Cycling Through the Sacred Places of Bulgaria

2395

15 days, 14 nights! The best period 30 May – 30 October...

Day 1:

  • Arrival in Varna/Bulgaria
  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel. Accommodation in mOdus Hotel on a BB basis. The hotel will be used as a city base in Varna in which the group will spend 3 nights.
  • Meeting and with the group leaders; detailed discussion of the of the route. Technical preparation of the vehicles.

Possibilities for having dinner in typical charming local restaurants in the city. (middle price: 15 Euro)

mOdus Hotel
mOdus is an eco oriented hotel with modern design and clear vision. The hotel is situated in the heart of Varna, right next to the entrance of the Sea Garden. In addition to its superb location and modern design, mOdus hotel is recognized by tripadvisor website as the hotel offering the best customer service in Varna.

Day 2:

  • Breakfast.
  • One day trip to Balchik.
  • Route: Varna – Balchik – Varna – 76 km (possibilities for extending the trip by 35 km and reaching Kaliakra)
  • Total in km: 76

Balchik
Balchik is a small seaside town in Northern Bulgaria which combines the romance of its steep streets with the beauty of the sea.
For a long time it has been known as the White Town for the mainly white colour of its lime rocks.
Balchik has a 21 centuries history and has preserved traces of many cultures. All that can be seen in the Historical museum situated in the town centre. The main attraction is the Botanic Garden – Balchik. Collections of plant species from all over the worlds are grown on an area of about 16 acres. One of the biggest attractions is the collection of large sized cacti species grown in an open area.
Kaliakra
Kaliakra is a long and narrow headland in the Southern Dobruja region of the northern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. The coast is steep with vertical cliffs reaching 70 m down to the sea. Kaliakra is a nature reserve, where dolphins, cormorants and pinnipeds can be observed. It also features the remnants of the fortified walls, water-main, baths and residence of Despot Dobrotitsa in the short-lived Principality of Karvuna's medieval capital.

  • Return to the hotel in Varna.

Day 3:

  • Breakfast
  • One day trip to the mouth of Kamchiya River
  • Route: Varna – Benkovski – The mouth of the Kamchiya River – Dolni Chiflik – Beloslav – Varna
  • Total in km: 110

The mouth of the Kamchiya River
The mouth of the Kamchiya River is one of the most beautiful sights along the Bulgarian Coast. The region is known for its wide beaches. The merger of two small rivers springing from the Eastern Stara Planina Mountain gives birth to the Kamchiya River. Running down through the Balkan Mountain, Kamchiya meanders through a grove called Longoza, which features tropical flora. Besides various trees and bushes, ferns, reed and yellow water lilies also grow here. The frequently flooded place is protected by UNESCO. The reserve is 40km long (stretching throughout the Longoza forest to the river mouth) and 5km wide at some places. One can see here does, deer, sea hawks, eagles, wild boars and wild cats, among others.

  • Return to the hotel in Varna.

Day 4:

  • Breakfast
  • Start of the ride to Sofia/Capital of Bulgaria
  • The route is tailored by experienced Bulgarian cyclists and will lead the group on country roads avoiding the main roads with heavy traffic. The whole route to Sofia is tailored so as to bring the group through some of the most beautiful places of Bulgaria.
  • Total length of Varna – Sofia route : around 990 km.
  • Route: Varna – Beloslav – Dalgopol – Smiadovo – Veliki Preslav
  • Total in km: 115

Veliki Preslav
Preslav was the capital of the First Bulgarian Empire from 893 to 972 and one of the most important cities of medieval Southeastern Europe. The ruins of the city are situated in modern northeastern Bulgaria, some 20 kilometres southwest of the regional capital of Shumen, and are currently a national archaeological reserve.
- Accommodation on a BB basis in Omurtagov Most Guesthouse situated amid breathtaking nature sceneries near the River Kamchiya and the Archeological Reserve of the ancient Bulgarian capital Veliki Preslav.

