8 Days Nature tour itinerary for bulgaria: Embark On Cycling Tour Around Rhodope Mountains
Plovdiv, Blagoevgrad, Sofia, Stara Zagora
Go for an amazing cycle trip in the heart of the mystic Rodopi mountains, meeting some nomadic gypsies, picking mushrooms and berries in the woods; and meeting some local Muslim inhabitants growing tobacco and potatoes, or herds of sheep or goats coming down from the mountain at the end of the day.
Arrive Sofia airport and transfer to hotel.
Belmeken dam - Velingrad Spa Town
The cycling starts few kilometers before the village of Sestrimo and up to Belmeken dam (2000 m) through old coniferous woods.
In the afternoon the road passes the Lundholm's mountain meadows before descending to the spa town of Velingrad, where we stay overnight in a hotel with mineral water swimming pool. (Cycling distance: 76 km)
Batak dam - Beglik dam - Dospat
We begin few kilometers from Velingrad, passing through the picturesque landscape of Tsigov Chark countryside by Batak dam to the town of Dospat.
On the way, we go round the blue-green waters of Goliam Beglik and Shiroka Poliana dams before reaching the town of Dospat and its dam, where we stay overnight in a hotel. (Cycling distance: 71 km)
Yagodina cave - Devil's throat cave - Trigrad
The biking starts from Dospat via Borino town to the Buinovsko Gorge, which is also a gate to the next stop - the Yagodina Cave.
Here we make a cave tour before going further to Trigrad village, passing among the 250 m high cliffs of the Trigrad Gorge.
Here another sinister cave is expecting us - The Devil's Throat Cave, housing one of the highest underground waterfalls in Europe.
Overnight in Trigrad in a family hotel. (Cycling distance: 50 km)
Shiroka Laka - Smolyan lakes - Smolyan
A pleasant descent along Trigradska River brings you to the village of Grohotno and the natural rock phenomenon "The Elephant".
Then we continue upstream Shirokolushka River to the village of Shiroka Luka.
We stop here to savor the spirit of this architectural reserve, famous for its preserved houses dating back from the Bulgarian Revival Period.
We pass by the beautiful Smolyan lakes and finish cycling in Smolyan town, where we stay overnight. (Cycling distance: 66 km)
Rozhen - Borovo
Cycling from Smolyan to the historic place Rozhen.
After a short rest, you go uphill to a big picturesque meadow at 1700m which marks the beginning of a gentle downhill ride in the direction to Laki town through “Momina voda” protected area.
Nerby is the picturesque village of Borovo and the famous religious place with chapels and healing springs – Krastova Gora.
Overnight in Borovo. (Cycling distance: 39 km)
The Miraculous bridges - Bachkovo monastery - Plovdiv
The downhill ride continues along Jugovska River valley to the main road Smolyan-Plovdiv.
A short transfer brings you to the Miraculous bridges rock phenomenon for a short walk and sightseeing.
The next stop is Bachkovo Monastery (the second largest in Bulgaria).
Transfer to Plovdiv for overnight. (Cycling distance: 80km0
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Sofia or Plovdiv airport for departure.
Accommodation in family-run hotels/guesthouses with private facilities.
5 days on half-board, 2 days on BB. (day 1,7)
English-speaking guide/driver with a supporting vehicle.
Detailed map and roadbook.
Group transfers from/to Sofia or Plovdiv airport (09.00 - 19.00).
All local transfers.
Technical support for the bikes.
Bike rental -Category 1: 60 EUR, Category 2: 40 EUR.
Dinners on day 1 and 7. (free to choose in Sofia and Plovdiv)
Private transfers: Sofia APT - Sofia center: 15 EUR (per vehicle); Plovdiv APT - Plovdiv center: 15 EUR (per vehicle); Sofia-Plovdiv 60 EUR (per vehicle).
Alcohol drinks and other personal expenses.
Other expenses, like Single room supplement: 80 euro; rent of a rear saddle bag: 10 euro/week.
Bikes: hardtail mountain bike or 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.The traffic might be a little bit heavier at some sections but only for a short while.
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
Dress code in monasteries and churches - men are not allowed to enter in shorts and women should not expose their legs and shoulders.
Extension at the Black Sea coast - relax at the seaside - more information upon request
How to get there: Wizz Air; Easy Jet; Germanwings; Penguin Travel; Norwegian Air Shuttle; Airberlin; Ryan Air
We recommend trip in the period: May - October
Necessary equipment: We strongly recommend you wear a helmet during the cycling. You can bring your own helmet or use one of ours. Cycling gloves, breathable clothes, waterproof gear, cycling shoes/trainers. (for list of recommended items see “General” in the trip dossier).
Velingrad is the largest Bulgarian spa resort famous for its healing hot mineral waters.
Yagodina cave is among the longest caves in Bulgaria (more than 10 000m mapped so far), considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe with its outstanding stalactites, stalagmites, columns, ponds and cave pearls in them.
Shiroka Luka - numerous houses preserving the typical Rodopean architecture, speech, songs, and customs of local people have given the village the status of an architectural, ethnographic and folklore reserve.
The Miraculous bridges are 2 unique natural rock arches (about 40 m. high).
Bachkovo Monastery is the second largest Bulgarian monastery.
Plovdiv, Blagoevgrad, Sofia, Stara Zagora
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