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What's important: you can compare and book not only Stara Planina hotels and resorts, but also villas and holiday cottages, inns and B&Bs (bed and breakfast), condo hotels and apartments, timeshare properties, guest houses and pensions, campsites (campgrounds), motels and hostels in Stara Planina. If you're going to Stara Planina save your money and time, don't pay for the services of the greedy travel agencies. Instead, book the best hotel in Stara Planina online, buy the cheapest airline tickets to Stara Planina, and rent a car in Stara Planina right now, paying the lowest price! Besides, here you can buy the Stara Planina related books, guidebooks, souvenirs and other goods.

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In order to book an accommodation in Stara Planina enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Stara Planina hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Stara Planina map to estimate the distance from the main Stara Planina attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Stara Planina hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search in Stara Planina is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Stara Planina is waiting for you!

Hotels of Stara Planina

A hotel in Stara Planina is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Stara Planina hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Stara Planina are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Stara Planina hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Stara Planina hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Stara Planina have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Stara Planina
An upscale full service hotel facility in Stara Planina that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Stara Planina hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Stara Planina
Full service Stara Planina hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Stara Planina
Boutique hotels of Stara Planina are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Stara Planina boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Stara Planina may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Stara Planina
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Stara Planina travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Stara Planina focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Stara Planina
Small to medium-sized Stara Planina hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Stara Planina traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Stara Planina hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Stara Planina
A bed and breakfast in Stara Planina is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Stara Planina bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Stara Planina B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Stara Planina
Stara Planina hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Stara Planina hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Stara Planina
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Stara Planina hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Stara Planina lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Stara Planina
Stara Planina timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Stara Planina often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Stara Planina on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Stara Planina
A Stara Planina motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Stara Planina for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Stara Planina motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Stara Planina

Balkan Mountains
Stara Planina, Стара планина
Kom stara planina pano.jpg
A view from Kom Peak in western Bulgaria.
Highest point
Peak Botev Peak
Elevation 2,376 m (7,795 ft)
Coordinates  / 42.71667; 24.91778
Length 530 km (330 mi) west-east
Width 15–50 kilometres (9–31 mi) north-south
Area 11,596 km (4,477 sq mi)
Countries Bulgaria and Serbia
Range coordinates  / 43.250; 25.000  / 43.250; 25.000
Type of rock granite, gneiss, limestone

The Balkan mountain range (Bulgarian and Serbian Cyrillic: Стара планина, Latin Serbian Stara planina, "Old Mountain"; Bulgarian pronunciation: [ˈstarɐ pɫɐniˈna]; Serbian pronunciation: [stâːraː planǐna]) is a mountain range in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. The Balkan range runs 560 km from the Vrashka Chuka Peak on the border between Bulgaria and Serbia eastward through central Bulgaria to Cape Emine on the Black Sea. The highest peaks of the Balkan Mountains are in central Bulgaria. The highest peak is Botev at 2,376 m, which makes the mountain range the third highest in the country, after Rila and Pirin. The mountains are the source of the name of the Balkan Peninsula.

The mountain range forms the watershed between the Black Sea and Aegean Sea catchment areas, with the exception of an area in west, where it is crossed by the spectacular Iskar Gorge. The karst relief determines the large number of caves, including Magura, featuring the most important and extended European post-Palaeolithic cave painting, Ledenika, Saeva dupka, Bacho Kiro, etc. The most notable rock formation are the Belogradchik Rocks in the west.

There are several important protected areas: Central Balkan National Park, Vrachanski Balkan Nature Park, Bulgarka Nature Park and Sinite Kamani Nature Park, as well as a number of nature reserves. The Balkan Mountains are remarkable for their flora and fauna. Edelweiss grows there in the region of Kozyata stena. Some of the most striking landscapes are included in the Central Balkan National Park with steep cliffs, the highest waterfalls in the Balkan Peninsula and lush vegetation. There are a number of important nature reserves such as Chuprene, Kozyata stena and others. Most of Europe's large mammals inhabit the area including the brown bear, wolf, boar, chamois and deer.

The Balkan Mountains played an enormous role in the history of Bulgaria since its foundation in 681 AD, and in the development of the Bulgarian nation and people.

