The Central Balkan is the mountain range that crosses Bulgaria from Serbia in the West to the Black Sea in the East. It reaches its highest point at Mount Botev which is located in front of the Aromahoney mountain retreat. It is an ideal location to reconnect with nature and enjoy a mountain holiday.
The Central Balkan National Park is one of Europe’s largest protected areas. It combines 5 nature reserves that have distinctive geographical features. Overall the park covers a variety of natural environments with peaks reaching over 2300 metres to valleys at only 400 metres altitude. As a result the Central Balkan has a diversity of ecosystems, plants and wild life.
When you travel through the Central Balkan you can discover many wild animals, plants and medical herbs:
- Two-thirds of all listed mammals in Bulgaria including bears, wolves, wild boars and mountain goats
- Many birds including eagles
- Half of all listed plants in Bulgaria
- 2000 species of plants with many rare flowers
- 220 medicinal plants and many types of mushrooms
Historically the Central Balkan has played an important role in marking boundaries between people and regions. The Romans used the Central Balkan as an administrative boundary. The new Bulgarian State in the XIXth century also marked its first borders with this mountain range.
Today the Central Balkan is revealing its more ancient history. Amateur historians are discovering the remain of ancient pyramids dating back more than 10000 years. It ties into similar discoveries across the world in Bosnia, the Urals, Turkey and the Pacific pointing to a lost global civilisation.
The Central Balkan is called in ancient texts Haemus mons. To the North is the ancient Roman province of Moesia. The mountain range marks the northern limit of the Greek world to the South and the beginning of the Latin world to the North.
Even today Bulgarians view the Central Balkan that divides their country as a cultural and psychological border. Southerners from the Plovdiv basin are more Mediterranean in lifestyle. Compared to Northerners they are perceived as more laid back, people who like to enjoy a more relaxed way of life and good food.
Southerners like to joke that crossing the mountain range is like going to a foreign country.
What to do in the Central Balkan
There are lots of art and nature activities to do in the Central Balkan. The natural environment provides many opportunities for outdoor and nature activities such as walking, hiking, MTB mountain biking, horse riding as well as swimming in mountain rivers and paragliding. It is an ideal location for a family holiday.
The region of the Central Balkan has a distinct cultural identity that you can discover with arts and crafts activities such as pottery and pyrography as well as knitting.
- Nature discovery: walking, bird watching, learning about the ecosystem, recognising medicinal plants and edible mushrooms
- Arts and Crafts: painting, photography, pottery, pyrography, black smithing,
- Fiber arts: knitting, Bulgarian sock kitting, needle lace, weaving, felting,
- Health: get fit, diet and nutrition, healthy cooking, digital detox, switch-off holiday
- Sports: hiking, yoga, mountainbike, mountain running, horse riding,
- Survival: orienteering, bushcraft, wild foods
- Culinary: traditional Bulgarian cooking, yoghurt and cheese making, wine and rakia making,
It is an ideal destination for a family holiday in the mountain.
When travelling the Central Balkan you can visit interesting many places:
- Troyan monastery decorated by Zahari Zograph
- Etara ethnographic village to see how craftsmen lived and worked in the XIXth century
- The Rose valley where the best rose essential oil is produced
- The Kazanlak Thracian tomb a UNESCO World Heritage site
- Koprivshtitsa historical village
- Hisaria spa town was visited by Roman emperors
Discover the Central Balkan
One of the best ways to discover the Central Balkan is to walk it. There are many walking itineraries, some easy, some more technical. We can recommend the best itinerary for you based on your age and level of fitness.
Today you can discover all the dimensions of the Central Balkan mountain range from the Aromahoney mountain retreat where you can start your journey in the Central Balkan. Count on us, we will show you the most beautiful and fascinating places. And we can help you organise visits and activities.
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