Hiking in Bulgaria, the Balkan range
The Balkan Mountain Range – is the longest in the Balkan Peninsula, extending to 555 km., and has also given the name of the peninsula. The mountain is a natural climate barrier and separates the country into two parts – north and south. We pass by the most famous tourist and emblematic route of Kom – Emine, where was given the beginning of the Bulgarian mountaineering. We will pass by one National Park, one Natural Park and six bio reserves. Along with the spectacular nature – green forests, peaks and rocks, there lurk many authentic villages and monasteries of the Bulgarian Renaissance.
Due to the geographical and climatic conditions, Bulgaria has a long warm summer, which brings the possibility to enjoy more time outdoors.
Arrival at Sofia airport. Transfer to the town of Vratsa (120km) and accommodation at the hotel. Dinner. Brief presentation of the program and the guides.
Accommodation: Hotel in Vratsa
We start to walk directly from the hotel. We pass the famous Vratsa gorge with the highest rock walls in the country. We climb a steep trail to the peak of Markov Kladnets, from where opens a breathtaking view to the rocky walls, the great plain of the Danube and the Balkan Crest. Then there is a short descent to a cabin. Since there before our eyes opens the hidden beauty of Manastirski dol – strange landforms and waterfalls. We then follow a shepherd trail that runs through in beautiful woods to get to a road that leads to the place of Patleina. From there we get a scenic descent to the village of Zgorigrad. Back at the hotel.
Duration: aprx. 6 hours
Accommodation: Hotel in Vratsa
After breakfast we start with a transfer to the central part of the Balkan mountain range, approx. 2 hours. The trek starts from the village of Old Ribaritsa, with ascent amongst ancient forests to the shelter of Vezen. We continue through the reservе of “Tsarichina” included in the UNESCO list of natural reserves. Leisure at Vezen shelter and continue towards Vezen peak (2198 m), the highest in that part of the range. Then continue along the main mountain ridge direction to the East and the Black Sea. Stunning views towards the both sides of the ridge. Near the peak of “Iumruka” we arrive to the picturesque shelter of Ejo (1645 m).
Duration: approx. 8 hours
Accommodation: Shelter Ejo
It’s a light day, we will climb the peak Umruka (1819 m) – The Fist, located near the shelter and go down through the beautiful forest reserve of Kozya stena (The Goat Wall), reaching the beautiful village of Chiflik. There we will stay in a hotel with thermal pool.
Duration: approx. 5 hours
Accommodation: Hotel in Chiflik
After breakfast we will start with a transfer (30 min.) to the Troyan Monastery, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin – is the third major monastery in Bulgaria and is one of the nicest. Visit the Monastery. After another short transfer we reach the starting point of the trek. We started purifying our souls in the monastery and continue to do so through climbing the mountain. We start by macadam road until we reach the area Smesite (The Blends) – there are several rivers join. We continue to the lodge of Ambaritsa (1503 m) with a short, steep path. From there continue with a slightly uphill to make a traverse of Levski Peak (2166 m). We will get to the sources of the river Cherni Osam and our last stop for the day will be at the beautiful hut Dobrila (1804 m). Rest.
Duration: approx. 6 hours
Accommodation: Dobrila Hut
This is the day of the most beautiful and hard trek along the ridge of the Balkan range – as both technically and physically. Because of that reason we start early in the morning. We will find water supply within 7 hours of walking. We start to climb the peak of Levski (2166 m), then after a short descent we climb Kupena peak (2169 m). In some places the trail is very steep and aerial and there are metal ropes on which we can behave our self. Then the trek continue along the ridge to get to a place where begins the descent to the hut of Pleven.
Duration: approx. 10 hours
Accommodation: Pleven Hut
Early breakfast. From the hut of Pleven begins steep rise, which is getting softer at its final part. We pass close to the reserve of “Severen Dzendem”. The day is dedicated to the ascent of the highest peak in the Balkans – Botev (2376 m). The peak is named after one of the most prominent revolutionaries in Bulgarian history – Hristo Botev. Born in a village above the peak and died near the town of Vratsa. After that we have a descent to Tuzanski pass, until we get to Tuza hut.
Optional: On the way we can climb small peaks as Iurushka Gramada peak (2136 m).
Duration: approx. 6 – 7 hours
Accommodation: Tuza Hut
We leave early in the morning. We go through the main ridge of the Balkans. We climb the peak Groba (2000 m), in this area are three bio diversity reserves: “The Singing Rocks”, “Falcon” and “The deer forest”. We’ll get to the lodge Mazalat (1520 m). We do a short break and continue along a flat path through a wonderful forest. We get on the peak Korita where we drink a very rich water. A gentle descent take us to the hut Partizanska pesen / Yantra (1210 m). From there we have approx. 1:30h to reach the geographic center of Bulgaria – Uzana (1240 m)
Duration: approx. 8 hours
Accommodation: Hotel in Uzana
Breakfast. Transfer of 40 min. towards the town of Gabrovo. Visit the Architectural and Ethnographic Complex Etara – outdoor museum where we will take a trip back in time and meet with the customs, jobs and craftsmen of the Bulgarians in the 18th and 19th centuries. We’re going to dip into the spirit and life of the Bulgarian Renaissance. After a transfer of 30 min. arrive at the town of Tryavna – Renaissance center and home to the first School of Painters in Bulgaria. We rode the bus to arrive in 50 min. to the last stop of the day – Veliko Tarnovo – the old capital of Bulgaria.
Accommodation: Hotel in Veliko Tanovo
It is a day dedicated to Bulgarian history. We will visit the main fortress of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom – Tsarevec. The old town Arbanassi– retaining medieval architecture. Free time.
Accommodation: Hotel in Veliko Tarnovo
Breakfast. Transfer to Sofia (230 km). Accommodation at the hotel. Sightseeing. Free time for shopping and strolling in the city center. Fiesta. In Sofia there are several discos and clubs, with a variety of music.
Accommodation: **** Hotel in Sofia.
Breakfast. Free time for sightseeing or last minute shopping.
Transfer to airport.