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The Balkans is the historic and geographic name used to describe a region of southeastern Europe.

The Stara Planina ("Old Mountain") or Balkan mountain range is an extension of the Carpathian mountain range, separated from it by the Danube River. This range runs 560km from eastern Serbia eastward through central Bulgaria to Cape Emine on the Black Sea. Sometimes included in term Balkan, but not Stara Planina, are the Rila and Pirin ranges in South-Western Bulgaria. The highest peak on the Balkan peninsula is Musala in the Rila mountains near Sofija (Rila range) with 2,925 m, closely followed by Mount Olympus in Greece and Vihren (Pirin range).

The Stara Planina or Balkan mountain range is an extension of the Carpathian mountain range

The highest peak of the Stara Planina is Botev (2,376m), located in the Central Balkan National Park (established 1991). Dairy products, such as Kashkaval (Serbian kačkavalj, Bulgarian kaškaval) are produced here, as well as wine, plum and grape brandy known as Rakia (Serbian rakija). Close to it is Kalofer, the birth place of Hristo Botev, a Bulgarian poet and national hero who died in the Western Stara Planina near Vratsa in 1876 in the struggle against the Ottoman Empire. Also close to Botev peak is the Shipka ("rosehip") Pass, the scene of the four battles in 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 Bulgarian bravery during pass defence.

To acquaint yourself with some basic facts about Stara Planina, we suggest the following:

 #New!!! VIDEO CLIP FROM MOUNTAIN OF STARA PLANINA - The last hidden beauty of Europe
TOURIST GUIDE THORUGH STARA PLANINA
GOOGLE EARTH – SATELLITE PICTURES OF STARA PLANINA
WEATHER FORECAST
PHOTOGRAPHS OF STARA PLANINA AND THE REGION
FORUM WITH TOPICS OF STARA PLANINA
STARA PLANINA - GEOGRAPHICAL DATA
BALKAN MOUNTAINS RANGE - GEOGRAPHICAL MAP

Stara Planina is remarkable for its 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, deer. Extreme sports on Stara planina are aviable.

Description od Edelweiss:

Edelweiss

# The flowers can grow to a size of 3-20 cm.
# The leaves appear woolly because of the covering of white hairs.
# The flowers are felted and woolly with white hairs, with characteristic bloom consisting of five to six small yellow flower heads (5 mm) surrounded by leaflets in star form.
# The flowers are in bloom between July and September.
# The common European Edelweiss (Leontopodium nivale subsp. alpinum) can be found on rocky lawns, limestone rocks, and meadows (more rarely). It is unequally distributed and prefers rocky limestone places at 2000-2900 m altitude.
# The common European edelweiss (Leontopodium nivale subsp. alpinum) is distributed in the Alps, Pyrenees, Dinarides, Carpates, etc. The less common snow edelweiss (Leontopodium nivale subsp. nivale) can be found in Italy in the Appenines and in Bulgaria in the Stara Planina and the Pirin mountains.

 

VISIT AND MEET STARA PLANINA!!!

The highest peak of the Stara Planina itself is Botev in central Bulgaria.




Stara planina photo

The Balkans is the historic and geographic name used to describe southeastern Europe (see the Definitions and boundaries section below). Musala is the highest peak in Bulgaria and the entire Balkan Peninsula, standing at 2,925 m. Rila Mountain, Bulgaria The Rila is a mountain range in western Bulgaria.



Stara planina photo

Stara Planina is remarkable for its flora and fauna. The most beautiful Bulgarian mountain flower Edelweiss grows there on peak Koziata stena .



Stara Planina can be divided into three sections:

* Western Stara Planina from Vrashka Chuka at the border with Serbia to the Pass of Arabakonak with a total length of 190 km and highest peak Midzhur (2,169 m).
* Central Stara Planina from Arabakonak to the Vratnik Pass with a length of 207 km. Botev Peak (2,376 m) which is the highest in the range is located in that section.
* Eastern Stara Planina from the Vratnik Pass to Cape Emine with a length of 160 km and highest peak Balgarka (1181 m). Eastern Stara Planina forms the lowest part of the range.

Main characteristics of Stara Planina Mountain and our link suggestions are:
Untouched nature,
Sightseeing and leisure,
Destination opportunities,
Potential winter and
Serbia photos
Other links

Geography of Stara Planina:

In geological term Stara Planina is a young mountain. It is part of the Alp-Himalayan chain which stretches across most of Europe and Asia. It can be divided into two parts: the main Balkan Chain and the Pre-Balkan which follows the main chain to the north. To the north the Pre-Balkan slightly goes into the Danubian Plain, while 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.

Western Stara Planina

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

* Western Stara Planina from Vrashka Chuka at the border with Serbia to the Pass of Arabakonak with a total length of 190 km and highest peak Midzhur (2,169 m).
* Central Stara Planina from Arabakonak to the Vratnik Pass with a length of 207 km. Botev Peak (2,376 m) which is the highest in the range is located in that section.
* Eastern Stara Planina from the Vratnik Pass to Cape Emine with a length of 160 km and highest peak Balgarka (1181 m). Eastern Stara Planina forms the lowest part of the range.

Stara Planina forms a water divide between the rivers flowing to the Danube in the north and those flowing to the Aegean Sea in the south. However, it is crossed by Bulgaria's longest river, the Iskar, which forms the spectacular Iskar Gorge. Rivers which take their source from Stara Planina and flow northwards to the Danube include Timok, Archar, Lom, Tsibritsa, Ogosta, Skat, Vit, Osam, Yantra, Rusenski Lom. It is also the source of the Kamchia which directly flows in 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.