  • Dinner in the Omurtagov Most Guesthouse tavern.

Day 5:

  • Breakfast
  • Start of the ride
  • Route: Veliki Preslav – Yablanovo – Kotel – Elena
  • Total in km: 115

Elena Balkan; Elena
Elena is situated in the beautiful Elena valley, in the eastern part of the middle Balkan range. The town is surrounded by many small rivers and several canyons, which run across the Elena hollow. The hills are overgrown with mixed woodland, inhabited by wild boars, wolves, foxes, hares, jackals and deer. In the town of Elena you will submerge into the romantic atmosphere of talented wood carvers and builders. You will get closer to Bulgarian traditions and customs in a typical folklore atmosphere. Here you will find a combination of magnificent nature, preserved Bulgarian traditionism, customs and rich historical heritage.
- Accommodation on a BB basis in Kostadinov Houses Hotel Complex which offers incredible atmosphere for relax and recreation in the beautiful Elena part of the Balkan mountain Range. The complex has a winery cellar with hall for wine tasting.

  • Dinner in the Kostadinov Houses tavern.

Day 6:

  • Breakfast
  • Start of the ride
  • Route: Elena – Veliko Turnovo – Voneshta Voda – Tryavna – 75 km;
  • Total in km: 75

Veliko Turnovo
Veliko Turnovo is the medieval capital of Bulgaria, is brought to you with more than 7000 years of history. The houses, stacked one above the other, situated on the slopy hills of the town show a remarkable, unique architectural style. The bridges, unexpectedly flying over the river, palaces and towers, spectacular museums, ancient columns with writings left by our proud rulers, monasteries with unique murals and the Arbanassi fortress-houses.
Tryavna
The historical and architectural reservation in Tryavna is among its main attractions. Some of the best examples of buildings from the Bulgarian Renaissance period have been well preserved. The seven museum collections contain unique pieces of art from the late medieval period, such as icons and woodcarvings.The town of Tryavna has preserved its old town square, the only one left in the country, which has been proclaimed as a Monument of Architecture.

  • Accommodation on a BB basis in Bulgarka Ethnographic Complex located in a village in the center of the Bulgarka Nature Reserve.
  • Dinner in the Bulgarka Ethnographic Complex tavern.

Day 7:

  • Breakfast.
  • Start of the ride
  • Route: Tryavna – Gabrovo – Apriltsi – The Troyan Monastery
  • Total in km: 90

Gabrovo
Gabrovo is known as an international capital of humour and satire, as well as noted for its Bulgarian National Revival architecture. Gabrovo is also known as the longest town in Bulgaria, stretching over 25 km along the Yantra, yet reaching only 1 km in width at places. There is to be found the Etar Architectural-Ethnographic - an open-air museum which presents the Bulgarian customs, culture and craftsmanship. It spans over an area of 7 ha and contains a total of 50 objects, including water installations and houses with craftsmen's workshops attached. As a whole, the complex's goal is to illustrate the architecture, way of life and economy of Gabrovo and the region during the Bulgarian National Revival.

Apriltsi
Apriltzi is a small town with the perfect echo- friendly environment. It is situated at the heart of the mountain called Stara planina (The Balkan), forming a magnificent valley with two rivers namely Vidima and Ostreshka. The historical evidence and hills around this city is an evidence of ancient Thrace village. The remains of an ancient temple were discovered close to the summit Ostrets. In the year 1876, there was a bloody national liberation revolution in this city. The revolution took place in the month of April and thus the city assumed its name Apriltsi. There is a monastery located in the city and it’s called Novoselski and 20 km from the city is another monastery called Batoshevski.

The Troyan Monastery
The Troyan Monastery "Uspenie Bogorodichno"/The Assumption/ lies at a distance of 10 km east of Troyan in a beautiful site on the bank of the Cherni Osam River. The Troyan Monastery is a monument of culture, which attracts thousands of tourists with its architectural, natural, historic and artistic landmarks. It is not yet proved whether the monastery has existed in the Middle Ages or not. The history of the Troyan monastery during XVII-XIX c. is a succession of plunders and defeats caused by the oppressors. The monastery has survived thanks to the tenacity of patriotic and active monks and the support of the freedom-loving inhabitants of the adjacent villages. The monastery has been a local centre of spiritual education and literacy.

  • Accommodation in The Troyan Monastery
  • Dinner in a typical village restaurant

Day 8

  • Breakfast.
  • Start of the ride
  • Route: The Troyan Monastery – Troyan – Beklemeto – Karlovo – Hisarya – Starosel
  • Total in km: 115

Troyan
The town of Troyan is situated on the terraced banks of the Beli Osam River, at the northern foot of the Balkan mountain. The old Roman road Via Trayana, connecting Danube with Agean Sea, crossed the mountain and gave the name of Troyan. Crafts like carpentry, making of fur caps, smithery, homespun tailoring and, most of all, pottery were well- developed in the 19th century. The town has renowned for the production of ceramics up to the present day.
Karlovo
Karlovo is a picturesque and a historically important town in central Bulgaria. famous for the worldwide-known rose oil, which is grown there and used in producing perfume. In addition to this, Karlovo is the birthplace of Vasil Levsi, the most distinguished Bulgarian to start preparing the national liberation from the Ottoman rule in the late 19th century. There is a museum and large monument dedicated to him.
Hisarya
Hisarya is a small resort town in Bulgaria, in Plovdiv Province. Located in the outskirts of the Sredna Gora mountain range, it boasts of a very mild climate and over two dozen different mineral springs, which make it a favorite spa for many Bulgarian and foreign tourists.
Starosel
The village of Starosel is situated near to the Karlovo town. In the year 2000, archeologists discovered the largest Thracian temple- tomb in the Southeastern Europe. According to the scientists, it dates back to the end of the V century and the beginning of the IV century BC and most probably is of Stalk, a Thracian ruler of the Odris Kingdom. There are many Thracian tombs in Bulgaria, but that in Starosel has preserved the spirit of the ancient Thracians and makes strong impression with its sumptuousness.

  • Accommodation on a BB basis in The Complex for Wine Tourism Starosel built in the second protected zone of the Thracian cult centre. It has an impressive architecture reminding of an old monastery with an interior yard. Many people say that its silence is intoxicating and it seems that you can touch it with your hands…
  • Wine tour included in the programme
  • Dinner in a the Starosel Complex tavern

Day 9:

  • Breakfast
  • Start of the ride
  • Route: Starosel – Chernogorovo – Ognyanovo – Peshtera – Batak – Velingrad
  • Total in km: 115

Peshtera
Peshtera is a town located in the Upper Thracian Lowlands at the foot of the Western Rhodopes. It takes its name from the many caves (peshtera is the Bulgarian word for 'cave') found in the vicinity. The earliest piece of writing documenting the town's name dates from 1479, when Peshtera was part of the fief of a certain Mustafa in the Ottoman Empire. During the Bulgarian National Revival, many churches, bridges, fountains, schools and houses were built. Many local residents took part in the armed struggle for the Liberation of Bulgaria, the town itself being liberated during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78.

Batak
Today Batak is a town famous for its historical monuments and a resort and tourist centre. There are numerous archaeological monuments of most ancient times in the region of Batak. A find of the Old Stone Age was discovered in 1958. Tools, objects, ceramic vessels, ornaments as well as bones of rhinoceros were found which proves that the climate was warmer in the Quaternay. Twenty Thracian, Thraco-Roman, Byzantine and Slavic fortresses, churches and monasteries, as well as Thracian mounds, Roman bridges, mines, mills and other archaeological sites were registered.

