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



      It doesn't matter which west point you will cross the west Bulgaria/Serbia border, to reach the Turkish border you have to pedal to Sofia of first. So my next exposition will begin with routes in:

      - sector II. A: Bulgaria/Serbia border Sofia, and will finish with routes in:

      - sector II. B: Sofia Border Checkpoint Kapitan Andreevo Edirne, Turkey;

      - sector II. C: Bulgaria/Macedonia border - Edirne, Turkey.

 

      Tourists having no time to research my Home Page in details have to have in mind that border checkpoints in red is better to be avoided because of too intensive traffic !

 

 

      Details concerning crossing of the Bulgaria/Greece border can be found out in:

      Chapter  III.  Crossing Bulgaria from north (Romanian border) to south (Greece &Turkey borders).

Content

  From Serbia

 Sector II. A

      1. From Border Checkpoint Strezimirovctsi to Sofia;

      2. From Border Checkpoint Kalotina  to Sofia;

      3. From Border Checkpoint Bregovo to Sofia;         

      4. From Border Checkpoint Vrashka Chyka to Sofia;

      5. From Bulgaria/Romania (Border Checkpoint Vidin - the bridge Kalafat - Vidin) to Sofia;

 

 Sector II. B

      6. From Sofia to Plovdiv to Svilengrad (Border Checkpoint Kapitan Andreevo) to Edirne;                                     

       7.    Route from Edirne to Sofia 

                      From Macedonia                               

Sector II. C

 

      1. From Border Checkpoint Gyueshevo - Sofia;

      2. Border Checkpoint Logodazh;

      3. From Border Checkpoint Zlatarevo - Novo Selo to Edirne, Turkey.


Entering in Bulgaria from Serbia

      Sector II. A

      In the sector II. A six are the west points, where Bulgarian west border can be crossed:

 

      Serbia Bulgaria Border:

 

      1. Border Checkpoint Strezimirovtsi  (Surdulitsa in Serbia - Strezimirovtsi Tran Sofia);

       2. Border Checkpoint Kalotina  (Dimitrovgrad in Serbia Kalotina Sofia);

      3. Border Checkpoint Vrashka Chyka  (Zaechar in Serbia Vrashka Chyka Belogradchik - Montana - Vratsa - Sofia);

     4. Border Checkpoint Bregovo (Negotin in Serbia Bregovo Vidin).

      - Border Checkpoint Oltomantsi - I have not numbered the road next to Kyustendil. I do not know about road conditions there, I do know these are local roads, and there is not much traffic in this area.

 

 

      Romania Bulgaria border:

 

          5. The bridge Vidin - Kalafat  The description for this route will be the same as the one for Negotin (Border checkpoint Bregovo) Bregovo Vidin. The only difference is that it will begin from Vidin.


1. Border Checkpoint Strezimirovtsi  Sofia

      The next route is one of the safest one, I recommend it to bicyclists entering or leaving Bulgaria. The entire area (except the one near Sofia) is perfect for camp in the wilderness.

      From Strezimirovtsi to Tran to Breznik to Babitsa to Bozhuriste to Sofia.

 

 

      This is a locally used road between Bulgaria and Serbia, so the only thing I can say about it is that there is not much traffic, the area is very scenic, and it is well signed.

      For more detailed description I will breakdown this area into 3 segments:

      Sector II. A - 1. a

      Border Checkpoint Strezimirovtsi - Glavanovtsi - Tran - Filipovtsi - Breznik.

      On the map below I have pointed altitudes of some specific points showing the road profile. This is an easy and pleasant area to bicycle.

      The is beautiful area to explore by bicycle, with hardly any traffic along the road. Overnight accommodations are possible in Tran.

      http://www.tranhotels.com/en/home

 

      Information for Tran and three photos from the little town:

      http://bnr.bg/en/post/100122427/the-bulgarian-town-of-tran

      The three photos in left are taken between Breznik and Tran.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Next to Bulgaria/Serbia Border there is a road:

      from Tran to Prodancha to Gaber to Dragoman to Sofia.

      Never mind that the area from Tran to Dragoman is very scenic, I do not recommend it because of the intensive traffic from Dragoman to Sofia.

      An interesting gorge can be seen pedaling 2-3 kilometers from Tran down along Erma River.

       http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/226

      A hotel is available there as well.

      Sector II. A - 1. b

      From Breznik to Babitsa to Delyan to Zlatusha to Zlatusha to Rosoman to Pozharevo to Gurmazovo to Bozhuriste to  Sofia.

      Two kilometers east of Breznik is the road to Sofia. Look for a sign with the words "Bozhuriste" to the left.

      The longest climbing is just after Breznik (alt. 750 m.)  (see the map below): Breznik Babitsa and 3 more km to the top of the pass in Viskyar Mountin (alt. 940 m). Except for 2-3 km east from Zlatusha, the road to Bozhuriste and Sofia is an easy downhill with a bicycle.

      On the map above I point Arzan, Gurgulyat and Slivnitsa - a nice route as well, but further to Sofia the traffic is very intensive.

 

 

      What about Breznik, I can not find English Language information, I do not know if overnight accommodation is possible in it.

 

 

      The longest climbing is just after Breznik (alt. 750 m.)  (see the map below): Breznik Babitsa and 3 more km to the top of the pass in Viskyar Mountin (alt. 940 m).

      Once reaching the mountain divide, a beautiful view is revealed toward Vitosha Mountain - to east and Balkan and the Field of Sofia to North. The photos here were taken in the early April '17.

       The reverse route, traveling from Sofia to Strezimirovtsi, is also nice. Although the climb is much longer. I would recommend it when leaving Sofia and Bulgaria when heading to Serbia.

      Sector II. A - 1. c

     For bicyclists intending to bicycle toward Greece missing Sofia (Border Checkpoint Kulata) here I will suggest two routes:

      Route a:

      from Breznik to Slakovtsi to Bogdanov Dol to Batanovtsi to Radomir to Dupnitsa - . . . . - Border Checkpoint Kulata.

      Route b:

      from Breznik to Mestitsa to Pernik to Radomir to Dupnitsa - . . . . - Border Checkpoint Kulata.

      This route is for bicyclists needing overnight accommodation - in Pernik it is not a problem.

 

 

 

      For more information about the route further to Border Checkpoint Kulata look into:

      Chapter III:

      Point 10. Sofia - Border Checkpoint Kulata

      Route a:

      from Breznik to Slakivtsi to Bogdanov Dol to Batanovtsi to Radomir to Dupnitsa  . . . . to Border Checkpoint Kulata.

      It is very nice, almost plane area without any traffic to the road E871. DO NOT drink the water from the 2 water springs you will see along this route, it really is not nice.

      The traffic on E871 is relatively intensive, but the road has 2 strips and pedaling there is not dangerous.

      Route b:

      from Breznik to Mestitsa to Pernik to Radomir to Dupnitsa  . . . . to Border Checkpoint Kulata.

      If tourists need overnight accommodation, they can elongate a little their route pedaling toward Pernik. The road segment Breznik - Pernik is very scenic area, it is a route I pedal every time I have 3 free hours. Down are 5 photos of the region.

      Information for Pernik can be seen here:

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

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

      Several words for my native town Pernik - it is known with the mask festival. Each year in the end of January thousands of masked people rampage in the center of the town for 2 - 3 days. Last several years the festival is international, so the town is just as a loony bin.

      http://www.studyenglishtoday.net/kukeri-festival-pernik.html

      Further, the traffic on E871 from Pernik to Radomir is relatively intensive, but the road has 2 strips and pedaling there is not dangerous.

      The next little town is Radomir information for it:  Information about Radomir:       

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

      In the center of the town there is a hotel.


 2. Border Checkpoint Kalotina     Sofia

      Is a segment of the international road Vienna - Istanbul, and is the shortest road toward Turk Border,

      There can be heavy traffic in this area, especially holiday months July and August. On any single day, thousands of people are traveling from West Europe to Turkey and back for their holidays. Needless to say, heavy tracks and buses are driving year round. You would be smart to avoid this route, I definitely recommend to avoid it !!!

      The road segment in Serbia: 

      From Bela Palanka to Pirot to Dimitrovgrad 

 

consists of lots of S turns in a narrow gorge. Be cautious as drivers are nervous because passing is forbidden, but will attempt to pass you. It is the last route I would pedal.

      The road profile chart; From Sofia to Slivnitsa the road is wide and not dangerous. Next photos

      Next photos are taken between Sofia and Dragoman.

      Overnight accommodation in Slivnitsa is possible (there are motels along the road as well); Information for Slivnitsa:

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

      What about Dragoman - the most interesting is the swamp near it - there is not many places in Bulgaria like this one:

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

      Overnight accommodation is possible in the hotel I have posted in left.

