Delve into the history, handicrafts and wine-producing heritage of rural Slovakia on this enlightening half-day tour of the Small Carpathians from Bratislava! Led by an expert guide, travel into the foothills of this beautiful mountain range, and see the hilltop medieval Red Stone Castle to see its grand interiors and wine cellars. Then, try your hand at making your own traditional Majolica pottery in the pretty town of Pezinok. Lastly, head for a stylish village winery to taste some delicious Carpathian wine and local food before your return to Bratislava.
Leave your centrally located Bratislava hotel in your air-conditioned minivan and head northeast to the Small Carpathians, a picturesque mountain range near Bratislava.While you travel, hear facts from your guide about this ancient wine-producing region where wine has been grown for some 2,000 years on the clay-sandstone slopes. As you pass through vineyard-coated hills and villages, listen to your guide share insights into traditional Slovakian life, much of it shaped by the area’s viticulture roots.Stop at the Red Stone Castle (Hrad Červený Kameň), a massive fortress perched in the hills above the town of Častá. Visit this 13th-century castle (own expense), built first as a frontier outpost before becoming home to noble Slovakian families in the Middle Ages. Walk through the grand, fresco-decorated salons and view the pharmacy, chapel and wine cellar — the largest in central Europe.Pass through the historic town of Modra, known for its winemaking and blue-and-white porcelain, and continue to Pezinok, a pretty wine town known for its Majolica pottery. Visit a workshop to watch pieces being made, and try your hand at crafting and painting one yourself. If it’s a masterpiece, you can buy it and bring it home with you.After free time for lunch (own expense) in Pezinok, stop at a boutique winery in the village of Svätý Jur for a wine-tasting session. Sample some of its varieties along with local cheese and other delicacies, and swap notes on their flavors, colors and aromas.Later, travel back to Bratislava, where a hotel drop-off marks the end of your tour.