III.  Crossing Bulgaria from north (Romanian border) to south

(Greece&Turkey borders)


PART I: From Romania/BG Border to Balkan



         When the bicyclists begin planning a tour including crossing Bulgaria north – south or south – north, my suggestion is to follow the next algorithm:

-             - Define the point of entering in the country.

-             - Define the point of leaving the country.

-             - Choose the pass, where to cross Balkan – I have given detailed information about Balkan passes in the chapter: I. Passes in Balkan.

 

             Bicyclists having no time to research my Home page to have in mind that border checkpoint I pointed in red are vith extremely intensive traffic. It is better if they avoid them.


 

Points where Romania – Bulgaria border can be crossed (from west to east) are:

        1. Kalafat – Vidin: bridge.

        2. Bechet – Oryahovo: ferry.

        3. Turnu Magurele – Nikopol: ferry.

        4. Zimnicea – Svistov: ferry.

        5. Giurgiu – Ruse: bridge.

        6. Oltenita - Tutrakan: ferry (still a project only).

        7. Calarashi – Silistra: ferry.

        7.Constanta – Silistra (Border Checkpoint Silistra).

-       - Kaynardzha: it is a new open border checkpoint I still do not know anything about it.

        8. Negru Voda – Kardam (Border Checkpoint Iovkovo).

        9. Mangalia – Durankulak (Border Checkpoint Durankulak).

Points where Bulgaria – Greece border can be crossed (from west to east) are:

10. Border Checkpoint Kulata (E79: from Sofia to Thessaloniki).

11. Border Checkpoint Ilinden (road N19: from Gotse Delchev to Drama).

12. Border Checkpoint Zlatograd.

13. Border Checkpoint Makaza (road N5: from Haskovo to Komotini).

14. Border Checkpoint Ivailovgrad.

15. Border Checkpoint Kapitan Petko Voivoda (Svilengrad) - Ormenio (E85).

Points where Bulgaria – Turkey border can be crossed (from west to east) are:

16. Border Checkpoint Kapitan Andreevo (Svilengrad – Edirne, E80, A4).

17. Border Checkpoint Lesovo (road N7: Elhovo – Edirne).

18. Border Checkpoint Malko Tarnovo:

            - Road E87: Burgas - Malko Tarnovo - Kirklareli,  or 

            - Road N99: Burgas - Tsarevo – Malko Tarnovo - Kirklareli.       


Points where Romania – Bulgaria border can be crossed (from west to east) are:

1. Kalafat – Vidin: bridge

2. Bechet – Oryahovo: ferry

3. Turnu Magurele – Nikopol: ferry

4. Zimnicea – Svistov: ferry

5. Giurgiu – Ruse: bridge

6. Oltenita - Tutrakan: ferry (still a project only)

7. Calarashi – Silistra: ferry

7. Constanta – Silistra (Border Checkpoint Silistra)

8. Negru Voda – Kardam (Border Checkpoint Iovkovo)

9. Mangalia – Durankulak (Border Checkpoint Durankulak)


      1. Kalafat - Vidin

     There is a newly built bridge between Kalafat and Vidin, which makes the crossing of Danube River here very convenient. Crossing of the bridge is free for bicyclists and walkers.

 

      A detailed description of routes from Vidin to Sofia is given in the Chapter II.  Crossing Bulgaria from west (Serbian border) to east (Turkey border - Edirne) and south (Greece border), Point 3. Border checkpoint Bregovo – Sofia.

     

      From Romania, cross the border at the bridge Kalafat - Vidin. The traffic here is extremely intensive, but the road is wide and not dangerous to be pedaled.

 

      Vidin played an important role in Bulgarian mediaeval history. Information about the town can be seen in:

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Vidin

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

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

      http://www.bulgaria-guide.com/guide/Vidin/202268/

 

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

      Several photos from the bridge and Vidin.

    


      2. Bechet – Oryahovo: ferry

 

      Ferry schedule and prices are available on the link:

      http://ferryboat.bg/en/

 

      My suggestion is to avoid road N15 from Oryahovo to Vratsa. Most of the traffic from Oryahovo to Sofia, including heavy trucks, is along the road: Oryahovo – Mizia – Borovan – Vratsa (road N15) – Mezdra – Botevgrad (E 79) - Sofia (A 2) .

      Depending on the border checkpoint  where bicyclists intend to leave Bulgaria, bicyclists entering by the Bechet to Oryahovo ferry, have 2 nice possibilities to cross the country:

      2.1 Via Iskar river Gorge:

      Oryahovo - Cherven Bryag -  Roman – Mezdra – Iskar River Gorge – Sofia – Border Checkpoint Kulata;

      Information concerning the road segment between Mezdra and Sofia is available here Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, point 2. Iskar River Gorge.

 

      2.2 Via Zlatishki Pass:

      Oryahovo – Cherven Bryag - Roman – Etropole – Zlatishki Pass – Zlatitsa – Panagyuriste – Pazardzhik – Border Checkpoint Ilinden.

       This route I would recommend to bicyclists loving to explore mountains area as well as to avoid Sofia is:

       Oryahovo – Roman – Etropole – Zlatishki Pass – Zlatitsa – Panagyuriste – Pazardzhik – Border checkpoint Ilinden.

       From Roman to Etropole: look in  Chapter VI.  2. The route 2  (Sofia - Varna: the route along the north side of Balkan); Sector VI. 2 - A: Sofia - Etropole; Route B (sector VI. 2 - A);

       From Etropole to Zlatitsa: look in Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, point 4. Zlatishki Pass.

       From Zlatitsa to Panaguyriste to Pazardzhik: look in Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES,

- Sector I. D - 18.  Zlatitsa - Panagyuriste - Pazardzhik

- Sector I. D - 19.  Zlatitsa - Koprivstitsa - Strelcha - Pazardzhik

      Information for Oryahovo:

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

      You may look also in Chapter V. Bicycling along Danube River

      Sector III. 2 - A

      Optional routes, with far less traffic, and beautiful countryside, would be the following, never mind if you choose to head toward Sofia or Pazardzhik (the map in left):

route a: This route I would recommend to bicyclists loving to explore mountain areas, as well as a way to avoid Sofia:

Oryahovo - Selanovtsi - Knezha - Chomakovtsi - Cherven Bryag - Reselets - Kunino - Roman - Karash - Etropole  - Zlatishki Pass . . .

or

route b: (if you choose to explore Iskar River Gorge)

Oryahovo - Mizia Butan - Manastiriste - Rogozen - Malorad - Borovan - Gabare - Drashan - Kalen - Mezdra - Iskar River Gorge . . .