      Next I will suggest you two more routes in this area, in cases you head to:

      1) Greece missing Sofia, and

      2) if you head toward Black seaside - to Varna.

      1)  To bicyclists intending to bicycle directly to Greece (Border Checkpoint Kulata) missing Sofia I would suggest the route:

From Kalotina to Dragoman to Slivnitsa to Gurgulyat  to Rakita  to Arzan to Breznik to Batanovtsi to Radomir to Dupnitsa . . . to Border Checkpoint Kulata.

      The road segment from Slivnitsa to Breznik crossing Viskyar Mountain is in very bad conditions, but the nature is saved, area is very very scenery - several photos of this area are shown down. Bring food with you. In Gurgulyat water is available.

 

 

 

 

      More information concerning route to Border Checkpoint Kulata at Greece/Bulgaria border can be found out in Chapter III: Point 10. Sofia - Border Checkpoint Kulata.

      2)  To bicyclists intending to bicycle directly to Black seaside (Varna) crossing Northern part of the country missing Sofia, depending of the point they enter in the country, I would suggest the routes from the Border Checkpoints to Iskar River Gorge (Svoge).

      Route 2), A

From Border Checkpoint Kalotina to Dragoman to Godech to Iskrets to Svoge;

 

      Route 2), B

From Border Checkpoint Strezimirovtsi to Tran to Breznik to Slivnitsa to Dramsha to Godech  to Svoge.

      More details further I will give only for road segments I still do not give information so far.

      For route 2), A it is the distance from Dragoman to Svoge. The only thing I can say, it is extreme scenic area, you will pedal along roads without any traffic. It would be nice to bring with you spray against dogs here.

 

      Crossing road N81 you will see a nice restaurant. You will pedal 2-3 kilometers along road N81 (toward Petrohan Pass), just here it is not so wide and the traffic is relatively intensive, so, be careful. The road toward Svoge is signed well.

       Godech is a little town, overnight accommodation is possible there. Winter time it is one of the coolest place in the country.

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

       For route 2), B more detailed description is for the road segment from Slivnitsa to Svoge.

      Comparing with the previous route, the climbing here is a little more. A little more will be the pedaling along road N81, but here it is wider and safer.

      The words I wrote for the previous route are valid for this one as well. I love this area.

      Svoge is placed by Iskar River, you will be not disappoint if choose to pedal further along the Gorge. Details for it can be seen in the Chapter I. Passes in Balkan, Point 2. Iskar River Gorge, A. Sofia - Mezdra

      Links to the Gorge and the area near Lakatnik:

      https://www.bg-guide.org/en/destinations/the-gorge-of-the-river-iskar

      http://en.zonebulgaria.com/mountains/stara_planina/gorge 

 

      Information for Svoge and 3 photos from the town:

      http://www.picturesofbulgaria.com/article/svoge.html

      http://en.svoge.bg/


     The routes from the north- west corner of the country to Sofia are the same for the next three points.

 

     3. Border Checkpoint Bregovo (Vrashka Chuka, Vidin) Sofia

 

      4. Border checkpoint Vrashka Chuka  Sofia 

 

     5. Border Checkpoint Vidin: The bridge Kalafat Vidin Sofia

 

      Anticipate heavy traffic on E79 (or N1) in the section Vidin - Montana Vratsa, and should be avoided as far as possible. This fact always will be taken into account as I continue advising on this route. The area near Belogradchik  is incredibly beautiful, it is worth a stop and visit!!! I know you will not regret. My next suggestion is pedaling toward Sofia to explore Iskar River Gorge (from Mezdra to Svoge to Sofia).

     

      So, further:

      -  First, I will give the easiest route to pedal to Sofia (route a)

      -  Next, I will give more details about routes, include the area of Belogradchik (route b)

      -  Last, for bicyclists loving mountain bicycling, I will show harder routes, including crossing of the Balkan.

 

      Descriptions of routes further will begin with Vidin; I will not give information concerning Iskar River Gorge here. For those details, look in the Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 2. Iskar River Gorge (A. Sofia - Mezdra).

      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.

      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/vidi

      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.

 

      3.1. Route a

      The easiest route Vidin -  Sofia is (the route a on the map above):

      Border Checkpoint Bregovo - Vidin - Lom - Montana -  Boychinovtsi - Krivodol - Vratsa - Mezdra - Svoge (Iskar River Gorge) - Sofia.

 

 

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

   

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

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

Toward Archar the area is flat and easy for pedaling.

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

      Information for Lom:

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

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

      Once leaving Lom and climbing the hill after Lom, toward Montana the area is almost flat, the traffic is not intensive. Next 3 photos illustrate atea just after Lom.

      3.1. Route b

      My suggestion is to follow this route:

      from Border Checkpoint Bregovo to Vidin to Kula (from Border checkpoint Vrashka Chuka) to Kireevo to Belogradchik to Montana to  Boychinovtsi to Krivodol to Vratsa to Mezdra to Svoge (Iskar River Gorge) to Sofia.

      As can be seen, this route is longer by almost 60 km.  There are more hills compared to route a, but scenery here is much more beautiful and there is not much traffic. The entire area is perfect for wild camping. This is truly one of my favorite routes in Bulgaria. For more detailed description I have divided it in three sections.

 

 

      Route b, sector II. A - 3.a

 

      from Border Checkpoint Bregovo to Vidin to Kula; (from Border Checkpoint Vrashka Chuka) to Kireevo to  Belogradchik

 

      Climbing after Vidin toward Kula is not difficult.  Even though the road N14 is an international road, it is a local one and there is not any traffic. Food and overnight accommodation are available in Kula (Tower - named of the ancient roman tower remains in the little town).

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

 

      Information for Kula (the first 2 photos below):

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/121

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

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

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

      Leaving Bulgaria using this route is even more pleasant than entering Bulgaria using this route.

       Belogradchik and Magura Cave

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

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/51

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/1

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

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

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

      Another place which is worth to be seen in the region is Magurata Cave, or Rabisha Cave - I point it on the map sector II. A - 3.a with a circle. Information for the cave can be seen here:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/32

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

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

      Route b, sector II. A - 3.b

      from Belogradchik to Izvos to Sredogriv to Dolni Lom to Prevala to Beli Mel to Montana.

      This route is extremely pleasant for exploring by bicycle in both directions. Climbing is not steep or long, traffic is minimal, and the entire area is appropriate for wild camping. The hotel in Beli Mell doesn't rate very high on my list of favorites.  Food can be found in Prevala and Beli Mel.

 

      Be careful locating the road toward Sredogriv (after Borovitsa - the 4th photo below). The turn is well signed, but is easy to miss.

      The first photo below shows the hotel in Beli Mell, already I have mentioned it doesn't rate very high on my list of favorites. 
Near Ogosta Dam. The last two photos illustrate difference in the nature: middle of June and end of July.

      If you need overnight accommodation here, it would be better to pedal to Chiprovtsi. It is only 12 km from Beli Mel. The little town Choptovtsi is placed next to the Balkan mountains, the scenery here is impressing. Overnight accommodation is not a problem - there is a nice hotel&restaurant in the center of the little town. More information for Chiprovtsi can be seen here:      

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Chiprovtsi

      http://www.bulgaria-guide.com/guide/Chiprovtsi/206721/

      http://wikitravel.org/en/Chiprovtsi

 

      And .... you have to climb a little ...

     Chiprovtsi offer an opportunity to visit a nice monastery as well - turn right 2-3 km after the crossroad, the road is signed well. A little information for the Monastery:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/357

      https://sites.google.com/site/visitchiprovtsi/gushovski-monastery/st-ivan-of-rila-chiprovski-monastery

      Toward Chiprovtsi.

And the little town Chiprovtsi.
 

      In the end, you will be in Montana. Overnight accommodation in Montana is not a problem; information for Montana and several photos:

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

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

      Route b, sector II. A - 3.c

      On this road segment, avoid road E 79 (road N1). Here are two possible route alternatives:

      route b - 2:

      from Montana to Boychinovtsi to Krivodol to Vratsa to Mezdra (to Rebarkovo to Lyutibrod to Iskar River Gorge)

 

      route b - 1:

      from Montana to Trifonovo to Sumer to Stoyanovo to Dolna Bela Rechka to Gorna Bela Rechka to Milanovo to Lakatnik (Iskar River Gorge).

 

      route b - 3:

      In addition I will point one more route: route b - 3 in Balkan for bicyclists loving mountain bicycling and off road (the green dashed line on the map):

      from Vratsa to Zgorigrad to Milanovo to Lakatnik.

