History, sea, culture of Bulgaria and Greece
About 2600 km across the territory of Bulgaria and Greece. The passage includes some mountains – the Balkan Mountains, Strandzha, the Rhodopes, Pirin and Rila, visiting and relaxing
Sofia, Belogradchik, Tsarevo, Devin, Thassos, Sandanski, Velingrad
12 days, 11 nights, 8 riding days
About 2600 km across the territory of Bulgaria and Greece. The passage includes some mountains – the Balkan Mountains, Strandzha, the Rhodopes, Pirin and Rila, visiting and relaxing at the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and the «green» island of Thassos in Greece. The route passes along picturesque roads, through the old capital of Bulgaria – Veliko Tarnovo, the SPA capital – Velingrad, the city with the healing mineral water – Devin, the pearl of the Greek seacoast – Kavala, 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, Tsarevo, Devin, Thassos, Sandanski, Velingrad
- Duration: 12 days, 11 nights, 8 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 – Tsarevo - about 360 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. In the afternoon, we will move to our final destination of our today’s route – the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast – the city of Tsarevo.
Day 5. Tsarevo
All day a well-deserved relaxation on the beach of Oasis complex, not far from Tsarevo. No need to rush, full repose! It will be difficult tomorrow to leave such beauty!
Day 6. Tsarevo – Devin- about 420 km.
After our rest on the beach, we will drive along Burgas-Sofia highway to meet the Rhodope Mountains – one of the cradles of the European civilization. At many places, there are still some remains of Roman roads connecting the Aegean cities with the Upper Thracian Plain. We will pass along the picturesque Vacha Reservoir and will arrive in the city of Devin – famous for its mineral water of miraculous properties.
Day 7. Devin – Thassos Island – about 350 km.
We cross the border with Greece through the Rhodopes and reach the seaside town of Keramoti, where we will get on board the ferry to go to Thassos – an amazingly green island due to its rich vegetation – olive trees, cedars, pine trees, fir trees, lindens, and many other species.
Day 8. Thassos Island – about 100 km.
We will make a full circle of the main coast road of the island and will choose one of the numerous beaches on the island. On that day, you will be able to enjoy your rest there.
Day 9. Thassos Island – Sandanski - about 310 km.
We will finish our island adventure and move to Kavala – one of the most beautiful cities in Greece, situated at the foothills of the Simbolo Mountains on the Aegean coast. This picturesque city is also the capital of the north-eastern Greek district with the same name. The old neighbourhood of Panagia is located above the port. There, you will see the ancient Byzantine fortress Castro and the stunning Kamares aqueduct, built in 1530, which supplies the city with drinkable water. From here, you may stroll in the centre of the city, where you will find numerous neoclassical buildings from the XIX century. Imaret is a place of no less amazing look. It was built some two centuries ago under the order of the legendary Ottoman governor – Mohammed Ali. Nowadays, much of Imaret is occupied by a luxury hotel and Kavala Archaeological Museum. In the afternoon we will set off back to Bulgaria and cross its southwestern border – Kulata. Not far from here, we will visit Melnik – the smallest and the most charming town in southwestern Bulgaria. Situated at the foothills of the Pirin Mountain, in the valley of the rivers – Rozhenska and Melnishka, the town is huddled amidst unique sand pyramids, ancient architectural buildings, wine cellars and unique nature, which you cannot find anywhere else on the Balkan peninsula. Melnik has the status of cultural and historical reserve and it is a town – museum. We will finish our daily route in Sandanski – a famous balneological resort with healing mineral water and hot springs. The surrounding area has been famous for the healing effect of its climate since ancient times. The temperature of the mineral springs here ranges between 33 to 83 degrees Celsius, which makes it suitable for both drinking and taking a bath. There are many hotels in the city, which offer SPA services and procedures with mineral water.
Day 10. Sandanski – Velingrad - about 170 km.
After the SPA procedures in Bansko, it is not advisable to travel much! We will drive around the Pirin Mountain to the north, then we will change east and not long ago we will arrive at an amazing place, where three mountains join together – Rila, Pirin and the Rhodopes. There, we will find the biggest ski resort in Bulgaria – Bansko. 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. We will spend the night in 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 11. Velingrad – Sofia - about 180 km.
The final day of our tour will include a passage through Velingrad-Yundola pass, from where we will climb the highest mountain in Bulgaria – 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. 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 12. 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: 3500 €
- BMW R 1250 GS: 3630 €
- BMW R 1250 GS Adventure: 3650 €
- Own motorcycle: 2200 €
Price per rider:
- Passenger: 2200 €
- Single room: 500 €
- Deposit motorcycle: 2000 €
- (The deposit is refundable at 100% upon return of the bike without damage after the end of the tour)