Visit Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece and taste one of the best wines on the Balkans. On this tour you will visit big but also small private wineries where you will different types of wines together with local specialties. Also except wine you will try other unique alcoholic drinks that are popular in those regions. Also you will visit many tourist places and in this beautiful region with history and nature.
Day 1Sofia (20 KM) (D)
Welcoming you at the Sofia airport and transport to Sofia, Bulgaria's capital. Check-in to our 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 diner in a national Bulgarian 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 Kordopulova house and we will have wine tasting and explanation of the house winery. Next stop will be the village of Kolarovo to visit Orbelia wine cellar, a family cellar, situated at the foot of Belasitsa. The winery preserves the local traditions in wine making and recreates the authentic charm of Bulgarian culture. After tasting five specially selected wines of Orbelia, among which the unique Melnik 55 and Sandanski Misket, the day ends with a rest time in the famous thermal center Marikostinovo in Mantar SPA Hotel. Overnight.
Day 3Marikostinovo - Dolno Spanchevo – Demir Kapija (130 km) (B, L, D)
This morning, on the way to Greece, we first stop in the village of Dolno Spanchevo, to visit 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. The next we visit is the most important Macedonian wine region called Tikvesh. 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. Than we have organized dinner that includes few varieties of its own wine, cheese and meat. The oldest archeological findings proving that people in this area have grown vineyards and have made wine date 13 century B.C. Overnight in the Winery hotel.
Day 4Demir Kapija - Shato Sopot Winery – Skopje (114 km) (B, L)
Driving to Macedonia’s capital Skopje, first we stop at the the biggest archaeological site in Macedonia, Stobi. The oldest synagogue in Europe, from 1st century A.D., is found in this archaeological site. The next stop is at the winery Shato Sopot to taste wines from Povardarie region and to enjoy perfect cousin in its restaurant. The owner will take us through the cellars and the winery and give us explanation about different varieties of their wine. The Chateau Sopot is located in the surroundings of the Veles Lake, between the valleys and the fertile uplands of the wine region of Veles. This winery is one of the Macedonian chateaux that is living its wine fairytale in the book called Macedonia. The winery has its first harvest as early as the following year. It disposes of 100 hectares own 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 sea level of 150-220 meters, the wines of Chateau Sopot have tendency to be sold to the domestic and the foreign market. Free evening and overnight in Skopje.
Day 5Skopje – Matka – Skopje (40 km) (B, L, D)
Today we have 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. After that we go to the Archaeological museum of Macedonia with one of the biggest artifacts collection exclusively from the Macedonian territory. We walk across the Stone Bridge, the land mark of the city, and stop in front of the biggest monument and fountain of Alexander the Great. The next stop will be the memorial house of Mother Teresa. She was born in Skopje in 1910. In the afternoon we take you to one of the most beautiful canyons in Europe, Matka, with the river Treska. We will have lunch break in the restaurant on the bank of the river, possibly river trout, and by small boats we will set sail 6 km upstream to visit the cave Vrelo, full of cave decorations, like stalactites and stalagmites. Free time in the canyon for individual activities. Back to Skopje and free time till the organized dinner in a national restaurant.
Day 6 Skopje - Ohrid (201 km) (B, D)
Breakfast at hotel. This morning we drive to the old city of Ohrid, town of UNESCO.
One of the oldest towns in Europe. A town full of history with traces of four thousand
years of civilization. We will visit famous untouched medieval churches, fortress of Tsar Samuel with a beautiful panorama, the ancient Macedonian-Roman theatre, than we take a sail with small boats on the way back to the centre. Free time to explore more of this UNESCO town. Later in the afternoon we get to the unique prehistoric settlement on water from the bronze age. Explanation by the professional curator about the open-air reconstruction of a Neolithic lake dwelling based on artifacts found on the surrounding lake bed. Back to Ohrid. Tonight we have a dinner in a national restaurant with a folk ensemble and traditional Macedonian songs and dances. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 7 Ohrid - Tikvesh Winery - Thessaloniki – (322 km) (B, L, D)
After the breakfast, we drive towards the biggest and the oldest winery in Macedonia, and one of the biggest in Europe, winery Tikvesh. The professionals from the winery will take us through the cellars, they will explain the history of the winery and the whole process. We will then have a chance to taste some of their wine in its own restaurant in 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 flavour and epitomizing the joyfulness of Macedonians. Tikveš Winery has been crafting and aging premium Macedonian wines … ever since 1885. At the late 70's of the 20th century agro-combine Tikveš is founded by merging several smaller agricultural cooperatives. Tikvesh becomes the largest winery in Southeast Europe. WINERY TIKVES produces 24 types of wine, out of which the most atractive are: T'ga za jug, Traminec, Kratoshija, Chardonay, Alexandria – Cabernet Sauvignon and Alexandria – Riesling, and the famous Tikveš grape brandy – Lozova rakija – Zolta. At the Wine Innovation Forum in Paris – 2008, Tikvesh Winery is ranked among the world’s 30 most innovative wine brands. Later in the afternoon, we drive to Thessaloniki to enjoy a dinner in a restaurant with traditional Greek music at the central square Aristotle. Overnight.
Day 8 Thessaloniki – Airport of Thessaloniki (21 km) (B)
Breakfast and transfer to the airport of Thessaloniki.