V. Bicycling along Danube River



My suggestion is to read this Chapter carefully, if you really intend to explore this route. I have seen several sites in Internet and guide books (including not Bulgarian) concerning this route supplying not correct, even very wrong information !!!



EXPLORING THIS AREA, ALWAYS HAVE A CREAM AGAINST MOSQUITOES !!!

Danube . . . the great European River . . .

https://www.britannica.com/place/Danube-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 & West 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.  My suggestion is to read this Chapter if you really intend to explore this route.     The area from Vidin to Silistra  (Bulgarian part of Danube River) is easy to bicycle, with some minor grades of 1 - 2 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, almost 520 kilometers is (West - East):

      From Border Checkpoint Bregovo (BG/Serbia Border) to Vidin to Lom to Kozlodui to Oryahovo to Nikopol to Svistov to Byala to Ruse toTutrakan to Silistra.

       For a better and more detail information I parted the route into 8  sectors: V. A to V. H, and it will be content of the Chapter.

      In the end I will add a little more information concerning two new Border Checkpoints between Bulgaria and Romania east from Silistra, opened 3 - 4 years ago.


Sector V. A

From Border Checkpoint Bregovo to Vidin  

       If you wish is to explore the entire Bulgarian part of this route, you have to enter in it from Serbia: Border Checkpoint Bregovo: point 2 on the map below. (another point to enter/leave Bulgaria is the bridge near Vidin - point 1 on the map below.

      Here are shown two opportunities to reach Vidin from Border Checkpoint Bregovo:

      a) directly to Vidin - route a;

      b) along Danube River - route b.

Route a

Directly to Vidin City

      Never mind that the road 12 is an international road between Bulgaria and Serbia, here there is not any traffic. The route is: From Border Checkpoint Bregovo to Gamzovo to Inovo to Vidin.

      Exploring the area for the first time, I was very surprise to see this big hill between Vidin and Bregovo, I had to climb in one very hot July afternoon. But of first I had to replace my rear bearing.         In Bregovo I found a little work shop, people there helped me with a wrench N24 and a heavier hammer, the only tools I need to repair each bike damage I do not bring with me . . . too heavy . . .
Gamzovo is a little apart from the main road, if you need a food or water, you have to leave road 12.

      Relaxing in the little garden in Inovo with a big cup of tonic and cubes of ice - just next to the road there was a little restaurant.

     Approaching Vidin, you can choose to enter or surround Vidin. The City played an important role in Bulgarian mediaeval history. Information about the town can be seen in the next three Sites:

 

http://wikitravel.org/en/Vidin

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vidin

 

http://www.visitbulgaria.net/en/vidin/vidi

      Have in mind that near Vidin Danube River flows to South - West, not to 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 b

 Along Danube River

     For bicyclists entering in BG through Border Checkpoint Bregovo and having more time, my suggestion is to elongate a little the tour and pedal along Danube River:

      From Border Checkpoint Bregovo to Bregovo to Baley (road 122) to Kudelin to Vrav to Novo Selo to Yasen to Florentin to Negovantsi to Gomotartsi to Koshava to Kutovo to Antimovo to Pokrayna to Vidin.

      The entire route is in a flat area. In Bregovo you have to find the sign toward Novo Selo - road 122.

      In the beginning of July '20 I explored this area for the first time, I can say the countryside is beautiful. Roads are nice without any traffic. Water and food is available in all the small villages along the road.

      The region is known with a lot of vineyards and here they produce a local type of aromatic red wine called "Gamza". Behind the big wood on the photo below there is a shop offering a lot of these aromatic local wines.

      My relax place next to Florentin. Exploring this area have in mind to bring with you repellents against mosquitoes. Usually after June the level of Danube River is getting lower.

      Reaching Negovantsi you can pedal directly toward Vidin, but my suggestion is to head back toward Danube river along off road toward Gomotartsi. The off road is in not bad condition but it is not signed, over more Google Map shows it is only 300 meters.

      So, leaving Negovanovtsi look for a signs toward Vinarovo (the second photo below) to right; a little ahead is a fuel station.

      The right direction is toward Vinarovo, but you have to turn to left (the first photo below), just 100 meters before the fuel station, it is the off road you need to hit toward Gomotartsi. 300 meters further your GPS will show that there is no more road, in fact you will reach a bridge over irrigative channel in the field.

      Just after the bridge take the left direction (the last photo above) and follow the off road. No more problems toward  Gomotartsi, the off road will take you to Gomotartsi, if my memory serves, the village is 10 kilometers further.

