Lavender photo impromptu: a quest for photogenic lavender fields in Bulgaria

Lavender is a plant that we often use as a herb in various healing potions, or essential oil, or as perfume. The photogenicity of the lavender fields is indisputable – this is what we are assured of each year by the hundreds of romantic shots of purple infinity. Our first geographical association with lavender is the Provence region in France. The idea of an impromptu leap to Bulgaria lavender fields has been repeatedly concealed. 💜

Let us introduce the gallery of lavender “hunting” in Bulgaria in the summer of 2018. This time we stumbled upon a lonely field of balls of straw before we got lost several times in search of the fields of Pazardzhik province. But we found them – we even waited until the sunset. For the first time we were shooting lavender fields with the drone, and for the first time we were not alone – the lavender attracted photographers and models, but there was enough of it for everyone. We almost missed the right timing – the purple color was disappearing here and there. On the other hand, we saw a field of mustard nearby. After the lavender gallery, you can see how this hobby, obsession, or just the longing to look for and photograph lavender started.

We are sitting on a particularly hot summer Sunday in Sofia, wondering if it is humane to be so hot. The

summer colds are raging, we are sweating and we are frustrated. At one point, it strikes our heads that Bulgaria is a powerful lavender producer (we read so a while ago) and it is just the beginning of July – lavender shoots online come to prove this. The last straw comes when we see some beautiful artistic photographs on the fields (hi Tsveti, if you’re here 😊) – we decide to go hunting for lavender!

No, we will not pick them and kill them – we’ll go on a photoshoot! Our mission is rapidly developing: 1. Will the Rose Valley be called the Provence in Bulgaria? 2. Will we find photogenic lavender fields? 3. Are there going to be cool photos? Anyway, we are sweating all the time in the heat, so let’s sweat over lavender! Our hope is to get a better aroma back home.

Lavender in Bulgaria - photography of lavender fields, barley

The Bulgarian Provence – the Rose Valley

We grab the car and go down the Sub-Balkan Road. If you’ve already been there, you know it’s photogenic in its own right. But we are on a mission – we are looking for lavender. We noticed some to the left, but until we find where to stop and we found ourselves in some barley. Nace took some photos there – it was a great bonus! We also shot the small lavender array. Then we drove and drove – suddenly we saw some huge purple fields. That’s where the real quest-saga started. But we are sure there are many other fields – the question is whether they are private and how free is access to them.

And the effect of interacting with lavender is undeniable – the aroma has a calming effect, especially when we’ve put so much effort to spot it and we’ve had some crazy off-road driving along dirt roads. And we all know that lavender can protect you from scorpions (from this movie). Maybe even from evil spirits. The Bulgarian Provence comes with several challenges but has its own charm and unrivaled beauty!

Lavender blooms from mid-June to the end of July. That is why we must also look for the right time to enjoy their purple blooms. This is true for both Provence in France and the Rose Valley in Bulgaria.

Lavender in Bulgaria - photography of lavender fields, barley

How to find the lavender fields in Bulgaria?

First, we were after a village on the road – Rozino. Then we continued to the village of Tarnicheni, but on the way, we saw massive fields. We crossed a train line along a dirt road and saw a man. He said, “It’s up there, there are roses, there is lavender too!”. Following the advice of a local (or at least that’s what we were hoping for), we continued offroading on narrow black roads across beautiful fields. Some had roses, others had other plantings. There was no lavender. Except for several single stalks.

At some point, we felt that we were driving along a tourist hiking route to Sokolna hut. The road disappeared and we decided to go back. We took another dirt road and saw big fields. Lavender fields. The most purple and beautiful was private and well-fenced with barbed wire. Somewhere around the village of Tazha, there was the real deal. We took photos outside the fence, the sunset was already coming. We hurried to the more accessible fields, we hugged lavender, we prayed to the wind – the life of the travel photographers.

In conclusion, if you want to know how to find lavender in Bulgaria: you need to have faith, also a map, and you have to listen to your own inner voice.

Lavender in Bulgaria - photography of lavender fields, barley
Lavender in Bulgaria - photography of lavender fields, barley

Lavender in northeast Bulgaria

In 2020 (on our very first trips after the pandemic) we discovered many lavender fields and our beloved wind turbines in Shabla Municipality on the Black Sea coast. Fields vary in size and they blossom a bit later than those in the south. But it was so peaceful around them, you have the chance to fly over and take photos (ethically, of course) all by yourself. We photographed two fields this year – one very close to Gorun village and right next to several wind turbines. The other one was just outside of Shabla on the way to Gorichane village.

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Here’s a short drone video of the lavender field and the magical wind turbines.

How to photograph lavender?

From our brief practical experience, we can share some tips and tricks on how to make cool pictures with lavender fields.

  1. We recommend that there be at least one other interesting thing in the photo, for example, another object: tree, sunset, donkey, or a person/people. We got lucky with the sunset, and we posed for enough pictures (still not sure if the latter was a good or bad idea 😉). Dress up with something that contrasts well with purple.
  2. Lavender may not be well lined up and in a huge array, so other photo-shooting ideas are macro photography and considering separate stalks. Anything you feel like, just do it! You may not find a better field, better location, or better light.
  3. Editing is very important – much of the lavender is not as purple at all as we imagined. Perhaps we have not hit the most purple fields, perhaps something else. Many pictures of lavender tend to be blue-ish – Nace doesn’t like this (because it looks unrealistic) and tries to bring back their true purple color.
  4. Selfies are a must! Photos with purple lavender will highlight your nice facial features, and even make you look thinner! And who does not want this?
Lavender in Bulgaria - photography of lavender fields, barley
Lavender in Bulgaria - photography of lavender fields, barley

The result – a photo gallery

Congratulations! You’ve gotten here, so we’ve got more pictures of our lavender quest for you. Thank you for your patience and we hope the following is rewarding!

Whether and how we did on our mission, please do let us know in the comments. It was a very interesting afternoon, over 400km around the Rose Valley, a few times getting lost, laughter, disappointment, excitement, thunder! An impromptu search for lavender fields, bonus barley fields, lots of dust, and romance! We can not wait until next year!

Lavender Photo Improptu A Quest for Photogenic Lavender Fields
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10 Responses

  1. Alison - Up&AtEm Travel

    Gorgeous photo shoot! I love that the lavender fields you found were more “rugged” and less manicured. I hope to experience this for myself one day. 🙂

    • Yep, that’s totally not manicured, which adds more to the adventure and the feeling of being rewarded (even when the photos are not what we expected) 🙂

  2. Had no idea there were lavender fields in Bulgaria. Would love to visit and photograph them.

    • Bulgaria keeps a lot of its magic a secret. We are determined to reveal it though!

  3. John

    Gorgeous photos. I wish I had lavender fields nearby, I would love to have a photo shoot like that.

    • I’m sure you can find some lavender fields if you search enough. Or maybe other photogenic fields, like we stumbled to the barley totally unintentionally 🙂

  4. Lovely shots! You caught those lavender fields at the perfect time! We haven’t explored one yet, but there is one near our home that we would love to see

    • That’s cool! Living nearby lavender fields must be pure bliss!

  5. […] Favorite place: The lavender fields neat Blanitsa village […]

  6. […] in the region, including wineries. Have a look at all these day tours available* and these photos were taken only two hours away, in the lavender fields of the Rose Valley, best-explored mid-June to the end of […]