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Danube River and Black Sea

  • 4.7

    (3)

  • 8 nights | 30 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 2
  • Guided from: €900
  • View Dates

Tours using road, hybrid or touring bikes:

  1. Mostly flat
  2. Flat with some gentle slopes
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs
  5. Extensive climbing

Tours using mountain bikes:

  1. Mostly flat, wide trails
  2. Some gentle slopes, wide trails
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain and/or narrow trails
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs and/or technical trails
  5. Extensive climbing and/or highly technical trails
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.

Tour description

You will discover the rich heritage of Bulgaria and the wilderness of southern Romania. 7,000 years of history waits you at the far eastern edge of European Union.

This guided cycling tour, which weaves from the UNESCO preserved lakes along the fascinating Danube to the awesome cliff coast of the Black Sea. Cycle on comfortable hybrid bikes, while following carefully set routes on secondary roads with some gravel or dirt roads and paths. Ride through the peaceful villages of local Bulgarians, Romanians, Turks, Gypsies and Alevis and pass by lively old towns, marked by Romans, Greeks, Thracians, Bulgarians and Ottomans.

Abundant farmland, juicy vegetables off the vine and fruits off the tree, colorful fields of sunflowers, lavender and wild flowers are en route. All the meals remind the tasty Balkan cuisine with more Bulgarian yogurt and delicious local wine.

Daily program

Day 1: Arrival in Pliska
Pliska was the first capital of Danube Bulgaria late 7th c. - 893 AD. Visit the Garden of the Cyrillic Alphabet. Time for relax and preparation for the cycling tour. There are available spa facilities, swimming pool, sauna, massage.

We have tour details and safety instructions meeting at dinner.
Overnight in Pliska

Day 2: Pliska to Dobrotica village (20 miles, flat with few moderate hills)
Sightseeing tour by bike to Pliska Archeological Reserve. Meanwhile you’ll warm up, get familiar with the bikes and we’ll do adjustments for you. Depending on the time frame we may plan a visit to Madara Rider – Bulgarian medieval rock monument, which is UNESCO World Heritage Site. Transfer to the starting point of the cycling route. Lunch in the town of Dulovo.

The bike route goes through some of the most spectacular canyons of Ludogorie region. We stop and hike to the miracle spring and cave of the Alevi Muslim saint Demir Baba – the place, where he lived and preached in 16th century. On the opposite site are the carved remains of medieval rock monastery, which were typical for the plateaus of Lower Danube. Again on the bicycles we continue our trip on flat dirt road to reach Dobrotica village. We stay in a family guest house, where local brand of wine is also produced. Enjoy homemade food and refreshing white wine for dinner.
Overnight in Dobrotica village

Day 3: Dobrotica village to Silistra (28 miles, mostly flat)
Today we ride on the easy quiet roads towards the Danube. Our first stop is for yogurt tasting, one of the most common and traditional foods of Bulgaria. Just before we see the Danube we will discover one of its hidden gems – Srebarna Lake, UNESCO World Heritage Site, protected for the biodiversity and especially the breeding Pelican colony.

On the way to Silistra we visit the fortress Medjidi Tabiya, which overlooks the Danube. Medzhidi Tabiya is the only fortress with completely preserved interior and exterior belonging to the Ottoman period in Bulgaria. Shortly after the fortress we enter Silistra and depart in our luxury hotel on the Danube.

We take a cycling or walking tour in Silistra to see the major sites of the town, concerned to the glorious Roman, Bulgarian and Ottoman past. The old Thracian village was turned by the Romans to strategic town, called Durostorum, which later became Silistra. Durostorum was major Chistian Metropolitan centre on the Danube and the 3rd Patriarch Seat in Europe, after Bulgaria was granted with own Patriarchy in 927. A lot of Christian saints were born in Durostorum in Late Roman times and also here was born the last great Roman general Flavius Aetius, who defeated Attila the Hun.
Overnight in Silistra

Day 4: Silistra to Oltina (28 miles, mostly hilly terrain)
In the morning we cross the border with Romania on bicycles. Then we will be cycling along the Danube and along the big lakes by the river. Bugeac Lake, also known as Lake Garlica and the surrounding area have been declared a nature reserve. On the lake’s high bank is situated imposing Orthodox monastery. Established by a Bulgarian monk, the monastery is equally worshiped by Romanians and Bulgarians for its collection of holy relics and for the Healing Spring Izvor.

