Day 1: Arrival in Varna and transport to the ethno complex accomodation at the village of Chernevo.Enjoy the hospitality, taste traditional cuisine, get familiar with the bicycle with a short test drive in the near vicinity and try some of the many outdoor activities in that peaceful place.
Day 2: Cycling from Nikolaevka to Galata (distance 48 km; elevation +270m/-430m). At the beginning of the tour follow the flat terrain of the Dobruja and Franga plateaus. Stop en route to admire the Kalimanski Han ethno complex. In forenoon descend straight to the city of Varna (known as Odessos in Antiquity) passing by the ruins of a medieval Bulgarian monastery from 9th century. Odessos was a major city on the Roman Via Pontica which had its own city God – Darzalas and autonomous rights. Take a short tour in the city to enjoy the sightseeing of Varna first and foremost the World Oldest Golden Treasure from Varna necropolis dating back to the end of 5th millennium B.C. Then you cross the stunning Asparuh Bridge to reach the cape of Galata. Spend the night in Galata quarter situated high above the Bay of Varna.
Day 3: Cycling from Galata to Shkorpilovtsi (distance 55 km; elevation +200m/-300m). After breakfast pedal along the ancient Via Pontica among the vineyards and the woods of the plateau of Avren. At noon you reach the Kamchia river mouth. You could taste the wonderful seafood cuisine at lunch. Then take a boat on the river and make a trip along the riverine forest of the UNESCO biosphere reserve. Again on the bikes you cross the Longoza forest and keep cycling on a flat ground towards the seaside village of Shkorpilovtsi, placed just at the foothills of the Balkan Mountain.
Day 4: Cycling from Shkorpilovtsi to Kozichino (distance 53 km; elevation +650m/-270m). From now on starts our three-day journey across the Balkan. In the morning you cycle uphill by the coast in the forests around the Black Cape. After the famous village of Goritsa comes a descent going to the town of Byala, renowned for its Dimyat white wine and traditional fishermen’s culture. You visit local winery for tasting, the White Cape with its marvelous rocks, where one can observe geological Creda/Tertiary border and finely a lunch in a typical kapanche restaurant. In the afternoon you take the route along the Dvoinitsa River and the steep road through the wooded Dyulino pass. At the saddle point you bike off-road for 3 km to the rich shepherd’s village of Kozichino, placed among the pastures on the extensive ridge.
Day 5: Cycling from Kozichino to Nesebar (distance 47 km; elevation +180m/-580m). A long descent on the southern slope of the Balkan leads you to a fertile coastal valley where is located Chateau Medovo. Stop for wine tasting of the local fine brands of whites and reds. Not very far from there is the pearl of the Black Sea – the old city of Nessebur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nessebur is found as a Thracian settlement then the Greeks from Megara built up their colony in the 6th century B.C. on a peninsula in the sea giving it the name Mesembria. Its architecture is an excellent example of the medieval Balkan orthodox culture, a mixture of Byzantine and Bulgarian cultural patterns. You have enough time for wandering in the old town and a great choice for spending the evening.
Day 6: Cycling from Nesebar to Obzor (distance 42 km; elevation +590m/-540m). You leave in the forenoon riding along the shore of the Bay of Nessebur to the small village of Emona, just above the cliffs of the Cape of Emine, easternmost Balkan point. This is the most difficult part of the tour, because of the road surface for half a dozen of kilometers nearby Emona. Enjoy the marvelous coastal landscape around the cape and the lighthouse. From Emona to Irakli the road is not in good condition, but this keeps the area away from the civilization and you could enjoy the unforgettable nature and the spectacular panoramas along this seaside protected natural area. Your final stop for the day is the resort town of Obzor, the ancient Templum Iovis.
Day 7: Cycling from Obzor to Venelin (distance 48 km; elevation +300m/-290m). After the sunrise you cycle away from Obzor to turn deeper in the Balkan, where you stay for a lunch in the village of Solnik. Riding north through oak woods you cross Kamchijska Mountain, a famous hunting area. Cycling down the wide valley of Kamchia, in the late afternoon you arrive on the north bank of the river. Here you spend the night in Eco Park Venelin – a wonderful place to rest after the trans-Balkan journey.
Day 8: Cycling from Venelin to Arkovna (distance 58 km; elevation +410m/-370m). Today cycling continues in the orchards of the fertile valley of Kamchia until reaching the Tsonevo dam. Then after a short, but not easy off-road uphill, the path goes down to the village of Asparuhovo. The village is famous as a nest of a peculiar old Bulgarian folklore and ethnoculture. The lunch is in a traditional restaurant with panoramic view to the vast Tsonevo Lake. Following the bridge across the dam you visit the Wonderful Rocks natural sight just opposite the village. Then again riding along the Kamchia River you stop for the night in the village of Arkovna in the chic Gyurlata Inn. The village is in a picturesque valley, closed between the foothills of the Balkan and the Royak Plateau.
Day 9: Cycling from Arkovna to Kyulevcha (distance 51 km; elevation +370m/-390m). Today’s ride goes among woods and orchards, scattered vineyards and small fields in the narrow Kamchia corridor between the green Balkan slopes and the rocky Royak plateau. Finely the road enters the wide open space of one of Bulgaria’s most popular wine regions around Veliki Preslav. Our route heads north closely following the cliffs of the Provadia Plateau. At noon we will visit the newly discovered ancient Thracian tomb in Ivanski or the Zlatar monastery depends on the participants’ interests. After that we pedal through a hilly terrain among the rolling fields with fascinating views to the Shumen Plateau. Passing by small dams the ride for the day ends in the old village of Kyulevcha, 3km away from the rock relief “Madara Rider”, an unusual and the only one of its kind monument in Europe dated to the early Middle Ages, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As a conclusion of the day we look the Madara Horseman religious and archeological complex.
Day 10:Cycling from Kyulevcha to Chernevo (distance 64 km; elevation +470m/-540m)
Pedal up the Provadia Plateau will take your strengths but than the route runs among forests, corn fields and villages gently going downhill. A long descent leads you in the Venchan gorge, passing nearby the ruins of a medieval monastery and observatory at Ravna. You have a picnic lunch on the edge of the Kirechlika canyon. An easy ride will take you to the town of Devnya, ancient Marcianopolis, the capital of Roman province Moesia and temporary residence of Emperor Valent between 366 and 369 A.C. Here you visit the museum of Roman mosaics, the amphitheatre and the karstic spring Havuza. Cycle on perfect greenways to the final stop of the tour - ethno complex Barite near the village of Chernevo at the foothills of the Dobrudja Plateau. The complex has a unique ethno atmosphere and an open space exposition.
Bonus 2013 -Day 11:Free accommodation- Recall the tour having a day off arranging the end of your vacation. Enjoy the many outdoor activities at the ethno complex in the village of Chernevo or just relax in that peacefull place.
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