The 10 Best Things to Do in Karlovo, Bulgaria

August 10, 2017 Margarita Chappel

Kàrlovo (Bulgarian: Карлово) is a picturesque and a historically important town in central Bulgaria located in a fertile valley along the river Stryama at the southern foot of the Balkan Mountains. It is administratively part of Plovdiv Province and has a population of about 30,340 (as of 2017), the mayor being D-r Emil Kabaivanov.
Restaurants in Karlovo

1. Plovdiv Old Town

Plovdiv 4000, Bulgaria
Excellent
69%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Plovdiv Old Town

Bulgaria's "second city", Plovdiv has 19th century houses and Roman ruins, including a Roman Amphitheater in use today.

Reviewed By Miha P - Maribor, Slovenia

Ordinary visitor needs at least a day and archeologists a week. All kinds of ruins are in the central part, mainly from antique times, some are even older. Main part is preserved, some neglected. Different churches and mosques are all around. A line of small museums and reconstructed houses (from different periods) are at the top of the old town. They are good for visit even in cold or rainy time. Top attraction is old, partly reconstructed Greek theater, interesting is pedestrian zone with a stadium under the street. You can visit an old basilica with mosaics.

2. Bachkovo Monastery

10km south of Asenovgrad | on the main road between Assenovgrad and Smolyan, Bachkovo 4251, Bulgaria +359 87 718 1814
Excellent
51%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 327 reviews

Bachkovo Monastery

The Bachkovo monastery is one of most important monasteries of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. It is a real place of cult and religion that is very respected by the believers. The monastery is also a National monument of culture, reach of history, art and traditions. It conserves a huge number of icons, paintings, church buildings and very precious examples of church utensils from XI to XIX centuries. It is very possible to stay at the monastery, to have pleasure assist at an Orthodox mass, fill the spirit of Orthodoxy, see the wonderful paintings and picturesque surroundings, try the monastery's cuisine, wine and rakia.

Reviewed By saronic - Zurich, Switzerland

There are three famous and large monasteries in Bulgaria and all of them stauropegic, meaning that they were subordinated directly to the patriarch in Constantinople - at least in the beginning. The biggest and most beautiful to look at is the monastery of Rila, followed by Bachkovo and the most intimate of all: Troyan.
Maybe because there was restoration work going on and because parts of it were closed and inaccessible to visitors, of all the three I was the least impressed here in Bachkovo, especially from the point of view of atmosphere. But it is definitely a very worthwhile halfday tour to come here from Plovdiv and to combine it with a visit of the nearby Asen's Fortress.
From the parking lot to the entrance gate of Bachkovo one has to walk past several stalls, selling mainly local villager's products like jam and honey, of which I took some home on the way out. The monastery itself has two courtyards and three churches besides the monk cells and a refectory.
The only building, which has apparently survived from the times of its foundation in the 11th century is the ossuarium, outside the monastery itself and closed to visitors. The main church, dedicated to Sveta Bogoroditsa (Mother of God) - from the early 17th century - is all covered with wall paintings from a later period.
Inside the church one will usually see a queue of people, holding a candle and trying to get close to the miraculous icon of the Holy Virgin. To finally reach the silver encased icon they have to walk up three steps, something I don't remember having seen in any other orthodox church.

3. Roman Ruins and Tomb

City Centre | City Centre, Hissarya 4180, Bulgaria
Excellent
72%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 74 reviews

Roman Ruins and Tomb

Reviewed By Nikolai M - Sofia, Bulgaria

Hissarya is a small, sunny town 50 minutes drive from Plovdiv. Besides many mineral Springs, you will see a preserved ancient Roman fortress. So much history gathered in one place. It's worth seeing. An extra impression - the streets are dirty and the park is neglected, uncovered build structures and building rubbles. Probably the town is poor, but that can not be an excuse for the negligence and laziness of the local municipal administration.

