If you can tear yourself away from the sun lounger, there are loads of museums, ancient towns and traditional experiences to enjoy in Bulgaria. Our Hidden Bulgaria excursion gives you a true taste of local life. Here’s what to expect…
What is the Hidden Bulgaria excursion?
The Hidden Bulgaria excursion showcases three traditional villages and gives you a taste of the real Bulgaria. You’ll be taken from farms to ancient towns, with stop offs at a winery, a distillery and even a local home. If you’re staying in the lively beach resorts of Nessebar or Sunny Beach, it’s a great opportunity to experience Bulgarian traditions and learn more about the Eastern European country’s culture and history. The tour is really interactive, so you’ll be tasting all the local produce and beverages, riding a donkey cart, meeting locals and enjoying traditional dances and performances. All in one day – phew.
What will I do on the Hidden Bulgaria excursion?
You’ll visit three traditional Bulgarian towns on this trip, and first up, it’s Kosharitsa – a seaside village near Nessebar. The main attraction here is the bee farm, where you’ll see how the local honey is made, and learn all about the secret production methods. You’ll get to try some of the natural honey, of course, plus mead, sweet brandy, and a drink called ‘medovina’ made from honey, lemon and orange.
Next up, it’s the highland hamlet of Erkech, where you’ll hop on a donkey-drawn cart, and take a tour around the traditional Bulgarian houses. You’ll visit one of the homes to have a peek inside and get a taste of local life, plus you’ll see a wool-carding machine at work and Bulgarian yoghurt being made. The distillery is the final stop, where you’ll get stuck into some brandy tasting, and be treated to a folklore performance with dancers in traditional costume. Lunch is served straight after, which is usually a delicious spread of homemade cheeses, barbequed meats and salad, plus a bottle of mineral water, soft drink or beer. The historic Kladeneca restaurant where you’ll eat has its own ethnographic exhibition, and they put on a pastry-making competition that you can get involved in too.
The final stop is the colourful seaside town of Pomorie, which was founded by the Ancient Greeks. You’ll get a chance to visit the Via Pontica wine cellar to sample some local wines, and then have free time to explore the town, with 19th-century wooden houses, museums, monasteries to discover.
Who would enjoy it?
The Hidden Bulgaria excursion is perfect for families, couples and groups who want to take a break from the big beach resorts and get a culture fix. Kids will love the donkey-drawn cart ride, foodies will love getting a taste of the local produce and seeing how it’s made, and keen Instagrammers will enjoy filling their feed with snaps of the colourful costumes and traditional buildings.
What do I need to bring with me?
Make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes, as this tour involves a fair bit of walking around each village. You’ll also be out in the sunshine, so caps and kaftans are a must, and frequently reapplying your sunblock, of course. Mineral water is included in your meal, but we recommend taking along an extra bottle to ensure you stay hydrated in the heat. And don’t forget your GoPro or smartphone to capture it all on camera too.