Overview of the Balkans-By-Bicycle Tour

From Dubrovnik (Croatia) to Istanbul (Turkey) in 16 Cycling Days, plus one rest day

This wonderful uplifting tour will have no more than 12 people on it, so please do book early to avoid disappointment. It promises to be an exciting journey in this enthralling part of the world. Much of which is emerging slowly enough as tourist destinations so as to continue to retain much of the natural beauty, uniqueness and charm of the countryside and villages.

Level of Difficulty, Distance and Climbing

This bike tour of the Balkans is suitable for our ACTIVE Riders. Find out if you are an AVID or ACTIVE style of rider here. It is 16 days of cycling plus one rest day and is approximately on average 80 km and 925 meters of climbing per day.


£2,990 Per Person Sharing. Some single rooms are available for an additional supplement of £680.
Approximately 75 km and 800 meters of climbing per day on average

Route Map of the Balkans Cycle Tour

Balkans Cycle Tour Route Map

Dubrovnik to Istanbul GPX Files

All our cycle tours are supported with GPX files of the entire route. These start at the door of the hotel you are leaving and finish right at your finish hotel. The GPX route files for your Balkans cycle tour will be sent well in advance for you to check uploading to your bike computer. Any revisions will be resent.

    18 Nights 19 Days 18 Aug 2024
    Dates and Rates
    date & duration price
  • Sorry no more departures available. You could get in touch with us at hello@wildatlanticcycling.com if you'd like to make a booking.
  • Inclusions/Exclusions

    What is included in the tour

    1. Accommodation and breakfast in great hotels
    2. Lunch will be provide on four days but otherwise excluded. Options and recommendations for stops will be communicated at each morning's briefing and noted on the daily route sheet
    3. Luggage transfer
    4. Advice on places to stop for your morning coffee and lunch
    5. Water, Soft drinks, fruit, cakes and bars en route
    6. Van and mechanical support
    7. GPX route files

    What is NOT included in the tour

    • Any meals/services not mentioned in the inclusions
    • Transport from and back to Leh as per the itinerary in Tempo Traveller / Toyota Innova / Mahindra Scorpio (extra charges)
    • Porter/mule charges to carry your personal bag ( Rs. 1800)
    • Any charges for video cameras, still cameras, etc.
    • Alcohol, soft drinks, beverages, etc.
    • Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
    • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, road blocks, bad weather, etc.
    • Insurance 
    • Kotor Bay and Sveti Stefan in Montenegro
    • Views from hotel in Shkoder and lunch in Tirana, the capital city of Albania
    • The border descent and ride around the beautiful Lake Ohrid to Ohrid itsef in North Macedonia
    • The Ciflik Winery in Bitola
    • The Climb from Delchevo to the Bulgarian Border crossing
    • The mountain town of Bansko in Bulgaria
    • The freewheel down the River Mesta towards the Greek Border and into Gotse Delchev
    • Thassos Island
    • The ride through the Nestos Delta in Thrace national Park in Northeastern Greece
    • Crossing the Turkish Border
    • The Ancient City of Troy in Canakkale
    • Crossing from ;The East' to 'The West' then 'West' to 'East' by ferry on our final day in Gelibolu (Gallipoli)
    • Our hotel with its terrace overlooking Topkapi Palace in Istanbul

    Balkans Cycle Route & Itinerary - Dubrovnik (Croatia) to Istanbul (Turkey)

    16 days of cycling plus one rest day and Arrival / Departure days - 19 days total
    Approximately averaging 80 km and 925 meters per day

    Starting in the Jewel of the Balkan Crown’ City of Dubrovnik we head south to the world famous Kotor Bay in Montenegro and onwards to Shkoder, known as the ‘Cycle City’ in Northern Albania. When you arrive you’ll know why! The bells ring here like the bicycles in Beijing! You have a day off and we miss cycling through the bustle of Tirana although our transfer to Elbasan allows for a two hour lunch in Albania’s capital city. We stay over in Elbasan and you then cycle across the border to the breath-taking beauty of Ohrid in North Macedonia. We head east through Bitola and Veles where you spend the night. In the morning it’s a short bus ride to Kochani to cycle over the mountain across the border at Delchevo into Bulgaria. From the University city of Blagoevgrad we then take you to the ski resort of Bansko at the foot of the Pirin Mountains. We breathe out here then head south freewheeling to the beach in Greece with a worthwhile detour onto the island of Thassos … from whence we make our last ride east across the Nestos Delta via Komotini and Alexandroupoli into Turkey. From Ipsala we cross the Dardanelles Strait by bus and stay over in Cannakale for two nights to allow us a loop out to the Ancient city of Troy. On our last day we take our bikes on a ride acros the continents starting on the Asian side we ferry to Kilitbahir and ride north along the Strait to Gelibolou. We ferry back to Lapseki before taking a bus to Bandirma to cross the  Sea of Marmara by ferry to Istanbul, the historical bustling ‘gateway to the east’.

    • Day 1 - Arrival Day (no cycling)
    • Day 2 - Dubrovnik Croatia to Kotor Bay Montenegro 64 km 807 m
    • Day 3 - Kotor Bay to Budva 45 km 1,009 m
    • Day 4 - Budva to Bar bus transfer then Bar to Shkoder Albania 45 km 527 m
    • Day 5 - Bus to Elbasan via lunch in Tirana, the capital (no cycling)
    • Day 6 - Elbasan to Ohrid North Macedonia 93 km 1,455 m
    • Day 7 - Ohrid to Bitola 70 km 1,012 m
    • Day 8 - Bitola to Veles 126 km 710 m
    • Day 9 - Bus to Kochani then Kochani to Blagoevgrad Bulgaria 88 km 1,444 m
    • Day 10 - Blagoevgrad to Bansko 58 km 1,089 m
    • Day 11 - Bansko to Gotse Delchev 57 km 440 m
    • Day 12 - Gotse Delchev to Krinides Greece 97 km 913 m
    • Day 13 - Krinides to Thassos  58 km 690 m
    • Day 14 - Thassos to Komotini 100 km 479 m
    • Day 15 - Komotini to Alexandroupoli 67 km 601 m
    • Day 16 - Alexandroupoli to Ipsala Turkey 54 km 368 m. Bus transfer to Canakkale
    • Day 17 - Canakkale loop to Troy 73 km 733 m
    • Day 18 - Canakkale to Lapseki via Kilitbahir and Gelibolou 57 km 360 m. Bus transfer to Bandirma or Yalova. Ferry or Catamaran to Istanbul across the sea of Marmara 
    • Day 19 - Departure Day (no cycling)

    Key Points

    1. The tour starts in Dubrovnik in Croatia and finishes in Istanbul
    2. The tour is suitable for road bikes (or hybrid)
    3. Bike rental cannot be arranged 
    4. Your bike will need to be brought with you in a CARDBOARD-style disposable box. For a fee (£65) you can opt to have your bike professionally repacked at the end of the tour for onward travels. Your bike will be collected from the hotel where we spend our final night and then delivered to the airport all ready to check on your flight!
    5. There will be one support van on route
    Rider Type
    Active Cyclist