Monastery Cycling Tour (Bulgaria)

Monastery Cycling Tour (Bulgaria) 490 , 8 Days

Experience the atmosphere of Bulgarian monasteries and history on a bike.

This tour is not just a circuit of some of the most interesting Bulgarian monasteries. It is also a journey through Bulgaria's history, since all of the featured religious buildings are monuments to everything that happened in Bulgaria over the last 700 years or so. Along with the rich history you will submerge in the green hug of the mountains (“Balkana”) and admire its outstanding nature - beautiful waterfalls, caves, rock cliffs, forests, vast meadows, rivers and valleys combined with crop and potato fields. We bike along the Central part of the Balkan mountains exploring many scattered villages nestled among quiet valleys and beautiful green mountain landscapes. It seems that time has stopped here and life is quiet and peaceful - people still use the horse driven cart, look after their small herds of sheep, goats and cattle, cut the grass in the old fashion way, take care of their small vegetable gardens or just sit in front of their houses and have a chat with smiles on their faces.

Tour highlights:

♦ Arbanasi village is famous for its massive houses that resemble minor fortresses, several monasteries and old churches 
♦ Dryanovo Monastery “St Archangel Michael” is situated in the gorge of Dryanovska River where limestone rocks rise high on all sides of the gorge as unapproachable forest walls.
♦ Tryavna has preserved its old town square, the only one left in the country, which has been proclaimed as a Monument of Architecture.
♦  Etura Open-air Ethnographic Museum Master craftsmen fashion beautiful gold, silver, copper, leather and wooden articles right before your eyes from early morning until late at the night.
♦ Shipka monastery - built in the traditional style of 17th-century Russian cathedrals the monastery stands to the living memory of Russian soldiers and Bulgarian revolutionaries who died during the Russian-Turkish Liberation War.


Itinerary:

Day 1. Sofia. 
Arrival at Sofia airport and transfer tou our hotel for overnight. -/-/-

Day 2. Arnabasi - Transfiguration monastery - Hotnitsa waterfall - Veliko Tarnovo
Transfer to the architectural reserve of Arbanasi village and St. Virgin Mary monastery where  we start cycling. Today we start with a visit of the picturesque Transfiguration monastery near Veliko Tarnovo. Then we get on the bikes and reach the beautiful Hotnitsa waterfall and eco trail. After a short walk we continue biking near Hotnista gorge until you reach the main road to Sofia. You get on the car for short transfer and start biking again to Buria (Storm) village.  among beautiful hilly landscapes with nice views to Dryanovo rock cliffs. You finish cycling near Dryanovo town. Then we go for sightseeing in Veliko Tarnovo and have transfer back to St. Virgin Mary monastery in Arbanasi. B/-/D
Cycling distance: 34 km

Day 3. Merdanski monastery - Kapinovo monastery
Transfer to Dragizhevo village where you start biking. Enroute you pass by Merdanski Monastery and continue in direction to Plakovo and Kapinovo monastery. We stay overnight in the peaceful Kapinovo monastery and enjoy dinner in the lovely monastery yard. B/-/D
Cycling distance: 33 km (or 53km with possible extension) km;

Day 4. Kilifarevo monastery - Dryanovo monastery 
After short transfer you start cycling through the villages Plakovo, Golemanite and Natsovtsi to Kilifarevo monastery. After lunch and a visit of the monastery you continue with a short but challenging ascent to Ialovo village. Then you cycle along Dryanovska River to Dryanovo town. From there you are transferred to Dryanovo monastery where we stay overnight. Optional visit of the nearby Bacho Kiro cave. B/-/D
Cycling distance: 34 km

Day 5. Bojentsi architectural reserve - Tryavna
In the morning we have a short transfer and then start cycling up and down to Bojentsi village where we spend some time for sightseeing. After a short transfer back you start cycling before Tsareva livada village on isolated village roads to National revival town of Tryavna, where we stay overnight. B/-/D
Cycling distance: 35 km

Day 6. Gabrovo - Etura open air museum - Sokolski monastery 
Cycling from Tryavna up to a mountain pass and then downhill to Gabrovo. The next stop is the open-air ethnographic museum of Etura. Its 18-th-19-th century water driven machinery, crafts and lifestyle come alive before the eyes of the visitors. From here you have four more kilometers to the picturesque Sokolski Monastery and cycling back to Etura where we stay overnight. B/-/D
Cycling distance: 28 km

Day 7. Shipka monument - Shipka monastery - Sofia
After breakfast in Gabrovo town in typical Bulgarian pastry we go for a transfer to the historic Shipka pass and memorial. You get on the bikes for a 10 km up/down ride in beautiful beech forest to the historic Buzludza area. A supreme downhill ride on the Southern slopes of the mountains awaits us. You continue biking to Shipka town where we visit the richly decorated Shipka monastery and church. Transfer to Sofia, where we stay for the last night.
Cycling distance: 30 km B/-/-

Day 8. Departure
Transfer ro airport for departure

Good to know: 
♦ Bikes: hardtail 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
 

Recommended 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 the trip dossier)


Price Includes:
3 nights in monasteries (3
4 and 6)
4 nights family run hotels rooms with en-suite facilities
all meals acc. itinerary
English-speaking guide/driver with a supporting vehicle
map
all local transfers and airport transfers
techical support for the bikes

Not Included:
Flights
travel insurance
tips
entrance fees

Additional Services:
Supplement per person at 2-3: 100 EUR


Gallery


Monastery Cycling Tour (Bulgaria) (Rated 4.8 / 5 Based on 260 Reviews.)
Price
490 EUR
Duration
8 Days
Single Supplement
120 EUR
Status
Open for booking
Price
510 EUR
Single Supplement
120 EUR
Status
Open for booking

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

Light / Moderate. Tour for bikers in good phisycal condition.

Group Size
4-12
Reservation System Code
BGCYKMON
Balkan Cycling (Bulgaria) 510 , 8 Days

Balkan Cycling (Bulgaria)

Exciting cycling trip in the heart of the Balkan mountains. On this tour we bike along the north...
Best of Bulgaria Roundtrip 590 , 8 Days

Best of Bulgaria Roundtrip

Guided tour to some of the most interesting and authentic places in Bulgaria. These are: Sofia (the...
Balkan Village Trek (8 days progressive ride in Teteven Balkan area) 670 , 7 Days

Balkan Village Trek (8 days progressive ride in Teteven Balkan area)

Many and varied are the mountains in Bulgaria, but Teteven Balkan combines the best of them all -...
View all» News and reports

18.02.2019 14:54

Travel in Kyrgyzstan can be a challenge

Travellers from the seventh to the twenty first century have spoken eloquently of the charm and hospitality of Kyrgyz, the “jewel of Turkestan”. When the Chinese traveler-monk Xuan Zang,...


04.02.2019 17:25

Puncak Jaya: Highest peak of Indonesia

The largest islands of Indonesia are Java, Sumatra, Borneo (shared with Malaysia and Brunei), Sulawesi and New Guinea (these are shared with Papua New Guinea). Indonesia has land borders with...


22.01.2019 16:34

The magic ancient Nabataean town of Petra

For many individuals Jordan begins and ends with the magic ancient Nabataean town of Petra. And it is true, Petra is without doubt one of the Middle East’s most spectacular, unmissable sights,...


14.01.2019 16:57

Djibouti, a beautiful little country in northeastern Africa

Djibouti, a beautiful little country in northeastern Africa ... In fact, the third smallest state on the continent. Also known as French Somalia, it was a colony until 1977 when it became an...