Cycling 🚲 Trip in Strandja Mountain

Veselina @vesytzNovember 2018 · 4 min read

This Saturday, together with 5 friends we decided to cycling along the Strandja Mountain - Malko Tarnovo Municipality in Bulgaria.


We got up early and set up 5 bikes in one car, then we got another bike to another, part of our group were at third and we left Burgas.


We stopped the cars between the villages of Kondolovo and Gramatikovo and rip on our bicycles.

First we visited Gramatikovo village . It's situated on a high slope above the valley of the Veleka River.



The sights of the village is church "St. 40 Martyrs", built in the late XVIII century, a monument of culture. There can be seen the largest collection of icons by iconographer from Lozengrad Stavro Mikhailov. The belfry was built in 1939.


After the Gramatikovo village, we went to a bridge with a beautiful view. There we met a cool couple from New Zealand - Robert and Kat. They were on bicycle trip across the Strandja Mountain in Bulgaria. We were happy to see fellow bikers.




After the nice meeting we entered the Kachul area - one of the most attractive places along the Veleka River. Extremely rich flora and fauna are common in this region.


On the way we passed near the ancient Thracian sanctuary Indipasha. It is supposed that Thracians carried out their rituals with milk and water in the holy place. According to the legend, only the most enlightened Thracian priests knew the way to the hidden place.


We did not have enough time to go to the sanctuary, so we went ahead. We crossed beautiful forest paths along the Veleka River.



There were places with puddles and mud.


We entered the village Kosti - characteristic nestinari village, with a hundred of the 400 families being hereditary practitioners of this custom.


In village Kosti you can still see some of the old wooden houses of its previous inhabitants. This style of architecture is known only in the three Greek villages of Kosti, Brodilovo and Kalandja (Sinemorets). The houses typically have two stories of crude stone, with the top floor cased with thick oak boards. The buildings are too spacious in size but without windows. Scarce lighting is provided by the roof with a "moving tile".







The church "St. St. Cyril and Methodius "in the village of Kosti was built in the late 19th century. Until 1913 it was called" St. st konstantin and Elena".



The School "Vasil Levski" founded in 1925 - today abandoned...



We made a rest in the village and had lunch at a local restaurant. Then we went ahead.


After leaving the village Kosti we crossed the Silkosia Reserve.



Silkosia Reserve is the first protected area in Bulgaria.
Silkosia is a typical forest reserve. Keeps forests of beech and oak, evergreen shrubs. The average age of the trees is 120-130 years, and in some cases exceeds 200 years.

After about 7 km of cycling UP in the reserve, we arrived in the village Bulgari - the only one in Strandja with the status of folklore reserve. In the village Bulgari, the Nestinarstvo is preserved in its authentic form.




Church "St. St. Konstantin and Elena". The stone church was built in the second half of the 19th century.


The last village we passed before we completed the trip was Kondolovo.


The Chapel of St. George, built in 2010 in place of "the most beautiful temple in Strandzha ...", ruined in the 70s of the last century.


Next to the chapel there was a fountain behind which was a magnificent view of the setting sun.


We finished the trip in the dark - happy and very satisfied! We saw many places that we can visit next time biking.


If you wish, you can watch a short video of this trip here.

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Veselina @vesytzNovember 2018

Thank you @cyclefeed !


What incredible shots - what lens were you using? You have this super cool effect throughout that I love. Also, the colors are great! Thanks for sharing so many beautiful photos. :)

Veselina @vesytzNovember 2018

Thank you @lilyraabe ! I shot with Go Pro Hero 7 Black and fixing a color a little bit in Lightroom.

Caveman @cave-manNovember 2018

Awesome! Been waiting for this after you told me the long post was coming.
Places are so lovely and the forests floras are too. The dark light shots are so good and calming.
Great job and thanks for making this amazing post.

Veselina @vesytzNovember 2018

Thank you so much @cave-man! Glad you like my post :)!

scrawly @scrawlyNovember 2018

The areas that you passed by in your cycling trip are beautiful :o. Really nice photos, they are beautiful and full of adventures.
Congratulations for your curie vote :).

Veselina @vesytzNovember 2018

Thank you so much @scrawly!


If you would like to admire the scenery surrounding you during the travel, cycle around would be the best choice. And is a good exercise as well. Thank you for brought us to Strandja Mountain I especially like th last 2 photos. You captured right moment of the sun set. The sky was beautiful and covered by colors.

What is the population in village Bulgari or it only for tourist purpose? In the photo, it seems like an empty village. I love the stone church, it look unique. It hard to find any stone building in this century.
Nice photo @vesytz, these were an eye opener for me to get to know this place.

Veselina @vesytzNovember 2018

Thank you very much @oliviackl ! For some time I was looking for the right place to capture the setting sun, and I was happy when I found it near the village Kondolovo.

Regarding data for 2013 - the population in the village of Bulgari is 71 people.

