Roman Emperors Route and Wine – Bulgaria and Serbia
Departure 10 – 20 AUGUST 2018
Day 1 Sofia
Arrival and sightseeing tour of Sofia, including the Rotunda of Saint George, Saint Sofia Basilica, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Roman Ruins of Serdica and other landmarks of the Bulgarian capital. Dinner and overnight in 4-Star Best Westert Thracia Hotel in the city center.
Day 2 Pirot – Mediana Nis
After breakfast departure from Sofia hotel and drive direction Serbia. Stop over for touring either the Saint John the Theologian Poganovo Monastery or the Sukovo Holy Virgin Monastery. Monastic refreshment – natural honey or homemade juice. Visit to the Ponisavlje Museum with introduction of rug weaving or pottery manufacture, followed with traditional brunch within the museum complex – the best rostilj master of Serbia prepares tasty grilled food, combined with Stara planina Mt cheese. Continue to Nis along the Sicevo Gorge of the Nisava River and tour of the Mediana archaeological site. Hotel accommodation, dinner, overnight.
Day 3 Krusevac – Aleksandrovac – Jagodina
After breakfast drive to Krusevac and quick tour of the Lazarica Church and the ruins of the Medieval Prince Lazar’s town. Continue to Aleksandrovac wine region and visit to the old Wine Museum which exhibits the authentic tools for grape growing and explains the long tradition of wine production. Wine tasting with traditional brunch in one of the most famous wineries of the Aleksandrovac region. Afternoon drive along highway to Jagodina and hotel accommodation. Dinner, overnight.
Day 4 Smederevo – Viminacium – Pozarevac
After breakfast drive along highway to Smederevo and tour of the Medieval fortress with presentation of knights and wine tasting. Continue to Viminacium archaeological site and sightseeing. Roman meal and wines from amphora. Hotel accommodation in Pozarevac or at the Atrium of the Viminacium site /max 20 participants/. Overnight.
Day 5 Golubac Fortress – Lepenski Vir site – Kladovo
After breakfast drive along the Danube to the Golubac Fortress, at the very entrance of the Djerdap National Park. Photo shooting. Continue to Kladovo, with visit of the Lepenski Vir prehistorical archaeological site/Museum. Drive on and break for an easy walk /ca 1,5 km/ to one of the observation points above the Danube which provides breathtaking panorama of the river. Homemade brunch at the rustic household in Donji Milanovac. Drive on to Kladovo and hotel accommodation – Danube Aquastar hotel. Evening cruise with luxury boat Maxim along the Danube, through the most beautiful part of the river course, passing by Tabula Traiana plaque, the King Decebalus head cut in stone cliff, and the Mraconia Monastery, on Romanian side of the river. Fish dinner with wine tasting on the boat. Overnight /wellness available/.
Day 6 Diana Fort – Felix Romuliana – Bukovo Monastery – Rajac Wineries – Negotin
After breakfast visit to the Museum of Archaeology in Kladovo and the Diana Fortress. Drive via Negotin to Felix Romuliana archaeological site and sightseeing. Return to Negotin and visit to the Bukovo Monastery with wine tasting and “monastic” brunch. Continue to Rajac Wineries – Rajacke Pimnice wineries in the tiny Rajac village. Wine tasting of the famous Wines of Krajina region, followed with big homemade dinner and folklore performance. Accommodation and overnight at the Negotin 3 stars hotel.
Day 7 Kale Fortress, Belogradtschik
After breakfast tour of the Negotin Museum of Krajina which tells us the story of the famous Krajina high-dukes /hajduks/ and works of the composer Stevan Mokranjac. Visit to the Matalj Winery and wine tasting. /end of program in Serbia/.
Entering Bulgaria at noon. And drive to Belogradtschik, where we visit the Belogradtschik fortress. Build on the remains of the old Roman fortress and broadened in the 14 century, the Belogradtschik fortress is surrounded by an unique and impressive rock formations. Short drive to the nearby Falkovets village, where we enjoy a traditional dinner with wine tasting from Boroviza winery. Their Bella Rada white wine is among the Six best eastern European wines according to Guardian. Overnight in Han Madonna family run hotel in Falkovets.
