Bulgaria Cycling tour: The Mystical Rhodope Mountains

Encounter with the magic of Bulgarian wines and enjoy the beautiful sights that this country can offer!

Wine tasting, Local activities, Walking & Sightseeing
€5,274.00
  • 2 persons and more: €3,070.00 per person
  • 4 persons and more: €2,052.00 per person
  • 6 persons and more: €1,657.00 per person
  • 8 persons and more: €1,504.00 per person
  • 10 persons and more: €1,377.00 per person
  • 12 persons and more: €1,292.00 per person
  • 14 persons and more: €1,231.00 per person
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Highlights

  • Visit Rila monastery
  • Taste some of the best Bulgarian wines
  • Check out the most famous caves in the region – Yagodina and Devil’s throat
Languages: English, Bulgarian
Duration: 11 days
Group size: min 1
Description

Day 1: After landing at Sofia airport the group will be transferred to a 3 star hotel in Sofia for check in. They will have some free time and pedestrian guided tour of Sofia.
Sofia is one of the three oldest cities in Europe together with Rome and Athens. The capital of Bulgaria, city with unique, (which slogan is “Grows, but does not age”) more than seven thousand years of history, from when dates the first settlement. It was established near the hot mineral spring, which now is located in the center of the city. Located at the crossroad between major routes connecting Western Europe with Asia and Baltic sea with Eagan sea. The famous Roman emperor Constantine the Great had said: “Serdika is my Rome”. Serdika is the ancient name of Sofia, coming from the name of the Thracian tribe called Serdi. Sofia is located in Sofia field with an altitude of about 550 meters on an area of 1,311km2, of which urban and urban areas occupy 245.5km2, agricultural areas have an area of 509km2 forest - 466.5km2, sites for mining of minerals - 40.5km, or territories for transportation and infrastructure - 20.6km2 and watercourses and water areas - about 40km2.
In its centuries-long development Sofia has always played an important role in the history of Bulgarian lands as a center hub, naturally junction of roads connecting the East with the West and countries in the north of Bulgaria with those south of it. Unique city that grows but does not age and has more than 7000 years of history.

Day 2: After visiting Rila monastery the group will have lunch at a restaurant in the area. Depart to the village of Kovachevitsa, from where the cycling starts on the next day. Kovachevitsa is located along the Kanina river, surrounded by The “Dabrash” high hills in the southwestern part of the Rhodope mountain. Today houses in Kovachevitsa are still almost entirely built of stone, including roofs, and only the highest top floor is made of wood. Kovachevitsa is one of the most famous and beautiful Bulgarian villages, as well as historical and architectural reserve.
Breakfast and depart to Rila monastery – one of the most memorable sights in Bulgaria. It was founded in the 10th century by the monk hermit John, who was later named Bulgaria’s patron saint and his disciples. John of Rila, popular in Bulgarian language as Ivan Rilski, was raised to sainthood by grateful Christian Bulgarian people in a sign of tribute to his life work. He lived in the Reign of prominent Bulgarian kings such as Boris I, Simeon and Peter I. At the present, his relics are being kept in the monastery’s main church “Nativity of the Virgin”.
Rila Monastery is a cultural and spiritual centre. It keeps Bulgarian faith through tough years. Rila Monastery has always been as a source of revival, faith and hope for Bulgarian souls and minds. Rila Monastery turned into the stronghold of Bulgarian nationality and culture during Byzantine Period. Rising stately in the middle of the courtyard is a high stone fortress tower, having been built by the local feudal Hrelyu Dragovola in 1334-1335. He built the five-storey defence tower, topped by the Transfiguration Chapel, fragments of whose murals can still be seen today.
After visiting Rila monastery the group will have lunch at a restaurant in the area. Depart to the village of Kovachevitsa, from where the cycling starts on the next day. Kovachevitsa is located along the Kanina river, surrounded by The “Dabrash” high hills in the southwestern part of the Rhodope mountain. Today houses in Kovachevitsa are still almost entirely built of stone, including roofs, and only the highest top floor is made of wood. Kovachevitsa is one of the most famous and beautiful Bulgarian villages, as well as historical and architectural reserve.

Day 3: The day starts with safety instruction about the rules of group cycling in the mountain.
“Beslet” is one of the oldest and largest forest holdings in Dabrash. Around it passes the road to Velingrad and Sarnitsa and in the area “Suhiya chark” - for Kovachevica. Beslet peak (1983 m) is 80 meters wide and about 300 meters long flat hump southwest-northeast. The story says that the name comes from ancient endless pine forests, where if a man comes is lost without a “trace”.

