I. BALKAN PASSES

Sector I. C





Sector: I. C

      Sector I. C includes the east part of the Balkans. The mountain in its eastern part  is getting wide, it is not so high and the road profile include several shorter ascents and descents. This part of the mountain is easy to access, and

  easy for bicycling, riding either from the north or the south. I will give more detailed descriptions of the passes here - it would be helpful for bicyclists intending to cross the country from north to south or back.

     12. Kotlenski Pass:

     13. Varbishki pass:

     14. Rishki pass:

     15. Aitoski pass:

     16. Dyulinski Pass:

     17. Pomoriiski Pass:    

From Targoviste to Omurtag to Ticha to Kotel to Gradets to the Pentacle (E 772, roads 48 & 7);

From Varbitsa to Beronovo to the Pentacle (to Sungutlare to Karnobat) (road 7);

From Shumen to Veselinovo to Lozarevo to Karnobat (road 73);

From Provadia to Dalgopol to Aytos (to Burgas) (road 208);

From Varna to Burgas (roads 9042 & 906);

From Varna to Burgas (E 87);


 

 

12. Kotlenski Pass

 

 

      The route I describe here is:

 

      From Targoviste to Omurtag to Kotel to the Pentacle to Yambol

 

      The road segment, Targoviste to Yambol, is one of the shortest roads, when the country is crossed from the Romanian border (Silistra or Ruse) to the Turkish border (Border Checkpoint Lesovo).

 

      This section of road is relatively easy for bicycling in both directions, is in very nice condition, the traffic here is not so intensive, except along the road segment from Targoviste to Omurtag (E 772). Even though the road is wide enough, I do not like it and do not recommend bicycling of this road segment, especially north to south (up the hill).

 

 

 

      So, on the map here I show the next pass in Balkan: Varbishki Pass, It would be much better to pedal it:

 

From Targoviste to Veliki Preslav (road N 74) to Varbitsa (road N7) to the Pentacle to Yambol.

 

 

 

 

 

      Varbishki Pass is the next item in this Chapter).

 

 

 

 

 

Sector I. C - 12. a

 

      My description will start from the crossroad on the south most point on the map on the left, which is known in Bulgaria as "the Pentacle" (five roads are crossing here).

      This route includes, from south to north, 3 passes:

      - Marashki Pass (alt. 225 m.);

     -  Mokrenski (Avramovski) Pass (alt. 470 m.),

      - Kotlenski Pass (alt. 700 m.) - the highest one.

      All the three passes make for easy climbing in the south to north direction. There are several water springs along the road, but the water is not very tasty. I recommend you bring your own water. Food can be found in villages along the road.

     

The next three photos illustrate approach to Marashki Pass from the Pentacle, Marashki Pass and Mokren. the climb here is not much, the difference in the altitudes here  is

 

only 100 meters.

Usually at the beginning of some passes you will see a “Open”, indicating the pass is clear of snow and passable.

      At the highest point of the pass you will see a sign toward Sungurlare and Shumen directing the traffic toward Shumen to the Rishki Pass, so further the road will be without any traffic.

        Food shop is available in Mokren, but it is not visible from the road. A water spring is available too, but the water is not nice.

      The climbing of the next Pass: Mokrenski or Avramovsk Pass is longer, the difference in altitudes here is almost 250 meters. All the area here is appropriate for

  camping in the wilderness.  The road is next to Gradets, I have never entered in it, so I am not sure if food is available there.

      Next photos illustrate the countryside toward Kotel. tourists having time nay visit Zheravna (I have pointed it on the map above.

        Just after the crossroad toward Gradets there is a nice spring of water, after is the climbing of the last Pass here, Kotlenski Pass.

      Close to this route is Zheravna - an architectural - historical reserve, very popular tourist destination, More information is given in the next sites, especially the second one:  

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

 

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

historical-reserve/

      I still did not find a time to visit it. Overnight accommodation there is possible, it seems it would be nice to spent a night there.

Toward Kotel

      Overnight accommodation in Kotel is possible. Information for Kotel:     

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

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

      The distance from Kotel to the mountain divide is 7 - 8 kilometers, the climbing here is not hard.

Sector I. C - 12. b

      The road segment from Omurtag to the top of the pass is very pleasant for pedaling in the both direction.

       Notice that Ticha is placed in a low place – it makes this route harder in both directions of bicycling. Food can be find in Ticha.

