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Bulgarian peaks

The Balkan Peninsula includes numerous mountain ranges, including the Dinaric Alps, which run north-west along the Adriatic Sea coast; the mountains of Greece; and the mountains of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria's mountains include the Balkan Mountains, which extend west-east for 350 miles through central Bulgaria, to the Black Sea. Elevation here averages only 3000-4000 feet, but rises to 7,793 feet in Botev Peak. Despite the modest heights, however, climbing is good and the scenery is superb, with alpine meadows in the upper sections, conifers and deciduous forests on the slopes, and many thermal and mineral springs in the area.

The range is a narrow band, only 12-30 miles wide, but forms a major divide between the Danube and Maritsa rivers on the north and south, and is the Mediterranean climate's northern limit.

The Balkans are crossed by many highway passes and railway lines, so accessibility is easy. Mountain resorts are scattered throughout the range, with Sofia, the capital, being a major center.

South of the Balkans, the Rila and Rhodope Mountains are comprised of several isolated massifs that stretch southward from Sofia, Bulgaria's capital city, to the Aegean Sea. Here rise the highest mountains of Bulgaria, Musala (2925 m) and Vikhren (2,915 m). Another significant mountain, Cherni Vrukh (2290 m), rises in isolation immediately south of Sofia.

The best season for climbing in Bulgaria is from June to September.

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