Balkan Cycling (Bulgaria)

Balkan Cycling (Bulgaria)

8 Days



Balkan Cycling (Bulgaria)

8 Days Starting in Sofia, Bulgaria and ending in Sofia, Bulgaria

Visiting: Sofia, Ribaritsa, Apriltsi, Etarat, Bojentsi, Elena, Arbanasi, Veliko Tarnovo

Tour operator:

Penguin Travel

Tour code:


Recommended For:

18-30 somethings

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 12

Physical rating:


Age range:


Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Vegans

Tour operated in:




Private Available:

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Tour Overview

Join us on this exciting cycling trip in the heart of the Balkan Mountains. We will bike in the north and central parts of the Balkan Mountains, famous for their unspoiled nature, green valleys, precipitous cliffs and gentle, rolling hills offering plenty of unique biking opportunities. We will start the trip in the tiny Goliam Izvor village. We will pass through the Central Balkan National Park and end up in Veliko Tarnovo - the Old Bulgarian capital and one of the most charming Bulgarian towns. The narrow roads meander through picturesque villages, where traditional lifestyle has been preserved and it is not uncommon to wooden carts pulled by a horse or donkey and villagers making hay the old-fashioned way.


  • Veliko Tarnovo - the old medieval capital of Bulgaria

  • Bozhentsi village - an architectural reserve consisting of some 100 houses from The Bulgarian National Revival Period.

  • Troyan Monastery “Assumption of Virgin Mary”, being the 3rd largest in Bulgaria.

  • Etura Open-air Ethnographic Museum presenting the Bulgarian customs, craftsmanship and architecture.

Places You'll See

Veliko Tarnovo




Enjoying The Views Of Central Balkan National Park

One Of The Many Old Colorful Houses We Pass By

Balkan Cycling (Bulgaria)


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Day 1 : Sofia
Location: Sofia
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: No Meals

Arrival at Sofia airport and transfer to our hotel.

Day 2 : Goliam Izvor Village - Ribaritsa Village
Location: Ribaritsa
Accommodation: Hotel, Guest House
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

An early-morning transfer brings us to Golyam Izvor village where the ride starts. We start cycling towards the town of Teteven. We will have an optional detour to the Glozhene monastery. After reaching Teteven, we will take a short break to explore the town and visit the local historical museum and church. Alternatively, you can opt for a short bike and hike tour to a nearby eco-trail. Afterwards, we continue cycling to Ribaritsa village where we will spend the night. B/-/D
Cycling distance: 47.5km; Ascent: 620m; Descent: 510m.
Detour to Glozhene monastery - Distance: 16km; Ascent: 430m; Descent: 430m.

Day 3 : Ribaritsa Village - Troyan Monastery - Apriltsi
Location: Apriltsi
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

We start today's ride with an ascent from Ribaritsa village to the highest point for the day - Bogoi pass (1185m a.s.l). From here, we continue cycling all the way down to the town of Troyan. We will pass through the village of Shipkovo, where you can take a refreshing bath in the mineral water swimming pools. After lunch in Troyan town centre, we will visit The Pottery and Craft Exhibition "Oreshaka" nearby and the famous Troyan monastery. We will spend the night in Apriltsii village. B/-/D
Cycling distance: 77km; Ascent: 970m; Descent: 1060m.

Day 4 : Apriltsi - Gabrovo - Etura
Location: Etarat
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast, we start cycling along isolated village roads from Apriltsi to Gabrovo. En route, we will pass by numerous small villages, green meadows and river valleys. The cycling starts to with a moderate ascent, followed by a nice downhill ride before reaching the town of Gabrovo. After a short break in the town, we continue towards "Etura"- an open-air ethnographic museum. You can take a break here or add an additional 6km of cycling to the nearby Sokolski Monastery. B/-/-
Cycling distance: 61km; Ascent: 700m; Descent: 800m.

Day 5 : Gabrovo - Tryavna - Bozhentsi
Location: Bojentsi
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast, we start today's ride from Gabrovo. We begin with a short ascent, followed by a descent towards the town of Tryavna. Here we will take a short break for lunch and explore the charming old town. Afterwards, we are heading to the final stop for today - Bozhentsi architectural reserve. B/-/D
Cycling distance: 58km; Ascent: 1010m; Descent: 1000m.

