We're in Istanbul at the mo and are planning to head off to Edirne and cross the border into Bulgaria. We're heading back to France and would like to pick up the Eurovelo 6 route somewhere (sadly we don't have time to start at the Black Sea) and follow it back to France.
If anyone has any route recommendations from the Bulgaria/Turkish border as to where we could connect with the Eurovelo 6 route we'd love to hear from you.
If anyone is mad enough to be cycling the eurovelo 6 in winter like us don't hesitate to get in touch - we'd love to hook up :-)
Stani & Richard Velomad
Ecotopia bike tour passed twice in Bulgaria, there might be usefull information on their website.
Here turkish border to Sofia:
Eurovelo 6 is not a nice cycling road in Hungary...
A massive Merci for the link & info - will check it out now :-)
Arnaud - when I follow the link it goes to google maps but no information shows.
If I try copy - pasting the link I just get a message saying it
"could not be displayed because it is not a valid KML or KMZ file"
Could you post it again?
The link seems to be broken now.
The map should be available somewhere though...
Paper information instead:
Stani & Richard.
I'm afraid I am mad enough to be travelling Eurovelo 6 from Northern Germany to Istanbul in early winter. However, I am heading in the opposite direction to you. For what it's worth, here is my chosen route from the point where I met the Danube and experiences so far in the direction you are going...
(De) Regensburg - Passau - (Au) Linz - Melk - Vienna - (Sl) Bratislava - Komarov - (Hu)Budapest - Bolcske - Baja - (Srb) Sombor - Novi Sad - Beograd.
This is as far as I have got to date. I'm taking 2 days rest here in Beograd. So, the following is my intended route,
(Srb) Veliko - Donji Milanovic - (Bu) Vidin - (Ro) Bechet - Turnu Magurele - (Bu) Veliko Turnovo - Nova Zagora - (Tu) Edrine - Vize - Istanbul
Velo route 6 signage in Hungary is poor and in Serbia, very poor. Due to some heavy rain so far, some of the unpaved sections are not passable along the dykes next to the river Danube/Duna/Dunav well, for my bike anyway, so I have taken to the roads which are much better (faster) but quite busy. I have stayed in small hostels or been hosted at Warm Showers homes.
Check out 'A bike journey' blog as I took much of my route advice through Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey from this.
Trust this helps and safe riding.
THanks for the info Ronnie.
Would love to meet somewhere - we'll be in Plovdiv on Sunday and after that not sure whether to take Shipka Pass or ISkar gorge (don't have any info on Iskar gorge but sounds tempting)
Will post our plans when we get to Plovdiv (and decide!)
We cycled from Istanbul to the Atlantic Coast of France earlier this year. This reply is probably too late for you but I'll explain our route briefly. Istanbul has a hideous reputation for entering/exiting so we took the ferry from Istanbul to Bandirma and cycled down to Canukkale. We then headed north to Edirne from there. This took us 7 days instead of the 4 days we'd have taken cycling directly to Edirne from Istanbul.
We then took 6 days to cross Bulgaria.
Day 1 - Edirne to Harmanli
Day 2 - Harmanli to Stara Zagora
Day 3 - Stara Zagora to Kazanluk
Day 4 - Kazanluk to Sevlievo
Day 5 - Sevlievo to Pleven
Day 6 - Pleven to Oryakhavo
We really enjoyed this route. The only hard day was Day 4 when we had to climb 1000m to cross the Stara Planina, the central mountain range of Bulgaria. But this was also our most beautiful and memorable day in Bulgaria. Oryakhavo is on the Danube. We took a ferry across to Romania here.
We stayed in hotels till we reached Vienna but in Romania we found hotels along the Danube to be only in large towns. Hence we had to ride over 100km from Oryakhavo to Calafat, and then over 100km from Calafat to Drobeta-Turnu Severin. If you are camping you can be much more flexible with your distances.
Just north of Drobeta we crossed the Danube over a dam wall into Serbia. This allowed us to ride through the Iron Gates, an area in which the mighty Danube is squeezed between rocky cliffs. Stunning scenery and I strongly recommend you ride this way. It is also possible to stay on the Romanian side and ride through this section. We took 4 days to ride from Drobeta to Belgrade. I can't remember the town we stayed in the first night. We stayed in Golubac the second night and Smederevo the third night. The route from Smederevo to Belgrade we found to be quite dangerous. Busy with traffic, a single lane each way, impatient drivers, narrow roadway with crumbling edges. Our friend was nudged on his back pannier and forced off the road, and just got his foot out in time to prevent a nasty spill.
Eurovelo 6 doesn't exist as a bicycle path till you get to Budapest. Occasionally, I believe it is possible to find a cycle path in southern Hungary but they apparently turn into dirt tracks after a while. We just selected roads that suited us and that were not too far from the Danube.
After Belgrade we rode
Day 1 - Belgrade to Novi Sad
Day 2 - Novi Sad to Backa Palancka
Day 3 - Backa Palancka to Osijek (Croatia)
Day 4 - Osijek to Mohacs (Hungary)
Day 5 - Mohacs to Kalocsa
Day 6 - Kalocsa to Dunaujvaros
Day 7 - Dunaujvaros to Budapest
The cycle paths for Eurovelo 6 exist north of Budapest but signage is haphazard and frustrating. A few times we gave up on trying to find where the path went and went back to the roads. The good thing about this is that we found the Hungarian drivers to be amongst the most considerate towards cyclists in all of Europe. Once we reached Gyor, in north-west Hungary, we found we could confidently follow a well-signed Eurovelo 6 bike trail. From there on Eurovelo 6 is a breeze. Our blog for this trip is at:
if you are interested in more details of the ride.
We had a ball. Enjoy!!
Wow Joe - thanks for the awesome information. Will certainly check out your blog.
I plane to do the Eurovélo 6 this summer, from Passau to Blacksea, but I have a racing bicyle, to you think it's possible ?
The main problem with racing bikes is the narrow tyres they usually carry. Try to get a wider tyre to help smooth out some of the bumps you're going to meet along the way. The Eurovelo 6 from Passau to northern Hungary is smoothly paved and a racing bike would easily handle it. Once you reach Gyor in Hungary the Eurovelo 6 is inconsistent in its existence. Sometimes it's there somewhere, most of the time it's not. From Gyor to the Black Sea you'll be riding on roads. We found the road surfaces in Hungary, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria to be fine, though we didn't pick any minor rural roads to ride on. We didn't ride on expressways/freeways but took fairly decent roads. We found the drivers in these countries to be very good with cyclists, much better and more patient than drivers on our Australian roads. I think you'll be fine with a racing bike but recommend the widest tyres your bike can fit.