Route b - 2:

      The route is:

      from Montana to Boychinovtsi to Palilula to Rakevo to Krivodol to Vratsa to Mezdra (to Rebarkovo to Lyutibrod to Iskar River Gorge ( . . . to Sofia).

      By looking at the road profile below, this route is in a nice area, and is easy for bicycling in both directions.

      Do not hesitate to elongate a little your route heading from Montana toward Boychinovtsi. Avoidung road E 79 You will pedal in a beautiful area without any traffic. Next several pictures illustrate it.

      Information about Vratsa can be seen here:

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

      Several photos from the town:

      The town is placed just below the Balkans, is a scenic place, the History Museum in the town is worth seeing, and overnight accommodation in the town is easy to find. Information on the History Museum in the town can be found here:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/183

      There are a lot of Thracian gold treasures in it: Valchedram Gold treasure:

      and more than 200 peaces of Rogosen gold - silver treasure:

 

 

 

 

 

       From Vratsa toward Mezdra you have to pedal on the road E 79. The traffic here can be demanding, but the road is wide enough, so pedaling here is not dangerous.

Mezdra is a small town where overnight accommodation is possible.

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

      Here you will enter in Iskar River Gorge, a detail description for it you can find in the Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES

      About 2 km after Mezdra, on the road segment from Vratsa to Mezdra, you will find a nice hotel, near road E 79,  and swimming pool, unfortunately the pool water is not thermal. The restaurant in the hotel is relatively expensive. Be aware there are 2 - 3 very unpleasant kilometers between Mezdra and Rebarkovo.

      To avoid this very unpleasant road section, you can pedal:

       from Vratsa to Chelopek to Lyutibrod. 

      And as it can be seen, here a climbing is available, but it is easy from Vratsa toward Chelopek. And three photos from this area.

Route b - 1

      The route I would suggest here is a little shorter, but it includes a little bit more climbing. This is a shortcut between Montana and the Iskar River Gorge. The route is in the Balkans, and there is very little traffic in this section. The road is nice for pedaling in the both directions, is steeper in the opposite direction (Lakatnik - Montana), but still nice for pedaling.

      from Montana to Trifonovo to Sumer to Stoyanovo to Dolna Bela Rechka to Gorna Bela Rechka to Milanovo to Lakatnik (Iskar River Gorge).

      The next several photos illustrate the countryside from Stoyanovo to Milanovo.

      The climbing is harder after Dolna Byala Rechka; to the top of the pass are almost 9 kilometers.

      An especially  scenic area is the road segment between Milanovo and Lakatnik (Iskar River Gorge). While bicycling down the mountain, between Milanovo and Iskar River Gorge, 9 kilometers you will enjoy a great view.

      In the end, you will be in Iskar River Gorge. Again, i will mention that more information for it can be seen in  Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 2. Iskar River Gorge.

Route b - 3

      For fans of mountain & off-road bicycling I would recommend:

      from Vratsa to "Vratcata" Gorge  to Zgorigrad to Ledenika Cave to Parshevitsa Hut  to Milanovo to Iskar River Gorge (Lakatnik).

      The route is in an area of the National Reserve:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/50

 

      The most scenic place here is the gorge named "Vratsata" (the first pics below) between Vratsa and Zgorigrad: I remember that beginning from Zgorigrad arter 1,5 - 2 hours of climbing there was a spring of water.

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

      In the mountain the off road section is not signed, but I believe it is easy to maintain your orientation in the area as it is an open area; no forest, the visibility is nice in each direction (the last two photos below show the highest place in the mountain, faraway down is Iskar River Gorge). 

      Approx 15 km after Zgorigrad there is a remarkable cave "Ledenika", maybe the most popular cave destination in Bulgaria, it is worth to be visited.                  

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/22

      Overnight accommodation is possible in  Zgorigrad,

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

 

near Ledenika Cave, Parshevitsa Hut. Little information for Parshevitsa Hut:

      http://vr-balkan.net/en/huts/

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

 

      I have never bicycled this route in the opposite direction (Milanovo to Vratsa), I am not sure, if it is easy to find the road after Milanovo going up the mountain.

      My last suggestion for a route in this region I did not point in sector II. A - 3.c is for bicyclists intending to miss Montana. Again it is very nice area.

      The route is:

from Belogradchik . . . to Gavril Genovo to Bistritsa to Borovtsi to Berkovitsa to Spanchevtsi to Varshets to Dolna Byala Rechka  . . . to Lakatnik (Iskar River Gorge).

      The only disadvantage I see here is that you have to pedal several kilometers on road N 81, which is with relatively intensive traffic especially in the weekends - Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.

      The road profile chart shows the various lay without long steep hills, extremely pleasant for pedaling.

      I have not photos for the road and countryside from Gavril Genovo to Berkovitsa, so, you have to believe to my words how much scenic is this area.

 

      Berkovica is a picturesque little town placed just below the Balkan. Overnight accommodation in it is possible, entering in it you will see a lot of signs pointing small  hotels and guest houses; information for Berkovitsa and several photos:

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

      Leaving Bercovitsa, you will see signs toward Varshets and Klisyrski Monastery.

      Bicyclists having time can visit the Klisyrski Monastery (the road toward it is signed well), overnight  accommodation is possible there, there is a restaurant as well.  Information for the Monastery:

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

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DNcwXPOew0

      Next small village is Spanchevtsi, it is a small spa resort:

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/nw/montana/varshets/spanchevtsi

      If you need overnight accommodation, my suggestion is to go a little further to Varshets, entering it it you will see a lot of labels for little private guest homes and hotels:

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/nw/montana/varshets/varshets

      Countryside after Varshets toward  Golyama Byala Rechka and my camp place.

      In the end, for bicyclists loving the hard climbing, I would suggest after Montana, to take the road toward Petrohan Pass, details for this route can be found out in the Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Point 1. Petrohan Pass.


Sector II. B

      6. Sofia Edirne (in Turkey).

      Lets bicyclists having no time to research the roures below in details have in mind that the traffic in the Border Checkpoint in red is very intensive.

       To bicyclists reaching Sofia and intending to go further to Istanbul (Turkey), I would suggest 3 possible routes:

 

Route A: This route is the easiest one - the pedaling is in Thracian field:

       from Sofia to Plovdiv to Haskovo to Border Checkpoint Kapitan Andreevo to Edirne;

 

Route B: This route maybe is the most scenic you will explore area between Balkans and Sredna Gora Mountain from Sofia to Sliven:

      from Sofia to Sliven to Yambol to Border Checkpoint Lesovo;

 

Route C: This route is the longest one, it includes pedaling in Rodopi Mountains:

      from Sofia to Velingrad to Dospat to Smolyan to Kardzhali to Momchilgrad to Border Checkpoint Ivailovgrad to Edirne

For all the routes please look sector II. B - 4 for important details.


      6. Sofia Edirne (in Turkey).

 

Sector II. B:

Route A

      from Sofia to Elin Pelin to Vakarel to Ihtiman to Kostenets to Belovo to Pazardzhik to Plovdiv to Popovitsa to Haskovo to Harmanli to Lyubimets to Svilengrad to Border Checkpoint Kapitan Andreevo to Edirne.

 

 

      It is the easiest and shortest route from Sofia to Edirne. Once reaching Vakarel, you will be only down the hill and plane to Edirne. Further I will not give more detailed road profile charts.

 

 

     The route from Sofia to the Border Checkpoint Kapitan Andreevo is a segment containing the ancient General Roman military road Vindobona:

Vienna - Singidumun (Belgrade) Naissus (Nis) - Remesiana (Bela Palanka) - Tures (Pirot) - Skretiska (Kostinbrod) - Serdica (Sofia) - Philippopolis (Plovdiv) - Adrianople (Edirne) -  to Byzantium - Constantinople.

 

       Suggesting this route, try to avoid E80 because the traffic on is intensive, as is the traffic on highway A4. Intense traffic on the road to  Septemvri - Pazardzhik - Plovdiv - Haskovo - Harmanli , Later, I will give alternatives to avoid it.


      Sector II. B - 1: From Sofia to Pazardzhik, distance 110 kilometers.

      I can say that it is relatively easy route, I think it is not a problem all the distance to be pedaled in one day.

 

      Of first, it is most important is to /leave/enter Sofia. Follow this my instruction !!!

      6. 1 Leaving Sofia (see also the Chapter IX.  How to enter/leave Sofia by bicycle)

      The direct road to leave Sofia towards Plovdiv is so called Tsarigradsko shose Str. (N 7 on the map above), after the ring around Sofia it becomes the motorway Trakiya (A1). It is one of the most dangerous roads in Sofia and bicycling along it is forbidden. AVOID IT !!!  It will be much better to head east along what is referred to as Botevgradsko shose Str. (N 8 (E 871) on the map above). Evan though in Sofia, you will see this road is signed towards Vidin/Varna/Ruse/Burgas, take this road.

