Self sufficiency holidays

 Self Sufficiency (Artisan Food) week with a difference

Seven days and six nights

July 20th to 26th 2013

August 10th to 16th 2013

"Good taste is the excuse I've always given for leading such a bad life", said Oscar Wilde

For some, Self Sufficiency is an aspiration, for others the ‘good life’ is a way of life. The Vidin region and in particular the village of Novo Selo is abundant with an array of produce just right for preserving and storing. Local residents of this region preserve many items for winter storage; Self Sufficiency is a way of life. You will watch and learn from those who have years of experience. You will understand and appreciate the subtle use of seasonings, herbs and natural ingredients. Growing, picking and preserving are not only rewarding experiences they are very satisfying too. There is something special about opening a jar of your own produce in the depth of winter. 

Rising food prices, environmental impacts, food miles, sustainability and knowing-what-you-eat are all good reasons for becoming as self sufficient as possible. Your way of life will never be the same after learning how to be ‘Efficiently Self Sufficient’.

Day one -

  • Arrive Sofia Airport – collected from the airport
  • Travel to Vidin and the Rovno Hotel
  • Welcome dinner at the hotel


Day two –

  • Guided tour of Vidin including a visit to the art and craft museum
  • Visit to El Bi the local cheese and yoghurt manufacturer
  • Lunch at Mystique restaurant, Vidin before heading off to the village of Vruv and to meet Yana who will show you the art of pickling and comfiture. Many vegetables and fruits are pickled or turned into comfiture in this region. The techniques are unusual and foolproof. You will be converting vegetables and fruits into comfiture under the guidance of Yana.
  • During the afternoon Yana will also demonstrate and cook one of Bulgaria’s classic pastry items – Makitsa. Similar to that of a doughnut, a Makitsa is wonderful when warm.
  • Before heading back to Vidin we will start tomorrow’s bread making process
  • Traditional Bulgarian dinner at a local restaurant
  • Return to the Hotel


Day three –

  • Bread making. Collectively you will produce a variety of different breads. Bread is an important part of the Bulgarian diet and you will be preparing and baking celebration bread from this region. After this practical exercise you will be able to transfer the same techniques and produce bread at home.
  • Lunch will include freshly baked bread, local cheeses and other regional specialities
  • Compotting as a method of preserving over a wooden fire has been carried out in this region for centuries. There is something special about eating your own fruits such as pears, peaches and plums throughout the winter months as a result of compotting. The technique is simple and rewarding. It is possible that after watching and working with Yana during this session you will never buy a tin of peaches ever again!
  • Traditional Bulgarian dinner at a local restaurant
  • Return to the Hotel


Day four –

  • Belogradchik is famous for its rock formation. Dating back to prehistoric times these rocks offer wonderful panoramic views of the Danubian plane. Once a Roman fortress the rocks also contain numerous legends and stories.
  • After lunch we travel back to Vidin where you can relax and go shopping in the centre of the town.
  • Bulgarian dinner at a local restaurant
  • Return to the Hotel


Day five –

  • Cheese making. Back to Vruv for cheese making with Bizerka. Bizerka will show you how to prepare and make home-made cheese from fresh goat or cow milk. Almost every family in rural locations make their own cheese. Whilst many people have an idea how to make, many are scared. We are sure that after watching and learning from Bizerka you will be more confident to produce yourself.
  • Possibly a late lunch
  • The making of ‘bop’. ‘Bop’ is one of those simple dishes which taste amazing. Made white kidney beans, tomatoes and peppers this dish is nutritious, filling and healthy. Bizerka makes great pop. Like many products from rural areas ‘Bop’ is stored for winter.


Day six -

  • 8.30 am Coach to Sofia
  • Hotel accommodation at the Hotel BudaPest, Sofia
  • Lunch at the hotel
  • After lunch, guided sight-seeing tour of Sofia, the Capital of Bulgaria
  • A chance to shop in Sofia before returning to the hotel
  • 7.30 pm transfer to local restaurant for dinner
  • Return to the Hotel


Day seven –

  • Breakfast
  • Transfer to the airport
  • Flight home



The price includes transfers from and to Sofia airport, breakfasts, lunches where indicated, all evening meals (excluding drinks), ingredients to produce self sufficiency items, transport in and around the region and entrance to Belogradchik rocks.


Single occupancy               € 495.00 (Excluding flights and travel insurance)

Twin/double occupancy    € 414.00 (Excluding flights and travel insurance)


Special information

As this visit is very much ‘hands-on’ and to ensure that you get as much from this trip as possible the organisers have restricted the number of participants to a maximum of 12 persons.


Unfortunately Bulgaria is not very wheelchair friendly. However, every effort will be made to make your stay enjoyable. If anyone has specific dietary requirements please inform the organiser when you book.

 Who are you helping? has been established to helping the people of this region.  Local people are actively engaged in the planning and delivery of some aspects of this trip.  At no point is anyone being exploited.  Furthermore, profits from this trip and any others will be transferred to Phoenix-Inspire a non-profit charity registered and based in Bulgaria.  Phoenix Inspire aims to teach young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the necessary skills to gain meaningful employment in the hospitality industry.  For more information about Phoenix Inspire please visit is affiliated with the Bulgarian travel company Rual Travel  Rual Travel Ltd, Tour operator registration No 00062, 113 G.S. Rakovski Street, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria.  Bulstad number 121855480

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