V. Bicycling along Danube River


Danube . . . the great European River . . .



      Bicycling along Danube River - As a destination in Bulgaria there are much more exciting places to be explored, but I know that many people, especially ones from Central & Weat Europe, plan a tour along Danube River – from its spring to its mouth in the Black sea. So, I have decided, that some information in this site concerning this destination would be appropriate and useful. 

       The area from Vidin to Silistra  (Bulgarian part of Danube River) is easy to bicycle, with some minor grades of 2 – 3 kilometers each. Most of the route in this area has limited visibility with the river, but because the Bulgarian riverside is higher than Romanian riverside, there are several places with nice views to the river – usually in towns which are located at higher places. In the bigger towns near the River there are hotels, so overnight accommodation should be not a problem.

        Describing the route further, I will point the places, where is possible to cross the river.

        The route is (West - East):

        from Vidin to Lom to Kozlodui to Oryahovo to Nikopol to Svistov to Byala to Ruse toTutrakan to Silistra

        The route is patred into 4 sectors -  sectors: V - A; V - B; V - C; V - D

Sector V - A:  

form Border Checkpoints Bregovo/ Vrashka Chuka to Vidin to Lom



        You can reach Vidin entering in Bulgaria from Serbia at the Border Checkpoint Bregovo (routes a & b), Border Checkpoint Vrashka Chuka (route c), or by the bridge Kalafat (Romania) - Vidin.


      - route a:   

      from Border Checkpoint Bregovo to Baley to Vrav to Novo Selo to Florentin to Vidin to Dunavtsi to Tsar Simeonovo to Archar to Dobri Dol to Orsoya to Lom.


      The route can be shorten a little:

      - route b:     

      from Border Checkpoint Bregovo  to Gamzovo to Vidin to Dunavtsi to Tsar Simeonovo to Archar to Dobri Dol to Orsoya to Lom.


      I did not explored just these two routes.


      Another opportunity is to cross the border at the bridge Kalafat (Romania) - Vidin. The traffic here is extremely intensive, but the road is wide and not dangerous to be pedaled. Vidin played an important role in Bulgarian mediaeval history. Information about the town can be seen in:





      Have in mind that near Vidin Danube River flows to South - West, not to the East, as it is in the people's mind.  It is very easy to lose orientation in this town, do not be surprised, if you see the sun is rising from West :) . . . Next several photos are from Vidin.

      - route c: Toward Vidin from Border Checkpoint Vrashka Chuka (Bulgaria/Serbia border):

       from Border Checkpoint Vrashka Chuka to Kula to Novoseltsi to Vidin.

      Never mind the road is pointed as an international, it is a local one and there is not any traffic along it (next  three photos).

      Kula means "tower" - there are remains of an ancient Roman fortress here. Very little information about Kula can be seen here:


      The distance from Vidin to Lom is easy and pleasant for pedaling. The area here is almost flat, there are several places you can stay along the riverside. Have in mind, that the traffic from Vidin to the crossroad toward Sofia and Lom is very intensive, fortunately only several kilometers.


       Have in mind, that the traffic from Vidin to the crossroad toward Sofia and Lom is very intensive, fortunately only several kilometers.

      Once leaving the main road, the traffic disappears.  Down is our camp place in Tsar Simeonovo - the volleyball ground.

Toward Archar the area is flat and easy for pedaling.

      Entering in Archar you will see a coffee place and a little workshop - if you need some technical assistance it is the place. as I have mention, this route is very popular among EU bicyclists - down are 2 guys from Italy we met just there.

      Information for Lom:


      Next to the river you can find out a nice garden and 2 - 3 hotels, you can stay for the night. There are shops for bicycle spare parts and tubes.

      Here I'd like to suggest you to visit Belogradchik, if you have 2 - 3 days more. Believe me, you will not regret.

      Route from Vidin to Kireevo to Belogradchik

      From Border Checkpoint Bregovo to  Vidin to Kula to (Border Checkpoint Vrashka Chuka) to Kireevo to Rakovitsa to Podgore to Rayanovtsi to Vestitsa to Belogradchik

      The route is very convenient if you enter in Bulgaria via Border Checkpoint Vrashka Chuka.


