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Enjoy the ride as you motor through verdant hills and lush farmscapes dotted with ancient castles and painted monasteries from bustling Bucharest all the way down to oriental Istanbul and the scenic Black Sea Coast. This 16-day cross-country motorcycle tour will guarantee you a whole new level of adventure across some of Europe's finest cities. Hop on your bike and fulfill your wanderlust!
You will stay in four-star hotels throughout the tour. Adriatic Mototours chooses well-appointed boutique hotels, all of course, with en-suite facilities and most of them have internet access.
Many hotels are in idyllic green and peaceful settings or have mountain and valley views. In warmer climates, the hotels will have a pool and an outdoor restaurant or café. Many of the hotels are family-run to ensure you get the first-class and personal attention you deserve. All hotel proprietors speak English.
Welcome to Romania! Your guides will welcome you at the airport and take you to the hotel in Bucharest. If you arrive early, you'll have some time to relax or do some sightseeing before the welcome briefing. At 16:00, there will be an introductory briefing. Your welcome dinner will be held in a fine restaurant where traditional Romanian cuisine is complemented by the lively Romanian folk music.
On this day, your motorcycle adventure will begin. You will first wind your way north through Bucegi Mountains towards Peles Castle, a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture, considered by many one of the most stunning castles in Europe. Transylvania's symbol Bran Castle will be your next destination. Surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend, Bran Castle owes its fame to the myth created around Bram Stocker’s Dracula. You'll end the ride in the town of Brasov, fringed by the peaks of the Southern Carpathian Mountains and resplendent with gothic, baroque, and renaissance architecture.
From Brasov, you will continue your journey through mysterious Transylvania. The ride will be shorter but enjoyable as you will take small country roads and ride through the heart of Romania. Arriving early, you will have time to explore and relax in Sighisoara, a perfectly intact 15th-century gem with nine towers, narrow passageways, and cobbled streets. In the afternoon, you'll head towards Sibiu, European capital of culture in 2007.
This will be your rest day in Sibiu. You can explore Sibiu and just relax in the lovely city atmosphere or ride through the Carpathian Mountains called Transalpina.
On this day, you will ride through the famous Transfagarasan highway that was declared the best road in Europe by Top Gear Team. Zigzagging through the Fagaras Mountains in Romania, this 100 kilometers' drive is a truly unforgettable experience. Not for the fainthearted, the route climbs up to an altitude of 2.034 meters and links Transylvania with its neighboring province Muntenia, passing through dramatic scenery it offers spectacular views, particularly of the highest peak in Romania, Moldoveanu. On your way to Pitesti, you can visit the ruins of Poienari Fortress, considered by Dracula buffs to be Romania's 'real' Dracula's castle. From one mystery to another, you will end your day in Pitesti, turbo capitalistic city with famous Pitesti prison well-known for its experimental brainwashing techniques.
This day's ride is going to be fast as you will wind your way through flat Wallachia, the southernmost region in Romania. This region is a producer of some of Romania's best red wines. Leaving Romania behind, you'll ferry across the great Danube and enter Bulgaria. Veliko Tarnovo, the evocative capital of the medieval Bulgarian tsars is your stop for the night.
On this day, you will be up for some mountainous riding. For dramatic and majestic vistas, you'll take a few routes in Bulgaria match crossing Shipka Pass. You'll stop in Koprivshtitsa, a unique museum village filled with Bulgarian National Revival period architecture, cobblestone streets, and bridges. By the end of the day, you'll reach Plovdiv, vibrant city with innumerable art galleries, exuberant spirit, and great nightlife. A lot of Thracian, Roman, Byzantine, and Bulgarian antiquities can be found in Plovdiv's old town, the most being the Roman amphitheaters, the best preserved in the Balkans.
You will head south towards Greece riding through the astonishing Rhodope Mountains. It will be a fast ride with beautiful scenery. You will soon leave Greece behind and enter Gallipoli, Turkey.
Taking a short ferry ride, you'll be crossing Dardanelle canal, a narrow strait which separates two continents. You'll leave Europe behind and enter Asia Minor. Following the southern shore of Marmara Sea, you will visit the remains of the ancient Troy, site of the legendary Trojan War. You will continue your way on the south shore of Marmara Sea, passing Bursa, former Ottoman city famous for its traditional baths and mineral water. Heading towards your next destination, a ferry will take you to the other side of the Bosphorus, meeting the mystic Istanbul.