The stone church was built in the second half of the 19th century, but in 1903, during the Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising, it was burned down. In 1910 it was rebuilt. For its construction are used: oak trees, river stones and local loam soil.


wow, it only 71 people? Then they must knew each other. I bet the young generation all move to city?

For its construction are used: oak trees, river stones and local loam soil.

I love this type of building, it so classic and close to nature. They build by local people?

Veselina @vesytzNovember 2018

Population data are from 2013, but there is hardly a big difference today... A lot of people, especially young people, go to big cities.
Yes, in the small villages people know one another :-).
Local people have certainly participated in the recovery of the church.


It felt nice if all the local people work together to recover the church. I could imagine the laughter, sharing of daily activities when all of them get together.

Veselina @vesytzNovember 2018

They did for sure :)


Thank you for sharing your great photos here! They are vividly crisp and clear. From these photos alone, I can say that you had great biking adventure.

I specially like the photos when you were entering Kachul area, those in Indipasha. they look very cool and peaceful to be with nature. Also, Iike the photo of the abandoned swings in "Vasil Levski" school. It is like going down the memory lane.

What time did you guys start biking? I wonder how the temperature was during that time.

Veselina @vesytzNovember 2018

Thank you for your comment @macoolette ! I am glad that with my photos you have sensed the spirit of Strandja and a memory lane.
We started cycling at 10:30 AM. At this time temperature was about - 13-15 degrees. When we finished trip - the temperature was 9-10 degrees. Perfect weather for cycling :-)


Starting cycling at 10:30AM in our place will be like self-punishment. That would be around 30+ degrees Celcius. Cycling at 9-10 degrees? I would be curling in bed with that temperature, even at 15 degrees! 😂


That is funny.. when I saw the photo with bikes in the cars I started to count.. so many bikes and where will be those people sitting?! :D Then I saw that you had carS, duh!? :D

Looks like a great trips through beautiful scenery and some historical gems. The nature looks similar to Slovakia. But I've never even heard of such wooden houses. It's interesting that they don't have any windows.

The church of St. Konstantin and Elena looks like churches that we've seen in Mallorca. Don't you know if there is anything Spanish in history of this church?

I have enjoyed your photos. My favorite one would be the sunset at the Chapel of St. George. It's beautiful. I like the pinkish shades.

Overall it looks like a LOT of fun with your friends combines with some healthy activity :)

Thank you for sharing!

Veselina @vesytzNovember 2018

Thank you @delishtreats! Yes :) we had 3 cars for this trip :)
Wooden houses are interesting and rare - they only meet in three greek villages in Bulgaria.
The church of St. Konstantin and Elena - nothing Spanish in history of this church.

Yes it is! It is a real pleasure to 🚴 ride a bike in the nature 🌼 with friends - LOT of fun 🙌 and very healthy :) !

stef1 @stef1November 2018

Nice fresh air and cycling that is the most enjoyable recuperation, fitness and enjoying the nature. It was a great idea to make pictures of the areas you passed by or crossed through. Of course it is noticeable that it is autumn, yellow and red leaves covering the floor. Like that little villages and it is interesting that not many of them inhabited. The old place Kosti with its old houses look slightly touched by fire, as wood it so I would say coal dark. It is a pity that the school "Vasil Levski" is abandoned the building looks still quite stable. Beautiful sunset pictures, that means you were the whole day on the road, might be very tired at the end of the day :)

Veselina @vesytzNovember 2018

Thank you for the comment @stef1! You have felt the spirit of the old houses and the sadness of the abandoned buildings.
The trip was so pleasant and restorative that none of us felt fatigued at the end of the trip, we wanted to have more time and still cycling :)


Man so many cycling posts from Bulgaria lately! And on top of that,all getting curated haha :D I guess I'll move over there and restart my blogging career hahahah :D

Those puddles and mud roads seem to be like a pain in the ass to ride. Or are you exactly afteer this? The harder the better?
I totally love the picture near that Cyril and Methodius church - the direction sign. Btw why is there "st. st."? I thought it's a typo but u used it like that second time as well..That 2010 chapel looks kinda boring compared to the old ones IMO. Dunno, when it comes to religious buildings, I always like them to be old - so they kinda say some story :)

Amazing work man, well deserved curie upvote :)

Veselina @vesytzNovember 2018

Hi @matkodurko :) I prefer to drive on the dirt roads, than asphalt roads with cars . Despite the unevenness and holes, I always prefer bicycle riding - on that way, because I am closer to nature, I can always stop to admire the view and take pictures. That's why me and my friends cycling with cross-country bikes.

Sv. Sv. Cyril and Methodius is also written as Saints Cyril and Methodius. Two brothers devising the Glagolitic alphabet. More info about them -

Thank's for the comment @matkodurko :)


Haha I know who they are, they brought that alphabet to Slovakia as well...I guess it was 863 or something :D We used to memorize that year back in school. Im just still not sure why do you write "sv." twice :D That's what I pointed to :D