4.9/5 (8)
8 nights | 30 miles/day
Guided from EUR € 930
Rider Level: Recreational
4.9/5 (8)

8 nights | 30 miles/day
Guided from EUR € 930

Rider Level: Recreational

Tap above to jump to different sections of this tour

  • Danube River and Black Sea

    8 night guided bike tour in Bulgaria and Romania

    In 2022, this tour will only take place in Bulgaria rather than Bulgaria and Romania.

    You will discover the rich heritage of Bulgaria and the wilderness of the Danube coast. 7, 000 years of history awaits you at the far eastern edge of the European Union. Our 2022 itinerary includes the iconic Thracian Royal Tomb in Sveshtari – one more site of the UNESCO world list and 2 more accommodations just by the Danube

    This guided cycling tour, which weaves from the UNESCO preserved lakes along the fascinating Danube River 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.

    Highlights

    • Lake Srebarna – UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Thraician Royal Tomb of Sveshtari – UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Cape Kaliakra – nature and historical remains
    • City of Varna, ancient Odessos
    • World Oldest Golden Treasure from Varna Necropolis, 4500 BC
    • Town of Balchik – between the Mediterranean and the Orient
    • Balchik Palace and Bothanical Garden
    • Silistra – the Roman Durostorum remains and the Ottoman Medjidi Tabia fort
    • Tutrakan – the traditional fishing port of Lower Danube
    • The candle house in Sveshtari village
    • Alevi religious complex Demir Baba
    • Pliska Archaeological Site – the capital of medieval Bulgaria (7th c.- 893 AD)
    • Alevi religious complex Demir Baba at Ruino
    • Durankulak Lake and The Big Island Neolithic Site – 5000 BC.
    • Dobrich – Bulgarian crafts center and the Ottoman heritage
    • Tyulenovo Cliff’s formations
    • Yailata Archaeological Reserve – coastal rock cut graves, dwellings, sanctuaries and churches

    Learn More

    Learn more about guided tours.

  • Traveler photos

    • Photo 1 (photo by Gretar)
    • Photo 2 (photo by Gretar)
    • Wonderful view (photo by Gretar)
    • Photo 4 (photo by Gretar)
    • Photo 5 (photo by Gretar)
    • Photo 6 (photo by Gretar)
    • Photo 1 (photo by JimJ)
    • Cycling through cornfields and farmlands (photo by JimJ)
    • Leaving our bikes to walk to an ancient fortress on the Black Sea (photo by JimJ)
    • Who could turn down this sweetheart selling almonds soaking in honey? All grown or harvested locally, of course. (photo by JimJ)
    • After a few days inland, we celebrate reaching the Black Sea again. (photo by JimJ)
    • Clambering along cliffs and across a natural bridge on the Black Sea (photo by JimJ)
  • Daily program

    In 2022, this tour will only take place in Bulgaria rather than Bulgaria and Romania.

    Day 1: Arrival in Pliska
    Visit to the Garden of the Cyrillic Alphabet. Time for relaxation and preparation for the cycling tour.

    We have tour details and safety instructions meeting at dinner. Depending on the time frame we may go on a sightseeing tour by bike to Pliska Archeological Reserve - the ruined capital of ancient Bulgaria from 7th to the end of 9th c. AD or plan a van trip to Madara Rider – a Bulgarian medieval rock monument from the same period, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    Overnight in Pliska

    Day 2: Pliska to Isperih (31 miles, +1450 ft), moderate day route with several gradual hills
    Transfer to the starting point of the cycling route which lays 15 miles away. On the way we stop at Carev Brod Winery to take with us a few bottles of the famous local ice-wine.

    The bike route starts at the foothills of Voivoda Plateau and follows the slopes and valleys of Ludogorie Plateau. Our first day goes on quiet roads of the tranquil countryside, which is a perfect landscape to adapt to the terrain, to the road conditions and to feel the rural atmosphere. Most of the villages has Muslim population until we reach the town of Isperih. The town bears the name of the founder of the first Bulgarian state on the Danube established in 680 AD. After arriving in Isperih and a refreshing rest we will visit the nearby Alevi religious complex Demir Baba Tekke by van. The stonewalled tomb of the Alevi saint Demir Baba was built in 16th c. AD amidst the ruins of an older Thracian sanctuary.

