Bike Bulgaria offers mountain bikers of all shapes, sizes and abilities the opportunity to enjoy some of the finest cross country riding they will experience. As an occasional MTBer who mainly rides road, it rekindled my appreciation of knobbly tyres and suspension. Bulgaria is a country of great contrasts which is reflected in the rides on offer. They combine forest and woodland trails, coastal routes, singletrack and enough climbing to keep the thighs in good shape but nothing beyond the abilities of most riders. The need to ride on roads is kept to an absolute minimum and even though it feels at times that you are in the middle of vast wilderness you are never actually too far from the nearest settlements. The rides take you through a variety of locations, from well developed seaside resorts to remote hilltop villages where horse and trap is the main form of transport. Seeing Golden Eagles flying over fields like we would see seagulls knocking about over our towns was really inspiring, not to mention the snakes and lizards in the dryer areas… Bulgaria is not that well developed in parts but you will be assured of a good welcome and food is plentiful and unbelievably cheap; try the veal and pork kavarnas and the shopka salads; pizzas are first class as well. The organisation behind Bike Bulgaria is second to none from the airport transfer through to being dropped off again at the end of your trip. The support and backup is there throughout and Ian and team work tirelessly to ensure that you are well fed, watered and fully supported before, during and after rides. The team’s local knowledge is also extremely useful if you did want to venture out on your own at any point. Whilst there is a good choice of machines to hire, I would take my own bike next time as you are straight into the riding on day one and it takes a bit of time to adjust to the different bike. Having said that, the bikes available to hire are good quality and up to the job at hand. Whilst the rides will leave you feeling like you have a done a day’s work, especially when the weather has been particularly warm, there is plenty of time to unwind and recover over a beer at one of the many nearby bars. I thoroughly enjoyed my week with Bike Bulgaria despite not really knowing what to expect, it was endlessly interesting, fantastic and varied riding, superb value for money and the support, guidance and backup from Ian and team was absolutely tip top. Highly recommended.