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 from north to south or from south to 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 checkpoints I pointed in red are with 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.

 

      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.

    

      A detailed description of routes from Vidin to Sofia is given in:

      Chapter II.  Crossing Bulgaria from west (Serbian border) to east (Turkey border - Edirne) and south (Greece border),

- Point 3. Border checkpoint Bregovo – Sofia;

- Point 4. Border checkpoint Vrashka Chuka  – Sofia;

- Point 5. Border Checkpoint Vidin: The bridge Kalafat – Vidin – Sofia


      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:

      from Oryahovo to Mizia to Borovan to Vratsa (road N15) to Mezdra to Botevgrad (E 79) to 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:

      from Oryahovo to Knezha to Cherven Bryag to  Roman to Mezdra to Svoge (Iskar River Gorge) to Sofia to Border Checkpoint Kulata;

      Here I will not write about the route from Cherven Bryag to Roman to Mezdra to Sofia. Very detail information concerning this route is available here:

      Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES

- Point 2. Iskar River Gorge, B. Mezdra to Cherven Bryag & A. Sofia - Mezdra

 

      2.2 Via Zlatishki Pass:

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

      from Oryahovo to Knezha to Cherven Bryag to Roman to Etropole to Zlatishki Pass to Zlatitsa to Panagyuriste to Pazardzhik to Border Checkpoint Ilinden.

       Here I will not write about the next routes:

      - from Cherven Bryag to Roman: look in

Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES

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

       - From Roman to Etropole (extremely scenic route) look in:

       Chapter VI.  Routes: B. Sofia - Varna:

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;

- Sectors VI. 2 - A. 2. b, c & d

 

       - 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

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

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

      Sector 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 (meaning to cross Balkan via Zlatishki Pass), as well as a way to avoid Sofia:

 

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

 

or

 

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

 

from Oryahovo to Mizia to Butan to Manastiriste to Rogozen to Malorad to Borovan to Gabare to Drashan to Kalen to Mezdra to Svoge (Iskar River Gorge)  . . . to Sofia . . .

 

      Information concerning the shortcut between Roman and Cherven Bryag is available in:

      Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES.

Point 2. Iskar River Gorge, B. Mezdra to Cherven Bryag

 

      The route really gets pretty between Cherven Briag to Mezdra (sector III. 2 - A. 2 - on the map in left).

      Route a:

      from Oryahovo to Selanovtsi to Knezha to Chomakovtsi to Cherven Bryag to Reselets to Kunino to Roman to Karash to Etropole and Zlatishki Pass

      The next road profile chart is for the distance from Oryahovo to Cherven Bryag. Except the steep hill just next to Oryahovo, all the other route is in the flat Danube Plane.

      The only 3 photos I have illustrate the area between Knezha and Cherven Bryag, I and my daughter Maya explored in extremely raining June 2009.

      Information for Knezha:

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

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

 

      The left photo is the town center.

      Information for Cherven Bryag:

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

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

 

      The left photo is the town center.

      Sector III. 2 - A. 1

      A more detailed description for the route:

- from Cherven Bryag to Roman can be seen in:

      Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 2. Iskar River Gorge, B. Mezdra to Cherven Bryag, Sector I. A - 2. d

 

- from Roman to Mezdra (The shortcut on the map above) can be seen in:

      Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, B. Mezdra to Cherven Bryag, Sector I. A - 2. c

 

- from Roman to Etropole (extremely scenic route) is shown 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;

- Sectors VI. 2 - A. 2. b, c & d

 

- 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


      Route b

      If you choose to explore Iskar River Gorge, follow the next route:

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

      Starting from Oryahovo, Next little town is Mizia. I am not sure if overnight accommodation is available with it. Toward Oryahovo the countryside is beautiful again. Approximately in the middle of the distance Mizia - Oryahovo a motel and restaurant are available.

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/

 

      Once reaching Mezdra, you will enter in Iskar River Gorge, information for it is available here:

 Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES

- Point 2. Iskar River Gorge, A. Sofia - Mezdra


      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.


      The approach toward the ferry is labeled well

      Information for Nikopol:

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

Route A

from Nikopol to Sofia (via Iskar River Gorge)

      from Nikopol to Gulyantsi to Gigen to Krushovene to Knezha to Cherven Bryag to Roman to Mezdra (Iskar River Gorge) to 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 (as it can be seen from the road profile chart), there is not any traffic along the route. The area between Nikopol and Cherven Bryag (Danube Plane) 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 - Cherven Bryag.

