Bulgaria traditional crafts vacation

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Small group cultural tours

Typically you will be sharing your experiences with between 4-20 like minded travelers (depending on the trip, operator and how many others are booked on the trip) and you'll have a group leader with you. Whether you are traveling alone or with friends it's good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travelers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as experiencing new cultures.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Bulgaria traditional crafts vacation

Environment

Apriltsi village is situated in the Northern footsteps of the Central Balkan National Park. The National Park lies in the heart of Bulgaria and contains rare and endangered wildlife species and communities, self-regulating ecosystems of biological diversity, as well as historical sites of global cultural and scientific significance. It has 9 protected areas (reserves) in its boundaries. Spending vacations in the park areas brings business to local communities and supports the park indirectly, as the municipalities participate also in the park maintenance.

Our trips are guided we always pick up guides who have a special sense for their environmental impact – the role of our guides is always to spread the ideas for sustainable tourism among the guests and the hosts - it’s a kind of value affirmation.

Community

The trip is centre-based in a family-run hotel in Apriltsi village. The householders will prepare for us home-made traditional dinners, using fruits and vegetables grown by the locals in the village. We will try most of the local dishes and if any clients are interested they may participate in the cooking lessons of the household lady. During the trip clients will participate in 4 workshops with local instructors, all taxes for the workshops go directly to the local community.

All the crafts workshops are presenting crafts that are slowly disappearing in the modern times – pottery, icon painting and wood carving are traditional Bulgarian crafts which contribute to the cultural heritage of the country. When people come to Bulgaria to learn crafts by doing, this gives hope to local masters that they won’t be the last ones and that there will be more young Bulgarians are going to carry on the craft, so the tradition will be kept alive.
We also give the locals the possibility to join the workshops included in this tour so that they can learn a new job this way.

We run small groups to create more meaningful interactions and minimize impact. Our overnight stays are specially chosen to be typical for the region visited and to support a wide range of small and poor communities, with accommodation primarily in family-run guesthouses and B&Bs, in villages and small towns. By visiting less-known communities, we provide a source of income to people in rural areas and make sure that our money stays local. We can say with pride that through our business we have achieved significant success and have encouraged several communities to support responsible tourism. We estimate that each year we pay about 400.000 Euro to our suppliers in rural Bulgarian regions. Our suppliers there are family-run guesthouses and small hotels, mountain huts, local guides, local transportation companies, etc.

3 Reviews of Bulgaria traditional crafts vacation

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Reviewed on 14 Oct 2018 by

We had an amazing time in Bulgaria. Everything went according to schedule and as promised. Our interpreter Vellis was wonderful, helping us settle in and answering our many questions. Having her there, even staying overnight with us at the guesthouse on several occasions, was a godsend. She was accommodating with our jet lag, slightly rearranging the schedule to ensure we could enjoy all the sights when refreshed. She was also great about rearranging the schedule to accommodate the weather so we could take full advantage of all the region had to offer.

The guesthouse we stayed in was an oasis of peace in the beautiful countryside. Our hosts, Vili and Encho, made us feel very welcome. Vili’s cooking was delicious and made with so many fresh ingredients from her garden. She was very accommodating in cooking vegetarian food for one in our party.

The craftspeople who shared their talent with us were patient and we had so much fun learning from them.

There were so many highlights of the trip but we all agree that sitting around the dinner table sharing conversation and learning about this beautiful part of the world and making new friends was an unforgettable experience.

We did not really know what to expect when we signed up for this tour but it sounded like it would be an unusual experience and it exceeded our expectations. I would not hesitate to recommend this tour to anyone looking for an authentic experience and an opportunity to connect with wonderful people and see a totally different way of life than certainly we were used to.

The arrangements handled by Simeon Dimitrov were exceptional - he really went beyond the call of duty to assist us with our plans and other day trips we took while in Sofia.

We would not hesitate to explore other trips offered by Responsible Travel.

Reviewed on 24 Aug 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


My most memorable part was the hospitality of the staff. The meals were all cooked by the lady of the house using home grown vegetables, all from scratch and amazingly delicious, better than any restaurants we went. The walking
trip in the Balkan mountain pass was so beautiful. I felt like I was in a movie scene with flocks of sheep, horses, and cows, guided by dogs.... And of course, pottery making, icon painting, folk music and dancing, photography, baking,
woodcarving....they were all so much fun! Thank you, Ivan, for translating everything for us, and taking us to so many interesting places.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


If you don't speak Bulgarian, have a guide!! That makes your trip totally more meaningful and interesting.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, totally.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent!!!

Reviewed on 17 Sep 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Looking at the church paintings in veliko turnova

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Learn Bulgarian

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The enormous warmth and helpfulness of the people we met surmounted the language barrier.

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