      Information concerning road segment between Mezdra and Sofia is available here Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, point 2. Iskar River Gorge.

      The route really gets pretty between Cherven Briag to Mezdra (sector III. 2 - A. 1)

      Route a:

      Oryahovo - Selanovtsi - Knezha - Chomakovtsi - Cherven Bryag - Reselets - Kunino - Roman - Karash - Etropole  . . .

      Information for Knezha:

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

      Information for Cherven Bryag:

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

 

      More detailed information concerning sector III. 2 - A. a for altitudes and possibilities to explore in the area between Cherven Bryag, Reselets, Kunino, Roman, Strupets, Tsarevetsand Mezdra look in:

       Chapter VI.  Routes: B. Sofia - Varna:

Point 2. The route 2 (Sofia - Varna: the route along the north side of Balkan):

      - Sector VI. 2 - A: Sofia - Etropole;

      - Sector VI. 2 - A. 2;

      - Sector VI. 2 - A. 2. a;

and

Point 3. The route 3   (Sofia - Varna: The route along Danube River Valley):

      - Sector VI. 3 - A: Roman - Pleven.

      The next photos are the countryside between Cherven Bryag, Reselets, Kunino, Roman, Strupets, Tsarevetsand, and Mezdra (more photos of this beautiful area can be seen in Chapter VI.  Routes: B. Sofia - Varna)


      Route b : (if you choose to explore Iskar River Gorge)

      Oryahovo - Mizia - Butan - Manastiriste - Rogozen - Malorad - Borovan - Gabare - Drashan - Kalen - Mezdra - Iskar River Gorge . . .

       Next several photos are the countryside near Borovan and Ogosta River near Manastiriste.

      Overnight accommodation is possible in Oryahovo, Byala Slatina, Cherven Bryag, Knezha, Mezdra, as well as in Rogozen, where a friend of mine, Ferdy, have a guest house:

      https://www.facebook.com/rozenbedbreakfast/

 


      Please read the next 2 points - I will combine descriptions about routes from Nikopol & Svistov to BG/GR & BG/TU borders, I will avoid some repetitions.


      3. Turnu Magurele – Nikopol: ferry

       Ferry schedule and prices are available on the link:

      http://www.brp.bg/services.html

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

Никопол – тръгва (Nikopol – go)

Турну Магуреле – тръгва (T.Mag. - go)

09:00 часа  (h)

09:30 часа

12:00 часа

12:30 часа

16:00 часа
19:30 часа

16:30 часа
20:00 часа

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 passangers;

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

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

 

Ценова листа Никопол - Турну Магуреле

Терминал

Ферибот

Prices

Terminal

Ferry

 

EUR

EUR

ТИР (TIR)

7.00

60.00

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 ... !!!

      Well, it is not easy for me to recognize, where would like to go a bicyclists entering in BG by this ferry, so I will recommend several routes to reach BG/GG border, beginning from west to east.


      Route A: Nikopol to Sofia.

      (via Iskar River Gorge)

      Nikopol - Gulyantsi - Gigen - Krushovene - Knezha - Cherven Bryag - Roman - Mezdra - Iskar River Gorge - Sofia

      This route would be appropriate, if you decide to pedal toward Greece living Bulgaria at Border Checkpoint Kulata. It is very easy area for pedaling (it is not necessary to show here the road profile chart), there is not any traffic along the route. The area between Nikopol and Cherven Bryag (Danube River Valley) is almost flat.

      The best road segment here is Chervan Bryag to Sofia, it is Iskar River Gorge. Here I will not give information about it, you can find a lot of details for the Gorge in

      Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES,

- Point  2. Iskar River Gorge (A. Sofia - Mezdra);

- Point 2. Iskar River Gorge (B. Mezdra to Cherven Bryag).

     Overnight accommodation is possible in Nikopol, Byala Slatina (several kilometers west from Knezha), Cherven Bryag, Mezdra, and Svoge.

 I did not take many pictures to illustrate the area between Nikopol and Cherven Bryag - I pedaled here in the years I sill did not know i will do this Guide. The left photo is the bridge ove Iskar River 2 - 3 kilometers west from Gigen. Down are 3 photos - the Danube River Field between Knezha and Cherven Bryag I took in the raining June '09 I and my daughter Maya wandered in this region.

 

      Information about Nikopol, Knezha, and Cherven Bryag can be seen in:

 

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

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

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


      Route B: Nikopol to Pazardzhik. (via Zlatishki Pass)

      Choosing this route, please avoid roads E83 and E 772 - the traffic there is terrible, so, the safest route here is the following:

      Nikopol - Gulyantsi - Dolna Mitropoliya - Dermantsi - Glozhene - Cherni Vit - Etropole - Zlatishki Pass - Zlatitsa - Panaguyriste - Pazardzhik

      This route would be appropriate, if you decide to pedal toward Greece living Bulgaria at Border Checkpoint Ilinden. Up to Cherni Vit (roads N118, N305, and N3701) you will pedal along Vit River (the next 3 photos I took near Dermantsi), it is extremely pleasant area, there will be not any traffic here. Further, comparing with the Route A, this route is harder for bicycling, as it can be seen from the next road profile chart. Here I will post the road profile chart only to Etropole.

      Overnight accommodation along this route is available in Pleven and Etropole, more information about you can see in:

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/294

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

 

      For the road segment Etropole to Zlatitsa information can be found in: Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 4. Zlatishki Pass

      For the road segment Zlatitsa to Pazardzhik please look in:   Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Sector I. D, Point 18.  Zlatitsa - Panagyuriste - Pazardzhik


      The next three routes I describe below include ones via:

      - Troyanski Pass;

      - Shipka Pass;

      - Trevnenski Pass.

