The Great Balkan Trail - Kom-Emine

The Great Balkan Trail - Kom-Emine

With its 650 km. Kom-Emine is Europes longest high mountain uninterrupted hiking trail. Starting from the westernmost peak in the Balkan mountain - Mt. Kom (2016 m) it follows the main ridge to the East right to the Black Sea and Cape Emine.

The trail's average elevation is 770 m. with more then 29 peaks with an altitude of above 2000 м .The highest point on the trail is Botev Peak at 2376 m.

The daily walking distances vary from 20 to 40 km (5-8 hours walking). The trail is waymarked in white-red-white with the initials E-3 but waymarking is of poor quality and almost impossible to follow particularly on the Eastern part of the trail.


Itinerary:

Day 1Transfer from Sofia to Kom Hut for overnight – 77 km/ 2 hours

Day 2. Kom Hut (1620 m) - Kom Peak (2016 m) – Petrohan Hut (1470 m).
Our trek begins with the highest peak of West Balkan mountains – Mt.Kom (2016 m). From there you can see Berkovitsa and the surrounding fields, as well as Montana town and the Ogosta Dam. We continue on the main grassy ridge east to Proboinitza Hut for overnight. +400m/-500m, 5h30 mins

Day 3. Petrohan Hut (1470 m) - Trastenaya Hut (1340 m) - The day begins with an ascent fom Petrohan Hut through the group of peaks, called  Todorini Kuli. A steep descent towards one of the lowest points along the routе - Lakatnik train station. 960m uphill will bring us to Trastenaya Hut. - 1100m/ +960m/ 9 hours

Day 4. Trastenaya Hut (1340 m) - Leskova Hut (1340 m) - today we climb towards the skirts of Mt. Izdermetz, we walk through the beautiful area Bain Kamak and reach Leskova Hut (1340 m) for overnight. + 800m/ -800m/ 6 hours

Day 5. Leskova Hut (1340 m) – Murgash Peak (1687 m) – Murgash Hut (1400 m).
Today we pass through the spectacular Iskar Gorge and climb the Murgash Peak. After enjoing the amazing mountain view from the summit we hike east to the hut for overnight. +340/-280m., 7 hours.

Day 6. Murgash Hut (1400 m) – Vitinia Pass (970 м ) – Chavdar Hut (1450 m).
After crossing the Vitinia Pass the trail ascends through old beech forest  following the main ridge.
+480m/-430m,  8 hours

Day 7. Chavdar Hut (1450 m) – Kashana Pass (1365 m - touch point) – Benkovski Hut (1540 м)
After crossing the Kashana Pass, our first touch point on the trail, the trail continuesthrough the Central Balkan National Park +180/- 90m,  7hours.

Day 8. Benkovski Hut (1540 м) – Koncheto Ridge (1907 м.) – Vejen Peak (2198 м) – Echo Hut (1675 м).
Ascending the main ridge again we pass the famous rocky ridge Koncheto, then we climb the highest peak of the Teteven Balkan - Vejen Peak (2198 m) and enjoying the breathtaking views to the Steneto Nature Reserve we see the Echo hut ahead. +685m/- 550m., 7 hours

Day 9. Echo Hut (1675 м) – Kozya Stena Hut (1562 m).
Today we take a day off with short hike to the next hut.  +0/-110 m.  2 hours.

Day 10. Kozya Stena Hut (1562 m) – Kozya Stena Reserve (1600 m) – Beklemeto Pass (1525 m - touch point) – Dermenka hut (1504 m).
Today the trail offer us the Kozya Stena Reserve, located in a very steep section of the mountain. The rocks rise up vertically from the aged beech and silver fir-tree forests.  Kozya stena shelters the habitats of a number of  rare plants. +150 m/-208m,  8 hours

Day 11. Dermenka Hut (1505 m) – Vassil Levski Hut (1450 m).
We approach the Botev Peak area and Djendema Reserve. The karst terrain is dotted with numerous caves and the forests primarily contain beech (average age: 250 years) and spruce. 0 m/-55m, 7 hours

Day 12. Vassil Levski Hut (1450 m) – Botev peak (2376 m) – Tuza Hut (1510 m).
Standing at 2376 m above sea level, Botev is the tallest peak in Stara Planina. It lies within the boundaries of national park “Central Balkan” – a beautiful natural reserve protecting 72 000 hectares of natural beauty. After climbing the peak a steep descent follows to Tuza Hut for overnight. +1000/- 850 m,  8 hours