Riding around the larger Oltina Lake is a great wildlife adventure as the lake is of great importance for aquatic birds. Oltina Lake marks the end of the longest Dobrudja river and it is part of Via Pontica bird migration way. Oltina village is the stork capital of Lower Danube with almost 50 stork nests inside the village. We’ll stay here in a basic family hotel.
Overnight in Oltina

Day 5: Oltina on the Danube to Durankulak on the Black Sea (30 miles, mostly flat terrain)
After the home made breakfast we take a morning cycling trip to St. Andrew monastery. New Rumanian monastery with a small cave church, built on old place of worship as the Hermitage of St. Apostle Andrew during his preaching in Scythia, ancient Roman province between the Danube and the Black Sea. Then transfer with the van from Ion Corvin to 2 Mai village on the Black Sea coast. (120 km – 2 hours)

Lunch in restaurant on the local beach. Next we ride to Vama Veche, the last place on Rumanian land. The village attracts the artistic community of Romania and especially of Bucharest for years. Here, the tents on the beach, the lively hostels, the bars and the music clubs perfectly illustrate the bohemian mood of Vama Veche in the summer.

Afternoon ride to Durankulak village and passing through the Bulgarian border. The accommodation is specialized in nature tourism and offers short bird watching walks and trips.
Overnight in Durankulak

Day 6: Durankulak to Tyulenovo (25 miles, flat terrain)
Cycling on the mild plains of the northern lake area of Bulgaria.We ride the trails around Durankulak Lake amidst sunflowers and marshes.

It is protected ornithological site, one of the most important wintering habitats of the world endangered Red-breasted Geese. On the island in the lake the scientists traced cultures from the 5th millennium till the Middle Ages and excavated the largest pre-historic cemetery in Europe.

Cycling the scenic coastal dirt roads we approach Shabla Lighthouse. It is the oldest Ottoman lighthouse on the Western Pontic coastline, which marks the easternmost point of Bulgaria. Accommodation in a coast hotel with sea view.
Overnight in Tyulenovo

Day 7: Tyulenovo to Balgarevo village (25 miles, flat terrain)
Flat landscape, easy cycling route and stunning views along the cliff coast of Bulgarian Dobrudja, full of natural, historical and archeological sites. From here starts the most thrilling part of our bike adventure.

We pedal to Yailata archeological reserve, passing by cliff bridges and standing rocky pillars in the sea. The spectacular rocky terraces of the ancient site, left by the Thracian culture, rise straight from the waves. This used to be a holy place with carved sanctuaries and grave chambers in the cliffs. After a short ride we'll face the stunning landscape of Rusalka, where a coastal lagoon is stretched between the high cliffs and the sea.

In the afternoon we’ll pay special attention to the scenic Cape Kaliakra. This imposing 60 meter-high cape is located 2 km deep into the sea and is the most remarkable landmark on the European Black Sea shore. The ruins of antique and medieval fortresses rise directly from the red-colored rocks.
Overnight in Balgarevo village

Day 8: Balgarevo to Varna (15 miles, mostly flat with few hills)
Cycling from Balgarevo to the town of Balchik and then van transfer to the city of Varna.

A great downhill dropped us from the plateau to the beautiful hilly seaside, recently occupied by several golf clubs. Finely we arrive in Balchik. A major tourist attraction of Dobrudja, the town rises in tiers from the beach. Balchik is ancestor of the Hellenistic DIONYSOPOLIS, the town of the ancient God of wine and wilderness Bacchus-Dionys. In Balchik we will immerse in the rich heritage of the old town, discovering the best-preserved temple of The Mother Goddess on the Balkans and the tiny streets with white limestone houses, churches and mosque. Visit to Balchik Palace of Queen Mary of Romania with its exotic garden, which is a real jewel on the European coast of Black Sea.

Leaving Balchik we head to Varna. The planned departure is on the next day, but if you want to enjoy and appreciate the city you have to stay another day or two.

Varna (population 350 000) is the ancestor of the large Greek-Roman city Odessos. The discovery of The World Oldest Golden Treasure from Varna Necropolis shows the existence of Varna Civilization, which is dated back to 5000 BC. The monumental heritage of the city consist of spectacular Roman Baths, remains of medieval monasteries, the later Orthodox Cathedral and other smaller churches, old town architecture and the Public Baths from the dawn of the 20th century, the royal Euxinograd Palace along with one of the biggest Communist Bulgarian-Soviet monuments. In 2017 Varna is European Youth Capital and annually during the summer the city hosts Varna Summer International Music Festival and in August the renowned Ballet Festival. Varna is famous with the lively beaches, fine restaurants and good sea food.
Overnight in Varna

Day 9: Transfer to departure airport (Varna, Sofia or Bucharest)

Dates

Apr 26, Jul 2, Oct 12, 2018 (minimum 3 participants)

Prices

Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
€900
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€225
Transfer
From Bucharest airport, per person/per way (3 or more persons)
€35
From Bucharest airport, per person/per way (minimum 2 person)
€50
From Sofia Airport, per person/per way
€15
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

Plateau Ltd Terms and Conditions

Changes and Cancellations

If, after reserving your tour, you want to switch to another Tour by the same operator in the same calendar year, you must provide at least 30 days notice, and pay a change fee of 100 € per person. All other changes will be treated as cancellations.

Cancellations must be received in writing, via mail or e-mail.

If you must cancel your reservation, the fees for doing so are as follows:

PERIODS OF DAYS P.S.D. AND THEIR CANCELLATION FEES (REFUND CONDITIONS)

Days p.s.d. Fee, €
60+ Full refund in cash of 250 € deposit, or bank transfer of 80% of it
59-30 Refund of 125 €, or 250 € Future Tour Credit
29-8 Only the balance up to 50% (i.e. second part/term fee) is refund (100% in cash, or 80% via bank transfer), the deposit fee is forfeited
7-0 50% of the Tour price (the other 50% of the Tour price is forfeited)

Should you cancel your reservation more than 30 days prior to start date, the entire 250 € per person deposit is transferable as a Future Tour Credit, which can be used by the same traveler within 24 months of the original Tour cancellation date. This credit cannot be extended beyond 24 months but may be transferred to another tour only once.

Cancellation and Changes by the tour operator

Should by a reason, including but not limited to natural disaster or phenomena, strike and the like, the quality of the tour or the safety of the participants is jeopardized, there are too few participants arranged their tour, or by any reason at our sole discretion the tour operator reserves the right to cancel any Tour, considering that, by excluding the force majored circumstances and strike events, this cancellation shall not be later than 8 days posed.

In case of cancellation, you will be informed as soon as possible and the refund of payments received by the tour operators shall constitute full and final settlement, excluding the correspondents banks’s taxes.

In the event of cancellation the tour operator is not responsible for any loss incurred on account of non-refundable or non-transferable air tickets or other unrecoverable travel costs.

We reserve the right to change itineraries without notice.

We reserve the right to deny participation or dismiss anyone endangering or disrupting the enjoyment of any other Tour participants, based on our judgment.

Prices

All prices are per person and are based on double occupancy. We charge a single supplement to individual travelers, who wish to ensure that they have private rooms throughout a Tour, but only if and where it is possible to be arranged. Such requirements shall be advised while booking.

Eligibility

We require that travelers be at least 16 years of age at the time of commencing the tour.

Exception for children at age of 12 years and above is granted for Family and Short-brake Tours in the company of a legal guardian.

Preparing for Your Tour

Our Tours entail risks and rewards beyond those encountered at home, therefore we hold the participants responsible for their personal health being up to the demands of the journeys.

