Blog

Bulgaria's Rose Festivals Welcome

Bulgaria’s Rose Festivals

Bulgaria’s Rose Festivals and Festival Celebrations

Bulgaria’s Rose Festivals and festival celebrations are popular all over the world. Rose Festival in Kazanlak has a history of more than a century. It was founded in 1903. Since then, it gained popularity all over the world.

Bulgaria's Rose Festivals Welcome
Bulgarian Rose Festivals Celebrations
Bulgaria's Rose Festivals Celebrations
Bulgaria's Rose Festivals Celebrations

Several villages in the Rose Valley organize local festivals. The oldest one is the one in Kazanlak. Karlovo is the second village to attract guests for a local Rose Festival. Karlovo Rose Festival takes place usually one week prior to the festival in Kazanlak. And Pavel Banya and Strelcha also hold local Rose Festival. In fact, all local Rose festivals are worth a visit – annually, between May 25 and June 7.

Local people love Rose Festivals. It’s their festival – colourful, full of aroma and smiling faces. In other word – it’s time to celebrate, once the hard work is done.

Three main events of the Bulgaria’s Rose festival deserve a visit. The climax of the festival in on Sunday in Kazanlak. It is the day of Queen Rose’s elections. Early morning harvesting ritual in the rose fields starts at sunrise. Then, the electing of Queen Rose follows. Her Majesty the Queen Rose leads the parade. The processions and the celebrations last for two days.  And festival parade takes place along the main streets.

Colourful cultural events add value to the festival’s weekend. Certainly, guests enjoy the variety – choir a cappella or folklore concerts, art shows, local wine presentations, wine-tasting sessions.

Bulgaria's Rose Festivals Celebrations - Queen Rose
Bulgaria's Rose Festivals Celebrations
Bulgaria's Rose Festivals Celebrations
Bulgarian Rose Festivals Celebrations Dance

Bulgaria’s Rose Festivals and Rosa Damascena Bush

In fact, Rose Damascena is the name of the oil-yielding rose. And Rosa Damascena made Bulgaria famous for production of the best rose attar in the world. Rosa Damascena mill was brought to Bulgarian lands during the 17th century. Bulgaria then was part of the Ottoman Empire. This full of aroma rose bush found a second home in Bulgaria. It gave its name to a whole region – The Rose valley of Bulgaria. Two mountain ranges surround the valley. They stop the cold winds in the wintertime and help create a specific climate. The combination of several factors makes this region a unique place for growing this rose variety. The oil extracted from it is the best quality in the world. Therefore, the Valley of Roses became a centre of rose oil production and export for centuries.

Roses Booming Season

The rose bushes flower for about 25 days a year, from mid-May to mid-June. The blooms require hand-picking early in the morning. The aroma is strongest before sunset. Then rose petals are transported in small quantities to the distillery. Seedlings come from the Rose Research Institute at Kazanlak, which has developed several Damascena rose varieties suited to conditions in the valley.

In short, Bulgaria’s Rose Festivals and the fame of the Bulgarian oil-yielding rose attract numerous visitors from all parts of the world. Guests from Japan, Taiwan and France are among the most devoted fans. Therefore, Rosa Damascena blooming season is one of the best periods to visit Bulgaria.

Bulgarian Rose Festivals The Rose Valley
Bulgarian Rose Festival Shopping Organic Rose Water
Bulgarian Rose Festivals Celebrations Guests

Bulgaria Rose Valley & Bulgarian Attar of Roses

Bulgaria Rose Valley & Attar of Roses

Bulgarian Rose Valley is a brand name. The Rose Valley is the area between two mountains, in the heart of Bulgaria.Here you will find the biggest rose plantations and the main rose-oil distilleries.

Bulgaria-Rose-Valley

Firstly, let’s start with the roses. Rosa Damascena is a rose variety. In fact, it is an oil-yielding rose. Rosa Damascena made Bulgaria famous for production of the best rose attar in the world. Rosa Damascena mill was brought to Bulgarian lands during the 17the century. Bulgaria then was part of the Ottoman Empire. Thus, this full of aroma rose bush found a second home in Bulgaria. It gave its name to a whole region – The Rose valley of Bulgaria. two mountain ranges surround the Rose Valley from North and South. They stop the cold winds in the wintertime and help create a specific climate. The combination of several factors makes this region a unique place for growing Rosa Damascena. As a result, the attar of roses is the best quality in the world. Therefore, the Rose Valley became a centre of rose oil production and export for centuries.

Bulgarian Attar of Roses

Did you know that:

  • One of the world’s most beautiful rose oil today comes from Bulgaria.
  • The Rose Valley of Bulgaria produces one of the highest per cent of the world’s attar of roses.
  • 3,5 tons of rose petals go into the making of one kilogram of rose oil, which has the price of  gold.
  • The Bulgarian “attar” of roses is an important component in the perfumery business throughout  the world.
  • Bulgarian rose oil  – they use it even in space industry, as a greasing component in space equipment. Therefore, due to its resistance to any temperature changes, Bulgarian attar of roses is unsurpassed.

International buyers pay for the Bulgarian product prices reaching 14,000 € a kilo organic rose oil. (2019). Covid pandemic, unfortunately, caused a drop-down and 2021 price was 5,500 €.

