Rose Festival

Bulgaria is the biggest producer of rose oil in the world. Every year, traditional rose festival is celebrated during the first half of June in Rose Valley. The Rose Valley is a region in located just south of the Balkan Mountains, where the soil and the climate are quite suitable for the roses. The valley is famous for its rose growing industry, which have been cultivated here for centuries. The center of the rose oil industry is Kazanlak. Kazanlak’s rose gardens are also the largest rose gardens in the whole world. The rose fest is part of many cultural tours and trips in Bulgaria.

The rose oil is called "the liquid gold" of Bulgaria. It takes 30 roses to produce a single drop of rose oil or 3 000-4 000 kg of rose petals to produce 1 kg of pure Bulgarian rose oil.

As a capital of the rose - growing region, Kazanlak hosts the annual Festival of Roses, always the first week of June. This festival was held for first time in 1903 and was dedicated to the beauty and charity. If you plan to visit Bulgaria in summer, make sure you can arrange a trip for this fest. Nowadays the festival is a celebration of the beauty in the unique Valley of the Roses and one of the most attractive happenings both for local people and the visitors. The festival program includes the coronation of Queen Rose, the traditional rose-picking ritual and rose-distillation that give you a true feeling of authenticity.

The Festival ends with a street procession in which the main role is allotted for the participants of the International Folklore Festival that has been hold parallel to the Festival of Roses.

 

Kazanlak – Rose Fest Getting there

Length: 3 hours from Sofia, 3-4 days
Travel To: Kazanlak
Travel By: cars / mini- buses
Book your Trip to Bulgaria – Rose Fest

Rose Fest Accommodation

We recommend to make a booking a year in advance as the Rose Festival is very popular among the tourists and hotels are fully booked months before the event. As well as the neighbor towns.

Rose Fest - KazanlakThings to see

During the festival, a large number of social and cultural events open to public are always scheduled throughout the whole week, including folk performances, various exhibitions, ceremonies, tournaments and competitions of all types.

  • The electing of Queen Rose - The festivities begin with the Queen Rose beauty contest. The Rose Queen is elected from the teenage girls of Kazanluk.
  • The rose-picking ritual in the rose gardens - Rose-picking ritual starts early in the morning (around 4 a.m.). The roses are picked traditionally by women dressed in Bulgarian folk costumes.
  • The parade along the streets of the town - The traditional Rose Festival reached its culmination with a parade through the town's main street. The parade is led by a group of kukers (kukers are costumed men performing traditional Bulgarian rituals to scare away evil spirits).
 
Off the beaten pathOther interesting sites in the area:
 
 

Kazanlak Thracian Tomb

Offering a unique insight into the life of the ancient Thracians. It is one of the 9 cultural, historic and natural sites in Bulgaria included in the UNESCO list of monuments of global importance.

Ostrusha Mound

The Thracian complex in the Ostrusha Mound near the town of Shipka was built in the middle of the 4th century BC, and it used to function until the 4th century. The complex is situated on an area of 100 square meters, and consists of five rectangular and one round room.

Karlovo

The town is situated in the valley of the same name, which is part of the famous Rose Valley, along the two banks of Stara Reka River. Along with Kalofer – these rose valley towns are part of the tour you can book during the rose fest.

 
 

Sopot

A little vollage-like town situated in the fertile sub-Bolkan mountain valley of Karlovo in the western part of the legendary Valley of the Roses. Nowadays the town is very popular among the paragliding pilots as the wind conditions in the town are very favourable for that sport all year round.

Thracian tomb the village of Starossel

In 2000 during archaeological excavations in the region of the villahe of Starossel was discovered the grandiose Thracian Temple /5-4 century BC/ ever found. It is surrounded by a stone wall /up to 5 m high and 240 m long/ made of huge stone blocks. Tens of burial mounds were found nearby, some of them containing tomb-mausoleums of Thracian rulers of the 5-4th century BC. The tombs contain extremely valuable articles – golden jewellery, a set of silver adorning, etc.

Shipka Church

In the surroundings of the town of Shipka, on the southern slopes of the Balkan, Bulgarians have built the Birth of Christ Memorial Church in honor to the heroes of the Russian-Turkish war of Liberation of 1977-1878 – Russian soldiers and Bulgarian volunteers. Its gold plated domes and beautifully ornamented façade stand out against the mountain and attract the attention of all heading for the Shipka pass.