4. Pamporovo Ski Resort

In the Rhodope Mountains | 85 km south of Plovdiv, Smolyan 4700, Bulgaria
Excellent
56%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 162 reviews

Pamporovo Ski Resort

Reviewed By Mrrbrown - London, United Kingdom

Not may runs not much snow just the man-made type, but there is Sun!!! resort entertainment very sparce and dotted in minute clusters around Pamporovo a kilometer from each other so its impossible to go around to where you wont and try different types of bars or restaurants unless you have a car or transport, cant walk around to dangerous on the roads no lighting no pavements to and from each cluster of bars or restaurants, quite pricey compared to villages 16klometers away were food is a third of the price, supper markets hike their prices by three times go to villages near by, waiters in Bulgeria seem to expect to get a TIP even when food and service are terrible when u don give they give u a bad look, Dont leave tips for a sake of leaving a tip make them learn to provide a service for it

5. Villa Yustina Winery

Nikola Petkov Str. 51, Ustina 4228, Bulgaria +359 88 262 6668
Excellent
88%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 59 reviews

Villa Yustina Winery

Villa Yustina is situated in the village of Ustina on the foot of Yakata, the Rhodope Mountain in Thracian valley, 26 km away from Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The winery location is specifically chosen, because Plovdiv region is among the few with a significant wine history. In this area, you can hear many tales about Thracians and their wine, ancient rites and mysteries. Herodotus described the local Thracians as warlike tribe with an independent spirit, that undertook the difficult task to be guardians of the sanctuary of Dionysus. It is beleived that the ancient Thracian capital - Besapara was located near Ustina. The beginning of vine growing and wine making in this area was set by the Thracians. They are also considered to be the best winemakers. People produced wine 5000 years ago on the Balkans, which is a proof that the Thracians were the first to transform grapes into wine. The first vines were brought by them from the Middle East to what is now southern Bulgaria. According to Homer, the most famous wine with the rich aroma and full body was from Thracia. At the end of 2006 the boutique winery Villa Yustina was established and started to process grapes from its own vineyards into terroir wines. The Mission of Villa Yustina is to develop quality wines from Yakata, the Rhodope Mountain and wine tourism in a region with rich heritage and magnificent scenery. Villa Yustina wines are divided into three lines - VILLA YUSTINA, 4 SEASONS and MONOGRAM. VILLA YUSTINA is the line presenting the best of vintage blends or cuvees, designed to find an excellent balance between price and quality. In it you can feel the diverse and colorful imagination of our technologists, who transform grapes into the divine drink we all love. In this line you will find our Red Cuvee - a blend of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Our Cuvee was awarded Bronze medal at FHT, Thailand, Gold medal from MUNDUS VINI, Gemany and Bronze medal at Decanter, United Kingdom. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are intertwined in the Blanc - awarded Gold medal at the biggest wine contest in North America - Selections Mondiales des Vins, Canada. Rose is a blend with Syrah and Cabernet Franc - given Bronze medal at BIWC 2013 and also won the "Debut" and "Rose Cavalier" awards at Rose Wine Expo. 4 SEASONS line shows pure varietial characteristics of our wines and tells you a little bit more about our terroir. Here you will find the already gained significant popularity in Bulgaria Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and also the white wines Sauvignon Blanc and Traminer. This line reveals the best of our own vineyards. In following harvests 4 SEASONS will also show you the charm and charisma of other varieties. MONOGRAM is the boutique line of carefully selected grapes of Villa Yustina. The wines have matured in French and Bulgarian oak barrels and are in limited quantities in order to show the best of the winery. Here you can find a very interesting blend with Mavrud and Rubin, which became almost a synonym of our brand. It is a worthy representative of Bulgaria in the international wine scene, created by two Bulgarian varieties and matured in 100% Bulgarian oak barrels. The wine was awarded three consecutive gold medals for vintage 2007, 2008 and current vintage 2009 at the competition Vino Balkanika, assessing only local Balkan varieties. In addition it was awarded Bronze medal from FHT, Thailand, Gold medal from MUNDUS VINI, Germany with the very impressive 93 points and Silver medal at Vinalies Internationales, France. In the other bottles labeled MONOGRAM you can find also pure varietial Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and the