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The Best of Bulgaria and Greece

“An informative and delightful experience!” — Ronald

“An informative and delightful experience!” — Ronald

“An informative and delightful experience!” — Ronald

“An informative and delightful experience!” — Ronald

“An informative and delightful experience!” — Ronald

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 Type: Guided Self-guided

Tour description

We invite you on this exclusive trip that combines some of the best cycling routes of Bulgaria and Greece. It takes you across the Balkan Mountains, through the rich farming and winemaking region of the Thracian Valley and across the Rhodope Mountains into Greece.

This trip will immerse you into the local Balkan culture, history, traditions, wine and cuisine. The highlights of the tour are the famous Balkan hospitality, rural life and the local charm. All trails are surrounded by the pristine forests of the Rhodope Mountains, views to the Balkan Mountains and the unsurpassed water and land scenery of Thassos Island in Greece!

When you reach the coast, you'll travel by ferry to the green and peaceful island of Thassos, surrounded by the crystal blue waters of the Aegean Sea and known for its natural beauty, beaches, inland villages and historic attractions.

Daily program

Day 1: Welcome
Transfer from the Sofia airport to your first hotel. If time is available, we'll take a walking sightseeing tour of the center of the Bulgarian capital Sofia (Roman, Christian, and Ottoman heritage and totalitarian architecture legacy). We may visit also the archaeology museum.
Overnight in Sofia.

Day 2: Sofia – Panaguirishte (34 miles/54km)
In the morning, we have a short transfer to the outskirts of Sofia. You start cycling from Vakarel and ride through Sredna Gora Mountains to finish close to Panaguirishte in Oborishte," an area where the first Bulgarian National Assembly was found.

In the afternoon, if time permits, take a walking sightseeing tour of Panaguirishte city – famous of being one of the strongholds of the Bulgarian Revival movement which resulted in the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire. The History museum in Panaguirishte boasts the most outstanding Gold treasure ever found in Europe (piece of art of the Thracian civilization, 4th century BC).
Overnight in Panaguirishte.

Day 3: Panaguirishte town – Plovdiv city, the European capital of culture in 2019 (37 miles/59km)
Today you cycle from Panaguirishte town to the outskirts of the second largest city in Bulgaria – Plovdiv.

You start right from your accommodation in Panaguirishte and ride south through a valley located between Stara Planina and Rhodope Mountains. This valley is referred to as the valley of roses, or the valley of Thracian kings.

On your way to Plovdiv you pass by some small villages and the artificial lake Pyasachnik in order to finish in Suedinenie town, 35km away from Plovdiv. From here transfer to the city by bus.

Plovdiv was elected to be the European Capital of Culture in 2019, and in the afternoon, we'll take a walking sightseeing tour of the city. You will explore the Old Town with numerous cultural monuments from different historical periods. Among them are the Roman Theatre, the Roman stadium, the Ethnographical Museum, the East Gate from the 4th century, mansions from the 19th century and more. The modern town is dotted with shops and bars, and a pedestrian street crosses from one end to the other. Dinner will be in a restaurant in the center of the town.

Possible extension: as today is pretty much flat you can extend the ride from Suedinenie to Plovdiv with another 24km and enter the city on the bike. This option should be discussed with the guide.
Overnight in Plovdiv city.

Day 4: Plovdiv – Surnitsa (45 miles/72km)
In the early morning, you can see some more of the old center of Plovdiv. Later, transfer by vehicle from Plovdiv city to a nearby town Peshtera. Here you enter the Western Rhodope Mountains which are the bordering Mountains with Greece and where you will cycle for the next few days.

The bus leaves you above Peshtera town from where you start riding in West direction and finally reach Surnitsa town without any other transfers for the day. You'll cycle from the outskirts of Peshtera town to Surnitsa town, passing by the 3 artificial dams: Batak, Golyam Beglik and Tsigov Chark.
Overnight at the shores of Dospat dam.

Day 5: Dospat Dam – Trigrad Devil’s Throat Cave and Trigrad Gorge (34 miles/54km)
Today you get deeper in the Rhodope Mountains: the land of the legendary Orpheus. We ride alongside Dospat dam and continue further east cycling through the beautiful Rhodopean landscape.

At the end of the ride, we follow Trigradska river which takes us through its gorge, a natural phenomenon carved 300m into the rock and visit the Devil’s Throat Cave. This cave is related to Greek history and the myth of Orpheus and Evridika. The local people believe that Orpheus entered the underworld from here. (Every July there is a two-day festival that represents the myth).
Overnight in Trigrad city.