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

      Next pictures illustrate the area between Nikopol and Knezha. There are a lot of villages along the road here, so water and food suply is not  problem.

      For information about the route from Knezha to Cherven Bryag to Roman to Mezdra to Svoge to Sofia look in the previous point.


Route B

From 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:

      from Nikopol to Gulyantsi to Dolna Mitropoliya to Dermantsi to Glozhene to Cherni Vit to Etropole to (Zlatishki Pass) to Zlatitsa to Panaguyriste to 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.


      Pleven is known with a heavy battles between Russian and Turk armies 1877/78. A lot of information about the town is here: I did not

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

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/en/article/details/294/Town%20of%20Pleven

Several photos from Pleven

     It is worth to visit Pleven Epopee Panorama: http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/20

      I did not point on the map above Teteven - several kilometers south from Glozhene. Overnight accommodation in it is possible, information for this little town is available here:

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

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

      Etrople is a small town, a great place to relax for a night before climbing the Pass.  Overnight accommodations at the hotel is not a problem.  .

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

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/168

      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

      For the road segment from 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


      Another two routes from Nikopol to south are:

 

      Route C: Nikopl Plovdiv (via Troyanski Pass)

      and

      Route D: from Nikopol to Haskovo (via Shipka Pass or Trevnenski Pass)      

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next three routes I describe below include ones via:

      - Troyanski Pass;

      - Shipka Pass;

      - Trevnenski Pass.

      Information for passes can be seen in:

Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES,

Point 5. Troyanski Pass (Beklemeto),

Point 7. Shipka Pass,

Point 8. Trevnenski Pass

 

      I do not recommend this routes; there are road segments, where the traffic is very intensive (for example from Karlovo to Plovdiv - route C, or from Dryanovo to Gabrovo, from Kazanlak to  Stara Zagora - Route D) as well as the climbing is considerable, especially the one including Troyanski Pass.

 

     

 

 

     


Route C

form Nikopol to Plovdiv (via Troyanski Pass)

      Nikopol to Zhernov to Debovo to Pleven to Lovech to Troyan to Karlovo to 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)

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

      Information for Pleven and several photos I have shown in the previous point of the same Chapter. The traffic from Pleven to Lovech is relatively intensive, although the road is wide, I think it is not dangerous. 

      Photos from Lovech and information about it:

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/325

A walk to the old town "Varosha" and the mediaeval fortress remains is worth.

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/97

      Again, the road toward Troyan is in very nice condition; away in front of you is Balcan.

Three photos from Troyan and information about it:

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

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/388

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

      I will mention Troyanski Monastery - 7-8 kilometers east from Troyan, you can visit it, overnight accommodation is possible there as well. Details for it can be seen in the Capter VI. Routes: B. Sofia - Varna; Point 2. The route 2 (Sofia - Varna: the route along the north side of Balkan), Sector VI. 2 - D: Troyan - Gabrovo (road N44)

 

      Leaving Troyan, a hard climbing is in front of you: Troyanski Pass. Information for passes can be seen in: I will mention

Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 5. Troyanski Pass (Beklemeto),

      The traffic from Karlovo to Plovdiv is very intensive too; information for this road segment can be seen in:

Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 20.  from Karlovo to Plovdiv.


Route D

from Nikopol to Haskovo (via Shipka Pass)

      The route is:

      from Nikopol to Zhernov to Debovo to Levski to Pavlikeni to Dryanovo to Gabrovo to Shipka Pass to Kazanlak to Stara Zagora to Dimitrovgrad to 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.

      I did not travel the road segment between Nikopol to Levski, I know there is not traffic there.

 

      Overnight accommodation is possible in Levski, Very little information for it can be seen here:

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

 

      Next little town is Pavlikeni. Overnight accommodation is possible in it, Very little information for it can be seen here:

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

      Next three photos are taken several kilometers south from Pavlikeni.

      Next little town is Dryanovo. Information about Dryanovo can be seen in the links:

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

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

      Several photos from 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)

      The traffic along the road segment from Dryanovo to Gabrovo is intensive, the pedaling in this direction is not pleasant, because it is up the hill. I pedaled this route many times only ion the opposite direction.

      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 (look the map in left which is an interesting architectural ethnographic complex - a museum at work. A hotel is available there as well. 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)

      A detail information 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

from Nikopol to 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 from (Nikopol) Svistov to Veliko Tarnovo).