      Climbing after Vidin toward Kula and Kireevo is long but not difficult.  Even though the road N14 is an international road, it is a local one and there is not any traffic.

      Food and overnight accommodation are available in Kula, meaning Tower - named of the ancient roman tower remains in the little town - look the photos above.

      Far away on your left you will see the rock near Belogradchik which is a higher place.

      The road toward the Serbian border (Border Checkpoint Vrashka Chuka - Zajcar), Kireevo (Kiryaevo) and Rakovitsa is well signed.

      Further, the road is just along the periphery of Danube Field, next to it at your right is Balkan. I can not avoid to put more photos of this amazing area. You will be again pedaling in a low traffic area. Although you will pass a half dozen villages with little food shops, do take a little food and water with you.  

      The road is well signed because it is a border area. July and August there are a lot of blackberry along the road.

       Belogradchik and Magura Cave

      One of the most remarkable places in Bulgaria is Belogradchik and the area near it. Check out the links below to see what I mean.





      It is worth the time to spend an afternoon there and walk in the area of rocks. There are overnight accommodations in the town. The 3 photos next to the map show an approach to Belogradchik from Montana (Izvos). If you jump over the road guard rail (the red X on the map - I am stopping with my bike - next to the town label) you can walk in the rock area on the walk track.

      The two red XX on the map above show the place where you can enter and walk in the fortress - photos below. It is worth the time to spend an evening in the restaurant (the green X on the map above) against the rock.

      Another place which is worth to be seen in the region is Magurata Cave, or Rabisha Cave - I point it on the map above "Rabisha" with a circle. Information for the cave can be seen here:



      The gallery with the petroglyphs were drawn by the primitives living here in the ice age can be seen in the adds for the cave.  This section of the cave, though, is permanently closed. They restrict tourist visits to save pictures. The first 2 pics are not mine.

      From Belogradchik you can pedal back down toward Lom and Danibe River. As it can be seen from the road profile chart, this route is more than beautiful.

      Next three photos are the approach toward Belogradchik from Izvos.

      Next several pjotos are the road from Belogradchik toward Lom.

           Sector V - B       from Lom to Nikopol


      I will part this road segment in two:


      Sector V - B. 1        From Lom to Oryahovo, the roure is:

       from Lom to Kovachitsa to Gorni Tsibar to Kozlodyi to Mizia to Oryahovo


      On the next road profile charts can be seen the typical topology of the area: relatively high places revealing a beautiful view toward the river.


      Next three photos are just on the hill next to Lom.

      Next town to East is Kozlodyi. Overnight accommodation in it is available. Information for Kozlodui:


      Kozlodui is known with the nuclear power plant having 2 x 1000 MWA powerful reactors, as well as and an interesting story with Austro - Hungarian ship abducted by the Bulgarian revolutionaries April 1876. The ship is reconstructed, it is a museum near the town garden.



      Next little town is Mizia. I am not sure if overnight accommodation is available with it.

     Toward Oryahovo the countryside is beautiful again. Approximately in the middle of the distance Mizia - Oryahovo a motel and restaurant are available.

      Information for Oryahovo:



      Oryahovo is a point where Danube river can be crossed by ferry: Bechet - Oryahovo: information about is can be seen here:


      On some maps a narrow gage train line from Oryahovo to Cherven Briag is shown, have in mind that it is not true. It was an attractive narrow-gage train, but after 1993 it is not at work.


      Sector V - B. 2       From Oryahovo to Nikopol  the roure is:

      from Oryahovo to Ostrov to Krushovene to Gigen to Guluantsi to Somovit to Nikopol



      As it is obvious from the road profile chart, a relative significant climbing here is just after Ostrov. I say significant, because nobody expects here such a hill. A nice view from the higher place is revealed toward Danube River.

      There is not any traffic along this road. I did not pointed Leskovets on my map - it is 5-6 km east from Oryahovo, but I remember the nice cool spring of water next to it.

      Area from Krushovene to Somovit is flat; after climbing the hill east from Somovit again a nice view toward Danube river is revealing (the last photo).