      Overnight accommodation is available in Omurtag. Some information about it:

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

      The town is named on Khan Omurtag, a little history:

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

      The country side between Omurtag and the Pass: very nice mountain area, roads without traffic. Next are the only 3 photos I have taken from this area.

      The next several photos are the mountain from Ticha to the mountain divide. The climbing here is 10 - 11 kilometers.


13. Varbishki Pass

 

      Varbishki Pass is the one of the very appropriate for pedaling passes and roads in Eastern Balkan connecting both north and the south parts of the country.

     The Pass can be used for crossing Bulgaria north – south (or vice versa) as follows:

      From Ruse (Silistra) to Targoviste to  Veliki Preslav to Varbitsa to the Pentacle to Yambol to Turkey/BG border (Border Checkpoint Lesovo),

        or

      From Ruse (Silistra) to Targoviste (or Shumen) to Veliki Preslav to Varbitsa to Sungurlare to Madrino to Karnobat to Aitos to Burgas to Malko Tarnovo to Turkey/BG border (Border Checkpoint Malko Tarnovo).

     The traffic of the south side of the Pass is forbidden, so it is excellent for bicycling – I definitely  recommend this route. If you see here a car, you have to be sure, that its GPS device has misled the driver that the road is nice. Just being the crossroad of roads N7 and N 7006 you even will see 2 - 3 sand heaps on the road N7 and many signs pointing that the Pass is closed, as it is obvious from the photo below.

      So, I will expand a little my description here, starting from Shumen.

sector I. C - 13. a

 

      I did not pedaled the road segment from Targoviste to Veliki Preslav (road 74), I know the road is nice, there is not intensive traffic.

      The road from Shumen toward Varbitsa is very nice for pedalling. The traffic is not intensive, There are places to supply with food and water.

 

      Next to Ticha Dam I have shown two route opportunities:

      - From Ivanovo directly to Konevo,

      - From Ivanovo to Sushina to Lovets to Konevo,

usually I pedal the one next to the Dam, it is a little longer, but more scenic than the shortcut. 

     

     Next links are the information about Shumen:

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

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

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

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

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

      Veliki Preslav and our relax place in the town garden.

 

 

 

      Information for Veliki Preslav:

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

      A little information for the First Bulgarian Kingdom:

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

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

      The country side up toward Ticha Dam and our camp place next to the Ticha Dam wall. The access to the dam wall is forbidden as well as to the reservoir, because it is water supply area.

      The country side toward Sushina to Lovers to Konevo to Mengishevo to Varbitsa; it is extremely nice place, easy route for pedalling, no any traffic.         If my memory serves, food shops and water are available in each village. I have always pedalled this area in the back direction.

      Very little information for Varbitsa can be seen here:

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

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

       Up the mountain, it is necessary to have food and water with you, although between Varbitsa and the top of the Pass (4 - 5 km south from Varbitsa) there is a hotel, nice restaurant and fresh water, it is a small local resort.

      Several photos of the north Pass side as well as the road profile chart of the same part of the road I will show in the description of the next sector.


 

 

 

sector I. C - 13. b

 

 

 

 

      Two  approaches to the Pass are possible from its south side, depending on your trip schedule:

      

      - route a (road 7):

      From the Pentacle to Mokren to Beronovo to Varbitsa;

     

      If you start or finish this route stage, have in mind that at the Pentacle there are several restaurants and hotel, the same is 4 kilometers to Varbitsa. 

      

 

       - route b:

      From Karnobat (road 73) to Madrino (road 705) to Sungurlare to Balabanchevo to Beronovo to Varbitsa.

 

      - route a

      Road profile chart for route a.

      The next three photos illustrate approach to Marashki Pass from the Pentacle, Marashki Pass and Mokren. Climbing of the first Pass is not much, the difference  in

  the altitudes here is only 100 meters. Usually at the beginning of some passes you will see a “Open”, indicating the pass is clear of snow and passable.

      At the highest point of Marashki Pass you will see a sign toward Sungurlare and Shumen directing the traffic toward Shumen to the Rishki Pass, so further the road will be without any traffic.

         Food shop is available in Mokren, but it is not visible from the road. A water spring is available too, but the water is not nice.

     The climbing of the next Pass: Mokrenski or Avramovsk Pass is longer, the difference in altitudes here is almost 250 meters.

