The town of Karlovo (population 27 990 inhabitants) is situated 520 m above the sea level in the valley of the same name, which is part of the famous Rose Valley. The town is located 141 km eastwards from Sofia and 58 km northwards from Plovdiv. Karlovo is the birthplace of an eminent Bulgarian – the Apostle of Liberty Vasil Levski. The Turkish authorities put him on trial and sentenced him to death by hanging in February 1873, onlly five years before the Liberation.
Every year - in late May and early June, the rose-picking season starts in the Valley of Roses and Karlovo becomes one of the centres of the Festival of Roses.
Karlovo’s remote past is not well explored - only a few stories and legends have been preserved. Today’s town is a relatively new one. It originated on the banks of Stara Reka River right after the Ottoman invasion in Bulgaria, as an administrative centre of the local Turkish Feudal lords. The village was named Karlovo after the local Turkish feudal lord. The beginning of the 19th century was for Karlovo a time of rapid economic boom, cultural uplift and revolutionary ardour. Hundreds of clockworks and watermills were working near the Stara Reka River. Rich merchants bought the production of the skillful master coppersmiths, goldsmiths, tailors and leather-workers and traded with Egypt, Albania, Romania, and Austria. Karlovo became a big and bustling village with a well-formed centre, town clock and pleasant houses.
The History Museum is a valuable monument of culture from 1871. Vasil Levski House-Museum is opened every day. St. Nikolay Church is next to the Levski’s Monument. In the northern part of the yard is the grave of Levski’s mother. The church Holly Mother of God was built in 1851.
The town supports regular bus lines to Plovdiv, Kalofer, Sopot, Pazardjik and also to the settlements in the region. The central bus station is near the railway station. Karlovo is a station of the main railway line Sofia – Plovdiv.
1 km north of the town the 15-meters high Kaloferski Waterfall is located. It is a favourite place for the people of Karlovo for sunbathing during the summer heats. 11 km south of Karlovo, at the town of Banya, are the Karlovski Baths – a balneotherapy resort of national importance. About 15 km south-east of the town is located Domlyan Dam - a great place for hiking and camping. The fortress Anevsko Kale is among the best preserved monuments of the mediaeval Bulgarian architecture and culture. It is situated 5 km northwest from the town of Sopot and about 10 km from Karlovo.