 

 

 

      On the map in left I have pointed the Pass of the Republic as well, 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.

 

 

      The only two photos I have from this area is my camp place and the sunset 15 kilometers north from Dimitrovgrad.

      Overnight accommodation in Stara Zagora is not a problem. Links with information about this towns is here:

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

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/SE/stara_zagora/stara_zagora/stara_zagora

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/1048

      Next little town is Dimitrovgrad.

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

      Haskovo is relatively big town, overnight accommodation is possible in it. Information for it can be seen here:

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

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/SC/haskovo/haskovo/haskovo


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 from Polski Trambesh to Veliko Tarnovo to Hainboaz (or Pass of the Republic - road E85) to Gurkovo to Nova Zagora !!!

      Information about Svistov:

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

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

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

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/25

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

      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.

     

Route C

from Svistov to Lovech (to Plovdiv)

   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.

 

      Next thre4e photos illustrate the area between Stezherovo and Bulgarene, a place I and my daughter Maya spent a nice night beneath the fool moon.

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, a view to Danube Plane is great from this place.

      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

      And several photos for the waterfalls next to Krushuna.  Information about Falls and many photos of this amazing place can be seen here:

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

      The road from Levski to Letnitsa to Lovech is in very nice condition, there is not traffic there.


Route E

from (Nikopol) Svistov to 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:

      from (Nikopol) Svistov to Tsarevets to Kozlovets to Alekovo to Varzulitsa to Maslarevo to Obedinenie to Resen to Samovodene.

     This road segment is in Danube Plane 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 Plane.

      The entire area is very pleasant and easy for pedaling, and next several pictures illustrate it. No any traffic here as well.

      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 and it MUST be avoided definitely.     

 

      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.

      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.

      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 van be found here:

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

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

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Veliko_Turnovo

 

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://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 extremely dangerous road segment of several kilometers can not be avoided. Be careful there!

Sector III. 4 - C

 

The route via Shipka Pass

      The route from Veliko Tarnovo to 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.   from Pavel Banya to 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 from Veloko Tarnovo to Tryavna and several photos from Tryavna:

The routes 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.

      Here I will show only the road profile chart from Veliko Tarnovo to Elena (more details concerning this route can be seen in the next point: 5.2. Ruse - Greece&Turkey borders

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

      http://bulgariatravel.org/en/object/41/Elena

      Several photos from Elena.


The routes from:

- Svistov to Byala to Ruse

- Svistov to Byala to Elena

   

      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, this road segment is one of the deadliest roads in BG! So, much much better is to Follow the route:

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

      Please do not try to find a road to Ruse along Danube River. Several times I was asked if there is a road just next from Novgrad to Ruse. No, there is not such a road (except for the most adventurous bicyclists). The route I point on the map in left is the best one. In the Chapter V. Bicycling along Danube River, Sector V - C, I have explained why.

       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.

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


      Sector III - 4. D      from Vardim to Byala

      Here I will show three opportunities for route from Vardim to Byala.

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

      Route a:

      From Vardim to Karamanovo to Tsenovo to Byala.

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

      Route b:

      From Vardim to Novgrad to Beleanovo to Tsenovo to Byala.

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

      Route c:

      From Vardim to Novgrad to Beltsov to Tsenovo to Byala.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/330


Sector III - 4. E

From Byala to Ruse

 

       The route here is away from Danube River:

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

       

     

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

 

 

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

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

  

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

 

and Borovo:

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

 

 

 

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

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherven_(fortress

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/124

 

     

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/93

      An interesting Rock Monastery can be seen near Besarbovo:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/63

      Information about the route from Svistov to Byala to Elena for the road segment Byala to Elena I will give in the next point of the same chapter.



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, the traffic is extremely intensive.

 

      A lot of information is available in Internet concerning Ruse:

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

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

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Ruse

     Several photos of this town

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

(the Black seaside);

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

 

      5. Road N21: toward Tutrakan and Silistra.


      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 - Greece&Turkey 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.

- 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 one by one.

      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.

 

 

 

 

      The several photos I have posted above are just 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 - Greece&Turkey borders (sector III. 5)

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

      On the map in left I have shown the Passes in Balkan, where bicyclists can cross Balkan headint to the south toward Greece or Turkey borders. From west to east Passes are:

      - Shipka pass;

      -Trevnenski Pass;

      - Pass of the Republic (Hainboaz);

      - Tvardishki Pass;

      - Vratnik Pass.

