The Great Balkan Crossing - E3 - Bulgaria

Stara planina or The Balkan - it is the longest mountain range in Bulgaria (around 700 km). The route is also known with the initials E3 - the last part of the GR-E3. Following ridges, passes, peaks, without forgetting to visit some picturesque villages, most often going from refuge to refuge, this great crossing not involving any technical difficulty, is nevertheless aimed at hikers walking well.

D1. Sofia - Kom refuge.

Arrival at Sofia Airport. Transfer north to the small town of Berkovitsa and the Kom refuge. Briefing / Presentation of the program. Night at the refuge.

D2. Refuge Kom - Lakatnik station.

Beginning of our trek through the Petrohan pass (1450m), where we can taste the famous Bulgarian yogurt. Accommodation in a family gite in Lakatnik. 8 hours of walking; + 350 m elevation. Contact car and supplies.

D3. Lakatnik station - Leskova refuge.

By gaining altitude by bus, we start our hike from Lakatnik village to the hamlet of Leskova. Pastoral landscapes. Large luggage is not routed there. 8:30 a.m .; + 850m

D4. Leskova Refuge - Vitinia Pass.

About 10 hours of walking through a wild region and still little visited. Night at the Vitinia pass (950 m) in a youth hostel. + 800 m. Contact car and supplies. Prepare dinner together

D5. Col Vitinia - Kachana refuge.

Passing some historic passes, where we see the monuments of the Russo Turkish War of 1877-1878, we reach the pass of Kachana. 8 a.m .; +950 m. Contact car and supplies. Night at the refuge

D6. Col Kachana - Momina poliana refuge.

Beginning of the central part of the Balkan. We always follow the ridge line going up the first "2000" of the route. 7:30 a.m .; + 900 m. Large luggage is not routed there. Night at the refuge.

D7. Momina poliana refuge - Eho refuge.

Very nice stage on the ridge. We enter the "Central Balkan" National Park, which we will cross for 5 days. Night at the Eho refuge. Large luggage is not routed there. 9 a.m .; +850 m

D8. Eho refuge - Dermenka refuge.

Course on the ridge. Very beautiful views to the South towards the Valley of the Roses and to the North towards the Danube Plain. At the Beklemeto pass, car contact and supplies.). Accommodation at the Dermenka refuge. Large luggage is not routed there. 6:40 a.m .; + 750 m

D9. Dermenka refuge - Botev refuge.

Serious stage on the main ridge. It is the most imposing part of the Balkan. Night at Botev refuge (2100 m alt). Large luggage is not routed there. 9 a.m .; + 1200 m

D10. Mount Botev - Mazalat refuge.

Today, another classic from Stara planina. Ascent of the highest peak in the Balkan, Mount Botev (2376 m). Night at the Mazalat refuge. 8:00 a.m .; + 950 m. Large luggage is not routed there.

D11. Mazalat refuge - Bouzloudja refuge.

Following a forest track, we reach the Chipka pass - The Bulgarian Termopilles. Contact car and supplies. Night at the refuge. 8:30 a.m .; + 950 m.

D12-J13. Bouzloudja refuge - Himik refuge - Tchoumerna refuge.

Quiet days on the Balkan meadows. Contact car and supplies. Prepare dinner together.

D14. Refuge Tchoumerna (1446 m) - Sofia

Climb the top. Beautiful panorama. Descent and transfer west (4 hours) to Sofia. Installation at the hotel in the city center. Walk in town. Dinner not included. 1 h 30; + 100 m. Night in a 2 * hotel.

D15. Visit the Bulgarian capital. Transfer to the airport. Departure.

** Accommodation and catering: ** In mountain huts and in 2 * hotels. Breakfasts included, picnic for lunch and hot meal in the evening, except dinner D14 and lunch D15 in Sofia.

** Support: ** Bulgarian French-speaking guide. Assistance car for luggage transfers and supplies (at the places marked in the program).

Included:
- full board except dinner D14 in Sofia
- minibus and driver available.
- French speaking guide

Not included:
- Single room supplement: + 100 €
- D14 dinner and D15 lunch in Sofia
- The drinks
- Tips
- Museum entrances
- Personal expenses and equipment
- The insurance.

Guaranteed departure:
yes
Duration (in days): 15
Period:
january
february
march
april
may
june
july
august
september
october
november
december
Period (search): august
Minimum number of persons: 6
Physical level: Sporty
Main activity: Walk