Day 6: Trigrad – Shiroka Laka village – Smolyan (41 miles/66km)
In the morning we start from our hotel and once again ride through Trigrad gorge. We continue further south and our next stop is Shiroka Laka village, architectural reserve that preserves the Bulgarian architecture style from XVIII – XIXc. It is also the bbirthplaceof the Bulgarian bagpipe music. Every first weekend of August a folklore festival takes place here. From here you cycle towards the town of Smolyan.
Overnight in Smolyan.

Day 7: Srednogortci – Zlatograd (39 miles/62km)
In the morning, we transfer from Smolyan city to Srednogortci village, where the cycling starts. You go south to the town of Zlatograd. Arrival and sightseeing of the town which has an old city declared for an ethnographic complex. Sightseeing and options to try different crafts such as woodcarving, weaving, pottery, etc.
Dinner and overnight in Zlatograd.

Day 8: Greece / Thassos Island (33 miles/53km)
Today we start with a transfer to Keramoti, Greece and take a ferry to the tiny island of Thassos. After arrival, spend some time sightseeing of the capital of the Island. We'll have lunch and then cycle to Skala Potamia village. Spend the afternoon at your leisure.

Optional cycling can be done after arrival in Skala Potamia, if you're interested.
Overnight in Skala Potamia.

Day 9: Greece / Round trip of Thassos Island (19-25 miles/30-40km)
Morning at your leisure in Skala Potamia village. Afterwards, get on the bus for a trip around the island. Stop for a lunch and relaxing at Psili Ammos Beach. Then get on the bikes and cycle alongside the sea.
Dinner and overnight in Skala Potamia.

Day 10: Thessaloniki
In the morning transfer to Thassos and catch the ferry to Keramoti / Kavala and then transfer to Thessaloniki - the second largest city in Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea (at the back of the Thermaïkos Gulf), it is a modern metropolis bearing the marks of its stormy history and its cosmopolitan character, which give it a special beauty and charm.

Places of interest include Aristotelous Square, Nikis Avenue, White Tower, Palace of Galeriu, Ancient Agóra, Byzantine Bath, Hamza Bey Mosque, Royal Theatre, and more. Free lunch in a restaurant at your taste.
Overnight and farewell dinner in Thessaloniki.

Day 11: Departure
Transfer to Thessaloniki airport for onward flight.

Route map

Maps reflect your approximate overnight locations and do not reflect your actual cycling route.

Dates

Daily upon request: May 1-Jun 30, Sep 1-Oct 15, 2019 (minimum 2 participants)

Prices

Local :

Show prices in:

We price in local currencies to save you money. How?

Prices are shown in local currency EUR .

Prices in Euro are based on current exchange rates and will vary.

Prices in United States dollars are based on current exchange rates and will vary.

Prices in Canadian dollars are based on current exchange rates and will vary.

Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
€ 2690
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€ 200
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!

Odysseia – In Ltd Terms and Conditions

1. Regulations for the cancellations

1.1. Each of the parties has the right to claim change or discontinuity of the contract due to considerable changes in the circumstances, which have occurred after the moment of contract conclusion.

1.2. The Agreement for changes in the contract or notice for discontinuity of the contract must be made in writing only.

1.3. In case of changes in the contract the liabilities of the parties remain according to the last changes of the contract. In case of discontinuity of the contract the liabilities of the parties will be discontinued after settlement of the financial claims.

1.4. Cancellations:

1.4.1. Ralease date at this date a preliminary rooming list will be sent to the tour operator

  • 1 month prior to departure
  • Final rooming list will be sent 1 week prior to departure

1.4.2 Cancellation policy

  • Cancellations before release date - 0%
  • Cancellations until 15 days before arrival - 50%
  • Cancellations 14-8 days before arrival - 75%
  • Cancellations 7 -1 days before arrival - 90%
  • Cancellations on day of arrival / no show - 100%

2. Prices

2.1 The price of the tours can alter due to changes in the prices of taxes, services, inflation, etc. In the event of more than 10% increase of the price, the client has the right to cancel the tour and his / her deposit will be refunded in full. The price cannot be changed less than 20 days before the start of the tour.

3. Rights and Obligations

3.1 Rights and obligations of the tour operator

3.1.1. We will make sure to provide all travel arrangements as described in the contract.

3.1.2. The tour operator took out the insurance “Tour operator’s liability” in accordance with the article 42 of the Bulgarian Tourism Law. You have the right to request a copy from us.

