VI. Routes: B. From Sofia to Varna



     A tour from Sofia to Varna is appropriate for bicyclists landing in Sofia. Depending on how long is their vacation, they can choose some of the variants I suggest here.

      1. The Route 1. It is the route along the south side of Balkan (between Balkan and Sredna Gora Mountain)

      From Sofia to Kazanlak to Aytos to Varna.

     This route would be nice for a short vacancy, or for peddlers intending to spend several days at the 

 

seaside; here are not available opportunities to elongate it. The next two variants are intended for bicyclists having more time, I have described a lot of opportunities for exploring of the country.

      2. The Route 2. It is the route along the north side of Balkan;

      From Sofia to Sevlievo to Shumen to Varna;

      3. The Route 3. It is the route along Danube Plane.

      From Sofia to Pleven to Shumen to Varna;

     Of course other routes are possible as well, for example, if bicyclists are entering in Bulgaria via Border Checkpoint Bregovo, or Border Checkpoint Vrashka  

Chuka (Bulgaria/Serbia Border), they can pedal along Danube River to the seaside, (missing Sofia).

      Next I will give detailed descriptions of the routes.


1. The Route 1

From Sofia to Varna:

The route between Balkan and Sredna Gora Mountain

     The shortest route between Sofia and Varna (475 km.) is the one between Balkan and Sredna Gora Mountain to   Sliven, where the lower eastern part of Balkan can be crossed to north - east direction heading towards Varna.

      A very detail description of the road segment from Sofia to Aytos can be seen in the Chapter VI. Crossing Bulgaria from west to east. Routes: A. From Sofia to Burgas Route 1. Here I will mention again, that it  is an

 

easy for pedaling and extremely scenery route as well as it is the shortest distance between Sofia and Varna:

      From Sofia to Pirdop to Karlovo to Kazanlak to Sliven to Aytos to Dalgopol to Provadia to Varna.


  

     

      More detail description now I will give to the last part of the route shown in:

 

Sector VI. 1

From Aytos to Varna

 

     Of first, I will say that entire this area is not heavy traveled, the countryside here is beautiful, and places for camp in the wilderness are perfect.

      In addition I will say that there is a train line from Karnobat to Varna if necessary, you can use it.

      Bicycling in this area always brings me a great pleasure. No any problems here with the food and water supplying.

 

      Next I will extend a little my description giving a route to Obzor as well.


Sector VI. 1 - A    

From Aytos to Provadia

 

      The route is:

      From Aytos to Kitka to Daskotna to Bilka to Dobromir to Asparuhovo to Komunari to Dalgopol to Provadia.

       It is very pleasant route for pedaling in the both directions.

      For overnight accommodation in Aytos I would recommend Hotel Genger - It is a cool place in this hot area.  look for a spot named Genger right when you begin climbing Aytoski pass, road N 208. It is placed in park area formed like a mini ethno - village. Unfortunately I have not photos of this place. There is a trail up the ethno-village to a place with a restaurant and pool.

 

      Information and several photos from Aytos.

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/SE/bourgas/aytos/aytos

      Leaving Aytos after 6-7 kilometers of ascending you will be on the top of Aytoski Pass. It is the hardest climbing for all the route. Once reaching the top, you will

  enjoy of many kilometers easy downhill and plan area. Four kilometers after the crossroad toward Ruen near the road there is motel & restaurant.

      The next several kilometers to Daskotna are along Kamchia River Gorge. It is not attractive as Iskar River Gorge, but pedaling along it is still a pleasure.

  A food and coffee is available in the villages along the road, there are nice places to camp in the wilderness.

      The next road segment maybe is the most scenic one. Crossing Tsonevo Dam you will see a very pretty

 

place: The Wonderful Rocks.

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/128

      Toward Asparuhovo and Dalgopol.

      Asparuhovo is placed near Tsonevo Dam, in it there are several hotels - fishers use it as a base for their weekends, one of hotels can be seen just near the route

 

- the first photo below. 

      Very little information for Tsonevo Dam and Asparuhovo can be seen here:

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

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NE/varna/dulgopol/asparuhovo

      The road toward Provadia is crossing a hilly area, 9 - 10 kilometers after Dalgopol there is a hill, where there is

  a little restaurant just on the top of the hill. A nice view back toward Tsonevo Dam is revealing here. 

      Provadia is a scenic place, it is placed in a not deep canyon along Provadiiska River. Overnight accommodation in Provadia is available, although in the touristy season some problems can appear.

      Information for Provadia and its fortress "Ovech" on the plateau over the town:

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

      http://trakia-tours.com/provadia-guide-94.html

      Next several photos of the plateau above Provadia and Ovech Fortres.


Sector VI. 1 - B  

From Provadia to Varna

      And the last road segment toward Varna is:

      From Provadia to Dobrina to Manastir to Devnya to Varna.

     As it can be seen from the map above there is a road just next to the Lake of Varna (road 2008). Have in mind it is an industrial zone and the traffic there is very poor, so it would be better to avoid it.

      Information for Devnya and its interesting museum of mosaics:

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_of_Mosaics,_Devnya

 

      Next several photos are taken along the road just east above Provadia toward Dobrina, Manastir and Varna.

      Devnya is an industry center, between Devnya and Varna is placed an interesting place, so called "Stone forest":

 

http://varna-bg.com/museums/pobitikamani/st_f_uk.html

      Between Devnya and Varna just next to the road is placed an interesting place, so called "Stone forest". It

 

really is an impressive spot which is worth to be visited:

http://varna-bg.com/museums/pobitikamani/st_f_uk.html

     

 

 

 

 

      Varna is a nice town, we call it the Sea Capital of Bulgaria. Below are several photos of Varna: the City, its walking zone, the Cathedral, the City Garden, and the city garden.

 

      In Internet there is a lot of information for Varna, here are the 2 best sites I like:

 

     

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

 

      https://www.britannica.com/place/Varna-Bulgaria   

  

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/205

 

      Several years ago on the region of Varna was found a burial, with some of the world's oldest gold jewellery, dating back to 4,600 - 4,200 BC.

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

 

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/varna-bulgaria-gold-

graves-social-hierarchy-prehistoric-archaelogy-smithsonian-

journeys-travel-quarterly-180958733

 

     The artifacts can be seen at the Varna Archeological Museum.   

http://archaeo.museumvarna.com/en/

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

 

      Obviously the question is for some very important person . . . any way . . . I would not proceed with my gold in such a manner . . .

Several photos of the Sea Garden in Varna.


Sector VI. 1 - D  

From Aytos to Obzor

     This route is for bicyclists hating areas overcrowded by tourists; my suggestion is to miss Varna and visit Obzor:

        From Aytos to Ruen to Preobrazhentsi to Prosenik to Goritsa to Dyulinski Pass to Panitsovo to Rakovskovo to Priseltsi  to Obzor.

      The road from Ruen to Goritsa is extremely pleasant, there are a lot of water springs along the road, although the water is not so nice for drinking - it is too

 

hot in the summer. If my memory serves, there is not a food shop in Goritsa. The next several photos are the countryside from Ruen to Goritsa.

      The climbing of Dyulinski Pass to the pass top is a little bit harder, it even would be unpleasant in the sunny summer afternoons, so, it will be nice to climb it mornings, or after 6 pm. Again I will say that it is

 

extremely dry area, so bring water with you.

      The situation here was different in the extreme raining July '18, when from the south side of the Pass there was even a river.

      The mountain divide is a wide open area, several times I camped there.

      Toward Panitsovo. Entering in the village, you will see a spring of water; a food shop is available in this small

  mountain village, but there are hours of the day it is not working.

      Just after Panitsovo you can go down toward Dyulino, but my suggestion is to turn right toward Rakovskovo, descending here is not so steep.

        In it is available a hotel and restaurant. Next several photos are from this area. A lot of black berry are available here July and August.

      Soon you will be in Obzor. I like this place and each year stay lazy there for 10 days enjoying of its best beach. And some information & several photos from Obzor:

 

http://www.beachbulgaria.com/obzor/

http://www.bulgariansearesorts.com/resorts/obzor

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/275


2. The route 2

From Sofia to Varna: the route along the north side of Balkan

      The next route toward Varna town is the one along the north side of Balkan. The route is:

      From Sofia to Vitinia Pass to Botevgrad to Etropole to Teteven to Troyan to Apriltsi ro Sevlievo to Kilifarevo to Elena to Ticha to Shumen to Vetrino to Varna.

