Botev Peak is the highest road of the Balkan Mountains
Botev Peak is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 2.376m (7,795ft) above the sea level, located on the boundary of Lovec and Plovdiv provinces, in central-southern Bulgaria. It’s one of the highest roads of the country.
Located within the Central Balkan National Park, there are 2 routes to reach the summit: a walking trail (on the southern side) and a gravel road (on the northern side). The road to the summit is called Route 607. 4x4 vehicles only. Starting from Ostrets, the ascent is 35.1 km long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 1.803 meters. The average gradient is 5.13%. The average temperature is −8.9 °C (16.0 °F) in January and 7.9 °C (46.2 °F) in July. The peak is called after the Bulgarian poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev. On the summit there’s a weather station and a radio tower (opened on 10 July 1966). The summit is almost in the dead centre of Bulgaria, so it will not be surprising to see a broadcasting tower for the country’s main FM and TV networks, reaching 65% of the country. There is also a mountain refuge.
Adverse weather conditions are common and accessibility is largely limited to the summer season. The mountain is unpredictable, in winter or summer. Approach animals in the mountain carefully. While there isn’t much scary wildlife, the park is full of grazing sheep and sometimes cows. The paths and routes are relatively well kept and safe, but anything could happen: rocks get slippery when it rains, and you could twist your ankle even on flat ground. Have a Plan B.
Pic: Georgi Shalamanov