        All the area here is appropriate for camping in the wilderness.  At the highest point of the Pass is the crossroad toward  Beronovo. 

      Never mind that road 7 is pointed as a main road, very soon you will be surprised to see it is in a very bad conditions. There are especially damaged road parts, which is obvious from photos below. The best is, that

 

there is not any traffic here.

      If you start at the Pentacle, you can avoid this broken road heading toward Padarevo to Chubra to Slaviantsi to Sungurlare.

      Beronovo is a little village, there is a food shop and spring of water in it. There you will see signs pointing that Varbishki Pass is closed.

      The next several photos are road up the mountain. Have in mind it is a dry. area, so bring water with you.  There are places to camp in the wilderness.

The mountain divide  is a flat area, it is very nice to camp there for a night.
 At the mountain divide there is a flight control station, so the road down the mountain to Varbitsa is well maintained.

      Again I will mention, 4 - 5 kiklometers to Varbitsa there is a hotel, nice restaurant and fresh water, it is a small local resort.

     - route b

      Road profile chart for route b: starting from Karnobat, you have to find the road toward Shumen (road 73, here the traffic is intensive) after toward Madrino and Sungurlare (road 705).

      Overnight accommodation is possible in Karnobat  - there are  several hotels in the town.  Information about 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. The scheme in left shows how you can find it.

      A little information for Sungurlare. I am not sure if overnight accommodation is available in it.

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

      The road toward Balabanchevo is not signed well. The photo in left is the highest point next to Balabanchevo, I pointed its altitude 458 m. on the road profile chart above.

 

      The next photos are taken when I first time climbed Varbitsa Pass 2010 together with my daughter.  I remember that higher in the mountain, when it was the lunch time, Maya was thinking that I am bringing food,  but I believed the food is in her panniers. Never mind, we spent great time together.


 

 

 

14. Rishki Pass

 

      On the maps this road is signed as N73, it connects Shumen to Karnobat. The highest pass point has an altitude of 420 m. (pointed on the map below), it is not a problem to be bicycled in both directions.

      The route is convenient to cross the country north - south (or vice versa).

      The road is in very nice condition, but the traffic is relatively intensive (comparing with the traffic on the previous two passes). But, it is convenient and is wide enough, truck speeds are safe because of the slopes and turns in the route.

 

      The route is:

      From Shumen to Smiadovo to Veselinovo to Prilep to Lozarevo to Karnobat.

 

 

 

 

      Well, I do not recommend to cross Balkan just here at all. If you intend to cross Balkan starting from Shumen, much better would be, if you choose the next Pass - Aytoski Pass:

     From Shumen to Ivanski to Kalnovo to Yankovo to Zhalad to Arkovna to Komunari to Asparuhovo to Aytos (road 208).

 

      Information for Aytoski Pass is in the next point.

     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 I. C - 14. a

      The mountain area of this route is between Smyadovo and Lozarevo. Smyadovo is a small town, it is not just on the road 73. I have never visited it and am not sure if overnight accommodation is available in it. Some information for Smyadovo:          

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

      All this area is beautiful countryside. There are nice places to wild camp. Food can be found in Veselinovo, Prilep and Lozarevo.

      A part of this route I pedaled August '16. I was disappointed with the amount of traffic.  I really did not expect it. Three months later a friend of mine told me that there is not any traffic along this route.  But, this was an opinion of car driver.

       Because there are no restrictions with respect to truck load tonnage I think it would be better to avoid this route. 

 

      The first 3 photos are taken between Shumen and Smyadovo, an easy for pedaling area. 

Toward Veselinovo and Veselinovski Pass.
My camp place next to Alexandrovo and up to the Pass.
Toward Prilep
Toward Lozarevo and after it.

      Overnight accommodation is possible in Karnobat  - there are  several hotels in the town.  Information about 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. The scheme in left shows how you can find it.

 

Sector I. C - 14. b

      The next information is for bicyclists intending to pedal from Shumen to Burgas or back.

      The by pass:

      From Shumen to Radko dimitrievo to Ivanski (road 7301) to Kalnovo to Yankovo to Zhalad to Arkovna

will lead you to road 208. It is much more save, the traffic along it is much less than on the road 73. Have in mind that villages here are almost left, so I do not remember if food shops are available there.

      Information for road 208 is in the next point 15 Aytoski Pass.