    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 Isperih

    Day 3: Isperih to Tutrakan (35 miles, +1000 ft, mostly flat)
    Today we have an easier ride towards the Danube starting from 300 m and finishing at 50 m above sea level. After the first 3.5 miles we will enter one of the most enchanting UNESCO sites of Bulgaria – the Royal Tomb of Sveshtari, a masterpiece of the Thracian civilization dated back to 4th c. BC. In the village of Sveshtari we visit the Candle house, where to experience the traditional candle-making. The road to the Danube goes through a flat landscape of fields and forests. While approaching the final destination we stop at the largest war cemetery in Bulgaria, which commemorates the WWI battle of Tutrakan. Soon we reach the high Danubian bank of Tutrakan where reveals a great panorama to the vast river, the islands and the low plains on the opposite Romanian side.

    In Tutrakan is easy to feel the magical Danube as once the town was a major fishing center between the Austrian borders and the Danube Delta. Here we can see well kept fishermen traditions, the Roman ruins of Transmarisca and the mixture of several Balkan ethnicities.

    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.
    Overnight in Tutrakan

    Day 4: Tutrakan to Popina (26 miles, +1500 ft, moderate route with 4 steep one-mile-long climbs)
    Today we enter the historical region of Dobruja, which is bound between the Danube and the Black Sea. We will cycle the southern part of the vast region, while the northern portion is part of Romania nowadays. After traditional fish soup breakfast we take the road along the Danube. Breathtaking views, wooded islands and remains of the ancient Roman road are on our way to the beautiful Malak Preslavets Lake. The tough cycling on this challenging route is rewarded with a great hotel location at the end. Swimming pool by the river, rooms with a Danube view and open-air restaurant with a fish menu expect us in the village of Popina.
    Overnight in Popina

    Day 5: Popina to Silistra (30 miles, + 800 ft, mostly easy)
    You encounter the only longer uphill just out of the village of Popina, which also can be skipped by a van transfer. The rest of the day goes on flat terrain where the dirt road sections would be an adventure. On the way we pass by apricot and cherry orchards and soon we reach Srebarna Lake. The lake is UNESCO World Heritage Site, a representative for the Lower Danube and important for its wildlife and Dalmatian Pelican colony. We ride around the lake, explore the birdlife and reach the nearby village of Aydemir. Keep on riding we enter the town of Silistra. The heritage of Silistra is concerned to the glorious Roman, Bulgarian and Ottoman past. The old Thracian village was turned to a strategic town by the Romans, called Durostorum. In Silistra was born the last great Roman general Flavius Aetius, who defeated Attila the Hun on June 20, 451 in Gaul. Durostorum was an important Christian Metropolitan center and a seat of the Bulgarian Church when in 927 it gained its first period of autonomy from Constantinople Patriarchy.

    We’ll take a walk by the Danube and then go with the van to the well-preserved Ottoman fort Medjidi Tabiya lying on a hill overlooking the town.
    Overnight in Silistra

    Day 6: Dobrich to Topola (30 miles, +650 ft, flat terrain)
    In the morning we have a van transfer to the town of Dobrich – the commercial and cultural center of southern Dobrudja. While we are preparing the bikes the rest of the group will have a time to wander for a while. The old neighborhood of Dobrich still reminds the live during the Ottoman period. Many craftsmen produce traditional hand-made stuff in their small workshops and there are places to drink a cup of Turkish coffee or a bottle of Bulgarian draft boza. We ride out of Dobrich, head towards the Black Sea coast following the easy road of the flat Dobrudja Plateau.

