International Bagpipe Contest in Gela, Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria (31 July – 01 August 2020)

International Bagpipe Contest in Gela aims to promote the authentic Rhodopes folklore, history and traditions. The ”gaida” or bagpipe is Bulgaria’s traditional and emblematic musical instrument and it is one of the most important elements of Bulgarian local folklore.

Basic Information

Type: one, two or three days cultural heritage tour from Sofia to the region of the village of Gela, Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria; 

Duration: depends on how many days you would like to book. The festival itself is held on the week-end (31 July – 01 August 2020). You can combine the Festival with hiking in the mountains or sightseeing in the region. Depending on the time you have we will offer options, itineraries and activities you can have in the region. 

Minimum number of events to be visited: International Bagpipe Contest in Gela;

Price: We specialise in tailor-made travel to Bulgaria and our travel suggestions are individually designed to suit your personal requirements. If you would like us to contact you with a proposal for this tour, please use the form at the end of this page or the other communication channels on our contacts page.

Tour dates: 31 July – 01 August 2020;

Tour mileage: 250 km from Sofia;

Minimum number of travellers: 1

More details

Gela is a small village in southern Bulgaria, near the city of Smolyan. Such a marvellous sight can rarely be found anywhere else in the Rhodope mountain. Numerous peaks follow one after the other like waves before eyes.

Gela International Bagpipe Contest in the picturesque village has attracted more than 15,000 tourists, including many foreigners. The eleventh edition of the traditional bagpipe contest in Gela gathered thousands of music fans from Bulgaria, Sweden, Japan and France. Over 100 bagpipers competed during the exciting event.

Depending on your arrival/departure schedule we can also offer additional tours in the region of the Rhodope Mountains, which is one of the most beautiful in Bulgaria. 

The kaba gaida, a  bagpipe native to the Rhodope Mountains, wins more enthusiasts  from far and wide after each kaba gaida festival in the village  of Gela, including Japan, the Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland, Hungary and Scotland.The festival in Gela has made the kaba gaida popular as the  musical instrument of the Rhodope Mountains, because it is only  here that the bagpipe has a mellower, deeper sound. The sound of the kaba gaida comes from its specific design. The Rhodope bagpipe is made from a larger bag, and its chanter, chanter reed and drone are proportioned differently. During the festival you can buy kaba gaida. Most of the enthusiasts are beginners, who want to learn to play the  kaba gaida. The bagpipe maker sometimes gives his clients their first lessons.

Guided and self-drive tours

A guided tour shall include: services of a professionally qualified tour guide; pickup and drop off from your hotel/accommodation in Sofia; transportation by A/C vehicle, fuel and parking expenses; hotel accommodation in Smolyan, Pamporovo, Stoykite, Momchilovci and other places not far from the Festival venue; food; transfer from/to airport and all other services you might need.

A guided tour does not include: international air fares; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature.

A self-drive tour shall include: hotel reservations depending on your preferences; maps and detailed itinerary description + GPS coordinates of the places/hotels; information for places of interest; car rental depending on your preferences; extensive pre-arrival information and services and all other services you might need;

Typically a self-guided tour does not include: flights to/from Bulgaria; fuel, food; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature. 

Note: There will be a special place for tents in the area of the Festival.

Please fill out the contact form and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.