3.1.3. The tour operator ensures the security of the personal data of the customer and are responsible not to use them for other purposes (e.g. marketing) without the permission of the customer.

3.1.5. The Tour operator reserves the right to cancel the contract without any consequences, in case the Client fails to make the final payment within the deadline and by the terms of payment, stipulated in the contract and thus does not carry out his contract obligations. The payment is acknowledged by a duly drawn up document.

3.2. Rights and obligations of the client

3.2.1. The Client is obliged to provide all personal documents needed for traveling abroad /valid passport, etc./, which must be drawn up in accordance both with the laws of the travel destination and the Republic of Bulgaria.

3.2.2. In case the Client is minor of age and is going to travel abroad with his own passport, a notary certified declaration signed by both parents has to be presented to the effect that they agree with the departure of the Client to the travel destination on the departure date (if the under-age Client is going to travel with one of the parents, he has to present a notary certified assent of the other parent).

3.2.3. The Client is obliged to make a full payment of the tourist services within the terms indicated by the present contract.

3.2.4. The Client is obliged to abide by the laws of the country of destination.

3.2.5. The Client has the right to make changes and cancellations according to clause 5 of the Terms and Conditions.

4. Travel

In relation to the specific features of the tours, offered by the tour operator:

4.1. The Client, booking a tour is considered familiar with the risks and the inconveniences of adventure travel. Because of political and cultural differences, as well as the rougher natural conditions, traveling in certain regions of the world involves some inconveniences of daily character.

4.2. The Client is supposed to be aware of his physical condition and his ability to undertake the tour without any risk of incurring upon him any health problems and impeding the normal progress of the tour.

4.3. The Client accepts the tour leader’s authority and respects his decisions. In case the tour leader - representative of the tour operator - deems a situation dangerous, even if it is included in the program, he can make changes as to avoid it and this could not be subject to claims.

5. Liability and claims

5.1. The tour operator is not liable for non-fulfilment or inaccurate realization of the contract’s conditions, if it is caused by:

- the client;

- third party, not involved in the Contract’s conditions;

- force-majeure circumstances, as: war, civil disturbance, climate changes, international conflicts, where one of the parties is involved, terrorist activity, natural disasters, delay or cancellation of flights, or any other event which is beyond the control of Zig Zag Holidays and our partners and could not reasonably be avoided or had not been provided for in the contract;

5.2. In case of failure to provide or inadequate provision of the services, described in the “Tour contract” on the part of the Tour operator, the Tour operator is liable to compensate the Client to the extent of the benefits missed or damages suffered. The limit of liability of the Tour operator in similar cases cannot exceed 100% of the total cost of the service.

5.3. The Tour operator reserves the right to cancel any tour prior to departure for any reason whatsoever, including insufficient signup, or if there are a force majeure circumstances. In this case the Tour operator is not liable for non-fulfilment of the contract and a refund is due, except for the expenses already made /insurance, charges for returned airplane tickets, visa expenses etc. /. These expenses must be duly acknowledged by proper documents.

5.4. The tour operator is not liable for cancellation, delay or changes in the tour’s terms and conditions, not depending on the Tour operator, as follows:

- delays of flights arising from mechanical failures, bad weather;

- cancellation or stop of the tour due to personal reasons of the Client;

- theft or loss of or damage to luggage or travel documents during the tour;

- any problems with the customs authorities upon leaving Bulgaria or entering the country of destination, caused by failure to deliver the necessary personal travel documents or any law-breaking committed;

5.5. Any disputes and claims will be arranged by consensus between the parties. In case no consensus can be worked out the disputes will be related to a competent Bulgarian court and judged in accordance relevant Bulgarian laws (The Obligations and Contracts Law).

5.6. In case of non-fulfilment or inaccurate realization of the contract’s conditions during the tour, the Client is bound to inform immediately the relevant supplier or the Tour operator in writing, as for the latter to be able to react on time with a view to the due taking of adequate measures as to the satisfaction of all concerned parties.

5.7. In case the claims of the Client regarding the quality of the provided services cannot be satisfied in the moment of providing the service, the Client has the right to present a duly drawn up claim to the Tour operator not later than 5 days after the end of the tour. The Tour operator is obliged to announce his statement regarding the claim within 30 days after its receipt.

All photos used by permission. ©ODYSSEIA-IN