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Advise on cycling though Serbia and Bulgaria to Istambul

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WS Member WS Member's picture
Advise on cycling though Serbia and Bulgaria to Istambul

Hello guys!

I'm finishing my trip through Croatia and heading towards Serbia and Bulgaria and i'd like to ask you(again!) for advise in relation to:

-Language and communication with the local population (out of highly turistic areas)
-Difficulty of crossing mountainous areas
-Camping areas/ wild camping

I'm planning this as a solo trip so anyone interested on riding along is most welcome!

Thank you for you advise!


WS Member WS Member's picture
cycled in serbia last summer,

cycled in serbia last summer, people very friendly and many people ( younger ) speak english and are happy to practice. when we found 1st good english speaker we always asked them to translate our not requesting water and a place to pitch our tent. We only tried this twice ( double guest house rooms cost 10 to 20 euros for us ) but it worked very well. Other cyclists told me it was no problem to wild camp in Serbia as it was part of culture. As for mountains - we mostly avoided then by heading for the danube. But mtns are only in ur head, go slow and carry enuf food and water.
If u go to Bosnia ( very friendly ) be careful about wild camping because of the land mines.
Only cycled briefly in Bulgaria but found friendly people , although some people did warn us to be careful of having stuff stolen when wild camping. No bad personal experiences though. Lots of mountains in Bulgaria but lots of cheap trains which charge about 1 euro to put bike on.
good luck and enjoy the wonderful wine and try some skemby in bulgaria.Serbia had great street food and very affordable.
regards, jim fullwood

WS Member WS Member's picture
Thank you Jim!I will keep in

Thank you Jim!I will keep in mind your advice now that I'm about to reach the frontier with Serbia!

All the best,


WS Member WS Member's picture
Maps of the Balcans


I will cycle over Serbia and Bosnia in a month time and I´m having problems to have good maps. Any clue where or how could I find them?

Thank you


WS Member Merval's picture
Maps of the Balkans

We bought a map published by Freytag & Berndt. 1:500,000 covering Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. We also had a Euromap. - 1:300,000 of Slovenia and Croatia which includes Bosnia. We found these quite adequate for cycling needs. Do you know of the Map Shop They have a list of suitable maps for you. Also EBay sells the Euromap. We bought our German Freytag & Berndt on the road.

Hope this is useful

Val & Merv

WS Member WS Member's picture
Maps of the Balkans


In case u are going near to my town, feel free to contact and even if u don't get a map of Bosnia I'll try to find it for you. Good luck


WS Member WS Member's picture
Why not detour through

Why not detour through Romania great country and beautiful ride along the Danube " Iron Gate" :Michelin have good maps.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Hi, we cycled last summer


we cycled last summer from Albania through Mazedonia, Bulgaria to Istanbul.
Wild Camping wasn't a problem at all. In mountainous Areas it was sometime hard to find a place to put the tent, so have this in mind when it's getting dark :)

In Istanbul Kathy and Sevket from the warmshowers-community hosted us (thanks again!!) and they gave us a really good description how to cycle in to Istanbul (which is an adventure, exciting, dangerous and annoying at the same time...)

If you have questions in specific, just ask.
Wish you a good trip! It's a nice route!


WS Member WS Member's picture
Hello! Wow, yes please! I


Wow, yes please! I would like to ask you about your experience in cities such as Istambul and if you passed through Sophia in Bulgaria and if you have any reccomendations for safety and orientation in these places, many thanks!!


WS Member WS Member's picture
I went along that route last

I went along that route last summer; second what is said about Serbia, very friendly people, great cheap street food and a lot of English spoken. I went over the mountains in the south which were not that hard, peaking at 750-900m from memory. They were attractive. For maps I used mainly Openstreetmap on a Garmin, only buying a road atlas in a petrol station south of Belgrade. It was helpful but not essential, there aren't as many roads as there are in Western Europe I think and they are quieter.

Blog here with route details: