Summer in the Elena Balkan is sunny and cool. The rivers are offering perfect conditions for bathing and the clearings around them – for camping. On the fields you can easily find many forest fruit – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries as well as mushrooms and herbs.
On the other hand, the calm, snowy winter is also an active season. The region offers plenty of opportunities to hike in the snow.
Here are some of the trails for enthusiasts which you can embark on while visitting Kandaferi guest houses.
Atlartsi (30 min)
A short hike with a small incline (200m) will lead you to a nearby deserted village – Atlartsi. There are no roads to it and this is the reason it has kept is authentic spirit. A panoramic view of Stara Planina opens up for you once you reach the village and in good weather you can easily see the whole ridge from Chumerna to Botev. The road is marked.
Chukata (1h 30min)
Relaxing hike which gives you the opportunity for picnic on a beautiful clearing with its own spring. You will see the village from a different angle from Chukata. If you keep going up for about 20 more minutes, you will also take over the peak as well. For the way back – there is another road which will let you see new places. The trails are not marked but is easy to follow with a prepared map by Kandaferi guest houses.
The “Drill” (1h 30 min)
This hike will take you over a dirt road by the river. The Drill is a spring of groundwater located in an old beech forest. This is the perfect route for the summer heat and offers opportunities for BBQ, bathing in the cool stream of the river and using it as a cooler for your beer. The location is accessible with a vehicle as well.
Haidushki well (2h 00min)
This is a longer hike with a 500m displacement. The route takes you through an age-old forest to the top of Golyama Turla peak. The well Haidushki Kladenec is actually a spring which gives the location its name. It used to be a meeting point for haidouks. The peak offers you the panoramic view of 2 of the passages in Stara Planina. The route is unmarked.
Atlartsi – Dupkite – Sredna Turla – Miykovtsi (2h 00min)
After hiking to Atlartsi you can embark on another hike through the ridge of the Turlas (Atlarska, Sredna, Golyama) and then descend back to Miykovtsi. You will pass through a cliff (Dupkite) where you can see various kinds of fossils. There is a panoramic view throughout the whole hike. The route is not marked.
Bukovets hut (3h 00min)
This is an all-day hike with a serious climb to the ridge of Stara Planina – Bukovec peak (close by the hut). The chalet works but it is reccommended you bring food and water for the hike. The route is marked.
Chumerna hut (3h 30min)
An all-day hike which includes climbing to the top of the highest peak on the eastern side of Triglav. In good weather you can see 2/3 of the country from the peak – Rhodope, Rila, Pirin and all the way to the Danube river on the other side. Half of the hike is over a dirt road by the river. The whole route is marked.
Byala Krava (White Cow) Reserve (3h 30min)
This is the longest but the most scenic route. The hike takes you through a wild, unsolicited nature toward the reservation Byala Krava. The name is given due to the Byala Krava cliff which is located there. The route is not marked and Kandaferi guest houses are happy to offer a guide.
For real enthusiasts …
Miykovtsi – Byala Krava – Mount Chumerna – Chumerna hut (about 9 hours). Sleeping in the hut and return to Miykovtsi the following day.