Last modified: October 25, 2021

Bulgaria Rose Festival

Bulgaria Rose Festival

Bulgaria's Rose Festival  has a history of more than a century. Firstly, it was founded in 1903 in Kazanlak. Since then, for 118 years, the festival gained popularity all over the world.

Presently every year, during the first weekend of June, local community in Kazanlak organizes the annual Bulgaria Rose Festival.  At the beginning of the rose harvesting season, local people enjoy annual celebrations. Karlovo and Pavel Banya- also known for their rose production, started organizing local rose festivals, too. Manufacturers from the whole valley gather dressed up in rose flowers. Mummers, called “koukeri” take part in the street parade. People sing and dance in the streets during the whole fest.

Covid-19 update

We regret to inform you that due to the COVID-19 medical emergency, Rose Festival in Kazanlak is cancelled and postponed for 2022.

Government’s policy measures shut down travel and all cultural festivals and events. Now, with the vaccination programmes spreading around the world, we do hope that international travel will rebound and we once again will be welcoming travellers. As soon as Bulgaria reopens borders and festivals are back on track, we will announce operating our updated 2022 Rose Festival tour.

Bulgaria Rose Festival Tour

2020 Bulgaria Rose Festival Tour will reveal the secrets of producing Rose Oil. It includes visits to 4 Rose Oil distilleries. You will meet the local producers and discuss with them the quality of the Rose Oil produced in the Rose Valley of Bulgaria.

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 is used in space industry, as a greasing component in space equipment, due to its resistance to any temperature changes.

About Bulgaria Rose Festival

Bulgaria Rose Festival  has a history of more than a century. It was founded in 1903 in Kazanlak. Since then, it gained popularity all over the world.

Rose Festival Celebrations

Three main events of the Bulgaria's Rose festival are worth a visit. The climax of the festival in on Sunday. 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 along the streets of each town. The processions and the celebrations last for two days.  And festival parade takes place along the main streets of each village.

There are other cultural events during the festival's weekend. These are choir a cappella and folklore concerts, art shows, exhibitions, wine-tasting, gourmet-shows, etc. The Rose Festival and the fame of the Bulgarian oil-yielding rose attract numerous visitors from all parts of the world. The most numerous are visitors from Japan, Taiwan and France.

Rosa Damascena Bush

In fact, it is the name of the oil-yielding rose. Rosa Damascena made Bulgaria famous for production of the best rose attar in the world. “Born” in Syria, Damascus, Rosa Damascena mill was brought to Bulgarian lands during the 17the 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. It is surrounded by two mountain ranges. 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 variety of rose. 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.

Rosa Damascena Blooming Season

The rose bushes flower for about 25 days a year, from mid-May to mid-June. The blooms are picked by hand early in the morning when the aroma is strongest. 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. International buyers pay for the Bulgarian product prices reaching Euro 14,000 a kilo organic rose oil.(2017)

 

2020 Rose Festival

Itinerary - Rose Festival Tour 04 - 08.06.2020

5 day/4 night tour: Join a small group :

04 June 2020 /Day 1: Sofia

Our guide will meet you at Sofia International airport and assist for a transfer to hotel. Check in. After a short break for refreshment, a short familiarization with the city and hotel vicinity will follow. Rest of day at leisure, to overcome  jet lag.

Accommodation in Sofia at Hotel Niky, 3* .

05 June 2020/Day 2: Sofia - Rila monastery – Sofia

After breakfast, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Sofia, which is a city with 7000-year long history, including a visit to the impressive Alexander Nevski memorial Cathedral. Tour proceeds with panoramic sightseeing of the University, the National Assembly, the Banya Bashi Mosque, the Rotunda of St. George, Roman ruins, National Palace of Culture. You will continue to Rila Monastery - the largest in the Balkans, included in the UNESCO List of World  Cultural Heritage. It will captivate you with its unrivaled architecture and murals.  Enjoy a tour of the monastery, including the 14th century Hrelyo Tower, the five-domed Birth of the Blessed Virgin Church and the original monastery kitchen from the 19th century. In the late afternoon return to Sofia.

Accommodation in Sofia at Hotel Niky, 3*. 

06 June 2020/Day 3: Sofia - Kalofer - Karlovo - Kazanlak - Stara Zagora

Following breakfast, continue east towards the Rose Valley.

Your first visit to a local rose-oil distillery will be just one-hour drive from Sofia. Continue via Karlovo to the village of Tarnicheni, close to Kalofer. Visit the local distillery and attend a lecture on rose water and rose oil distillation. Meet the local producers and taste the aroma of natural oils, produced here: rose oil, lavender oil, etc.

06 June 2020/In the afternoon

you will continue towards Kazanlak to visit the Rose museum. This small museum will tell you the story of rose production and more about the industry standards, set by the Bulgarian producers centuries ago.  Time permitting, you will visit yet another rose-oil distillery in Kazanlak before driving to Stara Zagora for dinner and overnight.

B,D, Accommodation in Stara Zagora  at a 3* hotel  La Roca or similar

07 June 2020/Day 4: Kazanlak - THE ROSE FESTIVAL IN KAZANLAK  - Plovdiv

Early morning breakfast at hotel, followed by a visit to the rose fields to participate in rose picking in the rose fields of Kazanlak. Proceed to the village of Skobelevo and visit the Ethnographic complex “Damascena ”with its rose gardens and distillery.  At noon proceed to Kazanlak to attend the street parade, before driving to the picnic place in an open-air restaurant.Here you will enjoy traditional food, wine, music and folklore dance show.

          Bulgaria Rose Festival tour proceeds to Plovdiv

In the afternoon you will continue onto Bulgaria’s second ranking town, Plovdiv(1,5 hrs. drive). It is set within the Thracian plane with the Maritsa River flowing through the city. Plovdiv is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe, which is located on six hills. No one can tell exactly when the foundation stone was laid here, although it must have been over 5000 years ago. Old Plovdiv on Trimontium hill is the centre of Bulgarian national revival architecture at its height. You will take in a brief walking city tour and explore the Roman Theater which is one of the world’s best preserved ancient theaters.

B,L, Accommodation in Plovdiv at a 3* hotel .

08 June 2020/ Day 5: Plovdiv - Sofia Airport

Following breakfast, you will enjoy the rest of Plovdiv’s sights. Take a visit to the Old Town, the Roman Stadium, the Byzantine and mediaeval fortifications, the 15th century mosque. Walk along the narrow cobbled streets and admire the silence and tranquility of this historic town. In the early afternoon you will continue the journey back to Sofia - a 2-hrs drop-off transfer to Sofia airport, where tour ends.

One thought on “Rose Festival in Bulgaria

  1. We are two American ladies who would like to go on the June 4-7,2020 Rose Festival tour. We would need two individual rooms – what is the single room supplement price?
    We would not mind being in a small group tour with others, as long as it was an all English speaking group.
    Could we get tickets for the Rose parade? Any chance of sitting arrangements to see the parade, as we both have bad backs?
    Thank you.

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