Balkan Legends Light

Experience your own trail-legend

Details

Date: 10-18 August 2019
Best travel time: June-September
Location: Balkan Mountains
Distance: 235 km, ↑ 7050 m, ↓ 8700 m
Physical fitness: ★★★☆
Riding skills: ★★★
Duration: 10 Days
Services: 7 guided biking days, 9 nights in family hotels (5 B&B, 4 half board), 1 day in hot springs, shuttle and luggage
Price: on request

Description

The Balkan mountain range stretches across Bulgaria, from the very Western border to the Black sea coast. It is the birthplace of brilliant writers, freedom fighters, masters of traditional handcrafts, and many historic events that took place in this region. As we have grown up in its beech forests and lush meadows we know many of its secret places, stories and legends. On our bikes we will ride alpine paths, teasing trails and roads on the Southern and Northern slopes as well as along the main ridge of the Central Balkan Mountains. Passing by many sites we will experience stories of past ages and their heroes. It’s a tour full of adventures where we can write down our own trail legends.

Itinerary

Day 1

Airport pick up and transfer to the area of Troyan. Check in at traditional guest house, bike check, get-together, dinner time and tour discussion.

Day 2

29 km, 1050 m ↑, ↓ 1000 m

Our first ride is a warm up in the lower parts of the Balkan Mountain. We follow beautiful and panoramic gravel roads and finish the day in the thermal pools of Chiflik village.

Day 3

37 km, 950 m ↑, ↓ 1000 m

Transfer to the highest mountain pass – Beklemeto (1525 m). We ride on the main mountain ridge on panoramic routes and trails, to reach our lunch place – Dobrila hut. In the afternoon we descend on the northern slopes, passing by many exciting places: an old village hidden in the depths of the mountain, Cherni Osam with its traditional crafts that have been maintained for generations. Before we head to our guesthouse we can visit the third biggest Bulgarian monastery – Troyan Monastery. We enjoy a delightful dinner of homemade local specialties.

Day 4

35 km, 1000 m ↑, ↓ 1000 m

After a transfer further to the east we start our climb. A mountain road with a smooth ascent will guide us to the main ridge of the mountain. We take a rest in the small hut of Mazalat. In the afternoon we follow nice trails through beech forests down to Kazanlak rose valley. Some more pedaling and we will reach our accommodation of the next two days in Tazha village.

Day 5

A rest day with few possible activities: thermal springs resort in the town of Pavel Banya, a swim in the refreshing rock pools of the mountain rivers, visit the popular Thracian tomb “Golyamata Kosmatka”.

Day 6

24 km, 1000 m ↑, ↓ 0 m

Today we spend the night high in the Balkan mountain. On our way uphill we will pass by the impressive waterfall Kademliisko praskalo (85 m). There are some huts where we can stop for a drink or a soup. As soon as we finish our ride at the final hut we can walk around, climb the Maragidik peak (1889 m) to enjoy a beautiful sunset view, or simply relax and recover for the next ride.

Day 7

45 km, 1300 m ↑, ↓ 2350 m

It is time to attack the highest peak on the mountain – Botev (2376 m), known for its harsh conditions and simultaneously incredible views. From the top we experience pure mountain biking on teasing and panoramic trails. After a very long descend on trails we take our shuttle and enjoy our deserved rest in a small hunter’s hut.

Day 8

37 km, 1000 m ↑, ↓ 1000 m

We start the ride on trails and small forest roads to the mountain pass of Shipka. It’s a significant historical place, where a big stone monument recalls the last fights for independence against the Ottomans. From the top of the monument we have a nice view over the Balkan mountain ridge a s well as Danubian plane and Kazanlak rose valley. On our ride we have the opportunity to visit the peaceful and charming Sokolski monastery. At lunch time we reach the attractive Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex, where traditional Bulgarian crafts and buildings can be experienced. A smooth uphill will take us back to the hut.

Day 9

29 km, 750 m ↑, ↓ 1550 m

We enjoy the last day of riding starting right above the hut. On the peak of Buzludzha we can visit the remains of the biggest ever built socialist monument. Trails through beech forests or open meadows take us to our final destination – the picturesque historical and architectural reserve Bozhentsi. After our check in and rest in a traditional rustic house we have time to travel back into the 19th century. We learn more about the life and culture of this region, visit ethnographic exhibitions and taste the local specialties.

Day 10

Transfer to Sofia and departure.

Tour Tips

In this packing list you will find what you should definitely have. We recommend for this tour a 120-160 mm full suspension Bike and tires with good puncture protection. We expect from each participant a solid preparation and a good workout as well as mastering the basics of mountain biking (central position, braking, turning, small obstacles, etc.).