      According to me it is the most scenery route toward Varna. Almost to Shumen the area is a mountain type area, although there are not exceptionally hard for climbing hills. This area is especially nice for pedaling

 

on the hot summer months July and August, here temperatures are not as high as in the plane area of the country. The route to Veliki Preslav is along rivers, there are woody areas also. There are many possibilities for overnight accommodation; area is perfect for camping in the wilderness as well.

      Further I will part this route in several segments and will give more detailed information concerning the route and some alternatives.

      The distance from Sofia to Varna here is 570 km, which is 180 km longer than the one of the Route 1. Following

 

this route, further I will give a lot of opportunities

to expand the route and explore this part of the country.


Sector VI. 2 - A

From Sofia to Etropole

      Attention !!! For bicyclists using GPS devices: Please, notice that in sector VI. 2 - A there are two settlements named Yablanitsa ! The first of them is in sector VI. 2 - A. 3 (route c); the other one located along the road A2 (sector VI. 2 - A. 2)

 

       As the entire this region of the country is beautiful for exploring, next I will point three possible routes from Sofia to Etropole and you can choose a route for you depending on the time you have to explore BG:

Routes:

      Route a: It is the shortest distance between Sofia and Etropole, the route is along Vitinia Pass:

      From Sofia to Yana to Vitinia Pass to Botevgrad to Pravets to Etropole;

      (Next I will expand a little this route)

 

     Route b: It is the logiest and the most beautiful route including Gorges of Iskar River and Malak Iskar River:

      From Sofia to Iskar River Gorge to Svoge to Zverino to Mezdra to Roman to Karash to Svode to Kalugerovo to Dzhurovo to Laga to Etropole;

 

      Route c: It is in the Balkan, the route includes off-road:

      From Sofia to Iskar River Gorge to Rebrovo to Batulia to Yablanitsa to Vrachesh to Botevgrad to Pravets to Etropole.


Sector VI. 2 - A. 1

Route a

      In this part of Balkan very close each other are located two passes: Vitinya Pass (road N1) an Botevgradski Pass (roads 6 (E 871) & 1001).  As a very detail information for both passes can be seen in the Chapter I. Passes in BalkanSector I. A point 3. Vitinya Pass   &   3. A  Botevgradski Pass, I will say here only several words about both opportunities.

 

Route a. 1:

Vitinya Pass: It is the shortest distance from Sofia to Etropole.

     From Sofia to Yana to Eleshnitsa to Potop to Churek to Vitinya Pass to Botevgrad to Trudovets to Razliv to Pravets to Etropole.

 Route a. 2:

Botevgradski Pass:

      From Sofia to Sarantsi to Gorno Kamartsi to Botevgrad to Trudovets to Razliv to Pravets to Etropole.

      Maybe the second variant (route a. 2) is better. Very often, due to different reasons (accidents, reconstruction of the main roar A2), the traffic is redirected along the old road N1, and pedaling along it in such a case is not only very unpleasant, it can be even dangerous.  Have it in mind !!!

 

      Overnight accommodation is available in Botevgrad. Information and photos for Botevgrad: 

 

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

http://www.bulgarianpropertiesdb.com/Botevgrad.html


Sector VI. 2 - A. 1

 

     More detail description I will give for the distance from Botevgrad to Etropole, I cant point three alternative routes:

 

     Route a. 3: It is the shortest distance between Botevgrad and Etropole;

      Route a. 4 and route a. 5: are purposed if you have more time to explore this beautiful area, i can say both routes are better than the first one .

Route a. 3

     It is the shortest one between Botevgrad and Etropole, only 26 km. An elevation of 260 meters is between Pravets and Etropole, I would not say it is hart 

 

for climbing. No intensive traffic here:

      From Botevgrad to Trudovets to Razliv to Pravets to Etropole.

      The road from Botevgrad to Pravets is easy for pedaling. Food is available in the villages along the road. Information for Pravets:

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

 

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/SW/sofia/pravets/pravets

      Next several photos are the road toward Pravets and the lake near Pravets; there is a little golf resort & hotel there, it is nice for bicyclist loving more luxury places.

      As it is obvious from the road profile chart, between Pravets and Etropole there is a hill, I would not say it is

  hard for pedalling. Two or three kilometers after Pravets there is a restaurant near the road.

      Etropole is a small town, a nice place to relax for a night before going further.  Overnight accommodation at the hotel is not a problem.

 

      There is a small museum in Etrople, as well as a few restaurants.

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

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/SW/sofia/etropole/etropole

      East from Etropole is a monastery, with a scenic waterfall just behind it:

 

http://www.bulgariamonasteries.com/en/etropole_monastery.html   

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


Route a. 4

      This route is a little longer than previous one: 47 km. All that area is a mountain one and it is very nice and easy for exploring because roads are along river gorges. I would suggest you to elongate your tour in this

 

beautiful region if you have a time:

      From Botevgrad to Trudovets to Razliv to Praveshka Lakavitsa to Osikova Lakavitsa (road N3) Osikovitsa to Dzhurovo to Malak Iskar to Laga to Etropole (road 37);

The next photos are taken on the 24th March 2022 - my nice 10 days trip. Early in the morning the temperature was 2 deg below freezing, fortunately the sun increased it rapidly.

Next three photos are taken in the area between Laga and Etropole.

Route a. 5

 

      The distance along this route is approx 60 km. :

        From Botevgrad to Trudovets to Razliv to Praveshka Lakavitsa to Kalugerovo to Vidrare to Dzhurovo to Malak Iskar to Laga to Etropole (road 37);

      Needless to say that the countryside here is beautiful. There is not any traffic here.

  Next several photos are along Malak Iskar River Gorge between Kalugerovo and Vidrare.
Overnight accommodation is possible in Chekotinski Monastery "St. Archangel Mihail" next to Kalugerovo, several words about it you can find in the next item.
     If you choose the  route a. 5 there is a possibility to miss Etropole and pedal toward Teteven:   from Malak Iskar toward Lopyan, more information about it I will give further for route b.

     

Sector VI. 2 - A. 2

Route b: via Iskar River Gorge

 

 

     The route b shown in this sector is nice for bicycling in both directions. The route is:

      From Sofia to Svoge (Iskar River Gorge) to Zverino to Mezdra to Roman to Karash to Svode to Kalugerovo to Dzhurovo to Laga Etropole.

      This route will elongate the distance from Sofia to Varna approx 160 - 180 kilometers, but if you have a time it would be worth to do it.

      Both gorges:

- of Iskar River:

      From Sofia to Svoge to Mezdra to Roman,

- and the one of Malak Iskar River:

      From Roman to Hubavene to Karash to Srednirat to Svode to Kalugerovo to Vidrare to Dzhurovo

are extremely scenery places, no traffic, especially along the second one.

 

      Here I will not write anything about the route from Sofia to Roman:

- please look of first in:

Chapter IX.  How to enter/leave Sofia by bicycle, point 10. Toward/from Iskar River Gorge.

- as a very detail information concerning Iskar River Gorge can be found out in:

Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Sector I. A, point 2. Iskar River Gorge

 

      I will say only this is one of my favorite routes in BG, I recommend you to explore this area if you have a time to do it.

 

Sector VI. 2 - A. 2. a        

      From Roman to Hubavene to Karash to Sredni Rat to Svode to Kalugerovo.

      This route segment is exceptionally scenery area and the pedaling here is a great pleasure.

      There is 5 6 kilometer off road segment, and never mind I have toured this route many times, unfortunately I can not remember if it was between Sredni Rat and Svode, or between Karash and Sredni Rat. The off road is rocky, it can be pedaled in a raining days as well. Next two photos illustrate this off road segment.

      As it can be seen on the map, elevation of the road is 100 meters for all the distance of 25 km from Roman to Kalugerovo. Here you will see no more than 3 4 cars.

      The entire area is extremely scenic, unluckily photos can not impress it. There is not a problem with water and food supply here.


