Day 1: Arrival in Varna and transport to the ethno complex accomodation at the village of Kalimantci.Enjoy the hospitality and get familiar with the bicycle with a short test drive in the near vicinity admiring the wonderfull overview of the major seaport Varna.
Day 2: from Nikolaevka to Mogila-distance 64 km. From the cycling center in Nikolaevka head north to get on Ludogorie plateau. Cycling through a number of Turkish villages we will touch the typical Deliorman life. A real gliding waits us on the long descent to the gorge of Provadiiska River passing by a scenic landscape of volcano-like hills most impressing of which is Taushan tepe. Pedal by the river amid awesome earth forms and cliffs above. We stay for the night in the village of Mogila enjoying the panorama toward the plain. ThV (Thematic Version): On some of the volcano-like hills once there were strong fortresses keeping the roads from the medieval capitals of Bulgaria Pliska, Preslav and Turnovo to the port of Varna. The crusaders defeated the Ottomans and take the major of them Stan and Venchan situated on the entrance and on the exit of the gorge.
Day 3: From Mogila to Kyulevcha -distance 51 km. The route slides down to the plain. Ride through a vast field where there are the ruins of the first Bulgarian capital Pliska covering 23 sq. km. Only by bike or by horse one can imagine the enormous fortification presented nowadays by the earth ditches. Pliska was the seat of the Bulgarian monarchs from 7th to10th century. Only the inner city is an archeological site and it’s worth seeing. Cycling continues to the highlight of the day - Madara Rider, outstanding monument of UNESCO World Heritage List. The next stop is the picturesque village of Kyulevcha with its traditional architecture and unique location making it a perfect place for relaxing. ThV: The crusaders stayed in this plain for a couple of days, captured the small stronghold of Madara and seized the fortified town of Shumen to secure their back.
Day 4: From Kyulevcha to Debelec - distance 67 km. Today we pedal across a huge plateau overlooking the marvelous canyon where the old town of Provadia is lying down with the fortress of Ovech on the other side of the rocks. Ride southwards to cross the valley of Kamchia River and enter the foothills of the Balkan mountain. In the end of the day we reach the mountain settlement of Debelec placed just on an isolated shore of Conevo Lake. ThV: The fall of the strategic and unapproachable fortress of Ovech, a key crossroad connecting Thracia with the Danube and Wallahia made a great impact to sultan Murad , who immediately began to prepare his forces.
Day 5: From Debelec to Razdelna - distance 45 km. In the morning we could relax rowing a boat along the lake or making a boat trip taking delight in the mountain landscape. Pedal downhill leaving the Balkan. Crossing the Longoza riverine forest our route continues on flat terrain between Avren plateau and a chain of wetlands. Following the distinguishing shape of Petricha rocks we cycle up the steep ascent to our accommodation for the night. ThV: The recent dam Conevo was a part of Kamchia pass, the main route from Ottoman capital Edirne to Danubian plain. Many garrisons guarded the gorge some of which could be seen on the hills along the lake. Sultan Murad succeeded to join Anatolian and Rumelian armies with the help of the Genovese fleet and relocated them north of the Balkan using exactly this way.
Day 6: From Razdelna to Konstantinovo - distance 46 km. We take the panoramic dirt road on the plateau which leads to the village of Avren. On the way stop to explore Petricha fortress built on the edge of a rock with a stunning view to the valley below. The village of Avren is interesting with its location on the highest place of the plateau and the small observatory. Then cycle along the ridge of the plateau passing by Priseltsi winery for tasting. Ride the long descent leading just on the south shore of Varna Lake. Take the road left and stop for the night in Zvezditsa tourist and shooting complex situated on the coast of the lake with a view toward Varna admiring the night lights reflecting in the water surface. Optional is to take the road right, cross Asparuch’s Bridge and finish the tour in Varna. ThV: Vladislav captured Petricha stronghold in the hinterland of Varna and opened his way to the sea. The crusaders had to wait for the venetian fleet to bring them southwards to attack Edirne, the capital of the Turks. The surprise was that the venetians never intended to do this favor.
Day 7: From Konstantinovo to Varna - distance 39 km. Start the day with cycling through the alternating vineyards along the coast of Varna Lake. Take a look of Yatata wetland protected area - a Natura 2000 site on the southern and the interesting sandy cliffs on the northern bank. Pedal on the greenway which goes to Pobiti kamani through a cultivated sandy area. Discover the scattered groups of the unique stone columns complex included in the UNESCO Tentative List. Follow the last steps of the Crusade of Varna riding along the foothills of the high Franga Plateau reaching the field where the Battle on 10.11.1444 occurred. Visit the park with two mounds, a museum and the cenotaph of king Vladislav III Jagiello placed in an ancient Thracian mound tomb. The city of Varna offers many sightseeing and attractions. It’s worth mention the world oldest golden treasure from Varna necropolis, the Roman baths, the old beautiful churches, the Mediterranean city architecture and the lighthouse of the port. ThV: The Christian army occupied the port of Varna and the coastline of the bay while Murad cut their way back and came from the west. The crusaders lost the battle because of king Vladislav’s lack of experience but didn’t lose their honor and braveness due to the efforts of the great general John Hunyadi the father of the notorious Hungarian king Mathtias Corvinus. The fate of Constantinople, Eastern Roman Empire and the Balkans was signed here and the rest was just aftermath which Ottomans coped brilliant.
Bonus 2013 -Day 8:Free accommodation after the tour.
Recall the tour having a day off arranging the end of your vacation.Enjoy the outdoor activities of the ancient and modern city of Varna or relax at your accomodation close to the wonderful Sea garden
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Europe Bulgaria Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Archeology/History
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