Balkans by Bike: Dubrovnik to Istanbul

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  Tour Operator  Wild Atlantic Cycling

  Albania,  Bulgaria,  Croatia,  Greece,  North Macedonia & Türkiye

 20 days (Bike: 17 days)

  1581 km  (~93km per day)

Or join either of 2 stages


 Hilly, On-road



From Dubrovnik (Croatia) to Istanbul (Turkey) in 17 Cycling Days, plus one rest day to allow for 2 tours within a tour!

Starting in the Jewel of the Balkan Crown’ City of Dubrovnik we head south to the world famous Kotor Bay in Montenegro and onwards to Shkoder, known as the ‘Cycle City’ in Northern Albania. When you arrive you’ll know why! The bells ring here like the bicycles in Beijing! You have a day off and we miss cycling through the bustle of Tirana although you can opt to stop here for a few hours to explore the sights of Albania’s capital city. We stay over in Elbasan and you cycle across the border to the breath-taking beauty of Ohrid in North Macedonia. TWe head east through Bitola and Veles where you spend the night. In the morning it’s a short bus ride to Kochani to cycle over the mountain across the border at Delchevo into Bulgaria. From the University city of Blagoevgrad we then take you to the ski resort of Bansko at the foot of the Pirin Mountains. We breathe out here then head south freewheeling to the beach in Greece with a worthwhile detour to a ‘tour within a tour’ trip round the island of Thassos … from whence we make our last ride east across the Nestos Delta via Komotini and Alexandroupoli into Turkey and down the western side of the Dardanelles Strait ferrying to Cannakale then heading east to Can before taking a bus to bandirma to cross the Sea of Marmara by ferry to Istanbul, the historical bustling ‘gateway to the east’.

It is an exciting journey in this enthralling part of the world. Much of which is emerging slowly enough as tourist destinations so as to continue to retain much of the natural beauty, uniqueness and charm of the countryside and villages.


  • Kotor Bay and The Serpentine Climb in Montenegro
  • Views from hotel in Shkoder and the hills in the north of Albania
  • The beautiful Lake Ohrid in North Macedonia
  • The Ciflik Winery in Bitola
  • The Climb from Delchevo to the Bulgarian Border crossing
  • The mountain town of Bansko in Bulgaria
  • The freewheel down the River Mesta towards the Greek Border and into Gotse Delchev
  • Thassos Island
  • The ride through the Nestos Delta in Thrace national Park in Northeastern Greece
  • Crossing the Turkish Border
  • The Ancient City of Troy in Canakkale
  • Crossing from ;The East' to 'The West' then 'West' to 'East' by ferry on our final day in Gelibolu (Gallipoli)
  • Our hotel with its terrace overlooking Topkapi Palace in Istanbul

The first 6 days are the toughest from Dubrovnik to Ohrid with an average of 90 km and 1,652 metres of climbing per day.
The 11 days from Ohrid to Istanbul (Bus and ferry transfer to Istanbul from Gelibolu) average 95 km and 962 metres of climbing per day

Tour Information





Cost From

Guided   £ 2990


August 18, 2024

Single Supplement


Elevation Gain

  20502 m


  • Accommodation and breakfast in hotels
  • Lunch will be provide on four days but otherwise excluded. Options and recommendations for stops will be communicated at each morning's briefing and noted on the daily route sheet
  • Luggage transfer
  • Advice on places to stop for your morning coffee and lunch
  • Water, Soft drinks, fruit, cakes and bars en route
  • Van and basic mechanical support
  • GPX route files


  • Any meals/services not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Transport to and from airports (these can be provided for a fee and booked in advance)
  • Alcohol, soft drinks, beverages, etc.
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, road blocks, bad weather, etc.
  • Insurance


  • 6 days (7 nights) from Dubrovnik to Ohrid in North Macedonia £1,320 Per person sharing.
    • Single supplement £300
    • Approximately 90 km and 1,652 metres of climbing per day on average.
  • 11 days (12 nights) from Ohrid to Istanbul £2,266 Per person sharing.
    • Single supplement £510
    • Approximately 95 km and 962 metres of climbing per day on average.


If you've been with Wild Atlantic Cycling before, you will enjoy a 5% discount!


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While great care has been taken to show full and correct tour details, unfortunately transcription errors do occur and, although we continually seek to eliminate these, we apologise for any mistakes. Plans or bookings should not be made exclusively based on information shown on this website but must be confirmed with the tour operator.