The Balkan or Stara Planina mountain range is among the most majestic sights in Europe. Not only is it one of the wonders of nature; it has also played a significant role in shaping Balkan and Serbian history.
The mountain range can be found at the Balkan peninsula’s eastern portion. From the Vrashka Chuka Peak, it extends 360 km to the eastern Serbian and Bulgarian borders. It goes east through Cape Emine at the Black Sea.
What to See
Botev is the highest peak at 2,376 m. It is at central Bulgaria. The range is noteworthy for its diverse fauna and flora. The Kozyata stena region has Edelweiss. Some of the biggest mammals in Europe are in the area. Among them are the deer, chamois, boar, wolf and brown bear.
The Stara Planina mountain range also boasts of steep cliffs and beautiful landscapes. Many of them are in the Central Balkan Park. Verdant vegetation and lush waterfalls can be found there as well. The range also has several reserves including Kozyata stena and Chuprene.
The mountain range served as the Bulgarian Empire’s fortress for hundreds of years. The mountains also served as the arena for numerous battles between the Byzantine and Bulgarian Empires. Some of the battles that were fought here were the Battle of Tryavna (1190), the Battle of the Varbitsa Pass (811) and the Battle of the Rishki Pass (759).
The mountains also served as refuge for haiduks during the days of the Ottoman Empire. The Shipka Pass was the staging ground for many of the battles at the Russo-Turkish War (1877-78).
A trip to Serbia will cost about 1,000 to 2,000 USD depending on how long you plan to stay and what accommodations you want. If you are interested in getting a guided tour, you should have at least a 60 to 100 Euros.
The range can be separated into two parts: the Pre-Balkans to the north and the main Balkan Chain. The Sub-Balkan valleys are at the south. These are made up of eleven valleys from the Serbian border at the west to the Black Sea. The range is composed of 30 parts that are called mountains.
Some of the notable peaks at the Stara Planina mountain range are Vezhen Peak 2,198 m, Vetren 1,330 m and Midzor 2,169 m. Other peaks are Balgarka Peak 1,181 m, Shipka Peak 1,523 m and Kom Peak 2,016 m.