Monastery Cycling Tour (Bulgaria)

Monastery Cycling Tour (Bulgaria) 670 , 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.

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 - 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 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. You finish cycling near Dryanovo town. Then we go for sightseeing in Veliko Tarnovo . Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo. B/-/-
Cycling distance: ~40 km, Up 695m, Down 675m.

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: 35 km, Up 422m, Down 484m.

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: 26 km, Up 462m, Down 440.

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: 17 km, Up 364m, Down 309m.

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: 32 km, Up 608m, Down 376m.

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. B/-/-
Cycling distance: 29 km, Up 346m, Down 942m.

Day 8. Departure
Transfer ro airport for departure.

OUR BIKES Rent of Pannier bags

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.

*If taking part in biking activities, each individual is responsible for him/herself and agrees to abide by the decisions and instructions given by the guide who reserves the right to change the itinerary according to weather conditions and the group’s abilities.


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:
bike rental
travel insurance
tips (5 EUR per pers./day)
entrance fees

Additional Services:
Small group supplement per person at 1-3: 150 EUR


Gallery


Monastery Cycling Tour (Bulgaria) (Rated 4.8 / 5 Based on 398 Reviews.)
Price
670 EUR
Duration
8 Days
Single Supplement
120 EUR
Status
Open for booking
Price
690 EUR
Duration
8 Days
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
The Lure of Central America 1680 , 13 Days

The Lure of Central America

Embark on an incredible adventure through Central America, where the vibrant cultures of El...
Balkan Village Trek (8 days progressive ride in Teteven Balkan area) 820 , 8 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 -...
Rila-Pirin Mountain Trek (Bulgaria), guaranteed departures 650 , 8 Days

Rila-Pirin Mountain Trek (Bulgaria), guaranteed departures

A unique mountain hike above the clouds in the highest mountains on The Balkan...

View all» What people say about us

Great
Penguin Travel on Trust Pilot
Based on 86 reviews
Trust Pilot
Binky's Review Verified review Verified
Great caucus Explorer trip
Caucus Explorer( Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan ) was a great trip . Even though our Van is fully...
Beth, 5 May
Daniel's review Verified review Verified
8 day Caucasus trip
5/5 for the Caucasus trip in apr/may 2024. Everything was well planned and executed.
Haris, 3 May
Maribeth's review Verified review Verified
Excellent and Amazing Tour
Excellent tour. My highlight of the tour is Sarajevo, Mostar, Ohrid and more places. I like the itinerary...
Arnold, 6 April
View all»

Blog

13.06.2024 17:20

What it’s like to travel to Syria in 2024: Essential travel information (advice from our tour leaders and local guides)

Syria welcomes you again! For many years, Syria has been in the midst of a civil war, making headlines on a regular basis. However, the country is now slowly returning to a state of peace and tranquility, and some areas are once again open to tourists. In 2022, we resumed our travel programs in Syria and are excited to have the opportunity to showcase all that the country has to offer to...


11.06.2024 16:55

Photo Diary: Caucasus Explorer Tour (Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan)

Today, we are taking you on a visual journey through the captivating Caucasus! Our tour leaders, local guides, and adventurous travelers have captured the essence of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan in a stunning photo diary, which we are thrilled to share. We hope these images inspire you to consider exploring this beautiful region yourself. Khor Virap Monastery, Armenia We kick things off at...


05.06.2024 11:00

Celebrating 35 Years of Adventure: Penguin Travel's Legacy and Future

This year is a special one for Penguin Travel as we celebrate our 35th anniversary. Over the past 35 years, we have been dedicated to organizing adventure travel tours, taking our clients to some of the most exciting and off-the-beaten-path destinations around the world. Since our start in 1989, Penguin Travel has grown from a small team of passionate explorers to a leading name in adventure...


19.05.2024 10:40

Echoes of the Caucasus: The Vibrant World of Georgian Folklore Dance

Georgia, located between the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea, is known for its rich culture and tradition. One of the most captivating expressions of its heritage is Georgian folklore dance. This vibrant and dynamic art form has mesmerized audiences for centuries. From the spirited leaps of warriors to the graceful movements of women, Georgian dance encapsulates the nation's soul,...