8 Days Nature tour itinerary for Plovdiv, Velingrad & Sofia: Enjoy Rodopi Road Cycling Tour
Plovdiv, Velingrad, Sofia
Go on an amazing cycle trip in the heart of the mystic Rodopi mountains - home of Orpheus, situated in the oldest part of the Balkans and boasts of some of the loveliest coniferous woods in the country & gentle landscapes.
Arrival at Sofia/Plovdiv airport and transfer to Sofia/Plovdiv city center for accommodation.
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 Lundola's mountain meadows before descending to the spa town of Velingrad.
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 Polyana dams.
We will arrive at 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.
Nearby 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: 80km)
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 road book.
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 or VV. 60 EUR (per vehicle)
Alcohol drinks and other personal expenses.
Amazing cycle trip in the heart of the mystic Rodopi mountains - home of Orpheus.
The Rodopi Mountains are situated in the oldest part of the Balkans and boast some of the loveliest coniferous woods in the country. The landscape is gentle and rounded, consisting of high ridges and deep river valleys with gorges intermingling with river basins and valleys.
In contrast with our tour of the Balkan Mountains, this tour will take you even higher, to around 2,000 m, or 6561 ft. Most of the mileage is done on mountain roads, with relatively little traffic. Along with them, the cyclists can see some old-style means of transportation: wooden carts pulled by horses, donkeys or cows.
You may also meet some nomadic gypsies, picking mushrooms and berries in the woods, as well as 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.
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, Velingrad, Sofia
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