      The next several photos illustrate this beautiful countryside. I remember there was a lot of blackberry and pears there.

Just before entering in Gomotartsi you will start pedaling again on asphalt road. Food is available in it.

      Toward Koshava. Because it was late, my choose was to reach again Danube River and spent a night next to the river, so I head to the river before entering in Koshava.

      Above is my camp place on the river shore.

      For the next day my intention was to follow the off road just next to the river, according Google Map it should have took me to Vidin.

      My surprise in the next morning was great, when a kilometer further this off road ended in the bushes - the second photo below.

      So I pedaled up to Koshava taking the main road toward Kutovo and Vidin.

      If you need not to visit Vidin, in Kutovo you can take road 1 (E 79) and surround it heading toward Lom.

      Yes, you will be again on the main road and here the traffic is intensive. Maybe to cross Vidin city is a better idea.


Sector V. B 

From Vidin to Lom

      The route is:

      From Vidin to Tsar Simeon to Botevo to Archer to Dobri Dol to Slivata to Orsoya to Lom.

      Leaving Vidin there are several kilometers pedaling on road E 79, which is a little stressing because of the intensive traffic. Unfortunately no way to avoid it. Luckily this very unpleasant road segment is only several kilometers.

      Once reaching road 11, situation is improving considerably, the traffic disappears, although my last information (a couple from Swiss informed me '21) is that heavy trucks are driving further to Archar.  

      Looking the road profile chart below, I am surprise to see so big and sharp picks, in fact nothing like it at practice. The distance is easy and pleasant for pedaling. The area here is almost flat, there are several places you can stay at the riverside.  

      Once leaving the main road, the traffic disappears. Down is our camp place in Tsar Simeonovo - the volleyball ground. In the morning the village major brought us cups of coffee, we spoke about our trip.

      Tsar Simeon is a low place, so a concrete walls are built near the river. No any problems to supply with food and water in the little villages along the road.

A little restaurant is located between Tsar Simeon and Botevo, they offer fish meals, the fish is worked in Danube river.

           Entering in Archar you will see a coffee place and a little workshop - if you need some technical assistance it is the place. The town garden is nice to relax in the hot summer afternoon.

 After Dobri Dol the traffic disappear totally.
This route is very popular among EU bicyclists - down are 2 guys from Italy we met here.

      Information for Lom:

      http://www.visitbulgaria.net/en/lom/lom.html

      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, tires and tubes.

Leaving Lom the road cross Lom River. My camp place next to the river.

٭An opportunity

BELOGRADCHIK

   If you visit this part of the country and have 3 more days, it would be very nice to elongate a little your tour and visit Belogradchik, believe me, you will not regret. The route I recommend here is one of the best to be explored by bicycle.

      The area is easy for pedaling, there is not any traffic here.

 

      The route is better for bicyclists entering in BG via Border Checkpoint Vrashka Chyka as well.

       The route I recommend is:

      From Border Checkpoint Bregovo to Vidin to Kula (from Border Checkpoint Vrashka Chuka) to Kireevo to Rakovitsa to Belogradchik to Ruzhintsi to Drenovets to Lom.

      I will split the route in three parts:

      a) from Vidin to Rakovitsa;

      b) from Rakovitsa to Belogradchik;

      c)  from Belogradchik to Lom.


a) from Vidin to Rakovitsa

      The route here is:                                                         

      From Vidin to Novoseltsi to Bela Rada to Voynitsa to Kula to Kireevo to Rakovitsa.

 The next road profile chart is from Vidin to Rakovitsa:
      A harder hill here is from Bela Rada to Voynitsa. I do not remember if in both these little villages there were food shops. Climbing after Voynitsa toward Kula is not difficult.         Even though the road N14 is an international road, it is a local one and there is not any traffic. The next photos illustrate the road from Vidin toward Kula.

      Food and overnight accommodation are available in Kula (meaning Tower - named of the ancient roman tower remains in the little town). Information for Kula (photos below):

      https://bulgariatravel.org/en/kastra-martis-fortress-town-of-kula/

      Toward Kireevo . . . pedaling slowly up the hill . . .  it is the road toward the Serbian Border (Border Checkpoint Vrashka Chuka - Zajcar).

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

      The road further is just along the periphery of Danube Field, next to it at your right is Balkan. Far away ahead on the horizon you will see the rock near Belogradchik which is a higher place.

      For bicyclists loving off road, I will show an additional route:     

      From Vidin to Novoseltsi to Bela Rada to Voynitsa to Kula to Poletkovtsi to Staropatitsa to Rakovitsa.

