Adventure Motorcycle Tour in Bulgaria
I remember being taught about the importance of Bulgaria’s strategic geographic location back in high school, and that we are lucky to be where we’re at. The realization of that knowledge, though, didn’t really come to life until I became an adventure motor cyclist. Once you find the need to explore new routes out of town, new options for having a blast with your bike… well nothing comes close to the fast-pace changing scenery that Bulgaria has to offer: vast plains, towering mountains, coastline, layers of history, lovely local villages… the list goes on.
Many bikers from abroad that I know constantly look for new experiences and travel miles on end to ride in all these different countries. Bulgaria and the region seem to be an underestimated destination though, and here’s what you can do to prove them wrong.
Hop on a flight to Sofia, book a nice central place that will fit your needs. The best option would be Hotel Budapest (92 A Budapest str.), where many bikers from around the world stay during the summer months. They prefer hotel Budapest because it offers a safe parking space for their bikes and the staff will also help you get your gear cleaned up from all the dirt when needed. You will see, hotel Budapest is not only dog-friendly, but also motorcycle-friendly. J
If it happens so that you need to buy/replace parts on your bike before you head out, there are plenty of stores to choose from. There is a shop called Zedmoto (zedmoto.com), located on 24 Dimitar Mollov str, where you’ll be able to get most things. (Other good shops include motostar777.com and motoaccent.bg). Once you’re all set to travel – you can contact any of the motorcycle clubs in Sofia (such as Fire Wings MG Bulgaria and MC Brothers in Law) and if you’re lucky – get to ride with them.
Even if eventually you go solo or you have your own crew coming over – please mind the speed limits for motor bikes in Bulgaria – 50 km/h in the city, 90 km/h outside the city and 130 km/h on highways. Those limits have been set to help us stay safe and enjoy the road. Speaking of the road - let’s get going! Here are some of the best organized trips you can try out during your visit. Go online to browse for any of the local adventure trip organizations and they’ll hook you up with a nice bike and all the gear you need. That’s your first problem solved. Still don’t trust the routes that you find online? Lucky for you, the guys that rent gear also organize trips.
One of the best routes they offer is for mountain lovers - a weekend motorcycle tour in Rila, Pirin and the Rhodope mountains. Three mountains sound like quite a lot to take on in only one weekend, but the journey is approximately 700km, which makes it alright. The tour starts with a short ride to Govedartsi – a village that is hidden in the lower reaches of Rila, just along Cherni Iskar River. The first day is a chilled out introduction to what’s to follow in the next 2 days and it gives you the opportunity to explore the amazing site where Govedartsi is placed. After breakfast in the next morning, you should be ready for a full on riding day. The route goes through Lake Belmeken – Yundola site – Lake Batak – Lake V. Kolarov – Lake Dospat and it ends in the town of Velingrad where you spend the night. Make sure to charge your phone before you set off in day two - even if you’re not the type of person that will snap photos as they travel around, you won’t be able to resist some of the sights. The first destination for the last day of your journey is the smallest town in Bulgaria. Melnik is set in the south-western part of the country; in the mountain we call Pirin. Melnik is quite famous around here for being the source of the best red wine ever. A huge claim that only small towns like Melnik can live up to! After that, the route will take you to Bansko resort, which is one of the most famous winter resorts on the peninsula, where you’ll have lunch. Depending on how you’re doing with the time, on your way back to Sofia you can also visit the Rila monastery, which besides being very picturesque on its own, in very few words is one of the holiest places for Bulgarians. Depending on how many people have joined the party, the price will vary between 340 and 470 Euro, which includes your riding gear, a guide, accommodation, breakfast, insurances, entrance for all the extra activities and a lot more.
If you’re looking for a slightly shorter and more relaxed trip, then try the Belogradchik Rocks & Magura Cave tour. The first day will take you through the magnificent panoramic Petrohan pass through the mountain and then to Belogradchik Rocks. Those rocks form a sort of natural fortress above the town of Belogradchik and they are amazing to look at. This is where you’ll spend the night (I mean the town ;)). The next day starts with a ride to the Magura cave, which was occupied by hunters as early as 2700 BC! Those people’s wall paintings still remain on the walls of the cave, and you can see images of a giraffe, hunting scenes etc. The way back swivels through the scenic Iskar gorge. The total mileage of this journey is 500 km and, once again, depending on the number of your group, the price will vary between 310 to 440 Euro (of course, all the services listed in the previous paragraph are included in the price).Those are just a few of truly many mouth-watering options to have a great ride in Bulgaria. If you believe fuel runs in your veins, then don’t let minor obstacles get in the way of you having the best time. We have already started your bike, when are you coming?