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PHOTO TOUR IN THE EASTERN AND WESTERN RHODOPES (BULGARIA); HALKIDIKI (GREECE)

PHOTO TOUR IN THE EASTERN AND WESTERN RHODOPES by admin

SAMPLE PROGRAM

A photography trip through Bulgaria and Greece.

DURATION: 10 days

PRICE: 1199 EUR (8 participants). Small group surcharge of € 150. Single room supplement € 100; Single rooms are subject to availability.

GROUP SIZE: 5 – 8 persons

SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE ITINERARY AND THE PROGRAM

This trip will begin in Sofia, Bulgaria; we will visit Dimitrovgrad for sessions of urban photography dedicated to socialist realism in Bulgarian architecture. We will travel through the Eastern Rhodopes – one of the most photogenic regions in Bulgaria – and see the Arda and Byala River valleys as well as picturesque villages in the region. We will pass through Madzharovo and Ivailovgrad.

We will visit the Zlatograd Ethnographic Complex on our way to Greece. We will have a session of urban photography in Kavala, Greece, before departing for Halkidiki, and more specifically Sithonia, the most scenic of the three branches of this fantastic peninsula. We will spend two beautiful days here, giving us time not only to take pictures, but to sunbathe and swim along the Aegean Sea. On our return trip to Sofia we will visit the villages of

Leshten and Kovachevitsa, both architectural reserves left over from Bulgaria’s past. Landscape (seaside and mountain), ethnographic and cultural photography.

WHAT THE PRICE INCLUDES

Group transportation in tour van/microbus; Accommodations based on two people sharing a room; Eight (8) nights including breakfast; Photographic leader in English; Day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary; Extensive pre-arrival information and services.

WHAT THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

International air fare; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those arriving or leaving out of the tour dates: meals not included in itinerary; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, film or processing, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips of any kind.

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Sofia – Dimitrovgrad – Madzharovo (about 300 км)

The trip begins at 9AM from the hotel in Sofia. We arrive in Dimitrovgrad by noon; afternoon session of urban photography with an accent on socialist realism and Stalinist architecture. Transport to Madzharovo with an evening session of urban photography. Lodging in Madzharovo.

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DAY 2 Madzharovo – Ivailovgrad (about 57 км)

The natural sights of the Eastern Rhodopes in the region around Madzharovo is magical – the enchanting meanders of the Arda River and vultures hanging in the sky create an inimitable atmosphere. All day we will photograph the surrounding landscapes, sandy river beaches and rocky massifs with distinctive names such as Kulata, Momina Skala, Sivridikme, Hisarya, Kovankaya, Patronkaya, Okopa and Meneka. Transport to Ivailovgrad with an evening session of urban photography. Lodging in Ivailovgrad.

DAY 3 Ivailovgrad – meanderings of the Byala River – villages of Odrintsi and Mandritsa as well as the cult villages of Dolno Lukovo and Gorno Lukovo – Zlatograd (about 146 км).

We will visit the exceptionally beautiful meanderings of the Byala River; will photograph the villages of Odrintsi and Mandritsa as well as the cult villages of Dolno Lukovo and Gorno Lukovo. Several of these villages are completely empty, preserving their character and appearance from the very last day before they were abandoned. The Eastern Rhodopes form one of the most photogenic places in Bulgaria, providing opportunities both for scenic and ethnocultural photography. We will continue to Zlatograd, near the Greece border. Lodging in Zlatograd. If time allows, we will also visit the “Rock Mushrooms” near Zlatograd, between the villages of Dobromirtsi and Benkovski, strange rock formations that complete the beautiful Eastern Rhodope landscape.

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DAY 4 Zlatograd – Kavala (about 110 km).

Early in the morning we will have a photo walk around the Zlatograd Ethnographic Complex, a unique outdoor museum characteristic of a Bulgarian town from 100 years ago. We will cross the border into Greece before noon and then set off for Kavala, on the edge of the Aegean Sea. We will

have an evening session of urban photography in Kavala. We will be sure to visit the fortress located about 15-20 minutes from the harbor, from which we will be able to take in spectacular panoramic views of the sea and town. The large Roman aqueduct is located right in the center and is the other main attraction here. We will spend the night in a hotel in town.

DAY 5 Kavala – Halkidiki

We will have an early urban photography session in Kavala, after which we will head for Halkidiki. This peninsula iscomposed of three branches that dramatically jut out intothe Aegean Sea, the most striking aspect of which are itsroughly 500 km of choppy coastline. Halkidiki is avirtually untouched piece of land located only about an hour away from the megalopolis of Thessaloniki.

Our trip will focus on the middle and most picturesque of the peninsula’s three branches, Sithonia. We will spend the entire day traveling slowly over its hilly terrain,stopping to take pictures wherever we like. We will spend the night at a hotel on the peninsula.

MOUNT ATHOS - THE HOLY MOUNTAIN IN HALKIDIKI

DAY 7 Gotse Delchev and Leshten (about 150 km)

Early in the morning we will depart for the Bulgarian border, which we will cross and then stop in Gotse Delchev for a brief photo session and lunch. This is the region of the Western Rhodopes, which offers exceptional opportunities for scenic mountain photography. At afternoon we will arrive at the ancient village of Leshten. Due to this village’s authentic appearance, it is often featured in movies and music videos. We will have an evening photo session among the narrow streets of the village.

DAY 8 Gorno Dryanovo and Kovachevitsa (10 km)

In the morning we will set off for Gorno Dryanovo, apicturesque village with a predominantly Muslim population located only about 10 km from Leshten. Even though thevillage lacks preserved old houses, it is especially interesting because of the lively activity carrying on along almost the entirety of the main street. Unlike villages with a primarily Christian composition, villages with large Muslim populations are full of life as the people there rarely leave them to live in big cities.We will continue toward the goal of the day’s trip, the village of Kovachevitsa (3 km from Gorno Dryanovo). The village has preserved its authentic appearance from the 18th and 19th centuries and is one of the most famous and beautiful villages in Bulgaria. Kovachevitsa is an architectural reserve with very well-preserved Revival architecture.

The houses are almost completely built of stone, including the roofs, only the highest floors being made of wood. We will spend the whole day taking pictures in the village and its vicinity. For those who like, we will return to Gorno Dryanovo (only a few kilometers away) to photograph the village’s enlivened central street before dark. There you will have exceptional opportunities to practice ethnographic photography among the local Muslim population.

We will spend the night in the village of Kovachevitsa.

DAY 9 Travel to Sofia (approximately 205 km)

BOOKING AND MORE INFO

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

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