very attractive Chardonnay Barrique which won Bronze medal at Chardonnay du Monde, France. Mavrud & Rubin and Chardonnay Barrique won the Gold Medals at BIWC 2013, while the other two pure varietial Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were awarded Silver Medals at the same competition In order to satisfy even the most particular wine lovers Villa Yustina has already it's first attempts for making natural sparkling wines. That takes us even more closer to the global models for boutique wineries. As a proof and recognition for wine excellence the chief winemaker of Villa Yustina - Vassil Stoyanov, won the prize "Enologist of 2011" after a secret vote among the Bulgarian enologists. This award is the culmination of years of hard work and gives us confidence that we are moving in the right direction. To ensure the wines quality Villa Yustina takes special care to the vineyards. The French and world vineyard leader "Mercier" was selected for consultant. Currently the winery has 25 hectares of own vineyards with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Traminer, Aligote, Semillon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The vineyard is located in Gorkata area with southern slope and with an average altitude of 300 meters and a wonderful view to the Mountains. Central Thracian region, where Ustina is located has a humid continental climate. Although the area soils are mainly clay - suitable for red varieties, most of our vineyards are actually calcareous - providing excellent conditions for white varieties. So Villa Yustina is able to achieve excellent balance between solid reds and very attractive and stylish white varieties. This is very difficult in southern Bulgaria, which is well known for its traditionally good red wines. At the same time Villa Yustina is working on a new project, which is going to double the area of their vineyards. The new area is planned to be planted with red varieties such as Mavrud, Rubin and Petit Verdo. In order to provide an year-round employment of its employees, Villa Yustina has also 20 hectares of fruit orchard. Villa Yustina as a project began simultaneously with the construction of own vineyards. The boutique winery has a capacity to process 300 tons own grapes. It has a cellar for wine aging in oak barrels and barriques. Villa Yustina has a modern tasting room for 50 people, and at the final stage of the project there will be several guest houses within a beautiful park and a shop, where tourists will be able to buy wine, fine arts and craft works. According to the French standard Villa Yustina replaces 1/3 of its oak barrels each year. Seven leading suppliers from France and two from Bulgaria are used so that variety and quality can be guaranteed. Thanks to its close partnership with Tomika-Metal SA, Villa Yustina is one of the most modern wineries in Bulgaria. It is fully equipped with the finest cellar technology of new generation. The winery is equiped with tangential filter and fermenters type "Eureka". The celler has decided to do microvinification using modern technological means and equipment. There is a possibility for full control of the whole process. It begins by hand picking grapes, sorting with a vibrating trailer, manually sorting, possibility for cold maceration, fermentation in small volumes with excellent process control and various fermentation techniques, according to the different grape varieties. At this point of time our first guest house is already done and Villa Yustina is able to host your visit and be your home away from home. The house has 3 double rooms each with private bathroom. Soon several additional houses will be built within a beautiful park next to the winery. During your stay you can see historical landmarks and the beauty of nature around Ustina. The area has huge amount of interesting sights. Here is Hisarlaka - a Thracian fortress, which includes one of the largest and most beautiful rock towers in the Rhodope Mountain. On a later stage the stronghold was called Justina, in honor of the Emperor Justinian. Near Ustina there are also the Roman Amphitheatre in Plovdiv, Bachkovo Monastery, an ancient Thracian sanctuary - Belintash, the Biosphere Reserve - Red Wall. The exceptional nature and ancient history of the region is complemented by the Ustina Waterfalls and the ruins of the Red Church - a rarely beautiful temple, nowadays described as one of the masterpieces of the early Christian architecture in Europe. For the true nature lovers, Villa Yustina is building several eco paths planed in a way to reveal the beauty of the Rhodope Mountains. You will be able to enjoy fishing in our private lake surrounded by an incredibly beautiful scenery near our vineyard as well. So except our proposal for a luxury wine tourism there are available also bike tours, hunting, photo, rural and cultural tourism and of course pure relaxing with a glass of wonderful wine from Villa Yustina. Thank you for your time.

