BULGARIAN GARDENS, FLOWERS, AND TRADITIONS TOUR DESCRIPTION
Bulgarian Gardens, Flowers, and Traditions tour can be offered any time during the season but the actual Lavender Festival takes place on June 24. It highlights the Botanic gardens and historic locations across Bulgaria starting in Sofia and featuring visits to the UNESCO sites of Plovdiv and Nesebur. Participants will be treated with tasting of Lavender, Rose products and local wines while learning about the various plant species found in each Botanic location. Discover how plants can be good for the seoul.
- Annual Festival of lavender, essential plants and healing herbs
- Botanic gardens at historical locations
- UNESCO sites and museum towns
- Tasting of lavender, rose products and local wines
- Traditions and folklore
- Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture in 2019
Check out also our tour Bulgaria in May: Festival of Roses, Gastronomy, Wine and History
2022 pricing, please contact us for an estimate anytime
2021 Land Cost Per Person (double occupancy)
26 June – 01 July
2 Travelers: $1900
4 Travelers: $1456
2 Travelers: $1975
4 Travelers: $1520
One extra day for a visit to Rila Monastery UNESCO site with tour guide, transport, overnight in Sofia on HB basis:
2 Travelers: $240
4 Travelers: $190
3* Hotels: $200
4* Hotels: $225
Rates available for parties with less or more than 4 people
- 7 nights accommodation with breakfast and city tax at selected 3* or 4* hotels
- 7 dinners ( 3-course menu +mineral water ) and 1 lunch during the Holiday of the Lavender ( 3-course menu + mineral water )
- Tour guide in English or Spanish traveling with the group
- Transport for the whole itinerary, incl. airport transfers, parking, Entrances for the visited sites, activities, and tastings.
Day 1: Sofia
Arrival transfer Sofia Airport and panoramic tour of Sofia – the capital city of Bulgaria, which Emperor Constantine the Great once called “My Rome”. Being in the center of the Balkan peninsula, it is midway between the Black Sea and the Adriatic Sea, and closest to the Aegean Sea. The city is surrounded by mountains on all sides and has been an area of human habitation since at least 7000 BC most probably because of the abundance of mineral and thermal springs. We will visit Alexander Nevski Memorial Cathedral, St. Sofia 6th c basilica, the Parliament Square, the National Theatre and the Old city Garden, The Presidency, St. George Rotunda ( 4th c, the oldest building preserved in Sofia ) and the former Royal Palace. Check-in at your hotel, dinner, and overnight.
Day 2: Sofia – Plovdiv
Breakfast. Continue to Plovdiv – the 2nd largest Bulgarian city, once the capital city of Philip the 2nd of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great. Plovdiv has been the European Capital of culture in 2019 and is considered the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe. En-route we will stop to Borika village to visit one of the newest botanic gardens in Bulgaria with over 300 plant varieties, where the founder of the garden will show you the place and tell you the story of its creation. Upon arrival in Plovdiv, we will visit the Old Plovdiv town – an architecture reserve awarded a golden medal by UNESCO. Along the longest pedestrian street of the world, see remains of the Roman forum, Stadium, the Ancient theatre, etc. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 3: Plovdiv – Karlovo – Skobelevo – Kazanluk
Early breakfast and transfer to the small National revival town of Karlovo, where each year the locals organize Festival of the Lavender, Essential plants, and healing herbs. Bulgaria is No 1 producer of lavender oil in the world with 200 tons/ year. During the day you will witness the special rituals associated with the healing herbs, taste traditional bread with “silent” water, taste lavender products, see the harvesting of lavender, a distillation of lavender oil, visit lavender fields. In the Old Karlovo Ethnographic complex, you will visit a traditional house and learn about the Bulgarian folklore. In the center of the city there will be a folklore program and later on, we will visit a cosmetics factory with a demonstration of soap production. We will leave Karlovo to Skobelevo village, where we will visit Damascena family-run distillery for rose
