• Our Bulgaria photo tour is set in this country because of the unique opportunities you can find here. In the wild mountains of Bulgaria, you have the chance to witness nature at its best and meet unique people whose lives are unspoiled by technology and modern worries. A photography tour in Bulgaria is also a chance for you to capture wonderful and surprising traditions, like those of the Pomak people who paint their faces in a unique way during a wedding.
• The Bulgaria photo tour is in autumn because some mountainous areas are not accessible during winter. Also, autumn days offer great lighting & scenery opportunities. And last, but not least, autumn is the ideal season for a photography tour in Bulgaria because you can witness people’s preparations for the winter. In the remote mountain villages, people are cut off from the world during the cold season and need to prepare in advance. You will have the chance to witness this process as they will start gathering supplies for the upcoming winter.
• Bulgaria is known for its colorful traditions and fragrant, superb roses. But in this Bulgaria photo tour, you will not photograph the roses. Instead, you will get to discover the hidden gems of this beautiful country. One of these gems is the area of the Rhodope Mountains. With its dramatic scenery, spectacular rock phenomena, chain of mysterious caves and fairy-like mountain villages, the Rhodope Mountains represent the ideal location for a photography tour in Bulgaria.
• During the Bulgaria photo tour, you will have both practical and theoretical photography workshops. Iordan will guide you every step of the way. He will offer same-day feedback and make sure that you develop your skills as both a landscape and portrait photographer.
• Did you know that in the Rhodope Mountains you can find the Devil’s Throat Cave? If the name does not ring a bell, then perhaps Orpheus will. The Devil’s Throat Cave is the place where, according to the ancient legend, Orpheus entered the Underworld. You will not enter the Underworld during this Bulgaria photo tour, but you will surely discover another world full of excitement and wonder.
The perfect way to capture the hustle and bustle of city life. This isn’t just a chance for you to visit a new city, it’s the opportunity to live and breathe it. You’ll discover unique locations that wouldn’t be possible without our local guides and expert knowledge. Delve into local neighbourhoods, sample authentic cuisine and experience life beyond the tourist hub.
Здравей! (Zdravey!) and welcome to Sofia! The photography tour in Bulgaria starts with welcoming every participant at the airport. After that, you will be driven to the hotel.
If time allows it, we will walk around the city center for sunset and blue hour shots. We shall meet for dinner at 19.00 at the hotel lobby and head over to a restaurant with a folklore program and traditional dances. What better way to start your Bulgaria photo tour than with delicious food and great entertainment?
On the second day of our Bulgaria photo tour, we leave Sofia and head for Borovitsa. Thus we enter deep into Rhodope Mountains. The images of local people, old houses, dramatic rocks, medieval bridges and authentic livestock will fill up our memory cards. The local Pomaks (Slavic Muslims) are the main people here. Their main livelihood is the livestock and what the forest has to offer. Small villages on steep hillsides pose challenges to elderly locals but the picturesque landscape and their roots make them stay here.
Winter is extremely harsh with meters of snow blocking roads and leaving people cut off from civilization with little food supply. Thus, piling up supplies for long and dark winter days and months is vital. This preparation for winter is what we aim to witness and photograph. One of the highlights of our photography tour in Bulgaria is to capture the smiling faces of local people living deep in the Rhodope Mountains. Witness their absolute joy in this hostile environment when they are collecting their firewood and forest fruits.
Another highlight of the Bulgaria photo tour is that we will get to spend the night in a historical chalet on the bank of Borovitsa reservoir.
On our third day of the Bulgaria photo tour, we will spend time exploring the area. We will capture breathtaking landscapes, traditional architecture and the daily lives of local people.
Our first place to visit is a site with several rocks with Thracian niches. The ancient tribes would choose steep cliffs to make unique niches in rocks. However, the purpose of these niches remains a mystery to this day.
Right next to the cliffs with Thracian niches are the villages we will explore. People live a fairly poor life, but are always welcoming guests and happy to invite newcomers for a drink. Houses are often made of stones and wood. In the past, domestic animals used to live on the ground floor and people on the second floor. Thus the heat from the animals used to keep the floor of the house warm.
The remoteness of the area does not allow young people to make a living and villages often get abandoned. Old houses are left behind to collapse, creating a ghost atmosphere. We will have a special photography workshop here and try to capture the ethereal look of these ghost villages. We will spend the night in our Borovitsa chalet and enjoy the local atmosphere.
Тhe morning is devoted to further exploration of the region. We will have photography workshops, interaction with locals, as well as time for feedback and suggestions.
Late afternoon we visit one of the most picturesque landscapes in the country: the Kardzhali dam meander. There we catch the sunset. The keenest can stay for a nighttime photography workshop. Since this is one of the most remote areas in the country with no light pollution, it is fantastic for star trails.
The fourth day of our photography tour in Bulgaria concludes with an amazing night of watching the constellations while drinking hot tea. Of course, we will spend the night near Kardzhali Dam so that you will get a chance to have a photography workshop early in the morning as well.
On the fifth day of our photography tour in Bulgaria, we will drive into the Western Rhodopes to the high mountainous communities. There we blend in with the locals and learn more about their lives, a great chance for portrait photography.
