Gold, Wine, Bridges
Wine tasting, golden treasures and spectacular bridges are the theme for the entire trip. Nevertheless, we are going to see some of the most impressive cities with numerous historical sites and unique architecture, Veliko Tyrnovo and Plovdiv just to name a few.
Veliko Tarnovo is the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire which will excite you with architecture, historical richness and orthodox temples. Plovdiv is the second biggest city in the country but its history spans 6,000 years, with traces of a Neolithic settlement dating to roughly 4000 BC, ranking it among the world's oldest cities.
We are going to start the trip by visiting the Wine Museum – the only one in the Balkan Peninsula. The town is considered as one of the main wine centers in the country. Here you will hear interesting facts about the history of wine production in Bulgaria. In the historical part of the cave you will see many pictures and items, connected with the history of wine production, the technology and sort specifications in the different regions of the country. Wine degustation and short sommelier course will take you one step further in your wine understanding. During the trip we will have few more wine tasting spots - in Arbanasi, Sliven (where the great climate conditions allow developing of the wine industry with a lot of wine producers from the region) and Plovdiv.
This trip is going to take us thousands of years back in history with the golden treasure we are planning to visit with you. We will see the Archeological museum in Varna (the marine capital of the country) where we will admire the oldest gold in the world found in 1972 in the area around the city. The important place of the Varna necropolis is due not only by the variety of funeral practices, but as well to the richness and abundance of findings. 294 tombs had been discovered and in 57 of them there was no human skeleton. Only three contained the largest part of gold objects and the best other findings.
We will also see the "Valchitran golden treasure" in the village of Valchitran. The treasure dates back to the end of the Bronze Age, i.e. to the 16th – 12th century BC. It was unearth in 1925 and it consists of 13 vessels with cult function and total weight of 12.5 kg of pure gold with natural alloys of silver, copper and iron. It was found by chance while digging up a vineyard.
Another piece of history on our way is the Panagyurishte treasure gold in the town of Panagyurishte – the most valuable set of artifacts in the country. It has been excavated in 1949 near the town and the treasure dates to the 4th-3th century BC. It is considered that the gold artifacts were used for serving ceremonial wine in the palace of king Seuthes III.
The trip includes a visit to many beautiful and important for its time bridges. The covered bridge in Lovech is the first to see in our program. It is one of its kind in Bulgaria and there are just few more in Europe. It was built in 1876 by the self-educated builder Kolyu Ficheto. The original bridge was destroyed by fire in 1925 and a new covered bridge made of reinforced concrete was built in the period 1927 - 1931. Later it was reconstructed so it can look as close as possible to the original bridge. The bridge connects the new part of the town with the old part.
Another bridge of the same master we are going to see in the village of Byala. The stone bridge at Byala is a remarkable piece of art from the Bulgarian Revival Period. It is a unique combination of architecture and sculpture. The props are decorated with sculptures of symbolic creatures, such as gryphon, lion, nymph, and swan and these ornaments were used only for the decoration of buildings before the completion of the bridge.
The most spectacular bridge we will see near the village of Ardino. What makes it that special is its location – in one of the most beautiful and picturesque mountain the country, Rhodope Mountain, which keeps centuries of traditions, history and culture. The bridge itself is built in 1515-1518 and declared as a cultural monument in 1984. Its length is 56 meters. There is several folklore myths around its name.
Last bridge in our list is the rock phenomenon “Wonderful bridges”. After seeing some of the most significant and beautiful bridges in the country, we cannot leave without showing you this natural phenomenon. They were formed by erosive activity of Erkyupryia River. Some part of the formed deep water cave collapse with time or possible during an earthquake.
What to bring – comfortable shoes
Best time in the year – May-October
Accommodation – the hotels are 3* and 4* in double room with separate beds. There are options for
double room with a bedroom or single rooms or apartments (if available).
This tour includes:
- Accomodation in double room with separate beds, on Bed and Breakfast basis
- Entrance fees to all sightseeing places including guides in English and fee for photo cameras
- 3 Lunches
- 2 Dinners
- Guide for the whole stay in Bulgaria
- Transport by minivan for 8+1 people
The tour doesn’t include:
- Flight tickets
- Tips for guide and driver
- Personal expenses
- Hotel upgrade
- Drinks and alcohol