Day 13. Tuja Hut (1510 m) – Uzana Hut (1240 m).
We follow the main ridge to the east,  reaching the spectacular hut Uzana after another long walking day.
+0 m./-270 m..  7 hours

Day 14. Uzana Hut (1240 m) – Shipka Peak (1326 m - touch point) – Buzludzha Peak (1441 m) – Buzludzha Hut (1280 m).
Today we visit the Shipka memorial to those who died for the Liberation of Bulgaria during the Battles of Shipka Pass in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. Then we pass by Buzludza Monument raching Buzludza hut for overnight.
+240 m/-200 m, 7 hours

Day 15. Buzludzha Hut (1280 m) – Predela Pass (770 m ) – Gramadliva Hut (876 m).
The trail starts to descent as we leave Central Balkan National Park and enter the Easter Balkans.
+0 m/-430 m, 7-8 hours

Day 16. Gramadliva (876 m) – Chumerna Peak (1536 m) – Chumerna Hut (1446 m).
Passing through old pine forests and quiet mountain pastures we climb Chumerna peak and after enjoyng the views from the summit we descent to the hut nearby. +690/-100 m,  8 hours

Day 17. Chumerna Hut (1446 m) – Kotel Town (643 m - touch point)
Another long day walking, descending through  oak and beech forests to the old town of Kotel.
+0 m/-780 m,  8 hours

Day 18. Kotel Town (643 m).
Today we enjoy the Old Town of Kotel - a picturesque architectural reserve situated on the outskirts of the mountains. Kotel is an emblematic place for the Bulgarians - it is a symbol of the Bulgarian Revival and the 19th c. Liberation movement. (dayoff)

Day 19. Kotel (643 m) - Vurbishki Pass (570 m) – Vurbishki Pass Hut (470 m).
The main ridge is getting more and more difficult to follow, the path  cutting through century-old forests and highmountain pastures. +0 m/-160 m, 5 hours.

Day 20. Vurbishki Pass Hut (470 m) – Daskotna Village (129 m) .
We countinue our trip passing by Luda Kamchiya reservoir along the river Kamchya.
+0 m/-170 m,  5 hours.

Day 21. Daskotna Village (129 m) – Topchiisko Hut (430 m).
Walking through thick bushes we can feel the smell of the sea already.
+130 m/-0 m,  5 hours

Day 22. Topchiisko Hut (430 m) – Kozichino Village (410 m).
Another 6-7 hours walking before we reach the small  village of Kozichino for overnight.
+0 m/- 20 m, 7 hours.

Day 23. Kozichino Village (410 m) – Emine Cape (250 m), transfer to Burgas (1,5 hours)
Our last but also one of the longest day hikes.   8-9 hours after we have left Kozichene and having crossed the main Varna-Burgas road  we reach our final destination  – Cape Emine - the end of the European walking route E3.
+0/-160 m, 8-9 hours

Accommodation: Mountain huts with rooms with 2, 3, 4 and more beds; shared facilities, hotel in Kotel 2 nights db;. room with private facilities.

Clothing and equipment: Checklist


Price Includes:
Group transfers from Sofia and back to Burgas
airport transfers on arrival and departure days as set by the itinerary (Day 1 and Day 23)
20 nights in mountain huts and 2 nights hotel
halfboard (breakfast and dinner) all days
English-speaking mountain guide


Gallery


The Great Balkan Trail - Kom-Emine (Rated 4.66 / 5 Based on 399 Reviews.)

Tours of this level demand that you be really in good shape. The paths are not always in the best condition and the marking can be scarce. There are day-treks with big ascents and descents. Changing weather conditions /even in midsummer/ play an important role when trekking/cycling at a very high altitude and may cause changes of the preliminary route. This is to be decided by the mountain guide on the spot. Normally, the treks are 6/8h per day, but some can be longer. Preliminary hiking experience is an advantage, but not necessary if you are really in a good shape. Note that during some of the days, you should personally carry your baggage, which is naturally an additional difficulty. No rock/ice climbing experience is needed.

Group Size
6-12
Reservation System Code
BGKOMEMINE
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