Remember Me
Reset your password...

Ride Rating System

The BAC has a Ride Rating system that can tell you what to expect while on one of our rides. Learn more...

Ride Info

Ride Overview

Enchanting Bulgaria

  • Arrival
  • 8/23/2021
  • Departure
  • 9/7/2021
  • Ride Coordinator
  • Marita Moberg
  • Tour Company
  • Spice Roads
  • Starting Location
  • Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Finishing Location
  • Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $4750
  • Deposit
  • $1750
  • Number of Riders
  • 20 (min. 14 /max. 20)
  • Space Available
  • 0
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

3B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

View larger map...

† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

and you can request to participate in this ride.

Ride Coordinator Comments

There are a limited number of e-bikes available for rent. Size M,L, and XL

Ride Description

OVERVIEW

Off the beaten path Europe is hard to find these days, but Bulgaria fits the bill.  Alongside a wonderfully well-preserved culture, ancient ruins and medieval churches, lies beautiful back country and quaint countryside.  Bulgaria's hearty local cuisine, a distinguished regional wine culture and a plethora of traditional spas are all perfect for experiencing by bike.  The country's rocky and wild wilderness has captivated locals and travelers alike.  

This ride is 16 days and 15 nights with 11 full cycling days.  The journey starts in the storied and beautifully weathered city of Sofia, one of the oldest inhabited cities in Europe.  We begin our Bulgarian biking adventure on the afternoon of Monday, August 23, 2021 at the Arena di Serdika Hotel.  We meet for a trip briefing and Happy Hour before a welcome dinner in a traditional Bulgarian restaurant.

The adventure begins the next morning after a 30 minute transfer to Yablanitsa town, where we start our biking exploration.  The ride on each day will be between 28-45 miles with an average elevation ascent of 2700 ft.  

Cycling starts in the north foothills of the Balkans alongside the Beli Vit river before we climb up to Bogoi Pass at 3887 ft.  Once over the highest Balkan mountain pass we cruise downhill through the gorgeous forrest of the Sredna Gora Mountain and into the Valley of Southern Bulgaria.  The sparklingly preserved town of Koprivshtitsa will invigorate road weary legs and send us on the way across rolling hills to the thermal spa town of Hisarya.  For our first rest day we transfer to Plovdiv, "The City of the Seven Hills," where a walk will take us back to antiquity as we discover the Roman amphitheater and a wander along the town's cobblestone street will take us to St Marina church and an Ottoman Empire mosque.

The journey continues through two spectactular gorges en route to Velingrad, the spa capital of the region.  It's Bulgaria at its unspoiled best, a cache of natural beauty and ancient history, comfortable accommodations, and fresh cuisine in idyllic surroundings.  We spend two nights providing a full day to relax in the spa or walk around the lovely town.

We finish our riding experience on Monday, September 6, 2021 with a great 6000 foot descent from Pirin mountain to Melink.  We then transfer to our hotel, again the Arena di St Serdika Hotel in Sofia, where we have our last Happy Hour and final dinner.   On the following day, Tuesday, September 7, we have a transfer to Sofia International Airport (SOF).

The biking adventure will be led by SpiceRoads Cycle Tours (www.spiceroads.com), a specialized biking tour company with highly experienced cyclists with insider knowledge.  

The ride is limited to 20 participants who are expected to ride the entire distance.

A detailed daily itinerary is available under the Ride Leader Docs.

RIDE RATING

We will cycle 397 miles in 11 full cycling days.  The longest day is 45 miles (Day 14) and the shortest is 27.5 miles (Day 3).  Total ascent  is approximately 29,622 ft.  This is a touring trip using mountain bikes or hybrids on a mixture of good sealed roads. Road bikes could be used, but there will be some cobblestone and sections of old tarmac that could be a bit bumpy.  There is one 5 km section of off road.   No off road riding experience is required. For riders bringing their own bikes, bike boxes will be stored in Sofia.   Tandems are allowed on a case by case basis-contact the leader before signing up.   A support vehicle is always available to assist in emergencies.

The days are rated as follows:

Day 1   Arrive: No riding day

Day 2   33 miles and 2460 ft  2A

Day 3   27.5 miles and 2591 ft  3A

Day 4   33 miles and  2080 ft  2A

(Day 3 and 4 we overnight in the same hotel in Chiflik)

Day 5   38  miles and  3228 ft 3B

Day 6   41 miles  and 1040 ft  1B

Day 7   Rest day

Day  8   31 miles and   2821 ft 3A

Day  9   30 miles and   3871   4A

Day 10  43 miles and 2874 ft  3B

Day 11   Rest day

(Day 10 and 11 we overnigiht in the same hotel in Velingrad)

Day 12  45 miles and  3553   4B

Day 13  30 miles and  777 ft  1A

Day 14  45 miles and 4327    4B

Day 15  Rest day

Day 16   End of tour after breakfast

The average elevation of Sofia is 1800 ft.

