Mountain Biking / XC

Mountain Biking

 

This eight-day mountain bike vacation is suited for people with basic off-road biking skills. Its XC route offers mainly mountain and forest trails and various singletracks. There is no biking along main roads and the asphalt sections included are only a couple of kilometers. There are no technical trails. However, the route contains some steep ascends and descends. When creating this vacation our team has taken into careful consideration the gradients and the technical trail features. But what is more, you have the opportunity to enjoy stunning scenery and get to experience lots of natural and cultural sightseeing.

 


PriceFrom 850 EUR per person based on 8 people travelling


 

 

 

ITINERARY

Day 1Arrival
This is the arrival day. Transfer to the hotel and you can spend the afternoon relaxing in the hotel or taking in the sights of Sofia. This evening, you will enjoy a full course Bulgarian meal at a popular restaurant for your  welcome dinner!

Night 1. We spend the night in a three star hotel in Sofia.

Day 2. 

We begin our trip on the eastern slopes of Vitosha Mountains, where we ride through shady forests and along exposed ridges as we explore the panoramic range of Plana and Lozenska Mountains. After approximately 9 km the smooth trail takes us to Zheleznitsa village, where we take a short break and have our lunch on the terrace of a small restaurant. The second part of the day’s route leads us to the moderate but picturesque slopes of Plana Mountains, situated in the midst of Vitosha Mountains and the Valley of Iskar River. At dusk we reach the shore of Iskar Dam. There we can have a refreshing drink while enjoying the beautiful scenery. 

Night 2. We spend the night in the small mountain village of Govedartsi. Dzhambazki brothers are our hosts. Their cozy hotel has a great garden with an open swimming pool, sauna and a steam bath. Djambazki brothers prepare the most delicious trout in the region.

Day 3.

We are already in the Rila Mountains. Its peak Musala (2929 m) is the highest of the Balkan Peninsula. We ride atop the Lakatishka part of Rila and take our time to enjoy the majestic views of the higher parts of the mountain. A wild downhill follows. We ride through spruce forests and meadows covered with herbs, reach the natural landmark Obesen Kamak; and then, descending again, we head to Dupnishka Kettle along the eroded doubletrack. It takes us to the very foot of the mountain, where Separevo village is situated. We continue 2-3 km southwest of Separevo towards the small town of Separeva Banya and visit the hottest spring in Bulgaria (to be precise it is a geyser with its water temperature reaching 102,3 C). The next highlight of today’s route is well known by those who love kayak and rafting. This is the Kresna gorge of Struma River, which separates Pirin Mountains (to the east) and Malashevska and Ograjden mountains (to the west).

Night 3: The town of Kresna, where we stay this night, is situated at the southern end of the Kresna gorge. We stay in the tranquil Brioni Hotel. We have selected this hotel not only because of the good service provided, but also because of its unique location. Only 100 m away from the main road, Brioni is sheltered by ancient sycamores and a small stream runs in their shadows.

Day 4.

Our day starts (of course after breakfast!) with a short transfer to the village of Stara Kresna, the starting point of today’s route. We ride the rolling single and doubletracks cut on the western slopes of Pirin Mountains. This route offers us striking views of the karst ridge of Pirin Mountains and its highest peak – Vihren (2914 m). Near the picturesque Vlahi village there is another highlight - the Vlahi cascade. There we visit two natural hot spings. The combination of mountain biking, wild SPA centers and beautiful and serene villages offers you a truly exhilarating experience. We spend the rest of the day again in the town of Kresna and the same hotel.

Night 4: The town of Kresna, Brioni Hotel.

Day 5.

Today we have a day off riding and we visit the architectural reserve Melnik. The town of Melnik is famous for its wine cellars, dug in the wind-blasted sandstone pyramids which shelter the town. We pay a visit to Rozhen village and the Rozhen Monastery. Hike on the eco-path, which connects the town and the monastery, weaving up and down the sand pyramids. After the unforgettable panoramic trail we take our time to enjoy the local taverns that offer great atmosphere. If you wish, we can plan some free time for Melnik cultural sightseeing. Finally we go to Banya village where we spend the night.

Night 5. Banya village is located in the Razlog valley and is surrounded by three mountains – Rila, Rodopi and Pirin, and it is famous for its hot springs, too. We stay in Rimska Banya hotel, which offers mineral water pool, sauna, steam bath and massages.

Day 6.

We start the day with an hour's journey by mini-bus to Avramovo village.
The narrow-gauge railway line that connects the stations Septemvri and Dobrinishte winds by the village. The Avramovo village rail station, named Avramovi Kolibi, is the highest in terms of location on the Balkan Peninsula. It is the starting point of the day’s route. We ride along double tracks and pass through hamlets spread around in the mountain. Here we have the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the unique atmosphere of the Rhodope Mountains and to feel its warm beauty from our mountain bikers’ point of view. At dusk we reach Eleshnitsa town and then take the bus for a short trip back to Banya.

Night 6
: Banya village, Rimska Banya hotel

Day 7.

The bus takes us again to the Rila Mountains. Our starting point is the mountain resort Semkovo (1450 m.a.s.l.). We climb reaching 1900 m elevation. From here we make a speedy ride along a panoramic horizontal doubletrack. We reach the foothills of Mechy pass and climb the pass carrying our bikes up a steep singletrack. It takes us up to Makedonia hut (2200 m), where we rest and have some snacks. Then we ride 2 more km up a stony doubletrack until we reach the highest point of our tour – 2200 m. Here "The Happiness Trail” begins. Our clients have given the name of the singletrack, claiming that this is one of their favourite parts of the tour. For now we only reveal that the trail dips down into the woods with a small stream following it. After we reach the valley of Iliina River we take a doubletrack along the river and glide though flower-strewn meadows and deep shady forests. At the end of today’s route we visit the famous Rila Monastery.