 

Sector VI. 2 - A. 2. b

 

 

 

      Here I will suggest 2 routes:

 

      Route b. 1:

      From Kalugerovo to Vidrare to Dzhurovo;

 

 

      Route b. 2:

      From Kalugerovo to Praveshka Lakavitsa to Osikovska Lakavitsa to Osikovitsa to Dzhurovo.

 

 

      Road profile scheme for route b. 1: from Svode to Kalugerovo to Vidrare to Dzhurovo

      Road profile scheme for route b. 2: from Kalugerovo to Praveshka Lakavitsa to Osikovska Lakavitsa to Osikovitsa to Dzhurovo.

      I recommend the first route. Again it is exceptionally beautiful for pedaling road segment. The road is upstream of Malak Iskar River and it is in very nice

  conditions, last time I explored this area they put on the road here asphalt. 

     

      Next to Kalugerovo is placed Chekotinski Monastery "St. Archangel Mihail".  I want to mention this place - here is maybe the only appropriate place for overnight accommodation between Roman and Etropole; there is a nice hotel in the monastery.

      Unfortunately I do not remember if food was available in the monastery. 

    

Information for the Monastery and several photos from this spot:

http://visit.guide-bulgaria.com/a/687/chekotinski_monastery

_st._archangel_michail.htm

 

http://www.bulgarianmonastery.com/en/

monastery/chekotin_monastery.html


   Sector VI. 2 - A. 2. c

 

      The last road segment toward Etropole is:

      - Route b. 3: From Dzhurovo to Malak Iskar to Laga to Etropole.

 

      Needless to say, it is a road segment perfect for touring.  Etropole is just behind the hill of the right photo the only one I have taken from this road segment.

 

     - Route b. 4 is toward Teteven (missing Etropole), I will say several words and put several photos about it it in the next road sector: Sector VI. 2 - B  (Etropole - Teteven).

 

      As a conclusion, It is one of the best routes in Bulgaria, my suggestion is to pedal it if you have a time. You definitely will not regret!


Sector VI. 2 - A. 3

Route c: crossing Balkan

This route is appropriate for bicyclists loving off road pedalling in the mountain.

      The route is:

      From Sofia to Novi Iskar (Iskar River Gorge) to Rebrovo to Batulia to Bakyovo to Yablanitsa to Vrachesh to Botevgrad to Etropole.

       This variant is much more exciting comparing with the first one (the route a - described above). Leaving Sofia to north along Iskar River Gorge, when reach Rebrovo turn to the right and enter in Balkan along Batuliiska River. 

     Sector VI. 2 - A. 3. a

      From Rebrovo to Batulia to Bakyovo to Yablanitsa.

      As it can be seen from the road profile chart, the climbing in the mountain is not hard; for a distance of 30 kilometers from Rebrovo the the point named "house" on the map above, the climbing is 330 meters; the road to this point is in very nice conditions, needles to say there is not any traffic here.

      Next to Batulia there is a Monastery: Batyliiski Monastery. A little information for it:

 

http://www.bulgarianmonastery.com/en/monastery/

batulia_monastery.html       

       Have in mind that neither food nor accommodation is offered in it.         

      There is a hotel on the 25th kilometer, but I can not say anything about it. The last time I explored this area I still did not know I will do such a site.

      The next several photos illustrate the countryside up the Batuliiska River stream.

      Leaving Yablanitsa you will see a little shop coffee place, food can be found out there as well (My daughter   Maya is sitting just in front of it on the photo above having a cup of coffee).

Sector VI. 2 - A. 3. b

      Unfortunately the road further is not signed. Three kilometers after the hotel, I have mentioned above, you have to leave the asphalt road and take the off-road to the left.

        This crossroad can be recognized easy there is a building just there, unfortunately I have not a photo of this place. If you go straight on the asphalt road, soon you will see a hotel - you have to be sure you are wrong

      Following further the off road you will reach the Balkan ridge (the first photo below - me). Just on the highest point of the pass there is a crossroad: go ahead down the mountain and you will reach Vrachesh and Botevgrad. No way to be wrong in the mountain.

      The opposite direction would be not nice for bicycling; the road west from Vrachesh up the mountain

 

is very steep and rocky.

      Unfortunately I can not point the distance between Yablanitsa and Vrachesh. There is a segment in the mountain for which Google map does not show the off road. Obviously for more information I must find a time to explore this area again one day.

      Just before entering in Vrachesh there is a Monastery: Vrachesh Monastery.

       http://visit.guide-bulgaria.com/a/823/vrachesh_monastery_st._40_martyrs.htm

      Have in mind that neither food nor accommodation is offered in it.


Sector VI. 2 - B

From Etropole to Teteven

     The route from Etropole to Teteven again is one the best road segment for bicycling.         Depending of  where you will come in this sector, I will give here 3 possible routes.

Route a

      From Etropole to Ribaritsa to Yamna to Cherni Vit to Teteven.

      (please have in mind that east from Teteven again there is a place named Ribaritsa)

      It is sxtremely pleasant for pedaling road segment in the mountain because there is not any traffic. If you try to trace

  this route in the Google Map, it will be not possible because the road segment from Yamna toward Cherni Vit is closed for cars: after a heavy flood August 2005 the road was broken and it is still not reconstructed. Never mind it is closed for cars, it is still possible to be pedaled, as it will be seen further from the photos I post here.

The road profile chart shows that the climbing in west - east direction is easier rather the opposite one.

     

      Leaving Egtropole toward Yamna you will see a nice hotel (photos in left), I have never was in it. A little further there is a nice place for the camp near nice clean river as well.

 

 

      The road from Etropole to the point D on the map above is relatively nice. Food can be find in Ribaritsa.

 

      Reaching the end of the first hill toward Teteven (I indicate it as a point having altitude 760 m. - see again the road profile scheme above) you will see a sign for Yamna.  Pedaling down the hill toward point D, at your left you will see a sign for restaurant and hotel.

      The road toward Yamna after point D (the first photo below) is in very poor conditions, so drivers definitely avoid this road. In Yamna you can find food. The sign    for the end of Yamna is placed on the top of the next hill. There you will see the sign sowing that the road toward Teteven is closed.
      Next 6 photos illustrate the worst part of the road - 2 kilometers to Cherni Vit. As it can be seen from the   photos, the road here is in very poor conditions, so, do not be surprise, if you are not able to trace it on Google Maps !!!

      Cherni Vit is a village (the photos with the church) located along Cherni Vit River, maybe the village is long 10 kilometers. Food can be find in Cherni Vit.

       The back route is nice for pedaling as well.  Only HAVE a spray against dogs here.

      Before saying several words about Teteven, let me mention, that coming from Dzhurovo (the previous sector VI. 2 - A. 2.)  there are two another opportunities:

 

Route b

you can miss Etropole heading directly toward Yamna -

  it is the road segment from point C to D as I have pointed on the map above. The next several photos are taken in this area, although they were taken 2012, the road was still dirty, now it is reconstructed and it is in very nice condition.

 

      There is a little shop and coffee place in Lopyan. Next to Lopyan there is a nice spot called Holiday

 

Village Orlova Skala, which is appropriate for overnight accommodation:

http://www.hotel-in-bulgaria.com/en/lopyan.html


Route c

      The last opportunity I will mention in this beautiful region is the route from Dzurovo directly to toward

 

Teteven:

 

      From Dzhurovo to Golyam Izvor to Polaten to Teteven

The next several photos are the area near Golyam Izvor.


      Teteven is placed in the deep valley of Vit River surrounded of spectacular rocks. The view is quite impressive. Overnight accommodation in it is not a problem.

 

      Information for Teteven can be seen here:

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

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

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/nw/lovech/teteven/teteven

Several winter photos of this town I like so much.

An old monastery St. Ilia from the end of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom with original icons can be seen in Teteven .

      Near Teteven can be visited several places. Next are several photos of the Balkan above Teteven - near a small mountain village called Babintsi.

         Above the village is placed a little chapel, a well signed trail will lead you to it. A great view is revealed in each direction.

      Another option is a walk to a waterfall west from Teteven. You can use a taxi do drive approx 5 kilometers up the mountain, after walk half an hour toward the waterfall.

      A steep trail will lead you to a little hut just above the town (an hour and 15 minutes walking), it is visible from the town up in the rocks.