 

      I do not recommend the first two routes, traffic there is relatively intensive as well as the climbing is considerable, especially the one including Troyanski Pass, but some information maybe will be useful.

 

 

 


      Route C: Nikopol - Plovdiv

      (via Troyanski Pass)

 

 

Nikopol - Zhernov - Debovo - Pleven - Lovech - Troyan - Karlovo - Plovdiv.

 

      Bicyclists loving hard climbing will enjoy to climb Troyanski Pass, information about van be seen in Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 5. Troyanski Pass (Beklemeto)

 

      The traffic from Pleven to Lovech to Troyan is relatively intensive, and from Karlovo to Plovdiv - very intensive; more information concerning area Karlovo - Plovdiv is given in: Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Sector I. D - 20.  Karlovo - Plovdiv.

 

      Overnight accommodation is possible in Pleven, Lovech,Troyan, Karlovo and Plovdiv.

     

 

      I traveled the road Nikopol to Pleven to Lovech only by a car. The next chart is the road profile  between Nikopol to Troyan

      Three photos from Pleven and information about it:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/294

      http://bulgariatravel.org/en/object/294/pleven_grad

      Three photos from Lovech and information about it:

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

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Lovech

      Three photos from Troyan and information about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troyan

       Information about Karlovo can be found in: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karlovo


      Route D: Nikopol - Haskovo (via Shipka Pass)

      The route is:

      Nikopol - Zhernov - Debovo - Levski - Pavlikeni - Dryanovo - Gabrovo - Shipka Pass - Kazanlak - Stara Zagora - Dimitrovgrad - Haskovo.

      The next chart shows  the road profile between Nikopol and Gabrovo. More unpleasant road segment here is from Dryanovo  to Gabrovo (In the same direction), where more intensive traffic is available.

       Next three photos show the area between Levski and Pavlikeni

     Information about Pavlikeni (overnight accommodation is available in it) can be seen here:

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

 

      Information about Dryanovo can be seen in the link:

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

 

      Appropriate place to stay for an afternoon is area near Dryanovski Monastery (where overnight accommodation is available in it) several kilometers south from Dryanovo:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/26

     The monastery is placed in very spectacular deep river gorge surrounded by high Karst chains, there is a trail to walk around the place.

      (More information concerned the same place can be seen in: the Capter VI. Routes: B. Sofia - Varna; 2. The route 2 (Sofia - Varna: the route along the north side of Balkan), Sector VI. 2 - E: Gabrovo (Kievtsi) - Kilifarevo, Sector VI. 2 - E. 1)

      Information about Gabrovo (next 2 photos):

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Gabrovo

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

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

      http://etar.org/index-en.htm

      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)

      For the route segments concerning Shipka Pass and distance from Kazanlak to Stara Zagora can be seen in:

      Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 7. Shipka Pass.

      Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES,  Sector I. E, Point 22.  Kazanlak - Stara Zagora.

     Sector III. 3 - A

      Route D: Nikopol - Haskovo (via Trevnenski Pass)

      The last opportunity here is to cross Balkan via Thevnenski Pass, I recommend it. For this Pass look into Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 8. Trevnenski Pass

      Information about Tryavna and Veliko Tarnovo I will give in the next point of this Chapter  (Route E (Nikopol) Svistov - Veliko Tarnovo).

 

      On the map in left I have pointed the Pass of the Republic, my suggestion is to avoid it, the traffic there is crazy (Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 9. Pass of the Republic (Hainboaz).

      Sector III. 3 - B

      And in the end of this point, several words about distance from Stara Zagora to Dimitrovgrad to Haskovo. The area is easy for pedaling, be careful, as there is a little more traffic between Stara Zagora and the highway A1.

 

      Information about Stara Zagora, Dimitrovgrad and Haskovo (overnight accommodation is no problem in these places):

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

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

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

      My camp place and the sunset 15 kilometers north from Dimitrovgrad.


      4. Zimnicea – Svistov: ferry

 

      Good information about this ferry can be found here:

      http://ferry.bg/ferry_en.php

      Good information can be gleaned from this site, too:

      Ro-Ro  ferry  across  river  Danube  between Svishtov /Bulgaria/ and Zimnicea /Romania/

     Svishtov - Zimnicea ferry is the shortest road in the route fromTurkey to Bulgaria - Romania - Central and Western Europe. Nearly 4 hours shorter and the weather - the route avoids the traffic in Bucharest. The ferry operates non-stop, around the clock. Svishtov - Zimnicea ferry served by two ships and crossed the river for 15 minutes.

      Conveniently, the map posted in the ferry site, shows the route used by  the transit traffic between Romania and Turkey, meaning it is exactly the route bicyclists MUST avoid !!! (be aware the section of the route between Hainboaz and Dimitrovdrad on the site map is not correct). There is an added traffic from Polski Trambesh to the bridge near the town of Ruse. 

      So, always avoid pedaling here, especially Polski Trambesh – Veliko Tarnovo – Hainboaz (or Pass of the Republic - road E85) – Gurkovo – Nova Zagora !!!

      Information about Svistov:

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

and 3 photos of the town

      On the left Map I have shown routes from Svistov toward:

- Iskar River Gorge: Route A (to Sofia);

- Zlatishki Pass: Route B (to Pazardzhik);

- Troyanski Pass: Route C (to Plovdiv).

 

      Derscriptions of these routes can be seen in the previous point of the same chapter: Point 3. Turnu Magurele – Nikopol: ferry, you simply have to pedal the distance from Svistov to Nikopol.

     

      If you choose the Route C (to Plovdiv), My suggestion is instead pedaling toward Pleven, it would be better to head toward Levski to Letnitsa  to  Lovech.

     

      The road from Svistov to Lovech is along Osam River, it is very nice countryside, area is easy for pedaling in the both directions. No any traffic here.

      Sector III. 4 - A

      Now I will increase the scale in the road segment from Letnitsa to Alexandrovo (sector III - 4.2 - A - a). It is worth the effort to increase your mileage here and visit Krushuna and see waterfalls next to the village.  Overnight accommodations are possible here if needed.

