General - Cycling in Bulgaria and Romania
Bulgaria and Romania both share the historical Dobruja Region which is the northern part of the vast table land locked between Danube and Lomovete rivers to the west, the Danube delta to the north, Black Sea to the east and includes Eastern Balkan mountain to the south. This area is the perimeter of our tours.
Bulgaria and Romania became members of NATO in 2004 and of the EUROPEAN UNION in 2007.
The 2009 GDP of Bulgaria is $ 47.100 billion and that of Romania is $ 161.500 billion. The GDP at PPP per capita for the two countries is $ 11 900 which rank their standard of living above the world average.
This plateau region situated south of Lower Danube lies in the temperate continental climatic area. The region’s relatively level terrain and its bare location facilitate the influx of warm air in the spring, the summer and the autumn from west and southeast as well as the northern polar air in the winter. The average temperature for April is between 9°C in the cooler and 13°C in the warmer places, in July it is between 21°C and 24°C and in October between 10°C and 14°C. The annual rainfall does not exceed 650 mm while in the coastal areas it is 400-450 mm and a significant part comes in the cold period of the year.
The region is known as a windy land. Most of the days there is some kind of wind that usually freshens the air. So we could say that there are good weather conditions during the cycling period in general.
The region is overloaded with history and culture like all other Eastern Mediterranean lands. It was an important active hinterland for the Greek and Hellenistic civilizations and a valuable province in the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Here also flourished local civilizations - the golden Eneolithic culture of Varna in the late 5th millennium B.C. the Thracian Kingdoms from 6th to 3rd century B.C. and the first Bulgarian Empire in the late 1st millennium A.D.
The population of the region is more than 2.5 million and comprises mainly Bulgarians, Romanians and Turks. The ethnic diversity includes also minorities such as Lipovan Russians, Romas, Aromanians, Tatars, Armenians, Gagauzes and Greeks. The main cities are Varna, Constanta and Ruse. Significant centers are Tulcea, Shumen and Dobrich. Most of the people are Orthodox Christians and the other widespread religion is Sunni Islam. There are strong communities of Oldbelievers, an orthodox Russian sect, Alevis, a Shia Islam branch and Armenian Christians. The population density is less than the average for Bulgaria (69 p/sq.km) and Romania (90 p/sq.km).
General Road Conditions
We cycle mostly on 2nd and 3rd class roads which are usually with good asphalt surface, some of them in excellent conditions. Seldom there are short bad sections on the road that do not permit cycling with more than 12 km/h. The region is famous with its wonderful dirt roads, byways and greenways which you will have the chance to enjoy in some parts of the tours. The traffic is law except for half a dozen main motorways and the roads in the vicinities of the big cities.