Night 7: Today we stay in a small hotel situated at the foot of Vitosha Mountains. The terrace of the hotel offers panoramic view on the Sofia kettle and the mountains surrounding it.

Day 8.

The Vitosha Mountains. The day’s trip starts just above Bistritsa village. The even, almost horizontal trail loops around the northern slope of Vitosha. After 2-3 hours we descend to the ancient Boyana church and have a look at its famous murals.

This afternoon we pack our bikes and visit Sofia. Transfer to the airport according to the flight.


Bringing your own bike* : Plenty of people choose to bring their own bikes on our trips.

WHAT 'S INCLUDED
  • local English speaking guides
  • accommodations in hotels, mountain lodges, or guest houses
  • 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners
  • airport transfers
  • sightseeing and activities as noted in the itinerary
  • ground transportation
  • entrance fees

WHAT'S NOT

International airfare; meals not noted in itinerary; insurance (we strongly recommend you purchase the World Nomad’s insurance; a link to them you can find on our website ); optional tipping to leader, guides and local staff; airport taxes; and items of a personal nature (sodas, alcoholic beverages, etc.).

Please note that to keep prices as low as possible cycle hire is not included as many people choose to bring their own. Should you wish to hire a bike from us the cost is 80EUR for the whole week.

ACCOMODATION


We stay in 3-star hotels and comfortable guesthouses.

 

MEALS INCLUDED


7 breakfast, 7 dinner

Generally lunchpacks are not included in the trip price. On spot you can order a lunchpack for 4 EUR per day.

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Strenuous. In order to get the best out of this tour you need to have a reasonably good level of fitness and be used to cycling on a regular basis. You can elect to bring your own bikes (or saddles/helmets) with you, however if doing so should bring sufficient spare parts. Age Restriction/Minimum age 16. All children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian.


TRANSPORT

Private AC Van

WHAT TO BRING

  • Passport (with photocopies)
  • Travel insurance (with photocopies)
  • Airline tickets (with photocopies)
  • Euros
  • Credit or debit card
  • Cobeya Tours vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
  • Any entry visa required
  • Bike
  • Cycling helmet
  • Gloves and shorts
  • Spare inner tube(unless hiring a bike),
  • Camera
  • Comfortable hiking shoes
  • Light windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Towel
  • Sun hat
  • 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
  • Light sweater/fleece top
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries
  • Flashlight
  • Water bottle or camelback
  • Pocketknife
  • Sport sandals
  • First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, any extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
INSURANCE

Travel insurance is mandatory for all clients whilst on a trip organized by Cobeya Adventure Tours. It is mandatory that this travel insurance covers adequate personal accident, medical, evacuation and repatriation expenses, as well as cancellation, curtailment, loss of effects and all other expenses that might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or inconvenience occurring to the client. Clients, together with their personal property including baggage, are at all times solely at their own risk. Clients are wholly responsible for arranging their own insurance.
You can use any travel insurance you wish although we recommend you to buy it with World Nomads Travel Insurance. This Travel Insurance Agency is also partnered with Lonely Planet, so it is cheap and reliable! You can very easily purchase it online by just clicking on the folowing link...

FLIGHTS

Airfare is not included in the land cost of our trips. But please check with our staff before purchasing or obtaining your tickets, so we may verify your arrival and departure schedule.

Cobeya Tours has competitive airfares to get you to the starting point of your chosen adventure. Contact us for a full quotation including airfares, stopovers and any additional travel you wish to organize pre or post tour.

PRE OR POST TOUR ARRANGEMENTS

Because our tours are extremely suitable to be part of your total Bulgarian holiday, we offer you the possibility to extend your holiday by booking your accommodation before or after your tour by us. We suggest several unique accommodations on The Black Sea or in the mountains for very special prices.

PASSPORT&VISA

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months
beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the
correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is
necessary.

EU nationals may travel to Bulgaria using only an EU identity card. If
you think this may apply to you please check with your local authorities.
Visa regulations can and do change without notice and if you are not a
EU passport holder please check the current regulations in good
time to obtain a visa if one is required. Additional information...

MONEY MATTERS

As there are no banks or ATMs once you enter the mountains you may wish to exchange approx. 75-100 Euros into local Bulgarian currency to cover entrances and for the purchase of drinks with meals and traditional handicrafts as souvenirs. Please note that the banks located within the arrivals hall at Sofia airport are typically closed at the weekends, so please make sure you obtain Bulgarian currency either in your home country or before passing through customs into the arrivals hall. When ordering your Bulgarian currency it is advisable to request as small denomination notes as possible. Shops and restaurant in the small villages rarely have much in the way of small change and often refuse to accept larger denomination notes. Credit cards and traveler’s cheques are not a convenient way of payment.
ATM are available in Sofia and Bansko, but not in the smaller villages of our itenerary.
Tipping (leader and local staff)
If you receive good service it is customary to tip staff in Bulgaria in appreciation of their help and friendliness, although this is in no way compulsory.

 

 

 

Cobeya Advenyure Tours