Veliko Tarnovo on the Yantra River in Bulgaria. Photo via Wikimedia Commons:Nikola Gruev

Nativity Church in Arbanassi - its vaulted ceiling is covered in frescos! Bulgaria. Photo via Flickr:archer10 (Dennis)
2/5 (1 rating)

Balkan Mountains

Bulgaria Bike Tours

Cycling through the eastern fringe of Europe

  • Explore the unique biking opportunities along the north and central parts of the Balkan Mountains, famous for unspoiled nature, green valleys with sheep peacefully grazing on lush grass, precipitous cliffs, and gentle, rolling hills.

    Bulgaria is mostly ignored by the typical tourist which provides the cyclist with a unique opportunity to truly experience an emergence of a culture from under the oppression of the "Red Star".

    The biking begins in the tiny village of Goliam Izvo, passing by the Central Balkan National Park and ending up in Veliko Tarnovo – the Old Bulgarian capital and one of the most charming of the Bulgarian towns. The narrow roads meander through picturesque villages that look as they did 200 years ago. You’ll see wooden carts pulled by a horse or donkey and villagers making hay the old-fashioned way, but you will also experience a country with renewed energy, a vison for tomorrow, and unsurpassed natural beauty.


    • Troyan Monastery “Assumption of Virgin Mary”, being the 3rd largest in Bulgaria, is built in the style of the Bulgarian Renaissance.
    • Etura Open-air Ethnographic Museum presenting the Bulgarian customs, craftsmanship, architecture and way of life in the the region during the Bulgarian National Revival period.
    • Bozhentsi village - an architectural reserve consisting of some 100 houses from The Bulgarian National Revival Period.
    • Veliko Turnovo - the old medieval capital of Bulgaria

    Want to see more bike tours in Bulgaria?

  • Price £ 506 $ 1,121 595 $ 896 NOK 5603 kr 5172 $ 672 Single supplement: £ 76 $ 170 90 $ 136 NOK 848 kr 782 $ 102

    extra options

    Electric bike: £ 59 $ 132 70 $ 105 NOK 659 kr 608 $ 79 Additional Pannier (one) rental: £ 4 $ 9 5 $ 8 NOK 47 kr 43 $ 6

    Helmet rental: £ 4 $ 9 5 $ 8 NOK 47 kr 43 $ 6

    Additional transfer Plovdiv - Sofia on Day 8, per vehicle, from 8 am to 7 pm: £ 51 $ 113 60 $ 90 NOK 565 kr 522 $ 68  

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Fly to Sofia or Plovdiv airport

    Local Travel

    Transfer from Sofia or Plovdiv Airport on tour start day and tour departure day included. For arrivals at other airports such as Varna or Bourgas, transfer possible for supplemental fee. Please ask us.


    Please check local conditions before your arrival. Average high/low temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit for the region are: April 64°/45°, May 73°/54°, June 81°/61°, July 85°/64°, August 83°/63°, and September 78°/57°


    Helmets are required.


    Minimum of 2 people needed to confirm tour. Dress code in monasteries and churches - men are not allowed to enter in shorts and women should not expose their legs and shoulders.

Skill Level

This is a moderate (to difficult) supported bike tour on mainly isolated village roads with little traffic. Because it is supported, it is difficult to rate in that there will be a van transferring luggage and stopping at certain points throughout the route to insure that all is well. If you need a "sag wagon", you can hop on the van at any time, avoiding any significant climbing. Road conditions are relatively good with some exceptions (bumpy sections, potholes, rough asphalt). There is no off road riding. This tour involves climbing, steep at times, and is designed for bikers in good physical condition. Daily elevation graphs are available.

Where You’ll Stay

Family run hotels and guest houses unique to this area. No chain hotels!

What’s Included

  • 7 nights at family run hotels and guest houses with private facilities
  • Breakfasts and 5 dinners (Day 2 - 6)
  • Support vehicle with English speaking driver ( The guide with the supporting vehicle also provides the luggage transfer and checks several times a day if everything is okay with the group, waiting by crossroads, accompanying them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and giving them information of the most interesting sites en-route
  • Map and roadbook
  • Transfer from/to Sofia or Plovdiv Airport on Day 1 and Day 8
  • Bike rental with front suspension equipped with water bottle cages, handlebar bag with map holder, one pannier, and repair kit. Additional pannier is available for rental.
  • Helmet (please request)
  • All local transfers

What’s Not Included

  • Entrance fees
  • Dinner on Day 1 and Day 7
  • Lunches
  • Airport transfers if other than arrival and departure days and outside time frame
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Pannier rental (€10)
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance
TypeSelf Guided
Length8 days
From595 Rates
Tour Reviews

