The European long-distance paths (trails) are a network of long-distance footpaths that traverse Europe. The paths were designated by the European Ramblers' Association. In general the routes make use of existing national and local trails.
The E3 European long distance path, is a 6,950-kilometre (4,320 mi) long-distance footpath that is planned to run from the Portuguese coast to the Black Sea in Bulgaria. The completed sections of the route pass through Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria.
In Bulgaria it follows the crest of Balkan Mountain (Stara Planina) – the longest mountain chain in Bulgaria. It spreads from the Belogradchik Pass to cape Emine at the Black Sea coast and covers some 10% of the total area of the country. Its average elevation is 735 m. The central section of Stara Planina is of the highest elevation – the crest often rises above 2000 m. Of all the 29 peaks with an elevation above 2000 м 25 are located in Central Stara Planina.
The international hiking trail Kom-Emine has a length of around 700 km. The trail is marked by special signs with the initials E-3 and paint marking – white-red-white marks. At many sites the paint marking coincides with the winter one (pillars with yellow-black-yellow color) and the crest of Balkan Mountain. More details
The E4 European long distance path starting in Spain at its westernmost point and leading through France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria to end in Greece. It visits the Greek island of Crete as well as Cyprus.
In Bulgaria the trail E4 begins on the village square of the Sofia suburb of Dragalevtsi. It passes the terminals of the Dragalevtsi chairlift and the highest peak of the Vitosha mountains, Cherni Vrah, and then leads down the other side of Vitosha, through the Verila hills to Rila mountain.
In the Rila and Pirin Mountains, the main trail leading through those mountains, marked in red, should be followed. Coming from Verila, the trail enters Rila. It passes through the Seven Rila Lakes area and then climbs onto the ridge passing Malyovitsa peak. It continues via the shelter Kobilino Branishte, the hut at Ribni Ezera and the hut Macedonia towards the Predel saddle which separates Rila from Pirin.
From Predela, it reaches the main ridge of Pirin via the hut Yavorov and follows it via the three highest peaks of Pirin (Banski Suhodol, Kutelo and Vihren) and the ridge Koncheto, before descending to the Vihren refuge. It continues on the ridge until the Vinarska Porta saddle, and then runs along Tevno Lake and down the Zhelezina stream towards Pirin hut. From there it is the only marked trail leading through the Central Pirin range, passing the peak Orelyak and the hut Popovi Livadi. It ends at Petrovo near the Greek border, where a bus to Kulata on the border can be taken. Total length within Bulgaria is 250 km.
E 8 TRAIL
The E8 European long distance path leading 4,700 km (2,920 miles) across Europe, from Cork in Ireland to Istanbul in Turkey. After Ireland it crosses the Irish Sea into the United Kingdom, where it follows part of the Trans Pennine Trail. After crossing the North Sea, it passes through the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine and Romania. It finally crosses Bulgaria before reaching Turkey.
International Trail E-3
The international mountain road „Kom-Emine" is known by the initials E-3. It is running along the ridge of Stara Planina Mountains (The Balkan Range) which is the longest mountain chain in Bulgaria. It extends from the Belogradchik pass to cape Emine on the Black Sea coast. The route is almost 700 km long. It is suitable for walking-tours and skiing.
The route „Kom-Emine" is indicated by special-for-the purpose signboards bearing the initial E-3 aid a band mark in white-red - white colour. In many spots both the band and winter (posts in yellow-black-yellow colour) marking coincide with the ridge of Stara Planina Mountains.
Map of the trail
Notwithstanding the fact that in morphohydrographic and morpho-structural respect the Stara Planina Mountains constitute a huge massif of mountain chains, a number of signs and peculiarities make for its cross division into three great parts - West, Central and East. Stara Planina Mountains occupy an area of 11.596 km2 which is 10 per cent of the total area of the country. The average elevation above sea level of the main Balkan range is 735 m. In the remote past it was called Kaemus, Haem, Matorni mountains, the Balkan. The name of Stara Planina came to be known for the first time in the beginning of the 16th century.
The Central Stara Planina has the highest elevation above sea level. Its main ridge often rises higher than 2000 m above sea level. Of all the 29 peaks in Stara Planina Mountains exceeding 2000 m, 25 are to be found in its Central part. The highest among them is mount Botev (2376 m) which rises in the Kalofer mountain (Kaloferska Planina).
Along the „Kom-Emine" route are 18 peaks of over 2000 m height to be climbed up out of 27 dotted about the whole Balkan Range. There are three national parks: Vrachanski Balkan (Vracanski Balkan), Ethur (Etar) and Sinite Kamuni (Sinite Kamani). on the territory of Stara Planina Mountains as well as many preserves and sites under protection.
Five preserves - Boatin, Tsarichina (Caricina), Steneto, Dzendema and Kamchia) have been declared by UNESCO as being Biospheric and are included in the international programme „Man - Biosphere".
On the area of Stara Planina Mountains and the Fore-Balkan Range there are 130 chalets, rest-homes, dormitories and shelters.
Profile of the trail
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