The highlights of this tour
One, two or three days hiking on route village of Ribaritsa – Vezhen chalet – Eho chalet – village of Ribaritsa.
The tour represents a large variety of landscapes, ecosystems and habitats in one of the oldest and the largest Bulgarian reserves – Tsarichina reserve (1949).
The most representative natural beech forests in the reserve are part of the serial World Heritage Property “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe”.
Here is the northernmost locality of the Balkan endemic species – Macedonian pine.
Here is the kingdom of the red avens, brown bear and spectacular variety of birds.
Here is the highest chapel on the Balkan peninsula – Holy Trinity – 1700 m altitude.
Video of the area
Description of the 3-day-tour
From the village of Ribaritsa the road leads us to the Border of Central Balkan National Park. On a small parking area we leave the transport and start our hike in direction Kolev kravarnik locality and Vezhen chalet.
We will pass through Tsarichina ecotrail – a nice way to enjoy the peaks of Central part of Balkan Range without going up to them. This forest is part of the Bulgarian component of serial UNESCO World Heritage Property “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe”.
There are six places for recreation (sets with wooden tables and benches) and three springs (fountains) along the route.
Upon reaching the sheepfold with a small dairy at Kolev kravarnik, traditionally prepared sheep’s milk products (yoghurt, white brined cheese, yellow cheese, stalk) and a traditional demonstration of these products are available.
From Kolev kravarnik we continue on our way to the final goal for the day – Vezhen chalet. We will have traditional diner and will spend the night at the chalet.
After breakfast we continue to Eho chalet. We will follow one of the most popular touristic trails in Bulgaria called E3 International Friendship Route.
A few minutes before we reach the chalet, we will see the highest-placed chapel in the Central Balkan, named Holy Trinity.
Now we have some spare time to enjoy one of the most impressive views in Central Balkan.
If desired, we have time to climb the Yumruka peak for an even more spectacular panorama to the north and south of the Balkan. Then it’s time for relaxation and a traditional dinner at the chalet.
After breakfast we continue on our way back to village of Ribaritsa.
This time we will take the steep path via Ostrikite locality.
We will climb down through fascinating beech-fir forest.
We will refill the bottles with mountain water and continue along a dirt road to the north towards the village of Ribaritsa.
Variations of the tour
A) TSARICHINA ECOTRAIL
The trail is pedestrian, circular, with the duration of the transition 4 to 4,5 hours.
B) TO VEZHEN PEAK VIA WINTER TRAIL
The distance between the Vezhen chalet and Vezhen peak is around 600 m. The peak may be climbed via three trails, their forking is at around 1 km south off the chalet, close to the upper forest line.
General information and booking info
Length of the tours
We offer 1, 2 or 3 days experience along the trail of the above descripted tour and all variations depending on the abilities and preferences of our guests.
The three days tour is about 32 to 34 km long. Depending on the selected part(s) of the tour the length (respectively duration) can be reduced to 30 km (2 days)/ 18 to 20 km (1 day, 9 hours)/ 5 km (5 hours).
Daily hikes for two or three day tours last between 5 and 8 hours. We are also flexible with regard to the direction of passing the route and possible combinations of its parts and variants.
The height difference is 1,500 m.
Level of difficulty
Participants must be over 10 years old, in good health, with medium/good hiking skills and appropriate equipment including wind and waterproof jacket and trousers (not shorts!), raincoat, comfortable hiking boots, comfortable backpack, bottle for water, flashlight, cap/hat, gloves.
The most suitable periods for visits are between April and November.
The visit of the dairy at Kolev kravarnik is possible between 15th of June and 15th of August.
Booking within 20 days of planned date is needed.
Three day tour:
80 EUR per person (min 4 persons or supplementary payment of 15 EUR per person in a group of 3 and 20 EUR per person in a group of 2). The price includes 2 nights in a mountain chalet (basic accommodation), two breakfasts and tour guiding. (Lunch and dinner are not included.)
Two day tour:
50 EUR per person (min 4 persons or supplementary payment of 10 EUR per person in a group of 3 and 15 EUR per person in a group of 2). The price includes 1 night in a mountain chalet (basic accommodation), a breakfast and tour guiding. (Lunch and dinner are not included.)
One day tour:
25 EUR per person (min 4 persons or supplementary payment of 10 EUR per person in a group of 3 and 15 EUR per person in a group of 2).
10 EUR per person (min 4 persons or supplementary payment of 5 EUR per person in a group of 3 and 10 EUR per person in a group of 2).
The starting point can be reached by car. There is a place along the road to leave the cars.
In case of a big group (10 persons and more) the nature guides can provide transport from the village and back at a small additional cost. The nature guides can cooperate about food and hotels.
How to book?
Text: Courtesy of Central Balk National Park Directorate
Photos: Directorate of Central Balkan National Park/Stoyan Hristov