You’ve Probably Never Heard About This Amazing Destination
Surreal landscapes, amazing wine, all in a country people never thought to visit.
A bright marble of green, copper and yellows covers the ground, as though it has been painted. A series of pools extend into the distance, masked by the thick steam coming out of them. Some of the water is so hot it is bubbling. The landscape is so surreal, so unique, I struggle to believe that I am in a remote part of Bulgaria that foreigners rarely get a chance to visit. This is the natural hotsprings of Rupite. Locals come to cover themselves in mud, and lie for hours in the warm water, keen to benefit from its healing properties.
Rupite was just the last stop of the amazing weekend I just had in Southern Bulgaria, filled with the sort of rich, weird and wonderful experiences that make you want to keep on travelling for every.
A Tour in Wine Country
Rupite is located close to Melnik in southern Bulgaria. This region is home to thousands of vineyards producing top-notch wines. We started our weekend by driving between vineyards. Winemakers gave us tours and tastings, complete with cheeses and cold cuts. I recommend the wine cellars of Villa Melnik, Rupel Winery and Orbelus for some high-end vintages.
However, some of the best wine is found in unlikely places: not in the wineries with theirgold medals and French-made barrels, but in plastic bottles sold by babushkas on market stands all around Melnik. Most will be happy to let you have a taste before you buy.
You can visit the wine museum in the town of Melnik, then climb up to one of the bars on the top of the hill, where you can drink homemade wine by the jug with plates of local produce, while you watch the sunset over the beautiful old houses and intricate cliffs of the village.
The Cappadocia of Bulgaria
The landscapes of Melnik are reminiscent, on a smaller scale, of the limescale natural sculptures of Cappadocia in Turkey. These rock formations are known as hoodoos, and they are made of soft sandstone which takes on the form of pyramids, obelisks and mushrooms, some reaching up 100 metres. Beyond these strange shapes, you can…