European bike tours: Bulgaria to Greece on a bike.
Experience an unforgettable cycling journey that combines the breathtaking beauty of mountain and seashore landscapes in the charming countries of Bulgaria and Greece. Embark on an adventure through the Rodopi Mountains in Bulgaria and the central regions of Northern Greece, including the Halkidiki peninsula's Sithonia and Athon. Pedal through pristine landscapes of ancient coniferous forests, gorges, caves, and picturesque meadows in the mythical Rodopi Mountains. After crossing the border into Greece, explore the karst relief of the Drama prefecture, home to two of Greece's most stunning caves, Aggitis and Alistrati. The tour culminates with three days of exhilarating cycling in the heart of Halkidiki's Sithonia peninsula, where you'll be greeted by endless sun, secluded beaches, stunning cliffs, lush island vegetation, olive groves, palm trees, and peaceful villages and towns. This journey showcases the changing landscapes, cultures, and architectures from the north to the south, ending at the Augean Sea. Experience local village life, swim in the crystal-clear waters of the sea, and indulge in traditional local cuisine, tantalizing your senses along the way.
Day 1. Sofia. Arrive in Sofia and transfer to your hotel for overnight.
Day 2. Trigrad - Devil's throat cave - Yagodina cave - Dospat dam. We will start our day with an early transfer to Trigrad, which takes approximately 3.5 hours. Our cycling journey for the day will take us through the breathtaking cliffs of Trigrad and Buinovo Gorge. Along the way, we will also have the opportunity to explore the Devil's Throat Cave, which boasts one of Europe's highest underground waterfalls, and the stunning Yagodina Cave. After lunch, we will continue cycling through charming small villages, verdant potato fields, and scenic coniferous forests. We will also traverse picturesque meadows that offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Our cycling adventure for the day will culminate in Dospat town, which is located near one of the largest dams in the Rodopi Mountains - Dospat.
Day 3. Dospat - Kovachevitsa - Ognyanovo spa. Our cycling journey for today will take us in a westerly direction towards the Ognyanovo hot spring resort. Along the way, we will have the option to make a stop at the stunning architectural reserve of Dolen village. The road will mainly take us downhill, passing through beautiful meadows and coniferous forests before we conclude our cycling adventure for the day in the relaxing and rejuvenating hot mineral swimming pools of Ognyanovo. For those who are interested, there will be an opportunity to visit the renowned Kovatchevitsa architectural reserve.
Day 4. Ognyanovo - Aggitis cave. Our day will begin with a bus transfer of approximately 1 hour as we cross the border into Greece. Our cycling adventure will commence in Granitis village, which is situated at an elevation of 800 meters. We will begin our journey downhill and make a stop to explore the fascinating Aggiti's River Cave, which spans an impressive length of 11 kilometers. Following our visit to the cave, we will continue cycling on tranquil mountain roads through remote regions surrounded by vast pastures where sheep herds graze, as well as vineyards, cotton fields, and meadows nestled between towering mountains. Our day of cycling will come to a close in Alistrati village, renowned for its nearby cave and canyon. We will spend the night there.
Day 5. Alistarti cave - Aggitis canyon - Athos. Today will be a day of relaxation. We will begin with breakfast before embarking on a tour of the stunning Alistrati Cave, which will take approximately 1 hour. Following our visit to the cave, we will also explore the nearby Aggiti's River Canyon. Afterward, we will board a bus for a transfer of approximately 2.30 hours to the Athon peninsula, the easternmost finger of the Halkidiki peninsula. Our accommodation for the night will be in Ouranoupoli village, located near the Athos holy land border. The remainder of the day will be free for us to relax, whether by walking, swimming in the sea, or lounging on the beach. For those interested, we highly recommend taking a boat trip to the nearby island of Amoliani. We will spend the night at Ouranoupoli village.
Day 6. Ouranoupoli - Vourvourou. Our day of cycling will take us on a scenic journey along mountain and coastal roads that pass through charming small towns and villages. We will travel from Ouranoupoli to the picturesque coastal village of Vourvourou, which is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning views of the Diasporos Island. Our route will take us from the Athos peninsula all the way to the middle finger of the Halkidiki peninsula, known as Sithonia. We will spend the night there.
Day 7. Vourvourou - Kalamitsi beach - Porto Kofu. Our day of cycling will take us along the main coastal road from Vourvourou to Porto Kofu, offering magnificent views of both the sea and the interior mountains. Along the way, we will pass through several small villages and make a stop for a refreshing swim at the beautiful Kalamitsi beach. After cycling for approximately 10km over the mountain, we will arrive at the picturesque bay of Porto Kofu village, where we will spend the night. For those interested, there will be an optional bike trip on dirt roads that lead through olive gardens and farmlands to the top of a rock, where we can enjoy a splendid view over the rocky coves.
Day 8. Porto Kofu - Nikiti. Today's cycling route is one of the most beautiful and picturesque of the entire program. We will follow mainly isolated roads, which run parallel to the sea and pass by secluded beaches and small sea villages set amidst rich green vegetation. As we cycle, we will be treated to splendid views of the nearby small islands, the rocky coast, and the dense green coniferous forests. We will have plenty of opportunities to swim and sunbathe on one of the many lonely beaches en-route. For those interested, there will be an option to visit the secluded mountain village of Parthenonas. Our cycling adventure will end in the region of Nikiti, where we will spend the night.
Day 9. Thessaloniki - Sofia. Transfer back to Thessaloniki airport or Sofia for departure.