Balkan Mountains: Etymology

Balkan Mountains, Rhodope, Rila and Pirin Mountains

It is believed the name was brought to the region in the 7th century by Bulgars who applied it to the area, as a part of the First Bulgarian Empire. In Bulgarian, the word balkan (балкан) means "mountain". It may have derived from the Persian bālkāneh or bālākhāna, meaning "high, above, or proud house." The name is still preserved in Central Asia with the Balkan Daglary (Balkan Mountains) and the Balkan Province of Turkmenistan. In Turkish balkan means "a chain of wooded mountains"

In the Antiquity and the Middle Ages the mountains were known by their Thracian name: the Haemus Mons. Scholars consider that Haemus (Αἷμος) is believed that the name is derived from a Thracian word *saimon, 'mountain ridge'. The name of the place where the range meets the Black Sea, Cape Emine, is derived from Aemon. A folk etymology holds that 'Haemus' derives from the Greek word "haema" (αἵμα) meaning 'blood', based on a fictional story in Greek mythology during the fight between Zeus and the monster/titan Typhon, Zeus injured Typhon with a thunder and Typhon's blood fell on the mountains from which they got their name.

Other names used to refer to the mountains in different time periods include Aemon, Haemimons, Hem, Emus, the Slavonic Matorni gori and the Turkish Kodzhabalkan.

Balkan Mountains: Geography

A view of the Balkan Mountains
The monument on Shipka
Central Balkan Mountains
Balkan Mountains in Serbia
View from Ray Resthouse towards the Central Balkan Mountains with Raysko Praskalo waterfall in the middle
Belogradchik Rocks
Kozya Stena Reserve

Geologically, the Balkan Mountains are a "young" part of the Alp-Himalayan chain that stretches across most of Europe and Asia. It can be divided into two parts: the main Balkan Chain and the Pre-Balkans (Fore-Balkan) to the north, which intrude slightly into the Danubian Plain. To the south, the mountain borders with the Sub-Balkan valleys - a row of 11 valleys running from the border with Serbia to the west to the Black Sea to the east which separate the Balkan mountains from a chain of other mountains known as Srednogorie which include Vitosha and Sredna Gora.

The range consists of around 30 portions called mountains. The Balkan Mountains can be divided into three sections:

  • The Western Balkan Mountains from Vrashka Chuka at the border with Serbia to the Pass of Arabakonak with a total length of 190 kilometres (120 mi) and highest peak Midžor at 2,169 metres (7,116 ft).
  • The Central Balkan Mountains from Arabakonak to the Vratnik Pass with a length of 207 kilometres (129 mi) and highest peak Botev Peak at 2,376 metres (7,795 ft), which is the highest in the range is located in that section.
  • The Eastern Balkan Mountains from the Vratnik Pass to Cape Emine with a length of 160 kilometres (99 mi) and highest peak Balgarka at 1,181 metres (3,875 ft). The eastern Balkan Mountains forms the lowest part of the range.

Balkan Mountains: Hydrology

The Balkan Mountains form a water divide between the rivers flowing to the Danube in the north and those flowing to the Aegean Sea in the south. However, they are crossed by Bulgaria's widest river, the Iskar, which forms the spectacular Iskar Gorge. Rivers that take their source from the Balkan Mountains and flow northwards to the Danube include the Timok, Archar, Lom, Tsibritsa, Ogosta, Skat, Vit, Osam, Yantra, and Rusenski Lom. The mountains are also the source of the Kamchiya, which flows directly into the Black Sea. Although not so abundant in mineral waters as other parts of Bulgaria, there are several spas such as Varshets, Shipkovo and Voneshta Voda.

There are a number of waterfalls, especially in the western and central parts of the range, such as Raysko Praskalo which is the highest waterfall in the Balkan Peninsula, Borov Kamak, Babsko Praskalo, Etropole Waterfall, Karlovsko Praskalo, Skaklya and others. Developments in the recent two decades completely changed the geography of Serbia, when it comes to waterfalls. Area of the Stara Planina has always been sparsely populated and inaccessible because of the rugged and forested terrain, but also as a location of the Serbian-Bulgarian border. As armies relinquished the borders keeping to the police, civilians were allowed to explore the area. As a result, higher and higher waterfalls have been discovered on the Serbian side of the Stara Planina since then: Čungulj in 1996 - 43 m (141 ft); Pilj in 2002 - 64 m (210 ft); Kopren in 2011 - 103.5 m (340 ft); Kaluđerski Skokovi in 2012 - 232 m (761 ft).

Balkan Mountains: Passes

The mountains are crossed by 20 passes and two gorges. There are paved roads crossing the Balkan Mountains at the following passes (listed from west to east):

  • Petrohan Pass: Sofia - Montana
  • Iskar Gorge (Iskarski prolom): Sofia - Vratsa (also railroad)
  • Vitinya Pass: Hemus motorway (A2), Sofia - Botevgrad
  • Beklemeto Pass: Troyan - Sopot
  • Shipka Pass: Gabrovo - Kazanlak (also railroad)
  • Pass of the Republic (Prohod na republikata): Veliko Tarnovo - Gurkovo
  • Vratnik Pass: Elena - Sliven
  • Kotel Pass (Kotlenski prohod): Kotel - Petolachka (Pentagram) crossroads
  • Varbitsa Pass (Varbishki prohod): Shumen - Petolachka crossroads
  • Rish Pass (Rishki prohod): Shumen - Karnobat
  • Luda Kamchiya Gorge (Ludokamchiyski prolom): Provadiya - Karnobat (also railroad)
  • Aytos Pass (Aytoski prohod) - Provadiya - Aytos
  • Dyulino Pass (Dyulinski prohod): Varna - Aytos
  • Obzor Pass (Obzorski prohod): Varna - Burgas, future Cherno More motorway (A3)

Balkan Mountains: Peaks

  • Botev Peak 2,376 m (7,795 ft), named after Hristo Botev.
  • Vezhen Peak 2,198 m (7,211 ft)
  • Midžor 2,169 m (7,116 ft), the highest peak in Serbia outside of Kosovo and north-western Bulgaria, 12th in the Balkan Mountains.
  • Kom Peak 2,016 m (6,614 ft)
  • Todorini Kukli 1,785 m (5,856 ft)
  • Murgash 1,687 m (5,535 ft)
  • Shipka Peak 1,523 m (4,997 ft)
  • Buzludzha 1,441 m (4,728 ft)
  • Balgarka Peak 1,181 m (3,875 ft)
  • Levski Peak (named after Vasil Levski)
  • Vetren 1,330 m (4,364 ft)

Balkan Mountains: History

The Balkan Mountains have had a significant and special place in the history of Bulgaria since its foundation in 681. It was a natural fortress of the Bulgarian Empire for centuries and formed an effective barrier to Moesia where most of the medieval capitals were located. The Balkan mountains were the site of numerous battles between the Bulgarian and the Byzantine Empires including the Battle of the Rishki Pass (759), Battle of the Varbitsa Pass (811), Battle of Tryavna (1190) and many others. In the battle of the Varbitsa Pass, Khan Krum decisively defeated an enormous Byzantine army, killing Emperor Nikephoros I. For many centuries the Byzantines feared these mountains, and on several occasions Byzantine armies pulled back only on the news of approaching the Balkan Mountains.

During the Ottoman rule, many haiduks found refuge in the Balkan Mountains. Close to the highest summit, Botev Peak, is Kalofer, the birthplace of Hristo Botev, a Bulgarian poet and national hero who died in the western Balkan Mountains near Vratsa in 1876 in the struggle against the Ottoman Empire. Also close to Botev Peak is the Shipka Pass, the scene of the four battles in the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78, which ended Turkish rule in the Balkans. Close to the pass in the village of Shipka, there is a Russian Orthodox church built to commemorate Russian and Bulgarian bravery during pass defense.

Balkan Mountains: Protection

Balkan Mountains: Bulgaria

Balkan Mountains: Serbia

First group of trees was protected in 1966, followed by the creation of 7 special nature reserves and 3 natural monuments in the 1980s. Nature park Stara Planina was established in 1997 and since 2009 is in its present borders, covering an area of 1,143.22 km (441.40 sq mi).

Limestone terrain is known for the short losing streams and tufaceous waterfalls. There are canyons and gorges, like those of the Toplodolska reka and Rosomačka reka rivers. Underground waters on the mountain reach the surface in the forms of common springs, well-springs (vrelo) and difused springs (pištevina). There are some 500 springs with the flow of over 0.1 L/s (1.3 imp gal/min). The strongest spring is the intermittent Jelovičko vrelo, known for its fluctuations, characterized by the bubbling and foaming.

Montane ecosystems are diverse and include several plant communities: forests, shrubs, meadows, pastures and peatlands. There are six different vegetation zone in the park. Oak, beech, spruce, subalpine zone of the shrub vegetation of common horsetail, blueberry, subalpine spruce and mugo pine. Other plants include shrub alder, steppe pedunculate oak, but also rare and endangered species like European pasqueflower, yellow pheasant's eye, Kosovo peony, common sundew, Heldreich's maple, martagon lily, pygmy iris and marsh orchid.

The area is a salmonid region, inhabited by the riverine brown trout. Another 25 species of fish live in the rivers and streams, so as the fire salamander and newts. There are 203 species of birds, of which 154 are nesting in the park, 10 are wintering, 30 are passing and 13 are wandering. Important species include golden eagle, griffon vulture, Ural owl and hawk. As the park is the most important habitat in Serbia for long-legged buzzard, Eurasian woodcock and an endemic Balkan horned lark, an area of 440 km (170 sq mi) was declared a European Important Bird Area. Over 30 mammalian species are found in the park, including lesser mole-rat, hazel dormouse and the Tertiary relict, European snow vole.

Human heritage spans from the prehistoric remains, Classical antiquity including the Roman period and late mediaeval monastic complexes. Some of those older monuments are fragmentary and relocated from their original locations. There are numerous examples of the ethnic edifices characteristic for the architecture of the region in the late 19th and early 20th century (houses, barns, etc.)

Balkan Mountains: See also

  • Balkans
  • Bulgarka Nature Park
  • Kom–Emine, a high-mountain long-distance trail along the main ridge of the Balkan Mountains
  • Rhodope Mountains, Rila, Pirin, Dinaric Alps, Šar mountain, Pindus, Strandzha - other major mountain chains in the Balkan region

Balkan Mountains: References and notes

  1. "Bulgaria". google.com.
  2. Андрейчин Л. и др., Български тълковен речник (допълнен и преработен от Д. Попов). Четвърто преработено и допълнено издание.: Издателство “Наука и изкуство”. С., 1994
  3. Todorova, Maria N. (1997). Imagining the Balkans. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. p. 27.
  4. "Balkhan Mountains". World Land Features Database. Land.WorldCityDB.com. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  5. "Balkan". Encarta World English Dictionary. Microsoft Corporation. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  6. "balkan". Büyük Türkçe Sözlük (in Turkish). Türk Dil Kurumu. Archived from the original on 2011-08-25. Sarp ve ormanlık sıradağ
  7. "Balkan studies". google.bg.
  8. "Gods and Heroes of the Greeks". google.bg.
  9. "SummitPost - Stara Planina (Balkana) -- Climbing, Hiking & Mountaineering". www.summitpost.org. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
  10. Senka Lučić (4 April 2012), "Koprenski vodopad", Politika-Putovanja (in Serbian), p. 06
  11. "Menjaju geografiju". Politika (in Serbian). 1 May 2006. p. 10.
  12. vodopadisrbije.com Kopren (Stara planina)
  13. Jelena Đokić (2015). "Vodopadi Srbije: Skriveni dragulji Stare planine" (in Serbian). Portal Mladi.
  14. Park prirode Stara Planina (PDF). Institute for nature conservation of Serbia. 2016.
  15. Dr Dušan Mijović (30 July 2009), "Vrela Stare Planine", Politika (in Serbian)
  • Regional tourist association
  • Euroregion Stara Planina
  • Hiking in Balkan Mountains
  • Controversy regarding ski resort development in ostensibly protected areas. (World Birdwatch, March 2009)
  • Tourist portal Stara Planina
Source of information: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. We're not responsible for the content of this article and your use of this information. Disclaimer
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