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Ecotrail St. Athanasius

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Ecotrail "St. Athanasius " starts from the bus station in the small town of Stara Planina Etropole . Called "Path of Tradition" route is well marked and traveled for about an hour. Mark in blue - white - blue, but even if you do not follow it strictly unlikely to lose because frequent signs are placed to navigate even the most inexperienced hiker .

After the start of the course , when you are still in the city , on a small park and runs along hotel , after which you find yourself a clearing from which leave three paths. The eastern goes to Etropol monastery "St. Trinity " , also known as Varovitets . Southeast starting to hut 'guard' and the path to Mount St. Athanasius headed due south and begins a steep but short climb. The route goes through nice and dense beech forest, then onto a panoramic meadow in Umata ( also known as meadow or Umenska Annunciation ) . There signboard , pokazvashta1 where is the cave Dedo Blagova tank.

By Umata to peak Sveti Atanas between us is only a short climb. The peak is relatively low ( especially considering the surrounding giants ), but provides hikers spectacular views , mainly in the west and north. It is shallow and easily accessible from the east and south side. Lately there have been initiated archaeological excavations reveal remains of religious , public and residential buildings. Scientists suggest that the tip is also relevant to the cult of the Thracian god Sabazius . The site is strategically located on the main roads through the mountain crossing it over the pass Kashana ( Zlatishki ) . Furthermore magnificent view towards the bed of the Malki Iskar River and the central ridge of Stara Planina.

Very interesting custom associated with peak exists in Etropolje . The townspeople boarded the St. Atanas every last Sunday of January . There they roasted meat skewers , drink wine and be merry tumultuous . On the way back from the summit participants in the ritual wear skewers like rods and shout " clogs ! Clogs ". This is an obvious reference to the past and the Thracian god Sabazios . Although at first glance it would seem highly unlikely , it is conceivable that this practice dates back to pagan times . In many holidays in Bulgaria under the Christian veil standing purely pagan practices and beliefs .

From the top you can take back to Etropolje or go to the hut 'guard' on the long side rib mountain . From there you can go to the main Stara Planina ridge .

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