Gastro tour “Wine, Sakar and Svilengrad malebi – unexpectedly good combination!”

Daily Tour 2 days Availability: 2021-07-17
6500 Svilengrad, Bulgaria

Within a radius of 5 kilometers around Svilengrad, the word “no” means three things: in Bulgarian – “no”, in Greek – “yes”, and in Turkish – “what”. Cultures, influences, languages ​​, and tastes mix in this region, ruled successively by Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. Svilengrad is located right next to where today meet the three state borders – Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey.

That is why our gastro tour “Wine, Sakar and Svilengrad Malebi – an unexpectedly good combination!” is a journey back into the past, among the depths of history, tastes and wine.

The world’s tallest statue of the Blessed Virgin with the Infant, the Alexander Tomb – one of the largest and most interesting discoveries of Bulgarian archeology with its unique artistic decoration and architecture, the Byzantine fortress Neutzikon, The Mezek Thracian tomb – the longest Thracian tomb in Bulgaria, the wine in Mezek, the Byzantine fortress Neuzetikon, Sheynovets peak, where the Balkan War began, the rock church in Mihalich, the tower in Matochina, and the legendary Svilengrad Malebi are the focus of our trip.


Place of departure / arrival

Departure hours: 07.00 from Plovdiv, 07.45 from Chirpan, 08.30 from Dimitrovgrad. For passengers from Plovdiv – a departure from the bus stop to UBB on Tsar Boris III Obedinitel Blvd. opposite Ramada Trimontium Hotel.


The price of the tour includes

  • One breakfast
  • One lunch
  • Wine tasting
  • Tasting of Svilengrad Malebi
  • Overnight
  • Transport with a licensed transport company
  • Full tour guide service
  • Tourist insurance

The price of the tour does not include

  • Entrance fees for the museums and sites visited
  • One lunch and one dinner

Opportunity to purchase

Opportunity to buy Svilengrad Malebi and wine


What to expect?

The gastro tour “Wine, Sakar and Svilengrad Malebi – an unexpectedly good combination!” presents the unique Svilengrad Malebi, which is not produced anywhere else in Bulgaria, the magnificent Sakar wine, the history and nature of the Svilengrad region.

The program includes the world’s tallest statue of the Blessed Virgin with the Infant, the Alexander Tomb – one of the largest and most interesting discoveries of Bulgarian archeology with its unique artistic decoration and architecture, the Byzantine fortress Neutzikon, Mezeshka Tomb – the longest Thracian tomb in Bulgaria, the Mezek tomb – the longest Thracian tomb in Bulgaria, the Byzantine fortress Neutzikon, Sheynovets peak, from which the Balkan War began, wine tasting and lunch in the wine cellar “Katarzhina”, a tour of Svilengrad – Old Bridge, the church “Holy Trinity”. “(1834), the Red School (1871), the rock church in the village of Mihalich and the Tower in the village of Matochina, a tasting of the Svilengrad Malebi and a visit to an ancient installation for grinding rice flour – the main raw material for the Malebi.

The recipe for this delicious dessert was brought at the beginning of the last century from the Arab world by Georgi Karageorgiev, who apprenticed at the sugar workshops in the Middle East. The resident of the then Turkish city Mustafa Pasha opened a “Bee” shop in the bazaar, which became a hit and lasted until September 9, 1944. His sons Asho and Vasil inherited the craft, and then kept the mystery of sweets for their heirs. Production did not stop for a day, even during the wars. In 1965, Malebi began to be made in the then-established local Cooperative Union, and today it is prepared by a single-family and is not distributed in stores in the country due to its short shelf life.


Маршрут

Day 1: Sakar’s heroic romance and wine

At 7 o’clock we leave Plovdiv and head to the Sakar. We visit the world’s tallest statue of the Holy Mother of God with the Infant, the Alexander Tomb – one of the largest and most interesting discoveries of Bulgarian archeology with its unique artistic decoration and architecture, the Mezek tomb – one of the largest in Europe and the longest in our country. The tomb was discovered by chance in 1931, and shortly after its discovery, archaeological excavations began under the direction of Professor Dr. Bogdan Filov and Dr. Ivan Velikov. The mound of the tomb became known years earlier. In 1908, a bronze sculpture of a wild boar was found in its upper embankment. At that time, the village of Mezek has located within Turkey and for this reason, the bronze boar is now part of the exposition of the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul. The land of the village of Mezek officially became Bulgarian territory in 1912 during the Balkan War. A replica of the bronze boar can be seen today on the village square.

In the vicinity of the village of Mezek rise the remains of a medieval Byzantine fortress from the end of the XI century. It is the best-preserved defense facility in the Rhodopes. The fortress had the functions of a border guard fortress. It guarded areas between the rivers Maritsa and Arda. Some historians believe that this is the fortress of Neutzikon known from written sources, and other scholars believe that this place was the fortress of Versinikia, near which in 813 Khan Krum defeated the Byzantine troops and conquered Thrace.

We continue to Sheynovets peak, which plays an important role in the history of Bulgaria. Here, where before 1912 the border between Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire passed, on October 5, 1912 the first battle between Bulgarian and Turkish border guards took place, in which the Bulgarian command quickly managed to take the Turkish post and capture the border ridge Forest. An event that marked the beginning of the Balkan War. In the afternoon we go for lunch and wine tasting in the wine cellar “Katarzhina”, and in the evening we stay in Svilengrad, where we can see the Old Bridge on the river Maritsa, built-in 1529.

Day 2: The secrets of the Svilengrad malebi, the rock church in Matochina and the Baldwin tower in Matochina

After breakfast, we visit the Holy Trinity Church (1834) and the Red School (1871) and go to a tasting of the famous Svilengrad Malebi. For a century now, the City of Silk has kept the secret of this ancient, velvety-tasting cake. Today, only one family knows the secret recipe and continues its production. In the family confectionery workshop, outsiders are not allowed, and photos are not allowed, because the recipe, technology and production facilities are part of a deeply kept secret. The participants in the gastro tour “Wine, Sakar and Svilengrad Malebi – an unexpectedly good combination!” will be dedicated to it.

The recipe for the delicate dessert was brought from the Arab world to the City of Silk at the beginning of the last century by Georgi Karageorgiev, who was an apprentice in the sugar workshops in the Middle East. The Malebi started to be produced in the Pchela confectionery of Mustafa Pasha from Svilengrad. The shop became a hit and lasted until September 9, 1944. His sons mastered the craft, and then kept the recipe secret for their heirs. After trying the famous dessert, we will see an ancient stone installation, which was once used to grind rice flour – the main raw material for Malebi.

In the afternoon we visit the rock church in the village of Mihalich and the Tower in the village of Matochina. The church is believed to have existed since the 10th century. It is said that the water that flows along its walls is healing and can cure a number of diseases. The amazing rock church is a cultural monument of national importance because of its unique architecture – the ancient holy monastery has a complex, three-sided shape, which on the Balkan Peninsula is found only in buildings known in ancient times and churches in early Byzantine construction.

The tower in Matochina is one of the best-preserved in our lands. In 1205, on April 14, the Bulgarian troops together with the Kumans were led by Tsar Kaloyan. Our army is fighting the knights of the Fourth Crusade. The place is Adrianople, today’s Edirne. The commander of the Latin troops was Emperor Baldwin of Flanders. After a heavy battle, he was captured and taken to the capital, Tarnovo. Before he got there, however, he spent the first few days in the tower of the fortress of Bukelon. To this day, it rises to a height of 18 meters.

 

Svilengrad is located right next to where today meet the three state borders - Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.

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