Swap tulip and lavender fields for Europe’s lesser-known Rose Valley – and flights cost just £17

Swap tulip and lavender fields for Europe’s lesser-known Rose Valley – and flights cost just £17

Over the past several years, fields of tulips, sunflowers, and lavender have flooded our social media feeds.

Due to the need to take new selfies, visiting colorful flower fields has become a must during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tourists can join the rose harvest season during weekendsCredit: Alamy

While lavender and sunflowers have been grown in the UK for years, lavender fields have attracted a wave of interest during the pandemic.

And it looks like this increase is here to stay, with sunflower fields in the UK proving to be a popular way to spend an afternoon last year.

British holidaymakers who want to visit a field of flowers may want to swap the UK’s lavender and tulip fields for the Rose Valley in Bulgaria.

Located south of the Balkan Mountains, the Rose Valley is unique to Bulgaria.

The Damascus rose, also known as the Damascus rose or the Castilian rose, was imported to Bulgaria in the 16th century.

Because of the favorable growing conditions in Kazanlak, the rose field and its subsequent production flourished.

Not only is the Bulgarian rose an important national symbol, but the Valley of Roses has become one of the largest producers of roses oil In the world.

Roses are carefully picked between the months of May and June, with the Rose Festival held at the beginning of June.

The flowers are carefully cut one by one before being placed in willow baskets, which are then sent to the distilleries.

Tourists can join the harvest during weekends, or when special reenactments are organized in local villages.

Public buses are said to run from Kazanlak (a small town in the heart of the Rose Valley) to the Flower Field.

Vacationers can also book day tours from cities such as Sofia and Plovdiv.

Tourists should aim to visit the Valley of Roses between May 20, 2024 and June 20, 2024, when the roses are in bloom.

Vacationers have praised this attraction on TripAdvisor.

One person wrote: “It was a wonderful experience in the Valley of Roses. When you get there, you can lose your mind because of the amazing smell of roses.

“The rose-picking ritual is breathtaking, and if I have the opportunity, I would love to see it again.”

Another person added: “This is something that is not well advertised. If you have the time, don’t miss it, because we thoroughly enjoyed the ride.”

Located in the center of the Rose Valley, there are many other attractions in Kazanlak, including the Rose Museum.

The small museum was opened in 2017 and provides visitors with the history of rose oil production in the city.

There is also the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The monument is home to well-preserved frescoes dating back to the 4th century BC.

Located between three major airports, including Sofia, Plovdiv and Burgas, holidaymakers traveling from the UK have endless flight options to arrange a visit to Kazanlak.

British Airways, Ryanair and Wizz Air operate direct flights between the UK and Sofia, with prices starting from £17 for a one-way ticket.

From Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, it takes three hours by car to Kazanlak.

Wizz Air also operates flights from London Luton to Plovdiv, with prices starting from £30 for a return ticket.

The journey from Plovdiv to Kazanlak takes 1 hour and 40 minutes by car.

Fares between the UK and Burgas are a little more expensive, with one-way Wizz Air flights starting from £44.

It takes two hours to drive from Burgas to Kazanlak.

Accommodation in Kazanlak is also relatively affordable, with an overnight stay at the Plas Hotel (a four-star hotel) starting from £52 per night, based on two people sharing a room.

For something a little more luxurious, there’s also the Kings’ Valley Medical & Spa Hotel where accommodation costs from £127 per night, based on two people sharing a room.

Three flower fields worth visiting in the UK

  1. Garson Farm in Esher, Surrey, has fields of sunflowers and dahlias for photos, as well as PYO fruit and vegetables. Visitors must purchase a farm permit to visit, which costs £5 per adult and £2 per child.
  2. The Hitchin Lavender Estate, which made its name thanks to its purple blooms, includes a lavender museum, as well as a meadow of wildflowers. Entry to the fields costs £7 when purchased in advance online.
  3. Norfolk Tulips is reminiscent of one of the most famous attractions in the Netherlands. The field is filled with rows and rows of tulips in all colors. An entry ticket costs £5 and all proceeds go to a chosen charity.

One city in Bulgaria has been likened to “Little Vienna” thanks to the striking similarity in some of the architecture.

This ‘eternal’ Bulgarian city is like Rome – but with fewer crowds and £44 flights.

The roses are hand-picked and carefully placed in willow basketsCredit: Alamy
Tourists should aim to visit the Valley of Roses between May 20, 2024 and June 20, 2024, when the roses are in bloom.Credit: Alamy

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