      Further along the road is Devetashka Cave – I have pointed its location on the map, along the road N301, and you should see the sign for the cave.

      Overnight accommodation is available in Letnitsa as well as in Kroshuna.

      The next 3 photos are on so called Devetashko Plateau I and Maya bicycled August 2013. The last one is just over Devetashka Cave.

      Devetashka cave is a magnificent one and the photos can not suggest  its impressive effect as well. Scenes of some Hollywood movie were made in it several years ago.

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/en/article/details/355/Devetashka%20Cave

      Waterfalls next to Krushuna.  Information about Falls and many photos of this amazing place can be seen here:

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


      Route E (Nikopol) Svistov - Veliko Tarnovo

      As a Capital of the second Bulgarian Kingdom Veliko Tarnovo is a touristy destination, it is a popular among the tourists visiting Bulgaria. 

      To reach it from Nikopol, it is better to pedal of first to Svistov, the route further is:

      Svistov - Tsarevets - Kozlovets - Alekovo - Varzulitsa - Maslarevo - Obedinenie - Resen - Samovodene.

     This road segment is in Danube River Field entirely. The area consists rolling hills of sunflowers and wheat. There are a lot of villages where food and water can be found out. Hills are not steep and no longer than 2 - 3 kilometers.

      The road profile chart shows the typical lay of the Danube River Valley.

      The entire area is very pleasant and easy for pedaling, and next several pictures illustrate it. No any traffic here as well. Information about the second Bulgarian Kingdom can be seen here:

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

      The most unpleasant road segment here is between Samovodene and Veliko Tarnovo, sector III. 4. - B. It is one of the most dangerous road segments in Bulgaria.     

 

      Sector III. 4. - B

      Here is shown a way to avoid one of the most dangerous road segments in BG: In Samovodene turn a little back and find the road toward Gorna Oryahovitsa and Arbanasi. Yes, there will be a hill between  Gorna Oryahovitsa and Veliko Tarnovo, yes, there will be a traffic there, but this road is forbidden for trucks and it is much more save than E 85.

      When you are in Arbanasi, a great view toward Veliko Tarnovo and Balkan will reveal in front of you.

      A lot of information including overnight accommodation about Veliko Tarnovo van be found here:

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

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

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Veliko_Turnovo

 

      Arbanasi is also a touristy area, it is connected with Bulgarian history. There is a lot of hotels in it too.

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/17

    

      Several photos of Arbanasi.

      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://triciatct.blogspot.bg/p/monastries-of-veliko-tarnovo-region.html

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

 

      Several photos of Veliko Tarnovo.

      In Veliko Tarnovo you have to decide where to cross Balkan, and opportunities for it can be seen in the next Map: via Shipka Pass, Trevnenski Pass, Tvardishki Pass, Vratnik Pass or Kotlenski Pass. Pedaling to south, leaving Veliko Tarnovo you will be on the road E85 to its crossroad with road N 55, unfortunately this dangerous road segment of several kilometers can not be avoided.

      Sector III. 4 - C

 

      The route via Shipka Pass

      The route Veliko Tarnovo - Gabrovo is relatively not so pleasant road segment especially in direction North - South. The traffic here is not as terrible as the one along road 55, but still there is a traffic. The climbing of the Balkan begins after Veliko Tarnovo (see the road profile chart below).

      An interesting place to visit here is Dryanovski Monastery - information about it I have given in Route D: Nikopol - Haskovo (via Shipka Pass) ( the previous point of this chapter).

      A detailed information about Shipka Pass can be seen in: Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, point 7. Shipka Pass.

      Reference to Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Sector: I. E (Sector I. E - 21.   Pavel Banya - Rakovski) for routes south from Balkan as well.

     

      The route via Trevnenski Pass

 

      I recommend this route. No any traffic here. Tryavna still keep the architecture from XIX Century, it is worth to be seen:

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/236

      https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Tryavna

 

      A detailed information about Trevnenski Pass can be seen in: Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, point 8. Trevnenski Pass. The road profile chart Veloko Tarnovo - Tryavna and several photos from Tryavna:

      The routse via Tvardishki and Vratnik Passes.

      I recommend both routes, information about Passes are given in Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 10. Tvardishki Pass, and Point 11. Vratnik Pass.

 

      Of first you have to reach Elena: this route is very nice, countryside beautiful, the pedaling will bring you a great pleasure. A detailed information about route Veliko Tarnovo (Gabrovo) - Elena can be seen in: Chapter VI. Routes: B. Sofia - Varna 2. The route 2 (Sofia - Varna: the route along the north side of Balkan),

       - Sector VI. 2 - E: Gabrovo (Kievtsi) - Kilifarevo

       - Sector VI. 2 - F: Kilifarevo - Elena. (route a, route b - Sector VI. 2 - F. 1)

 

      Information about Elena: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elena,_Bulgaria

      Here I will show only the road profile chart from Veliko Tarnovo to Elena

      The route from Svistov to Ruse   

 

      In the end of this item I will say several words about route Svistov - Ruse (I was asked about it in the years). AVOID road N85 - the traffic there is terrible! Follow the route:

      Svistov - Vardim - Novgrad - Tsenovo - Byala - Borovo - Dve Mogili - Ivanovo - Besarbovo - Ruse.

      Please do not try to find a road to Ruse along Danube River. In the Chapter V. Bicycling along Danube River, Sector V - C, I have explained why.

           

 

      Overnight accommodation is possible in Byala, very little information about it can be seen here:

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

      What about the road profile chart, I will only mention that from Byala to Borovo there is 7 - 8 kilometer hill, but the road is going up on the north hill side, there is a wool, so you will climb it on the shade.


5. Giurgiu - Ruse: bridge

 

      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.

 

 

       

 

      Information for Ruse can be seen in the links below:

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/88

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Ruse

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

      4. Road N23 – toward Isperih – Dobrich – Balchik;

 

      5. Road N21 – toward Tutrakan and Silistra.


Because of the extensive review of this item, here is the short content of the next next description:

      5.1. Leaving/entering in Ruse

 

      5.2. Ruse - Turkey border

- Route A: from Ruse to Nova Zagora (via Tvardishki Pass).

