About 1500 km through the mountains – the Balkan Mountains, the Rhodopes and Rila. Driving along picturesque roads, visiting the old capital of Bulgaria – Veliko Tarnovo; you will enjoy a full day for relaxation at the SPA capital – Velingrad.
Sofia, Belogradchik, Veliko Tarnovo, Velingrad, Devin, Bansko
9 days, 8 nights, 6 riding days
About 1500 km through the mountains – the Balkan Mountains, the Rhodopes and Rila. Driving along picturesque roads, visiting the old capital of Bulgaria – Veliko Tarnovo; you will enjoy a full day for relaxation at the SPA capital – Velingrad. The route includes also the city with the healing mineral water – Devin, the biggest ski resort of Bansko, numerous dams and reservoirs, historical and cultural monuments, strange creations of nature and natural phenomena.
- Start/Finish: Sofia
- Accomodation: 4 Star Hotels, 5 Star Hotels
- Tour dates: Calendar
- Highlights: Sofia, Belogradchik, Veliko Tarnovo, Velingrad, Devin, Bansko
- Duration: 9 days, 8 nights, 6 riding days
- Guide language: English, Bulgarian, Russian,
- Group: 6 - 8 members
- Terrain character: Mountains, Panoramic Roads
Day by day schedule:
Day 1. Landing in Sofia.
Landing in Sofia – the largest city and capital of Bulgaria. Transfer from the airport to the hotel. Evening briefing to introduce each other and present the route. Dinner.
Day 2. Sofia – Belogradchik – about 240 km.
The adventure begins. The road passes along the ridge of the Balkan Mountains and reaches the Belogradchik Rocks – a natural phenomenon formed more than 200 mln years ago. It takes up a territory 30 km long and 6-7 km wide. The route includes also a visit to one of the most picturesque Bulgarian caves – the Magura Cave. It is famous for its prehistoric rock paintings from the Bronze Age, the only of their kind in South-eastern Europe. The cave was known and studied long ago during the times of the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages.
Day 3. Belogradchik – Veliko Tarnovo - about 400 km.
A transition from the western to the central part of the Balkan Mountains – part of the Central Balkan Natural Park. Somewhere in the middle of the route, we will stop at the Beklemeto Pass, where next to Goraltepe peak (1595 m) there is an amazing arch - monument. A roman road built during the reign of the emperor Trajan crossed the mountain at this pass to connect the ancient town of Ulpia Oescus to the north and Philippopolis (today’s Plovdiv) to the south. The route ends in the old capital of Bulgaria – Veliko Tarnovo. For almost two centuries (from the end of the XII till the XIV century) the city was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. The most interesting site of the city is the fortress of Tsarevets – one of the symbols of Bulgaria.
Day 4. Veliko Tarnovo – Velingrad - about 340 km.
Our route continues through the most famous pass in Bulgaria – Shipka. Before that, you will enjoy a curious meeting with Etara - an open-air ethnographic museum, which will show you the daily life and sources of work and living of the Bulgarians during the second half of the XVIII century and in the XIX century. Etara is distinguished for the fact that visitors are not only able to look at the exhibitions but they can take an active part in the production of some products. There are the following workshops in the museum – pottery, weaving, saddle-making, cart-smithery, furriery, icon painting, woodcarving, for traditional musical instruments, bakery, etc. Reaching to the top of the pass, we will face the stunning view of Shipka Monument of Freedom – a memorial honouring those who lost their lives for the freedom of Bulgaria. The bloodiest battle, which was decisive who would win the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, was fought there. This battle resulted to the liberation of Bulgaria from the five-century Ottoman yoke. The monument was officially opened in 1934. Official commemorations and celebrations of the anniversaries from the liberation are held there every year, on March 3rd, under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria. We will drive down to join the main road to Sofia and will climb the highest Bulgarian mountain – Rila. Undoubtedly, Rila is one of the most picturesque mountains, which opens breath-taking views from its tops all year round. There, we can find many rivers, springs, brooks and crystal-clear lakes. With its highest peak of Musala (2925 m), Rila is the undisputed champion among the local mountains. It appears to be a central hydrogeological point containing an enormous resource. One of the deepest rivers in Bulgaria start there – Iskar, Mesta and Maritsa. In the afternoon, we will move to the final destination of our daily route – Velingrad, one of the hits of Bulgarian tourism, which in July 2009 was declared the SPA capital of the Balkan peninsula. This is a very prestigious award due to which this small city in the Rhodopes occupied leading positions in the rank lists of the most attractive SPA centres in Europe.
