Balkan Express – A Bikepacking Adventure Across Europe

A bikepacking tour from Greece to Munich – right across Europe. The two friends Max Kroneck and Jochen Mesle travel on their BACKROADs and skis in freezing temperatures in early spring.

Photography: Max Kroneck & Jochen Mesle

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A challenging experience with bike and ski


Route: Through 11 countries from Thessaloniki to Munich
Distance: 2,520 kilometres
Elevation gain: 40,000 m
Duration: 30 days, including 200 hours on the bike and 9 days on skis
Tour highlights: Mount Olympus, Baba Mountains, Korab Mountains, Sharr Mountains, Prokletije, Southeast Dinarides, Bosnian Ore Mountains, Velebit, Carnic Alps

Click here for the route on Komoot
The BACKROADs are well packed for the 30-day bikepacking adventure. Since there are perfect conditions for skiing in the mountains in early spring, skis are also part of the equipment.

Looking forward to the first destination of the trip

The tour through 11 European countries starts in the Greek port city of Thessaloniki. It is rainy and the trails are muddy. But the rain quickly turns to snow, so that Mount Olympus – the highest mountain in Greece – invites the two adventurers to ski with a sea view.>

The first real cycle path after 1,200 kilometres

The athletes have only roughly thought about the destinations along the route. They let themselves be guided by the snow and the search for the most beautiful ski slopes. And whenever the weather permits, they switch from bikes to skis.

A route with various impressions

Along the Adriatic Sea, the two friends cycle through green national parks, past waterfalls and fjords. They explore the mountains of the Balkans for the first time and can also gather many cultural impressions of the people living here.

2,500 kilometres and 40,000 metres of elevation gain done

A challenging journey across 10 degrees of latitude, which started with a one-way ticket to Thessaloniki, ends with a final stage of over 200 kilometres and many unforgettable impressions in Munich.

You can find more insights into the adventurous journey in the photo book and the film documentary "Balkan Express".

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