We insist that you fully consider our pre-tour materials about clothing, training and medical requirements and to note that in Bulgaria & Romania local living standards, practices, services and accommodations may differ from those in your country.

Please keep in mind that the participants are also held responsible for the compliance with the local traffic regulations.

Travel Documents and Passports

The visa and passport requirements of Bulgaria & Romania vary according to the nationality of each traveler and may change at any time for reasons beyond our control. Although we persist in providing you with accurate information about these requirements, it remains the responsibility of each traveler to verify that he or she has the appropriate travel documents for his or her nationality. The tour operator is not liable for any expenses or costs arising from any traveler being prohibited from entering a country scheduled to be visited on a Tour.

External Travel Services

The tour operator may recommend the services of external travel companies or other support services in response to requests made by travelers for services outside of the scope of a tour. Although that we will do our best to recommend only companies that provide high levels of service, we do not guarantee the services provided by third parties.

The tour operator is not liable for any injury, expenses or costs arising from any services, or lack thereof, provided by any third party, nor the standards of care which travelers experience when using those services.

Health

By sending the deposit towards your Tour purchase and completing our web site booking form, you certify that, you do not have any physical condition or disability that would create a hazard for you or other travelers and that you have received all appropriate or necessary vaccinations indicated for your proposed Tour. Please consult your doctor.

Insurance

Before commencement of a Tour, we strongly recommend that you review your personal and health insurance, being appropriate to cover your needs and the needs of your family and dependants in case of any loss of property or illness, injury or death.

Luggage restrictions

Luggage is restricted to two soft-sided duffel style pieces per person. One may be large, and the other must conform to airline carry-on rules, usually used as a day bag. Hard sided suitcases and extra luggage, including bike boxes, must be declared at booking, and will incur extra fees to be determined based on circumstance.

All photos used by permission. ©Plateau Ltd

Ratings

Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 2
  • 4 Star 1
  • 3 Star 0
  • 2 Star 0
  • 1 Star 0

Average Ratings

  • Overall

    4.7

  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 3.7
  • Value 5
  • Included meals 4.3
  • Bikes & equipment 4.7
  • Hotels or boat 4.3
  • Scenery 4.7
  • Ease of navigation 4.3
  • Tour documents 4.3
  • Local tour company services 4.7
  • Route selection 4.3
  • Guides (if applicable) 4.7

Reviews

jacidc September 17, 2016

Great company, riding, food, scenery -- a spectacular experience.

This was a wonderful introduction to Northeastern Bulgaria, a region full of history and beauty. Our tour took us along the Danube River and to the Black Sea with many stops for cultural experiences, and just fun, along the way. The guides were great: smart, fluent in English, concerned about both our enjoyment and welfare and extremely knowledgeable about the areas we visited. This is not a luxury tour -- that wouldn't be possible in some of the remote areas we visited -- but that's what goes along with visiting a place not many outsiders see. Our guides did everything possible to keep us safe and comfortable.

Gretar September 13, 2016

Amazing trip with an amazing guide!

A diverse trip with all kinds off bike routes, from asphalt to gravel/dirt roads. Nice and helpful guides. The trip included many fun and different accommodations. Me and my wife would definitely recommend this trip, we would love to do it again with a different location/routes.

JimJ December 3, 2015

First time in Bulgaria won't be last!

(Staff review) Bulgaria did not disappoint! During this tour, we explored seacoast and farmland, toured castles and monasteries, and ate in fine restaurants and village homes. Our guides were excellent--committed, knowledgeable and cordial. One of them was a bird expert, and we learned so much about the fauna in the region. After a day along the Danube in Romania, we overnighted in a tiny farm village where we became the main attraction. We couldn't speak Romanian, and the farm folks couldn't speak English, but we all made ourselves known. And three of our party even got invited into a private home to enjoy the local home made brandy! Some days were on routes that sometimes had too much traffic for my taste, and we've advised the local tour operator on ways to avoid or bridge these sections.