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Bulgarian Villages

Bulgarian Villages

Bulgarian Villages Bulgaria is a land of villages, hamlets and farmsteads. Traditionally, the Bulgarian village was the heart and soul of the country. Bulgarian villages were the main source of Bulgaria’s famous fruit, vegetables and dairy produce, as well as the wool for their wonderful rugs, carpets and other textiles. Village life in Bulgaria was also the source of its most wonderful traditions, customs and festivals. In the mid-1940s there were nearly 6000 villages in Bulgaria, but since then the number of villages has steadily declined, as has the proportion of the Bulgarian population living in villages. In 1969, for the first time, the urban population in Bulgaria finally outnumbered the rural population, and by the start of the 21st century, Bulgarian villages accounted for only about 30% of the population. The largest numbers of villages in Bulgaria are found in the Kardzhali, Veliko Tarnovo and Gabrovo regions. Several villages in Bulgaria have been declared cultural and architectural reserves on account of their wonderful traditional architecture and cultural important. These include villages such as Bozhentsi and Zheravna in the Balkan Mountains (Stara Planina), and Kovachevitsa and Dolen in the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains.

Bulgarian Village Agriculture

Bulgarian Village Agriculture Farm land in rural parts of Bulgaria accounts for over 80% of the total agricultural land in Bulgaria. It is estimated that there are over one and a quarter million private farms in Bulgaria. Small subsistence farms are the main feature of Bulgarian agriculture. There are more than 700,000 small farms in Bulgaria with an average size of less than 1 hectare which are in reality personal holdings where villagers grow their own fruit and vegetables for personal consumption. Typical vegetables grown in Bulgarian villages are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, potatoes and beans. Typical fruit grown in Bulgarian villages are apples, pears, plums, peaches, apricots, cherries, grapes, water melons and yellow melons.

Bulgarian Village Livestock

Bulgarian Village Livestock Most Bulgarian villagers own livestock of some sort, as these are their main source of milk, wool and meat. The type of livestock owned varies from region to region, but typically includes cows, sheep and goats, as well as poultry in the form of chickens, turkeys and geese. Many villagers also have horses, donkeys or mules, which are used as beasts of burden for help with ploughing or transporting hay and other produce from the fields and meadows. Beekeeping also has a strong tradition in Bulgarian villages. It is thought that honey has been produced on Bulgarian territory for more than 3000 years, and today there are some 35,000 beekeepers in Bulgaria. The majority of these beekeepers in Bulgaria own just a small number of hives.

Bulgarian Village Festivals

Bulgarian Village Festivals Folk gatherings have always had an important place in Bulgarian villages. For most of the inhabitants of Bulgarian villages, life is hard, and revolves around subsistence farming to produce enough produce and income for their own day to day survival. However, despite the rigours of daily life, and maybe partly as an escape from them, the Bulgarian village provides a stage for many wonderful traditional local festivals. Traditional Bulgarian village festivals are kaleidoscope of colours and sounds, and typically a riot of laughter, music, song, dance, feasting and drinking. Certain Bulgarian village festivals are connected to the church calendar and held on the feast days of certain saints. Other Bulgarian village festivals are secular and, often connected with the natural seasonal agricultural cycle.

Balkan Trek is at the forefront of responsible tourism in Bulgaria, and recognised as one of Bulgaria's leading mountain adventure and eco-tourism operators. We are specialists in small group walking holidays, trekking holidays, snowshoeing treks, cultural tours, monastery tours, village holidays, wildlife holidays, natural history trips, birdwatching holidays, botanic tours and flower photography holidays. We operate trips in Bulgaria's Rhodope Mountains, Rila Mountains, Pirin Mountains, Stara Planina (Balkan Mountains), Strandzha Mountains, Sredna Gora Mountains, Vitosha Mountains, as well as at Bulgaria's Black Sea coast.