Stara Planina or, as it is known, the Balkan is the longest mountain in the region with a length of over 500 km. It passes through the whole territory of Bulgaria and reaches the Black Sea. It is a natural barrier between the north and south of the country and is the first high mountain that stops distant northern winds. In order to facilitate the transition from Bulgaria to Bulgaria, dozens of passages pass through the mountain. In winter conditions, mountain passes all over Bulgaria should pass with increased attention, so keep in mind if you decide to visit Bulgaria in the winter. For us the Bulgarians, the Balkans also have a specific place in our lives. He is the protector, the proud guard who protects us from enemies.
The most famous area in the Balkan Mountains is the one around Belogradchik. The rocks around the city have beautiful shapes and red in color, which sharply distinguishes them from the surrounding scenery. At the top of one of the hills and surrounded by majestic rocks is the Belogradchik fortress, which has well-preserved fortress walls from the time of the Ottoman Empire. We strongly recommend to include the fortress in your plans, especially since the cave Magura, which is world famous for its cave paintings, is only half an hour away from Belogradchik. The drawings are dated to 15,000 years, but the most interesting thing about them is that they tell the story of mankind, religion, and you can also see the ancient calendar with the phases of the sun and the moon. The distance from Sofia to Belogradchik is 3 hours and a half, making it a convenient one-day tour.
On both sides of the old mountain are situated cities with a rich past and important for the history of Bulgaria. Some of them, such as Koprivshtitsa, Tryavna, Troyan, Kalofer, Karlovo, Gabrovo and Kazanlak, have completely or partially preserved architecture from the period of the Bulgarian revival. Each of the cities is at a distance from Sofia, allowing them to be seen in a one-day tour. Special attention is paid to Koprivshtitsa, which is a town museum and offers an interesting look at our past.
Besides cultural tourism, the area of Old Mountain offers many different mountain trekking or visits to waterfalls, caves and mountain peaks. Very popular are the Krushuna waterfalls as well as the Devetashka Cave. One of the most complex mountain routes in Bulgaria is one on the Balkan ridge from one end to the other. The route is suitable for both walking and cycling. It runs from 2 weeks to 40 days, depending on the training of the participants. The climbing of the highest peak of Stara Planina is also quite complicated and challenging the mountain lovers. If you decide to take time to climb a mountain peak, take at least two days.