Why do hilly roads have multiple turns

Penguin Travel DMC / +359 2 400 10 50

On this tour we cycle through the northern and central areas of the Balkan Mountains (“Stara planina” = old mountains), which are known for their untouched nature. Green meadows where sheep graze peacefully in the lush grass, steep cliffs and rolling hills offer unique opportunities for cycling. We start the journey from the small village of Goliam Izvor and cross the Central Balkan National Park. We end our tour in one of the most beautiful cities of Veliko Tarnovo - the old capital of Bulgaria. The narrow streets meander through quaint villages that look like they've been untouched for 200 years. You will see horse and donkey carts and farmers in the meadows who hay the old way. During the bike tour you will visit some of the most famous Orthodox monasteries in Bulgaria, which are picturesquely situated in valleys or forests. In the small villages and towns along the way, you will discover churches with centuries-old icons and colorful wall paintings.

Travel highlights:

Wonderful green landscapes of the front part of the Balkan Mountains
Typical rural areas and villages, as well as the local everyday life of this mountain region
Seven of the most beautiful Bulgarian monasterieswhich were built between the 13th and 15th centuries
Two one-offs architectural reserves with traditional old houses and beautiful churches, as well as the wonderful ethnographic open-air museum Etara
The old capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire - Veliko Tarnovo.

Land region: Balkan Mountains

Program Sequence:

1 day: Arrival at Sofia or Plovdiv airport. Transfer to Goliam Izvor, where we will spend the night.
2 day: Today the bike tour starts from Goliam Izvor towards Yablanitsa (the town is known for the production of the sweet “khalva”) and then continues to the village of Malak Izvor. From here we cycle uphill to Glozhene Monastery. After visiting the monastery, it goes downhill on the same road through the city of Teteven to the village of Ribaritza. We spend the night here. Driving distance 70 km; uphill 850 m, downhill 800 m.
3rd day: From Ribaritza we cycle to the highest point of the day - the Bogoe pass (1185m). From here the road leads us down to the city of Troyan. On the way you can take a dip in the mineral water pools in the village of Schipkovo. After lunch in Trojan we visit the nearby permanent exhibition for ceramics and crafts “Oreshaka” and the famous Trojan monastery. We spend the night in the village of Apriltzi. Driving distance 70 km; uphill 900 m, downhill 1000 m.
4th day: We cycle from Apriltzi to the Batoschevo nunnery, where you can organize a picnic in the garden. Our next destination is the city of Gabrovo. Your guide will be waiting for you here, who will take you by minibus to the Etara Ethnographic Open-Air Museum and then to the beautiful Sokolski Monastery. Overnight in the Etara complex. Driving distance 55 km; uphill 750 m, downhill 800 m.
5th day: You will first take the accompanying bus and start your bike ride about 10 km outside of Gabrovo. After an ascent followed by a descent, we reach the city of Trjavna. Here you can see the sights of this beautiful small town and have lunch in the city center. After an often hilly stretch, we reach today's end point - the Bozhentsi Architectural Reserve. Driving distance 52 km; uphill 950 m, downhill 1000 m.
6th day: We will bring you to the Drjanovo Monastery by car. After the sightseeing, start the bike tour at the turn to the village of Yalovo. The Kilifarevo Monastery is very close. Here we take a short break and cycle on to the city of Elena, where we end our stage today. Driving distance 48 km; uphill 700 m, downhill 600 m.
7th day: From Elena we cycle to the last point of the trip - the Arbanassi architectural reserve. On the way we pass large meadows, pastures, arable land and bushy hills. Then we get to the beautiful plateau above Veliko Tarnovo. After some free time for refreshment and a walk between the beautiful houses of Arbanassi, we continue to Veliko Tarnovo, the former capital of Bulgaria. We have lunch here. Then we visit the most important sights. In the afternoon you will be driven to Plovdiv, where you will spend the night. Driving distance 43 km; uphill 600 m, downhill 600 m.
8th day: After breakfast transfer to Sofia (or Plovdiv) airport and departure.

Included in the price: English-speaking guide / driver with accompanying bus, overview map, route description (in English), transfers from and to Sofia (or Plovdiv) airport on the day of arrival and departure, accommodation and meals according to the program, VAT and all local fees.
Not included in the price: airfare, travel insurance, tips, entrance fees, drinks and other personal expenses.

Not included in the price: Airfare, travel insurance, tips, entrance fees, drinks and other personal expenses. Bike rental -Category 1: 60 EUR,Category 2: 40 EUR

Prices for extra services: Surcharge for single room 80 EUR, rent for helmet 10 EUR, rent for rear saddlebag 10 EUR, rent for handlebar bag 5 EUR.
Accommodation and meals: 2nd, 4th, 6th day family hotels, 5th and 7th day guest houses - all rooms with shower and toilet. 1st, 3rd day guest houses and pensions with shared shower and toilet, 7 days half board (breakfast and dinner)

Other Information:
WHEELS: You have the choice (depending on availability) between 2 models: 1. Hardtail mountain bike “RAM” with road tires, 24 gears and 80 mm suspension fork. 2. First-class road touring bike "DRAG" with 21 gears, 28 inch rims and Shimano parts.
TOURINFO: All cyclists receive detailed travel documents - route descriptions and overview maps. The guide with the accompanying car (including luggage transfer) checks several times a day whether everything is in order with the group, waits at intersections, accompanies the participants during meals, informs them about the most interesting places on the way. The guide is also responsible for the technical maintenance of the bikes. Every cyclist can skip a certain difficult route at any time and use the support bus.
ROAD CONDITION: For the most part we use paved two-lane roads (one lane in each direction) - mostly not entirely new, so road damage is to be expected. There is little traffic on the country roads, sometimes not a single car is on the road. The road surface can not be very smooth in some sections. But there can be a little more traffic for a short time.
RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: We strongly recommend wearing a helmet when cycling. You can bring your own or rent one from us. Cycling gloves are also recommended.
Recommended stay: from April to October
Tour difficulty: moderate. For cyclists in good physical condition.
Group size: Min. 4 people