Three new biking routes are ready to welcome the first enthusiasts who want to get to know the mysteries of the wonderful Osogovo Mountain on a bicycle. The routes were presented to dozens of nature lovers and mountain bikers gathered at the Traveler's Club by Martina Koleva from the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation, Svetoslav Velkov from Traventuria and Lyubomir Botusharov (mtb-bg.com).
The routes (including GPS tracls) are of a different complexity - for beginners , intermediate and experienced cyclists and are developed as part of the transboundary project “Supporting a Sustainable Future for People and Nature in Osogovo Mountain”, implemented by Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation(BBF), Macedonian Ecological Society MES and EuroNatur Foundation. The routes are located in the Bulgarian part of Osogovo and reveal all the wonders of the mountain - incredibly beautiful landscapes, breathtaking panoramic views of the peaks, beech and mixed forests with centuries-old trees, holy places and historical monuments. The routes are close to popular accommodation facilities that ensure the safety of tourists and contribute to the development of local business and tourism in the area.
"Osogovo has extremely well preserved nature. You can see animals and plants that are not found anywhere else in Bulgaria, "said Martina Koleva, who briefly presented the activities of the BBF in the region.
The three cycling trails are circular and start from the same starting point - the round about in the "Trite Buki" area with the emblematic fountain built in memory of Lyudmil Yankov - the famous Bulgarian mountaineer who participated in the Everest expedition in 1984, but remained forever in the icy hug of Rila.
The routes are of different length and complexity, the longest but also the most picturesque of them, is the tour around the Choveka peak, which goes through the area of "Trite Buki", the Prevala shelter, the gullies of the Glogozka River and the locality "Pamuka". Besides the forest, the road passes through the open parts of the mountain and reveals splendid views of the highest peak Ruen, Konyavska Mountain and Kyustendil valley.
The shortest and most suitable for both beginners and family walks is the "Tri buki - Ruen Hotel - Tri buki". This is a one-hour tour that reveals the tranquility of Osogovo forest and the beauty of meadows with huge butterfly variety and beautiful mountain views in all directions.
The intermediate route “Tri buki- Predela – Dvete reki” will attract the visitors not with natural landmarks and cultural and historical monuments. It passes through two chapels - "St. Marina" (in the area of Goliam "Predel") and "St. Prophet Elijah" (in the neighborhood "Dvete reki"), as well as through the drinkging fountain of Doncho Petrov (also known as Doncho Hristov's fountain) a magical place for a rest with centuries-old beech trees, built in memory of Doncho Hristov - a Bulgarian revolutionary, the VMRO voivoda who participated in the First World War and repeatedly defended the local population during the wars for national unification.
The selected roads - mainly dirt roads - are well maintained and are close to wells with fine water, arbors, shelters and a variety of recreation areas. If you have more time and desire, you can also diverge to the peaks of Ruen, Choveka, Saint Lucas and the surrounding villages, which will further enrich your experience.
The routes are based on the concept of "self-guided biking tours" where tourists organize by themselves, but can rely on the help of local people, stated Pavel Kozarsky - a mountain biker and owner of a bicycle repair service center in Kyustendil. He pledged assistance with bicycle transport, service and leadership to all those who migh need it while visiting Osogovo.
The presentation was also attended by the partners of the project "Supporting a Sustainable Future for People and Nature in Osogovo" the Macedonian Ecologicla Society, which unveiled their plans for development of cycling tourism that include cross-border cycling, through multi-day cycling tourst that would merge the two parts of Osogovo.
Osogovo is suitable for cycling, because it offers coziness, rare and protected species, and its beauty is unmatched. This is a potential that can be used to promote and develop the area - this was the common message in all the spokesmen of the meeting - environmentalists, tourists and representatives of travel agencies. They promised more surprises and opportunities for all lovers of cycling and the mountain.
Detailed description of the mountain including gps tracks can be found at: http://bbf.biodiversity.bg/bg/Osogovo-nepoznatata-velodestinatsiya.p192