Traversing the Balkan Mountains in Karlovo Area

About

This five-day mountain trek through the most spectacular parts of the Balkan Mountains takes us through the territory of the Central Balkan National Park, with overnight stays at several mountain huts along the way. The Balkan Peninsula is named after this very mountain chain, locally known as Stara Planina, or the Old Mountain. It stretches from the western border of the country almost to the Black Sea coast. This route is a section of the international E3 European long distance path. On our hike we’ll be passing through its most striking parts.

Highlights

• Five days of trekking along the main ridge of the mountain and overnight in mountain huts on the way

• Ascend to Mount Botev (2376 m), the highest summit of the Balkan Mountains

• Visit the highest permanent waterfall in the Balkans – the 124.5 meter-high Raysko Praskalo Waterfall

• Explore the flora and fauna native to the Central Balkan National Park

Description

Day 1

This day begins at the Beklemeto Pass, located at 1520 m above sea level – one of the several mountain passes connecting Northern and Southern Bulgaria. The pass is accessible to personal vehicles and public transportation, which is also available in the area. The nearest towns are Troyan (on the northern side) and Karlovo (on the southern side).

We will be hiking down the main ridge, passing by the Orlovo Gnezdo and Dermenka Huts. Overnight at Dobrila Hut (1790 m). A total of 6 hours of walking throughout the day, +500/-300 m.

Day 2

On this day we will take on part of the famous Dobrila-Botev Traverse, ascending to Mount Ambaritsa and Mount Kupena, with a final descent to the Vasil Levski Hut for overnight accommodation. Total amount of walking for the day: 6 hrs, +600/-800 m.

Day 3

A hike to the Ray Hut (4.5 hours), located above Yuzhen Dzendem Reserve, followed by a visit to the nearby Raysko Praskalo Waterfall at the foot of Mount Botev.

Accommodation at the hut. Total amount of walking: 5.5 hrs.

Day 4

Ascent to Mount Botev via the Tarzan Trail, and followed by a descent to Tuza Hut. 7 hrs of walking, +1000/-900 m.

Day 5

Today’s agenda includes a visit to several other waterfalls in the area – Kademliisko Praskalo, Babsko Praskalo, an optional Ascent to Mount Triglav – the second highest peak in these mountains. The route takes us through the either Rusaliiski Pass or the nearest ridge, both offering a beautiful view of the nearby Central Balkan National Park and Juzhen Dzhendem Reserve. Optional descent to the village of Tuza to the south, or the town of Apriltsi to the north. Transfer to Karlovo or Troyan.

If you're looking for more breathtaking waterfalls in Bulgaria, visit the Canyon of Waterfalls, and follow the eco-trail to over 40 waterfalls.

Inclusions/ exclusions

The price includes

• The services of a qualified and experienced mountain guide

• 4 overnights in huts along the way

• Transfers along the hiking trail between the designated points

The price does not include

Transfers to the meeting point (available on request)

• Hiking equipment

Notes

This trek is suitable for groups of 6-12 people.

Equipment needed: hiking boots, rucksack (35-45 l), trekking poles, water and windproof jacket, rain cover, sun hat, sun lotion, sunglasses, warm hat and gloves, water bottle (1,5 litres), travel liner (optional), torch, personal first aid kit.

Have a look at our other hiking and trekking trails and pick the one that suits you the most in terms of length, location and level of difficulty.

450 €

per person

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Hiking

Karlovo

Starting point - Sofia, Bulgaria

5 days

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Live tour guide availabel in English

Maxiumum participants - 10 people

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