      A bigger settlement here is Gulyantsi, I do not believe there is overnight accommodation in it.

      Next point where is possible to cross Danube is Nikopol: Turnu Magurele - Nikopol.

      Ferry schedule and prices are available on the link:



      Unfortunately, the information concerning both ferry schedules and prices is not given in English. I will translate:

Никопол – тръгва (Nikopol – go)

Турну Магуреле – тръгва (Turnu Magurele - go)

09:00 часа  (h)

09:30 часа

12:00 часа

12:30 часа

16:00 часа
19:30 часа

16:30 часа
20:00 часа

1. Курсовете в 12:00 ч. и 16:00 ч. са допълнителни и се извършват само при наличие на желаещи да преминат.
2. При желание за преминаване извън разписанието се заплащат 60 евро.
3. ТИР-ове и автобуси с 20 и повече пътници преминават по всяко време между 09:00 ч. и 20:00 ч., за не повече от 30 минути.



     1.   Courses at 12:00 and 16:00 are auxiliary – only if there are passangers;

     2.   For those who wish to cross the river out of the schedule – 60 EURO;

     3.   TIR and Busses (more than 20 passengers) cross the river at each time between 09:00 and 20:00


Ценова листа Никопол - Турну Магуреле












Камион / Автобус (truck / buss)



Камион / Автобус с ремарке (truck / buss & trailer)



Микробус (van)



Микробус с ремарке (van & trailer)



Лек автомобил (car)



Лек автомобил с ремарке (car & trailer)



Мотоциклет    (motorcyclist)



      The approach toward the ferry is labeled well

      Information for Nikopol:


       Sector V - C       from Nikopol to Ruse

      Bicyclists need not more explanation have to pedal:

      From Nikopol to Lyubenovo to Oresh Line Station to Svistov to Vardim to Novgrad to Beleanovo to Tsenovo  to Byala to Borovo to Dve Mogili to Ivanovo to Besatbovo to Ruse

      It is extremely pleasant and scenic for pedaling area. The only IMPORTANT thing you MUST know is that road N 85 is extremely dangerous. Always AVOID IT !!!



      For more detailed description I will split the distance into 3 sectors:

      Sector V - C. 1

      The route is:

      from Nikopol to Lyubenovo to Lozitsa to Byala Voda to Dekov to Oresh Line Station to Svistov to Vardim.

      Here are possible 2 routes, bicyclists need an overnight accommodation in Belene can pedal route b, although it is not signed very well.  Information for Belene:


      Again, after Nikopol there is an ascending, as it can be seen from the road profile chart. On the map above I point Oresh Line Station - a nice place to relax and have water in the hot summer days.



      Leaving Nikopol, you will ascend on a higher plateau, very nice view toward Danube is revealed from.




      Next place you can cross Danube river is Svistov. Information for Svistov:




      A comprehensive information for the ferry from Svistov to Zimnichea is given here:



      There is a line station in Svistov - if necessary you can use it to enter in the country toward Levski. Several photos are from Svistov.


      Leaving Svistov to east, of first you will see remains of the ancient Roman town NOVAE, at your right:


further, at your left, is the memorial on the place Russian Army crossed Danube 1877, beginning the war against Ottoman Empire resulting in the establishment of the Third Bulgarian Kingdom.

      The area toward Vardim the is scenic and easy for pedaling. Leaving Vardim, at your left you will see a nice winery, I am not sure if an overnight accommodation is possible there . . . maybe.

      Sector V - C. 2      from Vardim to Byala

      The route here is away from Danube River, on the map I have shown 3 possible routes.

      Several times I was asked if there is a road just next from Novgrad to Ruse. No, later I will write more about it. There is not such a road (except for the most adventurous bicyclists). The route I point on the map above is the best one.


      Route profile charts show that all the routes are relatively the same as a distances and climbing.

      Route a:

      From Vardim to Karamanovo to Tsenovo to Byala.

      The traffic here is not intensive, bit drivers traveling from Ruse to Svistov use it. My suggestion is to avoid it, more hills are available here. 

