Day 1 Arbanasi:
Arrival at Sofia Airport and transfer to well preserved Arbanasi village where there are houses that resemble minor fortresses, several monasteries, notably St Nicholas, and old churches. Dinner in a traditional Bulgarian restaurant (mehana).
Day 2 Orthodox Monastery - Hotnitsa waterfall - Veliko Tarnovo 34 km:
Visit the picturesque Transfiguration orthodox monastery with famous icons and frescoes near Veliko Tarnovo then bike to beautiful Hotnitsa waterfall and gorge. Take a short car transfer in between then bike among beautiful hilly landscapes with nice views to reach Dryanovo cliffs. Reach Veliko Tarnovo, the medieval capital of Bulgaria whose cliff edge houses flank both banks of Jantra River overlooked by Tsarevets medieval fortress. Time for some sightseeing then transfer back to Arbanasi.
Day 3 Merdanski Monastery - Kapinovo Monastery 33 / 53 km
Transfer to Dragizhevo village where you start biking. Enroute you pass by Merdanski Monastery built in the 13thC and continue in direction to Plakovo and Kapinovo monasteries. Spend the night in the peaceful Kapinovo monastery and enjoy dinner in the lovely monastery courtyard.
Day 4 Kilifarevo Monastery - Dryanovo Monastery 34 km:
After short transfer you start cycle past typical villages to Kilifarevo monastery. Continue with a short but challenging ascent to Lalovo village then along the Dryanovska River to Dryanovo town. Overnight at Dryanovo Monastery whose feature is the “ Archangel Michael” dramatically sited in the gorge of the Dryanovska River. Limestone rocks rise high on all sides rendering it almost unapproachable.
Day 5 Bozhentsi Architectural Reserve – Tryavna 35 km:
In the morning we have a short transfer and then start cycling up and down to Bojentsi village where we spend some time for sightseeing in this quaint town. After a short transfer start cycling on quiet roads to Tryavna, a town that has preserved its old town square, the only one left in the country.
Day 6 Gabrovo - Etura open air museum - Sokolski Monastery 28 km:
Cycling from Tryavna up a mountain pass and then downhill to Gabrovo. The next stop is the open-air ethnographic museum of Etura. Its 18 -19th century water-driven machinery, crafts and lifestyle come alive before your eyes. From here you have four more kilometres to the picturesque Sokolski Monastery, where you stay overnight.
Day 7 Shipka monument - Shipka Monastery – Plovdiv 30 km:
After breakfast in Gabrovo town transfer to the historic Shipka Pass and memorial. You get on the bikes for a 10 km up/down ride in beautiful beech forest to the historic Buzludza area. A supreme downhill ride on the southern slopes of the mountains awaits you. You continue biking to Shipka town where we visit the richly decorated Shipka monastery and church. Transfer to Plovdiv, where we stay overnight.
Day 8 Departure
After breakfast transfer to Sofia or Plovdiv Airport for departure.
Moderate – Longest day is 45 km and shortest 28 km with elevations of up to 650m. Time is allowed for sightseeing at the monuments.