      Sector II. B - 1. a: From Sofia to Vakarel   

      Just after crossing the ring around Sofia, follow the sign toward Burgas (to right - pic. 1). Move ahead to the next crossroad and again you have to follow the sign toward Burgas (to right again - pic. 2). So heading toward Burgas you will avoid Vitinia Pass and motor way A2.

      At the next crossroad you have to head toward Musachevo and Elin Pelin (pic. 3 and 4 again to right). Just after entering Elin Pelin (not necessary to go to the center of it), turn to the right Doganovo (pic. 5) and go straight on as you will no more be following the signs towards Doganovo. Mountain Lozen will be in front of you, it is the south direction (pic. 6).  Crossing the railway Sofia - Plovdiv and Elin Pelin Line station, you will reach Novi Khan.

     

      I am sure it is the safest way to leave Sofia. I would recommend to use the same route entering in Sofia coming from Plovdiv.

     

      When you are leaving the Sofia ring, look awaaaaay to east. If visibility is good, just on the horizon you will see a pylon. The pylon is just above Vakarel. That pylon will be at the highest point (alt. 860 m.) you have to climb between Sofia and Edirne.

 

      In the end of this point, my last suggestion is intended for bicyclists coming from Iskar River Gorge, who do not want to enter Sofia: leaving Iskar River Gorge, in Novi Iskar turn to the left and take the north segment of Sofia ring (I am not sure if in Novi Iskar the road toward the ring is signed well be careful !), 17 km further leave the ring and head to east:

 

      Dolni Bogrov - Musachevo - Elin Pelin - Elin Pelin Line Station - Novi Khan.

      (see description above).

 

      The traffic on this road segment of the Sofia ring is not intensive.

 


            6. 2 Sector II. B - 1. b: From Vakarel to Pazardzhik (Pazardjik - it is signed differently on maps) As it can be seen on the next map, I have painted the road between from Vakarel to Ihtiman: Google map does not permit this route segment for cars, because it is totally broken (I illustrated it by pho tos below), well, for cars it really is not appropriate, but for bicycling it is possible, I am absolutely sure.

    

      The route is:

      from Vakarel to Ihtiman to Mirovo to Kostenets to Gabrovitsa to Belovo to Lozen to Zvanichevo to Pazardzhik.

 

      It can be said that this is one of the most pleasant road segments for bicycling. There is a climb just after Hovi Khan, up to Vakarel, but it is not a hard climb of no more than 5-6 kilometers.

 

      Once Vakarel (altitude 860 m.) is reached, the road provides a pleasant downhill bicycling. But the view here is quite impressive, especially in the spring, when the area here is green and Rila Mountain is still covered by snow. The photos can not show how beautiful is the entire area after Vakarel

      As I have mentioned above, just after Vakarel the road is in very bad conditions for 2-3 kilometers. In fact it is not so bad, because there is not any traffic here. Next little town down the hill is Ihtiman

      Next little town down the hill is Ihtiman:

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

      Overnight accommodation in it is possible, but as long as I have information, it would be better to avoid it. At least, there are coffee places and restaurants.

 

      Going further you will reach Kostenets, a little town, I do not like it as well.

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

     If you need here for overnight accommodation, I would suggest you to visit either Dolna Banya or Kostenets Village placed 10 and 9 kilometers respectively away from Kostenets - look the map above. Both places are little spa resorts having nice springs of thermal water.

      Dolna Banya is 10 kilometers from Kostenets. It is an appropriate place for relax. The photos show this nice spot. Just entering in the little town, you will see a hotel and a beautiful swimming pool of thermal water are near it. Although the hotel is not the best place, its garden, restaurant and especially the swimming pool are perfect.

      I see that several new hotels will be ready very soon.

 

      More information about Dolna Banya can be seen here:

      http://www.visitbulgaria.net/en/dolna_banya/dolna_banya.htm

      And the next place I want to mention is Kostenets Village (10 km south-west from Kostenets), a place with 2-3 nice hotels for relax and beautiful thermal water. I like it much more than the little town Kostenets. There is a waterfall, really it is not Niagara, but still lovely to walk to it.

      http://kostenets-tourism.com/en/locations/item/id/5

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/SW/sofia/kostenets/kostenets_v

      http://visit.guide-bulgaria.com/a/602/kostenski_waterfall.htm

      Pedalling down toward Belovo, near Gabrovnitsa you will find a nice restaurant. The road segment to Belovo is more than pleasant to be pedalled.

      Belovo is a little town, overnight accommodation is available in it.

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/SC/pazardjik/belovo/belovo

      You easy will recognize you are in the town - a mountains of toilet paper are sailed in the town - the biggest in Bulgaria paper mill (Belana Plc.) that produces toilet paper and other disposable paper products is in the town.

      East from Belovo (just near the road) there is very nice swimming pool of mineral water (26 deg C), a perfect place to have a beer while relaxing for an afternoon. East from Belovo already you are entering in Thracian Field.

      East from Belovo already you are entering in Thracian Field. To Pazardhik the aria is flat. After Zvanichevo the traffic along the road is relatively intensive.

      Next town along your route is Pazardzhik In the link below more information concerning this town is available, I will not write about it here.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pazardzhik     

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/sc/pazardjik/pazardjik/pazardjik

     

      For accommodation in Pazardjik, I have reasons to recommend Hotel Acropolis:

      http://acropolispz.com/index_eng.htm

       It is very easy to find out this spot I have shown it on the map, over more along the roads approaching to the hotel there are a lot of signs (the green o on the map below), pointing how to reach it;

      Pazardjik, Boul. Hristo Botev 17, tel: 034/45 10 45, cell tel: 0898 662 702, e-mail: acropolispz@abv.bg

 

 

          According to me it would be nice to stay and relax here for a night, because:

-                - The place can be recognized easily by the new red bicycle lane just in front of it the right side of the street going to North (the photos below);

-             - The place is very clean, rooms are supplied by R-conditions, which is very important in this town, where summer temperatures often are more than 40 deg C (above freezing);

-               - Opinions of the hotel guests concerning this place are very nice (bicyclists toured with me in BG some of them are on the photo below cooling with a glass of beer in the hotel restaurant - garden);

-               - Prices of Rooms (25 EURO/double room and 20 EURO/single room) are even low for the quality of the hotel;

-                - The hotel restaurant offer nice dishes, the staff speak almost fluent English;

             - Wi Fi;

-                - There is an easy access to a free room for bicycle and pannier storage.

      I know that Plovdiv is much more popular tourist destination, but my opinion is that it would be better to stay for a night in Pazardzhik. It is easy next day to pedal toward Plovdiv, to walk in its touristy center for 2 - 3 hours and go further. In Pazardzhik you will find much easier hotel, it is calm town, there are a lot of nice restaurants and gardens. Over more here is inexpensive comparing with Plovdiv.

      Several photos of Pazardzhik.

Please, look back above the map Sector II. B - 1. b. I surround in an ellipse sub sector Sector II. B - 1. b - 1

      To avoid traffic along road N8, you can pedal: Never mind there is no high hill here, Pedaling is pleasant, you will be next to Rodopi Mountain. At your left side there will be a nice view toward Thracian Field.

      from Belovo to Semchinovo to Simeonovets to Varvara to Vetren Dol to Bratanitsa to Leahovo to Mokriste to Pazardzhik.

      The several next pic are between Belovo and Simeonovets with its church and bell tower.

    Another reason to pedal just this route is that Varvara is very nice little spa resort. There is a beautiful motel and swimming pool of perfect thermal water, I visit this place very regularly.

   Have only in mind that weekends in the summer time (June - August) this spot is overcrowded by relaxing tourists and there will be not free beds (Friday & Saturday nights) in the motel.

       There are another possibilities for overnight accommodation in Varvara or Vetren Dol as well.

      The left photo - a motel (" ") in Varvara (nice restaurant and small swimming pool are available here as well) - on the road coming from Septemvri (I recommend it);

 

      The right photo - a private home-hotel ( ) in Vetren Dol - on the road coming from Pazardjik.

      In the end, several photos for the area between Vetren Dol and Pazardzhik

 

      Alternatives:

 

      6.2.1. Ihtiman - Pazardjik

      from Ihtiman to Muhovo to Lesichkovo  to Kalugerovo  to Dinkata to Dragoe to Pazardzhik.

      It is a beautiful area for bicyclists loving the wilderness !!! recommend it in the two direction.