      Route b:

      From Vardim to Novgrad to Beleanovo to Tsenovo to Byala.

      I did not pedal it, my choice is the next one. Never mind that it is the longest one, I would recommend it.

      Route c:

      From Vardim to Novgrad to Beltsov to Tsenovo to Byala.

      The area here is the most scenic, the road follows the not deep canyon of Yantra River. There is not any traffic here.

      Ten kilometers east from Vardim you will cross the iron bridge on Yantra River, just after it you have to turn right toward Belyanovo. Just before entering in the bridge, 200 - 300 meters to right along a dirty road there is a nice spring of drinkable water (behind me on the first photo below - I have a reason to remember it).

      Next photos are the not deep Yantra River Canyon. A bigger settlement here is Tsenovo.

      Leaving it you will see a little workshop where you can seal punctured tires. I am not sure if overnight accommodation is available in Tsenovo. 

      Heading toward Byala, you have to pedal several kilometers along road N 85. Never mind the traffic here is terrible, it is not so dangerous because just here it is wide enough.

       Overnight accommodation in Byala is available, very little information for it is available here:



Sector V - C. 3    

      From Byala to Ruse



The route here is away from Danube River:

       from Byala to Borovo to Dve Mogili  to Ivanovo to Besarbovo to Ruse.



      Again I will say, in this sector the most important is to avoid road E 85. It is one of the most dangerous roads in Bulgaria.



      The road from Byala to Borovo is a  hill of 5 - 6 km.  Fortunately, the hill is shaded, so climbing here is not unpleasant, even in the hot summer days.  Very little information for Dve Mogili can be seen here:





and Borovo:





      In the same area is placed Cherven (in the canyon of Rusenski Lom River):




     Several photos at the Cherven mediaeval fortress remains, Rusenski Lom River Canyon and countryside. The area along Rusenski Lom River is a National Reserve:     


      An interesting Rock Monastery can be seen near Besarbovo:


      The next information is intended for more adventurous bicyclists, it is my personal poor experience. Looking on the map, it is normal to try finding some road next to the river.  It is normal, because it is expected that on the riversides there are dikes, usually on such dikes there is an off-road. Paper maps also are quite misleading. On some such maps there is not a road between Novgrad to Krivina to Batin. Here the Google map is correct – there is such a road, the area is very nice for bicycling.

      East of Batin, on the other paper maps can be seen a road to Mechka. It is between lakes, I have known, that in this area there were pomp stations and irrigative channels.

      In the beginning everything was very nice, even beautiful: off-road, river, wood, fishers . . . 

       But I did not know that further  the road along Danube River had not been maintained for years and is covered with BLACKBERRY BUSHES!!! … NOBODY in Batin informed me about it! The photos below show the very true situation. I found myself in the kingdom of birds, reptiles and amphibians. I do not remember how long this distance was. Google map here is correct - it does not show such a road.

      In the end all the skin of my legs, arms, neck, and my face were covered with scratches, and combined with the salty sweat, turned me into a deplorable sight. Leaving this road, I found myself in a muddy area. So after half a kilometer and half hour pedaling along the muddy off road, I was totally exhausted and covered by mud – both I and the bicycle. Somewhere here I totally lost my sense of humor, and failed to take some photos of the situation.

      The best in this situation was that there was nobody with me.

Several words about Ruse:


      Ruse town is the biggest BG town at Danube River. Because of the bridge Ruse - Giurgiu, it is easy here to cross Danube River, although I am not sure enough if it is save for bicyclists. The bridge is old and narrow, the traffic is extremely intensive.



      A lot of information is available in Internet concerning Ruse:




     Several photos of this town

      As it can be seen on the next map, five are the  possibilities to leave/enter Ruse town:

      1. Towards Sofia, Veliiko Tarnovo and BG/TU & BG/GR borders:

      - road N5, or E85 – an international road (1), which MUST be avoided because of the very intensive traffic along it. Bicycling along it is even dangerous; it is the one of 2-3 deadliest roads in Bulgaria.  The route Ruse - Byala (road N5, or E85) is one of the roads in BG I have never bicycled, as a rule, the traffic here always is terrible.

