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A day in the Rose Valley of Bulgaria

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There is no doubt that the Rose Valley is a must see destination of Bulgaria. The relationship of Bulgaria and roses dates back in the centuries so there are many interesting facts and places that can be learnt and seen.

Where is located the Rose Valley of Bulgaria?

The Rose Valley is an area that is located Southern to the Central Balkan mountains and includes several valleys. In general that area includes the cities of Kazanlak, Karlofo, Kalover and the villages Pavel Banya.. Here are located the main rose fields and the main rose oil facilities. If you catch the National Road I-6 at some point you will notice that there are roses literarry all around you. You can stop on the road and to go inside the fields to take some pictures. Amazing!

First rose field just on the road – these are small, but we will find bigger later.

It takes around two hours to reach the valley in you are travelling from Sofia and around 1 from Plovdiv.

When is the best time to visit the Rose Valley?

The best time to visit the Rose Valley is from the end of May till the end of June. That is the time when you can observe the rose fields, the picking of the rose and even the producing of the rose oil in some of the famous distilleries in Bulgaria.

Roses wherever you look to

Finally got there 🙂

It isn’t only the view, but the smell is incredible too 🙂

The Rose Festival in Kazanlak

There is also a Rose Festival that takes place every year for four weekends during the end of May and June. During the festival you can visit many events, including rose picking rituals in small villages early in the morning, to visit a distillery and see the process of preparation of rose oil, to observe the carnavals and folklore procession. A competition for the title of The Queen of the Rose is a tradition every year and of course after all that feast for the soul, you can try many products, produced from rose such as rose jam, rose juice and also many kinds of cosmetics.

Damascena Complex in village Skobelevo

Damascena is the first private distillery for rose oil production in Bulgaria. It is established in 1991. The coplex is located in the picturesque village of Skobelevo, just at the foot of the Balkan Mountains. As far as I know it is some of the major producers of rose oil in Bulgaria.

painting

The paintings inside the complex

The process of production of rose oil

The complex itself is a kind of tourist destination. The area is is quite big and apart from rosey valley that you can visit, there is also an eco park with wild animals. There is a guided tour several times per day where you can experience the rose picking (during the rose-picking season), to see and learn about the process of extraction of rose oil, as well as to touch the old tradition of Bulgarian rose production.

Here you will enjoy the beauty of over 150 species of roses, as well as try the famous rose jam, rose honey and rose liqueur and gul brandy. There is also a shop where you could buy yourself high quality natural products produced from rose oil.

amphitheatre

The amphitheatre of Damascena complex

garden

The garden with many many roses

There is an entrance fee of 12 lv and is better to go in the morning if you visit is during the weekend, as at noon there are already too many people. Give yourself at least 3-4 hours to see everything around. There is also a restaurant in the complex.

Rest area

roses

In the rose plantations of Damascena

What else to see nearby?

The area is reach of nature, culture and interesting places to visit. It is definitly a place to visit for more that a weekend. It is good to have at least 4-5 days there, so you can really enjoy that small beatifull peace of Bulgaria. There are many historic towns located nearby – Koprivshtitsa, Kalofer, Karlovo. There are also several monuments – Shipka and Buzludzha Monument. One of the famous churches in Bulgaria is also nearby – in village Shipka. Another place to visit if you are into history are tha Trakian Tombs. And of course my favourite part – the mountains. That area is the starting point for many routes to the Balkan Mountains.

 

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2 replies
  1. Grant
    Grant says:

    I have only just found this site and after living in Bulgaria for 2 1/2 years now I can say that it really is a good place to put down roots. I live in the country in small village so struggle to find anyone that can speak English, but have a basic understanding of Bulgarian and as long as they slow down I sort of understand. I do not know if it is historical or what, but the older women here ignore new comers, the men are more open and welcoming. the countryside is amazing and the wildlife that is here is amazing. From the way that we are taught in UK, or maybe just our attitudes, we always think Bulgaria is cold. IT’S NOT! I hate snakes, but they appear everywhere round here. Lizards, wild tortoise, praying mantis to name a few. I feel that the BG Govt need to do something and make the rest of the world realize that Bulgaria is here and it is amazing!

    Reply
    • Martin
      Martin says:

      Hey Grant! That’s awesome to hear! I just recently moved back to Bulgaria (after being abroad for 27 years) and I must say I’m surprised to see all this nature here. Not at all as how I remembered it when I was a kid =) Happy to see that more people are realizing the natural beauties BG has to offer, and hope that it doesn’t become exploited. I’m now looking to move to a nice village too, so hopefully this will be my reality too soon 🙂 Take care!

      Reply

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