E-3 International Trail
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