Cherries, Wine and Volcano


7-days walking & study tour on the volcanic land of Petrich valley, Bulgaria

On this tour you have the opportunity to discover Sofia and its famous ancient highlights. The city of Kustendil with its archaeological and architectural reserve and its cherries will offer a beautiful contrast to the city of Sofia and will give us the flexibility to get easily to our main target, volcanic land of Petrich valley. There, close to the river, is located the area called “Rupite”. Standing alone in the valley is the ancient volcano “Kojuh”, at the bottom of which there is a hot spring. Kozhuh is a 281 meters high upland situated in the Petrich kettle. It rises up to 200 m above the current Struma river bed. The upland represents the remains of an old volcanic cone which is not active for about 1 million years. It is cut through from south to north by the Struma River, as there are warm mineral water springs along its bed. Its Eastern slopes sheerly descend to the river bed. The upland is formed by volcanic rocks. Gas caverns and niches are to be seen. There are fluorite, calcite and aragonite deposits there. The upland conditionally divides the Sandansky-Petrich kettle into Sandansky and Petrich fields.
The name of the upland comes from the fact that it looks like a thrown over pelt. In 1962 a part of the ground of Kozhuh spreading on an area of 0.4 hectares was declared a natural landmark.
In 1971 the protected area was increased to 94.2 hectares.

DAY 1 Sofia:
Arrive in Sofia. Meet and assist at the airport. Transfer to your accommodation.
Welcome dinner /in a restaurant or in a private house with a local family/and short briefing about your trip. Meet with your Guide.

DAY 2 Sofia - Kustendil
Breakfast. A half day walking tour in Sofia. – Walking tour. /The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, The St. George Rotunda, Saint Nicholas the Miracle-Maker Church - Russian Orthodox Church, The Largo, Ivan Vazov National Theatre, The National Opera and Ballet, Borisova gradina, etc.
Transfer to Kustendil in the afternoon /takes app. 2 hours/. Late afternoon walks in the central archaeological part of the city or soothe and rejuvenate your body in famous Kustendil healing mineral waters.
Overnight in Kustendil.

DAY 3 - Kustendil
Breakfast. Today we will have one day picking cherries in the beautiful gardens of the city.
Chosen by God, loved by fairies, marked with the sign of sanctity, cherries are a symbol of the good. They are portents of summer, the door to fertility and luck in Kyustendil. In Kyustendil cherry is included in the customs and culture of the people, it is guarded and cared with love, with hope of prosperity. A lot of growers display various sorts of cherries in the town square. Besides, everyone tries to present the cherry in a different and interesting way. Visitors can see works of art devoted to cherry - dolls, jewelry, sculptures, icons and other authentic works masterfully crafted by the skillful hands of artists and artisans.
Overnight in local cherry farm.

DAY 4 - Kustendil - Melnik
Today after breakfast we will continue our journey to the city of Melnik in the Petrich valley.
Day to explore The Melnik Pyramids, one of the most interesting natural attractions in Bulgaria.They are rock formations scattered over an area of 50 square kilometers. The Melnik Pyramids were declared a natural landmark in 1960. They are divided into three groups – The Melnik, Karlanovo, and Rozhen Pyramids.
These unique natural formations attract tourists from all over the world. It is thought that the limestone of which they are composed is the result of erosion, and those forces continue to alter their shape.
These fantastically sculpted rocks have assumed the most varied shapes and details, resembling stone mushrooms, haystacks, minarets, alpine ridges and peaks, swords, obelisks, Egyptian pyramids, Gothic cathedrals, and so forth.
Overnigh in Melnik.

DAY 5 - Melnik - Rupite - Melnik
Day to explore the surroundings of area called “Rupite” and Kojuh Volcano, e.g. walk to the Ancient city of Heraklea Sintika, Rojen monastery. In the late afternoon we can arrange walking tour in Melnik. Today we will walk to a hidden sanctuary from prehistoric times.
Overnight in Melnik.

DAY 6 - Melnik - Damyanitsa - Rila Monastery - Sofia
Wine tour with tasting in Damyanitsa wine cellar (No man’s land, Redark, Unicato). Visit to Rila Monastery, the largest Bulgarian monastery from 10 c. Lunch in Rila Monastery.
Departure for Sofia. Overnight.

DAY 7 Sofia
Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today, please confirm with the reception the check out time. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1 - Sofia, Bulgaria
Day 2 - Kustendil
Day 3 - Kustendil
Day 4 - Melnik
Day 5 - Melnik
Day 6 - Sofia
Day 7 - Sofia

02.08.2014 - 08.08.2014
20.09.2014 - 26.09.2014


Accommodation: 6 night(s) in hotel(s), hostel(s) & guesthouse(s)

  • Meals: 6 breakfast(s), 1 lunch(es), 2 dinner(s)
  • Excursions: Rojen Monastery, Rila Monastery, Sofia city tour, Melnik city tour and Rupite area, Wine tour with tasting in Damyanitsa wine cellar, The Melnik Pyramids, Transfers in Sofia (from/to airport)
  • Transport: Car, Minibus,Taxi
  • Age: 18-60, max. 70 (recommended)
  • Group: Average 8-12
  • Staff: local guides


  • International flights and departure taxes
  • Tips on included excursions, visas, travel insurance, personal items
  • Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
  • Optional excursions