With many sunny days in the year, Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria produce good-quality wine and have many wine regions. On this tour, we will visit several and taste the local wines. We will get to know the culture by meeting the locals and admire some of the natural beauties on the way.
Day 1Sofia (20 km) (D)
Welcoming you at the Sofia airport and transport to Sofia, Bulgaria's capital. Check-in to your hotel. Sofia is a city of very long history, a city full of orthodox churches, Ottoman mosques, Roman ruins and old communistic monuments, museums, art galleries, cafes, and restaurants. In the afternoon we start an easy group walk covering the central part of the city, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the ancient ruins of Serdica (the ancient name of the city), St. Nedela Church. In the evening we have organized dinner in a national restaurant. Overnight in Sofia.
Day 2 Sofia – Melnik - Marikostinovo (195 km) (B, L)
In the morning we depart from Sofia to the little town Melnik. We will visit the Kordopulova house and we will have wine tasting and a tour around the house winery. Our next stop will be the village of Kolarovo to visit Orbelia wine cellar, a family cellar, situated at the foot of Mountain Belasitsa. The winery preserves the local traditions in winemaking and recreates the authentic charm of Bulgarian culture. After tasting five specially selected wines of Orbelia, like the unique Melnik 55 and Sandanski Misket, the day ends with rest time in the famous thermal center Marikostinovo, in Mantar SPA Hotel. Overnight.
Day 3Marikostinovo - Naoussa (198 km) (B, L)
This morning, on the way to Greece, we first stop in the village of Dolno
Spanchevo, to visit the Rupel wine cellar. Rupel's specialists will present five of their finest wines, including the famous Tamyanka and the special rose by the gorgeous name of Anita. We continue to the Greek area of Naoussa, the most significant wine region in Northern Greece. The area also boasts the greatest concentration of wineries open to visitors. We will be welcomed by the Dalamara family cellar, a charming winery recreating the local wine-making tradition. Whether in the cool tavern or the lovely garden overlooking the vineyards, the tasting of eight of the magnificent Dalamara wines will satisfy even the most exquisite senses, while for dessert there is a sip of homemade tsipuro or brandy. Overnight in Naoussa.
Day 4 Naoussa (B, L)
The first stop today is the Vaeni Naoussa Wine Cooperative - an impressive winery that processes grapes from over 250 local vine growers. For the tasting in Vaeni, the hosts will choose five of their best wines with a reserved designation of origin. In the afternoon we visit the Kiryianni wine cellar and the impressive view that opens to the surrounding mountains to the west and north and the Aegean Sea to the southeast. The full potential of local Greek grape varieties is unleashed in Kiryianni wines: they incorporate the balance between the 100-year-old family tradition and the latest wine-making techniques.
Relaxing evening in Naoussa!
Day 5Naoussa – Thessaloniki (B, L, D) (100 km)
After a refreshing morning coffee, the road leads northeast to the outskirts of the pretty village of Gumensa in the Chatzivaridi cellar. The Chatzivaridi family winery embodies the traditions and modern technologies in wine production - its quality is ensured by the constant control of the ripening of the grapes, the fertility of the land on which it is grown, and the organic ways of cultivation. Of the 120 hectares of their own vineyards, Chatzivaridi produces really good wines, including local Xinomavro, Negoska, Roditis, and Assyrtiko. We end the day in Thessaloniki to enjoy a dinner in a restaurant with traditional Greek music at the central square Aristotle. Overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 6 Thessaloniki - Ohrid (290 km) (B, D)
Today we drive to Ohrid, Macedonia, to enjoy the beauty of this UNESCO protected town and one of the oldest tows in Europe. Full of history with traces of four thousand years of civilization. We will visit famous untouched medieval churches, the fortress of Tzar Samuel with a beautiful panorama, the ancient Macedonian-Roman theatre, and we will be sailing with small boats on the way back to the center. Tonight we have dinner in a national restaurant with a folk ensemble and traditional Macedonian songs and dances. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 7 Ohrid - Tikves Winery - Demir Kapija – (B, L, D) (160 km)
Breakfast. We are driving towards the biggest and the oldest winery in
Macedonia, and one of the biggest in Europe, Tikves winery. The professionals from the winery will take us through the cellars; they will explain the history of the winery and the whole wine-making process. We will then have a chance to taste some of their wine in the restaurant in a beautiful atmosphere with some specialties cooked from their chef just for us. As early as in Roman times, a tradition in Macedonia was flourishing - a tradition to craft enchantingly powerful wines exhibiting the scent of the south, having a symphonic flavor and epitomizing the joyfulness of Macedonians. Tikveš Winery has been crafting and aging premium Macedonian wines ever since 1885. In the late '70s of the 20th-century, Tikveš becomes the largest winery in Southeast Europe. Tikves Winery produces 24 types of wine, out of which the most attractive are: T'ga za jug, Traminec, Kratoshija, Chardonnay, Alexandria – Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexandria – Riesling, and the famous Tikveš grape brandy – Lozova rakija – Zolta. At the Wine Innovation Forum in Paris – 2008, Tikveš Winery is ranked among the world’s 30 most innovative wine brands. Accommodation in the winery hotel Popova Kula in the town Demir Kapija. We will have a tour around
the winery with an explanation about the wine-producing process and the varieties of wine. Then, we have organized dinner that includes a few varieties of the Popova Kula wines, cheese and meat.
Day 8 Chateau Sopot Winery – Skopje (B, L) (80 km)
Driving to the Macedonian capital Skopje, we stop at the winery Chateau Sopot to taste wines from the Povardarie region and to enjoy a perfect cuisine in its restaurant. The wine experts will take us through the cellars and the winery and give us an explanation about different varieties of their wine. Chateau Sopot is located in the surroundings of Veles Lake, between the valleys and the fertile uplands of the wine region of Veles. It disposes of 100 hectares of wine plantation, and the selection of sorts includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Temjanika. Holding its ideal location in the wine region of Veles, at the altitude of 150-220 meters, the wines of Chateau Sopot are sold all around the world.
Day 9 Skopje (10 km) (B, L)
Today we have a Skopje walking tour starting from the centuries-old Kale – Skopje fortress. We will continue to the Old Turkish Bazaar, mingling with the locals, meeting different cultures and religions, old forgotten crafts, as well. We will visit the Archaeological Museum of Macedonia with one of the biggest artifacts collection exclusively from Macedonian territory. We will walk across the Stone Bridge, the landmark of the city, and admire the biggest monument and fountain of Alexander the Great in the world. Our next stop will be the memorial house of Mother Teresa. She was born in Skopje in 1910. Free time for individual activities and farewell dinner in a winery Kamnik with wine tasting.