture, rich collections of old icons, jewelry, coins and church plate. The library preserves many valuable incunabula and old manuscripts. Its most remarkable feature, however, are the paintings that are seen everywhere - in the church and ossuary, where the figure of the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander is discernible among the 11th and 14th century murals, in the refectory (1601), in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin main church (1604), and in the Holy Trinity and St. Nicholas church (1840), which contain some of the first murals painted by the celebrated National Revival artist Zahari Zograph.


DAY 8
Sofia Breakfast. Transfer to the airport. Departure.


All rates are in euro per person in double room.

The package price includes:
  • Transportation with luxury vehicle /according the tourist number/;
  • Accommodation at 3 star hotels in standard rooms on BB basis;
  • English / French / German / or Spanish speaking guide during the whole tour;
  • Entrance fees;
  • 1 FOC in single room for groups over 20 PAX.
The price excludes:
  • Meals not included in the programme;
  • Porterages;
  • Tips;
Transportation with:
  • 2 pax car, 3+1 seats, A/C;
  • 3 - 4 pax (minivan), 6+1 seats, A/C;
  • 4 - 5 pax (minibus), 8+1 seats A/C, Citoen Jumper or Volkswagen Caravelle - models 2003, or similar
  • 6 - 10 pax, 18+1 seats, A/C, Mercedes Sprinter or Peugeot Boxer -  models 2003, or similar
  • 11 - 20 pax, 29+1 seats, A/C, microphone, Mitsubishi Prestige - model 2004, or similar
  • 21 - 40 pax, 45+1 setas, A/C, microphone, Iveko - model 2000, or similar
  • 45+ pax, 52+1 seats, A/C, microphone, Neoplan - model 2000, or similar
Supplements:
  • Supplement for single room use - please look at the table
  • Supplement for lunch /3 coarse menu+mineral water/ - 8 euro pp per day
  • Supplement for dinner /3 coarse menu+mineral water/ - 10 euro pp per day
  • Japanese, Chinese, Turkish and Dutch-speaking guides - upon request