The Balkans

Sept. 13 -- Oct. 9, 2017


Located in Southeastern Europe, the Balkan Peninsula is bordered by the  Adriatic Sea on the northwest, the Ionian Sea on the southwest, the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea on the south and southeast, and the Black Sea on the east and northeast. An area rich in history and the cultural impact, it was the first region to introduce farming from the Middle East into the early European civilizations. The growing of grain and raising livestock were introduced in the 7th millennium BC. It is also credited with being the first region of advanced civilizations. Because of its location it was the crossroads of several cultures --the Latin and Greek of the Roman Empire; the pagan worlds of  Bulgars and Slavs; the  Orthodox and Catholic Christianity; as well as the meeting point between Islam and Christianity.

This journey is organized and sponsored by WomanTours, a women's bike touring company promoting women's travel since 1995. This site will follow twenty-three women from all over North America as they begin in Macedonia, a small country carved out of what was at one point part of Yugoslavia. The route will begin in Skopje and travel counterclockwise around the country and on to Bulgaria by way of a crossing into Albania and Northern Greece. After arriving in Sofia, Bulgaria the group will split up, with some going home, some venturing out further into the countryside to explore. Two will fly to the Black Sea in Bulgaria to begin mapping out another biking venture for WomanTours from the sea to Bucharest, Romania. This writer is one of those two!

Click on the date to explore the day's adventure:

Sept 13-14: Flight to Zurich, Switerland with Overnight in Zurich

Sept 15: Flight to Skopje, Macedonia

Sept 16 - 17: Skopje, Macedonia

Sept 18: Skopje, Treska Rive, Matka Canyon, Vrelo Cave

Sept 19: Mavrovo National Park to Galicnik

Sept 20: Radika River Gorge to Duff Waterfalls; Rajcica Monastery

Sept 21: Vevchanska River to Lake Ohrid to Ohrid

Sept 22: Ohrid with Hellenic Theater

Sept 23: Albania to Macedonia's Monastery of St. Naum

Sept 24: Galicica Pass to Heraclea Lyncestis ruins and on to Bitola

Sept 25: Macedonian wine region

Sept 26: Greece to Lake Kerkina

Sept 27: Bulgaria to Melnik

Sept 28: Sandanski, Bulgaria

Sept 29: Sohia, Bulgaria to Varna, Bulgaria

Sept 30:

Oct 1:

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Oct 5:

Oct 6:

Oct 7: Flight to Zurich

Oct 8: Zurich, Switerland

Oct 9: Flight to USA