CYCLING ROUTE N1 IN BULGARIA
KM TOTAL LENGTH
ABOUT THE ROUTE
Dunav Ultra is Bulgaria’s longest tourist cycling route – 740 km along the Danube River, through Dobrudja to the Black Sea. In the section Bregovo-Silistra, its trajectory overlaps the transcontinental cycle route Eurovelo 6. The Dunav Ultra route is the winner of the Innovation Of The Year Award of the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria.
EXPERIENCING THE ROUTE
While you cycle along the Danube in Bulgaria, using the help of a personal guide is unnecessary. To make it easier to organize the adventure, we divided the route into 14 sections – we call them Stages. Each Stage usually is 40-50 km long, and some of the Stages offer two tracks to choose from – the Classic or Adventure track.
Since we created the Dunav Ultra route, our cause has been to promote over 110 Bulgarian small villages and towns through or near the path passes. Our goal is to improve the overall cycle infrastructure and develop the route as an attractive destination for international cycling tourism.
The Dunav Ultra cycling route was created in 2014 as a personal challenge for three amateur cyclists, who set themselves to cover the 680-kilometer distance within 48 hours by bicycle. For three consecutive years, the project leader Boris Begamov has organized and personally participated in extreme cycling&running events along the route, with the cause of promoting the region. After 2016, Begamov set out to upgrade the Dunav Ultra route as the Balkans’ most popular tourist cycling route.
Classic and Adventure track
While traveling on a bicycle along the Danube in Bulgaria, you can do it in two ways (using two different tracks). We call the tracks – Adventure and Classic tracks. The Classic track is most suitable if you travel on a standard road bike – you will move away from the Danube several times, but there is artificial pavement everywhere. The Adventure version includes cycling closer to the river musing secondary roads, forest, and dirt roads without artificial pavement. The Adventure track requires a specific attitude, skills, more time, and suitable equipment. This experience represents an even deeper immersion in the region along the Danube River and Dobruja in Bulgaria.
The 14 Stages
To plan comfortable and safe enough daily travel, we divided the route into a total of 14 Stages. Eight of the Stages offer an Adventure option (track) means you can cycle close to the river on dirt roads. Each Stage ends in a settlement, with the basic logistics and tourist environment necessary for such an experience. The longest Stage is Silistra – Dobrich 102 km, and the shortest is the Adventure track of the Stage Nikopol – Belene, 28 km. More information about each Stage is available in our Mobile application Dunav Ultra.
The route passes through a vast geographical area: tributaries of the Danube, protected areas, nature parks, reserves, lakes, swamps, and agricultural land. Meeting nature along the Danube and Dobruja is an exotic and unforgettable experience. Flora and fauna offer a specific and rich diversity, and each season has a different and outstanding environment. Among the most exciting places along the route are Persina Nature Park, Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Area, the mouths of the Timok, Iskar, Yantra, and Cherni Lom rivers, the Malak Preslavets swamp, the Dry river canon, and lake Durankulak.
The region offers a specific cuisine based on earthly and river goods. Here the Danube fish is a daily meal, and the fish soup is a brand. The best restaurants offer fried/bbq-ed fish, and you can try the taste of catfish, carp, zander, bleak fish, and others. The locals often said that the best fish is not on the menu list, but the Danube gave us today. The influence of Wallachian cuisine here is evident – stuffed cabbage leaves as “sarmale,” traditional soup “salamura,” fried pork chops as “dzhumerki,” polenta as “mamaliga” are present in the local’s menu. Although fruit trees grow everywhere, in the Dobrogea region, there are plenty of organic apricots, peaches, plums, melons, watermelons, and more. In Silistra and Dobrich, you can try watermelon jam in a homemade style called “madzhun,” and the taste of fresh mackerel in front of the Black Sea coast is just an unforgettable experience.
The 100 Dunav Ultra Highlights
In 2018, we created a list of the 100 Dunav Ultra Highlights for the first time – a selection of cultural and historical sites, archeological sites, natural phenomena, animals, birds, and food – representing the identity of the Dunav Ultra route. We update the list periodically, and you can find detailed information for each site and its geolocation along the Danube cycle path in the mobile application Dunav Ultra.
ABOUT THE DUNAV ULTRA EXPERIENCE
Traveling along the Danube banks and Dobruja in Bulgaria is a unique experience with no analog in this part of the continent.
The specifics of the geographical terrain with its ups and downs, the region’s history, typical landmarks, precise nature, and the turbulent socio-economic processes over the centuries – define the identity of a unique world – we called it The World of Dunav Ultra.
To discover this world while cycling along the route is part of our Dunav Ultra Adventure.
Dunav Ultra, Founder
“The Danube cycling travel in Bulgaria is both – a personal challenge and an adventure, as well as a philosophical return, deep in the roots of our human nature.”
THE MOST INTERESTING PLACES
The 100 Dunav Ultra Highlights
The 100 Dunav Ultra Highlights presents natural phenomena, historic sites, sanctuaries, archeological sites, animals, exotic birds, traditional food, and the most exciting spots for the region.
Detailed descriptions of the sights are presented in the Mobile application Dunav Ultra.
INNOVATION OF THE YEAR IN TOURISM
In 2017, the Dunav Ultra route won the Grand Prize – Innovation of the Year in Tourism in the Annual Awards of the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria.
All settlements through/nearby which passes the route Dunav Ultra
Kudelin, Vrav, Novo Selo, Florentin, Yasen, Negovanovtsi, Kapitanovtsi, Gomotartsi, Koshava, Slanotran, Kutovo, Antimovo, Pokraina, Kapitanovtsi, Vidin, Dunavtsi, Simeonovo, Botevo, Archar, Dobri Dol, Slivata, Orsoya, Lom, Kovatchitsa, Gorni Tsibar, Kozloduy, Harlets, Glozhene, Mizia, Saraevo, Oryahovo, Leskovets, Ostrov, Gorni Vadin, Dolni Vadin, Krushovene, Baikal, Gigen, Zagrazhden, Dabovan, Brest, Gulyantsi, Milkovitsa, Dolni Vit, Somovit, Cherkovitsa, Nikopol, Dragash Voyvoda, Vabel, Lyubenovo, Lozitsa, Byala Voda, Dekov, Belene, Oresh, Svishtov, Vardim, Novgrad, Dzhulyunitsa, Novgrad, Belyanovo, Beltsov, Tsenovo, Krivina, Batin, Gorno Ablanovo, Ekzarh Yosif, Obretenik, Dve Mogili, Ivanovo, Basarbovo, Ruse, Marten, Sandrovo, Slivo Pole, Ryahovo, Babovo, Brashlen, Nova Cherna, Tutrakan, Pozharevo, Dunavets, Dolno Ryahovo, Malak Preslavets, Garvan, Popina, Vetren, Tarnovtsi, Bogdantsi, Zafirovo, Kolarovo, Srebarna, Aidemir, Silistra, Kalipetrovo, Bogorovo, Kainardzha, Voinovo, Strelkovo, Sredishte, Kolartsi, Kamentsi, Onogur, Efreitor Bakalovo, Telerig, Krushari, Ovcharovo, Paskalevo, Hitovo, Karapelit, Dobrich, Stefan Karadzha, General Toshevo, Kardam, Lyulyakovo, Preselentsi, Goritsa, Velikovo, Sirakovo, Sarnino, Chernookovo, Spasovo, Bezhanovo, Zahari Stoyanovo, Staevtsi, Durankulak.