Day 5. Velingrad.
A whole day of well-deserved relax at a SPA centre in Velingrad. No need to rush, full repose!
Day 6. Velingrad – Devin - about 220 km.
In the morning, we will set off to Batak – a historic city, which is well known in Bulgarian history for the April Uprising of 1876 and the heroism and self-sacrifice of its citizens. We will pass around the remains of Asen’s Fortress to reach Pamporovo – the southernmost, sunniest and warmest ski resort in Bulgaria. It is located 1650 m above sea level, at the foothills of the peak of Snezhanka (1926 m) in the Rhodopes. We will have lunch at the architectural reserve of Shiroka Laka, a village famous for the Rhodopes-style architecture of its houses, its musical traditions and history. We will spend the night in Devin – a city famous for its mineral water of miraculous properties.
Day 7. Devin – Bansko about 160 km.
Our route in the Rhodopes will continue through the Trigrad Gorge. It was formed as a result of the destructive forces of the Trigrad River, which has cut its way into the rocks and has formed this natural phenomenon of impressive proportions. We will visit Dyavolskoto garlo (the Devil’s Throat cave), which is connected with the myth of Orpheus, who descended to the underworld from here to search for his beloved Eurydice. We will visit Orlovo oko (Eagles’ Eye) – a peak in the mountain with a cantilever bridge jutting out of the abyss. Standing over it, you will feel weightless. Our route continues along the southern parts of the Rhodopes to the city of Gotse Delchev. Driving along the Mesta River, we will soon reach an amazing place, where three mountains join together – Rila, Pirin and the Rhodopes. There, we will find the biggest ski resort in Bulgaria – Bansko, where we will spend the night. The city of Bansko itself is always crowded with tourists. The summer season starts immediately after the end of the winter season, which starts in December and ends sometimes in May. Mountain hikers, bikers, extreme sports and horse-riding lovers arrive then. The folklore festival and the international jazz festival are the most important cultural events in the city, which attract thousands of tourists.
Day 8. Bansko – Sofia about 180 km.
We will drive right through the heart of the Rila Mountain – the Rila Monastery, the most popular spiritual centre in Bulgaria, one of the biggest active monasteries for men in the world. It is located in the north-western part of Rila, in the valley of the Rilska River, 1150 meters above sea level. A winding road leads to the monastery, which ends on a relatively level area, where the visitors find themselves in a completely new world: in front of them they see the view of an impregnable fortress with a church located in its centre surrounded by a colonnade. The monastery was built on the place where Saint Ivan of Rila - the patron saint of the Bulgarian people died and was buried. We set off to Sofia along a picturesque road in the mountains, along Iskar Reservoir – the largest by area and volume reservoir in Bulgaria, which supplies the capital with drinkable water. Our tour will end in Sofia, where you will enjoy your final dinner with us and you will be able to share your impressions and pictures with the other participants of the tour with KHL Mototravel!
Day 9. Sofia – take-off.
Your flight back home is on this day.
What is included in the tour
- Transfer to and from the airport
- Accommodation in first class 4-5* Hotels
- Breakfast and dinner
- Lunches while driving
- Escort car
- Motorcycle rental
- Professional guide on a motorcycle
- Tours along the route
- Ferry tickets
- Road taxes
- Airplane tickets
- Personal expenses
- Alcohol and drinks
- Lunches on rest days
- BMW F 850 GS: 2600 €
- BMW R 1250 GS: 2700 €
- BMW R 1250 GS Adventure: 2800 €
- Own motorcycle: 1900 €
Price per rider:
- Passenger: 1900 €
- Single room: 400 €
- Deposit motorcycle: 2000 €
- (The deposit is refundable at 100% upon return of the bike without damage after the end of the tour)