BICYCLE ROUTES IN BULGARIA

INTRODUCTION



The worst day biking is still better than the best day of work!


      The Guide is meant to help cyclists who have decided to explore or cross Bulgaria by bike. Routes and maps are shown, a lot of photos of my bicycle tours are posted as well. The page will be helpful to touring bicyclists in their first steps of designing a bicycle tour in Bulgaria. The guide book does not claim to be complete, it is based ONLY on my own many years of experience.



   

      My name is Borislav Borisov, or simply Bob, let me first  introduce myself and write several nice words about me.

 

      I was born at September, 26, 1956 in Pernik – 20 miles southwest of Sofia.  After completing secondary school in my native town, I was 2 years in the Bulgarian Army, where I learned survival skills. I returned to school to study engineering, and ultimately received a doctorate degree in engineering in the field of machine dynamics from the University of Sofia.

 

       And I am truly a bike maniac.  I ride my bike whenever I have an opportunity, and have done so for more than 40 years.  Each year I do more than 3,000 miles, but I am really not a “mile killer” or a racer.  I usually average 7 - 9 miles/hour, pedaling no more than 50 - 55 miles a day. I love to bicycle slowly enjoying of the scenery, coffee places, and often spend time near swimming pools of thermal mineral water - we do have here a lot of them. Bicycling keeps me in very good shape.  I always feel my best after riding.

     During all these years I have gained a significant experience exploring Bulgaria by bicycle, and I want to share this knowledge with you. Many times I have consulted cyclists from different countries, some who have decided to spend their holiday in Bulgaria, some simply to cross through our country; all that suggests to  me, that if I do a guide book for bicyclists, maybe it would be helpful for them.

      In the guide book I have posted information concerning the most frequently asked questions about roads, routes, passes in the mountains, sights, and possibilities

 

to use trains while touring in Bulgaria, etc. I hope what I write here will be useful.

 

      I have avoided giving information which is available in Google maps or tourist guide sites:

 http://www.visitbulgaria.net/en/ - nice site for overnight accommodation in BG.

 http://www.bulgariatravel.org/en  -  very useful info site for Bulgaria, but using of it is a little hard. 

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/    - one more nice informative site.


I can always be asked additional questions – please do not hesitate to ask me, my available E-mail is:

bgbybike@yahoo.com


     I have illustrated description further with many photos I have taken in my bicycle tours. Looking it over, I was surprised that I have not so many of the photos are of the countryside, most are of me and my friends I have bicycled with me. So, I hope the users of the site will forgive me. I intended to illustrate exactly the area under description, so I am replacing with photos of my last tours permanently. I have noticed that I posted photos having a high emotional value for me, but I think it is understandable, I do this page for my own pleasure as well.

      The page size is 1024x768, so in monitors having other resolutions, some displacement of the text and

 

photos may appeared. But … these are my top web design abilities :).

      I also am open for suggestions to improve both the content and form of this Guide book.

       In the end, I hope you will forgive my imperfect English as well as want to say THANK to CHUCK ATKINSON: If you see text paragraphs written in a nice English - it is because of the great Chuck's help. Thank you Chuck one more time! I believe that with your help my Page is much better. But, because I have to update my Home Page permanently, I see that again paragraphs with my broken English are appearing . . . I believe, you will recognize easy where is Chuck's texts, where is my one.


Several words about Bulgaria

 

 

     - Bulgaria is a peaceful country – for over  45 years I traveled different types of journeys - in mountains, along the seaside, bike tours, all without any troubles or accidents.

      - Bulgarians enjoy visitors from other countries and welcome them; I have many visitors from Western Europe and  the Americas;  from Asia and South Africa.

      - The country is 97% Bulgarian Orthodox Christian and  we have no religious discord.

      - We have sunny summers – with very little rain.

      - Our country has different kinds of terrain – mountains, fields, forests,  gorges, and valleys.

 

       - The Black Sea is a wonderful seaside.

      - There is very little traffic on the roads (but last years, some of roads would be better to be avoided - the traffic is increasing more and more).

      - There is great food, perfect red & white wines and many types beer all at reasonable prices.

      - And the most important !!! Bulgarians turn their head from side to side when they say "Yes"  and make their head go up and down when they say "No"!

      Further I will give much more info about the country and all that information is based ONLY on my own experience.


CONTENT

Frequently asked questions by cyclists

(Border Checkpoints in red are with very intensive traffic)

 

 I.  Passes in Balkan

 

 II. Routes:

     A. Routes in the North - West Region of the Country 

     B. Routes in the South - West Region of the Country

 

 

III. Crossing Bulgaria from north to south (from Romania to Turkey & Greece)

      A. North - Central Region

      B. North - East Region

      C. South - Central Region        

      D. South - East Region             

 

 

 IV. Bicycling along Black sea side

 

 V.  Bicycling along Danube river

 

VI. Crossing Bulgaria from west to east. Routes:

       A. From Sofia to Burgas       

       B. From Sofia to Varna      

       C. From Plovdiv to Burgas       

       D. From Sofia to Plovdiv and Edirne (in Turkey) 

 

VII. Nice roads in mountains

        RODOPE Mountains

        RILA Mountains

        PIRIN Mountains

 

VIII. EV 13 The Iron Curtain Trail        

 

IX.   Roads and trains in Bulgaria. Healthcare in Bulgaria

 

 X.    How to enter/leave Sofia by bicycle

 

XI.   People toured with me   


      I will be glad if somebody shears the experience of touring in Bulgaria. I will be glad to publish here the routes, photos and stories of your tours in Bulgaria. I believe it will make this Site much more exciting !!!

      One of the greatest problems I have met doing all that was to find Google map, where sights are by Latin alphabet. How I succeeded in the end, I do not know. Because Cyrillic is a problem, when you investigate our region, use the following link:

      www.google.bg/maps/@42.7253401,25.5432723,7z?hl=en

      One more useful link, I am sure bicyclists know it:

      https://ridewithgps.com/routes/new


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