      Very detail descriptions of all these Passes I have given in the Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES. Sector I. B

      So, if you cross Romania/Bulgarian border just here, please look of first in:

Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES:

      - Sector I. B, points:

7. Shipka Pass

8. Trevnenski Pass

9. Pass of the Republik (Hainboaz)

10. Tvardishki Pass

11. Vratnik Pass

      - Sector I. E

22.  Kazanlak to Stara Zagora;

23. Gurkovo to Nova Zagora;

24. Tvarditsa to Nova Zagora.

 

      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.

 

      In the previous point of the same chapter I have given a description of the route

      from Byala to Borovo to Dve Mogili to Ivanovo to Basarbovo to Ruse

(Sector III - 4. E: From Byala to Ruse)

so here I will not repeat that information.

      Once choosing the Pass where you will cross the Balkan, you have to reach Veliko Tarnovo or Elena, so it will be my next information. For more detailed description further I divide this route in 2 sectors


sector III. 5 - A

      The route is:

from Borovo (to Byala) to Pet Kladentsi to Vinogradi to Lozen to Gorski Senovets to Tsarski Izvot to Strazhitsa

      As the overnight accommodation in Dve Mogili and Borovo is not available, if you need it, you have to visit Byala.

      Some information for Byala can be seen here:

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

    

http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/330

      Have in mind that Byala is placed in a low place near Yantra River, so visiting it, you will have an additional climbing. It is obvious from the road profile charts below

Here is obvious the low placement of Byala near Yantra River.

      If you decide to visit Byala the only not intensive traffic you will see is when you leave it along road N51 - no more than 7 - 8 kilometers. This road is in very nice conditions.

      Once leaving road N51, heading toward Bistrentsi, you will enjoy of very scenic countryside, easy pedaling and area without any traffic.

      Between Bistrantsi and Vinograd the road is not labeled - as it can be seen on the last photo above. It is my information from August '17, when was the last time I explored this beautiful countryside. Be careful there, I am afraid it is very easy a wrong  the direction to chosen here. Maybe a GPS would be useful here. Further there are not any problems.

      Next three photos are the area toward Vinograd. Very nice spring of fresh and cool drinkable water is available just before Vinogradi - next to the crossroad toward Sushitsa.

      The area from Vinograd to Gorski senovets to Tsarski Izvor is almost flat, it is unusual for Danube Plane consisting most of all from rolling hills. 

      Strazhitsa is a little town, destroyed totally by an earthquake 1986. Ivernight accommodation is available in it; some information for it:

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


sector III. 5 - B

      Here I will show two routes:

      route a:

for bicyclists heading to Elena:

from Strazhitsa to Dzhulyunitsa to Gorsko novo selo to Zlataritsa to Elena

and

      route b:

this route is purposed to bicyclists intending to visit Veliko Tarnovo:

from Vinograd to Paisiy to Strelets to Draginovo to Dolna Oryahovitsa to Gorna Oryahovitsa to Arbanasi to Veliko Tarnovo

 

      route A - a:

      from Strazhitsa to Dzhulyunitsa to Gorsko novo selo to Zlataritsa to Elena

      Again the route is very pleasant for pedaling. It is easy, after Zlataritsa toward Elena a not hard climbing is starting. No traffic along this route.

      Crossing road E 772 (your one is road 4005) you have to be careful to find the road toward Dzhulyunitsa, if my memory serves it was not signed well. The same is true for the back direction - from Dzhulyunitsa toward Strazhitsa.

      The road toward Gorsko novo selo is without any traffic, area is pleasant and easy for pedaling. In right is a nice spring of drinkable water - a place where I forgot to take with me my nice bottle while I was enjoying of the scenery and taking photos . . . Down is my camp place just next to Gorsko novo selo.

      Zlataritsa is a little town, where overnight accommodation is not possible. Very little information for it is available here:

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

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

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

      After Zlataritsa toward Elena the climbing starts. The hill is not steep; in the middle of the road between Zlataritsa and Elena there is a tourist complex, I remember there is a restaurant there, but I am not sure if overnight accommodation was available there.

      Several kilometers before entering in Elena there is a spring of water - hot for drinking and cool for bathing . . . several times I used it to refresh, relax next to it and wash the equipment there. 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.