Our camp places - just before and after Teteven near Beli Vit River.

     My last suggestion is for bicyclists intending to explore Iskar River Gorge (route 2), missing Etropole and pedaling toward Teteven directly. The best routes here are:

Route a

      From Roman to Batultsi to Zlatna Panega to Asen to Glozhene toTeteven;

 

Route b

 

(for bicyclists intending to visit Glozhene Monastery)

      From Roman to Batultsi to Dobrevtsi to Yablanitsa to Malak Izvor to Glozhene Monastery and back to Glozhene and Teteven.

     The road profile chart for the route a

      The entire area is the best for exploring. Next several photos are the area from Roman to Zlatna Panega with its huge cement plant. Fortunately there are filters, so no any

 

dust and smoke in the region near Zlatna Panega; the place is known with its Karst springs:

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/tourism-types/ecological-tourism/

      No any traffic along this route. The only 1 - 2 kilometers with very heavy traffic is the road segment of

  road 4 (between roads 103 and 305). On the map above I surround it in a red circle.

      Soon just after crossing Vit River you will see the sign toward Teteven, although in the photos below I am in the opposite direction.

 

      Leaving Glozhene next to the road you will see a motel and restaurant with impressive waterfall behind it. I have heard the meals there are very testy

       Information for Glozhene:

http://www.guide-

bulgaria.com/nw/lovech/teteven/glojene

 

      From Glozhene you can visit Glozhene Monastery, but following this route it will increase the distance consideranly, over more the Monastery is in the mountain, as it is obvious from the road profile chart below.

 

      So, bicyclists intending to visit Glozhene Monastery can follow the route b - I have shown on the map above.

      The Monastery is placed on a spectacular mountain ridge, unfortunately it is one of the not many places in Bulgaria I still have not visited yet. Overnight

 

accommodation is possible in the Monastery, but food is not offered. Information for the monastery and several photos:

http://www.bulgariamonasteries.com/en/glozhene_monastery.html

      Well . . . that is all for this sector . . . after Teteven toward Troyan follows a long valley of Beli Vit River named Ribaritsa, a vacancy place . . .


Sector VI. 2 - C

From Teteven to Troyan

 

      The distance from Teteven to Troyan is very pleasant for pedalling, never mind here is the longest and the highest hill all over the road from Sofia to Varna:

      From Teteven to Ribaritsa to Shipkovo to Terziisko to Troyan.

The road profile chart slows that pedaling from west to east is easier in comparison with the opposite direction.

      Three - four kilometers after Teteven you will enter in a resort area along Beli Vit River called Ribaritsa at least

  15 kilometers long area of small private homes hotels, so accommodation in it is not a problem.

      Near the road along Ribaritsa there are several very nice local type restaurants offering exceptionally tasty local meals as well.

 

 

 

 

 

       Information for Ribaritsa:

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/village-of-ribaritsa/

 

     

      Never mind that the area here is a touristy place, the traffic along the road is not intensive, and after Ribaritsa you will not see any cars.

      Leaving Ribaritsa the climbing to the highest point (almost in the middle of the road) is a little bit harder,

  especially reaching the first serpentines - a spring of water is available there. Up the mountain after Ribaritsa there are a lot of wood strawberries (June) and raspberries (July). It is very nice area to camp in the wilderness here.
When you reach the highest point (the next photos) you will enjoy of a perfect view in each direction.

       In the back direction from Troyan to Teteven the climbing is harder, the road is steeper, especially after Shipkovo (2-3 km after Shipkovo a tap of fresh water is available).

 

      Shipkovo is a resort village, overnight accommodation is not a problem in it; a pool of thermal water is available in it, although I do not like it very much.

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

The scenery after Shipkovo toward the pass.

     And several words and photos from Troyan, where the overnight accommodation is not a problem. Information

 

for Troyan:

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

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/troyan/


Sector VI. 2 - D

From Troyan to Sevlievo (or to Gabrovo)

      Here I will describe two possible routes to east (toward Kilifarevo): I would suggest to pedal the first route because the traffic from Yavorets to Gabrovo (road N 44) to Dryanovo (road N5, E 85) is more intensive, especially from Gabrovo to Dryanovo (E 85).

 

      The first route is much more better in the back direction as well.

      a) From Troyan to Apriltsi to Stokite to Gorma Rositsa to Sevlievo to Dryanovo;

      b) From Troyan to Apriltsi to Stokite to Gorma Rositsa to Novakovtsi to Gabrovo to Dryanovo.


Sector VI. 2 - D. 1      

      The next more detail map shows an unbelievable pleasant for exploring region from Troyan toward Gorna

  Rositsa and Sevlievo. Pedaling to east, from your right side you will see the highest part of Balkan.

      The route and the road profile chart from Troyan to Sevlievo:

      From Troyan to Oreshak to Drashkova Polyana to

 

Velchevo to Skandaloto to Apriltsi to Ostrets to Kravenik to Stokite to Popska to Karamanchevtsi to Batoshevo to Gorna Rositsa to Sevlievo

      Entering in Oreshak (overnight accommodation is available in it), you will see a sign toward Troyanski Monastery (the photos below), if you have a time, you can visit it, overnight accommodation is possible in the hotel part of the monastery, or a little further in Cherni Osam.

 

      Information for Troyanski monastery:

http://www.bulgarianmonastery.com/en/monastery

 

/troyan_monastery.html

http://www.wikivisually.com/wiki/Troyan_Monastery

      The road toward Apriltsi is easy for pedalling, no any traffic there, the entire area is very nice for camping in the wilderness.

      Overnight accommodation in Apriltsi is possible. Information for Apriltsi:

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

        The next three photos are from Apriltsi. The view is especially impressive April and May, when the Balkan is still covered by snow.

      Toward Ostrets. Overnight accommodation in it is possible.

        The highest point of this road segment is two - three kilometers after Ostrets.

       Once reaching the highest point, the road toward Gorna Rositsa (and Sevlievo) is down the mountain.

 

Food (and a little restaurant) is available in Stokite.

     The next several photos are the countryside toward Batoshevo. Near Batoshevo is placed Batoshevski Monastery, never mind I pedalled this route several times,

 

I still did not visit it.

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/

the-batoshevo-monastery-the-nativity-of-the-virgin/

      It is not easy to find food in Batoshevo.

The countryside toward Gorna Rositsa and Sevlievo.

      Information for Sevlievo:

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NC/gabrovo/sevlievo/sevlievo

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


       Sector VI. 2 - D. 2

       Now I will increase the resolution a little.

Route a

      To reach Gabrovo my suggestion is to pedal along road N44, never mind it is pointed as a main road on the map, the traffic along it is not so intensive (It seems I

 

did not take photos from this route):

      From Gorna Rositsa to Draganovtsi to Novakovtsi to Vranilovtsi to Yankovtsi to Gabrovo.

Route b

      On the map you will see shortcuts toward Gabrovo from Batoshevo or Gorna Rositsa:

        From Gorna Rositsa to Muzga to Debeli Dyal to Tranito to Gabrovo.

    Have in mind that it is a mountain area, roads in this area are not signed well, some of the villages are leaved nobody there, so you will not see anybody to ask about the road.

      Several years ago I and Maya had such problems in this area. The compensation exploring this area is the best scenery, no any traffic as well. I remember we lost a lot of time to eat blackberry here.

      You can choose to visit or surround Gabrovo heading toward Dryanovo. Information for Gabrovo:

 

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

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Gabrovo


      Several kilometers south from Gabrovo is placed a spot called Etar which is an interesting architectural ethnographic complex - a museum at work. It is worth seeing:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etar_Architectural-Ethnographic_Complex

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv40JmKEPJU

http://go-lets.com/index.php/gabrovo-etara/

      (I visited it several times, but next photos are not mine)

     Four kilometers after Etara is Sokolski Monastery, an interesting place, it is worth to be visited. An information

 

for it:

http://www.bulgariamonasteries.com/en/sokolski_monastery.html


Sector VI. 2 - E

From Sevlievo (Gabrovo) to Kilifarevo

 

      In this point of first I will be a little bit back, beginning with a description of the route from Sevlievo to Dryanovo, after I will give information about the route from Gabrovo to Dryanovo to Kilifarevo, in the end I will say several   words for Veliko Tarnovo - the Capital of the second Bulgarian Kingdom, I know it is of interest because it is a tourist place, unfortunately the traffic near Veliko Tarnovo is very intensive.
      The route from Sevlievo to Dryanovo is extremely pleasant for pedalling road segment as it is obvious from   the road profile chart. The hills here are not steep, there is not absolutely any traffic.

