Most of the mileage is done on asphalt main roads, with relatively little traffic, that are well-suited for biking. Along them cyclists can see some old-style means of transportation: wooden carts pulled by horses, donkeys or cows. You may also meet some nomadic gypsies, picking mushrooms and berries in the woods, as well as some local Muslim inhabitants growing tobacco and potatoes, or herds of sheep or goats coming down from the mountain at the end of the day.
9 and 23 June
Day 1: Arrive at Sofia or Plovdiv Airport and accommodation in Sofia or Plovdiv depending on your arrival time.
Day 2: The cycling starts few kilometers before the village of Sestrimo and up to Belmeken dam (2000 m) through old coniferous woods. In the afternoon the road passes the Iundola's mountain meadows before descending to the town of Velingrad, where we stay overnight in a hotel with hot mineral swimming pool. Cycling distance: 76 km; uphill/downhill cycling: 1400/1300 m.
Day 3: We begin few kilometers from Velingrad, passing through the picturesque landscape of Tsigov Chark countryside by Batak dam to the town of Dospat. On the way we go round the blue-green waters of Goliam Beglik and Shiroka poliana dams before reaching the town of Dospat and its dam, where we stay overnight in a hotel. Cycling distance: 71 km; uphill/downhill cycling: 600/700 m.
Day 4. The biking starts from Dospat via Borino town to the Buinovsko Gorge, which is also a gate to the next stop - the Yagodina Cave. Here we make a cave tour before going further to Trigrad village, passing among the 250 m high cliffs of the Trigrad Gorge. Here another sinister cave is expecting us - The Devil's Throat Cave, housing one of the highest underground waterfalls in Europe. Overnight in Trigrad in a family hotel. Cycling distance: 50 km; uphill/downhill cycling: 700/800 m.
Day 5: A pleasant descent along Trigradska River brings you to the village of Grohotno and the natural rock phenomenon "The Elephant". Then we continue upstream Shirokolushka River to the village of Shiroka Luka. We stop here to savour the spirit of this architectural reserve, famous for its preserved houses dating back from the Bulgarian Revival Period. We pass by the beautiful Smolyan lakes and finsh cycling in Smolyan town. Cycling distance: 66 km; uphill/downhill cycling: 950/800 m.
Day 6: Cycling from Smolyan to the historic place Rozhen. After a short rest you go uphill to a big picturesque meadow at 1700m which marks the beginning of a gentle downhill ride in direction to Laki town through “Momina voda” protected area. Nerby is the picturesque village of Borovo and the famous religious place with chapels and healing springs – Krastova Gora. Overnight in Borovo. Cycling distance: 39 km; uphill/downhill cycling: 400/1300 m.
Day 7: The downhill ride continues along Jugovska River valley to the main road Smolyan-Plovdiv. Short transfer brings you to the Wonderfull Bridges rocky phenomenon for short sightseeing. The next stop is Bachkovo Monastery (the second largest in Bulgaria). Transfer to Plovdiv for overnight. Cycling distance: 80km; uphill/downhill cycling: 100/1250 m.
Day 8: After breakfast you will be transferred to Sofia or Plovdiv Airport for departure.
Accomodation and food:
We stay in family-run hotels/guesthouses (days 1, 4, 6 and 7) and 3-star hotels (days 2, 3 and 5) with private facilities; 7 days on halfboard (breakfast & dinner included).
Bikes: You can choose (depending on the availability) from 2 types of bikes: 1 hardtail performance mountain bike “RAM” with road tires, 24 gears and 80mm front suspension fork and 2. quality road touring bike “DRAG” with 21 gears, 28 inch rims and Shimano components.
All bikers receive a detailed roadbook and map. 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. The guide is also responsible for the technical support of the bikes. Bikers can always skip some harder stages using the supporting vehicle.
We use two-way roads (one band per direction) with an asphalt covering (the latter usually not brand new!). The country roads are quite peaceful, sometimes without any cars. The road surface in these areas may be not very smooth at some stages. The traffic might be a little bit heavier at some sections but only for a short while.
We strongly recommend you wearing a helmet during the cycling. You can bring your own helmet or rent one from us. Cycling gloves are also advisable.
Extention at the Black Sea Coast:
We have a unique proposal, which gives you the opportunity to stay on a sea holiday for extra week after your active tour at an incredibly low price in Sozopol, Nessebar, Sunny Beach, Lozenets, St. Vlas, Golden Sands etc. and all this with arranged transportation right after your tour and before your departure flight.
Tour difficulty: Moderate/Difficult. Tour for experienced bikers.
Also see tour packages in:
Europe Bulgaria Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Sightseeing