This is the longest marked trail in Bulgaria! More famous as Kom-Emine, this route is a true challenge for all who attempt it! 600km trail running adventure with a mountain guide and full support! Whether you are a runner or a hiker you should prepare carefully to spend from 10 to 20 days in the mountain (60 or 30km each day!). Everyone is facing the objective problems of such a long route – fatigue, blisters, food and water supplies, navigation problems, difficult communication with the locals etc. Having a local mountain guide by your side could save a lot of trouble and help you to really enjoy your journey without worrying about all the details that come along.
The route is suitable for experienced people able to complete around 60km per day in around 10-12 hours (5 – 5.5km per hour average speed) for 10 consecutive days. Previous experience in multi-day ultra distance routes (more than 42km per day) is highly recommended.
The route starts from Kom peak (2016m) near the national border with Serbia to the west and crosses all Bulgaria to the east, finishing at the cape Emine on the Black sea. The total distance can vary slightly around 600km, the elevation gain is around 18 000m and elevation loss is 19 500m.
The route passes through Central Balkan National park, where also the highest peak of the mountain is located (Botev – 2376m). But the scenery changes every day and literally one can experience the whole history of the country.
Accommodation is mostly in mountain huts, rarely in guest houses or small hotels. Sleeping bag is highly recommended as there is a possibility for overnight in a shelter with basic conditions.
When to do it?
The most suitable time to do the route is usually from late June till late September. July and August are the busiest and therefore it is very important to speak with the huts in advance in order to deal with the accommodation and food.
Problems along the route
A big route like E3 can create various problems of different origin. Planning of the luggage, logistics, food supplies, accommodation and weather are extremely important. Knowing the route and navigating in bad weather can be difficult. Due to the large length and altitude differences you should expect variations in the weather in the Western, Central and Eastern Balkan. For the same reasons some of the water wells usually are dry in August and September.
Animals in the mountain could be an issue only in case of a surprise. There are a lot of sheep herds and they usually are accompanied by big dogs! Other domestic animals can be herds of horses or cows – they usually don’t have dogs with them.
Among the wild animals the biggest danger is to surprise a mother bear with its children. Good news is that usually they hear you from a large distance and they run away. But making some noise or hanging a small bell on your bag pack is a working solution. Wild boars can be dangerous also if they are surprised and they have small piglets. This can be the case from May till mid July.
Usually when we walk/run in groups the animals hear us from a distance and they run away.
Prices will be calculated upon request due to the complex character of the route – number of people, length of the trip, logistics and support, overnight stays, food supplies etc.
Here is an example of a 10 days trip along the E3. Adjustments can be made in order to reduce/increase the daily distance or to change the overnight stays.
Day 1. Kom hut – Trastena hut 55km, 2000m D+
Day 2. Trastena hut – Kashana hut 87km, 3000m D+
Day 3. Kashana hut – Kozya stena hut 46km, 2500m D+
Day 4. Kozya stena hut – Tuzha hut – 54km, 2600m D+
Day 5. Tazha hut – Buzludzha hut 46km, 1600m D+
Day 6. Buzludzha hut – Chumerna hut 67km, 2500m D+
Day 7. Chumerna hut – Kotel town 56km, 1300m D+
Day 8. Kotel – Hazim gorskia shelter 63km, 2300m D+
Day 9. Hazim shelter – Topchiisko village 46km, 1300m D+
Day 10. Topchiisko – cape Emine 65km, 1000m D+