      Little food shop is available in Yantra, if my memory serves it was not the same in Skalsko.

  Several photos of this beautiful area.

      Information for Dryanovo and several photos:

      http://www.bulgaria-guide.com/guide/Dryanovo/207076/

     The next map shows the approach toward Dryanovo from Gabrovo. If you do not want to enter in Gabrovo, you can bike along the north ring just before entering in it

 

 (turn to left in Kievtsi, road 5004):

      From Yavorets (Gabrovo) to Dolino to Dryanovo to Ganchovets to Yalovo to Kilifarevo.

      Have in mind that the traffic on the roar E85 is quite intensive, but most of the pedalling here (after Dolino) is down the hill and the distance is pedalling fast. The pedalling of the back direction (from Dryanovo to

 

Gabrovo) would not be so pleasant - it is up the mountain, I would not be glad to pedal it.

      The tunnel just before entering in Dryanovo Municipality (the last photo below) is not long and not dangerous.


Sector VI. 2 - E. 1

 

      A remarkable place in the region is Dryanovski Monastery and the area near it. The Monastery is located in a deep Karst valley where 2 rivers are joining.

 

      The place is appropriate for overnight accommodation - there are both restaurant & hotel near the monastery. Information for the Monastery:

 

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsZ_F5AqlcY

      https://bulgariatravel.org/en/dryanovo-monastery-st-archangel-michael/

 

      The rocks of the Karsts chains over the monastery are very impressive; there is a labelled track from the   monastery to the hills above it (just behind the tower on the second photo above).

      Here is an interesting cave "Bacho Kiro"- just behind my partner above:

      https://bulgariatravel.org/en/bacho-kiro-cave/


 

Sector VI. 2 - E. 2

      If my memory serves, the road in Dryanovo towards Kilifarevo is not signed well, so enter in Dryanovo and go down to the railway and industrial zone; pedaling along the railway you will cross it and head toward Ganchovets, after pedal on toward Kilifarevo (road 5502).

 

      It is very nice route without any traffic.


 

 

 

 

Sector VI. 2 - E. 3

From Dryanovo to Kilifarevo

 

      There is a not sreap and ling hill between Ganchovets and Kilifarevo.

 

      Once passing Ganchovets, the traffic disappears totally. The last time I pedaled this area was in August 2020 after 2 hour summer storm, which refreshed situation considerably.

     The road from Ganchovets to Yalovo is not in the best condition, but it is still beautiful for riding. Yalovois on the top of the hill between Ganchovets and 

 

Kilifarevo.

      I do not remember well if food was available in it, but there is a water spring in it.

      Kilifarevo is a little town, nothing spedial to say about it. Some information for it:

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


 

One more time the same sector !

 

Sector VI. 2 - E. 3

 

      Close to Dryanovo is Veliko Tarnovo, as a Capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, it is interesting to visit it; the city is a touristy place, it is advertised in the guiding books, so I know that foreigners would like to visit it.

      Have in mind, this town is a cross road, so the traffic around it is quite intensive especially after Debelets, where roads N5 (E85) and road N55 are joining. Be careful if you bicycle there. It is really very dangerous road segment.

      Road N4 (E772) also must be avoided - it is the main road between Sofia and Varna, the traffic on it is terrible as well.

 

      So, if you intend to visit Veliko Tarnovo, my suggestion is to stay for accommodation in Dryanovski Monastery (or Dryanovo)  and visit Veliko Tarnovo using a taxi. For a taxi you can ask in the hotel.

      Our camp place and entering in Veliko Tarnovo coming from Dryanovo.

      As I have mentioned above, this town is a cross road, so the traffic around it is quite intensive especially after

  Debelets, where roads N5 (E85) and road N55 are joining. Next several photos illustrate it.

      As a Capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, Veliko Tarnovo is very popular destination among tourists. A lot of information including overnight accommodation about Veliko Tarnovo can be found here:

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

http://www.velikoturnovo.info/en/

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/veliko-tarnovo/

      Information about the second Bulgarian Kingdom can be seen here:

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

 

There are a lot of monasteries in the region near Veliko Tarnovo. Here are several links supplying information about them:

 

http://www.bulgarianmonastery.com/en/region/

veliko_tarnovo_monasteries.html

 

http://www.velikoturnovo.info/en/monasteries/

 

      Several photos of Veliko Tarnovo.

      Arbanasi (5-6 kilometers north from Veliko Tarnovo) is also a touristy area, it is connected with Bulgarian history.

 

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

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/the-arbanasi-archeological-reserve/

      Several photos of Arbanasi. A great view is available from Arbanasi toward Veliko Tarnovo and Balkan.


Sector VI. 2 - F

From Kilifarevo to Elena

      Beautiful area, a calm countryside, away from the main roads. Here I will suggests 2 routes.     

     Route a:

      From Kilifarevo to Plakovo to Sredni Kolibi to Gardevtsi to Yakovtsi to Elena.

      It is a extreme beautiful area. The road is after reconstruction and never mind it is only one bed, the pedalling here is save - no any traffic.

      Food is available in Plakovo. Supply with water here, the next water spring is not so close, and almost 10 km up the hill are to it. The water from the spring is not very

 

nice.

      Fortunately all the distance up the mountains is in very nice wood, you will pedal in the shade.

      On the highest point of the route is located Sredni Kolibi, and I do not remember food and coffee place are available in it, as well as in the next villages along

   the road. If my memory serves, a guest house was available somewhere in the region too. 

      The best place here is the area near Iovkovtsi Dam. There is an easy access to it (just before Yakovtsi),

 

summer time the water is perfect to refresh, the place is perfect for camp in the wilderness.

      Next to Yakovtsi there is a little hotel & restaurant.

    Elena is a touristy spot, architecture of XIX century is saved. There are overnight accommodation and nice restaurants in the town. Information of Elena can be seen

 

here:

https://www.visitbulgaria.net/en/elena/elena.html

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/town-of-elena/

      Several photos from Elena:


Sector VI. 2 - F. 1

      Route b

      Another very nice opportunity (for bicyclists loving off road) in this area is:

       From Kilifarevo to Velchevo to Plakovski Monastery to Kapinovski Monastery to road N53 to Elena.

      The road from Kilifarevo to Velchevo to Kapinovski Monastery (from point A to point B) is nice. Leaving Velchevo toward Plakovski Monastery, you will see an ancient tractor.

     There are two old monastery along this road: Plakovski Monastery and Kapinovski Monastery: information for them is available here:

 

http://bulgariamonasteries.com/en/plakovski_monastery.html

http://bulgariamonasteries.com/en/kapinovo_monastery.html

http://visit.elena.bg/en/temples-monasteries/

kapinovski-and-plakovski-monasteries

      Neither food nor overnight accommodation in Plakovski Monastery (the two photos in left).

 

     Kapinovski Monastery is a better place, next to it there is a camping place, caravans, restaurant., to stay around for a night is not a bad idea.

     After Kapinovski Monastery the road enter in a nice wood, it is almost flat area. The road a dirty one although in many maps it is pointed like a nice one. I have not information if it was reconstructed.

      Unfortunately all the night before we pedalled along it there was a powering rain, the road was only mud and pools, we were in a not easy situation more than 10 kilometers. My partner was in not nice mood all the time,

 

especially after she plopped in a mud pool. So, I did not take photos, although for me personally the situation was sooner comic than tragic.

      Luckily just before entering in Elena we found out a water spring where I washed the equipment. This as well as the nice pizza restaurant we visited in Elena improved the picture considerably and we continued our tour toward Varna. It was one very nice our tour at all.

      The last time I was there, just after washing my equipment I noticed there was a big bee garden and

  thousands of bees. Fortunately they were very busy with their busyness and did not pay any attention for me.

      The next map shows opportunities for bicyclists decided to visit Veliko Tarnovo and heading toward Elena.