 

 

 

      The next several photos illustrating   this area taken August 2019 and in the and of May 2020.


 

15. Aytoski Pass

 

 

      As I have mentioned above, in its east part the mountain is wide and low. Aytoski Pass itself is only a short part of the route I describe here. This route (road 208) should be strongly considered to cross the country north - south (or back), rather than the previous one. It connects Provadia, Dalgopol, Aytos and Burgas. The road 208 is just after reconstruction, it is very nice conditions.

 

      The highest point of the Aytosski Pass has altitude 400 meters (several kilometers north from Aytos), so this Pass is nice and easy for bicycling in both directions, over more this area is very nice countryside as well as there is not intensive traffic.

 

      This would be a great area to take time and tour. There are villages along this road, no problem finding food and water. Many times I toured in this area and wild camped.

 

      The route can be used to cross country north - south:

      From Silistra to Alfatar to Tervel to Kochmar to Vekilski to Kaloyan to Vetrino to Provadia to Dalgopol to Dobromir to Aytos to Burgas to Malko Tarnovo to Turkey/BG border (Border Checkpoint Malko Tarnovo).

 

      For more information look also in:

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

      B. North - East Region

      D. South - East Region     

     

 

 

      For more detail description, further I will split this route in three sectors     

      Sector I. C - 15. A

      The route is (road 208):

      From Provadia to Dalgopol to Komunari to Asparuhovo to Dobromir.

      A little bit more intensive traffic here is from Provadia to Dalgopol. The heavy trucks use the route as well, but I can say the road is not dangerous for bicyclists.

      A spot appropriate for overnight accommodation is near Asparuhovo; it is a place where fishers spent weekends or vacation.

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

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

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

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

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

      The road toward Dalgopol is crossing a hilly area, 12 - 13 kilometers after Provadia is the highest hill, where there is a little restaurant (the second photo below). A nice view toward Tsonevo Dam is revealing here. 

      Dalgopol is a little city, I do not think overnight accommodation is available in it. A little information for it:

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

      Asparuhovo is placed near Tsonevo Dam, in it there are several hotels and guest houses - fishers use it as

 

a base for their weekends, one of hotels can be seen just near the route - the last photo below. Information for Asparuhovo andTsonevo Dam:

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

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

      The next road segment (from Asparuhovo to Dobromir) maybe is the most scenic one. Crossing Tsonevo Dam you will see a very pretty place: “The Wonderful Rocks”.   The next several kilometers are along Kamchia River Gorge. It is not attractive as Iskar River Gorge, but pedaling along it is still a pleasure.

https://bulgariatravel.org/en/chudnite-skali-the-wonderful-

rocks-a-natural-landmark/


Sector I. C - 15. B

     The next several kilometers from Dobromir to Daskotna are along Kamchia River Gorge. It is not attractive as Iskar River Gorge, but pedaling along it is still a pleasure. A food and coffee is available in the villages along the road, there are nice places to camp in the wilderness.

      Food shop is available in Daskotna, here you will leave Kamchia River Valley.  After Kitka there was a motel and restaurant just next to the road.  Summer '21 it was not at work.

 Soon is the crossroad toward Ruen, after it is Aytoski Pass.

 

 

      Information about 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.

 

 

 

      From Aytos you can pedal toward Burgas or Sunny Beach Resort, information about this route can be seen in:

      Chapter VI. Routes:  

      A. From Sofia to Burgas   

      Sector VI. A - 6.

 

 

                                                     Photos from Aytos


 

 

 

 

Sector I. C - 15. a  

   

      The map in left is more detail one showing some opportunities in this sector.

 

 

      For bicyclists reached Aytos and intending to pedal toward Burgas, the next route is the sort one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      Route a:

      From  Aytos to Vetren to Burgas.

      It is the shortest route from Aytos to Burgas, last years I see there is a heavy traffic from Aytos to the crossroad of roads N6 & 6009 and further to Vetren in some hours of the day, when people are travelling to work in Burgas and Sunny Beach Resort.

 

      Several kilometers after Aytos the road N6 joins to the motor road A1. I pedalled this distance several times, I do not remember if this road is forbidden for bicyclists, maybe not because already it is not a motor road.

      Next several photos are the countryside toward Burgas.

My camping place just on the hill above Vetren

Next after Vetren you will be on the main road.

