North Macedonia’s mountainous geography, unique climate and rich fertile soil make for ideal conditions for viniculture. Throughout history, wine has been an important part of North Macedonia daily life and culture. Local grape varieties such as Vranec, Stanushina, and Temjanika produce some very good local wines which are vibrant, fruity wines with inviting aromas and flavours. North Macedonia also produces some superb and award winning wines from international varieties such as Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Producers like Bovin, Tikvesh, and Popova Kula are quickly gaining international reputation for producing quality wines.
Location: North Macedonia
Duration: 6 days
Meet and greet at the airport and transfer to the famous Popova Kula Winery located just west of the town of Demir Kapija on the slopes of Veliko Brdo, (the Grand Hill). Popova Kula Winery is certainly one of the success stories of North Macedonian viticulture and here it is sometimes possible to taste from the fermentation tanks wine varieties such as; Stanushina a local grape variety found only in the Tikves region as well as Temjanika, Zilavka and Vranac grown in the ex-Yugoslavia territories. Also more international varieties such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are also produced. Tikves wine region is the biggest and the most important wine region of North Macedonia spread over 13.000 hectares, along the same latitude as Rioja and Ribera del Duero. As the Mediterranean climate from the south collides with the continental climate from the north, it creates an area most remarkable for grape growing and wine production on the entire Balkan Peninsula. We will enjoy traditional dinner and wine at Popova Kula restaurant and will overnight here for 2 nights.
After breakfast we visit the very interesting museum of wine, showing artefacts and history of wine making in North Macedonia. Then we drive to visit Stobi archaeological site, thought to be the most important excavation in North Macedonia. This crossroad of ancient civilizations has left a rich legacy of antique theatres, palace ruins, brightly-coloured mosaics and religious relics for visitors to enjoy today. Stobi became a rich and prosperous city due to its location on the crossroads of important trade routes. In modern times due to the fact it sits in such a favourable position and within the Tikves wine region, it is only natural that a winery by the same name has been established at Gradsko only a few kilometres from the ancient site. An ideal vineyard location where the two rivers Erigon (Crna river) and Axios (Vardar) cross their path. After lunch at this winery accompanied by wine, we will visit another well known North Macedonian winery called Bovin estabilished in 1998 and the only family owned winery. Bovin makes some of the highest quality wines in the country and its exports have grown ten fold in the last few years. We return to Demir Kapija for Overnight.
After breakfast drive to Tikves Winery whose story begins 130 years ago, back in the year 1885. It is claimed to be the oldest and largest winery in South-East Europe.here we will take an extended tour and wine tasting of several varieties. After the visit continue to Ohrid a UNESCO town and one of the most attractive in Macedonia. Here we visit the Church St. Sofia, built between the 11th and 14th century, which was the seat of the Archbishop. “St. Clement”, a classic Orthodox Byzantine church, dominating the Old Town, demonstrates the link between Byzantine and Italian Renaissance art. St. John at Kaneo, stands alone on a small peninsula which juts out into the lake at the western end of the Old Town, and provides spectacular panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains, Icon Galery and old Bazaar. Overnight in Ohrid.
After breakfast we visit Struga, famous for its wall of water, where the Black Drin River flows out of Lake Ohrid on its way to the Adriatic. The town has many wooden framed houses characteristic of 18th and 19th century North Macedonia architecture. Continue to the “Republic of Vevcani” - a village with a sense of humour as it proclaimed itself a republic after a referendum of the 2,500 inhabitants during the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. It has created its own coat of arms, and also issues red Vevcani passports. Its architecture is most appealing with many old houses and buildings of all styles and shapes. The famous Vevcani springs have a water flow of between 400-4000Lt/sec which explains the many water-mills in this area. Enjoy wine tasting and lunch at a local restaurant in Vevcani and make sure to sample the local grape brandy. After the visits continue to Ohrid to overnight.
In the morning we drive to Skopje capital of North Macedonia situated on the banks of the Vardar River. In Skopje we, visit the old Turkish bazaar and Mahmut Pasha Hammam, the Castle of Skopje, the memorial house of Mother Teresa, the Macedonia Plaza and stone bridge. Afterwards we drive to Skovin winery founded in the year 1979 as a devoted follower of centuries old tradition of production of wine from the Skopje wine district, dating back in ancient Roman times. Skovin vineyards cover mild slopes of the hills around Skopje. Some of them undoubtedly originate from the ancient times while others have been planted more recently. Skovin vineyards are well-known for providing unique wine aroma, as a reflection of the long dry, crisp and sunny summers. We will take a tour through the baroque wine cellar and learn more about the process of production of these wines under the assistance of professional sommeliers. Here, during our diner we will taste and one of the best North Macedonia traditional alcoholic beverages called rakija. Overnight in Skopje
After breakfast free to explore until time of transfer to the airport.
455 Euro per person sharing a double or twin room for minimum 6 participants
565 Euro per person sharing a double or twin room for minimum 4 participants
750 Euro per person sharing a double or twin room for minimum 2 participants
Single room supplement = 60 Euro. (Single rooms will usually be double or twin for single use.)
Note: The above dates are for orientation purposes, to help people book on the same dates, and pay the cheaper price. However we will run this tour on other dates as per clients’ requests.