Route a:

From Veliko Tarnovo  (E 85) to Debelets to Plakovo  . . . to Elena (as it was described above).

(you can pedal Route b in Sector VI. 2 - F. 1 and visit Plakovski and Kapinovski monasteries as well);

 

Route b:

From Veliko Tarnovo (E 85) to Prisovo to Pcheliste to Yserova Koria t0 Kapinovo (road) N53 to Elena;

I traveled this route only by a car. (You have to be careful just before Debelets, you can miss easy the road toward Prisovo);

 

Route c:

From Veliko Tarnovo (E 772) to Sheremetya to Dragizhevo to Merdanya (road N53) to Elena.

      I am not sure which variant is the best. Distances of all the routes are almost the same. The traffic of both roads:  E772 and E85 is terrible, maybe E 85 is more dangerous.

 

      On some maps you will see a train line from Gorna Oryahovitsa to Elena. Have in mind that is not in exploitation.

      The next several photos illustrate the area between the crossroad toward (roads 4004 & 53) Zlataritsa and Elena.


Sector VI. 2 - G

From Elena to Ticha

     Again perfect for exploring by bicycle area. The exploring of this area is a real pleasure. Ho any traffic, no steep hills, the scenery is perfect. Exploring this

 

area has always brought me a great pleasure.

      From Elena to Maryan to Berbovo to Konstantin to Maysko to Kipilovo to Ticha .

     Just after Elena follow the sign toward Sliven and the climbing is starting, fortunately the hill is not long and steep. Beginning from Elena to east, the next villages are Maryan, Berovo, Konstantin, Maisko, and Stara reka.         There are food shops and water springs in all the small villages along the road. I pedaled this area many times, always I felt at my best here.
After Mayslo look for a sign toward Kipilovo. Kotel and Omyrtag. there is a spring of fresh water just there.

 

 

Sector VI. 2 - G. 1

Route a

 

 

      Because after Kipilovo the road is not signed well, I  show more detail map on left.

 

      If you explore this area, be careful and look your mile counter. 13, 6 kms east from Kipilovo is the crossroad toward Ticha. The place is signed, but not so clear.

      I and Maya between Kipilovo and point 484 on the map above ... OMG ... as if it was yesterday . . . :(

     Summer 2007 I and Maya lost somewhere in this area (after the first hill on the road profile chart above) - next three photos. Fortunately we met woodcutters, they showed us the road.

      Next  photos are between points 484 and the bridge over Golyama Kamchia River.

 

 

Route b

      You will be not wrong if you pedal only along the road N 484; you will reach the top of Kotlenski Pass (the next three photos); you will see a spring of water there; again, almost no traffic here.

On the Pass turn to left and you will be in Ticha directly.

    All these roads are in very nice wood. But . . . according to me the route a is better.


      Let I mention, that between Elena and Veliki Preslav (the next item) there is not places for overnight accommodation, so Kotel (from the other side of

Balkan)can be used for this purpose (look again

 

 the map): sector VI. 2 - G. 1).

      Information for Kotel:

https://www.visitbulgaria.net/en/kotel/kotel.html

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/SE/sliven/kotel/kotel


Sector VI. 2 - H

Feom Ticha to Shumen

      After Ticha already you are leaving the mountain area.

      From Ticha to Filaretovo to Malko Selo to Yablanovo to Zvezditsa to Mengishevo to Konevo to Ivanovo to

 

Veliki Preslav to Shumen.

      The route can be expanded a little including Lovers and Sushina. I do prefer to pedal next to Ticha Dam.

      The road profile charts show the little differences in the two routes; the pedalling here in this direction is pleasant and easy.

 

      The road after Ticha leaves the mountain area. It is renovates and to Yablanovo is in very nice condition.   The next several photos are the countryside toward Yablanovo.

      Just before entering in Yablanovo there is a nice little clean river - a perfect place to relax for an afternoon.

        Yablanovo is a bigger village. food is not a problem in all the villages along this route.

Next photos are the countryside from Yablanovo down toward Ticha Dam.

 

Sector VI. 2 - H. 1

 

      The country side   toward Mengishevo to Konevoto to Lovers to Sushina.

 

       It is extremely nice place, easy route for pedaling, no any traffic. If my memory serves, food shops and water are available in each village.

      The country side up toward Ticha Dam and our camp place next to the Ticha Dam wall. Have in mind, that the region near Ticha Dam is forbidden for camp it is a

  closed zone because it is for  water supply of the towns in the region. The access to the dam wall is forbidden as well as to the reservoir, because it is water supply area
Toward Veliki Preslav

     Three - four kilometers before Veliki Preslav are remains of Preslav which was the capital of the First Bulgarian Kingdom IX X century. As a touristy place, next to the Archeology remains there are several restaurants.

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/veliki-preslav-national-historical

-archaeological-reserve-veliki-preslav-great-preslav/

 

     A little information for the First Bulgarian Kingdom:

 

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

 

      As a touristy place, next to the Archeology remains there are several restaurants.

 

 

      Veliki Preslav and our relax place in the town garden.

 

      Information for Veliki Preslav:

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

     The road from to Veliki Preslav to Shuimen is easy for pedaling. A beautiful area for camping in the wilderness is next to Han Krum - Golyama Kamchia River, hot and clean water.

     Next links are the information about Shumen:

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

https://www.visitbulgaria.net/en/shoumen/shoumen.html

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NE/shoumen/shoumen/shoumen

  as well as several photos of the same area - approach to Shumen and the plateau (Shumen Fortress) next to it, the town and my afternoon relax place in the town garden:

Sector VI. 2 - I

From Shumen to Vetrino

      The entire area here is almost plane amd easy to be pedalled. The route is:

      From Shumen to Kaspichan to Novi Pazar to Stan to Vetrino.

      Here is important to avoid the main road A2; along road N2 there is not any traffic.

      The area here is easy for pedalling, this part of country may be too hot July and August.

      Next several photos are the countryside from Shumen to Kaspichan.

      Very little information for Novi Pazar and Kaspichan is available here:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novi_Pazar,_Shumen_Province

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

      If you research Google for information, have in mind that in Serbia there is Novi Pazar as well. Overnight accommodation is available in Kaspichan.

      Next several picture are the countryside from Kaspichan to Vetrino. Summer time (July and August) temperatures in this region often are very high.

      In Vetrino can be find food, but overnight accommodation.

      In the same region (north - west from Novi Pazar) is placed Pliska - next to it are remains of the fortress - the Capital of the first Bulgarian Kingdom (VII - VIII centuries).

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

 

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/the-pliska-national-historical

-and-architectural-reserve/

 

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


Sector VI. 2 - J

From Vetrino - Varna

     Well, we have reached the last part of the pedaling to the seaside: the route from Vetren to Varna, and here I will expand a little my information, giving an additional route   from Vetren to Dobrich to Balchik and to the North most point of Bulgarian seaside: Durankulak. It is in the case you have more days to explore this beautiful area.

Sector VI. 2 - J. 1

      Two routes are possible here: The shortest distance to Varna is:

      - Route a:

      From Vetrino to Devnya to Varna

      - Route b:

      As the area near Provadia is quite scenery, you can elongate a little your route visiting this place.

      From Vetrino to Provadia to Dobrina to Manastir to Devnya to Varna

       A road N2008 - east from Devnya) along the Lake of Varna is available also, but have in mind that it is an industrial zone, so the traffic there is quite intensive.

       Next photos are the countryside from Vetrino to Provadia. There is a nice water spring just before the long descending after Vetrino.

      Provadia is a scenic place, it is placed in a not deep canyon along Provadiiska River. Overnight accommodation in Provadia is available, although in the touristy season some problems can appear.

      Information for Provadia and its fortress "Ovech" on the plateau over the town:

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

      http://trakia-tours.com/provadia-guide-94.html

      Next several photos of the plateau above Provadia and Ovech Fortres.

     Information for Devnya and its interesting museum of mosaics:

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_of_Mosaics,_Devnya

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/museum-of-mosaics-devnya/

        Next several photos are taken along the road just east above Provadia toward Dobrina, Manastir and Varna.

