4.9/5 (8)
8 nights | 30 miles/day
Guided from EUR € 930
Bike tour in Bulgaria and Romania
Rider Level: Recreational
4.9/5 (8)

Rider Level: Recreational

8 nights | 30 miles/day
Guided from EUR € 930
Bike tour in Bulgaria and Romania

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  • Danube River and Black Sea

    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.

    • Varna Bulgaria (photo:radoslavraynov)
    • Danube River & Black Sea Bike Tour
    • Popina Lake Bulgaria (photo:dannyelspasov)
    • Danube River & Black Sea Bike Tour
    • Danube River & Black Sea Bike Tour

    View more photos

    Highlights

    • Thracian Royal Tomb of Sveshtari – UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Lake Srebarna – UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Madara Rider – UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Lake Budeac(Garlitsa) in Romania
    • The Romanian Orthodox monastery of Dervent
    • Cape Kaliakra – nature and historical remains
    • City of Varna, ancient Odessos (350 000 p.)
    • World Oldest Golden Treasure from Varna Necropolis, 4500 BC
    • Town of Balchik – between the Mediterranean and the Orient
    • Balchik Palace and Botanical Garden
    • Danube kayaking trip to Pojarevo Islands
    • Cyrillic Alphabet Garden in the historical town of Pliska – a capital of medieval Bulgaria (7th -9 thc.)
    • Silistra – the fortress of Durostorum ruins and the Bulgarian-Romanian border check point
    • Tutrakan – the traditional fishing port of Lower Danube
    • The candle house in Sveshtari village
    • Pliska Archaeological Site
    • Alevi religious complex Demir Baba Tekke
    • 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)

    Danube River and Black Sea

     Tour Description Daily Program 

  • Daily program

    Day 1: Arrival in Pliska
    We check in to “Stara Pliska” Hotel. Time for relax, preparation for the cycling tour and do some bicycle adjustments. Visit to the Cyrillic Alphabet Garden.

    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 – Bulgarian medieval rock monument from the same period, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. We have tour details and safety instructions meeting at dinner
    Overnight in Pliska

    Day 2: Pliska to Isperih (28 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, +1200 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.
    Overnight in Tutrakan

    Day 4: Tutrakan to Vetren(25 miles, +1300 ft, moderate route with 3 steep one-mile-long climbs)
    Drink your early morning coffee and get ready for a kayaking trip on the Danube. Breathtaking views, wooded islands and plenty of wild birds on our half day paddling journey. At noon we reach the banks near Dunavets village and after a picnic lunch we get on the bicycles to continue along the river. The tough cycling on the few challenging sections is rewarded with a great hotel location at an authentic house in the Danube village of Vetren. The lush vegetation in the garden the smell of the homemade food and the closeness of the Danube makes Balgara Guest house a unique spot to stay.
    Overnight in Vetren

    Day 5: Vetren to Silistra (38 miles, + 1650 ft, a moderate day route with few gradual hills)
    Today we enter the historical region of Dobrodja, which is bound between the Danube and the Black Sea and shared between Bulgaria and Romania. On the way we pass by apricot and cherry orchards and soon we reach Srebarna Lake. The lake is UNESCO World Heritage Site, representative for the Lower Danube and important for its wildlife and Dalmatian Pelican colony. We ride around the lake, explore the bird life and soon approach the town of Silistra. We head directly to the border check point at the eastern outskirts of the town.

    The cycling route in Romania goes along the Danube vineyards of Ostrov and once we get to the village we stop for a traditional “mici” lunch. We continue cycling along the marshlands of Bugeac Lake – a birds’ paradise and on a slope overlooking the lake is situated Dervent Monastery. Found by a devoted monk a century ago, the monastery nowadays is the biggest pilgrimage site in Romanian Dobrodja, visited both by Romanians and Bulgarians. On the way back to Silistra everyone may keep its one pace as it’s the same road to Bulgaria.

    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 important Christian Metropolitan center and a seat of the Bulgarian Church, when in 927 it gained its first period of autonomy from Constantinople Patriarchy.
    Overnight in Silistra

    Day 6: Silistra to Varna (23 miles, +1000 ft, moderate easy)In the morning we have a van transfer to the village of Nikolaevka (75 miles), a center of the Bulgarian Revival movement during the late Ottoman Empire. The area forms the upper part of Dobrodja Plateau, which rises 1100ft above sea level and we have to ride down to the sandy sea coast at the city of Varna.

    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 Orthodox Cathedral and its masterpiece interior, old town architecture and the Public Baths from the dawn of the 20th century, the royal Euxinograd Palace and the heritage from the Communist era. Varna is famous with the lively beaches, crowded music and arts events, fine restaurants, quality sea food and vibrant nightlife. Our evening meeting will be for a wine tasting of selected local and other Bulgarian wines and then a free time for everybody.
    Overnight in Varna

    Day 7: Varna to Kavarna (25 miles, +1550 ft, moderate route with 3 two-miles-long climbs.)
    Today we start from Golden Sands Nature Park, situated on the coast north of Varna, and follow one of the most popular cycling route in Bulgaria along the sea to Balchik. Most of it passes resort areas with awesome views, but we cross some small rivers walking barefoot on the beach at Batova riverine forest reserve too. We reach Balchik at lunch time and a local seafood restaurant is a nice option. Balchik is ancestor of the Hellenistic Dionysopolis, the town of the ancient God of wine and wilderness BacchusDionys. 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 Black Sea. While leaving Balchik we 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 mosque. Another picturesque coastal road is coming ahead and we ride amidst chalk hills and fancy golf clubs until finally entering the town of Kavarna. We stay in a cozy old style hotel in a green area, which sprawls down to the bay.
    Overnight in Kavarna

    Day 8: Kavarna to Tyulenovo (32 miles, +600 ft, flat terrain)
    The last cycling day is marked by the flat landscape, easy bike route and stunning views along the cliff coast of Bulgarian Dobrodja, full of natural, historical and archeological sites. The first site to pedal to 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.

    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.

    In the early afternoon we ride to the village of Tyulenovo, where we stay for a lunch by the coast. The village is a hotspot of the Bulgarian cliff coast with hiking trails, camping areas and places for diving. Tour’s last night we stay in a beautiful chic hotel by the sea.

    In the late afternoon we have our final cycling time to pedal to Cape Shabla. The headland is the easternmost point of Bulgaria adorned by a 100 feet high picturesque old lighthouse, built in mid-19th century during Ottoman rule.

    This evening we have a goodbye dinner at the Dolphin’s Restaurant with a good choice of seafood and especially Black Sea mussels and Bulgarian wine
    Overnight in Tyulenovo village

    Day 9: Transfer to Varna airport
    The last day will start earlier with a walk along the cliff coast to admire the unique nature of the Black Sea. After breakfast we get on the van and have transfer to the next destination on the list.

    Surface and terrain

    On this tour, there are 5 easy + 2 moderate cycling days - for regular cyclists who ride often daily and sometimes take weekend trips. The day routes follow mild terrain and cross flat surface with one day exception, which goes on hilly landscape. 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 Lodkata, Tutrakan
    www.hotellodkata.com

    Balgara Guest House, Vetren
    www.balgarahouse.com

    Hotel Drustar, Silistra
    www.hoteldrustar.com

    Hotel Hi, Varna
    www.hotel-hi.com

    Lagoon Terrace Hotel, Kavarna
    hotel-laguna-terrace.business.site

    Hotel Tyulenovo, Tyulenovo village
    www.tyulenovo.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


    Danube River and Black Sea

     Tour Photos Dates & Prices 

  • Dates

    June 10, July 4, 2023

    Prices

    Tour package

    Per person, double occupancy €1020
    Single use room (1 person/1 room) €1300

    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 in all UNESCO heritage sites
    • 2 picnic lunches
    • Wine and yogurt tastings
    • Refreshing drinks (non-alcoholic) and bars during the cycling time
    • Medical insurance for Bulgaria
    • Kayak trip – half day

    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


    Danube River and Black Sea

     Daily program Route Map 

  • Route Map

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


    Danube River and Black Sea

     Dates & Prices Tour Reviews 

    • Jacqueline Day 5 months 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 5 months 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 6 months 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)

    Danube River and Black Sea

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