Koprivshtitsa Folk Festival Tour!
Sofia. Plovdiv, Bansko, Veliko Turnovo,
Koprivshtitsa Folk Festival!
Folk Culture, Folk Dancing, History, Art, Music, Adventure
When: August 3-16, 2020
★ Visit historic Bulgarian cities and folkloric villages !
★ Meet Bulgarian folk dance groups!
★ Jam sessions led by Lee Otterholt.
Bring your instruments !
★ Our traveling staff includes guide Ventsi Milev, gaida player Ventsi Andonov,
and Nikolia Enchev, our Bulgarian folk dance teacher !
★ Land and Air price includes round-trip airfare, city tours, transfers, hotels,
two meals daily, and our own private bus.
Join our Bulgarian adventure!
Travel with us to the famous Folk Festival held in the historic Balkan mountain village of Koprivshtitsa. Performing groups, traveling in full costume with musicians and dancers from all over Bulgaria come to participate. Learn their songs and dances. Meet and mingle. Explore historic sites from ancient Thracian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantium, as well as medieval Bulgaria, visit Sofia, artistic Plovdiv, the 10th-century Rila Monastery with its historic icons and murals, Veliko Turnovo, medieval capital and birthplace of the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1187, Bansko and Pirin Mountain region.
Price: Land Only: $3595
Land and Air: $4595
I can’t wait to go! Reserve my place with my $200 deposit per person.
See registration form and information below.
Or register through PayPal (no PayPal account necessary)
Jim Gold Bulgaria Tour: Dancing at the Koprivshtitsa Folk Festival!
Day 1: Monday, August 3: Depart from JFK airport in New York City. Or on airline of your choice.
Day 2: Tuesday, August 4: Sofia
Transfer to our hotel. Orientation and meet-and-greet dinner. Overnight in oyr 5 star Grand Hotel Sofia.
Day 3: Wednesday, August 5: Sofia & National Museum of History
Sightseeing tour of Sofia: Alexander Nevski Cathedral, National Parliament, Saint Sofia Basilica, 4th century Saint George Rotunda, ruins of Roman Serdica, and the National Museum of History. Optional visit to the Sephardic Synagogue, largest in Eastern Europe. Afternoon free. Dinner and live folklore show at Hotel
Days 4-7: Thursday to Sunday, August 6-9: KOPRIVSHTITSA FOLK FESTIVAL!
Held once every five years, the Koprivshtitsa Folk Festival brings together over 12,000 performers from all over Bulgaria, making it one of the biggest festivals in Europe! Three days of unforgettable folk dancing, singing, ethnic costumes, performing groups, and photo opportunities! Plus visit preserved houses from the Bulgarian revival period. Dinners and overnights in our country hotel in Koprivshtitsa.
Day 7: Sunday, August 9: KOPRIVSHTITSA—VELIKO TURNOVO
Collect your last glimpses of the Festival finale. Afternoon departure to Veliko (Great) Turnovo, Bulgaria’s medieval capital, established in the distant 1185. Dinner and overnight at Gurko Boutique Hotel.
Day 8: Monday, August 10: VELIKO TURNOVO and Arbanassi Village
Morning sightseeing tour of Veliko Turnovo. Visit the dramatic Tsarevets Royal Hill with palaces and churches perched on cliffs of Yantra River gorge. Afternoon drive to the charming village of Arbanassi, summer residence of medieval royalty where we’ll take a walking tour. Dinner and wine served at a local restaurant with live folk music show and folk dancing! Optional Sound & Light Show at the Tsarevets Royal Hill. 2nd overnight at our boutique Gurko Hotel.
Day 9: Tuesday, August 11: VELIKO TURNOVO—Etara—Shipka Pass—PLOVDIV
Morning drive south through the Balkan range and the world-famous Valley of Roses and Valley of the Thracian Kings (in UNESCO World Heritage list since 1952). We’ll stroll around Etara – open air Crafts Museum displaying two centuries of country houses and crafts. We’ll pay a visit to the exquisite gold-domed Shipka Memorial Church and to one of the richest and best preserved Thracian Tombs in the area. Afternoon arrival in Plovdiv. After hotel check-in, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Plovdiv’s Old Quarter, often compared to Montmartre Hill in Paris for its art galleries and antique shops. View masterpieces of 18-19th century Bulgarian city architecture, a 15th century Mosque, a 2nd century Roman Theater, and the country’s richest Ethnographic Museum. Dinner at Alafrangi Restaurant where Pope John Paul 2nd lunched during his visit in 2001. Overnights in the 4-star Trimontium Ramada Hotel in Plovdiv.
Day 10: Wednesday, August 12: PLOVDIV—Bachkovo Monastery
This morning sleep late or walk along the city’s main pedestrian street, offering excellent shopping opportunities. Noon departure to 11th-century Bachkovo Monastery with its exquisite murals and icons. Meet the monks. Then we’ll stop at the 13th-century Assenova Fortress and enjoy panoramic views of the Thracian Plain and city of Plovdiv. Overnight in the 4-star Trimontium Ramada Hotel in Plovdiv.
Day 11: Thursday, August 13: PLOVDIV – across the Rhodopes – BANSKO
A day in the deep countryside. After breakfast, we’ll carry on southwest across the Rhodopes, birthplace of mythological Orpheus; first on board of our coach and then on the highest-on-the Balkans narrow-gauge railway! During the 1 ½ hour mountain ride, enjoy a dancing workshop. See if the locals travelling along will share with you this unique on-wheels dance experience.Upon arrival in Bansko we’ll check-in at the luxurious Hotel Kempinski Grand Arena, and if still full of energy and eager to explore we’ll journey on to one of the many quaint villages and small towns around Bankso. Dinner at hotel or local tavern. Overnight in 5-star Kempinski Grand Arena in Bansko.
Day 12: Friday, August 14: BANSKO and Dobarsko Village
Walking tour through Bansko, a stronghold of Bulgarian culture and tradition. Then we head for the mysterious village of Dobarsko, where the local choir Dobarski Babi will give us a private performance followed by a traditional Bulgarian “Banitsa” and yogurt snack. In late afternoon come along for a picnic dinner at Chalin’s Farm, including horse cart ride, wine, and live folk music. Second overnight in Bansko.
Day 13: Saturday, August 15: BANSKO – Rila Monastery – SOFIA
Following breakfast our journey will take us north into Rila Mountain (highest on the Balkans) to the world famous UNESCO listed site, 10th century Rila Monastery, one of the most impressive on the continent with its abundance of frescoes and unique architecture. En route – an hour stop in Blagoevgrad (home to the US University in Bulgaria), including a walking tour of its charismatic Old Quarter. At Rila Monastery if you wish you may have freshly caught mountain trout lunch. Then continue north to Sofia once again. Afternoon and evening free for extra Sofia sightseeing and shopping. Farewell dinner with wine at 5-star Radisson Hotel. Overnight at 5-star Grand Hotel Sofia.
Day 14: Sunday, August 16: Aug 16, DAY 14: SOFIA, Departure
Transfer to Sofia Airport for return flight to JFK airport in the USA.
About Jim Gold
Jim brings a love of music, people and languages to his tours and dance classes, making them a joy for all ages. For over 25 years, he has led Jim Gold International Folk Tours to Bulgaria, Greece, Norway, Turkey, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Croatia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Egypt, Tunisia, Russia, the Baltics and Spain to experience their history and culture, from a folk dance perspective. He is also the author of ten books. His latest is: 50 Folk Dances Choreographed by Jim Gold. Jim is a classical guitarist and folk singer as well. He has performed on TV, at universities and schools, and on national radio.
About Lee Otterholt:
Lee Otterholt, born in the USA of Norwegian-American parents, has lived and worked most of his life in Norway as a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer. He founded the Center for International Folk Dance in Oslo; he was also professor of dance folklore at the Norwegian National College of Ballet, and University College of Oslo. Lee established folk dance and performing groups in Norway, taught at festivals and workshops throughout Europe, United States, and East Asia, and is the author of folk dance and instructional manuals used in Norwegian schools. Lee was one of the choreographers for the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer.
REGISTRATION FORM: Enclosed is my registration deposit of $200 per person.
Single supplement: $795. Additional charges: $145 hotel taxes and service. Gratuities and drinks during meals not included. Program subject to change without notice. Program subject to change without notice. Cancellations 90 days prior to departure: Total refund: Less than 90 days: No refund. Travel insurance always recommended.
Balance due May 1, 2020.
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