Day 4: That stage represents the beauty of Dospat dam. The cycling starts from the west coast of the dam and finishes at the east coast, where the group will spend the night at a camping place.
Nature, which captivate for life. This is the sense of sight near the highland lake Dospat. Near the small mountain town towering into the sky as watches majestic century-old pines seen anything in these lands. In the gentle mirror of the lake, they look around with forests and meadows, beautiful in all seasons. Beautiful views here are not one and two. Lovers of romantic landscapes difficult to choose from the hundreds of spots on the lake, each one more beautiful. Captivated by the beauty of Dospatska end are even more enthusiastic: There is no such place, so fresh air, with such beautiful soft curves of the mountain. Others just concluded, Bojan grace! It really like nature has given everything, so this place is perfect for a holiday.
Dospat is a dam on the river Dospat in the Western Rhodopes. Located at 1200m above sea level, its area is 18.3km and is among the largest in area and volume in Bulgaria. There can be fished carp, trout, chub, perch, rudd and bream. The dam is 19km long and wide about 3km, located in the northwest - southeast. In northeastern coast passes picturesque road between the towns Sarnitsa and Dospat.

Day 5: The stage from Dospat dam to Buinovo village has alternating descents and climbs. On the way the group will pass by the villages of Barutin and Chavdar.
The settlement Barutin is centuries old. It was founded in ancient times, its name – Barutin, “Bartına” derived from the Slavic word – “bar”, which means very humid place (channel full of water with different depths where it forms a vortex). In the village there is a lot of clay from which the wall of the dam Dospat is made. From the ancient word for clay “Tina” is formed name Bartına later renamed to Barutin. The village is situated in the western part of the Rhodope Mountains, the largest and most beautiful mountain in Bulgaria.
The village is located only two kilometers from the border with Greece. It falls within the historical and geographical area Rupchos. Archaeological findings clearly show that the village and its land were inhabited by Thracians from the late Bronze Age (1000 years BC). In the settlement were found coins, pottery and tools from this period.
The population of Chavdar village is mainly Bulgarian Muslims, called “pomatsi”. It is known more by the frontier post “Chavdar”, near which is the so-called “Sieve” - is a wavy line of the border, where many offenders left Bulgaria and then re-crossing the border fence and fell right into the hands of border guards.

Day 6: Start cycling from Buinovo village to Yagodina village, where there will be a stop for lunch, after which the group will be transferred by SUVs to St. Iliya peak. That is the highest peak in the area, from where the group will witness magnificent views. In the afternoon continue by bikes to Trigrad.
Trigrad is located in the Western Rhodopes. Rocky shores of the fantastic gorge through which is the road to the village, stand like vertical walls. In Trigrad were found many archaeological finds, cave dwellings and cemeteries, which give information about the ancient origins of the village. Today’s houses are perched on rocky hills, surrounded by huge rocks. There are 150 caves, seven of them were inhabited by prehistoric people. Legend says that when Orpheus blew, the wind lull and bird spirals in the air. Orphic holidays here bring together many guests from home and abroad. They start in July with the ancient tradition of chanting wrists and mummers go around the village with which cow-bells chase evil forces. Another legend tells the story of Orpheus and Evridika - after the wedding day, snake bitten leg of his bride, Eurydice Dryad and infused poison into in her frail body. To get it back, Orpheus descended into the underworld ruled by Hades. For this purpose, he passed through Devil’s Throat Cave (which is located just few kilometers away from Trigrad). No one could not resist the gentle whisper of his lyre and his poignant song. Excited even harsh gods of incorporeal shadows Eid and Persephone, moved by his endless love, allowed the singer to take back his beloved with the only condition to not turn to her until they reach the light. But Orpheus could not stand the temptation and walking the steep and gloomy path turned away with a longing glance at his Eurydice. At that moment, she flew back to the underworld forever. Orpheus died, torn by Maenads, along the banks of the river Hebros, and parts of his body were swept away by the waves and washed ashore on the island of Lesbos, where they were buried.

Day 7: Day which will be spent mostly at leisure enjoying the views surrounding the village of Trigrad. On that day will be visited the most famous caves in the region – Yagodina and Devil’s throat. After the group is back at Trigrad possibility to have a short cycling stage to Kesten village.
It is surrounded by beautiful herbaceous and shrub vegetation with evergreen firs. Nature is clean and beautiful, especially in spring and summer. Near the village there are beautiful rock formations and beautiful natural attractions. Relief diversity is expressed in the presence of rock formations, such as “Sasipata chuka”, “Fatmatski stone” caves “Kestenska” and “Forgovska hole”. “Sasipata chuka” is a rock formation representing the stones of a size accumulated in one place, with thousands of cubic meters. Landmark is located about 800 m away. Northwest of the village is “Kestenska cave” which has not been studied and utilities, but it is a tourist attraction.
Yagodinska is the third longest in Bulgaria and the longest in the Rhodopes. Formed in Proterozoic marbles, it has three main levels, and two intermediate. The cave has a wedding hall, which conclude civil marriages. The temperature of the electrified portion is 6°C- constant all the year round, humidity - 85-91%.