       This area is perfect for bicycling, there is not any traffic, although 3 - 4 km after the crossroad there is an additional hill 5 - 6 km long. Food is available in Lesichovo, Kalugerovo and Dinkata.

      The entire area is beautiful for camp in the wilderness.

      Several kilometers east from Ihtiman is the crossroad toward Muhovo. The sign at the crossroad is not written in Latin, as it can be seen in the first photo below, but it is easy to be recognized.

 

      The road is on the wall of Topolnica Dam - the view there is quite impresive.

    The last three pics above adn the next ones are taken between Pazardzhik and Lesichovo - one of my favourite routes for an afternoon.

 

      6.2.2 Vakarel - Pazardjik

      This route is another very good possibility to avoid the traffic and elongate the tour a little.

      Here I will give 2 routes:

      Route a:

      from Vakarel to Poibrene to Oboriste to Panagyuriste to Bata to Popintsi to Levski to Gelemenovo to Pazardzhik.

       The traffic is relatively intensive between Panaguyriste and Pazardzhik. I do not feel the traffic is  dangerous.  I have pedaled this route many times in both directions. To avoid this section, you can use another route, including Strelcha - I show it a little further.

        Carry food between Vakarel and Poibrene - it is almost no man's land.

      In Vakarel turn to the left. Do not get excited when you see a sign for 10% slope, this distance is short, after the slope, there will be many kilometers of pleasant bicycling ahead of you.  Between Ihtiman and Panagyuriste there is very little, if any, traffic.

 

      The only photo I have from this area is my camp place in the extreme raining summer '05.

      Panaguyriste is connected with the history of Bulgaria. Information about the area can be seen here:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/58

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

      Overnight accommodation is possible in the town. Several photos:

      In the town center you can visit the Museum of History. It is divided into exhibitions dedicated to Archeology, Ethnography, Bulgaria from the 15th to the 19th centuries, Contemporary Bulgaria, and Natural History.

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/209

      In a basement of the museum is exposed a Thracian Gold Treasure, estimated to be worth more than $200,000,000 USD. The exhibition is quite impressive, it is worth to be seen. Look here for information:

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

      In Bulgaria are found out a lot of Thracian treasures, information about it is in the next link:

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

      Road segment between Panagyuriste and Pazardzhik is easy for pedaling, the traffic here is a little bit more intensive, but is not dangerous for pedaling.

      A nice opportunity nearby this route is Banya and the best swimming pool of thermal water there. (the green ellipse in the map above).  I love to visit this place at least one time a year.

      I can not recommend the hotel next to the swimming pool, but if you need an overnight accommodation, in Banya center there is a better placer for it, as well as not bad restaurant.

      Route b:

      To avoid the trafic between Panagyuriste and Pazardzhik, you can use the next route:

      Panagyuriste - Popintsi - Svoboda - Tsar Asen - Rosen - Chernogorovo - Pazardzhik.

      The only thing I can say is that the entire area is more than beautiful for exploring, there is not any traffic here. Next 3 pics are taken between Tsar Asen and Popintsi.

      The next two road profile charts show that conditions are almost the same for the two routes (from Panagyuriste to Pazardzgik.

The next several photos are the Thracian Field north from Pazardzhik we took in the end of July '16.


      Sector II. B - 2

      6.3. Pazardzhik - Plovdiv - Popovitsa

 

      Route a:

      from Pazardzhik to Plovdiv to Sadovo to Popovitsa.

      This road segment is usually has heavy traffic between Pazardzhik and Plovdiv. Pedaling here is not dangerous, but it is definitely not pleasant, even with the road being wide enough. To avoid it, you can use  route b between Pazardjik and Plovdiv. It is several kilometers longer, but the traffic is far less. All that area is absolutely flat.

 

      Route b:

       from Pazardzhik to Dobrovnitsa to Pistigovo to Saedinenie to Voisil to Benkovski to Plovdiv to Sadovo to Popovitsa.

      Route a:

      Pazardzhik Plovdiv Sadovo - Popovitsa.

     The distance from Pazardzhik to Plovdiv is 38 kms absolutely flat area. Six kilometers east from Pazardzhik the road cross Luda Yana River (the second photo below). The river is very clean, the wild camps fan can use this place. after a6 kilometers (at the crossroad toward Malo Koynare) there is nice swimming pool & restaurant - an appropriate place to relax in the hot summer afternoons.

      Before entering in Plovdiv there are 2 motels next to the road - so called "the 9th kilometer".

      Entering in Plovdiv from west or east, you will see velo lanes - I have pointed in red in the map in left. Unfortunately there is not an appropriate velo lane to cross the town center.

      There is a map for the velo lanes in Plovdiv, but it is not nice, I will not show it here. If you reach the tunnel under the hill with the Ancient Amphitheatre on it, walk in right - you will be in the walking zone of the City. In the tunnel there is a sidewalk, you can use it, but my suggestion is to visit Plovdiv Center.

   Plovdiv is a popular tourist destination in Bulgaria, so, never mind the intensive traffic in the town, many times I have seen bicyclists visiting it.

      In Internet there is a lot of information concerning Plovdiv, so I will not write here about it.

      Detail nformation for Plovdiv can be seen here:

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

 

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

 

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/260

 

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/306

      On the map I have shown the way to cross the city of Plovdiv in order to avoid the tunnel under the hill with the Ancient Amphitheatre on it.

     I have pointed the walking area in the Plovdiv city (the next several pics.) beginning with the walking bridge on Maritsa River by the dashed green line use it. (DO NOT PEDAL THERE !!!,  - it is forbidden, only walk !!!)

The History Hill of the Old Town and the Ancient Amphitheatre on it.
To leave Plovdif it would be better if you find the velo lane I pointed in red on the map above.

      The traffic toward Popovitsa is relative intensive, I do not think it is dangerous to pedal here. The next several pictures are the countryside of Thracian Field east from Plovdiv.

      In Popovica you can find easy a nice spot near the road, I love to relax there for an afternoon. Usually there are no more than 5 - 6 children near the pool.

      To avoid the traffic from Pazardzhik to Plovdiv, the following routes are possible (the route b on the map above, I recommend it!):

     

      Route b:

      from Pazardzhik to Dobrovnitsa to Pistigovo to Saedinenie to Voisil to Benkovski to Plovdiv to Sadovo to Popovitsa.

      It is a plane area, easy for bicycling, no any traffic.

      When you reach Saedinenie (I am surprised to see that Saedinenie appears with its old name Golyamo Koynare on some Google Maps), do not follow the first sign to Plovdiv (the first photo below). Enter in the town for a cup of coffee or lunch, and follow next signs to Plovdiv.

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/SC/plovdiv/saedinenie/saedinenie


      6.4.  Sofia - Plovdiv: My last suggestion to reach Plovdiv is:

 

      from Sofia to Dolni Bogrov to Gorna Malina to Belopoltsi to Bailovo to Smolsko to Petrich to Poibrene to Oboriste to Panagyuriste to Strelcha to Krastevich to Belovitsa to lyuben to Nedelevo to Golyam Chardak to Malak Cherdak to Stroevo to Plovdiv.

 

     or Pazardzhik is:

     from Sofia to . . . Strelcha to Dyulevo ti Smilets to Blatnitsa to Ovchepoltsi to Chernigovo to Pazardzhik to Plovdiv.

 

      Both routes are very nice, even though it is in a mountain area (Sredna Gora Mountain), it is easy and pleasantly pedaled in either a westerly or easterly direction with a minimal amount of traffic.

Road Profile Chart from Sofia to Plovdiv

The next several photos are from the only one my tour along this route in the spring of '09.

      On the map above I have pointed Starosel. An interesting ancient archeology Thracian objects a available there - Thracian Temple Complex:

      http://bulgariatravel.org/en/object/55/hramov_kompleks_starosel

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX-NaunC8F0

      Near Starosel is placed a nice spa hotel & vinery. I have still not visited this place, but I have heard nice things for it.

      Appropriate place for overnight accommodation here are Panagyuriste (I have posted above information for it) and Strelcha.

     Another small & calm spa resort along the route is Strelcha. Overnight accommodation in it is not a problem there are 3 - 4 hotels (Relax - the pink building down, Roza, Sredna Gora) in it with very nice restaurants and pools of thermal water, it is worth spending an afternoon near swimming pool of thermal water. At least twice an year I visit this place to enjoy of the thermal water.

      http://www.bulgaria-guide.com/guide/Strelcha/207426/

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

      Here I will mention that 20 kilometers north from Strelcha is Koprivstitsa - information for it I have given in: 

     Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Sector: I. D,  Point 19.  Zlatitsa - Koprivstitsa - Strelcha -  Pazardzhik

      From Strelcha you can go on toward Plovdiv or Pazardzhik. The road toward Pazardzhik is without traffic in a beautiful region.

      from Sofia to . . . Strelcha to Dyulevo ti Smilets to Blatnitsa to Ovchepoltsi to Chernigovo to Pazardzhik to Plovdiv.

      So, I believe it is everything for the possible routes from Sofia to Pazardzhik to Plovdiv.


     

      Sector II. B - 3

      6.5 Popovitsa -  Lyubimets

      Here I would suggest 2 routes:

      Route a (I would recommend it in direction east - west):

      from Popovitsa to Byala Reka to Gorski Izvor to Klokotnitsa to Haskovo to Podkrepa to Harmanli to Lyubimets.

 

      Just after Popovitsa is the crossroad toward Burgas and Haskovo (BG/Turkey Border). The traffic along the road E 80 is relatively intensive, but I do not think it is dangerous. Water and food along the road are available.  

Just at the crossroad toward Parvomai a hotel is available (the second photo below).

      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

      Next photos are the typical view of the countryside towards Harmanly and Lyubimats. Some information for Lyubimets is available here:

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

      I know that the overnight accommodation in Lyubimets is possible.

      Because of the relatively intensive traffic along the road E 80 I would recommend the next route:

      Route b (I would recommend it in direction from west to east: it is not signed well in the opposite direction):

      from Popovitsa to Parvomai to Karadzhalovo to Yabalkovo to Krum to Dimitrovgrad to Brod to Rayanovo to  Simeonovgrad to Harmanli to Lyubimects.

      Parvomai is little town appropriate to have a coffee relax in the hot summer days. Information for it:

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/SC/plovdiv/parvomay/parvomay

     The road here is without any traffic. The last photo is my camp place 10 kilometers to Dimitrovgrad. I am afraid here the road is not well signed, but I believe, you will be not wrong.

      Next little town is Dimitrovgrad.

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

      Further toward Simeonovgrad the road is signed very well, there is not any traffic. I did not pedal the road segment Swimeonovgrad - Harmanli, but I know the road is nice without any traffic.

      Sector II. B - 4

      6.6 From Lyubimets to:

      - Turkey Border (Border Checkpoint Kapitan Andreevo)

      - Turkey Border (Border Checkpoint Kapitan Petko Voyvoda)

 

      After Lyubimets is Svilengrad and Border Checkpoint Kapitan Andreevo (route a).

      As a border town, the overnight accommodation in Svilengrad is not a problem.

 

     

      Some information for Svilengrad  it is available here:

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

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

      According to bicyclists pedaled this route and shared their experience with me, the next alternative maybe is better to be used. Because of the traffic is always intense, going at Border Checkpoint Kapitan Andreevo (Bulgarian/Turkish border), it will be better to enter Greece first (route b) and after enter Turkey:

      from Lyubimets to Border Checkpoint Kapitan Petko Voivoda (E85) to Omerino (in Greece) to Kastanios to Greece/Turkey border to Karaagach to Edirne.

     August '17 I explored just this route I can say in this area, there was not traffic - I crossed the border checkpoints for minutes without any problems. Further on, you can pedal to Istanbul along the local roads (D 100) in Turkey avoiding the motor road E80


          7. From Edirne to Sofia

          Taking into account all that I have written in this section, I believe it would not be a difficult route from Edirne to Sofia to Vidin.

          I would suggest the most well-signed route:

         from Ederne to Svilengrad to Lyubimets to Harmanli to Haskovo to Popovitsa to Plovdiv to Pazardzhik to Belovo to Kostenets to Ihtiman to Vakarel to Novi Khan to Elin Pelin to Sofia to Iskar River Gorge to Mezdra to Vratsa to Boychinovtsi to Montana to Belogradchik to Kireevo to Kula to Vidin.


Sector II. B

Route B

This Route maybe is the most scenic you will explore area between Balkans and Sredna Gora Mountain.

 

      Route B - a:

      from Sofia to Karlovo to Kazanlak to Sliven to Yambol to Elhovo to Border Checkpoint Lesovo;

 

      This is approximately a 410 km ride of a very scenic route. The route from Sofia to Sliven is in the valley between The Balkan and Sredna Gora Mountains, one of the best routes in Bulgaria. More about this route can be found here: 

      Chapter  VI. Routes: A. Sofia - Burgas, Point 1. The route between Balkan and Sredna Gora Mountain toward Burgas and Varna;

 

      For the route Sliven -  Yambol - Elhovo - Border Checkpoint Lesovo information is available in

      Chapter III.  Crossing Bulgaria from north (Romanian border) to south (Greece&Turkey borders), Point  13. Yambol - Border checkpoint Lesovo - toward Turkey (road N7). Look also Chapter.

      Have in mind that the traffic along this road segment, Sliven - Border Checkpoint Lesovo Edirne, can be high. I would recommend using the next route:

 

      Route B - b

      Sofia to Karlovo to Kazanlak to Nova Zagora to Radnevo to Galabovo to Harmanli to Lyubimets to  Border Checkpoint Kapitan Andreevo to Ormenio (in Greece) to Edirne.

 

      For the road segment from Nova Zagora to Border Checkpoint Kapitan Petko Voyvoda please look in:

      Chapter I. BALKAN PASSES, Sector: I. E, Point  I. E - 24.  Tvarditsa - Nova Zagora, as well as in the Chapter III.  Crossing Bulgaria from north (Romanian border) to south (Greece&Turkey borders) (STILL UNDER UPDATING).

      This route is a little longer than previous one, but here you will pedal along a road without any traffic.


Sector II. B

Route C

This route is the longest one, it includes pedaling in Rodopi Mountains:

      from Sofia to Velingrad to Dospat to Smolyan to Kardzhali to Momchilgrad to Border Checkpoint Ivailovgrad to Edirne

 

 

      Route C is the longest distance, approx. 510 km, and includes the area of Rodopi Mountain. This is a really nice route for bicyclists having more time and loving mountain bicycling, as well as if you are touring July and August, when temperatures in the mountain are not so high comparing with the ones in the lower and planes part of the country. You should find traffic conditions on this route to be very low. More information concerning Rodopi Mountain can be found here:  Chapter VII.  NICE ROUTES IN MOUTAINS. RODOPE Mountains.


Entering in Bulgaria from Macedonia

      Well, here you will be in a mountain area, so pedaling will be a challenge.

      Three are available border checkpoint on the border between Bulgaria and Macedonia, and I will give details for routes of a couple of them (points 1 and 3):

 

      Route 1.   From Border Checkpoint Gyueshevo to Sofia;

 

      Route 2.   Border Checkpoint Logodazh;

 

      Route 3.   From Border Checkpoint Zlatarevo - Novo Selo to Edirne, Turkey.

 

 

 

      For the routes I describe here it would be nice to look into the

      Chapter III.  Crossing Bulgaria from north (Romanian border) to south (Greece&Turkey borders),

      Point 10. Sofia - Border Checkpoint Kulata

      In the Chapter III I have given very detailed description concerning E79 and ways to avoid the terrible traffic in all this area.

 

      Entering in Bulgaria from Macedonia, I see two possibilities:

      - to pedal toward Sofia from border checkpoints 6, 7 and 8, or

      - to head to east from Border Checkpoint Zlatarevo - Novo Selo and cross Rodopi Mountains.

Route 1.   From Border Checkpoint Gyueshevo to Sofia

      Here I point 3 possible routes: The route A is:

      from Border checkpoint Gyueshevo to Kyustendil to Izvor to Radomir to Pernik to Sofia.

      The road E871 is the international road between Bulgaria and Macedonia. Never mind the heavy trucks avoid it, the traffic here is relatively intensive, I would say it is not so dangerous.

      Border Checkpoint Gyueshevo is located high in Osogovo Mountain. Beginning from here toward Kyustendil you will enjoy to a great descending.

      Kyustendil is placed in a deep hollow, surround by mountains The view toward it from both Osogovo Mountain and Konyovska Mountain is great. There are a lot of gardens of cherry and apple trees around the town.

     The town is known as a spa center as well because of the thermal springs in it. There are several nice places for overnight accommodation in it. Information for Kyustendil:

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

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/sw/kyustendil/kyustendil/kyustendil

      Climbing of Konyvska mountain from Kyustendil is not easy. It is maybe the only Pass, where the slope is permanent and heavy - 12 - 13% for all the distance of approx 9 kilometers. My suggestion is to begin climbing the pass no later than 8 am in the hot summer days. From the other side the climbing is not so hard.

      Fortunately there are several springs of fresh water, food is available as well in the 2 little villages up the mountain. On the top off the pass there is a little restaurant as well.