      - so my suggestion is always to pedal the next route – road 501 (1) (in both directions). Road 501 can be used to leave Ruse in south direction, again towards Byala and Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo and BG/TU & BG/GR borders. Because it is not easy to find out this road in Ruse town, further I will pay more attention how it can be found out when leave Ruse town;

      2. Road N202 toward Popovo and BG/TU & BG/GR borders;

      3. Road N2, or E70: toward Razgrad to Shumen to Varna;

(the Black seaside);

      4. Road N23: toward Isperih to Dobrich to Balchik (the Black seaside);

      5. Road N21: toward Tutrakan and Silistra.


      For entering and leaving Ruse in both direction, please look in: the Capter III.Crossing Bulgaria from north (Romanian border) to south (Greece&Turkey border), Point 5.1. Leaving/entering in Ruse town

      Sector V - D      Form Ruse to Silistra

      There are not any surprises in this area. The only place you can see Danube River is Tutrakan.

      from Ruse to Slivo Pole to Nova Cherna toTutrakan to Zafirovo to Kolarovo to Aidemir to Silistra

      Sector V - D. 1    From Ruse to Tutrakan


     The entire area Ruse – Tutrakan is absolutely  flat one.


      Along the road from Slivo Pole to Silistra there are a lot of Peach trees - very nice opportunity for refreshing if you explore this area in the second half of june and beginning of July.

      You can enter in Tutrakan, or surround it. There is a plan for ferry between Tutrakan and Oltenite, God only know when it will be reality.

      Information for Tutrakan (overnight accommodation is possible in it) and the battle in the years of the Great European War (IWW):



      Sector V - D. 1    From Tutrakan to Silistra


      If your choice is the second, just before begin climbing behind the town, you will see very nice spring of fresh cool water.

      The road profile chart between Tutrakan and Silistra shows Dobrudzha Plateau cut by dry river valleys. Obviously during the last ice age here there was a lot of water here. The area now is dry; the last river mouth in Danube from Bulgaria is Rusenski Lom.

   Sector V - D. 1.a

    After Tutrakan (the first deep valley) there is a nice spring of fresh water. If my memory serves, on the same place (a valley) there was a restaurant and camp place as well.

        Countryside between Tutrakan and Silistra.

      Twenty kilometers to Silistra is located saved zone "Srebarna" - it is under UNESCO protection and it is an important stop for the bird migration. The lake can be seen from the road after the last descending toward Silistra.



     Several words about Silistra:

Shedule & Fees

Тръгване от

българския бряг

From BG

Тръгване от румънския бряг

From Romania











Price (EURO)

Truck (more than 25 t.)


Truck 16 – 25 t.


Truck 16 – 5 t.


Bus (more than 44 passengers)


Bus (22 – 44 passengers)












      Calarashi – Silistra: ferry.

      The available schedule for the ferry in English is not available, so I copy and paste it here.

      Obviously at this place nobody has ever seen bicyclists ... 

      The map shows that the ferry is only in Romanian area.

      Information for Silistra:











       Another possibility to cross Danube river is the “water taxi”. If you enter in the town garden (next photo), pedal to Danube River, turn to right and bike until you see the private jetty label.

Schedule (each day)

from Silistra       from Calarashi

09.00                      10.00

11.00                      12.00

15.00                       16.00

17.00                       18.00

Traveling time in one direction - 15 minutes

Requests for traveling out of this schedule:

tel +359 86 812 200


e-mail: drusrtar@hoteldrustar.com

      Pointed routes on the map from/to Silistra are:


      7.1 To/from west:

           1. Toward Tutrakan and Ruse (I have mentioned several words about it in the Chapter V. Bicycling along Danube river);




      7.2 To/from south (BG/Turkey and BG/Greece Borders):

            2. Isperih, Razgrad, Targoviste;

            3. Shumen;

            4. Povadia;



      7.3 To/from Black sea side:

            5. Dobrich, Balchik;

            6. Constanta (in Romania).

      The altitude of Silistra is 20 m. and it is surrounding by a higher plateau.  So, to leave the town in the south direction you have to climb 5 – 6 kilometers.

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