      I think this route is better in the back direction, although to find the off road in Rakovica is not so easy, the GPS device here would be helpful.

      The road from Kula to Poletkovtsi is renovated and it is in a beautiful conditions. Next to Staropatitsa it is still nice, after to Rakovitsa is off road.


b) from Rakovitsa to Belogradchik

 

      The route here is:

 

      From Rakovitsa to Podgore to Rayanovtsi to Oshane to Vestitsa to Belogradchik.

 

       The route is extremely pleasant for pedaling. Again, the road further is just along the periphery of Danube Field, next to it at your right is Balkan. You will be again pedaling in a area without any traffic.

 

      The only village you can find food is Rayanovtsi.

 

     Far away ahead in the distance you will see the rock near Belogradchik which is a higher place, as it can be seen from the road profile chart below.

       I can not avoid to put here photos of our "Industrial Camping" just before Rakovirsa, I, Marty and John arranged in a leaved work shop in the raining May night '18. In fact we spend very beautiful evening, having very nice brandy and chocolate.

And my camp place next to Podgore
      The road is well signed because it is a border area. July and August there are a lot of blackberry along the road.

      And the last 10 kilometers from Vestitsa to Belogradchik are not easy. Bring water with you, this road segment is not pleasant in the hot summer afternoons.


      Another place which is worth to be seen in the region is Magurata Cave, or Rabisha Cave. If you have more time, you can elongate a little your trip (no more than 5 kilometers) and visit it (road 1104). The Magura Cave has been known to the mankind for millennia. Now it is used not only for tourism but also for producing Natural Sparking Wines.

 

      In the recent past it has been used also as a sanatorium, a store for cheese, a refuge for partisans and for many other purposes. But maybe one of most interesting periods was the Stone age when our ancestors inhabited the cave. Luckily for us they were quite artistic and left a lot of paintings on the stone walls of the cave. This is one of the oldest cultural monuments in Europe.

      Information for the cave can be seen here:

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/the-magura-cave-the-rabisha-cave/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magura_Cave

      In the cave, among the stunningly shaped tunnels, you can find more than 700 drawings from different periods: Epipaleolithic (the Stone ages), Neolithic (New stone ages), Eneolithic (Copper ages) and from the beginning of Bronze ages.

 

      Our ancestors left us paintings of animals, men and women, cult rituals, one of the first calendars from the Neolithic ages with 366 days for one year, hunting scenes and etc. made by bat guano.

 

      This section of the cave, though, is permanently closed. They restrict tourist visits to save pictures. The first 2 pics below are not mine.


Belogradchik

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

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belogradchik_Rocks

      https://visitmybulgaria.com/belogradchik-rocks/

      http://www.belogradchik.biz/belogradchik/attractions/rocks.en.html

      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. If you jump over the road guard rail (the blue 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 blue XX on the map above show the place where you can enter and walk in the fortress - photos below. It is worth to spend an evening in the restaurant (I point it on the map above) against the rock - the last photo below.

      On the map above I have point the place of a restaurant with very scenic view toward the rocks. After the sunset the view is even a little unrealistic, when they light up the rocks.


     c) From Belogradchik to Lom

      The route here is:

      From Belogradchik to Izvos to Borovitsa to Ruzhintsi to Drenovets to Topolovets to Dinkovo to Dondukovo to Vasilovtsi to Stalitska Mahala to Lom.

      From Belogradchik you can pedal back down toward Lom and Danube River.

      As it can be seen from the road profile chart, this route is more than beautiful.

 

      Next  photos are the approach toward Belogradchik from Izvos.

      Next several photos are the road from Belogradchik toward Lom. No any traffic along this road.


Sector V. C

The route from Lom to Oryahovo

Sector V. C

       The route is:

       From Lom to Kovachitsa to Gorni Tsibar to Kozlodyi to Harlets to Glozhene to Mizia to Oryahovo.

      On the next road profile charts can be seen the typical topology of the area: a steeper hills from west to east, relatively high places revealing a beautiful view toward the river and longer down hill road.

      Leaving Lom the road cross Lom River. My camp place next to the river.  

       A little further you will see a sign toward Kozloduy, a Danube velo route N6 is pointed too - you will see this sigh from time to time to Silistra City. Toward Kozloduy you will enjoy of a road without any traffic.

 

      After three kilometers up the hill along a pavement road you will be on a plateau, where a nice view toward Danube River is revealed.  

      Food shop and coffee are available in Kovachevitsa. Have in mind that along the road there is not water, so bring it with you.

The next hill toward Gorni Tsibar and after it. I do not remember if food was available in it.

      Next town to East is Kozlodyi. Information for Kozlodui:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kozloduy

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/nw/vratsa/kozloduy

      The town garden and I balanced just above Danube river.

    An interesting story with Austro - Hungarian ship abducted by the Bulgarian revolutionaries April 1876 near Kozlodyu. The ship is reconstructed, it is a museum near the town garden.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radetzky_(steamship)

http://www.radiomuseum.org/museum/bg/radetski-

steamship-national-museum-kozloduy/.html

         Overnight accommodation is available in Kozlodyu. Leavin Kozloduy you will see a sign pointing a Road Camp Motel. Kozloduy is known with the nuclear power plant having 2 x 1000 MWA powerful reactors as well. To take photos in the region is forbidden, so it is not mine, I found it by GOOGLE.

      Toward Harlets:

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/nw/vratsa/kozloduy/harlets

 and Hayredin.      

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/nw/vratsa/hayredin/hayredin

In the first one there is a nice garden, I remember I relaxed in it for an afternoon.

      Next little town is Mizia.

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/nw/vratsa/mizia/mizia

     Toward Oryahovo the countryside is beautiful again. I am not sure if overnight accommodation is available in Mizia. Maybe. But approximately in the middle of the distance Mizia - Oryahovo a motel and restaurant are available.

      Overnight accommodation is available in Oryahovo; information for Oryahovo:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oryahovo

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NW/vratsa/oryahovo/oryahovo

      Oryahovo is a point where Danube river can be crossed by ferry: Bechet - Oryahovo:

http://ferryboat.bg/

 

      Unfortunately the site has no English language variant. The ferry is working 24 hours, its schedule is:

      - from Oryahovo to Bechet: each second hour starting from 12;

      - from Bechet to Oryahovo: each second hour starting from 11.

No price for a bicycle, but a walker is charged by 1 EURO :)

      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. D

The route from Oryahovo to Nikopol

Sector V. D

      The roure is:

      From Oryahovo to Leskovets to Ostrov to Krushovene to Gigen to Gulyantsi to Milkovitsa to Dolni Vit to Somovit to Cherkovitsa to Nikopol.

      There is not any traffic along this road. I remember the nice cool spring of water next to Leskovets.

       As it is obvious from the road profile chart, a relatively 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 was not nice visibility in an early August morning, when I took photos from this place.

      Krushovene is in the valley of Iskar River - already low place. Food is available in it. The next photos are taken in the raining June '21, when several road sectors were covered by water and mud.

Iskar river overloaded by sediments.

      Toward Brest and Gulyantsi. A bigger settlement here is Gulyantsi, I do not believe there is an overnight accommodation in it. A little information for Gulyantsi Municipality and Gulyantsi.

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/nw/pleven/gulyantsi

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/nw/pleven/gulyantsi/gulyantsi

      The area from Krushovene to Somovit is flat - you will pedal 40 kilometers without any hills; after climbing the hill east from Somovit again a nice view toward Danube river is revealing.

No long but steep hill is available after Somovit - another place you will enjoy of a scenic view toward Danube River.

      Next point where is possible to cross Danube is Nikopol: Turnu Magurele - Nikopol. The ferry complex is just after the city label.

      Ferry schedule and prices are available on the link:

http://www.brp.bg/services.html

         Unfortunately, the information concerning both ferry schedules and prices is not given in English. I will translate: I am not enough sure if this schedule is correct, because the ferry is only one, it is not possible to go simultaneously from both river sides, but who does it know . . .

Никопол – тръгва (Nikopol – go)

Турну Магуреле – тръгва (Turnu Magurele - go)

08:00 часа  (h)

08:00 часа

12:00 часа

12:00 часа

16:00 часа
19:30 часа

16:00 часа
20:00 часа

Забележки:
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.

 

Notes:

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

 

     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

Терминал

Ферибот

Prices

Terminal

Ferry

 

EUR

EUR

ТИР (TIR)

7.00

50.00

Камион / Автобус (truck / buss)

4.00

35.00

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

5.00

40.00

Микробус (van)

3.00

30.00

Микробус с ремарке (van & trailer)

3.00

35.00

Лек автомобил (car)

1.00

10.00

Лек автомобил с ремарке (car & trailer)

1.00

15.00

Мотоциклет    (motorcyclist)
Пътник
(walker)

1.00
0.50

1.00
1.00

            Hmmmmmmm … no price for bicyclists … hhahh ... !!!

      The approach toward the ferry is labelled well. And some information for Nikopol:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikopol,_Bulgaria

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/nw/pleven/nikopol/nikopol


Sector V. E

The route from Nikopol to Svistov

Sector V. E

      On the map above I have shown two possible routes:

        Route a:

      From Nikopol to Vabel (road 52) to Lyubenovo to Lozitsa to Dekov to Oresh Line Station to Svistov.

      Leaving Nikopol, toward Vabel and Lyubenovo you will ascend on a higher plateau - my tent is just there, very nice view toward Danube is revealed from. The road is without any traffic, the pedaling here is a real pleasure. Food and water are available in the next villages.

Toward Byala voda and Dekov.

      On the map above I point Oresh: next to the road is a Line Station - a nice place to relax; there is a water tap, very nice option for the hot summer days.

      Information about Svistov:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svishtov  

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NC/veliko_turnovo/svishtov/svishtov

      http://www.visitbulgaria.net/en/svishtov/svishtov.html

     A comprehensive information for the ferry from Svistov to Zimnichea is given here:     http://ferry.bg/ferry_en.php

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

      https://bulgariatravel.org/en/antique-military-camp-nove-town-of-svishtov

      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.


Route b

      A route including Belene: I know bicyclists would prefer it because it is next to Danube river. I pedaled it, but east from Belehe I had to turn back to road 52, because there is an industrial zone, where I was not able to pedal toward Svistov directly, as it is shown on the map. So, my suggestion is to pedal route a.

 

      In Dekov you will see a sign toward Belene.

      Some information about Belene d the ancient Roman fortress Dimum:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belene

      https://belene.bg/en/tourism/antient-customs-dimum/

Toward road 52 next to the industrial zone.

Sector V. F

The route from Svistov to Ruse

Sector V. F

Route a

 

 

      Several are opportunities to Reach Ruse from Svistov, as it can be seen from the map above. I will start with the route a, I know, bicyclists prefer to pedal as close to Danube river as possible, and immediately I will say DO NOT CHOOSE THIS ROUTE !!! It is:

 

      From Svistov to Vardim to Novgrad to Krivina to Batin (road 52) to Mechka to Pirgovo to Ruse.

 

 

 

      The area from Svistov 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.

     Ten kilometers east from Vardim you will cross Yantra River along an iron bridge, just after it you have to turn left toward Krivina. 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).

      In some Sites I have seen a description of this route as a route closer to Danube River. Yes, it is possible, to pedal here, but my suggestion is to avoid it.

 

     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 show a road from Novgrad to Krivina to Batin, yes there is such a road, the area here is very nice for exploring.

 

       Google map does not show a road  east from Krivina, but some sites do show the road I point by a dash line on the map above.

      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.

      So, next photos illustrate the road east from Batin. Exploring this area, 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 - it was 2008, I believe now the situation is much worse. I found myself in the kingdom of birds, reptiles and amphibians. I do not remember how long this distance was.

 

      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 pushing carefully my bike 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.


For a better illustration of the other routes, I will increase the scale.

Sector V. F - 1

From Svistov to Tsenovo

      From the route profile charts is obvious, that all the routes shown on the map above are relatively the same as distances and climbing.

Route b

      From Svistov (road 52) to Vardim to Belyanovo (unnamed road) to Beltsov to Beltsov to Tsenovo.

      The area here is the most scenic, the road follows the not deep canyon of Yantra River. There is not any traffic here, never mind it is longest route, I do recommend to pedal just this route !

Route c

      I explored this route in the raining June '21; It is renovated road, The traffic is not intensive, I noticed that truck driver prefer to use it.

      From Svistov (road 52) to Vardim to Novgrad to Dzulyunitsa (road 5201) to Tsenovo.

Route d (road 54)

      From Svistov to Vardim to Karamanovo to Piperkovo toTsenovo.

      I did not explore this route, but it is obvious that it is more hilly comparing with the other two routes. Maybe it would be better to avoid it.  


And several words and photos for the

route b

      As I have mentioned, ten kilometers east from Vardim you will cross Yantra River along an iron bridge, 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 and my camp place

      Tsenovo is a bigger settlement in this area, 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.

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NC/rousse/tsenovo

Route c

      From Svistov (road 52) to Vardim to Novgrad to Dzhulyunitsa (road 5201) to Tsenovo.

      June '21 I decided to explore this road, it was after renovation - in very nice condition. there were several heavy trucks, but the road is safe at all. Never mind, I think the route b is better.

      Novgrad is a nigger village, there are several food shops in it. Unfortunatelly I do not remember anything for the next village Dzhulyunitsa.