products. Visit and taste rose jam, rose honey, and rose liquor. In the late afternoon we will proceed parallel to the Balkan mountains to Kazanluk – the center of the Valley of Roses, known as well as the Valley of the Thracian kings. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 4: Kazanluk – Nesebur – Varna/ Golden Sands area
Breakfast and morning visit of the Museum of Roses, with a reproduction of a rose-oil depot and of the first rose-oil examination laboratory established in 1907. Another remarkable object in the museum’s exhibition is a rose-oil container that was last used in 1947, but the rose fragrance still comes out of it. Once 75% of the world rose attar was produced in this region. Nowadays, Bulgaria is among the 4 top producers of rose oil in the world. Proceed to Nesebur UNESCO town, located on a small peninsula. Walking tour in Nesebur, which history dates back to the 2nd millennium BC. En-route we will pass via sunflower fields ( Bulgaria is in the top 8 producers in the world ). We will proceed parallel to the sea to Varna – the largest Bulgarian city on the Black Sea coast. Varna was an inhabited place even before the Greeks established the colony of Odessos there about 580 B.C. Later, under the Romans and their successor, the Slavs, Varna became a major port trading with Constantinople, Venice, and Dubrovnik. Arrival in Varna, check-in at your hotel in either Varna or Golden Sands, dinner, and overnight.
Day 5: Varna/ Golden Sands – Balchik – Varna/ Golden Sands
Day tour to Balchik – the White Town named so for the mainly white color of its lime rocks. Morning visit of the University Botanical Garden and the small summer palace of the Romanian Queen Maria. The attractive villa has the unusual addition of a minaret.
The gardens are the “residence”; of 3000 or so plant species of which cacti alone are over 250, and thus Europe’s second most important collection ( after the one in Monaco ). The gardens are set on a steep hillside, and descend in six terraces to the sea – supposedly one for each of the Queen&’s children. There are over three thousand varieties of shrubs, roses, and flowers, set among streams, waterfalls, and ornamental channels. Afternoon return to Varna. Panoramic tour of Varna and tasting of local wines. Dinner at a restaurant at the seashore. Overnight at the same hotel.
Day 6: Varna – Evksinograd – Varna – Veliko Turnovo
Breakfast and departure to Evksinograd Palace. The complex is just 8 km from Varna, at the seashore, and is the oldest summer residence of the Bulgarian kings since the 19th c. Its park consists of 2 parts, known as the French Garden and the English garden. The park is home to over 310 plant varieties from Asia , South America , North Africa, and Southern France, reputed to have been selected by King Ferdinand himself, and occupies an area of over 550 decares. You can admire alleys with colorful flowers, a small lake with water lilies, there are a greenhouse and a winery. Just below the main terrace of the palace you can see the central pediment of the roof of the French castle of Saint Cloud ( 18th c ) with the French royal coat of arms. It has been carried here in a wagon on the Orient Express piece by piece in 1891. Another important stop is the sundial – a gift from Queen Victoria to Kind Ferdinand.
Free time for lunch in Varna and proceed to Central Bulgaria. Our next stop will be Veliko Turnovo – the Medieval capital city of Bulgaria, picturesquely located on 4 hills above the Yantra river. Walking tour of the Old town of Veliko Turnovo with Samovodska Charshia – the street of traditional crafts – potter, artisan cutler, coppersmith, carver, confectioner, weaver, icon-painters studio, photographer, café, a workshop where kadaif (a classic Middle Eastern pastry) is made, and a bakery – all in the style of the first decades of the 20th Century. Dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Veliko Turnovo – Sofia
Breakfast and morning visit of Tsarevets Royal Hill with the fortress, Baldwin tower (the leader of the 4th Crusade, who was imprisoned here) and Patriarh’s complex. Departure to Sofia with some free time for lunch and continue with the tour of the city, incl a visit to the small city botanic garden. Check-in at your hotel and free time to relax. Farewell dinner. Overnight.
Day 8: Sofia – departure
Breakfast. Free time and departure transfer.
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