Day 6 : Bozhentsi - Dryanovo Monastery - Elena
Location: Elena
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

A transfer in the morning brings us to the Dryanovo monastery. We will explore the beautiful Orthodox monastery and visit the cave nearby. Today's ride starts from the village of Yalovo towards the town of Elena, passing by several small villages and along the magnificent Iovkovtsi dam. B/-/D
Cycling distance: 46km; Ascent: 800m; Descent: 800m.

Day 7 : Elena - Arbanassi - Veliko Turnovo - Sofia
Location: Arbanasi, Veliko Tarnovo, Sofia
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Starting from Elena, we continue cycling to the last point of the trip – Arbanasi Architectural Reserve. Today's landscape includes green meadows, vast pastures, cultivation lands, shrubby hills and finally the beautiful plateau over Veliko Tarnovo. We will take a short break for lunch in Arbanassi, before continuing to Veliko Tarnovo. Here we will do a sightseeing tour to learn more about the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Afternoon transfer to Sofia where we spend the last night. B/-/-
Cycling distance: 42km; Ascent: 600m; Descent: 730m.

Day 8 : Departure
Location: Sofia
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Transfer to airport for departure. B/-/-

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    7 nights at family run hotels and guest houses in rooms with private facilities

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

    Airport transfers on days 1 and 8 and all local transfers

  • Fully Guided

    Supporting vehicle and English-speaking guide/driver

  • Local Taxes

  • Meals – Half Board

    7 breakfast + 4 dinners

  • Technical bike support

  • Map & Road Notes

    map and road notes in English

What's Not Included

  • Country Entry Visas

  • Entrance Fees

  • International Travel

    Flight tickets not included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

    Tips (5 -8 EUR per pers.

    /per day)

  • Bike rental

    Bike rental not included.

    Options for bike renting: E-bike rent: 200 EUR; Bike rent: 100 EUR

  • Additional transfers

  • Insurance

  • Personal expenses

  • Drinks & Meals

    drinks and meals not mentioned in the program

  • Small group supplement

    Small group supplement pp.

    at 1- 3 p.

    - 150 EUR

Optional Extras

  • Bike Rent

    Bike rent

  • E bike Rent

    E-bike rent

Check out our Q&As

  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?

    You will receive voucher will all the info about the accomodation, guide and

  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?

    You will receive voucher will all the info about the accommodation, guide and timing 14 days prior departure.

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    Yes, there is free time during the tour

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    No, they are not included

  • What is the maximum group size?

    The maximum group size is 12 people

  • Is bike rental included in the price?

    No ,it is not.

  • What currencies are required for this tour?

    Bulgarian lev

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Airport transfers on days 1 and 8

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    Yes, we can assist with pre/post tour accommodation on request

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

David G.   UK

I enjoyed my trip


Just to say how much I enjoyed my trip. Lubor and Anna Maria were great and cycling proved to be an excellent way to get to know Bulgaria. I am very impressed with Penguin and intend to travel with you next year. I think you have something special. When I get home I will give more feedback but first I wanted to thank you and your colleagues for all your efforts. Much appreciated.

Agata Ingeborg   Denmark

Bulgaria's beauty truly stood out.


We were a small group and we were happy to have Anton as our guide. He skillfully planned each day, adjusting routes for those seeking easier biking trails. All our accommodations were excellent, allowing us to connect with the friendly local people. Bulgaria's beauty truly stood out.

Branden Wilford   UK

Absolute delight


This journey proved to be an absolute delight - the views were truly breathtaking. The individuals in the group were fantastic, always ensuring a good time, along with the guide and the driver. The biking equipment provided was of top-notch quality. I highly recommend this trip, especially for more experienced bikers.


Pleasant Tour


We have made the 3 day Balkan cycling tour in Bulgaria. It was a pleasant tour, everything was well organized and the tour guide was very helpful.

Erling Jesper   Denmark

The places we explored were truly stunning


The places we explored were truly stunning, with Bozhentsi and Arbannasi standing out. The overall accommodation met our expectations, only 1-2 hotels left something to be desired. The bikes, although not brand new, were all in good condition. Our guide demonstrated extensive knowledge of bike maintenance, instilling confidence in us with his education and experience in the field—crucial aspects for a trip of this nature. Additionally, he excelled as a guide, keeping us well-informed and ensuring the well-being of everyone in the group

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Dates & Availability

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Saturday - Saturday

Apr 20, 2024 - Apr 27, 2024
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Saturday - Saturday

May 17, 2025 - May 24, 2025
$814 $791 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$22 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Penguin Travel requires a minimum deposit of 30% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 46 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of penguin travel charges.

    Up to 46 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 45 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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