- Route B: from Ruse to Yambol (via Vratnik Pass) to the Border Checkpoint Lesovo.

- Route C: from Ruse to Yambol (via Kotlenski Pass) to the Border Checkpoint Lesovo.

- Route D: from Ruse to Burgas (via Varbishki Pass) to the Border Checkpoint Malko Tarnovo.

 

      5.3  Ruse - the seaside

- Route E: from Ruse to Varna.

- Route F: from Ruse to Balchik

 

      5.4 Ruse - Silistra


     5.1. Leaving/entering in Ruse in south direction (road 501 - toward Veliko Tarnovo, Sofia and BG/TU & BG/GR borders).

      Further I will post several maps, I think it is easy to find the road 501 looking all them.

      Just after the bridge, you have to leave the transit road E85 (N2, E70) and enter into the town in its industrial zone.

      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, it would be better, if you leave the garden in the point "C" I have shown on the map - it is the beginning of the town walking zone.

      There is a museum of old steam engines in the park.

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

National_Transport_Museum,_Bulgaria

     

      Pedaling further, you will enter in the town center. It is a walking zone. It will be nice to find the Catholic Cathedral - it is easy, it is located near the lane over the Coastline Park.

 

 

 

 

      Down are several photos of the city walking zone.

 

      From the town center, you have to head to Danube river, it is easy, simply turn to right and you will see the place on the photo - just before Hotel Riga . . . Many years ago I lived for an year in Ruse, I used to stay just here seeing the sun going down . . .  forgotten emotions are coming in my mind looking this place and writing about this town  . . .

      Soon you will leave Ruse. After a hill you will reach Basarbovo, pedaling up the next hill you will be high on the right riverside (Rusenski Lom River) - further there will be a photo on this riverside and my tent on it (X - on the map 6 above).

      The entering in Ruse from this direction is not a problem. Simply do not go up on the bridge of road E85 (N5) when you see it.  Enter in the Industrial zone and follow my line, or take "Struma" Str. on the map 5 - you will recognize this street easy, there are trolley wires along it, if my memory serves.


5.2. Ruse - Turkey border

 

       Depending on the pass in the Balkan, where you will decide to cross it, I will give several possibilities to reach BG/GR or BG/TU borders:

- Route A: from Ruse to Nova Zagora (via Tvardishki Pass;

- Route B: from Ruse to Yambol (via Vratnik Pass) to the Border Checkpoint Lesovo.   

      Have in mind that last years the traffic along Route B south from Sliven to Border Checkpoint Lesovo is more intensive, so I would suggest you the first one.

      Again here I will mention, that the road E85 Ruse - Veliko Tarnovo town is very dangerous because of the very intensive traffic here. So, the route I would suggest will be away from it.

 

      An information for passes can be seen in Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 10 Tvardishki Pass & Point 11. Vratnik Pass

 

      For more detailed description I divide this route in 2 sectors:

      Sector III. 5 - A

      Followind the previous description for leaving Ruse, the route is:

      Ruse - Basarbovo - Ivanovo - Dve Mogili - Borovo - Pet Kladentsi

      I can say that it is one of my favorite routes in BG. Many times I have bicycled here, but in the opposite direction. The countryside is beautiful, almost plane as it can be seen from the next road profile chart, no any traffic.  Have in mind that July and August temperatures here often are 38 - 40 deg above freezing.

      Overnight accommodation is possible in Ruse, Dve Mogili and Byala. The last one is not so convenient, it is placed down next to Yantra River - you have to climb toward Pet Kladentsi.

      Very little information about Dve Mogili and  Byala is here:

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

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

       Down are several photos of this area: the canyon of Rusenski Lom River and my tent on it, and the flat area between Ivanovo  and Lom Cherkovna. Bring water with you when explore this area.

      Sector III. 5 - B

      To reach Elena, follow the route:

     Pet Kladentsi - Lom Cherkovna - Strazhitsa - Dzhulyunitsa - Zlataritsa - Elena.

      Overnight accommodation is available in Strazhitsa, Zlataritsa and Elena.

 

      Information about Strazhitsa:  

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

 

      Information about Zlataritsa:      

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

     http://www.bestbgproperties.com/bulgarian_districts/Zlataritsa.html

 

      Information about Elena:

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/41

 

      Next several photos are from Elena.

     As a Capital of the second Bulgarian Kingdom, Veliko Tarnovo is a touristy destination, it is a popular among the tourists visiting Bulgaria. Information about the second Bulgarian Kingdom can be seen here:

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

 

      On the map above I have shown a route to reach it:

    Pet Kladentsi - Nova Varbovka - Sushitsa - Draganovo - Dolna Oryahovitsa - Gorna Oryahovitsa - Arbanasi - Veliko Tarnovo. 

     

     A lot of information including overnight accommodation about Veliko Tarnovo van be found here:

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

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

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Veliko_Turnovo

 

      Arbanasi is also a touristy area, it is connected with Bulgarian history. There is a lot of hotels in it too.

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/17

      Again, several photos of Veliko Tarnovo.

      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://triciatct.blogspot.bg/p/monastries-of-veliko-tarnovo-region.html

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

      From Veliko Tarnovo you can reach again Elena, but as a variant, after visiting Valiko Tarnovo, you can cross Balkan at Shipka Pass - look in the previous item  4. Zimnicea – Svistov: ferry,  Route E (Nikopol) Svistov - Veliko Tarnovo (the same Chapter), you can see the route via Shipka Pass as well.

      From Elena you can pedal toward Nova Zagora, or Yambol via Tvardishki Pass or Vratnik Pass. An information for passes can be seen in Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 10 Tvardishki Pass & Point 11. Vratnik Pass.

     

      Next two routes toward BG/TU Borders Checkpoints Lesovo & Malko Tarnovo are given on the next map. Here is important to avoid the road E70, where the traffic is more intensive.