      Well ... in the end you are in Elena; this little town 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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elena,_Bulgaria

      http://bulgariatravel.org/en/object/41/Elena

      Several photos of this town:

      In the end I will say again that to South from Elena you can use:

-Tvardishki Pass: toward Nova Zagora;

- Vratnik Pass: toward Yambol,

(Look in Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES: Sector I. B, points: 10. Tvardishki Pass and 11. Vratnik Pass respectively.)


      route A - b (look again sector III. 5 - B):

      This route is purposed to bicyclists intending to visit Veliko Tarnovo, :

from Vinograd to Paisiy to Strelets to Draginovo to Dolna Oryahovitsa to Gorna Oryahovitsa to Arbanasi to Veliko Tarnovo

      Although I would not suggest visiting this place. Veliko Tarnovo is a touristy place often overcrowded by tourists. The traffic along roads E 772 and E 85 is very intensive. I pedaled this route, but I have not photos from it.

      Gorne Oryahovitsa is a bog railway center, here the lines crossing Bulgaria from east to east and from north to south are crossing. Information for it is here:

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

     Overnight accommodation is available in it.

      Between Gorna Oryahovitsa and Veliko Tarnovo there is a hill, the road is nice although there is a traffic there, comparing with the traffic with the one in another roads approaching Veliko Tarnovo, this road is the safest one. On the top of the hill is Arbanasi. It 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.

 

      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 van be found here:

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

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

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Veliko_Turnovo

 

Information about the second Bulgarian Kingdom can be seen here:

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

 

There is 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. Again I will say that detail information about passes in Balkan can be seen in:

Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES:

      - Sector I. B, points: 7. Shipka Pass; 8. Trevnenski Pass; 9. Pass of the Republik (Hainboaz); 10. Tvardishki Pass; 11. Vratnik Pass

      - Sector I. C, point 12. Kotlenski Pass

      My suggestion is to avoid: 7. Shipka Pass; 9. Pass of the Republik (Hainboaz) and 12. Kotlenski Pass

 

       Now I will increase the scale to show possibilities to reach Elena from Veliko Tarnovo.

      Sector III. 5 - C. 1

      Sector III. 5 - C. 1. a

 

   Pedaling to south, leaving Veliko Tarnovo toward Debelets you will be on the road E85 - extremely dangerous road segment of several kilometers which can not be avoided. Be careful there!

      One more time I will increase the scale, because next to Debelets the crossroad is complicated and I am afraid it is not signed well toward Prisovo or Plakovo and Velchevo.

 

 

      Route a

      My suggestion is to pedal toward Elena, following the route: I still did not pedaled it, but I know it is a road without traffic.

      from Veliko Tarnovo to Debelets to Prisovo to Pcheliste to Tserova  Koria to Kapinovo to Mindya to Elena.

      Route b

      For more adventurous peddlers I would recommend the next route:

      from Veliko Tarnovo to Debelets to Prisovski Monastery to Velchevo to Plakovski Monastery to Kapinovski Monastery to Elena.

      The road profile scheme shows that climbing here is more comparing with the roate a. Exploring this area, you can visit  3 monasteries:

 

- Prisovski Monastery: Unfortunately there is not English language Site for it. Ivernight accommodation is not possible there.

      The road from Debelets to Velchevo to Kapinovski Monastery is nice, the countryside is very nice, no any traffic. Leaving Velchevo toward Plakovski Monastery, you will see an ancient tractor.

      The next monastery is  Plakovski Monastery. Neither food nor overnight accommodation in Plakovski Monastery. Information for it can be seen here:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/332

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

      The next monastery is Kapinovski Monastery: overnight accommodation is offered in it; information for it is available here:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/400

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

      http://visit.elena.bg/en/temples-monasteries/kapinovski-and-plakovski-monasteries

      Next to Kapinovski Monastery there is a camping place, caravans, restaurant (the last photo below.

      After the second 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 pedaled along it there was a powering rain, the road was only mud and pools, we were in a hard situation more than 10 kilometers.  Luckily just before entering in Elena we found out a water spring where I washed the equipment.

      And the last route in this area is

      Route c:

      from Veliko Tarnovo to Debelets to  Plakovo to Sredni Kolibi to Gardevtsi to Yakovtsi to Elena.

      It is a extreme beautiful area. There is not many villages, no any traffic. The best place here is the area near Iovkovtsi Dam. There is an easy access to is (just before Yakovtsi), summer time the water is perfect to refresh, place is perfect for camp in the wilderness. next to Yakovtsi there is a little hotel & restaurant.