WEATHER

Bulgaria's climate is temperate and generally favorable, with average daytime highs of 82 F in August and lows of 59 F.  Average rain days are 6/month.  Expect colder temperatures on the mountain passes.  Be prepared for rain, cooler weather in the evenings and warm, sunny days.

LODGING AND MEALS

15 nights in double/twin shared rooms, 15 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners.   Lodging will range from local, traditional and charming hotels to deluxe properties.  Accommodation is included from Monday, August 23rd  2021 until departure on Tuesday September 7th 2021.

LOGISTICS

You should aim to fly into and out of Sofia International Airport (SOF).  Airport transfers to the hotel (Arena di Serdika Hote;) will be arranged.  The tour begins on the afternoon of Monday, August 23, 2021with a trip briefing and bike fitting before the 5:30PM Happy Hour.  If you plan to arrive early, SpiceRoads can assist with pre-tour hotel bookings.  SpiceRoads will assign a company representative to assist the BAC riders who sign up, ie. pre and post tour hotels, bike rentals ($350 ) etc.  For any enquiry concerning equipment, pre/post nights and for bike rentals please contact Spiceroads direct:  kie@spiceroads.com.   

On Tuesday September 7th 2021, the tour ends and airport transfers will be arranged.

COST AND ADMINISTRATION

Cost is per person, double occupancy.  The price includes 15 nights lodging, 15 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 14 dinners, cue sheets, BAC Happy Hour refreshments, cycling jersey, transfer to and from the SOF airport.  The cost does not include the non-refundable $100 BAC fee, the cost of optional activities, or alcoholic beverages at included meals.  For riders  who choose to rent a bicycle from SpiceRoads the cost is $350 payable directly to SpiceRoads and is in addition to the $4750 estimated ride cost. The cost includes English speaking guides, support vehicles, snacks, water and soft drinks during cycling.  Each days' Happy Hour drinks are based on 1/2 bottle of wine or 2 bottles of beer, 2 premium fruit juice or one cocktail per person.  The deposit of $1750 is due on registration and two additional payments of $1500 are due on 8/31/2020 and 3/31/2021.

PASSPORT AND VISA:  Your US passport must be valid for at least 3 months after the expected day of departure from Bulgaria and have one blank page.  US citizens traveling on regular tourist passports may stay in Bulgaria for up to 90 days.  All other nationalities should check with the Bulgarian Embassy for details.

HEALTH:  No vaccinations are considered necessary for Bulgaria. Tap water is safe to drink in Bulgaria. Fountains in town parks and outside monasteries and churches provide fresh drinkable water, as well as the Cheshma  (water spouts) found along main roads, which also offer fresh, delicious and safe water.

SINGLES AND SOLO:

If space allows, a limited number of solo rooms may be available.  It is recommended that singles that want a roommate try to find their own.  However, after receipt of inital deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until February 28, 2021,  to find a roommate.  If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the  option  to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $450 solo supplement and stay on the ride.  If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary.  The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride.  Solo supplement payments are due on February 28,2021, and should be sent to the BAC office.  Checks should be made out to "BAC" with a notation of the tour name included on the check.  The mailing address is: Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.

CANCELLATION POLICY:

The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee is not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled.  Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up and on costs that can be recouped.  The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour's remaining participants will not incur any additional costs as the result of the cancellation.  If the canceling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time.  If the canceling participant cannot be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed.  If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the canceling roommate will also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour.  BAC incourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.  If the minimum number of 14 is not met, SpiceRoads reserves the right to adjust the price, the participants can then decide to accept the increase or the tour will be cancelled.

For cancellations that go unfilled and without a replacement, the SpiceRoads policy applies and is as follows:

Number of days prior to trip start, cancellation fee per person:

90+days Administration expenses incurred*

45-89 days  $1230

15-44 days  $2870

0-14  days   $4100

*Bank fees and any tour costs incurred by the company as a result of the cancellation.

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBLILITY

Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support.  Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health, and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles.  All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour.  We encourage you to read the Ride Description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leaders.  While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as Happy Hour preparation and clean-up.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour.  Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special requests that you may have and respect the Ride Leader's decisions.  

SIGN UP:

To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above the Ride Description.  When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List.  At this time you will receive a e-mail notification to log in to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the inital tour deposit of $1750 by credit card.  As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List.  To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.

 

 


Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510 office@bicycleadventureclub.org

© Copyright Bicycle Adventure Club, 2013, All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy