Grasslands of Dionysus - Black Sea
Guided Leisure Bicycle Tour On Flat Ground In Ancient Coastal Dobrudja
Guided tour on easy to ride terrain of Dobrudja, the easternmost region of EU, shared between Romania and Bulgaria. This land embraced by Danube River and the Black Sea keeps a lot of Antique, Christian and Muslim heritage inspired by the Ottoman, Bulgarian, Roman and Hellenistic cultures. Cycle on the mild trails of the "golden" Dobruja Plateau and explore its diverse Black Sea coast, visiting impressive ancient sanctuaries, picturesque towns and resorts, discover fabulous capes and amazing bird-nesting sites. Enter the summer palaces of the Balkan royal families and see the 6000-year-old golden treasure of Varna necropolis.
|LENGTH:||347 km (216 miles)|
|NIGHTS:||8 nights + 1 bonus|
|LOWEST POINT:||0 m (0 feet)|
|HIGHEST POINT:||360 m (1181 feet)|
Day 1 Arrival
Arrival and transfer to the hotel in the village of Kalimantsi. We have tour details and safety instructions meeting. Take a short escape walking, cycling or horse riding nearby the village.
Day 2 Cycling from Kalimantsi to the town of Dobrich (distance 53 km)
Our bike tour begins on the excellent greenways of the Kalimantsi Plateau. We pedal in front of a great open space, looking at the wonderful green scenery all around. At lunch we'll have a picnic at Odrintsi Lake, overlooking the flooded valley. Cycling through the vineyard area of Dobrich we enter the town's forest park and finely reach our hotel, placed at the central garden. From Ottoman times Dobrich is known with the craft goods, the marketplace and the tasty cuisine.
Day 3 Cycling from Dobrich to General Toshevo (distance 55 km)
After having a cup of Turkish coffee in the old town we pedal out of Dobrich. Only greenery and some small settlements are on our way to the pretty village of Krasen. It is a legendary place, where almost every house is described in the stories of the great Bulgarian writer Yordan Yovkov, although the spirit of the 19th century is lost during the Communist rule. We'll stay in clean, simple, middle class Hotel in the border town of General Toshevo.
Day 4 Cycling from General Toshevo to Mangalia (distance 55 km)
We'll bike across the border with Romania in the morning and then the route continues among endless cornfields and scattered steppes slightly going down toward the Black Sea. At lunch we have a traditional Dobruja shepherds’ picnic. In the afternoon we reach Mangalia, the ancestor of the ancient Callatis, and the sea coast. The town offers many sightseeing and bike paths for urban cycling.
Day 5 Cycling from Mangalia to Krapetz (distance 36 km)
Today we ride along the seashore just to visit Vama Veche - the ultimate hippie and rock resort of Romania. Everyone can find enough places to relax, drink, listen to live music and entertain in this hotspot of the alternative culture. Crossing in Bulgaria we find lonely beaches and sites, which are far away from the tourist paths. The Durankulak Lake is notorious place for bird-watching and research and it is a protected area along Via Pontica Flyway of migrating birds. We'll visit ruins of the Big Island in the lake as it is archeological site of great importance, known as "Bulgarian Troy" tracing cultures from the 5th millennium till the Middle Ages. Seaside 3*** hotel in the fishing village of Krapets will host us for the night.
Day 6 Cycling from Krapets to Bulgarevo (distance 44 km)
This day offers the opportunity to discover the amazing cliffs area of the southern Dobrudja coast. The starting point of the raising rocks is at the mighty lighthouse of Shabla, the oldest one on the western Black sea built in 18th century by the Ottomans. Our next stop is the charming fishing pier of Tyulenovo embraced by the cliffs. In the afternoon we cycle to Yailata archeological site. The spectacular rocky terraces rise straight from the waves. This used to be a holy place with carved ancient 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. At Balgarevo village we may take a horse ride to Bolata canyon and beach. Lodging in 3*** hotel.
Day 7 Cycling from Bulgarevo to Balchik (distance 38 km)
Again on the bikes we are going to the awesome cape of Kaliakra. This imposing 60 meter-high cape is located 2 km deep into the sea and above its red rocks there are ruins of antique and medieval fortresses. Leaving Kaliakra Cape we soon enter the town of Kavarna which is very pleasant place with a lot of history and well preserved Ottoman buildings. A great downhill dropped us from the plateau to the beautiful hilly seaside, recently occupied by several golf clubs. Finely we arrive at Balchik. A major tourist attraction of Dobrudja, the town rises in tiers from the coast. Balchik is ancestor of the Hellenistic DIONYSOPOLIS, the town of the ancient God of wine and wilderness Bacchus-Dionys. Balchik still keeps the Mediterranean spirit with its architecture of white local limestone, renowned in Ottoman times. The palace "Quite Nest" of Queen Mary of Romania with its exotic garden is a real jewel of southeastern Europe.
Day 8 Cycling from Balchik to Golden Sands (distance 38 km)
Leaving Balchik we cycle on a picturesque coastal road to Albena seaside resort and Baltata riverine forest. Pedaling inland we stop en route to see Ak Yazili Tekke, a medieval dervish monastery, and taste the delicious wines of Varna winery. At lunch we are on the beach again at restaurant in Kranevo. The road along the coastal Franga Plateau offers spectacular views to the sea and the Bay of Balchik. Passing by the crowded Golden Sands resort we stay for the night in a luxury hotel nearby.
Day 9 Cycling from Golden Sands to Varna (distance 28 km)
In the morning we pedal uphill among the villas to reach Golden Sands Natural Park. The coastal forest hides the remains of the medieval Aladja Monastery, carved in the rocks with beautiful scenery towards the sea. Next sightseeing is the Sts Constantine and Helen monastery around which is founded the oldest summer resort in Bulgaria. Finally we cycle to the city of Varna, major cultural and economic centre of the Bulgarian part of Lower Danube region. Enjoy the peaceful biking through the Seaside Garden – maybe the best example of urban green architecture in Bulgaria. Varna has a long history, the written part of which begins with the foundation of the Greek polis Odessos. You must also see the well preserved Roman Baths complex and the Public Baths from the dawn of the 20th century. During the summer the city hosts Varna Summer International Music Festival and in August the renowned Ballet Festival. We continue our city tour visiting the archeological museum where the World Oldest Golden Treasure from Varna necropolis is exposed. The golden artifacts date back to the 5th millennium B.C. Also points of interest are the Byzantine golden treasure, the old city churches and the architecture from 19th and 20th centuries.
- Transfer from/to Varna airport to your accommodation at the day before and the day after the tour. Transfers in two directions from/to Burgas airport will cost 35 € per person and from/to Bucharest airport 85 € per person (min 3 persons). One way transfers will cost respectively 20 € and 45 € per person
- 24-gear lightweight trekking Bike without helmet (Helmets at your disposal by renting - 20 Euro per tour)
- English/Russian speaking ride leader with local knowledge
- Accommodation during the tours at family run hotels and guest houses at the quality of 3 *** including breakfasts
- Entrance fees
- Three (3) Picnic lunches and one Wine tasting program
- Refreshing drinks (non alcoholic) during the cycling time
- Support vehicle and luggage transfer
- Permanent technical bike support
- Medical insurance for Bulgaria
- Bonus for direct booking on our site after-the-tour accommodation in the itineraries and cost-free transfers to/from Burgas Airport
TOUR DATES: 20 April 2017; 02 July 2017; 23 Aug 2017
PRICE: 999 €