      Between Devnya and Varna is placed an interesting place, so called "Stone Forest" or "Petrified Forest":

      http://varna-bg.com/museums/pobitikamani/st_f_uk.html

       Varna is a nice town, we call it the Sea Capital of Bulgaria. Below are several photos of Varna: the City, its walking zone, the Cathedral, the City Garden, and the Sea Garden.

 

 

      In Internet there is a lot of information for Varna, here are the 2 best sites I like:

 

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

 

      https://www.britannica.com/place/Varna-Bulgaria  

   

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

      Several years ago on the region of Varna was found a burial, with some of the world's oldest gold jewellery, dating back to 4,600 - 4,200 BC.

 

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

 

      The artefacts can be seen at the Varna Archaeological Museum.   

http://archaeo.museumvarna.com/en/

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

      Obviously the question concerns some very important person. I would not proceed with my gold in such a manner.

Several photos of the Sea Garden in Varna.


 

Sector VI. 2 - J. 2

 

      For bicyclists having more time to explore Bulgaria, I will expand a little my description and give an additional route from Vetren to Dobrich to Balchik and to the North most point of Bulgarian seaside Durankulak.

      The area is called Dobrudzha, or more accurately South Dodrudzha, North Dobrudzha is in Romania - the area between Danube and Black Sea, north from Bulgaria.

      The area is easy for pedaling - almost flat, or not high rolling hills are available; it is a dry one as well, on the map I have pointed the only 2 water springs between Suvorovo and Vedrina available near the road.

The two bigger settlements along the road here are Suvorovo and Valchi Dol. Some information for them is here:

         http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NE/varna/suvorovo/suvorovo

         http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NE/varna/vulchi_dol/vulchi_dol

       Dobrich is the main town of this district. Overnight accommodation in it is not a problem. Information for Dobrich:

        http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NE/Dobrich/

        http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/ne/dobrich/dobrich-city/dobrich


sector VI. 2 - J. 3

In the last sector are shown roads toward the Black seaside: toward Balchik and Durankulak.

From Dobrich to Balcik:

What about the route from Dobrich to Balcik, it is a flat area and easy for pedaling road on Dobrudzha Plateau.

      Balchik is a small city located in tiers above the sea. It is a touristy place. Rooms for the night are easily found, along with more luxury hotels.

 

      I love to stay here for a day or two. Information for Balchik:

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

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/balchik/

      In the town there is a small residence of the Romanian queen with a lovely botanical garden. (This area was under Romanian control 1918 1938). Information for this spot:

 

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/4

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/architectural-park-

complex-the-palace-balchik/

      I like this garden and can not avoid to post more pictures :)


From Dobrich to Durankulak

  No problem to find food in villages along the road, the area is nice for camp in the wilderness. Photos of this beautiful plane area.


3. The route 3   

From Sofia to Varna: The route along Danube River Valley

 

      The route toward Varna along Danube River Valley is in much more plain area comparing with the one described in the previous point: The route 2, and a little bit shorter than it.

       The first you can do is to choose where to cross Balkan. The next my description concerns the route along Iskar River Gorge. The route is:

       From Sofia to Iskar River Gorge to Mezdra to Roman to Pleven to Pavlikeni to Popovo to Targoviste to Shumen to Devnya to Varna.

      So, I recommend this route to bicyclists who do not love climbing so much. Have in mind, that summer time (July - August) here temperatures in the afternoons often exceed 35 deg C, so, this area is very appropriate to be explored spring time (April - middle of the June) and in the autumn time (September October). The spring is coming here earlier than the other regions of the country.

      This route is very appropriate also for bicyclists entering in Bulgaria in its north - west corner and intending to visit the Black seaside missing Sofia.

 

I would recommend them to look in the Chapter II. Routes:

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

 

 

      Further I will begin my description from Roman to Shumen only, as the descriptions of the routes:

      - From Shumen to Varna is given above in  the same Chapter: The route 2, Sector VI. 2 - I: Shumen - Vetrino & Sector VI. 2 - J: Vetrino - Varna.

      - From Sofia to Roman for a very detail description of this route please look in: Chapter I.  Passes in Balkan, Point 2. Iskar River Gorge.

      - Of course you can cross Balkan along Vitinya Pass or Botevgradski Pass from Sofia to Botevgrad, or Etropolski Pass from Sofia to Etropole: look in the Chapter I.  Passes in Balkan , points 3 & 4.


Sector VI. 3 - A:

From Roman to Pleven

     My suggestion is to avoid the road E83, it is a busy road. Next I will give two opportunities to reach Pleven:

      Route a:

     From Roman to Stoyanovtsi to Belentsi to Petrovene to Dermantsi to Aglen to Sadovets to Krushovitsa to Yasen to Pleven.

      As it can be seen from the road profile chart, It is very nice for pedalling area. Hills are not steep, the road is absolutely free from traffic, here you will not see more than 10 cars.

            In Roman there is not a possibility for overnight accommodation, but in the end if this paragraph I will mention an interesting  opportunity for it in this region.  You will leave the valley of Iskar River at Roman of first, Petrevene is in the next valley of Zlatna Panega River, Dermantsi is located in the next valley of Vit River. Riding

 

toward Pleven, you will be down the stream of Vit River.

      Next several photos are taken in the best early April '18 in the area from Roman to Dermantsi. Unfortunately I do not remember is food shops were available in Stoyanovtsi and Belentsi. Petrovene is a bigger one. Food is available in it.

      Dermantsi is a bigger village, in its center there is a restaurant. If you need overnight accommodation, after seeing the village square turn right (to south - toward Teteven). When you almost leave Dermantsi, you will see a sign (the third pic below) for a guest house,

  unfortunately written in Cyrillic: " " and a cell tel. number. I do not believe they understand English, but I am sure, you will have not a problem to stay there for a night. I know peddlers finding this guest house consulting with my Home Page.

      The road from Dermantsi to Pleven is easy for pedaling in the both direction. Food is available in villages along the road.

      Pleven is known with a heavy battles between Russian and Turk armies 1877/78. A lot of information about the town is here:

 

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

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

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/town-of-pleven/

      Several photos from Pleven.

      It is worth to visit Pleven Epopee Panorama:

      https://bulgariatravel.org/en/pleven-epopee-1877-panorama-pleven/

      Sector VI. 3 - A. 1

      If you have a time, I would suggest to elongate your tour along Iskar River Gorge toward Cherven Bryag:

      Route b:

      From Roman to Kunino to Reselets to Cherven Bryag to Deventsi to Telish to Sadovets to Krushovitsa to Yasen to Pleven.

      The distance of the route b is the same as the route a. The road profile chart shows here is a higher hill just after Kunino - one of the scenic spots along this route.

     

 

      Here I will not write about the route from Roman to Cherven Bryag. Very detail information for it can be seen in the:  

       Chapter I.  Passes in Balkan , Point 2. Iskar River Gorge;

      - Sector I. A - 2. e: From Mezdra to Roman to Kunino

      - Sector I. A - 2. f: From Kunino to Cherven Bryag

 

 

      An opportunity here is to visit a scenic spot called Prohodna Cave next to Karlukovo:

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/prohodna-cave/

 

      There is a hotel built in the rocks just over Iskar River, the area really is interesting to walk around.

      It is possible to reach the place directly from Roman, I recommend it only to bicyclists loving off road.

 

 

      Several photos of Prohodna Cave and the area next to it.

      Overnight accommodation is possible in  Cherven Bryag:

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

       Photos from Cherven Bryag.

      The next several photos are the countryside from Cherven Bryag toward Deventsi, Telish and  Sadovets. Food and water is available in the villages.


The route 3

From Sofia to Varna: The route along Danube River Valley

Sector VI. 3 - B:

From Pleven to Pavlikeni

     Here is important to avoid road N 3 (E83), where the traffic is intensive, so if you follow my route, you will enjoy of very nice countryside and save roads without any traffic. The route is:

        From Pleven to Grivitsa to Zgalevo to Pordim to Odarne to Kamenets to Letnitsa to Asenovtsi to Levski to Gradiste to Bukovo to Pavlikeni.

     Leaving Pleven, there is a longer hill, climbing of which in a hot summer afternoon is not very pleasant. Down is more detailed map showing how to avoid E83. You have to enter in Pleven, after head up toward Grivitsa and Zgalevo.