      Roads toward  Nesebar, Sunny Beach and Sozopol are signed well, if you want to enter in Burgas, follow the velo lane. There are a lot of velo lanes in Burgas, but I can not find a good map for them.


     Bicyclists intending to visit Nesebar and Sunny Beach Resort (from Aytos) may miss Burgas city; they can use the routes b & c shown on the map above.

 

Route b: From Aytos to Mirolyubovo to Izvoriste to Bryastovets to Kableshkovo to Aheloy

 

      In the touristy season (July - August) traffic here also is relatively intensive. A little information for Kableshkovo:

 

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

bourgas/pomorie/kableshkovo


 

Sector I. C - 15. C

 

      If you decide to pedal toward Nesebar, or Sunny Beach Resort, it is not necessary to climb Aytoski Pass, you can head to east, toward Ruen. To give a complete information for roads in this sector, I will Part route c into three different routes.

           

      I think the next route would be nice, if you head toward Birgas or another point at the seaside (road 2085). Using this route, you can reach Sunny Beach Resort, Nesebar, Aheloy, Pomorie or Sarafovo. Information for all these places can be seen in the Chapter IV. BLACK SEASIDE   Bicycling

along Black sea side

 

 

       Route c - 1:

      The route toward Sunny Beach Resort is:

      From Ruen to Preobrazhentsi to Razhitsa to Prosenik to Goritsa Goritsa Gyulyovitsa to Orizare to Sunny Beach Resort.

      The road from Ruen toward Orizare is extremely pleasant, there are a lot of water springs along the road, although the water is not so nice for drinking - it is too hot in the summer.

And I staying on the wall of Poroy Dam.

      Again I will say, information for sunny Beach Resort can be seen in the Chapter IV. BLACK SEASIDE   Bicycling along Black sea side

      Next three road profile charts show opportunities to reach Burgas from Ruen. I pedalled all these routes. 

       Route c - 1:

Photos above illustrate the countryside along route c - 1 to the Poroy Dam.

       Route c - 2:

       Route c - 3:

      Route c - 2:

      From Goritsa to Kableshkovo area is hilly but still very nice for exploring. No any traffic here. Reaching Kableshkovo, away in front of you is Burgas.

        The next several photos are the countryside from Goritsa to Galabets to Poroy. The distance is the same as the one of route c - 1, although here there is one additional hill. The traffic is a little less than the previous route.

      Route c - 3:

      This route is the shortest one, it is the hardest one - the area include longer climbing, but here there is not any traffic, I do recommend it! 

      Toward Kableshkovo. Very little information for Kableshkovo is available here:

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

Down toward Burgas City.
      Soon after you see the sign for Burgas, you have to be careful (look the red circle on the map above): You must miss the main road where the awful traffic is available.    The crossroad here is a little complicated and your direction is not signed. Missing the motor road, soon you will be at the seaside, follow the bicycle lane and you will be in Burgas.
The area here is just fine for camp before entering in Burgas.

      Burgas is a big Bulgarian town at the sea coast. I love its Sea Garden. Information for Burgas:

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

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

        Some of my tours finish in Burgas, and I go back home by a train; at Burgas rail Station is very convenient to load bikes on the train, it is there an hour to its departing,  Several photos from Burgas and its Sea Garden:


 

 

16. Dyulinski Pass

 

      As in the previous point 15 of this Chapter, again the Pass I describe here: Dyulinski Pass, is a short road segment of the wide East end of Balkan.

      I will elongate a little my explanation here giving information of the route from Varna to Burgas (and back); my goal is to give an alternative which will avoid the road E87 along the seaside, where the traffic in the tourist season June - August is more than terrible and it MUST be avoid.

      The Pass itself is located between Dyulino and Gyulyovitsa, its altitude is 440 m. The pass is an easy ride in both directions. The pass is closed for cars heavier than 3,5 metric tons, and because of not nice road conditions, the traffic here is negligible.

      Further I will part this route in 2:

      Sector I. C - 16. a: From Varna to Dyulino, and

      Sector I. C - 16. b: From Dyulino to Gyulyovitsa

      I will not describe the road from Gyulyovitsa to Burgas, it is the same like in the previous point of the same Chapter.

      I will say several words how to visit some points at the seaside like Shkorpilovtsi and Obzor as well.

 

 

 

Sector I. C - 16. a

      The route is:

      From Varna to Asparuhovo Neibour to Benkovski (road 9006) to Sadovo (road 9402) to Venelin to Pchelnik to (road 904) Dolni Chiflik.

      Leaving Varna, very important here is to avoid the motor road A5 and take the road N9, just after the hudge bridge over the Lake of Varna (the first photo below). There are 5-6 kilometers hill here, not so hard for climbing until you are up on the Avren Plateau; here you will be in a forest - you will be in the shade, but unfortunately there are a lot of little tedious flies (especially if the period is humid), which will follow you and make your climbing very unpleasant if your speed is low than 16 km/hour, so it would be very nice if you have a veil near your face.

      Further you have to pedal a kilometer along E87, be careful, the traffic here is crazy. Ones heading toward Benkovski (road 9006), you will be on a local roads without any traffic.

 

The bridge over the Channel

      The passing the bridge is not a pleasure at all because of the traffic. After it is Asparuhovo suburb. Unfortunately, just after it there is 5 – 6 kilometers of

  climbing.  If you climbing morning no later than 10, or in the afternoon after 4, you will enjoy of a shade. The place is woody.

      Further you have to pedal a kilometer along E87, be careful, the traffic here is crazy. Ones heading toward Benkovski (road 9006) , you will be on a local roads without any traffic. The photos in right illustrate the crossroad toward Benkovski and the local road without any traffic.

      Next several photos are the countryside toward Dolen Chiflik. The local road 904 is without any traffic, extremely pleasant for pedaling. The road from village to village you have to follow is labeled well. Food and water is available in the villages along your route.

 

      The entire area is nice for camping in the wilderness. After Venelin you will be in the valley of Kamchia River, a bigger settlement here is Dolen Chiflik, here is a little information for it:

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

      If you want to visit the seaside, you can reach it heading after Dolni Chiflik toward Staro Oryahovo and Shkorpilovtsi - a little resort near the sea.         The area is beautiful to explore it by bicycle - easy road, no any traffic. So on the next map I will increase the scale a little:

      Information for Dolni Chiflik is available here. The little town is appropriate to have a lunch here and to syply with food and water, if you go up toward Krivini and Dyulino.

 

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

_chiflik/dolni_chiflik

      Photos from Dolni Chiflik and the road toward Staro Oryahovo:

      The next little town is Staro Oryahovo. Information for it is available here:

 

http://www.guide-bulgaria.com/NE/varna/dolni_chiflik/staro_oryahovo

      At the crossroad of roads 904 and E 87 there is a reetaurand offering very testy meals, although is appearance is not nice. The next photos are the road toward from Staro Oryahovo toward Novo Oryahovo and Shkorpilovtsi.

      Little restaurants and food shops, along with rooms can be found in Shkorpilovtsi, but in general, I pedal past this area, although I spent very nice afternoon in the

  sunny and hot September 2020 having our type of "Margarita" (Daisy) - Mentha, Sprite and cubes of ice, all that in a big cup . . . extremely refreshing !!!

      Because of the rocks in the surf, and the action of the waves along the beach, it is not safe to enter the waters in front of Shkorpilovtsi.  I have seen badly injured swimmers here. A kilometer to north from

 

Shkorpilovtsi it is safe because there are no more rocks in the surf.

      Next three photos are the endless beach between Shkorpilovtsi and Kamchia River Mouth.

      Next 2 villages toward Dyulino here are Krivini and Solnik, if my memory serves in the first one there was not a food shop. Again have in mind my note concerning the flies here.

  Our experience climbing the mountain here was very unpleasant because of thousands of flies attacking us all the time we were up the hill.

 

 

Sector I. C - 16. b

 From Dyulino to Gyulyovitsa

 

 

      It is the road segment, where you will climb Dyulinski Pass. I'd like to mention, that I have never pedaled the part of the road between Dyulino and the point 906 on the map on left; the road profile map below shows that it would be not hard for climbing.

 

 

      Have in mind that it is a dry area, so bring water with you. Along the road is lokated Panitsovo; you will not find food there, but there is a nice tap with drinkable water.

      Soon after Panitsovo is the mountain divide - a wide open area, several times I camped there.

