Winter Tour

 

INCLUDED

  • Accommodation & Meals

  • Tuition & Transportation

  • All site entry fees

NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfare

  • Visas

  • Insurance

This one week expedition style photography tour is not only packed with incredible photographic opportunities and tuition; but, is also brimming with memorable snowy adventures including unique photo opportunities with sled dogs and a hot air balloon ride.

The tour includes shoots at snowy waterfalls, stunning mountain vistas, quaint villages, churches, monasteries and iconic monuments concluding finally with a day at the famous Kukeri Festival in Pernik. Here, thousands of rural townspeople come together to parade and perform ritual dances dressed as scary monsters intended to frighten away evil spirits and bring about good health and prosperity in the new year.

Every day is another memorable experience and filled with new learning. And when you are not behind the camera you will be busy with editing tutorials and workshops. You won't believe how much you will learn both behind the camera and in post-processing in this action-packed week.

Departure/return location | Sofia, Bulgaria

Departure date | 30 DEC 2019

Return date | 9 Jan 2020

Price | €2950 Euro

Click here to download full tour itinerary.

tour details continue below…


WHAT TO BRING

Photography Gear

The following gear is essential:

  • Good solid camera bag (preferably as backpack)

  • Digital SLR camera

  • Sturdy Tripod

  • Extra memory cards

  • Camera battery charger and international adaptor (all sockets are European 2-pin 120volts)

  • Laptop with photoshop or lightroom—we will teach these programs if you haven’t used them before

  • Lens cleaning kit including several lens cloths

  • Small light weight absorbent towel for drying camera in wet conditions

  • Wide angle lens preferably with zoom and/or additional lenses

  • USB flashdrive for passing in images to instructors

Recommended

  • Variety of additional lens (35-70, 70-200, 18-24/50’s)

  • Flash, preferably off camera (Spare AA batteries if needed)

  • Back-up storage device/solid state hard drive for image back-up

  • Cord release or remote control release

  • Rain cover for camera

  • Gaiters to keep feet dry

clothing

Temperatures are cool lows of -4℃ (25℉) and highs of +4℃ (40℉) and fluctuate based on elevation and exposure to wind and elements. Please bring appropriate clothing.

  • Warm pair of comfortable walking boots with ankle support and water resistant (already broken in)

  • Good quality warm socks for walking boots

  • Sufficient undergarments for the length of your tour

  • Warm underlayer tops and bottoms–quick dry, non-cotton, breathable 

  • Breathable, light-weight, quick-dry long-sleeve shirts

  • Breathable, light-weight, warm long trousers (eg. fleece or lined)

  • Fleece or light-weight jacket/hoodie, perhaps down vest

  • Windproof /waterproof top and bottom layer for warmth and rain

  • Gloves, scarf and warm hat (fingerless gloves or thin synthetic gloves are good for handling the camera)

  • Hand warmers (eg. HotHands or similar)

  • Sun glasses


    Optional

  • Spare camera

  • ND and NDGrad filters and Polarizing Filters

  • Sensor cleaning device/kit

  • Swim suit

  • Casual clothes for around hotel

  • 2nd pair (indoor) shoes/trainers

  • Small basic first aid kit

  • Additional snacks or treats

  • Pens, pencils notepad


where you’ll stay

One of the most delightful treats of traveling through Bulgaria is the charming guesthouses that are quite readily found throughout the country. In many cases these guesthouses are historical buildings that have been refurbished and updated to provide an old-world feel with all the modern conveniences of ensuite washrooms and high speed wifi. Guesthouses such as these are our preference and, where possible, this is where you will be staying. As a result, each new location is a unique experience… be it stunning carved wood ceilings or characterful low doorways and twisty hallways or maybe old galvanized pots repurposed as bathroom sinks. Some are obviously more charming than others and there are, of course, the occasional drawbacks, such as the need to climb a staircase or two or duck your head to avoid cracking your skull on ancient beams…however, all are very clean and comfortable and welcoming. If we are staying in Sofia, then we stay in 3 star hotels that are central to the vibrant Vitosha Boulevard, which is home to many fabulous restaurants and also within easy walking distance of Sofia’s main attractions such as Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Although not as old-world charming as the guesthouses, they offer all necessary amenities from central heating, to mini bar, to wifi, to television… everything you would expect from a 3 star hotel. And of course they are clean and well-maintained and managed by incredibly friendly hosts.


Fresh, Wholesome Cuisine

All your meals are included on your tour and, for the most part, will be in our favourite restaurants where you are free to order for yourself from the menu, which makes it much easier to accommodate different dietary requirements. Breakfasts, however, are normally provided by the guesthouses and, overall, are tasty and varied and plentiful. There are also occasions where we opt for picnic fare to allow us to be in more remote locations during optimal lighting conditions. We do our best to provide the most delicious meals possible. In fact, probably one of the most repeated comments we hear from the clients on our tours is their surprise at the sheer flavourful experience of traveling through Bulgaria.

You will eat so well in Bulgaria. The food here is fresh. It is wholesome and tasty and quite simply wonderful. Sadly, a tomato will never taste as flavourful again, or a pepper as sweet, or a peach as juicy when you return home. Bulgaria is world-famous for its yogurt. Not only are they credited as the inventors of yogurt, Bulgaria is also said to be the producer of the healthiest (and tastiest) yogurt in the world thanks to a particular species of bacteria, which is native only to Bulgaria. The yogurt is often served with fresh honey, another heavily exported product of Bulgaria due to the diverse plant life and temperate climate, which is ideal for beekeeping.

20161231_221340.jpg

There is a strong movement of “slow food” (as opposed to fast food) in Bulgaria, dedicated to preserving traditional and regional cuisine and encouraging the farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. Subsistence farming is standard and trade among farmers of organically grown “real food”  is common. Thus Bulgarian cuisine tends to be seasonal and the ingredients fresh and plentiful. In addition to being prepared from fresh, naturally-grown produce, the cooking relies on the usage of many diverse spices, herbs and aromatic vegetables like garlic and onions during its preparation, making Bulgarian cuisine one of the tastiest in all of Europe. In fact, Bulgarian herbs are considered to be of the highest quality in Europe, which has been attributed to high quality soil fed by mineral rich rivers and streams. Bulgarian peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, eggplant, zucchini and potatoes are all known to be some of the best produce in Europe, thus it is little wonder that the food is so flavourful. This fresh produce suffuses their cuisine. It is not uncommon for menus to have at least two pages of only salads. Then there are the hearty pots of sizzling meats, the famous white-brine cheese in every dish—even the French fries–and the fresh baked flatbreads, a staple at every meal. There is something for every kind of foodie. And then there is the delicious, softly-flavoured home-grown wines and perhaps a shot or two of the famous home-brewed Brandy, known as Rakia. In Bulgaria you will eat well, you will eat healthily, and you will eat a lot.