Biking from Amsterdam to the Balkans

Categories Before the Blog, Grand Adventures
BLOG | Biking from Amsterdam to the Balkans

I had two months off, two months to bike. What shall I do? Where shall I go? One thing I knew for sure, I wouldn’t follow rivers, this time. Neither would I be heading towards a sea… I’ve always wanted to go to Istanbul, but I never succeeded. Would I, could I this time? From Amsterdam to Istanbul, biking the highest route through the mountains. In two months… UP&down, UP&down. The game was on, just like the sun. Bikini biking. Bikram biking. UP&down, UP&down. Biking the HIGH route from Amsterdam to Istanbul the Balkans.

Biking from Amsterdam to the Balkans
My bike

Into the hills

It took me four days to get to Luxembourg where I met Elise who joined me for two weeks.

Chicks in colourful rainjackets
Eva & Elise

From that moment on, we conquered hill after hill, col after col – two climbers, climbing mountains by bike.

Hilly Luxembourg | BIKING from AMSTERDAM to the BALKANS
Hilly Luxembourg

Des Vosges des France, hills are getting steeper!

Col de la Veu des Alps, France
Col des Veu des Alpes

Bikini Bikram Biking Tour de Frances

In Switserland the temperature started to rise, during a heat wave we crossed the Alps from Belfort to Chamonix and went further south via Col du Galibier to Briancon. It was our Bikini Bikram Biking tour des Montagnes!

Indian summer
Eat, Sleep, Cycle – Anna Hughes

Almost three weeks on the road, yet only two rainy days. In Briancon I had to say goodbye to Elise. She went on to Nice and for me it was time to continue my journey eastwards, to Istanbul. After a few more climbs, I descended to the the Po Valley followed by a week of long, boring, bloody hot days until I reached Lago di Como and climbed up again.

Oehoehoeee! Snowy Mountains
Oehoehoeee! Snowy Mountains


After Italy I entered Slovenia via the Predil Pass. During my Black Sea Biking Trip (summer 2012), I crossed this country for the first time and fell in love. I fell in love with Slovenia and I still am!

Soča Valley, sLOVEnia
Soča Valley, sLOVEnia
Triglav forest
Triglav forest
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lake Bled, Slovenia

The Balkans

Although Slovenia has a bit of a Balkan vibe, the more east I cycled, the more overwhelmed I felt. It’s almost a different world. Beautiful, but though. I did not know what to feel or what to think, so I just kept on pedaling…

Una River, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Una river
Luna Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Luna park
Bosnia and Herzegovina, between Bihać and Ripač
Bosnië Herzegoviva – between Bihać and Ripač
Una NP, BiH
Una National Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Between Drvar and Livno, BiH

On my way to Tomislavgrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina
On my way to Tomislavgrad
Blidinje Nature Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina (R419)
Blidinje NP (R419)
Bosnië Herzegovina - Mostar
Lovćen Pass with a view on the bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Lovćen Pass with a view on the bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Pick up @ Cetinje

The end

After nearly 4000 kilometres, from Amsterdam to Cetinje, NO flat tires, many many beautiful mountains, loads of inspiring moments and beautiful people, my time was up. Time to go home and get back to work. No Istanbul, but I had an unforgettable adventure anyways.

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