The Municipality of Karlovo is located in a semi-mountainous area in the Rose Valley,
In the northern most part of Plovdiv District.  Karlovo is 140 km to the east of Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, and 56 km to the north of the second biggest city in Bulgaria, Plovdiv.

In the past Karlovo was a leading centre of craft production, braid weaving and rose distillery. It was called the factory town on account of the numerous furrieries and foundries.

Karlovo was famous for the taste and skill of its artisans – qualities, which have made it a modern town with developed industry and eventful cultural life, that it is today.

History of Karlovo


 Karlovo’s remote past is not well explored – only a few stories and legends have been preserved. Today’s town is a relatively new one. It originated on the banks of Stara Reka River right after the Ottoman invasion in Bulgaria, as an administrative centre of the local Turkish Feudal lords.

The village was named Karlovo after the local Turkish feudal lord. The beginning of the 19th century was for Karlovo a time of rapid economic boom, cultural uplift and revolutionary ardour. Hundreds of clockworks and watermills were working near the Stara Reka River. Rich merchants bought the production of the skillful master coppersmiths, goldsmiths, tailors and leather-workers and traded with Egypt, Albania, Romania, and Austria.

Karlovo became a big and bustling village with a well-formed centre, town clock and pleasant houses.

Things to do in Karlovo


Karlovo is a modern town, combining the modern with invaluable cultural and historical heritage and traditions and natural landmarks. It still has the traditional old charm, cobbled streets, with many churches and houses preserved to maintain Karlovo’s architectural and historic past.

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.

 Buhalov Khan is located opposite of the temple “Virgin Mary” in a building from 19th century. At the inn has gathered the revolutionary committee founded by Vasil Levski. In the building was also founded the first temperance society. In it, traditional craftsmen show their skills throughout the year and offer hand-crafted items and souvenirs.
You can buy painted silk scarfs, specimens of the famous Kalofer lace, embellished blades, felt and wooden panels, magnets, jewelry and a bunch of other things. Each room at the inn is furnished with Renaissance household items.
It brings the working and festive atmosphere of the era thanks to the ornate rooms, colorful traditional costumes, wooden ceilings and weaving loom for mastering typical Bulgarian rugs.

Rose Festival in Karlovo

  • Visits to the fields, with the chance to harvest your own blooms
  • Taking part in the colorful festival itself!
  • Watch the traditional coronation ceremony of the Rose Queen
  • Know more about the rose oil and rose water production
  • Try the delicious liquor, jam and cosmetic product, all made of Bulgarian roses

Karlovo is one of the center of rose-oil extraction in Bulgaria and the oil-producing rose  is one of the most widely recognizable national symbols.

Bulgaria is the major supplier of rose oil in the world for the cosmetic industry and Kazanlak’s/Karlovo’s rose gardens are the largest rose gardens in the whole world. Bulgaria is one of the very few places in the entire world that can grow this particular rose (Rosa Damascena or Rose from Damascus).

Karlovo Rose Valley is renowned as a centre of rose-growing and rose flower procession, long before the Bulgarian liberation. For many years they were only a means of living but in 1906 Bulgarian and foreign tourists became interested in the attractive rose gardens, magnificent nature and traditional architecture in the region.

Initially, after the restoration of the Vassil Levski’s birth-house in Karlovo the days 31st May and 1st June / Whitsunday and the Holy Spirit / were celebrated as the day of Levski and in the town a big national fair was organized, gathering people from all over the country.


The town supports regular bus lines to Plovdiv, Kalofer, Sopot, Pazardjik and also to the settlements in the region. The central bus station is near the railway station. Karlovo is a station of the main railway line Sofia – Plovdiv.