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On the ridge of the Balkans – from Beklemeto to Kozya Stena hut

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I’ve been dreaming for the ridges of the Balkans for long time. And the idea finally riped during one sunny weekend when we decided to go to the Central Balkans mountain.

The Central Balkan National Park is one amazing place which is situated in the heart of Bulgaria and includes the highest peaks of the Balkans. From the slopes you can see the South and the North part of Bulgaria, amazing nature, horses, caws as well as many preserved species, including edelweisses. And to be more correct – the area close to the Kozya stena hut is the only one place in the Balkan mountain where you can see the edelweisses.

The route we choose is Beklemeto – Kozya stena hut. The good thing of that route is that you can make it in only one day. The starting point is easy reachable by car and not so exhausting as usually is climbing the highest peaks.

This beauty is expecting you up there

horses

Wild horses all around

Some other species, apart from horses..

Above the peaks

How to reach the starting point?

The starting point is Beklemeto which is the highest part of the Troyan-Karnare pass in the Central Bulgaria. Thats what I meant when I said that the hiking is easy. You basically go up by car and after that just walking on the ridge.

To reach the Beklemeto you have to drive around two hours from Sofia by car. There is also an option to catch a bus  to Troyan and then another bus from Troyan to Beklemeto which is going once per day early in the morning.

If you are going by car there is a parking just on the starting point of the route.

Wild horses up there

And the making..

About the route

The route is starting just from the parking and is marked with a big sign board with general info about the area. From there you have to follow the big dirty road and then the red marking.

The whole duration of the hike is around 2:30h one direction. You can go it faster, but be sure you won’t want to hurry as this route is so picturesque that we stopped every 10 minutes to stare at all that mountain beauty. This route is very suitable for one day trip from Sofia or Plovdiv.

ridge

Walking on the ridge from now on

mountain

Bigger panorama of the mountain

There is a winter and a summer routes. The winter one is going through the peaks, so it includes more climbing. The summer route is mostly bypassing the hills and is easier to walk. You can switch from one to another trail while you walking, depending on whether you wish to climb.

I would suggest to take the summer one in one particular place – the Kozya stena preserve. At that part you have to cross a rock slope which is almost vertical area(it is not so frightfull as it sounds) – “Kozya stena” actually means “Goats wall”. While the winter one is going through the top of the hill and there is a rope to support your walking, the summer one is easily winding through its lower part. And you even won’t pay attention to it as it is very easy to walk.

Kozya stena preserve from distance

Kozya stena preserve

The picture does not give the real impression of that beauty

The rest part of the road includes a bit climbing but mostly you will walk on moderate smooth paths. Just follow the red marks and you wont be lost.

The path and the hut at distance

Small path trough the mountain

Looking back to the arch of the Freedom

Here we go..

Kozya stena hut

Kozya stena hut is one amazing modern hut. It is not only the place and the view so impressive, but also the host and their attitude to the mountain.

It is the only one hut I have seen so far that is collecting their garbage separately. The area and the hut are very clean and the food is also amazing. The hut has also their solar system and provide accomodation to 92 people. The price for overnight is 15 bgn.

Here you can find more info and contacts of the hut.

Coming closer and closer

Panoramic terasse of the hut

The hosts are cooking some delicious food and together with panorama it is a must try!

What to bring with you?

There is no food close to the parking, so make sure that you have enough at least for the route to the hut.

Bring enough water – there is no water on the way to the hut.

You have to have good shoes and sun hat.

What else to see nearby?

If you have one more day then you can visit the Eho hut

The arch of the Freedom is located just in 15-20 min walking from the parking on the Beklemeto. From there you can see amazing panorama to South and North Bulgaria.

The arch on the way back

 

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