      Leaving Pleven, for a while you have to pedal along

  road N 35; the point where you have to be on it is labelled toward Varna or Ruse, not toward Zgalevo - our goal, which is very misleading just here. The train line must be all the time left from you. I remember, that the road was not signed well, so next is more detail map of the region next to Pleven.

       Next several photos show the road from Pleven toward Letnitsa. The entire area is best to camp in the

  wilderness - you only have to shift 200 meters apart of the road in the field.
In the villages along the road food is available.

      Letlnitsa is relatively bigger settlement, overnight accommodation is available in it.

 

Information for Letnitsa municipality and Letnitsa:

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/nw/lovech/letnitsa

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/nw/lovech/letnitsa/letnitsa


٭Opportunities in this region

 

Sector VI. 3 - B. 3

      Here I will increase the scale again. In the region of Letnitsa there are two nice spots, if you have a time it would be nice to visit them:

      - A. Waterfalls near Kroshuna;

      - B. Devetashka Cave.

      Have in mind in Kroshuna is available overnight accommodation in small guest houses at presumable price, nice local type restaurants are available as well.

      Information about Falls and many photos of this amazing place can be seen here:

http://waterfallsbg.info/en/krushunski-waterfalls

٭A. Kroshuna Waterfalls

If you have a time it is worth to visit both beautiful spots.


  ٭B. Devetashka Cave

      The next magnificent spot in this area is Devetashka cave is and the photos I have posted below can not suggest its impressive effect. Scenes of some Hollywood

 

movie were made in it several years ago.

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

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/devetashka-cave/


      Toward Levski. Again the road is without any traffic. Information for Municipality of Levski and Levski:

 

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

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

Countryside toward Pavlikeni.

      Overnight accommodation is available in Pavlikeni. Here is information for it:

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

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


The route 3

From Sofia to Varna: The route along Danube River Valley

Sector VI. 3 - C:

From Pavlikeni to Popovo

         The route is:

      From Pavlikeni to Patresh to Gorna Lipnitsa to Dolna Lipnitsa to Obedinenie to Ivancha to Polski Trambesh to Karantsi to Orlovets to Vinograd to Lozen to Kamen to Popovo.

  The route from Pavlikeni to Polski Trambesh is a plane area (except the not steep hill just leaving Pavlikeni), it is easy and pleasant for bicycling. Food shops are available in villages along the road, the area is very nice for camp in the wilderness. No any traffic here.

      Overnight accommodation is available in Polski Trambesh, unfortunately the hotel site has no version in English - look for Hotel Esperanto. In the small town they have a nice swimming pool of thermal water. Very little information for Polski Trambesh Municipality and Polski Trambesh is available here:

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

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

Leaving Polski Trambesh to east, the road cross Yantra River.
The right side of Yantra river is higher and the road is steeper - it is obvious from the road profile chart above.

      After Orlovets again the area is almost flat. There are several water springs along the road, I pointed them by "w" on the map above.

      Soon, east from Lozen and Kamen, you will be at the crossroad with the road N 51 (from Byala toward Popovo), where the traffic is more intensive.

      Five - six kilometers to Popovo are remains of a huge ancient Roman fortress, which name is not known, now the place is known as Kovachevsko kale - the last two

 

photos above; my camp place next to it are next 2 photos.

      Very little information for Popovo can be seen here:

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NE/turgovishte/popovo

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


The route 3

 From Sofia to Varna: The route along Danube River Valley

Sector VI. 3 - D:

From Popovo to Shumen

 

     It is not usual for my description, but of first I will point three routes, which would be better to be avoided because of the traffic, so I mention these opportunities only for information.

      Route a:

      From Popovo to Nevski to Svetlen to Drafta to Loznitsa to Presyak to Shumen

    Although I travelled this route only by car, I know it is the easiest one for pedalling comparing with the next two, but the traffic is a little bit more intensive comparing again with the next two routes. Never mind, I think it is a save route.

     Next links are the Information about Shumen:

 

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

https://travelro.wordpress.com/category/shumen-bulgaria/

as well as several photos of the same area - approach to Shumen (from North) and the plateau (Shumen Fortress) next to it, the town and my afternoon relax place in the town garden:

      Route b:  

      From Popovo to Nevski to Svetlen to Drafta to Podgoritsa to Targoviste to Vasil Levski to Shume

      The distance of this route is almost the same like the previous one, it is very pleasant for pedalling to Targoviste. Ones you are on road E 772, the traffic again will be very poor.

     Information for Targoviste:

 

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

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NE/turgovishte/targovishte/targovishte

 

     Have in mind that in Romania there is a town with the same name, so take it into account when you are researching in GOOGLE for it.

     Three - four kilometers after Veliki Preslav are remains of Preslav which was the capital of the First Bulgarian Kingdom IX X century. As a touristy place, next to the Archeology remains there are several restaurants.

 

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/veliki-preslav-national

-historical-archaeological-reserve-veliki-preslav-great-preslav/

      A little information for the First Bulgarian Kingdom:

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

      As a touristy place, next to the Archeology remains there are several restaurants.

Route c:

      From Popovo to Nevski to Svetlen to Drafta to Podgoritsa to Targoviste to Bayachevo to Pevets to Veliki Preslav to Shumen.

        It is the easies for pedalling but longest route. More intensive traffic here is from Veliki Preslav to Shumen, but the road is wide and save. I think this opportunity is not bad.

    

      Relatively intensive traffic here is available from Shumen to Veliki Preslav (overnight accommodation is available in it).

      Veliki Preslav and our relax place in the town garden.

 

      Information for Veliki Preslav:

 

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

 

      Next links are the Information about Shumen:

 

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

https://travelro.wordpress.com/category/shumen-bulgaria/

  And several photos of the same area - approach to Shumen (from North) and the plateau (Shumen Fortress) next to it, the town and my afternoon relax place in the town garden:

Sector VI. 3 - D

 From Popovo to Shumen

      As I have mentioned above, the traffic along the roads from Popovo to Shumen is more or less intensive (the photo in left is just after Popovo - road N51), so here I will give one more alternative.

      The next route is a little longer, yes, maybe this area is hilly, but here you will not see any traffic. The route is along little villages, where you can find food and water.

      I explored this route in the summer '19, it was a beautiful riding.

I will increase the scale a little. Sector VI. 3 - D. 1

      The route is:

      From Popovo to Nevski to Svetlen to Aprilovo to Dolna Kabda to Gorna Kabda to Presyan to Aleksandrovo to Lilyak to Targoviste.

     Just entering in Svetlen you have to turn right following the sign for Omurtag (road N 409). Here you will leave the main road, further, to Targoviste there is not any traffic.         The first village next is Aprilovo, food is available in it. I do not remember if in the next two small villages: Dolna Kabla and Gorna Kabla food shops were available.

      The next several kilometers after Gorna Kabla are on the plateau, and never mind the road is in a poor condition several kilometers, the entire area is a higher

  place with a nice visibility in each direction, which makes the place very scenic.

      Information for Targoviste:

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

http://www.guide

-bulgaria.com/NE/turgovishte/targovishte/targovishte

       Have in mind that in Romania there is a town with the same name, so take it into account when you are researching in GOOGLE for it.

Sector VI. 3 - D. 2

      The route in this very pleasant for pedaling area is:

      From Targoviste to Vasil Levski to Lovets to Osen to Nadarevo to Kochovo to Osmar to Troitsa to Han Krum to Shumen.

      Leaving Targoviste, you will find easy the road toward Vasil Levski (V.Levski), the road is signed well. Again, there will be not any traffic once leaving the main road.         Unfortunately most of the roads you have to travel here are not numbered on the map. 

      I remember there was a food shop in Kochovo, the name of the village is something like Ramvill - down is the symbol of the village.

      Next links are the Information about Shumen:

 

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

https://travelro.wordpress.com/category/shumen-bulgaria/

  as well as several photos of the same area - approach to Shumen (from North) and the plateau (Shumen Fortress) next to it, the town and my afternoon relax place in the town garden:

      For the route Shumen - Varna see the same Chapter: 

      The route 2: 

            - Sector VI. 2 - I : Shumen - Vetrino;

            - Sector VI. 2 - J: Vetrino - Varna.


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