The old and destroyed Shabla bridge in a foggy winter morning,  Shabla, Bulgaria

PHOTO TOUR – THE BEST OF BULGARIA

Posted on September 23, 2013

SAMPLE PROGRAM

DURATION: 1 week

PRICE: 1120 EUR (7 participants). Small group surcharge of € 100. Single room supplement: €60. Single rooms are subject to availability.

GROUP SIZE: 5 – 7 persons

Bulgaria has plenty of exceptional sights, which offer you beneficial conditions for landscape/seascape, ethno/people and street photography. Bulgaria offers as well opportunities for shooting remains of the communist regime in Bulgaria, insisting on their integration and relation with the modern urban landscape of Bulgaria towns and villages, including Socialist industrial landscapes,  Socialist collective housing construction and objects representing Socialist realism. In most of the cases, these are objects, which might be seen and shot solely in Bulgaria, which turns this photo workshop/safari unique.

SHORT DESCRIPTION

Sofia – Svishtov (Danube River) – Northern Black Sea Coast (Shabla, Kamen Bryag, Tulenovo, Kaliakra) – Varna – Veliko Tarnovo – Dimitrovgrad – Eastern Rhodopes (Madzarovo, Ivaylovgrad, the villages of Mandritsa, Dolno Lukovo, Gorno Lukovo, Stden Kladenets) – Plovdiv – Sofia.

Usually we departure from Sofia early in the morning . The first place we will visit is the city of Svishtov, Northern Bulgaria, located on the Danube River bank. On the next day we will departure towards the Northern Black sea coast (Shabla, Kamen Bryag, Tulenovo, Kaliakra), where we will continue with photographing stunning seascapes of the rocky Black sea coast, will visit fisher villages, the majestic lighthouse near Shabla. Will also try the traditional Bulgarian fish kitchen. Then we will continue southwards to the largest city on the Bulgarian Black sea coast – Varna – the perl of the sea. The next stop will be at the old and very picturesque city of Veliko Tarnovo. The street photography in this city will take you back to the past.

The next destination is Dimitrovgard – a paradise for photographers looking to photograph abandoned plants and factories, unfinished buildings, industrial sites and the typical communist era architecture. Further we will continue to the region of Eastern Rhodopes – a remote and still preserved area, maybe one of the last of its kind remaining in the EU. The first place here is the village of Madzarovo – famous with the largest vulture colony in Bulgaria as well with the stunning mountain landscapes and the beautiful meanders of Arda River. We will spend the night in the city of Ivaylovgrad, located at the south-east corner of Bulgaria. On the next day we will continue to the architectural reserves of the villages of Mandritsa, Dolno Lukovo, Gorno Lukovo – unique semi- or completely abandoned villages. We will also visit this day the beautiful meanders of the Byala reka (White River), where we will have the opportunity to photograph one of the most beautiful landscapes in this region. The last day of our photo journey will be dedicated to the area around Studen Kladenec in the Eastern Rhodopes, the second largest city in Bulgaria – Plovdiv with its wonderful old city and will finish in Sofia.

THE LAND COST INCLUDES

Accommodations with breakfast based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come-first served basis and are not guaranteed; group transportation by air-conditioned minibus; Services of driver, english speaking photographic leader; extensive pre-departure information and services;

THE LAND COST DOES NOT INCLUDE

International airfare to and from Sofia ( we can give detailed information about the flights to/from Sofia, including low cost carriers); airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that might be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; activities listed as optional, or those taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry,  medical expenses, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, lunches and dinners during the whole trip.

ITINERARY

DAY 1 Arriving in Sofia.

DAY 2 Departure for Svishtov (on Danube river) at 9.00 am.

We will arrive in Svishtov at about 13.30 pm. After checking in the hotel we will spend the afternoon walking along the Danube river bank. We will have the chance to photograph the river and the unique islands, their wildlife (birds) and stunning landscapes.

Evening street photography in the city of Svishtov. Overnight in Svishtov in a hotel with a stunning view over the river.

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DAY 3

Early morning street photography in Svishtov. At 9.00 am we will departure for the Northern Black Sea coast. Here we will visit cape Kaliakra, renowned for its dramatic history and archeological remains, as well as for its extremely impressive rock coasts and cliffs with dizzy height. More northward are the villages of Kamen bryag  and Tyulenovo, where from the high plateau you can shoot superb seascapes. We will also visit the fishing village in Shabla with its impressive Lighthouse and semi-destroyed bridge – very impressive photographic object.

We will finish the day with evening street photography session in the city of Kavarna on the Black Sea coast.

