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.


£2,900 Per Person Sharing. Some single rooms are available for an additional supplement of £680.
Approximately 80 km and 925 meters per day

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 20 Aug 2023 and 18 Aug 2024
    Dates and Rates
    date & duration price

    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

    1. Airport transfers at the start can be provided for a fee and assistance in arranging your own airport transfer to suit your departure flight at the end will be provided where required
    2. Coffee breaks
    3. Lunch will be provided 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
    4. Evening meals. Our stopovers all have reasonably priced restaurants and pubs nearby and most of the hotels have good dining. Breakfast is included
    5. Optional trips / entry fees for any excursions you arrange independently
    6. Insurance - you need to organise your own bike and travel insurance for this tour ensuring that it covers the seven countries we travel through on this trip namely Croatia (EU), Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria (EU), Greece (EU) and Turkey
    7. Gels, high energy bars, energy powder and shakes - bring your own as per what works best for you and your tummy!
    8. Arrival and departure flights

    An email will be sent out prior to the tour with a link to order extras such as bike box storage, airport transfers and merchandise

    • 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 you can opt to stop here for a few hours to explore the sights of Albania’s capital city. We stay over in Elbasan and you 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 to a ‘tour within a tour’ trip round the island of Thassos … from whence we make our last ride east across the Nestos Delta via Komotini and Alexandroupoli into Turkey and down the western side of the Dardanelles Strait ferrying to Cannakale then heading east to Can 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 95 km 1,185 m (59 mi 3,886 ft)
    • Day 3 - Kotor Bay to Sveti Stefan / Budvar 64 km 1,575 m (40 mi 5,166 ft)
    • Day 4 - Sveti Stefan / Budvar to Shkoder Albania 80 km 837 m (49 mi 2,745 ft)
    • Day 5 - Bus to Elbasan (no cycling)
    • Day 6 - Elbasan to Ohrid North Macedonia 94 km 1,464 m (58 mi 4,801 ft)
    • Day 7 - Ohrid to Bitola 70 km 925 m (43 mi 3,034 ft)
    • Day 8 - Bitola to Veles 126 km 742 m (78 mi 2,433 ft)
    • Day 9 - Bus to Kochani then cycle to Blagoevgrad Bulgaria 89 km 1,498 m (55 mi 4,913 ft)
    • Day 10 - Blagoevgrad to Bansko 58 km 1,068 m (36 mi 3,503 ft)
    • Day 11 - Bansko to Gotse Delchev 51 km 333 m (31 mi 1,092 ft)
    • Day 12 - Gotse Delchev to Krinides Greece 97 km 926 m (60 mi 3,037 ft)
    • Day 13 - Krinides to Limeneria (Thassos Island) 41 km 463 m (25 mi 1,518 ft)
    • Day 14 - Limeneria to Thassos 54 km 1013 m (33 mi 3,322 ft)
    • Day 15 - Thassos to Komotini 100 km 410 m (62.1 mi 1,344 ft)
    • Day 16 - Komotini to Ipsala Turkey 120 km 938 m (74 mi 3,076 ft)
    • Day 17 - Bus to Gelibolu then cycle to Canakkale 47 km 368 m (29 mi 1,207 ft)
    • Day 18 - Canakkale to Can (and onwards to Istanbul via Bandirma by bus & sea of Marmara ferry) 71 km 1,046 m (44 mi 3,430 ft)
    • 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 due to the number of countries we are travelling through
    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
    Rider Type
    Active Cyclist