      The next little town is Radomir information for it:  Information about Radomir:       

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

      In the center of the town there is a hotel.

      Further, the traffic on E871 from Radomir to Pernik is relatively intensive, but the road has 2 strips and pedaling there is not dangerous.

      Information for Pernik can be seen here:

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

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

      Several words for my native town Pernik - it is known with the mask festival. Each year in the end of January thousands of masked people rampage in the center of the town for 2 - 3 days. Last several years the festival is international, so the town is just as a loony bin.

      http://www.studyenglishtoday.net/kukeri-festival-pernik.html

      The next map shows routes from Pernik to Sofia.

      As it can be seen from the map IX.5. there are three possible routes between Pernik and Sofia:

      - route a (Buchinski Pass):

       Sofia - Malo Buchino - Golemo Buchino -Pernik.

My sugestion is to choose it; it is in very nice conditions and it is parallel to the motor road A3;

 

      - route b (Lyulin Mountain):

      Sofia - Bankya - Lyulin  - Pernik.

It is easy to be find out from Pernik to Sofia, there is an off-road segment;

 

      - route c (Vladaiski Pass):

      Sofia - Vladaya - Dragichevo - Pernik.

The traffic here is intensive, I use this route when I enter in Sofia.

 

      On next 3 charts you can see and compare the road profile of the 3 routes:

 

 

      For more detail description and photos, please look in the

      Chapter IX.  How to enter/leave Sofia by bicycle,   Point IX. 5. Toward/from Pernik (Border Checkpoint Kulata)


      Route B    

      To bicyclists loving wilderness and mountain bicycling I would suggest the next route:

      from Kyustendil to Kinyavo to Tsarvenyano to Baykalsko to Blateshnitsa to Zemen to Kovachevtsi to Batanovtsi to Breznik to Babitsa to Bozhuriste to Sofia.

      As the description of the routes from Batanovtsi to Breznik to Babitsa to Bozhuriste to Sofia is given in the beginning of the same Chapter, here I will say several words only for the route from Baykalsko to Batanovtsi.

      Next to Baykalsko - almost on the top of the Pass you can see "Choklyovsko Blato"- a unique swamp known with interesting botanic specimens. The zone is protected.

      Further toward Zemen the road is very pleasant, there is not any traffic here. In Zemen you can visit Zemenski Monastery built in XI century - one of the oldest in Bulgaria:

 

      http://visit.guide-bulgaria.com/a/521/zemen_monastery_of_st_joan_bogoslov.htm

 

      http://bulgariatravel.org/en/object/359

      The distance from Zemen to Batanovtsi is very pleasant, it is along Pchelintsi Dam. There is not any traffic here.

      For a description of the routes from Batanovtsi to Breznik to Babitsa to Bozhuriste to Sofia please look in the beginning of the same Chapter.

      Route C    

      In the end, to bicyclists avoiding hard climbing,  I would suggest the a little longer route:

      from  Kyustendil to Nevestino to Dupnitsa to Dren to Drugan to Radomir to Pernik to Sofia.

       I have never pedaled the distance from Kyustendil to Dupnitsa, but I know the road is nice and not dangerous for pedaling.

     When you come to Dupnitsa it is important to avoid road N1 which surround the town. Simply enter in the town.

      As I have pointed on the left map, there is a dangerous tunnel, it would be better to avoid it, never mind the road is wide enough.

      Entering in the town , you can enjoy of a coffee place or some restaurant.

      If you are pedaling in the back direction, follow signs to the town center.

      Information about Dupnitsa:

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

      Down are several photos from Dupnitsa. Dupnitsa is an appropriate place as an initial point to research Rila Mountain.

 

      Dupnitsa is an appropriate place as an initial point to research Rila Mountain. For more information you can look in the        Chapter VII.  NICE ROUTES IN MOUTAINS; RILA Mountains; Point A. Places, which are worth to be explored: 1. Region around the Seven Lakes (Sector VII. A: Dupnitsa - Kostenets)

      The road after Dupnitsa toward Radomir is nice without traffic. There is some climbing after Dupnitsa (the second photo below) , but it is not so hard. You will enjoy the great view toward Rila Mountain and Vitosha Mountain.

Next to Dren there is a nice spring of cool water and a restaurant. Countryside and my camp place next to Drugan.

Route 2.  

Border Checkpoint Logodazh

      Border Checkpoint Logodazh is placed west from Blagoevgrad. I will say anything about it, I know the heavy truck drivers prefer it to leave/enter in Bulgaria. My suggestion is to avoid it. And if you use it, the only opportunity is to pedal toward Blagoevgrad. What to do after, you can see in the

      Chapter III.  Crossing Bulgaria from north (Romanian border) to south (Greece&Turkey borders),

      Point 10. Sofia - Border Checkpoint Kulata


      Route 3.   

From Border Checkpoint Zlatarevo - Novo Selo to Edirne, Turkey.

      Again, the question now is about  sector II. C: Bulgaria/Macedonia border - Edirne, Turkey - look at the map in the beginning of this chapter. This route is only for bicyclists loving to pedal in mountains, here there will be steep and long hills.

      Here I will give routes:

      - to reach Edirne in Turkey: the route is:

      from Border Cjeckpoint Zlatarevo - Novo Selo to Petrich to Gotse Delchev to Dospat to Smolyan to Kardzali to Momchilgrad to Krumovgrad to Momchilgrad to Ivailovgrad to Edirne

      - to reach Black seaside (sector II. C - 2 - toward Burgas). 

 

      Sector II. C - 1

      Here I will suggest 2 routes:   

Route A

      from Border Cjeckpoint Zlatarevo - Novo selo to Strumeshnitsa to Parvomay to Petrich to Drancovo to Chocholigovo to Vranya to Katuntsi to Gorno Spanchevo to Gotse Delchev.

      Maybe the hardest for climbing Pass (from west to east) in Bulgaria is Popova Laka Pass (you will see another names of the Pass: Popovi Livadi Pass, Papaz Chair Pass). The hard climbing starts from Gorno Spanchevo. To the top of the pass it is permanent and constant.

      Overnight accommodation is available in Petrich town. Some information for it and several photos.

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/SW/blagoevgrad/petrich/petrich

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

      I have traveled this pass only by car, so I am not sure if there are springs of drinkable water between Gorno Spanchevo and Gotse Delchev. But I know, on the Pass there is a hotel, restaurant and water. Unfortunately I can not find available information for it. The road is in very nice conditions.

      Several photos from Popovi Livadi.

      From Popova Laka Pass toward Gotse Delchev follows a very nice descending. A beautiful view toward Rodopi Mountain will be revealed in front of you.

      Overnight accommodation is possible in Gotse Delchev too. Information about Gotse Delchev:

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

Route B

      If you explore this area, I suggest you to choose it. It includes Melnik and region nesr it.

      Melnik MUST be seen, you definitely will not regret if you do it. Follow the route:

      from Parvomay (on the map above) toward Kavrakirovo to Karnalovo to Hotovo to Melnik . . . to Gotse Delchev.

      Now I will increase a little the scale of the map shown in the previous point. Melnik is one of the places in Bulgaria, which is worth to be seen. it is incredibly scenic place. There are a lot of small private homes offering rooms and nice local type restaurants. The local type of red and white wines have to be mentioned as well. as Melnik is a tourists destination, in Internet is available a lot of information for it:

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/38

      http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/SW/blagoevgrad/sandanski/melnik

      http://visit.guide-bulgaria.com/SW/Blagoevgrad/Sandanski/Melnik

      Depending on where are coming from, there are 2 routes to pedal toward Melnik:

      Route B - a (if you pedal from west to east):

      from Ribnik to Spatovo to Hotovo to Lozenitsa to Melnik

 

      Just on the crossroad of roads N 1082 and N106 (Ribnik there is a little nice restaurant (the first photo below). Be careful 2 kilometers further, traffic here is relatively intensive.

      The climbing from Hotovo to Lozenitsa is relatively hard. The view form the highest point to Lozenitsa and Melnik is extremely exciting - the last photo below.

      Route B - b (if you pedal from east to west):

      from Vranya to Harsovo to Vinogradi to Melnik

      The climbing here is a little more comparing with route a, the area again is extremely scenic. On the map above I point Vinary Chateay, If my memory serves overnight accommodation in it is not possible, I am not sure 100%. But I am sure there you can try some local types of wine typical only for this region.

And several photos from Melnik.

      My suggestion is to stay for an afternoon in Melnik. Overnight accommodation here is not a problem, there are a lot of local type restaurants offering perfect meals & local type wines.

      Leave the bicycle in Melnik and walk up to Rozhenski Monastery along the road (1h 50min - 2 hours very slowly walking):

        from Melnik to Karlanovo  to Pozhen to Rozhenski Monastery.