Day 8: That day starts with transfer by bus to the village of Gela, from which the group start cycling.
The plant area of Mursalitsa over the Rhodope’s village of Mugla, is considered one of the wonders of the Rhodopes, where the famous mursalski tea grows. Legend says that Dionysus himself chose the place where to grow. Scientists say that tea contains many valuable for human body ingredients. Among other qualities, the tea has a beneficial effect on the genitourinary system. A curious detail about the tea is that US and Russian astronauts drank it during preparation for flight.
Gela is situated in the central Rhodopes of about 1500m above sea level at the foot of the most imposing peaks of Rhodope mountains - Large Perelik (2191m), Orpheus (2188m) and Turlata (1825m). Called “Valley of bells and songs”, except that is another incredibly picturesque Rhodope, village of Gela is a constant source of myths and facts. Pursuant to many people, Gela generates positive energy that fills your body and soul during your stay there. The village has more than 3300 years of history. Like most of its fellows in Rhodopes, it was founded by the Thracians too, as evidenced by the many archeological monuments in the vicinity. The village is true to the Rhodope tradition to enchant every guest with delicious dishes, traditional folk music and magical blissful atmosphere and fabulous scenery.
When the time comes to leave the magnificent village of Gela the route continue through the villages Stikal and Solishta and ends at Shiroka Laka. Village, where comes alive Bulgarian folk traditions and customs. Located 5km from one of the most famous ski resorts in Bulgaria - Pamporovo. Emblem of the village are beautiful houses, which are located in tiers on both sides of the river. Every family here is related to Rhodope music, the most typical instrument is the unique Rhodope bagpipe. Real fun for residents and visitors of the village are the big mummer festivals which take place in the first days of March.

Day 9: On the last day of cycling the group will be transferred in the morning by bus from Shiroka Laka village to Mechi chal peak, from where start the last wonderful day supplemented by the natural sight “The Wonderful Bridges”. The cycling on that stage is mostly descent, so it shall be an enjoyable last ride.
Cycling from the peak through Mecho grobe area, Gluhite kamani area to “Rock bridges hut” and the natural sight “The Wonderful Bridges”. That is an incredible rock formation in Western Rhodopes. It is located in karst Valley Erkyupria at the foot of Big Persenk peak. These natural wonders were formed by the collapse of а cave thousands of years ago. Today we take a walk along the majestic marble bridges and honoring tradition to write down our names with charcoal under the largest of them.
After chilling, while walking around the Wonder Bridges, the ride continues back to “Rock bridges” hut then to “Kabata” hut and direction to the end point – Orehovo village.The group will be taken from the village and transferred to Plovdiv – the second biggest city in Bulgaria. On the way they will visit the medieval fortress called “Asenova fortress” and one of the most impressive monasteries in Bulgaria – Bachkovo monastery. Depending on timing the mentioned sights could be visited.

Day 10: 

Plovdiv is very famous destination for local and foreign tourists with its charming “old town” and sights dating from the Roman period, some of which in very good condition. Even in present days at the Roman theater a lot of concerts and performances are organized. The slogan of Plovdiv is “Ancient and eternal”, which says enough!

Plovdiv is very famous destination for local and foreign tourists with its charming “old town” and sights dating from the Roman period, some of which in very good condition. Even in present days at the Roman theater a lot of concerts and performances are organized. The slogan of Plovdiv is “Ancient and eternal”, which says enough!

Day 11: The end of that emotional and full of unforgettable sceneries has come. Early breakfast and depart to Sofia airport.

What's included

  • 10 nights with breakfasts in Sofia, Kovachevitsa, Sarnitsa, Eco camping (Dospat dam), Buinovo, Trigrad (2 nights), Mugla, Shiroka Laka and Plovdiv;
  • 8 dinners with 1 soft and 1 alcohol drink included;
  • 1 dinner with live traditional music (bagpipe and singer) at local restaurant in Shiroka Laka;
  • 1 dinner with folklore program at local restaurant in Plovdiv;
  • 8 lunches according to the program;
  • Entrance fees according to the program at: Rila monastery, Yagodina and Devil’s throat caves, Bachkovo monastery, Roman theater, Ethnographic museum in Plovdiv;
  • Transfer from Yagodina village to St.Iliya peak by SUV;
  • Rent a bike for the entire period;
  • English speaking mountain bicycle guide for the entire period;
  • Transport services by air-conditioned vehicle and trailer for the bikes for the entire period.

Cancellations

  • In case of cancelation until 40 working days before the starting date the penalty is 50% of the deposit.
  • In case of cancelation less than 40 working days before the starting date, the penalty is 100% of the deposit and the tour is counted as canceled.
In stock
SKU
BG305-05
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