Day 8 Ulpia Oescus and Pleven wine Museum
After breakfast transfer to Magura cave – one of the the most important and extended European post-Palaeolithic painted caves. Cave paintings dating from the late Neolithic, Epipaleolithic and early Bronze Age decorate some of the cave’s walls, depicting the silhouettes of women, men dancing and hunting, people wearing masks, animals, stars, tools, and plants. Along the way in the cave one can admire also impressive vaults, stalactites and stalagmites. Then we visit the wine museum in the nearby city of Pleven. Situated in an artificial cave, the museum offers a profound view into Thracian, Greek and Roman wine history and presents all major Bulgarian wines since 1912. Drive to Ruse and sightseeing tour. We visit the Roman fortress Sexaginta prista, a “city of 60 ships”. The fortress was located on the main road between Singidunum (modern Belgrade) and the Danube Delta and was destroyed in the 6th century by Avar and Slavic raids. Dinner and wine tasting in Leventa Heritage Restaurant and Wine cellar. Leventa complex is housed in the erected in the 20s of the XIX century Levent Tabia Fort, once the strongest and largest unit of the Ottoman fortifications in the region of Ruse. The Rousse Wine House produces premium Levent branded white and red wines. Overnight in Anna Palace*** hotel in Ruse.
Day 9 Ivanovo Churches (UNESCO) and Veliko Tarnovo
After breakfast we head to Veliko Tarnovo – the medieval capital of Bulgaria, visiting on our way the medieval Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo. This is a group of monolithic churches, chapels and monasteries hewn out of solid rock and noted for its beautiful and well-preserved medieval frescoes from 13-14 Century. Sightseeing tour in Veliko Tarnovo: We visit the medieval fortress, situated on the hill Tsarevets, rising amid the meanders of the Yantra river and the old market, Samovodskata charshiya, who shows traditions of crafts. Dinner and wine tasting in Han Hadzhi Nikoli Heritage Restaurant. The building is is part of the Bulgarian cultural and historical heritage and a unique masterpiece from the age of the Bulgarian Renaissance. Overnight in Grand Hotel Yantra***
Day 10 Kazanlak – Plovdiv
Drive to drive to Kasanlak. We visit the famous Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak. The monument dates back to the 4th century BC an the murals are memorable for the splendid horses and for a gesture of farewell, in which the seated couple grasp each other’s wrists in a moment of tenderness and equality. Drive further to Plovdiv and sightseeing tour in the old city. Plovdiv’s history spans 6,000 years, ranking it among the world’s oldest cities. We see the ancient Roman theater, the Roman Stadium, the archaeological complex Nebet tepe, remains of the medieval walls and towers and a well-preserved old quarter from the National Revival period with beautiful houses, churches and narrow paved streets. Dinner in Hebros Restaurant, situated in the heart of the ancient Plovdiv, in Renaissance houses built by wealthy local merchants about 200 years ago.
Day 11 Plovdiv – Sofia and departure
According to the flight schedule free time in Plovdiv after breakfast and drive to Sofia. Departure flight and end of program and services.
PRICE – double occupancy ;
group of 10-14 participants: 1000 EUR per person
group of 15-20 participants: 940 EUR per person
group of 20 and more participants: 880 EUR per person
Single supplement : 290 EUR
Included in Serbia: refreshment at the Pirot Monastery, entrance fee for the Ponisavlje Museum, traditional brunch in Pirot, entrance fee for the Mediana site, 1 HB at 3 stars Nis hotel, entrance fee for the Wine Museum in Aleksandrovac, wine tasting and brunch in Aleksandrovac, 1 HB at 4 stars Jagodina hotel, entrance fee for Smederevo Fortress with wine tasting, entrance fee and Roman lunch at the Viminacium archaeological site, 1 HB at Pozarevac hotel /or the Atrium of Viminacium/, entrance fee for the Lepenski Vir archaeological site, rustic lunch in rural household, cruise along the Danube with luxurious ship with fish dinner and wine tasting, 1 BB at the Danube Aquastar hotel in Kladovo, entrance fee for the Diana fortress, entrance fee for the Felix Romuliana archaeological site, wine tasting with “monastic” brunch in Bukovo Monastery, wine tasting and big traditional lunch at Rajacke Pimnice with folklore performance, wine tasting at the Matalj Winery, 1 BB in 3 stars Negotin hotel, Panacomp Wonderland Travel professional English/German/French speaking guidance and 24 hours support
Included in Bulgaria: transportation and driver according to program, 1 HB in a 4 star hotel in center of Sofia, entrance fee in Belogradtschik fortress, 1 HB with wine tasting in Han Madonna family run hotel, entrance fee in Ulpia Oescus, entrance fee and wine tasting in wine museum in Plovdiv, entrance fee in roman fortress Sexaginta prista, dinner and wine tasting in heritage restaurant Leventa, overnight in 3 star hotel in Ruse, entrance fee in Tsarevets fortress and Ivanovo rock churches, dinner and wine tasting in Han Hadyhi Nikoli Heritage restaurant, overnight in 4 star Grand hotel Yantra, entrance fee in kasanlak Tomb, entrance fee in Roman Theatre in Plovdiv, dinner in Restaurant in old city, overnight in 4 star Trimontsium hotel in Plovdiv, Odysseia-in English/German/French speaking guidance and 24 hours support
APPLICATION DEADLINE : 120 DAYS PRIOR DEPARTURE