Finally, the best period for visiting the Rose Valley is during the rose blooming season. It starts in mid-May throughout Mid-June. Don’t miss these 20-25 days and visit Bulgarian Rose Valley with one of our tours. We will gladly design a private bespoke tour for you. So, please just let us know.

Plovdiv European Capital of Culture

Plovdiv, My Love

Plovdiv -  European capital of Culture

The Charming city of Plovdiv is getting ready to be the 2019 European Culture Capital. It is the first Bulgarian city chosen to be European Capital of Culture. Construction is active and part of the city looks like a construction site. Plovdiv attracts numerous guests from all over the world,despite small inconveniences, and maybe due to the unusually warm fall of 2018.

Plovdiv European Capital of CultureWe all ask ourselves “Why”? Why do so many people come over especially on weekends. Presumably, it’s the romance of the narrow cobbled streets, and the silence, tranquility and history. Colourful facades of 19th-century houses carefully restored recently, tiny art galleries, small shops selling local artists’ works – all add authentic charm to this place.

Plovdiv - European Capital of Culture & Artistic Atmosphere

No matter how often I visit the city, Plovdiv always offers something new. The artistic atmosphere is in the air, and one feels this everywhere. It’s maybe hidden in the cultural memory of the city - almost 8000 years old.

Plovdiv Throughout History

Plovdiv is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe, founded about 6000 BC on Nebet Tepe, one of Plovdiv’s hills. Expanding around Nebet Tepe, then fortified by the Thracians during the Iron Age, conquered by Philip II of Macedon in the 4th c BC, conquered again by the Romans in 45 AC - the history of Plovdiv is very long and eventful. Ancient ruins show the importance of the city: the Roman Theater (108-114 AD) accommodating up to 5,000, the Stadium (90 AD) with a capacity of 30,000 people, the Odeon and the Forum, defense walls (2 c AD). One can still visit the Roman sites, scattered in the heart of the modern city, all within a convenient distance.

Old Plovdiv - a must-see

Plovdiv European Capital of Culture

Depending on the time one spends in Plovdiv, the Old Town is a must-see. There are about 400 19-th century wooden-frame houses. Most of them are real architectural stars. It’s a difficult choice which one to visit. Balabanov’s house, Klianti House, House of Dimitar Georgiadi, housing the Ethnographic museum, Hindliyan’s House - they all tell a different and compelling story.

Centre of Art

Plovdiv is famous for being a centre of art with distinctive artistic and historical importance. We are all tempted to take pictures with the bronze sculpture of the Artist in Saborna Street. Zlatyu Boyadzhiev (1903-1976) is one of the most  famous and much loved Bulgarian artists. There are two art spaces also worth a visit – the art galleries of Encho Pironkov and Dimitar Kirov.

Plovdiv - European Capital of Culture & Art in Kapana

The artistic neighbourhood of Kapana is located centrally downtown. In less than a decade this place has turned from a shabby one into a brilliant example of cultural approach to the architectural heritage of the early 20th century. Art thrives in Kapana. It is the place of creative industries and artistic approaches. We were lucky to be there during two festivals – the June Festival and the Young Wine Festival in October. One must bear in mind that Plovdiv is the centre of the Thracian Plane Wine Region. Boutique wineries have been mushrooming lately.Therefore, finding the best red wines can be a bit of a challenge. You only need time and enthusiasm for wine-tasting.

Wine & Dine

Plovdiv's wine and dine culture is exquisite. Small restaurants are mushrooming as well. Some of them are so popular that booking a table in advance is advised. “Green” practices and health food here are a priority. Guidebook’s recommendations might be outdated, in order to find “your place” you should ask the locals. They are the unexpected hidden gem of Plovdiv. Plovdivians describe themselves as laid-back, always warm, smiling and ready to assist you at any time.

Shopping

And last, but not least – Plovdiv is one of the best places for shopping. Some of the best shops are located along the main pedestrian street Alexandrovska (“Knyaz Alexander Battenberg I”).

Enjoy your stay and do come again.

Saeva Dupka Cave

Saeva Dupka Cave is located near the village Brestnica, Lovech district, some 100 km east of Sofia. The entrance was found by two brothers – Seju and Saju, after whom the cave was named.

The first scientific research was carried out by Prof. Georgi Zlatarov in 1883. The first data about the cave were published at the end of the 19th Century, by Herman and Karel Shkorpil in their monograph on the carst waters in Bulgaria (1898). They were part of a group of several Czech scholars who came to Bulgaria after the liberation from the Ottoman rule in 1878.They were the first to document numerous archaeological sites spread all over Bulgarian lands, founding the modern Bulgarian archaeology.

Read More

SURVA MUMMERS’ FESTIVALS

Pernik is only 30 minutes’ drive from Sophia. Few people would recommend you to visit this city, unless you are fond of decayed concrete industrial landscapes or interested in Bulgarian trade unions’ legacy.

Yet there is one good reason to visit Pernik in January and it is the International Festival of Masquerade Games “Surva”. It is the oldest festival in Bulgaria and among the most vivid local customs.

Read More