For sunrise, we can visit again the meander of the reservoir depending on light and weather conditions. After breakfast, we head to the photogenic Devil’s Bridge, where we spend the morning testing our creativity.
Built in the 12-13th century, this Medieval bridge was used as a major place for crossing the Arda river on the mountainous roads. The opportunities for creativity in compositions here are numerous. They include reflections, water trails, slow shutter speeds, various viewpoints from low and higher up.
Once we are done with the bridge, we head to Trigrad village in a unique photo adventure. Located at the bottom of a valley and surrounded by rugged hills with sheer cliffs, the village is packed with welcoming people and offers breathtaking views. We will spend the night in Trigrad.
We will also get a chance to review the photos we have so far and receive Iordan’s feedback.
In this part of our photo adventure, we will spend the day exploring some of the narrowest gorges in the country with cliffs over 300m high. The hostile environment makes local people survive with what nature offers and their harvest over the summer and fall.
The dramatic landscapes will be our main focus for this day of our Bulgaria photo tour. We shall also visit the premises of the former union for collective farming. They are now officially abandoned but used by local people for storage. One of the premises is converted into a sawmill.
Since it is a mountainous region with lots of wood material, sawmill and forest activities are the main occupations of the people. We will spend the night in Trigrad and get ready to continue our photo adventure the next day.
From Trigrad, we continue driving further west into the southern parts of the Pirin Mountains. Located at the bottom of a valley, the village of Pirin has only about 100 elderly inhabitants. They rely on forest activities and farming in their small fields for survival. This is because all young people have already left the village and the majority of houses are collapsing.
Pirin is the place where the black and white photography can evoke the harsh environment. For the evening we will join the locals in a local store where they will happily be telling us their stories from the mountains.
Get ready for a portrait photography workshop as well as some of the best stories you will discover in this photography tour in Bulgaria. We will spend the night in Pirin.
Located on the Western edge of the Rhodope Mountains, the villages in the Ortsevo region offer stunning views to mountain tops, authentic culture and traditional houses. All of them have their unique vibe which is unseen during the trip so far. On the 8th day of our Bulgaria photo tour, you will get the chance to explore them.
We might even get lucky and witness a wedding of the colorful Pomak people with their painted faces. The old barns and houses on the slopes of the villages look superb, especially in the first morning light. Meadows around the village are often covered with purple crocus flowers. Of course, the local shop with a huge variety of goods is something we should not miss. After a photography workshop, we will spend the night in Ortsevo.
On the way to Sofia, we will take a local narrow-gauge train which local people often use to take their goods to the market for sale. Old ladies in their colorful outfits often get together and sing during their trip. We will aim to arrive in Sofia late in the afternoon. We will have an early farewell dinner and get ready for departure on the following day.
Our Bulgaria photo tour is almost over, but you have beautiful memories & stunning photos to take back with you.
This is the last day of our Bulgaria photo tour. Depending on the time of your flight, you may want to explore Sofia a bit more and create interesting urban photography. We hope you enjoyed this photo adventure and we look forward to seeing you again!
Of course! If your partner in crime wants to join our adventure they’re more than welcome. All our tours are designed to immerse you fully into the culture of the destinations that we visit. We think even non-photographers would find this pretty fascinating. The only caveat we have is that this is first and foremost a photography adventure and any accompanying non-photographers would be required to stay with us at all times throughout the tour.
Yes. It is a mandatory requirement on all of our tours that each participant has their own travel insurance policy. We highly recommend a travel insurance policy that not only covers medical expenses and repatriation but also covers your personal belongings and liability. For more information on travel insurance and our suggested providers please visit our travel services section.
Also, as a traveller with Intrepid Exposures, it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visas and travel documents. Despite the fact we can’t sell you visas directly, we work with a number of partners who can find you the best solution to match your needs. If you need help arranging visas for any of our tours, please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
We will try our very best to cater to any dietary needs, that being said we cannot always guarantee it due to the remoteness of some of the places we stay. We will notify you if this is the case and work with you to come up with a fair solution. As long as you notify us of any requirements or allergies when booking your trip we will do our best to accommodate any needs you have.
Yes, of course! Unfortunately our website doesn't offer this functionality yet. If you wish to pay the deposit and then the remainder in one instalment you can do so using the website. If you would instead like to pay for the trip in its entirety in one payment, please contact us directly and we can advise you on the best way to do this.
We do, but on a trip by trip basis. Some tours naturally lend themselves to extensions, others not so much. Please consult the individual tour pages for more details on the extensions offered. If you would like to create your own personal tour extension, please contact us directly for assistance in doing so.
We do everything in our power to make sure out tours run smoothly, that being said there’s certain things we can’t control. Natural disaster or conflicts in the areas we travel may mean that we have to rearrange our plans and itineraries. However, we will keep a close eye on developments in the areas we travel and notify you if there are any issues or doubts.
In a word, Yes. All our tours are covered by Protected Travel Insurance (PTS). This means that your money goes into a protected bank account and can’t be accessed by us until you get back from your trip, so should anything happen your money is 100% protected. Find out more