      - Route C: from Ruse to Yambol via Kotlenski Pass:

      Ruse - Straklevo - Nisovo - Opaka - Popovo - Svetlen - Aprilovo - Gorna Hubavka - Omurtag - Ticha - Kotel - Medven - Mokren - Yambol - Border Checkpoint Lesovo.

      - Route D: from Ruse to Burgas via Varbishki Pass:

      Ruse - Straklevo - Nisovo - Opaka - Popovo - Svetlen - Aprilovo - Gorna Hubavka - Omurtag - Kozarevo - Plastina - Varbitsa - Vezenkovo - Balabanchevo - Sungurlare - Karnobat - Aytos - Burgas - Border Checkpoint Malko Tarnovo.

      For more detailed description I divide this route in 2 sectors:

 

 

 

 

      Sector III. 5 - C

 

      Of first I have to say that I traveled the distance Ruse - Popovo only by car; the traffic here is not intensive, the countryside - scenic.

      Very little information for Opaka can be seen here:

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

I am not sure if overnight accommodation is available in it.

 

      Popovo and Omurtag are bigger towns, overnight accommodation is available in both places.

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

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omurtag_(town)

 

      Omurtag is named of the Khan Omurtag (the First Bulgarian Kingdom):

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

      This route segment is the same for both routes: Route C - toward Yambol and Route D - toward Burgas.

      On the road profile chart can be seen the ascending of almost 270 meters between Aprilovo and Omurtag. In the hot summer days it is not so pleasant. Next 3 photos are the countryside between Omurtag and Popovo. Unfortunately I can not point on the map wqater springs along this route.

      Route C - toward Yambol: look for information  in Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 12. Kotlenski Pass (Targoviste - Omurtag - Kotel - the Pentacle - Yambol)

      Sector III. 5 - D

 

     Route D: from Ruse to Burgas via Varbishki Pass. (on the map above you see several opportunities concerning this route)

      I recommend this route: the road via Varbishki Pass in closed for cars, no any traffic there.

      On the left map I have shown the road segment between Omurtag and Mengishevo.  In the moment I am updating this item the Google map does not permit me to mark the route toward Varbitsa, it means in the moment the road is closed for cars, but I am absolutely sure that bicyclists can use it.

      Last time I pedaled this area was August '10, next are 3 photos of the camp place next to Paliska River I and my daughter Maya spent a night.

      An information in details about Varbishki Pass you can see in: Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 13 Varbishki Pass

       Sector III. 5 - E

      Relatively intensive traffic here is available from Karnobat  to Aytos to Burgas, according to me the road is not dangerous.

      If you pedal in the back direction, the hills next to Sungurlare and the one between Karnobat and Aytos are tough in the hot sunny days.

      Sungurlare is a place where they produce very nice local type white and red wines. Very little information about it can be seen here:

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

      I am not sure if overnight accommodation is available there. Next three photos are taken just next to Sungutlare.

      Information for Karnobat abd Aytos is available here:

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

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

      A nice spot for overnight accommodation in Karnobat is hotel Mitage, in Aytos - an interesting ethno village Gender - both places can be found easy in the Google. Next three photos are in Karnobat and the hotel Mirage.

      Information about this area is given in the Chapter VI. Routes: A. Sofia - Burgas, Sector V. 1 - E: Sliven - Burgas

      Information about Burgas:

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

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Burgas

      About the region near Burgas I have posted in the Chapter IV. BLACK SEASIDE.

 

      If you choose the roure:

      Omurgag - Kotel - Medven - Sungurlare - Burgas,

have in mind that overnight accommodation in Medven is possible. Above the village there is a scenic canyon and waterfall. Information about Medven:

      http://medven.org/en/


      5.3  Ruse - the seaside

      - Route E: from Ruse to Varna.

      It is a main road and the traffic from Ruse to Shumen is relatively intensive. It is almost flat area very pleasant for bicycling including rolling hills as it is obvious from the next road profile chart. I love to pedal here especially in the end of May when wheat fields are still green.

 

      Ruse - Razgrad - Shumen -  Kaspichan - Novi Pazar - Neofit Rilski - Devnya - Varna.

 

      Overnight accommodation is available in Razgrad and Shumen. Next links are the Information about Razgrad and several photos of the same area:

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

      http://www.bulgaria-guide.com/guide/Razgrad/201368/

      Next links are the Information about Shumen:

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

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/75

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 III. 5 - F

      After Shumen there is a motorway (A2), do not bicycle along it. The road segment Devnya - Varna (road N2) is with relatively intensive traffic.

      Route E.1:

      Shumen - Kaspichan - Novi Pazar - Vetrino - Neofit Rilski - Devnya - Varna

      Road profile chart for Route E.1

      Overnight accommodation is possible in Davnya, for Novi Pazar and Kaspichan I am not sure. If you search for a hotel in Novi Pazar, be careful, there is a town named "Novi Pazar " in Serbia as well.

      Information about Novi Pazar and Devnya:         

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

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

 

      North from Kaspichan is located Pliska, the Capital of the first Bulgarian Kingdom. Archeology fans can visit it:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/39

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

 

      Some information about the First Bulgarian Kingdom:

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

 

      Between Devnya and Varna is placed an interesting place, so called "Stone forest":

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

 

      Next photos are the area east from Shumen and the Stone Forest.

      Route E.2:

      A little longer is the route E. 2 includihng Provadia. I think it is very scenic place, an overnight accommodation is possible in it as well.

      Shumen - Kaspichan - Novi Pazar - Vetrino - Provadia - Manastir - Devnya - Varna

      Road profile chart for Route E.1

      Information for Provadia and its fortres "Ovech":

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/340

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

 

      Next several photos of Ovech Fortres and the road just behind Provadia toward Varna.

      An opportunity for the route from Provadia toward Burgas can be seen in the Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 15. Aytoski Pass (I reccomend this route).

 

      Details about Varna can be seen in the Chapters: VI. Routes: B. Sofia - Varna  &   IV. Bicycling along Black sea side.

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

      http://varna-bulgaria.info/


      - Route F: from Ruse to Balchik

      If you have decided to bicycle the route Ruse - the seaside, I would suggest you to head to Balchik, placed in one of the one of most scenery areas near the seaside.

