Monastery Cycling Tour (Bulgaria)

Monastery Cycling Tour (Bulgaria) 570 , 8 Days
Share this

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 . Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo. B/-/-
Cycling distance: 34 km

Day 3. Merdanski monastery - Kapinovo monastery - Veliko Tarnovo
Transfer to Dragizhevo village where you start biking. Enroute you pass by Merdanski Monastery and continue in direction to Plakovo and Kapinovo monastery. Transfer back to Veliko Tarnovo for overnight. B/-/-
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/-/-
Cycling distance: 35 km

Day 6. Gabrovo - Etura open air museum - Sokolski monastery - Etura
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/-/-
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:
1 night in a monastery (Day 4)
6 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
technical support for the bikes

Not Included:
Flights
travel insurance
tips
entrance fees

Additional Services:
Supplement per person at 2-3: 100 EUR
extra transfer: 15 EUR per vehicle


Gallery


Monastery Cycling Tour (Bulgaria) (Rated 4.8 / 5 Based on 349 Reviews.)
Price
570 EUR
Duration
8 Days
Single Supplement
110 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 Kaleidoscope - 8 Balkan Countries in 14 Days 1120 , 14 Days

Balkan Kaleidoscope - 8 Balkan Countries in 14 Days

Once upon a time people said that the Balkans were the “powder-keg of Europe”. Indeed,...
Balkan Cycling (Bulgaria) 540 , 8 Days

Balkan Cycling (Bulgaria)

Join us on this exciting cycling trip in the heart of the Balkan Mountains! We will bike in the...
Iraq - A Journey to the Cradle of Civilization 1660 , 9 Days

Iraq - A Journey to the Cradle of Civilization

After years of political turmoil and military crisis, Iraq is slowly rising from the ashes. The...
View all» Blog

10.12.2021 15:21

Saudi Arabia - the birthplace of Islam (tips for visiting the country)

It took really long for Saudi Arabia to decide to open for tourists, but now it is finally a fact and Penguin Travel immediately put the destination on its belt. The Kingdom – known as the spiritual birthplace of Islam, now has a new approach to attract visitors and that's why the visa requirements are changed. The changes are so big, compared to the past that they look almost like a...


06.08.2021 17:00

7 Things to do in South Sudan

  It’s the newest country in the world and one that a lot of people haven’t even heard of. Those who have, usually associate it with the military conflict that has been tearing up the region for decades. But behind all of that, lies a country of ancient cultural rituals, a myriad of colorful local tribes and raw natural beauty. It is still the most challenging destinations for...


05.08.2021 08:55

The Little - Known Pyramids of Sudan

Can you name the country with the most pyramids in the world? Nope, it’s not Egypt. The country which holds this record with more than 200 pyramids is actually Egypt’s southern neighbor – Sudan. Though not as big as the Egyptian ones, they are just as impressive and have just as intriguing history, dating back to 8th century BC, to the kingdom of Kush. Since the Sudanese...


01.10.2020 11:45

11 Interesting Facts about Rwanda

  Rwanda is a small African country, whose name is often mostly associated with the horrific genocide that happened here in 1994. It was one of the most tragic events in the history not only of Rwanda, but the world. However, it was also a turning point in the country's history. It has since then embarked on a new path of social, economic and ecological development and deserves to be known...