Reviewed By Цветелина Д

I have been several times in Villa Yustina tasting excellent wines but also learning a lot about the wines. Unique and amazing experience. All the stuff was professional and very friendly. Definitely I will visit Villa Yustina again as I have the happiness to live near to this lovely place.

6. Vassil Levski Museum

General Kartsov Street 57, Karlovo 4300, Bulgaria +359 33 593 489
Excellent
60%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 22 reviews

Vassil Levski Museum

The national museum of Vasil Levski is situated in the central region of the town of Karlovo. The museum complex includes the native house of Vasil Levski, a memorial chapel "Vsyah Svetih Bolgarskih" (All Saints of Bulgaria), Chardaklieva House, a museum exposition and the monument of Gina Kuncheva - the mother of Levski. The museum is one of the most visited memorial museums in Bulgaria.

Reviewed By Lorenzo S - Saronno, Italy

During my several business trips to Bulgaria I started to understand how important is Levsky for this country. So being in Karlovo for business we decided to visit the small museum : very nice full of pictures and original documents. Going out of the museum the English speaking guide made me gift a book with the biography of Levsky. This is also part of the genuine Bulgaria hospitality. Thank you very much!

7. Park Tsar Simeon

Veliko Tyrnovo St., Plovdiv 4000, Bulgaria
Excellent
65%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 129 reviews

Park Tsar Simeon

Reviewed By Andrew G - Thessaloniki, Greece

This must be the best park in Plovdiv. It features a big area full of nature to talk a morning jog or an evening walk. In the big "lake", situated in it there is a colorful Fountain which is best seen at night. Worth a visit

8. The Wonderful Bridges

Smolyan, Bulgaria
Excellent
78%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 45 reviews

The Wonderful Bridges

Reviewed By Emira T - Tunis, Tunisia

Definitely worth a visit. I personally had never seen anything similar.
It's a natural wonder - huge and impressive. The walk is 10-15 min to see the site. Then you can go further down the hill or try to go on top. The views are breath-taking.
Try to get there during daytime as it's a remote location. There a restaurant nearby which remains open late afternoon (at least over the weekend).

9. Thracian Temple of Starosel

Starosel village, near Hissarya city, Hissarya 4180, Bulgaria
Excellent
57%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 64 reviews

Thracian Temple of Starosel

Reviewed By Nik R - Varna, Bulgaria

We stayed in Hissarya for a few days and decided to visit this historical place. It is located a few kilometers from the village of Starosel. You should go there by car and there is quite a big parking area with a very small shop (booth) selling some souvenirs and stones. There is a road, about 600 meters, leading up the hill to the Thracian temple which is on the top of a hill from where you can see far away.
The chamber is very well preserved (when it was excavated, the roof had fallen into the temple and only the roof was re-built) and there are photos of artefacts, found in the area, and some info boards. It was very interesting to listen to the facts the professional guide was telling the visitors. But I think it's only in Bulgarian. On the opposite side of the hill, you can see a bath for wine that was used in the rituals. For a family - 2 adults and a kid we paid 6 leva (about 3 €).
When you come from Starosel to the temple, on your left, there is a Thracian tomb with several columns which you can visit free of charge. There is also a small chapel built on the ruins of an ancient church - "Sveti Spas".

10. Plovdiv Roman Theatre

Plovdiv Old Town, Plovdiv 4000, Bulgaria
Excellent
60%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 922 reviews

Plovdiv Roman Theatre

Reviewed By Miha P - Maribor, Slovenia

Stone antique theater is real attraction. It was built between two hills and disappeared during the history. After excavations in was partly reconstructed and serves for the same purpose as centuries ago. It is still a theater for different Performances. Stone seats, really steep staircases and scene with pillars and sculptures are worth visiting.

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