   Near Iovkovtsi dam: it is a perfect area for relax, swimming in the dam and camp next to it.

Route B: from Ruse to Elena to Sliven to Yambol (via Vratnik Pass)

      The next several photos illustrate the countryside from Elena toward Konstantin and Vratnik Pass. The area is easy for pedaling, I only can say it is one of my favorite places - rolling hills, no any traffic.

      If you pedal from Elena toward Kipilovo, you can cross Balkan via Kotlenski Pass, more information in the next point.


    Routes C & D (toward Burgas)

 

Sector III. 5

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

      from Ruse to Opaka to Popovo to Omurtag to Kotel to Pentacle to Yambol (to Border Checkpoint Lesovo).

 

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

      Ruse to Opaka to Popovo to Omurtag to Varbitsa to Sungurlare to Karnobat to Aytos to Burgas (to Border Checkpoint Malko Tarnovo). 

 

 

 

 

 

    For more detailed description I divide this route in 3 sectors:

      Sector III. 5 - D

 

      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.

     

      On the road profile chart can be seen the flat area between Ruse and Straklevo, where is placer Ruse Airport.

 

 

 

 

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

      from Ruse to straklevo to Nisovo to Katselovo to Gorsko Ablanovo to Opaka to Popovo to Aprilovo to Konak to Gorna Hubavka to Omurtag.

      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.

 

      Comparing with Opaka, Popovo is a bigger towns, overnight accommodation is available in it. Information for Popovo:

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

 

      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 water springs along this route.

      Information for Omurtag (where there is an aviation museum):

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

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

 

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

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

 

      Overnight accommodation is available in Omurtag as well places.

      - Route C: further for it follow the route:

      from Omurtag to Kotel (via Kitlenski Pass) to  to Pentacle to Yambol (to Border Checkpoint Lesovo).

a detail information for it I have given in the Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Sector: I. C, Piont 12. Kotlenski Pass  (Targoviste - Omurtag - Kotel - the Pentacle - Yambol)


      - Route D: from Ruse to Burgas via Varbishki Pass

      Ruse to Opaka to Popovo to Omurtag to Varbitsa to Sungurlare to Karnobat to Aytos to Burgas (to Border Checkpoint Malko Tarnovo).

      (On the map above, sector III. 5, I have shown several opportunities concerning this route).

sector III. 5 - E

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

 

      If you try to trace your route further via Varbishki Pass, Google map woll not permit you to do it. It is because the Pass is closed for cars, but for bicyclists this route is perfect. Please for information for Varbishki Pass look in: Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 13. Varbishki Pass.

Sector III. 5 - F

      In this road segment 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, have in mind that the road from Sungurlare to Balabanchevo is not signed; 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:

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

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

      On the map above by a red dashed line I have shown a direct road between Madrino and Karnobat. From one side it is better to use it because you will avoid the traffic along road N 73 and you will go directly in Karnobat, from the other side this road is in very bad condition it is not signed and reaching Karnobat you have to cross the rails of Karnobat Line Station brining the bike. Maybe it is not a good idea. Next 3 photos illustrate this road.

      Overnight accommodation is possible in Karnobat and Aytos. 

 

      Information about Karnobat:

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

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

      A nice relax spot in Karnobat is hotel Mirage - there is a nice swimming pool there, the hotel restaurant is nice as well.

       Information about Aytos:

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

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

      For overnight accommodation here I would recommend Hotel Genger - It is a cool place in this hot area. 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.

 

      Next several photos are countryside from Karnobat to Burgas

 

 

      My last suggestion here is for bicyclists intending to visit Nesebar and Sunny Beach Resort; you can use the route:

 

from Aitos to Mirolyubovo to Izvoriste to Bryastovets to Kableshkovo to Aheloy.

 

      In the touristy season (July - August) traffic here also is relatively intensive, especially back from Sunny Beack to Aheloy to Pomorie to Burgas.

      Information about Sunny Beach, Nesebar, Pomorie ... can be seen in the Chapter  IV. BLACK SEASIDE

 

      Information about Burgas:

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

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Burgas    

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

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

 

      One more suggestion :)  . . . please look again the map Sector III. 5. If you choose the roure:

      from Omurgag to Kotel to Medven to Sungurlare to 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/    

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


      5.3  Ruse - the seaside

      - Route E: The route from Ruse to Varna (approx 200 km) is:

       from Ruse to Tsar Kaloyan to Razgrad to Shumen to  Kaspichan to Novi Pazar to Vetrino to Devnya to Varna.

