This tour is not just a circuit of some of the most interesting Bulgarian monasteries, it's also a journey through the history of Bulgaria, since all religious buildings visited are also monuments in memory of all that has been happening in the country over the last 1,300 years approximately. Already in the 4th-5th century, some monasteries were built in the Bulgarian territory. In the 12th and 14th century, the construction of monasteries in Bulgaria soared, helped by endless donations from kings and nobles.

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The highlights of this bike tour of Bulgarian monasteries are the splendid natural landscapes of the Central Balkan range, the sightseeing of the 7 Bulgarian monasteries dating back to the 12th-19th centuries and accommodation in in 4 monasteries enjoying a real authentic atmosphere.

You'll admire unique architectural reserves, with the traditional ancient style and wonderfully decorated churches, the superb open-air Etara ethnographic museum, typical countryside landscapes, villages and everyday life in the region of the Balkan mountains.

Finally, you'll visit ancient Veliko Tarnovo, capital of the second Bulgarian Kingdom. An unusal trip and vacation, with plenty of surprises. 

Detailed itinerary

  • 1
    Sofia / Plovdiv
    Day 1
    Sofia / Plovdiv

    Arrive in Sofia or Plovdiv and transfer to Arbanasi architectural reserve. Overnight in a monastery.

    Visited places:
  • 2
    Arbanasi - Veliko Turnovo - Dragizhevo - Arbanasi
    Day 2
    Arbanasi - Veliko Turnovo - Dragizhevo - Arbanasi

    Set off on your bike from Arbanasi to Veliko Turnovo, en route you'll find St.Paul and Peter Monastery. Guided tour and lunch in Veliko Tarnovo. Transfer to the second departing point of the day, the turning for the village of Draghizevo. From this village you'll continue riding to Zlataritsa for your final stop, the village of Gorsko Novo Selo. The support vehicle will then take you back to Arbanasi where you'll spend the night.

    Riding distance: 31 km uphill/ downhill 400/450 m.

    Visited places:
  • 3
    Arbanasi - Dragizhevo - Kalifarevo
    Day 3
    Arbanasi - Dragizhevo - Kalifarevo

    Transfer to Merdanski Monastery, where you'll start riding to get back to Draghizevo village and then Pchelishte. Visit picturesque Kapinovo Monastery. Further ahead the road crosses the villages of Plakovo, Golemanite and Natsovtsi. Kilifarevo with its monastery is the last stop for today. Overnight in hotel.

    Riding distance: 45 km uphill/ downhill 500/ 550 m.

    Visited places:
  • 4
    Kalifarevo - Dryanovo - Veliko Turnovo - Dryanovo
    Day 4
    Kalifarevo - Dryanovo - Veliko Turnovo - Dryanovo

    You'll ride to Natsovsi and Kilifarevo. After a short climb you continue to Ialovo. Then you'll follow the river Dryanovska to Dryanovo. Here you'll access the main road to Veliko Turnovo, Gabrovo, before reaching Dryanovo monastery for the overnight.

    Riding distance: 27 km uphill/ downhill 500/450 m.

  • 5
    Dryanovo - Tryavna
    Day 5
    Dryanovo - Tryavna

    Riding down to the main road you'll get back to Dryanovo. Further ahead you'll reach the town of Tryavna. In this little town houses, courtyards, streets, fountains, the square with the clock tower still retain the air of the national Renaissence period and its search for beauty. Overnight in Tryavna.

    Riding distance: 29 km  uphill/downhill 600/500 m.

    Visited places:
  • 6
    Tryavna - Gabrovo - Sokolski
    Day 6
    Tryavna - Gabrovo - Sokolski

    Riding from Tryavna following the road to Gabrovo, next stop is the open-air ethnographic museum of Etura. Daily life and craftmanship of the 18th and 19th centuries are in front of visitors'eyes. From here it takes 4 km to reach Sokolski monastery. Overnight.

    Riding distance: 28 km uphill/ 500/350 m downhill.

    Visited places:
  • 7
    Sokolski - Batoshevo - Sofia/Plovdiv
    Day 7
    Sokolski - Batoshevo - Sofia/Plovdiv

    A descent of 180m in altitude will take you in the morning to Etura. Continue on to Debel Dial village. Further ahead you'll cross Gabene village to reach Batoshevo village and the nearby Batoshevo convent, after a 240 m climb. Transfer from the monastery to Sofia and Plovdiv for the overnight.

    Riding distance: 45 km uphill/ downhill 650/750 m.

    Visited places:
  • 8
    Sofia / Plovdiv
    Day 8
    Sofia / Plovdiv

    Breakfast and end of tour.

    Visited places:
  • Prices and conditions

    Price includes

    • Meals and accommodation as per program
    • Overnights in monasteries (days 1,2,4, and 6) with shared bathrooms and family-run guesthouses or hotels (days 3,5,7) with ensuite bathroom
    • 7 days half board (breakfast and dinner included)
    • Road bike or mountain bike, English-speaking guide/driver with support vehicle
    • Map, road book, transfer to/from Sofia airport
    • Medical, baggage, cancellation insurance
    • VAT and locale taxes
    • Assistance

    Price does not include

    • Flights
    • Alcoholic drinks and other personal expenses
    • Extras
    • Optional excursions
    • Everything which is not mentioned in "the price includes" section

    Useful information:

    BIKES: You can choose (depending on availability) from 2 types of bikes:

    1 hardtail performance mountain bike " RAM " with road tires, 24 gears and 80mm front suspension fork

    2. tourism "drag" bike tourism with 21 gears , 28 inch rims and Shimano components.

    It is highly recommended to wear a helmet when cycling. You can bring your own helmet or rent one from us. Possible extension to the Black Sea coast at an incredibly low price in Nessebar, Sunny Beach, Golden Sands, Obzor, Varna.