Kalofer is a small town situated at the foot of Mount Botev. It is in close proximity to the Central Balkan National Park and is a kind of entrance to the park.
The legend tells that the area of today’s Kalofer was inhabited in the middle of the XVI century by a group of men led by the Kalifer Voivoda who attacked the passing Turkish caravans. Because of his inability to cope with Kalifer the voivode and his men, the Sultan forced himself to allow the Haidoutes to settle on these lands, provided they stopped attacking the caravans. The legend also says that men have stolen women for brides from the nearby town of Sopot.
The famous Bulgarian poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev was born in Kalofer. Today his hometown, turned into a memorial complex, is one of the most interesting places to visit the city. There he can learn a lot about the revolutionary history of Bulgaria and one of the main participants in it.
One of the most interesting celebrations in the city is the celebration of Jordan and the birth of Hristo Botev on January 6. Then the famous Kalofer dance is played. The ritual begins early in the morning with a festive liturgy, after which a large group of men and youngsters head for the river. There a priest throws a cross for health in the waters. The cross is captured and given to the youngest participant in the ritual. Then, in the icy waters of the river, men twist their horo and sing songs. Later the horo is carried on the shore, and then the holidays commemorate the commemoration of Botev’s birthday.
The newest museum in the town is the Kalofer House of History – a kind of an ethnographic and cultural centre of the city, presenting its live heritage – weaving and traditional local rugs, traditional clothes and festival costumes, musical instruments and the restoration of a typical guest room.
Interesting in the city are also the numerous active churches, monasteries and chapels. The town has preserved its Revival architecture, traditions and lifestyle. An attraction is the preserved Kalofer crafts such as knitting Kalofer lace.
Kalofer is the starting point for conquering from the south the highest peak in the Central Balkan National Park – Botev peak (2376 m above sea level), as well as the highest waterfall in Bulgaria – the Rajsko praskalo (124 m).
Kalofer is an established ecotourism destination. The Visitor Information Center is managed and managed by the local Ecotourism Association “Central Balkan – Kalofer” and is open all year round.