      Several photos from this area.

Route d (road 54)

      From Svistov to Vardim to Karamanovo to Piperkovo toTsenovo.

      I did not explore this route, and I do not think I will pedal it some day, it is obvious that it is more hilly comparing with the other two routes. Maybe it would be better to avoid it.  In this sector I will point two possible routes:


Sector V. F - 2

From Tsenovo to Borovo

 

      In this sector I will point two possible routes:

      - Route a:

      From Tsenovo to Byala Rail Station (road 54) to Buala (road E 85)

 

      - Route b:

      From Tsenovo to Dolna Studena (unnamed road) to Botrov to Starmen to Buala (road 51).

 

      In this area the best would be if you avoid the international road E85 - one of the deadliest roads in Bulgaria, never mind that just this road segment - from Byala Rail Station to Byala it is broad enough and safe.

      Pedalling route b you will avoid a hill between Byala Rail Station and Byala, as it can be seen from the road profile charts shown below.

 

Route a

The several next photos illustrate the traffic just between Byala Line Station and Byala.

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

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byala,_Ruse_Province      

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NC/rousse/byala

    As it can be seen from the road profile chart, the road from Byala to Borovo  (road 501) is a steep hill of 5 - 6 km., the first half of which is not so steep. 

 

      Fortunately, the road is shaded, so climbing here is not unpleasant, even in the hot summer days. The next three photos illustrate it. Much better

     Very little information for Borovo can be seen here:

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NC/rousse/borovo

Route b

      Much better idea is to pedal route b instead the route a: The route is up the stream of Yantra River.

      From Tsenovo to Dolna Studena (unnamed road) to Botrov to Starmen to Buala (road 51).

      The mileage is the same as in the previous route, but here there is not any traffic and the area is much more scenic. The next photos illustrate countryside from Tsenovo toward Byala and are taken in the extremely raining June '21, when all the rivers in the North part of the country were colored in brown.


     

Sector V. F - 3

 

The route from Borovo to Ruse (road 501)

 

 

 

 

      I can say that it is one of my favourite routes in this area. Never mind I pedalled it many times, it always brings me a great pleasure to be here again. The route here is away from Danube River:

 

       From Borovo to Dve Mogili  to Ivanovo to Basarbovo to Ruse.

       

      Again I will say, in this sector the most important is to avoid road E85. It is one of the most dangerous roads in Bulgaria.

 

      Once reaching Dve Mogili, you are on a higher place, all the next route toward Ruse is slowly descending.

 

 

      The only IMPORTANT thing you MUST know is that road N 85 is extremely dangerous. Always AVOID IT !!!

 

      Very little information for Borovo can be seen here:

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NC/rousse/borovo

      Next several photos are the countryside toward Dve Mogili.

      The next little town along your road is Dve Mogili. Very little information for it can be seen here:

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NC/rousse/dve_mogili/dve_mogili

      Photos from Dve Mogili and the countryside after it

      Several kilometers north from Dve Mogili you will see a sign toward Orlova Chucka Cave. The cave is located just over the Canyon of Rusenski Lom River. The cave is very attractive, it is worth to visit it.

 

      The place near it is nice to set up a tent, there is a water too. Coffee and drinks are available in the little info centre, but when we visited this place, already it was closed. August '19 we spent a night in this nice spot. The next morning we visited the Cave.

     Orlova Chucka Cave:

      https://bulgariatravel.org/en/orlova-chuka-cave/

      The next several photos are taken at the Cherven mediaeval fortress remains placed in Rusenski Lom River Canyon. The area along Rusenski Lom River is a National Reserve:     

      https://bulgariatravel.org/en/rusenski-lom-nature-park/

      And a link for the fortress near Cherven:  

      https://bulgariatravel.org/en/medieval-fortified-town-of-cherven/

Needless to say, the entire area is very nice to camp.

      Next village along the road is Ivanovo. The last time I traveled there (August 2018) I was surprise to see 2 new guest houses in it.

      Leaving Ivanovo you will enjoy of beautiful descending toward Basarbovo. Just after entering in Basarbovo you will see a sign for selling of geese . . .  Take advantage, if necessary ... :))))


      An interesting Rock Monastery can be seen near Basarbovo (the road toward it is signed well):

       https://bulgariatravel.org/en/rock-monastery-st-dimitrius-basarbovski-village-of-basarbovo/


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.

 

      There is an idea a new bridge to be built next to this one, God only knows when it will happen.

 

 

      A lot of information is available in Internet concerning Ruse:

 

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruse,_Bulgaria

      https://bulgariatravel.org/en/city-of-ruse/

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Ruse

 

      Approaching Basarbovo you will see the not so deep but scenic canyon of Rusenski Lom River - the photo in left, there is my camp place, I have pointed on the map above with "X".

      Soon after living Basarbovo you will enter in Ruse. You will see the high bridge (road E85). Do not go there, enter in the town along the industry zone (the left road on the left photo).

       Pedaling further on the road N501, you will reach a place with a nice view toward Danube River next to hotel Riga.

     

      You can go on along Danube River, or enter in the City Center

 

The walking zone of the Ruse City.

      It will be very nice, if you find out and enter in the town garden.  You can use different park lanes, you can pedal closer to Danube River.

      In the park is locater the National Transport Museum, there are a lot of specimens of old steam engines in the park.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

National_Transport_Museum,_Bulgaria

      Toward Tutrakan and Silistra leave Ruse along road N21.

 

      An opportunity here is to leave Bulgaria via the bridge over Danube River, although I think to cross Danube just here is not so nice idea: the bridge is old and barrow, the traffic is very intensive.

      The next photos illustrate road toward Tutrakan and Silistra.


Sector V. G

The route form Ruse to Tutrakan

Sector V. G

Have in mind, there is not a ferry between Tutrakan and Oltenita, only an idea for it.

 

      If you follow just this route there will be not any surprises in this area. Last years the traffic here is relatively intensive, I think it is not a dangerous road. The only place you can see Danube River is Tutrakan. There is not a ferry between Tutrakan and Oltenite, only an idea for it.

 

      From Ruse to Slivo Pole to Nova Cherna toTutrakan.

      Along the road from Slivo Pole to Tutrakan (and 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. The entire area from Ruse to Tutrakan is absolutely flat one.

      The next several photos illustrate the countryside toward Slivo Pole.

      Researching in the Net, I found sites pointing a route from Slivo Pole to Ryahovo to Babovo and after next to the river to Tutracan. According to instructions in this site the road is purposed for bicyclists, even it is labelled well: the route b on the map above. August 2018 I explored this area, but I did not find out such a route !!!  

      I spoke with the natives in Ryahovo and Babovo - nobody knows anything about such a route. I did not see any signs for such a route as well.

      The road toward Ryahovo is signed well in Slivo Pole. No much information for Slivo Pole:

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NC/rousse/slivo_pole/slivo_pole

      The next photos are the area from Slivo Pole toward Ryahovo and Babovo.

      In Ryahovo you can visit Danube river shore - in the village there is a sign toward it, unfortunately in Cyrillic. I mention it because there is a restaurant offering a large

 

number of dishes with fish from Danube. No much information for Ryahovo:

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NC/rousse/slivo_pole/ryahovo

      So my suggestion is after Babovo to go back to the main road toward Tutrakan. Next to the crossroad toward Nova Cherna there is a hotel and restaurant near the road (the last photo below).

       You can either enter in Tutrakan, or surround it. If you choose to surround it, soon you will see a tap of drinkable water, a place nice to camp near.

      Entering it Tutracan you will see little workshop - it your bicycle need maintenance, it is the place (I replaced several broken spokes there). A little further you will see hotel & restaurant.

      There is a plan for ferry between Tutrakan and Oltenite, God only knows when it will be a reality.

 

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

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NC/silistra/tutrakan/tutrakan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tutrakan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Turtucaia

      The town is located on a hill above Danube - you have to climb to the upper part of the little town.


Sector V. H

The route form Tutrakan to Silistra

Sector V. H

Route a

It is the main road N21:

      From Tutrakan to Tarnovtsi to Bogdantsi to Zafirovo to Kolarovo to Aidemir to Silistra.

      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 River. The road is in very nice condition. The traffic is not intensive.

Sector V. H - 1

 

    I have mention that you can enter in Tutrakan, or surround it. If you choose to surround it, soon you will see a tap of drinkable water - a place nice to camp near.

      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.

      The next several photos are the 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.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srebarna_Nature_Reserve

      https://bulgariatravel.org/en/biosphere-reservation-of-srebarna-village-of-srebarna/

      Approaching Aidemir it would be better to enter in it - you will avoid the ring of the transited traffic. Overnight accommodation is available in it.


      Soon you will enter in Silistra - here your trip along Danube River in its Bulgarian part is finishing (or maybe starts).

      Information for Silistra:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silistra

 

http://www.bulgaria-guide.com/guide/Silistra/203776/

 

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NC/silistra/silistra/silistra

      You can leave Bulgaria at Border Checkpoint Silistra; after you can cross  Danube by a ferry to Calarasi or head east toward Constanta at Black Sea. The more detail map above shows that the ferry is only in Romanian area.