Kavarna is a Black Sea coastal town and seaside resort in the Dobrudja region of northeastern Bulgaria. It lies 64 km northeast of Varna and 49 km from Dobrich on the international road E87.  A little yacht port, a fishing base, a spacious beach and a resort complex exist in the town. Overnight in Kavarna.

Foggy winter morning at the small harbor, The village of Tulenovo, Bulgaria

DAY 4

Early in the morning we will departure for Varna, the biggest and most beautiful city on the Bulgarian Back sea coast. We will spend about 2 hours walking around the city for a morning photography session. Then we will head to the city of Veliko Tarnovo, the old capital of Bulgaria and one of the most photogenic places, where we will arrive at about  14.00 pm. After checking in the hotel we will go immediately for a afternoon and evening photo session in this amazing old city.

This is one of the most ancient towns in Bulgaria. Its history starts about 5 thousand years ago, while the first evidences for life on its territories are dated the third millennium B.C and were found on the hill Trapezitsa. The ancient part of Veliko Tarnovo is situated on 3 hills – Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora.

We won’t miss here the architectural and historical reserve Tsarevets, the unique churches and unique cityscapes with the Yantra river beautiful meanders. Overnight in Veliko Tarnvo.

Port Varna by night.

DAY 5

Early morning session in Veliko Tarnovo. At about 9.00 am we will departure southwards via the Balkan Mountains to the city of Dimitrovgrad (arriving at about 13.00 pm).

We will spend here about 5 hours shooting of remains of the communist regime in Bulgaria. Socialist industrial landscape – old active and non-active factories and plants and their surroundings. Some of these buildings and complexes are remarkable photographical objects, put in the context of the modern urban landscape.

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We will also have the opportunity to shoot the typical socialist collective housing construction – half–destroyed and fully destroyed old homes and the Socialist realism – huge public buildings. This Stalin style of architecture is not typical for Bulgaria only, but here some of the most impressive examples could be taken.

In most of the cases, these are objects, which might be seen and shot solely in Bulgaria.

At about 19.00 pm we will arrive at the village of Madzarovo, the unofficial center of Eastern Rhodopes.

Unlike western and central parts, the eastern part of the mountain has mainly low mountain and hilly relief (suitable for landscape photography). Through the mountain flows Arda river, which forms marvelous rock meanders and canyons. The population of Eastern Rodhopes is mixed and consists of Bulgarians, ethnic Turks, gypsies, Armenians and Bulgaro-mahometans. The region is renowned for the perfect tolerance between the different ethnicities (suitable for cultural and ethnographic photography).

Madjarovo is situated in the Eastern Rhodopes and possesses extremely beautiful natural resources, interesting rock formations along the Arda River Valley. Here is located the biggest vulture colony in Bulgaria. Overnight in Madzarovo.

DAY 6

Early in the morning we will departure south-wards, passing trough the city of Ivaylovgrad for a short street photography session. The fist longer stop will be at the area of 3 villages, with the qualities of real architectural reserves -  Mandritsa, Dolno Lukovo and Gorno Lukovo. In the villages you will get in touch with charm of the sericulture two-three -story houses, with spacious saloons for breeding silkworms. These villages are like open-air museums but absolutely natural, maybe one of the last remaining untouched by the civilization places in Europe. Most of the houses are semi-destroyed and/or completely abandoned. Walking around the empty small squares and streets surrounded by these extraordinary houses will take you far back in the past giving you an unforgettable photo experience.

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At the afternoon we will visit the valley of Byala reka (White River), where the river meanders between forests and hills, forming wonderful meanders. Here is located the second in scale protected territory of the Eastern Rhodopes, rich with various rare protected species of plants and animals. The landscape here is stunning, so you will be able to practice landscape photography on this unique place.

At late afternoon we will arrive at the Arda hotel, located in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by unique rocky landscape of the Eastern Rhodopes. After checking in the hotel we will continue with the evening photo sessions around – the meanders of the Arda River

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DAY 7

Early in the morning we will pass trough Studen Kladenec for a short photo landscape photography session. Then we will continue to the village of Janka – unique and completely abandoned and destroyed ghost -village – a real paradise for photographers.

At about noon we will arrive in the city of Plovdiv, situated in the central part of Upper Thracian Plain on the two banks of the Maritsa river. In the city plenty of antic monuments have been preserved among which the Ancient Amphitheater, the Roman Odeon, the Agora (Roman Forum), the Roman Stadium the late ancient building Eyerne and others.

The city has very well preserved old part, superb for street photo sessions.

Then we will head to Sofia, where our photo safari will end at about 18.00 pm. For those who would like to spend one more night in Sofia we will arrange a hotel.

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BOOKING AND MORE INFO

E-mail: info@pavelgospodinov.com / Tel: +359 888 420 160 / Skype: paffka123

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