 

      The road N2 (E70) is a main one 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.

 

      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 - G

      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:

      from Shumen to Kaspichan to Novi Pazar to Vetrino to Neofit Rilski to Devnya to Varna

      Here is important to avoid the motorroad A2. Road profile chart for Route E.1

      Overnight accommodation is possible in Devnya, 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

 

      Next photos are the area east from Shumen. It is much more scenic in the beginning of July, when the sunflowers are flowering

     

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

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

      Route E.2:

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

      from Shumen to Kaspichan to Novi Pazar to Vetrino to Provadia to Manastir to Devnya to 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 recommend 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.  

      from Ruse to Novo selo to Kubrat to Zavet to Isperih to Todor Ikonomovo to Karapelit  to Dobrich to Balchik.

      For the route profile chart I will part the distance in two: (1) from Ruse to Isperih and (2) from Isperih to Balchik

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

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

      The town is named of Bulgarian Khan Kubrat:

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

     

      The next little town is Isperih, overnight accommodation is available in it. Very little information for it can be seen here: 

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

 

      The town is named of Bulgarian Khan Asparuh:

      http://www.wow.com/wiki/Asparuh

 

 

Next photos are the area next to Zavet and my camp place somewhere there.

The route profile chart from Isperih to Balchik

      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:

from Silistra to Alfatar to Dulovo to Isperih to Ludogortsi to Razgrad to Targoviste to Omurtag to Kotel to Yambol;

 

 

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

from Silistra to Alfatar to Venets to Izgrev to Shumen;

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

 

 

      Route C:

from Silistra to Alfatar to Tervel to Vetrino to Provadia to Aytos to 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:

 

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

 

      This route is approx. 145 km., as if here there are more hills comparing with the others two routes I suggest here. 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

      Overnight accommodation is available.

      The next little town is Isperih, overnight accommodation is available in it. Very little information for it can be seen 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_Bulgari

 

      Razgrad is a bigger town, overnight accommodation is available in it. Next links are the Information about 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.

 

      The entire area is very pleasant and easy for exploring, as it can be seen from the next photos; there is not traffic here at all.


      Route B:

      from Silistra to Alfatar to Cherkovna to Branichevo to Venets to Panayot Volovo to 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:

      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:


      Route C:

      from Silistra to Alfatar to Tervel to Vetrino to Provadia (to Aytos to 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

      Here I continue with the 3 routes from the previous item. For this sector I will give two possibilities: toward Yambol Sector III. 7 - B (1) and toward Burgas Sector III. 7 - B (2)

 

Sector III. 7 - B (1)

 

      - Route A: I show two opportunities:

 

 a) Via Kotlenski Pass:

      from Targoviste to Omurtag to Ticha to Kotel to Gradets to Mokren to the Pentacle to Zimnitsa to Veselinovo to 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:

      from Targoviste to Prolaz to Varbitsa to  Mokren to the Pentacle to Zimnitsa to Veselinovo to 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 south from 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:

      for this route I will show here again two opportunities:

 

a) Via Varbishki Pass:

 

      from Shumen to Veliki Preslav to Varbitsa to Mokren to the Pentacle to Zimnitsa to Veselinovo to 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 are shown in left.

b) Via Rishki Pass:

      from Shumen to Veselinovo to Prilep to Lozarevo to Sungurlare to the Pentacle to Zimnitsa to Veselinovo to 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 to Dalgopol to Asparuhovo to Vishna to Prilep to Lozarevo to Sungurlare to the Pentacle to Zimnitsa to Veselinovo to Yambol.

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

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

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

 

      Now I will increase the scale a little: 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 (a popular name of this crossroad) 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 details for the seaside can be seen in Chapter IV. Bicycling along Black sea side.


      Border Checkpoint Kaynardzha - Lopnitsa

      On the map above I point the new Border Checkpoint, I still do not know anything for it


   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: It is a new

 

 

      Route A

from Border Checkpoint Iovkovo to Kardam to General Toshevo to Dobrich to Odrintsi to Valchi Dol to Suvorovo to Vetrino to Dalgopol to Asparuhovo to Aytos to Burgas;

 

 

      Route B

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

from Border Checkpoint Iovkovo to Kardam to Durankulak (road N 2904) to Kavarna to further along the seaside towards Burgas;

 

 

      You can use also the 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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