      All the area is perfect for bicycling, no any traffic. The area is almost flat with rolling hills. Here you will cross many not deep valleys of dried rivers, as it can be seen from the next road profile chart. Bring water with you exploring this area. It is best to bicycle here May, June, up to 5 – 10 July, when the sunflowers make the field yellow.   Very little information for Kubrat and Isperih can be seen here:

      Ruse - Kubrat - Zavet - Isperih - Todor Ikonomovo - Karapelit  - Dobrich - Balchik.

      I am not sure if overnight accommodation is available in Kubrat and Isperih. Very little information for both little towns can be seen here: 

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubrat_(town)

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

      Both towns are named of Bulgarian Khans Kubrat and Asparuh:

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

      http://www.wow.com/wiki/Asparuh

 

      Dobrich is a center of this region:

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

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

      Several photos of the region and Dobrich

      Many times I have explored this area and often I move further from village to village researching the map, often I have used shortcuts – off-roads in the field between villages.

      Next several photos are the area between Dobrich  - Balchik (Photos and information for Balchik can be seen in Chapter IV. BLACK SEASIDE, Point 8. Balchik.


      5.4 Ruse - Silistra

      I have mentioned several words concerning this route in the Chapter V. Bicycling along Danube river .


      6. Oltenita - Tutrakan: ferry (still a project only).


      7. Calarashi – Silistra: ferry.

      7. Constanta – Silistra (border checkpoint Silistra).

Shedule & Fees

Тръгване от

българския бряг

From BG

Тръгване от румънския бряг

From Romania

01:30

04:15

07:30

10:15

13:30

16:15

19:30

22:15

 

Vehicle

Price (EURO)

Truck (more than 25 t.)

70,00

Truck 16 – 25 t.

60,00

Truck 16 – 5 t.

45,00

Bus (more than 44 passengers)

40,00

Bus (22 – 44 passengers)

35,00

Minivan

25,00

Trailer

15,00

Car

7,00

Motorbike

2,00

Passenger

0,50

      Calarashi – Silistra: ferry.

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

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

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

      Information for Silistra:

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Schedule (each day)

from Silistra       from Calarashi

09.00                      10.00

11.00                      12.00

15.00                       16.00

17.00                       18.00

Traveling time in one direction - 15 minutes

Requests for traveling out of this schedule:

tel +359 86 812 200

or

e-mail: drusrtar@hoteldrustar.com

      Pointed routes on the map from/to Silistra are:

 

      7.1 To/from west:

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

 

 

 

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

            2. Isperih, Razgrad, Targoviste;

            3. Shumen;

            4. Povadia;

 

 

      7.3 To/from Black sea side:

            5. Dobrich, Balchik;

            6. Constanta (in Romania).

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


  7.2  Routes from/to south (from/to Turkey and Greece borders).

 

 

      There are 3 routes to pedal towards Balkan from Silistra town:

      Route A: Via Kotlenski Pass:

Silistra - Alfatar - Dulovo - Isperih - Ludogortsi - Razgrad - Targoviste - Omurtag - Kotel - Yambol;

 

 

      Route B: Via Varbishki Pass, or via Rishki Pass:

Silistra - Alfatar - Venets - Izgrev - Shumen;

      I do not recommend the route via Rishki Pass. Last years the traffic is very intensive including heavy trucks.

 

 

      Route C: Silistra - Alfatar - Tervel - Vetrino - Provadia - Aytos - Burgas.

 

      For all the routes I can say that roads are in very nice conditions, the area itself is flat with not high rolling hills, countryside is perfect. Wild camping is possible everywhere. Have in mind that July and August high temperatures in afternoons are possible. Bring water with you.

 

    

      Sector III. 7 - A

      Here I will increase the scale for more detailed description.

 

 

      Route A:

 

      Silistra - Alfatar - Cherkovna - Dulovo - Chernik - Isperih - Ludogortsi  - Razgrad - Trapiste - Davidovo - Targoviste.

 

      This route is approx. 145 km., as if here there are more hills comparing with the others. Several kilometers of the road north from Razgrad are not so nice and narrow.

 

      Very little information for Dulovo is available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dulovo,_Bulgaria

 

      Very little information for Isperih is available here:

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

The town is named of the Khan Asparuh established the First Bulgarian Kingdom in the second half of the VII century. A little history:.

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

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

 

      Information for Razgrad:

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

      http://www.bulgaria-guide.com/guide/Razgrad/201368/

 

      Information for Targoviste:

     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.

 

      Overnight accommodation is available in Razgrad, Targoviste and maybe Isperih, what about Dulovo, I am not so sure. The entire area is very pleasant for exploring, there is not traffic here at all,  the next several photos illustrate it.

      Route B:

      Silistra - Alfatar - Cherkovna - Branichevo - Venets - Panayot Volovo - Shumen.

      This road is approx 120 km, the longest hill is 10 - 12 kilometers just after Shumen to north. I do not recommend so much this. Although the road is after reconstruction, last years the traffic here is intensive including heavy trucks. I am not sure if along this road there is a possibility for overnight accommodation, I explored it only bringing a tent with me.

      Next links are the Information about Shumen, and some photos for it can be seen in the previous item of the same chapter -  5.3  Ruse - the seaside

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

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/75

      Route C:

      Silistra - Alfatar - Tervel - Vetrino - Provadia - Aytos - Burgas.

      I recommend this route. It is an extremely pleasant for exploring area, the scenery is very similar to previous ones. Giving this opinion, please have in mind I was born and grew up in an mountain area, so I love fields. Overnight accommodation is possible in Tervel and Provadia.

      Information for Tervel:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tervel_(town) ;

      Again the town is named of the Bulgarian Khan Tervel, who saved Europe from Arabian invasion in the beginning of the VIII century. it is worth to have a look in the next link:

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

 

     This road is 120 km, it is the shortest road from Silistra to Burgas. The area here is the flattest comparing with previous 2 routes. The longest climbing (not so hard if you pedal it early in the morning) is from Provadia to Vetrino to Dobrotich. Next 6 photos (north from Vetrino) I took in the extremely winding morning of 25 June 2015 - as usual the date on photos is a little wrong..