      The climbing from the opposite side: from Gyulyovitsa to the pass top is a little bit harder. Again I will say that it is extremely dry area, so bring water with you. The situation   here was different in the extreme raining July '18, when from the south side of the Pass there was even a river. Just after Gyulyovitsa there is a tap of drinkable water.
      For tourists loving the sea side, I would suggest to visit Obzor. It is nice small resort, there you can find guest houses or hotels with each class of luxory. The beach here is very nice. More information for this place can be seen in the Chapter IV. Bicycling along the Black sea side,  

I will not write here about it. If you are coming here from south, I will suggest 2 routes shown in the map above: next three photos are from this area:

      - Route a: From Gyulyovitsa to Panitsovo to Dyulino to Popovich to Obzor.

      Text three photos are taken from this area between Popovich and Obzor.

     - Route b:

       It is the route I would recommend, especially if you are going to/back from Obzor.

      From Obzor to Priseltsi to Rakovskovo to Panitsovo to Gyulyovitsa.

       The climbing here is much easier as it is obvious from the road profile charts of the 2 routes. I would recommend this route in the both directions.

      In Rakovskovo is available a hotel and restaurant. Next several photos are from this area.

      And some information & several photos from Obzor:

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

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

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


 

17. Pomoriiski Pass

 

      Pomoriiski Pass is on the road E87 connecting Varna and Burgas. On some maps you will see the name ot the same pass as Primorski Pass, whish is not correct.

 

      The pass is located between Sunny Beach Resort and Obzor. Year round the traffic here is quite intensive, especially summer time (June and August), in the tourist season (July to 5 - 6 September) it is even terrible. The road has many turns, narrow segments, the south side of the mountain is steeper. Drivers are very nervous because of the traffic, and often heavy accidents occur.

 

      Although I bicycled this pass many times (the last time was in the beginning of May 2020, but because of the COVID epidemic there was not any traffig), my suggestion is ALWAYS AVOID THIS ROAD! It is dangerous signed as “forbidden for bicycling”. Need I say more?

 

      On the top of the pass there is a little restaurant and fresh water.

      Starting from Obzor, it follows Obzorski Pass. It is not so high, but the road segment here is extremely unpleasant because or too many turns and traffic.   I really hate it. The next several photos are from Obzor to the crossroad to Irakli and Emona.

      The road toward Irakli and Emona is signed well. More about this area and how to avoid this road 9 (E 87) can be seen in the Chapter IV. Bicycling along Black sea side

      - Segment IV- C.   From Varna to Emine Cape, Points 16. Irakli and 17. Emona;

      - Segment IV- D.   From Emine Cape to Burgas,    

 

point 18. from Emona to Nesebar.

 

      After the crossroad starts the Pass climbing. Three, fore kilometers up the mountain is Banya, water and food are available in it. The entire climbing of the pass from its north part is approx 14 - 15 km. the area is nice to camp in the wilderness.

       On the divide there is a little restaurant and a tap of water, although the water is not so nice. There is a nice place to camp there.

      From its south side the Pass is a little bit stepper and the climbing starting just after sunny Beach Resort is shorter. The slope is not more than 7 - 8%. No water up the mountain, so bring it with you. Because it is the south side of Balkan, it would be nice to climb it in the

 

morning. It is not a shade place. The pass is closed for trucks heavier than 10 metric tons, the problem here are tourist busses. To explore this Pass is better from north to south, you will enjoy of very nice view toward Sunny Beach Resort and Nesebar.


      And several photos from Sunny Beach Resort, the biggest one south from Balkan. If you love absolutely crowded place - it is just the place for you.

 

 Information in details for Sunny Beach Resort:

      http://www.sunny-beach.com

      The place I love in this region is the old history town Nesebar, You may visit the peninsula with the old part of Nesebar, it is  protected by UNESCO (next photos). A lot information for Nesebar is available in the next sites:

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

http://www.beachbulgaria.com/nessebar/

http://www.guide

-bulgaria.com/SE/bourgas/nessebar/nessebar

 

     The place I love in this region is the old history town Nesebar, You may visit the peninsula with the old part of Nesebar, it is  protected by UNESCO (next photos). A lot information for Nesebar is available in the next sites:

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

http://www.beachbulgaria.com/nessebar/

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

      More photos of this spot taken in the early June 2020, when the resorts were empty because of the COVID 19 epidemics . . .

  We decided that for us it is not dangerous and spend several sunny days there enjoying of the empty beaches.

back to Chapter I. Balkan Passes