Bulgaria’s Flower Festival: Stop and Smell the (Kazanlashka) Roses
Breathe deeply – you’re in Rose Country.
Not just any rose, either. This is Kazanluk, Bulgaria, home to one of the most fragrant roses – and one of the most expensive rose oils – in the world. Generations of locals and visitors have been stopping and smelling the roses – the Kazanlashka rose in particular – grown for 300 years in the fertile fields and gardens known as the Valley of the Roses.
The Kazanlashka rose is a key ingredient in many of the world’s most desirable and pricey perfumes. It’s precious, too: Kazanlashka rose oil is three times more expensive than gold, making it a key ingredient in the local economy.
When’s the best time to “stop and smell the roses?” No time is better than during Bulgaria’s Kazanluk Rose Festival in early June.
How do you pick these roses? Carefully. Each one is picked by hand, gently laid in baskets, then taken to the local rose distillery for processing.There’s a lot of picking to do, since it’s estimated that it takes 200,000 roses to make just one liter of rose oil. Price: $3,000 and up. No wonder Kazanluk rose oil is dubbed “liquid gold!”
Kazanluk’s roses are used not only in perfumes, but also as a precious ingredient in rose honey, rose-flavored chocolates, rose liqueurs, rose jams, rose water, and pharmaceuticals.
When you visit Bulgaria’s rose festival in Kazanluk, you can say with certainty that “everything’s coming up roses!”
Travel to the Kazanluk Rose Festival with MIR
MIR has more than two decades of Bulgaria travel experience, offering on-the-ground support and quality you can trust, and guides and tour managers that clients rave about. MIR’s full service, dedication, commitment to quality, and destination expertise have twice earned us a place on National Geographic Adventure’s list of “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.”
You can stop and smell the roses for yourself on the June departure of MIR’s Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses, a small group tour which stops at the Kazanluk Rose Festival. This itinerary is also offered in September, with a stop at the Kazanluk Rose Museum rather than the festival.
Or, discover Bulgaria’s highlights for yourself on a custom, private tour through Bulgaria. MIR specializes in personalized, private journeys, and we’d love to take your ideas and weave them into a trip tailored especially for you. Travel wherever, however and with whomever you like, relying on our expert assistance. Contact us to find out more about our custom and private travel expertise – each trip handcrafted to your interests, dates and pace.
(Top photo credit: Michel Behar – Even when picking them, it’s hard not to stop and smell the roses!)
PUBLISHED: November 17, 2014