Balkan Cycling (Bulgaria)

Departure Date: 21-04-2018 Status: Open for booking Price: 470 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 26-05-2018 Status: Open for booking Price: 470 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 23-06-2018 Status: Open for booking Price: 470 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 21-07-2018 Status: Open for booking Price: 470 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 25-08-2018 Status: Open for booking Price: 470 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 22-09-2018 Status: Open for booking Price: 470 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 20-10-2018 Status: Open for booking Price: 470 Duration: 8 days

Exciting cycling trip in the heart of the Balkan mountains.

On this tour we bike along the north and central parts of the Balkan Mountains, famous for their unspoiled nature, green valleys with sheep peacefully grazing on lush grass, precipitous cliffs and gentle, rolling hills offering plenty of unique biking opportunities. We start the trip from the tiny Goliam Izvor village, passing by the Central Balkan National Park and ending up in Veliko Tarnovo – the Old Bulgarian capital and one of the most charming Bulgarian towns. The narrow roads meander through picturesque villages that look as they have been untouched for the past 200 years. You’ll see wooden carts pulled by a horse or donkey and villagers making hay the old-fashioned way.

Tour highlights:

Troyan Monastery “Assumption of Virgin Mary”, being the 3rd largest in Bulgaria, is built in the style of the Bulgarian Renaissance.
Etura Open-air Ethnographic Museum presenting the Bulgarian customs, craftsmanship, architecture and way of life in the the region during the Bulgarian National Revival period.
Bozhentsi village - an architectural reserve consisting of some 100 houses from The Bulgarian National Revival Period.
Veliko Turnovo - the old medieval capital of Bulgaria

Itineray:

Day 1. Arrival
Arrival at Sofia airport and transfer to our hotel.

Day 2. Goliam Izvor village - Ribaritsa village
Early transfer brings us to Golyam Izvor village where the cycling starts. We start cycling towards the town of Teteven as we have an optional detour to the Glozhene monastery. As we reach Teteven we can have a short stop for a walk and visit of the local historic museum and church or go for a short bike and hike to a nearby eco trail with 2 beautiful waterfalls. Then you continue cycling to Ribaritsa village where we stay for the night.
Cycling distance: 49 km

Day 3. Ribaritsa village - Troyan monastery - Apriltsi
Ascent from Ribaritsa village to the highest point for the day - Bogoi pass (1185m). From this pass the road goes all the way down to the town of Troyan passing through the village of Shipkovo where you can take a refreshing bath in the mineral water swimming pools. After lunch in Troyan town centre we visit The Pottery and Craft Exhibition "Oreshaka" nearby and the famous Troyan monastery. We spend the night in Apriltsii village.
Cycling distance: 78 km

Day 4. Apriltsi - Gabrovo - Etura
Cycling on isolated village roads from Apriltsi to Gabrovo. Enroute you pass by numerous small villages set in green landscapes and river valleys. After an ascent followed by a nice downhill ride you reach Gabrovo town and continue to "Etura"- an open-air ethnographic museum, where you can add and additional 6km of cycling reaching the nearby Sokolski Monastery.
Cycling distance: 50 km

Day 5. Gabrovo - Tryavna - Bozhentsi
After breakfast you start cycling from Gabrovo. After an ascent followed by a descent, you arrive in Tryavna. There you can spend some time on sightseeing and lunch in the centre of this beautiful National Revival town. Ups and downs through open terrain will lead you to the final stop for today - Bozhentsi architectural reserve.
Cycling distance: 52 km

Day 6. Bozhentsi - Dryanovo monastery - Elena
A transfer in the morning brings you to the Dryanovo monastery where you can also visit the local cave. You start cycling from the turning for Yalovo village to the town of Elena passing by several villages and the blue waters of Iovkovtsi dam.
Cycling distance: 48 km

Day 7. Elena - Arbanassi - Veliko Turnovo
From Elena we continue cycling to the last point of the trip – Arbanasi architectural reserve. The landscape includes meadows, pastures, cultivation lands, shrubby hills and finally a beautiful plateau over Veliko Tarnovo. After some free time for rest and walks among the old houses of Arbanasi we go for a lunch and sightseeing tour in Veliko Turnovo - the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, where we also stay for overnight.
Cycling distance: 43 km

Day 8. Transfer to Sofia airport. Departure.

Included in the price: ►7 nights at  family run  hotels and guest houses ►rooms with private facilities ►halfboard (breakfasts & dinners included, except dinner on day 1 and 7) ►supporting vehicle and English-speaking guide/driver ►map and roadbook ►technical bike support►group transfer to Sofia airport on day 8 (08.00 - 19.00)►airport transfer on day 1 and all local transfers

Not included: ►Bike rentalRent of Pannier bags ►flights ►travel insurance ►tips ►entrance fees ►drinks and meals not mentioned in the program ► extra transfer Plovdiv-Sofia on day 8 - 60 EUR (per vehicle) ►alcohol drinks and other personal expenses ►helmets: 5 EUR (per week, per person)

Other expenses: ►single room supplement: 80 euro

Good to know:
♦ Bikes:  hardtail mountain bike or hybrid bike
Roads: we use mainly isolated village asphalt roads with little traffic, road conditions are relatively good with some exceptions (bumpy sections, potholes, rough asphalt), we do not go off road
♦ Guide/driver: The guide with the supporting vehicle and the luggage inside checks several times a day if everything is OK with the group, waiting by crossroads, accompanying them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and giving them talks by the most interesting sites en-route
Dress code in monasteries and churches - men are not allowed to enter in shorts and women should not expose their legs and shoulders.
♦ Extension at the Black Sea coast - relax at the seaside - more information upon request

How to get there:  Wizz Air ; Easy Jet; Germanwings; Penguin Travel; Norwegian Air Shuttle; Airberlin; Ryan Air

We recommend trip in the period:   april - october

Necessary equipment: We strongly recommend you wearing a helmet during the cycling. You can bring your own helmet or rent one of ours. Cycling gloves, breathable clothes, waterproof gear, cycling shoes/trainers. (for list with recommended items see “General” in th etrip dossier).

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