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Tour Dates


May 25, June 15, July 13, August 17, September 14, and October 12, 2019

Additional trips can be organized for private groups with supplement

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Balkan Mountains Map

DAY 1: Arrival
DAY 2: Goliam Izvor - Glozhene monastery - Ribaritsa, 31 mi. (49 km)
DAY 3: Ribaritsa - Troyan monastery - Apriltsi, 49 mi. (78 km)
DAY 4: Apriltsi - Gabrovo - Sokolsky monastery - Etura, 31 mi. (50 km)
DAY 5: Gabrovo - Tryavna - Bozhentsi, 32 mi. (52 km)
DAY 6: Bozhentsi - Dryanovo monastery - Elena, 30 mi. (48 km)
DAY 7: Elena - Arbanassi - Veliko Turnovo, 27 mi. (43 km)
DAY 8: Transfer to airport. Please note that transfer takes place at 8 am and takes about 3 hours. Plan flights accordingly or request an extra night after your tour in Sofia.

*All distances are approximate.

DAY 1: Arrival 
Arrival at Sofia/Plovdiv airport and transfer to Sofia/Plovdiv city center for accommodation. Plovdiv is the oldest continually inhabited city in Europe, with a history of inhabitation going back over 8000 years.

DAY 2:  Goliam Izvor - Glozhene monastery - Ribaritsa, 44 mi. (49km)
There is a transfer in the morning to Yablanitsa where the cycling begins, leading through town and continuing to the village of Malak, starting point of a challenging 5 km uphill ride to the Glozhene Monastery. After visiting the monastery, it is downhill the same way, to continue further to scenic Teteven, located in a mountainous area, in the foothills of the Balkan mountains with the Vit River meandering through. There is opportunity for a walk and a visit to the local historic museum and church followed by a short bike ride and hike to a nearby eco trail with 2 beautiful waterfalls. Day's end is in the village of Ribaritsa well known as a mountain health resort. 

DAY 3:  Ribaritsa - Troyan monastery - Apriltsi, 49 mi. (78 km)
The morning begins with an ascent from Ribaritsa to the highest point for the day - Bogoi pass (1185 m). From this pass the road goes all the way down to the town of Troyan passing through the village of Shipkovo and an opportunity for a refreshing bath in the mineral water  pools. After lunch in the Troyan town center, there is a visit to The Pottery and Craft Exhibition "Oreshaka"  and the famous Troyan monastery. Overnight this evening will be in the village of Apriltsii.

DAY 4:  Apriltsi - Gabrovo - Sokolsky monastery - Etura, 34 mi. (50 km)
Cycling on isolated village roads from Apriltsi to Gabrovo, enroute you pass by numerous small villages set in green landscapes and river valleys. There will be a visit to the Batoshevo monastery and lunch in a local village pub. The town of Gabrovo is next on the agenda, after a ascent follow by a nice downhill ride. The route continues to the "Etura"- an open-air ethnographic museum, as well as the beautiful Sokolski Monastery. Overnight in nearby Etura. 

DAY 5:  Gabrovo - Tryavna - Bozhentsi, 32 mi. (52 km)
The support vehichle will provide a short transfer to Gabrovo where the cycling begins with first stop in Tryavna. After an ascent followed by a descent, you arrive in Tryavna. There you can spend some time on sightseeing and lunch in the center of this beautiful National Revival town. Ups and downs through open terrain will lead you to the final stop for today - Bozhentsi architectural reserve. 

DAY 6:  Bozhentsi - Dryanovo monastery - Elena, 30 mi. (48 km)
The day begins with a transfer to the Dryanovo monastery in the morning for a tour with the cycling beginning near Yalovo. There will be a short detour to the  Kilifarevo Monastery before continuing to the town of Elena passing by the blue waters of Lovkovtsi dam. 

DAY 7:  Elena - Arbanassi - Veliko Turnovo, 27 mi. (43 km)
From Elena, the route leads to the final destination of the trip – Arbanasi Architectural Reserve. The landscape includes meadows, pastures, cultivated lands, and finally a beautiful plateau over Veliko Tarnovo. After some free time for rest and walks among the old houses of Arbanasi, lunch will be enjoyed and a sightseeing tour in Veliko Turnovo - the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. In the afternoon, there is a transfer to Plovdiv for the night. 

DAY 8: Departure
There is an airport transfer included in your tour price that GENERALLY takes place at 8 am and takes about 3 hours. Please ask us before you make your flight details.

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Email or Call 800-951-4384 +1 570-965-2064

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Tour Reviews

  • Margaret J. 1 year ago     Verified Reviewer

    Difficulty not explained accurately. Bike not a hybrid. Definitely more a mountain bike. Please include fruit at meals and please provide laundry facility somewhere on trip.

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