9-day wine tour Bulgaria, Macedonia, and city trip in Thessaloniki, Greece
Most important features
- 9 DAYS – 8 NIGHTS
- Visited countries: Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece
During this 9-day wine tour you will visit successively Bulgaria, North Macedonia, to end in Thessaloniki, Greece, and taste some of the best wines the Balkan can offer you. The first country you will explore is Bulgaria. As you travel through this country, once in the top 5 wine exporting countries, you will get a first impression of how this country is slowly recovering from its communist period. Then you will travel to one of the oldest wine countries in the world, North Macedonia, and the homeland of Alexander the Great. Your wine tour ends in northern Greece in Thessaloniki, the second largest city in this other fantastic wine country. As you travel from winery to winery, you will also discover beautiful sights, sometimes listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In short, a beautiful discovery wine tour through forgotten wine countries.
- Glass of wine as a welcome drink in a rooftop bar in Sofia
- 7 wine tastings and 6 wine cellars visits
- 1 night in a wine hotel
- Visit the small Bulgarian town of Melnik and its surroundings, known for its wine production
- Visit Ohrid, one of the most beautiful Balkan cities, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Visit Thessaloniki, the beautiful and second largest city in Greece, but still little visited
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL BULGARIA, SOFIA (20 KM) (D)
Today you arrive at the largest city in Bulgaria, Sofia. The Bulgarian capital is a city with a long history, a city full of Orthodox churches, Ottoman mosques, Roman ruins and old communist monuments, museums, art galleries, cafes and restaurants. After arrival, you will be transferred from the airport to your hotel. Check-in at your hotel. In the afternoon, first start with a group walking tour of the central part of the city and see Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the ancient ruins of Serdica (the old name of the city), and St. Nedela Church. Then you are expected in one of the most beautiful rooftop bars in the city with a view of the center. Afterwards there is a welcome dinner in a wine restaurant.
Overnight in Sofia.
DAY 2 – SOFIA – MELNIK – MARIKOSTINOVO (195 KM) (B, L)
In the morning, after breakfast, you will depart from Sofia to the town of Melnik. Here you will visit a wine workshop and museum, and you will be offered a wine tasting with an explanation of the winery. Then you will leave for the village of Kolarovo to visit the second winery of today, a winery located at the foot of the Belasitsa Mountains. This winery preserves the local wine-making traditions and reflects the authentic charm of Bulgarian culture. After tasting five specially selected Orbelia wines, including the unique Melnik 55 and Sandanski Misket, the afternoon ends with some delightful free time at the famous Marikostinovo thermal center, at the Mantar SPA Hotel.
DAY 3 – MARIKOSTINOVO – DOLNO SPANCHEVO – DEMIR KAPIJA (130 KM) (B, L, D)
This morning, after breakfast and on your way to North Macedonia, you will first stop in the village of Dolno Spanchevo to visit a first winery, the last of this wine tour on the Bulgarian side. The craftsmen of this winery will present you five of their best wines, including the famous Tamyanka and the special rosé nicknamed Anita. Then you travel on to North Macedonia. The first winery you visit in North Macedonia is the main Macedonian wine region called Tikvesh. In this area you will visit a beautiful winery where you will have a guided tour explaining the wine production process and the types of wine. Afterwards dinner is organized in the restaurant of the winery with different kinds of own wine, cheese and meat.
Overnight in a wine hotel.
DAY 4 – DEMIR KAPIJA – WINE HOUSE VISIT – SKOPJE (114 KM) (B, L)
After breakfast and en route to the Macedonian capital Skopje, you will first travel to the largest archaeological site in Macedonia called Stobi. This archaeological site contains the oldest synagogue in Europe, built in the 1st century AD. After visiting this impressive landmark, travel on to one of North Macedonia’s top 5 wineries, one of the Macedonian chateaux. Nestled between the valleys and fertile highlands in the Veles Lake area, this winery features a 100-hectare vineyard and a selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay and Temjanika grape varieties. Ideally located in the Veles wine region, at an altitude of 150-220 meters, the wines of this winery are exported worldwide. During this visit you will first be offered a wine tasting with wines from the Povardarie region. Afterwards you can enjoy the best recipes in the restaurant during the wine dinner. You will also be offered a tour with the owner through the wine cellars and the winery. He will explain the different types of wine. Free evening.
Overnight in Skopje.
