The Central Balkan National Park lies in the heart of Bulgaria, nestled in the central and higher portions of the Balkan Mountains. Its altitude varies from 550 m. near the town of Karlovo to 2376 m. at Botev Peak, the highest summit in the mountain range. It was established on 31 October 1991. The Central Balkan National Park is the third largest protected territory in Bulgaria, spanning an area of 716.69 km² with total length of 85 km from the west to the east and an average width of 10 km. It occupies territory from 5 of the 28 provinces of the country: Lovech, Gabrovo, Sofia,Plovdiv and Stara Zagora. The national park includes nine nature reserves covering 28% of its territory: Boatin, Tsarichina, Kozya Stena, Steneto, Severen Dzhendem, Peeshti Skali, Sokolna, Dzhendema and Stara Reka.
The easiest way to get to the national park is by car or to buy a guided tour from Sofia. The trip by car will take you approximately 2 hours from Sofia. You will find plenty of international flights to Sofia from other European cities.
When to visit
There is something to do in all seasons in the national park. Winter is very cold and the landscapes are usually covered in snow. Visiting the park during winter is less common and you should be completely prepared for any trips. Spring, summer and fall are much more common for visitors. The parks has the most activity during summer.
Map of Central Balkan National Park
Image gallery of Central Balkan National Park
Cabins & Shelters
This section lists some of the cabins and shelters for the national park. They can be great places to stay for the experience or as overnight stays on hikes.
Mountains in Central Balkan National Park
This section will list some of the famous peaks in the national park. Be sure to do proper research before venturing on to the high peaks.
Wildlife in Central Balkan National Park
These sections shows you some of the characteristic wildlife to the national park.
Mushroom hunting in Central Balkan National Park
You are generally not allowed to forage in the national park. However, you can get a special permit from the park services if needed. Contact local authorities for more information on the matter.
Camping rules in Central Balkan National Park
Wild camping is prohibited within national parks in Bulgaria. However, it is legal to wild camp in the remaining parts of the country as long as you do not stay on private property.
Bears in Central Balkan National Park
Bears in the park
This national park has bears and you need to take the necessary precautions. Read the article on bears and seek information from local park authorities.