     Provadia is placed in a a scenic canyon along Provadiiska River. Information for Provadia and its fortres "Ovech":

 

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/340

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

 

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

Sector III. 7 - B (1)

      Here I continue with the 3 routes from the previous item.

 

      - Route A: I show two opportunities:

 

 a) Via Kotlenski Pass:

 

      Targoviste - Omurtag - Ticha - Kotel - Gradets - Mokren - the Pentacle - Zimnitsa - Veselinovo - Yambol.

      A detailed Information for Kotlenski Pass is given in the Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, point 12. Kotlenski Pass (Targoviste - Omurtag - Kotel - the Pentacle - Yambol). Here I will mention only that the traffic in the road segment from  Targoviste  to Omurtag is intensive. the road is wide, but the pedaling there is not a pleasure especially in the same direction.

 

b) Via Varbishki Pass:

 

      Targoviste - Prolaz - Varbitsa -  Mokren - the Pentacle - Zimnitsa - Veselinovo - Yambol.

      A detailed Information for Varbishki Pass is given in the Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, point 13. Varbishki Pass. I recommend this route, have only in mind that south from the Balkan divide down the mountain the road is not maintained, it is in very poor conditions. The Pass is closed for cars, no any traffic.

 

      Overnight accommodation is available in Omurtag, Kotel and in the little resort 3-4 kilometers above Varbitsa. Very little information for Kitel and Varbitsa can be seen here:

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

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varbitsa_(town)

      - Route B: I will show here again two opportunities:

a) Via Varbishki Pass:

 

      Shumen - Veliki Preslav - Varbitsa -  Mokren - the Pentacle - Zimnitsa - Veselinovo - Yambol.

      Relatively intensive traffic here is available from Shumen to Veliki Preslav (overnight accommodation is available in it). Veliki Preslav was the second Capital of the First Bulgarian Kingdom, information for it:

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/40

      Several photos of Veliki Preslav remains.

b) Via Rishki Pass:

 

      Shumen - Veselinovo - Prilep - Lozarevo - Sungurlare - the Pentacle - Zimnitsa - Veselinovo - Yambol.

      A detailed Information for Rishki Pass is given in the Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, point 14. Rishki Pass. I do not reccommend this route, the traffic from  Shumen to Lozarevo is very intensive.

 

- Route C: Most of this route is along Kamchia River, it is a nice area appropriate for pedaling. The route is:

      Provadia - Dalgopol - Asparuhovo - Vishna - Prilep - Lozarevo - Sungurlare - the Pentacle - Zimnitsa - Veselinovo - Yambol.

      The next road profile chart is for the route from Provadia to the Pentacle.

      Overnight accommodation is availabe in Asparuhovo, a little further near Tsonevo Dam is the nature phenomenon "the Wonderful Rock"

      http://bulgariatravel.org/en/object/128/Chudnite_skali_zabelejitelnost

     Sector III. 7 - B (1) - a

     In the sector III. 7 - B (1) - a I have shown 2 opportunities for routes between Vishna and Prilep. The blue line is better - the climbing here is less rather the grey line.

      Next several photos are the rocks near Tsonevo Dam.

      I will finish Sector III. 7 - B (1) with several photos of the road segment from the Pentacle to Yambol, where more intensive traffic is available.

Sector III. 7 - B (2)

      In the end of point 7 on the map in left, you can see routes from Targoviste, Shumen and Provadia toward Burgas. The only thing I will say again is to avoid Rishki Pass because of the intensive traffic.

      Information for  Aytos is available here:

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

      A nice spot for overnight accommodation in Aytos is an interesting ethno village Gender, this spot  can be found easy in the Google.

 

      Information about the area from the Pentacle to Burgas is also given in the Chapter VI. Routes: A. Sofia - Burgas, Sector V. 1 - E: Sliven - Burgas

   

      Information about Burgas:

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

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Burgas

      About the region near Burgas I have posted in the Chapter IV. BLACK SEASIDE.

 

 

      7.3 Routes to/from Black sea side.

 

      If you decide to explore the seaside, my suggestion is to visit Balchik which is very scenic place. I have shown 2 possible variants on the map - both routes are easy for bicycling - the area is flat, no any traffic.  Along the road between Silistra and Karapelit there a lot of apricot trees, further to Dobrich - cherry trees, which maces pedaling in this area very pleasant from the end of May to the middle of July.

 

     Information for Tervel and Dobrich can be seen above in the previous items. Information for Balchik:

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

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/307

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

http://www.beachbulgaria.com/balchik/

       More detail for the seaside can be seen in Chapter IV. Bicycling along Black sea side.


   8. Negru Voda – Kardam: Border checkpoint Iovkovo)

 

      I am not sure, if somebody would use this Border checkpoint, at least I have never seen any traffic bicycling in this region. The roads here a in nice conditions. Towards Burgas I can suggest the following routes:

 

 

      Route A

Border checkpoint Iovkovo - Kardam - General Toshevo - Dobrich - Odrintsi - Valchi Dol - Suvorovo - Vetrino - Dalgopol - Asparuhovo - Aytos - Burgas;

 

 

      Route B

(look the next map: sector III. 8 - A)

Border checkpoint Iovkovo - Kardam - Durankulak (road N 2904) - Kavarna - further along the seaside towards Burgas;

 

 

      Next three routes:

from Dobrich to Balchik (road N27);

 

from Dobrich to Albena rezort (road N71)

 

from Dobrich toVarna (road N29).

 

 

      All this area is flat and nice for exploring.

      Road profile chart for the route Border Checkpoiunt Iovkovo - Provadia


      9. Mangalia – Durankulak: Border checkpoint Durankulak).

 

      Look in Chapter IV. Bicycling along Black sea side.

 

      For the routes Burgas - Turkey Border look point 15. Burgas - Border checkpoint Malko Tarnovo (road E87: Burgas - Malko Tarnovo - Kirklareli) in the same Chapter.


 

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