On this day, you will have your first rest day in Istanbul. You'll visit the historic center, the famous church turned into a mosque, Aya Sofya, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and many more.
On your second rest day in Istanbul, you will cruise around the beautiful Bosporus Strait, following a route that includes views of Istanbul’s top attractions. You can also explore the wonderfully colored Grand Bazar, sip Turkish coffee or çay (tea) in the local coffee shops while observing the street buzz or simply relax in the baths of hamam.
Leaving behind mystic Istanbul, you'll be heading back to Bulgaria. You'll be riding through Strandzha Mountains, passing some ancient cities and admiring the nature diversity while being surrounded by the lakes, forests, and sea. On the way to Nesebar, you can explore the swaths of stunning beaches and picturesque bays of Bulgarian Black Sea Coast.
This day's route will coil by the coast as you will ride from one coastal town to another to get some more relax seaside feeling. Varna, your stop on the Black Sea Coast, is by far the most cosmopolitan town on the Black Sea Coast and a definite highlight of the region. You will end the day just outside of Kavarna, in a beautiful newly built resort on the Black Sea Coast.
You will leave the Black Sea Coast behind and ride north. You can stop for lunch in Mamaia, Romania's Monte Carlo but you will quickly continue to Tulcea in Danube Delta. The Danube Delta is a marvelous world where water, fish, and birds call the shots. Here at the end of its long journey across Europe, the mighty Danube River spills into the Black Sea creating 4187 square kilometers' wetland. You'll hop on the boat with a local fisherman and spend the afternoon exploring the labyrinth of canals and desolate fishing villages of the largest wetland of Europe.
On your last riding day, you will first ride west along the Danube to get some more great views of the mighty river and occasional glance of Ukraine just north from where you ride. Heading south, you'll ride among lush forests and small hilly terrain, take the ferry over Danube River once more and head back towards the Romanian capital. You will arrive back to Bucharest with just enough time to let you walk around the city before your farewell dinner.
You will say goodbye to your guides and new friends as you return home with great memories.
During this 16-day tour, you will ride your motorcycle across Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. Here are some of the highlights of your tour:
Bucharest is definitely worth seeing. Due to city's elegant architecture, it was once known as the "Paris of the East". The major highlights include Old Princely Court, Parliament's Palace, Stavropoleos Church, and much more.
Sighisoara is a perfectly intact 15th-century gem with nine towers, narrow passageways, and cobbled streets. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sighisoara is also the birthplace of Vlad Dracula, nicknamed Vlad the Impaler. It was Vlad who inspired Bram Stoker’s fictional creation, Count Dracula.
Sibiu was the largest and wealthiest of the seven walled citadels built in the 12th century by German settlers known as Transylvanian Saxons. Sections of the medieval wall still guard the historic area, where narrow streets pass steep-roofed 17th-century buildings with gable overhangs. The famous road in the Carpathian Mountains was built by King Carol II and rebuilt during World War II by German troops. The road with the highest point of 2.145 meters above sea level offers formidable views over the surrounding valleys and mountain peaks.
Veliko Tarnovo is dramatically set amidst an amphitheater of forested hills, divided by the ribboning Yantra River. Commanding pride of place is the magisterial, well-restored Tsarevets Fortress, the citadel of the Second Bulgarian Empire.
Gallipoli peninsula is famous for its 31 war cemeteries, the great remains of the Gallipoli Campaign during the World War I where Turkish, allied Australian, and New Zealand soldiers are buried side by side. The peninsula is surrounded by Aegean Sea on the west side and Dardanelles straits to the east. Gallipoli name derives from the Greek "Kallipolis", meaning "Beautiful city".
Nesebar's most distinctive features are the cobble-stone streets, the well preserved medieval churches, and the timbered houses dating back to the 19th century. It has the unique combination of Bulgaria's ancient culture and modern life combined with the sandy beach.
Buffet-style breakfast will be served each morning in the hotel. Dinner can either be enjoyed at the hotel or at a restaurant Adriatic Mototours personally frequented over the years for its extraordinary regional or unique cuisine and its setting.