    A great downhill dropped us to the beautiful hilly seaside town of Balchik, which can be called the Pearl of Dobrudja. Balchik is the ancestor of the Hellenistic Dionysopolis, the town of the ancient God of wine and wilderness Bacchus-Dionys. Once we reach the sea we’re going to visit the Balchik Palace of Queen Mary of Romania with its exotic garden, built in 1920s, which is a real jewel on the European coast of the Black Sea. We’ll have lunch in some of the cozy local restaurants. In Balchik we will immerse in the rich heritage of the old town, discovering the best-preserved Great Mother Goddess temple on the Balkans and the tiny streets with white limestone houses, churches, and mosques. Leaving Balchik we have another 5 miles section to ride and finish at the seaside resort close to Topola village.
    Overnight in Topola village

    Day 7: Topola to Tyulenovo village (31 miles, +750 ft, flat terrain)
    The rest of the tour is marked by the flat landscape, easy cycling route and stunning views along the cliff coast of Bulgarian Dobrudja, full of natural, historical and archeological sites. The first site to reach by bike is 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. On the way back from the cape we stop for lunch in the village of Balgarevo – famous for the melon fields and the Black mussel farms.

    Then we pedal to Yailata archeological reserve, passing by cliff bridges and rocky pillars embraced by the sea waves. The spectacular rocky terraces of the ancient site, left by the Thracian culture, rise straight from the sea. 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 arrive at the village of Tyulenovo – the hot spot of the cliff coast, where we have an accommodation to stay.
    Overnight in Tyulenovo village

    Day 8: Tyulenovo to Varna (18 miles, +350 ft, flat terrain)
    Cycling from Tyulenovo to the resort village of Krapec will take half a day and then comes a van transfer to the city of Varna.

    Leaving Tyulenovo by bikes soon we reach the most eastern point of Bulgaria – Cape Shabla and its handsome lighthouse rebuilt in the times of the Ottoman Empire, when it prepared for the upcoming Crimean War. Cycling the scenic coastal dirt roads we approach the lively touristic and fishing village of Krapets. Our cycling route end is just next to the Cape of Krapec at one of the best beaches of Bulgaria. We’ll have a time to swim in the sea, mount the bikes and head to the city of Varna by van.

    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. Varna is famous with the lively beaches, crowded cultural events, fine restaurants and good sea food. Here by the sea we’ll have a goodbye dinner with tasty fish, fresh salads and delicious Bulgarian wine
    Overnight in Varna

    Day 9: Transfer to Varna airport
    Transfers to the Sofia or Bucharest airport available with a surcharge.

    Surface and terrain

    On this tour there are 5 easy and 2 moderate cycling day. It's recommended for regular cyclists who ride often daily and sometimes take weekend trips. Cover mid-long distances from 20 to 40 miles per day and you have enough time for leisure, photos and sightseeing.


    Stories


    Hotels

    These are sample hotels and may vary by availability.

    Old Pliska Hotel, Pliska
    www.stranopriemnica.bg

    Alen Mak Hotel, Isperih
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community-Organization/Hotel-Restorant-Alen-Mak-105378967863967/

    Hotel Dunav, Tutrakan
    http://www.hoteldunav.bg/en/index.html

    Dunavska Perla Hotel, Popina

    Hotel Drustar, Silistra
    www.hoteldrustar.com

    White Lagoon Resort, Topola village
    https://whitelagoon.bg/en

    Tyulenovo village, Hotel Tyulenovo
    http://www.tyulenovo.com/?lang=en

    Hotel Panorama, Varna
    www.panoramabg.com

    Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.


    How to get there

    Tour start and end
    Nearest airport: Varna or Sofia, Bulgaria or Bucharest, Romania
    Transfers to/from the Varna airport are included. Transfers from to Sofia or Bucharest airports available with surcharge.

    Tips on getting to and from your tour

  • Dates

    May 29; Jul 21; Aug 28, 2022 (minimum 3 participants; additional dates upon request)

    Prices

    Tour package

    Per person, double occupancy € 930
    Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room) € 240

    Bike Rentals

    Electrically assisted bike € 125

    Included services

    • 8 nights accommodation in 3/4 stars hotels and guest houses
    • Breakfasts
    • Daily route maps; English/Russian speaking ride leader with local knowledge
    • Support vehicle and luggage transfer
    • Permanent technical bike support
    • 24-gear lightweight hybrid bikes (helmet and bag upon request)
    • Transfer from/to Varna airport to your pre- and post tour accommodation
    • Entrance fees
    • 2 picnic lunches
    • Wine and yogurt tastings
    • Refreshing drinks (non alcoholic) and bars during the cycling time
    • Medical insurance for Bulgaria
    • Helmet and bag upon request

    Bike rentals

    Bikes available on this tour, and included in the tour cost (reserved in advance at the time of booking):

    • Hybrid touring bikes, 24- or 27-speed

    Bikes available to rent (limited availability, reserve in advance):

    • Electrically-assisted bikes*

    *More about electrically-assisted bikes >

    Pedals:
    The bikes will have flat pedals. If you bring your own pedals, be sure to bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.

