15 May 2011

Rose Festival in Kazanlak, Bulgaria

The Rose Festival

The Rose Festival takes place every year in the city of Kazanlak, Bulgaria, during the first week of June. It celebrates the beginning of the harvesting period of the rare oil-producing Damascena rose (or Kazanlashka rose).

This type of rose has been cultivated in the Bulgarian so called Rose Valley (that includes the city of Kazanlak, together with Karlovo, Pavel Banya and Strelcha) for more than 300 years and the oil, extracted from its blossoms is widely used in the production of the finest perfumes throughout the world and for that reason extremely expensive.

The Rose Festival 2011 will last 3 more days – from 31st May till 5th June 2011.
The highlights, as always, would be the Election of the Queen of Roses (3rd June), as well as the ritual Rose-picking and the Festival Parade Carnival (5th June)

Programme of the Festival:

31st May:  journey around the world  – open-air photo shoot in the central square of Kazanlak – “Seuthopolis”. The square will be transformed in a décor where anybody will be able to take a photo with different landscapes. Apart form that, there will be many make-up artists, designers and hairdressers who will help you create your unique photo, which will be shot by a professional photographer and for those with greater courage, there will be a body art painter.

1st June: Car, Plane and Ship models exhibition – Toys for children and adults at the “Seuthopolis” square

2nd June: 17:00h. Opening of the Street of Crafts

3rd June: 21:00h. Queen of the Roses show in the  “Seuthopolis” square (election of the Queen, fireworks show and concert) The queen should be a young girl, who must have graduated in the same year and later it is her that rewards the best rose-pickers during the ritual Rose-picking.

4th June: 18:00h. Bulgarian folk music-and-dances concert

5th June: 10:00h. Ritual rose-picking and Rose Distillation at   the Rose Institute
               12:00h. Festival Parade Carnival in the “Seuthopolis” square
               13:00h. Closing OF the Festival with a concert

 How to get to the Rose Festival 2011 in Kazanluk:

-  by train: Bulgarian State Railways: trains schedule at www.bdz.bg
-  by bus: Sofia Central Bus Station: buses timetable at http://www.centralnaavtogara.bg/index.php
-  by car: from Sofia take the E871 (national road 8) to Kazanluk (about 200 km)
   Check for Bulgaria car rental deals at URCA rent a car www.urca.bg


  1. Scott Butler19 May, 2011 17:55

    Hi, which way will be better to get from Sofia to Kazanluk: the E871 by Karlovo or the other way through Plovdiv and Stara Zagora. If I see right the most of second option through Plovdiv is like a dual carrige ? Could you advise, thanks!

  2. Christina G.20 May, 2011 01:18

    Hi, yes, the second option is better. A litlle more driving but dual carriage is better. Hope, you will have a nice time in Kazanlak !
    See you there :)

  3. Hi Scott,
    As Christina has suggested: the road that goes by Plovdiv and Stara Zagora to Kazanluk is the faster one (although it is about 35 km longer than the E871) mainly because most of the time you will be driving on the Thrakia Motorway (A1) from Sofia to Stara Zagora.

    The second option (road E871, National road 6) although not a dual carriage way, is the more picturesque one, so it might be a good idea on your way from Sofia to Kazanlak to drive on the Thrakia Motorway and on the E871 on your way back to Sofia.
    We wish you a nice drive in Bulgaria and a pleasant stay in Kazanlak.