DAY 5 – SKOPJE – MATKA – SKOPJE (40 KM) (B, L, D)
After breakfast, embark on a beautiful historical walking tour of Skopje. First you visit the ancient fortress Kale, also known as the castle of Skopje. Then you continue to the Old Turkish Bazaar where different cultures, religions, and old forgotten crafts meet … An interesting mix! Then you will go to the “Museum of Macedonian National Struggle”, with the opportunity to visit the Macedonia Archaeological Museum which has one of the largest ancient coin collections in the world, exclusively from Macedonian territory. Then walk across a historic stone bridge, the city’s landmark, stopping for the city’s largest monument and Alexander the Great’s fountain. The next stop is Mother Teresa’s memorial house. She was born in Skopje in 1910. Then, near the capital Skopje, you will visit one of the most beautiful canyons in Europe – Matka, with the river “Treska”. You will sail with small boats 6 km upstream to visit the Vrelo Cave, full of stalactites and stalagmites. Free time and dinner.
Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 6 – SKOPJE – OHRID (201 KM) (B, D)
After breakfast you will be offered a city tour of Ohrid. One of the oldest cities in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of history with traces of four thousand years of civilization. You will visit famous medieval churches, the fortress of Tsar Samuel with a beautiful panorama, the ancient Macedonian Roman theatre, and you will take a sailing trip with small boats on the way back to the centre. After this, you will have some free time to explore this beautiful UNESCO city on your own. Later in the afternoon you will arrive at a unique prehistoric settlement on the water from the Bronze Age. Get a word of explanation about the open-air reconstruction of this Neolithic settlement based on artifacts found at the bottom of the surrounding lake. Return to Ohrid. Dinner.
Overnight in a hotel.
DAY 7 – OHRID – WINE HOUSE VISIT – THESSALONIKI – (322 KM) (B, L, D)
First you enjoy your breakfast today. Next, drive to the largest and oldest winery in Macedonia, and one of the largest in Europe. The craftsmen of this winery take you through the wine cellars. On this tour they will explain the history of the winery and the whole process. Then you will be offered a wine tasting in the restaurant in a beautiful atmosphere with a number of specialties specially prepared for you by their chef. Already in Roman times, a tradition flourished in Macedonia – a tradition of making enchanting and powerful wines that exhibited the scent of the south, had a symphonic taste and embodied the joy of Macedonians. This winery has been making and maturing first-class Macedonian wines … since 1885. A large cooperative was established in the late 1970s by merging several smaller agricultural cooperatives. Thus, this winery became the largest winery in South-eastern Europe. The winery produces 24 types of wine, the most attractive of which are: T’ga za jug, Traminec, Kratoshija, Chardonnay, Alexandria – Cabernet Sauvignon and Alexandria – Riesling, and the famous homemade grape brandy – Lozova rakija – Zolta. At the Wine Innovation Forum in Paris – 2008, the winery was touted among the 30 most innovative wine brands in the world. Later in the afternoon drive to Thessaloniki and dinner.
Overnight in Thessaloniki.
DAY 8 – THESSALONIKI (B)
Today, after breakfast, you have all day to visit the little visited but beautiful city of Thessaloniki on your own. If desired, you can book a guide. We are happy to give you some recommendations for sights, restaurants with local cuisine, the best wine bars and nice cafes. At the end of the day, enjoy a wine tasting with wines from northern Greece and nearby islands.
Overnight in Thessaloniki.
DAY 9 – THESSALONIKI – AIRPORT OF THESSALONIKI (21 KM) (B)
After breakfast, and depending on your flight times, you will get a transfer to the airport for your flight back home… or an extension of your trip to one of the other beautiful wine regions and islands of Greece such as Peloponnese, Limnos, or why not Kos , Rhodes, Santorini or Crete. Ask us about the possibilities for a non-binding customized quote.
Included / Excluded
What’s included / not included in this wine tour ?
- 7 wine tastings and 6 wine cellar visits
- Transfer airport – hotel – airport
- 8 nights in a standard double room in good quality hotels
- Meals where indicated (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
- Transport as described in the program
- Specialized wine guide
- Single room surcharge
- Experienced English-speaking guide unless otherwise stated, other languages on request
- Personal expenses
- Entrance fees to the listed sights
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks unless explicitly stated
- Meals other than stated in the program (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
- Cancellation and travel insurance (we can arrange this for you if desired)
- Taxes to be paid locally, such as the tourist tax
- Everything that is not reported under the heading including
Request a quote for this wine tour and we can work with you to determine what will and will not be included. The choice is yours.
All flights (international and domestic), hotels and rental car are always subject to availability until the time of final booking with the signing of the sales file. The booking is made and recorded after receipt of the deposit on our bank account.
Prices are always subject to change and are signed up to the sales file without prior notice and / or evidence. The reasons, which are not exhaustive, can be seasonality and availability.