 

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

 

      -Time of service: from 5 am to 12 pm;

      - Courses: each half hour (from both sides;

      - Time to cross the river: 12 - 15 min;

      - No charge for walkers and bicyclists (AMAZING :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))));

      - Tel: +40 734 99 00 11.

 

     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. (please have in mind it is a little old information - 2016).

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

or

e-mail: drusrtar@hoteldrustar.com


Route b

      This route is for more adventurous bicyclists, after reading my next description, you will decide to follow this route, or not. I will part it in 2 sectors:

      Sector V. H - 2

     The route here is:

      From Tutrakan to Pozharevo to Dunavets to Malak Preslavets.

      Once going on the Plateau above Tutrakan, you will see a sign toward Pozharevo. Turning to left, you will enter in a woody area, and you will enjoy of very nice descending  almost to Pozharevo.

      There is not any traffic here. There you will see the first sign showing you are along a bike lane; on the sign is pointing the next village (Dunavets) and the distance to it. 

      Soon after Dunavets a group of 8 bicyclists (2 families) from Austria came up with me, so we went on together, I knew they may need a help further. The asphalt road finished and we pedaled on along the ancient Roman road. I think that bicyclists in the ancient Roman Impair do not feel fine along their roads :)

      To the Water Lily Lake the road was getting worse and worse - rocky and brushy. It seems the Lake and area near it is a saved zone; I can not remember if there was a restaurant or food there, probably not.

      From this spot to the next village Malak Preslavets the road is reconstructed and nice.

      There is a food shop in Malak Preslavets, but it is open only mornings and late afternoons.

 

      Sector V. H - 3

      The road toward next village Garvan is labelled. Have in mind that again it is a dirty road crossing the field.

      I am sure that if it is raining, or just after rein, it will be absolutely impossible for pedaling. It would be much better in such a case to pedal toward the main road N21.

A food shop in Garvan is available, the road toward Popina is nice.
      Popina is a bigger village, you will see signs leading you toward the next village Vetren. Leaving the village, a sign will lead you to left. Unfortunately it is the most misleading sign I have ever seen in Bulgaria. A kilometer further the road finishes in the bushes.  

      The Google map here is correct: there is not such a road, but in some sites advertising the bicycle route along Danube River such a road is available. The road was available in the Austrian Guide Book peddlers brought with them as well.

      So, we pedaled to the end of the road, after turn back.

      Turning back in Garvan I spoke with natives, they told me that there is not a road toward Vetren, it was available many years ago, but now.

      The Austrian tourists were a little disappointed, they were not equipped to spend a night in the wilderness.

      Fortunately, passing Garvan I saw a sigh pointing that there is hotel at Danube. The bicyclists had a chance, it was Sunday afternoon and there were free rooms in it. Obviously weekends the hotel is occupied by fishers.

      So I left them and followed my way toward Silistra spending a night in the field just before Polyana. Next day I reached Silistra along the main road 21.

      Well, here out pedaling along Danube River is finishing.


     In an exploitation are two relatively new open Border checkpoints on the  Bulgaria/Romanian border east from Silistra:

 

      - Border Checkpoint Kaynardzha - Lipnitsa - open 2017, works between 8 am and 8 pm;

      - Border Checkpoint Krushari - Dobromir - open 2018, having the same work time.

 

      On the next map I point this two new Border Checkpoints. June '21I explored this area and my information is very real. I am surprise to see that in the moment I am updating this point GOOGLE map Does not show the road between

Kaynardzha and Lipnitsa, but yes, such a road and Border Checkpoint Kaynardzha - Lipnitsa are acailable !

      If you use Border Checkpoint Kaynardzha - Lipnitsa head west toward Kaynardzha and road 71.

East toward Kranovo road is nice to this very small village.

      The road between Kranovo and Kapitan Dimitrovo is out of maintenance, it is in very poor conditions. exploring just this road segment I had problems with my tires, I did not know both tires are very worn. But the field was beautiful ! 
      Toward Koriten, Krushari and Dobrich the road in nice. I did not take more photos, thinking only to reach Dobrich and replace my tires.

If you decide to pedal toward Bulgarian part of the Black seaside, you can look in the

      Chapter  III: Crossing Bulgaria from north to south (from Romania to Turkey & Greece),

      B. North - East Region

      Point 3. Calarashi – Silistra: ferry & Constanta – Silistra (border checkpoint Silistra)



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