      In Rozhen is available very nice local type restaurant as well.

      Next several photos are the road toward Rozhen, Karlanovo and the sand pyramids above it, Rozhen and the  Monastery.

Some information for Rozhenski Monastery can be seen here:

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

      My suggestion is after visiting the monastery, to move a little up above the monastery along a narrow track (10 minutes walk) a marvelous view over all this place of sand pyramids will be revealed in front of you.

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/23

       Go back to Melnik along the narrow track between the sand pyramids (50 - 60 minutes walk). You will be not disappointed !!!  No possible to pedal there.

      Another place to visit is the area with remains of mediaeval monasteries just above the town in east direction. After walk of 30 minutes up the sand pyramids you will see Malnik from another point of view.

      Rupite

      Another opportunity in the same region is purposed for more adventurer explorers.

 

      Close to Ribnik is a place named Rupite (signed well along the road), it is formed like a park, there is a church there. A part of her life there spent one well known and popular Bulgarian clairvoyant, in fact she built the church.

      According to the geologist the place itself presents remains of ancient volcano crater. The only thing remembering this volcano is a hot 75 deg of C thermal spring. It forms a lot of pools of water & mud and people (me too) love to wallow in it for hours.

      You can choose a pool having appropriate temperature for you - as further from the spring, as cooler. Have only in mind there are leeches in cooler pools - I saw several. I can say they did not pay any attention on me maybe because of too much food for them in the pools, or they are addicted to rhesus factor & blood group of natives.

      Information about Rupite:

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

      http://www.bulgaria-guide.com/guide/Rupite/202816/

      http://www.twoheads.info/rupite/

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/372

      According other specialists the place is special, it is an energy place.  After wallowing in the pool I camped next to this place. Really in the morning I felt recharged, I only am not sure if it was because of the special place, or because of my little bottle of whiskey I took before sleeping.

      But my idea is another. If you move a little further toward train line (just behind me next to the hill) you will see a line bridge. Cross the river below it - it is easy and go further along the off road next to the train line.

      After go up to the train line, there is the second bridge over Struma River. There is a track for walkers, use it to cross the river. After 1/4 mile along the railway, you will be in General Todorov.

      Pedaling ahead, you will be on the Motor road toward Border Checkpoint Kulata very soon. Pedaling straight on, you will go to Melnik.

      From Gen. Todorov to Dolno Konomladi to Kapatovo to Kromidovo to Harsovo to Vinogradi to Melnik.

       

      Ognyanovo

      OK, you are already in Gotse Delchev. Time to go to east, before it I'd like to mention one more opportunity, this time in the region of Gothse Delchev. It is Ognyanovo, if you plan to spend a night in it ytou will not regret.

 

     

      Ognyanovo is a Place next to Gotse Delchev, I think it is worth to visit, of you explore this area. Because of the thermal springs in the region, it is very nice spa center perfect for relax, which is still not overcrowded by tourists.

     A lot of places for overnight accommodation in Ognyanovo are available:

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/412

 

      

 

      Just before entering in Garmen are remains of the ancient fortress Nikopolis ad Nestrum.

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

      As I have said above, a lot of places for overnight accommodation in Ognyanovo are available. I would recommend one very nice place to stay for a night here is hotel Elegance: the relation "price/quality" here is very nice. The hotel consists two buildings - a new and older one, both are in very good conditions (unfortunately the Site is in Bulgarian):

       http://www.comunicatorbg.com/elegance.html

      I will not write about it, fortunately the hotel Home page is written in English you can see information concerning prices, rooms, restaurant, swimming pool, SPA procedures and so on.

 

      It is very easy to find out this spot. Simply look for signs on the street poles:

      - coming from North, the hotel is in the opposite end of the village;

      - coming from South, the hotel is to right, immediately after the bridge entering in Ognyanovo.

      I will mention only that it is a clean place having a nice restaurant and a swimming pool of beautiful thermal water. Guiding bicyclists, I always recommend them to stay here for a night, and they have never been disappointed.


      The next distance is:

 

      From Gotse Delchev to Dospat to Smolyan to Kardzhali

 

 

      A very detail description of this route you will find in the Capter:

      VII.  NICE ROUTES IN MOUTAINS. RODOPE Mountains, Route 6: Gotse Delchev (Ognyanovo) - Kardzhali


Sector II. C - 2

from Kardzhali to Momchilgrad to Krumovgrad to Ivailovgrad to Edirne

 

      Sector II. C - 2. a

 

      Overnight accommodation in Kardzali is not a problem.

 

 

 

      The next route is:

    from Kardzali to Gruevo to Momchilgrad to Krumovgrad.

 

      A lot of information for Kardzhali can be seen here:

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

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/361

      Several photos from Kardzali.

      The road profile chart shows a relatively considerable ascending after Momchilgrad.

      Just after Kardzali you will be on the road N 5 toward Border Checkpoint Makaza. It is closed for trucks heavier than 3,5 metric tons, never mind in the tourisr season the traffic here is relatively intensive. On the crossroad toward Krumovgrad (Gruevo)  there is a hotel&swimming pool - the place is well signed.

      I can not find information for Momchilgrad, but overnight accommodation in it is possible. several photos from the little town: The next route toward Krumovgrad is without any traffic, the road is in very nice condition.

      I pedaled it in the hot august '17, I remember the place is dry, bring water with you. On the highest point there is a little restaurant and drinkable water.  Countryside is beautiful ,although I think it will be much better May and June. 

      Once reaching the highest point, a beautiful descending follows. I think in the back direction the climbing will be harder.


      Sector II. C - 2. b

      The next route is:

       from Krumovgrad to Ivailovgrad to Edirne.

      Although I point several places where a drinkable water is available, in my memories this place is very dry. Food is not available between Krumovgrad and Ivailovgrad as well, so be careful with your provisions just here.

     

      According to Google Map in Krumovgrad 2 hotels are available, but I can not find any English language information for it.

      Believe me, in the hot summer days the distance from Krumovgrad to the highest point (23 kilometers) is tough. Summertime the place is sunny and hot. The spring of water often are dry, the water is not very nice for drinking. The road is absolutely empty, I will be not surprised, if you do not see any car here.  to Ivailovgrad.

      Never mind on some photos below you will see sights for villages, there is not food shops and water there.

      When you see the spring on the last photo above, it means you are very close. Ivalovgrad is a little border town, 5 hotels are available in it according to Google Map, again I can not find any English language information for it.

      Soon you will leave Bulgaria - the road toward Birder Checkpoint Ivailovgrad is signed well. Nobody there.


      Sector II. C - 2. c

 

     This section is purposed for bicyclists entering from Macedonia (Border Checkpoint Zlatarevo - Novo Selo) intending to visit Bulgarian seaside (toward Burgas) crossing Rodopi Mountain.

 

      Here I will show 2 possible routes:

Route a:

      From Ivailovgrad to Ivailovgrad Border Checkpoint to Kyprinos (in Greece) to Palli to Ormenio to Border Checkpoint Kapitan Petko Voyvoda to Svilengrad to Topolovgrad to . . . Burgas.

 Route b:

      From Ivailovgrad to Svilengrad to Topolovgrad to . . . Burgas.

      The comparison between the road profile charts below would explain this my suggestion.  If you choose the first variant, you will avoid climbing.

      Several photos I took in Greece. In the villages you will pass by there is food and coffee. The road toward Bulgaria is signed very well. There is not any traffic here as well.

      Some information for Svilengrad  it is available here:

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

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

      And the last more detail map for the distance between Svilengrad and Topolovgrad. Here is the area of Sakar Mountain, one of the not many places in Bulgaria, where eagles can be seen. The climbing beginning from Svilengrad is long but not hard.

The area is sunny without any shade. July and August along the road there are a lot of wild plums and black berry. 

      An interesting place just before Hlyabovo is Dolmen called "Nachovi Chairi". It is the biggest one saved in Bulgaria. If my information is true, there were more than 600 such objects in Bulgaria, almost all of them were destroyed by treasure hunters. 

      http://www.bulgariatravel.org/article/details/255

      The road toward Topolovgrad is pleasant and easy to pedal. Very little information for Topolovgrad is available here:

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

      I am not sure if overnight accommodation is possible in the little town, but there is a nice coffee place in the shade and free wi fi. Near it in Google can be seen several such places.


      Detail information for routes from Topolovgrad to Burgas can be found out in:

       Chapter VI. Routes: A. Sofia - Burgas,

Sector V. 2 - B, Sector V. 2 - B. 2.2 , Sector V. 2 - B. 3, Sector V. 2 - B. 4


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