Velingrad
Velingrad is situated in the west part of Chepinska Valley, on the borderline between the Rhodope Mountain and Rila Mountain. Velingrad is a balneological and a climatic resort of republican and international importance. Situated in the heart of one of the lergest thermal-aquiferous basins in our country, it is remarkable for its extremely favourable climate, many sunny days throughout the year, fresh mountain air and virgin nature. “Velina” Hotel Complex is one of the most attractive places here. Situated in the middle of a beautiful pine park at an altitude of 790 m,it offers natural balneoclimatic conditions for prophylaxis, rehabilitation and treatment of different diseases, as well as the following specialized programmes for healthy people.

  • Accommodation on a BB basis in Velina Hotel, Velingrad - a balneological centre for relaxation and treatment.
  • Dinner in a typical Bulgarian restaurant in the city or in the hotel.

Day 10:

  • Breakfast
  • Start of the ride
  • Route: Velingrad – Belmeken lake – Kostnetz – Borovetz – 110 km;
  • Total in km: 110

The Belmeken Lake
The Belmeken dam is situated in the Rila Mountains and is the highest dam lake on the Balkan pensinsula. It is part of the huge cascade Belmeken-Chaira-Sestrimo.
Borovets
Borovets is the biggest mountain resort in Bulgaria. It’s situated at 1350 meters altitude, at the foot of the summit called Musala – 2925 m above sea level. The resort offers favorable climatic conditions for relaxation all the year round. Summer is cool, winter is open. The healthy atmosphere makes the resort an attractive place for relaxation. It offers a perfect opportunity for amateur and professional winter sport and therefore the mountain resort has been а venue twice for the world ski championship. The track for biathlon is among the best rated in the world. Among the pleasant experience witnessed by tourist are the Bulgarian folklore-nights, with possible taste of the Bulgarian cuisine and Bulgarian wines.

  • Accommodation on a BB basis in Malina villas - comfortable, two-storey Finnish and Polish type wooden houses. The villas are surrounded by sunny meadows, volleyball, basketball, football playgrounds and a table tennis, children playground, table games, buggies.
  • Dinner in a typical restaurant.

Day 11:

  • Breakfast.
  • Start of the ride
  • Route: Borovetz – Samokov – Zheleznitza – Sofia
  • Total in km: 71
  • Arrival in Sofia
  • Accommodation on a BB basis in the Tsarsko Selo Spa Complex – a 4 star hotel complex, situated at the foot of Vitosha Mountain, within 7 km. from the business center of Sofia. It consists of beautiful hotel blocks and villas all built in a park, pizza & restaurant. The group will spend 3 nights in the complex.
  • Dinner in the Tsarsko Selo Spa Complex

Day 12, and 13:

  • Breakfast
  • Riding in the area of the capital of Sofia
  • Returning back to Tsarsko Selo Spa Complex

Day 14:

  • Breakfast
  • Transfer to Varna
  • Accommodation in mOdus Hotel.

Day 15:
Breakfast
Transfer to the Varna Airport. Return Flight.

The best period 30 May – 30 October

The price includes:

  • all airport – hotel – airport transfers;
  • 14 night accommodation on a BB basis;
  • lunch packets;
  • 2 professional cycling guides;
  • 2 support cars during all rides;
  • Translator/guide at disposal during all 14 days;
  • Sofia - Varna transfer by bus + cycle’s transportation;
  • First Aid medical support during the rides;
  • All traffic police taxes;
  • A detailed Road map of Bulgaria and info materials for every participant.

The price does not include:

  • Dinners in the hotels/guesthouses or in restaurants and taverns specially chosen for the purpose;
  • All museum and sightseeing taxes;
  • Additional trips

Remarks:

  • All hotels and accommodation complexes will be warned and ready to prepare lunch packets for the for the way between two places.
  • Possibilities to divide the days into days of cycling and days of visits, we will rearrange it accordingly!


Minimum participants 20 people!