    Helmets:
    Helmets are available to rent on this tour upon request. However, we recommend that you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene purposes.


    Tour Company

  • Route Map

    Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route.

    • Jacqueline Day 2 days ago

      Rugged/Adventurous/wonderful sites

      This trip was full of everything, fine wine tastings to, rustic countryside sites, ancient ruins, sunflower fields, kayaking down the Danube to biking along the Black Sea. Our guides were great, caring and made it special for us.

    • Leena Dallasheh 1 week ago

      Dedicated guides that will make your trip

      The best thing about this trip were the guides. They were so nice, and they tried to accommodate all our needs. They listened and adapted when needed. And they did it all with a great demeanor. They really made sure we enjoyed!
      The trip had a lot of activities. In addition to cycling 20-70 km a day, with a lot of hills, the guides took us on hikes to show us beautiful sites, and we kayaked down the Danube.
      Bulgaria is apparently an unusual choice for cycling. But it clearly has a slowly growing cycling niche. It is challenging, with a lot of hills, and having to off-road at times, so don't be ashamed to opt for an e-bike (I didn't, but there were times I wished I did). But as I struggled, the guides were amazing, they supported, they slowed down to my pace, made sure I always had someone with me, and they pulled when the wind was hard! Absolutely wonderful!
      The trip went off the beaten path, but the company chose nice locations, the hotels and B&Bs were always clean, and they checked with us to make sure things were ok.

      How many tours have you completed?
      One before
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Much harder
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 4/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 4/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 4/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Francisco Perches 1 month ago

      Land and Water

      A magic journey with an intimate touch with the wonders of the geography, ancient and actual cultures, nature, tastes and spirit of its people is what for me mean this Bulgaria-Romania exciting highly recommended and safe bike tour.
      Francisco ( Mexico )

    • billiehenny August 10, 2019

      Romania & Bulgaria

      Very well organised and efficient. Bikes were excellent and well maintained. Nothing seemed to be a problem even when I manage to leave my power adapter somewhere our guide went out of his way to find a replacement.

      What was the date of your tour?
      17th July
      How many tours have you completed?
      13
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 4/5 Value
      • 4/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 4/5 Scenery
      • 4/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • auntch June 29, 2018

      Wonderful trip

      Danube River and Black Sea was a wonderful trip. Our guides were great, arrangements worked well, hotels were very nice, interesting food, learned a lot of interesting history, and saw a lot of beautiful scenery.

      What was the date of your tour?
      June 3-12 2018
      How many tours have you completed?
      6
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • 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.

      What was the date of your tour?
      September 2-9
      How many tours have you completed?
      two
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 4/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 4/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • 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.

      What was the date of your tour?
      18 july -26 july
      How many tours have you completed?
      First time
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • Photo 1 (photo by Gretar)
      • Photo 2 (photo by Gretar)
      • Wonderful view (photo by Gretar)
      • Photo 4 (photo by Gretar)
      • Photo 5 (photo by Gretar)
      • Photo 6 (photo by Gretar)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 5/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • 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.

      How many tours have you completed?
      35
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • Photo 1 (photo by JimJ)
      • Cycling through cornfields and farmlands (photo by JimJ)
      • Leaving our bikes to walk to an ancient fortress on the Black Sea (photo by JimJ)
      • Who could turn down this sweetheart selling almonds soaking in honey? All grown or harvested locally, of course. (photo by JimJ)
      • After a few days inland, we celebrate reaching the Black Sea again. (photo by JimJ)
      • Clambering along cliffs and across a natural bridge on the Black Sea (photo by JimJ)
      • 5/5 Value
      • 4/5 Included meals
      • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 4/5 Hotels or boat
      • 4/5 Scenery
      • 4/5 Ease of navigation
      • 4/5 Tour documents
      • 4/5 Local tour company services
      • 3/5 Route selection
      • 4/5 Guides (if applicable)