Bansko Jazz Festival

  • Description
  • Itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Departures and Prices
The International Jazz Festival Bansko is the biggest summer musical event in Bulgaria. The enormous popularity which the festival enjoys among specialists and fans across the world has turned it into one of the foremost international cultural happenings in the Balkans. The quaint old town becomes a meeting place for emblematic figures of today’s music world. The concerts are free for the public and the festival is organised with the aid of sponsors. Traditionally, the programme features styles and groups representing almost all jazz trends. The evening concerts draw huge crowds to the open-air stage on Nikola Vaptsarov Square in downtown Bansko. Throughout the festival week jazz is also played during the day on various smaller stages in the large resort complexes and restaurants. Bansko Jazz Fest is held every year from August 8 to 13.
Arrival in Sofia. Transfer to your hotel. After fresh up at your hotel have a guided city tour of the capital. Among the most impressive sites are the Alexander Nevski Cathedral dominating the city and it`s crypt, the round church of St. George, which is the best preserved Byzantine building, the Russian church st. Nikolas, St. Petka church, Banya Bashi Mosque, the ruins of ancient Serdica and some more. Overnight in Sofia.
In the morning proceed to Bansko. En route have a stop at Rila monastery - one of Bulgarias most famous tourist sites. This monastery is a sanctuary of Bulgarian literature and spiritual life. Founded in the middle of the 10th century by St. Ivan of Rila it played a key role in preserving Bulgarian culture and language during the centuries. It is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. You will see the monastery church with its amazing frescoes painted by the most famous Bulgarian finest artists from 19th c. Overnight in Bansko
Day 3 - OPTIONAL TOUR: Excursion from Bansko to Velingrad with a narrow-gauge railway line
This romantic journey will bring you through a picturesque scenery of the Rhodopi mountains. Due to the characteristics of the route through the mountains, this narrow-gauge line is also known as the Alpine railway in the Balkans. Passing by the highest station in the Balkans (Avramovo at 1267m above the sea), by small villages and countryside you will reach Velingrad one of the most famous spa resorts in Bulgaria. Velingrad is well known for the abundance and the diversity of mineral waters with temperature varying between 28C and 91C. Have some free time in town or enjoy a relaxing spa procedure in some of the first class hotels. Drive back to Bansko by car
Day 4 - OPTIONAL TOUR: Excursion from Bansko to Melnik and Rozhen monastery
Melnik is the smallest Bulgarian town with less than 400 inhabitants. Its well preserved architecture and beautiful nature makes it a popular tourist destination. The town is associated with the impressive sand pyramids surrounding the town resembling giant mushrooms and towers. Melnik has also been famous for producing a strong red wine which was reportedly a favorite of Winston Churchills. During the tour you will visit the Kordopulous house (named after the merchant Kordopulou to whom it once belonged). Today it is one of the largest wine cellars in Melnik. Continue to the nearby Rozhen monastery one of the few well preserved medieval monasteries in Bulgaria. The tour today will end with wine tasting in one of the many wine cellars in the region. Drive back to Bansko.
Day 5 - OPTIONAL TOUR: Excursion from Bansko to villages Kovachevitsa, Leshten and Ognyanovo
The village of Kovachevitsa is perhaps the most authentic rural village in Bulgaria. Its original and unique architecture attracted many Bulgarian movie directors to film there. The village has never had Ottoman administration, therefore it preserved the Bulgarian traditions. See the church of st. Nicolas, as well as the building of the first school which is now a museum. On the way back pass by the village of Leshten another mountainous settlement with old houses and authentic atmosphere. We end our tour in the village of Ognyanovo area rich in mineral water springs discovered back in Roman times. Drive back to Bansko
Day 6 - OPTIONAL TOUR: Excursion from Bansko to village Dobarsko
According to the legend, Dobarsko was founded by soldiers from Bulgarian tsar Samuils army who arrived in this area after it being defeated in the battle of Belasitsa in 1014. During the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria Dobarsko established itself as a major economic center in this area with many of the locals trading with cotton or grazing large herds of cattle. The village of Dobarsko is associated with the church of Theodore Tyro and Theodore Stratelates. This small basilica half dug into the ground dates back to the 17th c. The church is noted for its abundance of original frescoes and icons, some of which are interpreted as portraying Jesus in a rocket. There is also a spring in the church yard which locals believe to be curative. Dobarsko opens a spectacular view of three mountains Pirin, Rila and the Rhodopes. Drive back to Bansko.
Day 7 - OPTIONAL TOUR: Excursion from Bansko to Dancing Bears Park in Belitsa
The Dancing Bears Park is situated in Rila Mountains above the village of Belitsa around 30 km from Bansko. The region is spread with natural forests, valleys and water areas. With its lakes and caves it reminds the Arbesbah- Shonfeld Park in Austria. The park is located in a forest area with natural water resources which is a home of the wild brown bear. Every single bear has its own territory with access to water and plenty of space for climbing. The food for the bears is purposely hidden at different places in the park, so that the bears find it themselves, just as they are in a natural wild environment. Specially trained people and veterinary surgeons take care of the animals. Drive back to Bansko. This tour takes about one hour walking in the park
Day 8 - OPTIONAL TOUR: Hiking tours in Pirin mountain
1. From hut Vihren to lake Okoto (The Eye). 2. From hut Vihren to three lakes Muratovo, Ribno, Okoto. 3. From Bezbog to Popovo lake.

Kempinski Bansko 5*
St. Ivan Rilski 4*
Lucky Bansko 4*
Dates and prices:
prices are on request depending on number of participants, hotel accommodation and program details. Please contact us for more information.

Atlantic Tour is a member of BCCCI (Bulgarian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry)