Monastery Cycling Holiday in Bulgaria
Explore Bulgarian monasteries and history on a bike. This bike tour takes you on a journey through Bulgaria's history, visiting some of the most interesting monasteries in the country. These religious buildings are monuments to the last 700 years of Bulgarian history. The tour also offers breathtaking views of the green embrace of the Balkan Mountains, including beautiful waterfalls, caves, rock cliffs, forests, vast meadows, rivers, and valleys, combined with crop and potato fields. We will ride through the Central part of the Balkan Mountains, exploring many scattered villages nestled among quiet valleys and beautiful green mountain landscapes. It feels like time has stopped here and life is quiet and peaceful, with people still using horse-driven carts, looking after small herds of sheep, goats, and cattle, cutting grass in the old-fashioned way, taking care of small vegetable gardens, or simply sitting in front of their houses and chatting with smiles on their faces.
Day 1. Sofia. Arrival at Sofia airport and transfer to our hotel. -/-/-
Day 2. Arnabasi - Transfiguration monastery - Hotnitsa waterfall - Veliko Tarnovo. We will begin our tour with a transfer to the quaint Arbanasi village and St. Virgin Mary monastery, where we will start our cycling adventure. Our first stop will be the beautiful Transfiguration monastery near Veliko Tarnovo, which we will visit before hopping on our bikes. We will then ride to the stunning Hotnitsa waterfall and eco trail, where we will take a short walk and continue biking near the Hotnista gorge until we reach the main road to Sofia. After a short transfer by car, we will resume our cycling journey to the charming Buria (Storm) village, surrounded by picturesque hills and offering lovely views of Dryanovo rock cliffs. Our cycling for the day will conclude near Dryanovo town. Finally, we will have time for some sightseeing in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 3. Merdanski monastery - Kapinovo monastery - Veliko Tarnovo. You will be transferred to Dragizhevo village where you will start your cycling tour. On the way, you will pass by Merdanski Monastery and then continue towards Plakovo and Kapinovo Monasteries. After the cycling tour, you will be transferred back to Veliko Tarnovo where you will spend the night.
Day 4. Kilifarevo monastery - Dryanovo monastery. After a short transfer, the cycling tour starts from Dragizhevo village. The route passes by Merdanski Monastery and continues towards Plakovo and Kapinovo Monastery. The day's ride ends with a transfer back to Veliko Tarnovo for an overnight stay. The cycling starts with a ride through the villages of Plakovo, Golemanite, and Natsovtsi, eventually arriving at Kilifarevo Monastery. After lunch and a visit to the monastery, the tour continues with a short but challenging ascent to Ialovo village. Then, riders will cycle along Dryanovska River to Dryanovo town, where a transfer will take them to Dryanovo Monastery for an overnight stay. There's an optional visit to the nearby Bacho Kiro cave.
Day 5. Bojentsi architectural reserve - Tryavna. We will begin the day with a brief transfer, followed by cycling on varied terrain to the charming Bojentsi village. We will spend some time exploring the area before returning by a short transfer. Then, we will continue cycling on secluded village roads towards Tsareva Livada village, eventually reaching the National revival town of Tryavna, where we will spend the night.
Day 6. Gabrovo - Etura open air museum - Sokolski monastery - Etura. We will start by cycling from Tryavna, heading up to a mountain pass and then making our way downhill to Gabrovo. Our next destination is the open-air ethnographic museum of Etura, where visitors can witness the 18th- and 19th-century water-driven machinery, crafts, and lifestyle. We will then ride four more kilometers to the picturesque Sokolski Monastery before cycling back to Etura for our overnight stay.
Day 7. Shipka monument - Shipka monastery - Sofia. After enjoying a breakfast of typical Bulgarian pastry in Gabrovo town, we will be transferred to the historic Shipka pass and memorial. From there, we will start our cycling journey with a 10 km ride up and down through beautiful beech forest to reach the historic Buzludza area. The ride will culminate in a supreme downhill experience on the southern slopes of the mountains. Next, we will continue biking to Shipka town, where we will visit the ornate Shipka monastery and church. Finally, we will be transferred to Sofia, where we will spend our last night.
Day 8. Departure.Transfer to Sofia airport for departure.