We have lived in a large village just 10kms from the town of Karlovo, Bulgaria for 8 years. It is a small town but packed full of everything we need. Karlovo is the main municipality, part of the Plovdiv region and the municipality has 4 towns and 23 villages within its area.
Karlovo is located on the main road, Sofia to Burgas and north from the second largest city, Plovdiv. Situated at the foot of the Stara Planina mountains, it is well protected from the north wind, especially in winter.
Karlovo is also the birth place of Bulgaria’s most famous Bulgarian, the freedom fighter Vasil Levski. There is a museum built around his old family home, a popular attraction for visitors both Bulgarian and foreign.
The central part of the town has a square which hosts various events during the year. Surrounded by shops, bars and restaurants, it is also a favorite meeting place for everyone. In the upper part of the square is a children’s playground, restaurant and 2 bars, monuments, the town’s library and circular fountain, a favorite with children on hot summer days, running through and having loads of fun! Halfway down you have 2 more bars on one side and a hotel. In the lower part there is the large open area, a stage and more fountains. Large trees line the square with the mountain as a back drop.
There are other attractions including the History Museum and Art gallery. Walking from the central square leads you up Vodopad street, meaning Waterfall. The 1km stretch takes you to the waterfall at the foot of the mountain, walking along paths and gardens with playground, very popular in the evenings all year round. Karlovo municipality is currently undergoing a renovation project, of all gardens and playgrounds, including those on Vodapad street.
Another popular part of town, and my favorite, is the old town. Traditional revival style houses, many have now been restored, original cobbled streets, small shops including souvenir, rose oil products, barbers shops, cafes, restaurants, it’s just beautiful. There is also the beautiful Virgin Mary Church and you can drink from the natural spring water in the centre, crisp and clear!
A little further down the old cobbled main street is the monument to Vassil Levski, beautiful stone paths, flowers, shrubs and benches for watching the world go by.
Karlovo has a good infrastructure, train and bus station, leading to all directions. Plenty of banks, DIY stores, shops selling everything, pharmacies, fresh food market 7 days a week, mini markets and now a large super market. There are many hotels, from nice room only hotels to luxury bed and breakfast. Approx 9kms from Karlovo is the Copsa Chateau winery, hotel with restaurant and swimming pool. Sample the wines in the luxury penthouse floor with stunning views all around the valley.
The region where Karlovo is located is also famous for being part of the Rose Valley. This unique pink rose has a beautiful scent and is celebrated every year at the Festival of the Roses, both in Karlovo and the nearby town of Kazanlak. You can read more about the Festival of Roses here.