Photo Tour in the Bizarre World of Western Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria)

Photo Tour in the Bizarre World of Western Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria)

This is a photo tour by car and on foot in the nature and the villages of the Western Balkan Mountains. Bizarre rock formations and caves, small monasteries, the mighty ridge of the Balkans and villages, inhabited by people following the rhythm of the nature – a wonderful mixture, which will guarantee various photo catch!

The tour is designed for those photographers, who like to make candid portraits of people in their natural environment, to capture moments of rural life, but also for those, who love landscape photography. The program includes various activities – there will be some driving involved, but also trekking of different duration and difficulty – from short walks in search of good picture taking position to a few-hour climb up the ridge of the Balkans. The photography skills of the participants may be on a various level. The beginners will get instructions from the tour leader. Certain amount of time will be devoted to the most important places mentioned in the program. A photo walk in Sofia is added to the program. Thus you will combine wonderful mountain and rural experiences with a touch of Bulgarian city culture. And you will take home a variety of pictures!


Tour leader is Emil Danailov
- a Bulgarian outdoor photographer and travel journalist. For many years he was editor-in-chief of "Odysseus" - the most popular Bulgarian magazine for tourism, travel and adventure. Emil loves travelling, adores the mountains and is experienced in many outdoor activities such as trekking, horse riding, biking and kayaking. His photographic interests range from landscapes through exciting outdoor action shots to spontaneous, natural portraits and lifestyle shots – unprepared photographs that particularly appeal to the reporter and journalist in him.
Emil has been a participant in dozens of photo exhibitions and also provides workshop training in Travel Photography. His articles and photos are regularly and widely published in the press. (Gallery)

Photo Highlights:

Belogradchik Rocks
Prohodna cave
Glozhene and Etropole Monasteries
Central ridge of the Balkans
Nature and local people
Sofia – Bulgaria’s capital 

 


Itinerary:

Day 1. Arrival to Sofia

Day 2. Belogradchik Rocks
Today we drive to the first photo model in this tour (220 km, 3 hrs). Belogradchik Rocks are a group of hundreds of bizarre shaped sandstone rock formation, some of them reaching up to 200 m in height. This makes the area looks like an out-of-earth landscape. And in the foot of the rocks you will find the ruins of an ancient Bulgarian fortress. However we will return to Belogradchik Rocks in the evening, first we will visit Magurata Cave (50 km, 1 hour-drive return) and we will have stops in the villages along the way for some photo shooting. Overnight in Belogradchik.

Day 3. Prohodna Cave and Glozhene Monastery
Today we head to Prohodna cave (180 km, 3 hrs). The cave is a true movie star. It is long 262 m, the entrances are about 40 m high and it has attracted the movie maker of several Bulgarian films. But the cave is most famous with its “Eyes of God” – two large holes in the ceiling of the cave that look like eyes, through which the sun creates special light effects. You will find more caves in this area as well as beautiful rock formations. We continue to Glozhene Monastery (30 km, 40 min), where we will overnight. Perched on a high rock, the monastery is a place, revealing splendid panorama view. By the evening we will climb up the peak behind the monastery, from where we will enjoy views to the central ridge of the Balkans and the area around the town of Teteven.

Day 4. Teteven
Today we will visit Teteven region in order to capture nice rural moments and to make portraits of the people, living close to the nature. We will visit a few villages and walk around them taking pictures of the local landscape as well. We will overnight in the town of Teteven.
Total driving time for the day: 100 km, 2 hrs

Day 5. Vezhen
This is the day, on which we will have greater physical activities – about 4 hours of walking with 550 m ascent/descent. But it surely worth the efforts – we will reach Mount Vezhen (2198 m), from where we will enjoy the views of the central ridge of the Balkans and Rila and Vitosha Mountains in the distance. We will drive to the foot of the peak and back – about 60 km, 2,5 hrs. We will overnight in Teteven.

Day 6. Sofia
We will use the morning for some photo shooting in Etropole Monastery, the nearby waterfall and the villages along the way (60 km, 1 hr). At about noon we leave for Sofia (100 km, 1,5 hrs). In the afternoon and the evening we will have our last photo walk, but this time our photo objects will be the life and the architecture of the capital - Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the brick churches of St. Sofia and St. George, the National Theater, the former Royal Palace etc.

Day 7. Departure


Price includes: 2 nights with breakfast at a hotel in Sofia; 3 nights with breakfast and dinners at hotels in Belogradchik and Teteven; 1 night with dinner and breakfast at Glozhene Monastery; transport according to the program; transfer from/to Sofia Airport; English speaking guide

The price does not include: flight tickets, drinks and meals not mentioned in the program, insurance, personal expenses, entry fees, tips.

Necessary equipment (beside the photo gear): suitable clothes for the season; trekking shoes, headlamp, sunscreen cream and sunglasses, lip balm, a suitable backpack.

Group size: Min 2 – Max 8 persons

 


Gallery


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