Black Sea Circuit





The Raven Brothers fired up their twenty year old Volvo and headed for the Black Sea. Follow this epic adventure, as they attempted to drive full circle around this fascinating body of water at the birthplace of civilization.

by The Raven Brothers

The Black Sea has been the inspiration for endless myths and legends. It was here Jason and the Argonauts were thought to have sailed from Greece to Georgia in search of the Golden Fleece. It is home to stories of a tribe of fierce female warriors known as the Amazons, who were said to have captured men and used them as sex slaves in what is now modern day Turkey. Bands of nomadic horsemen wielding swords once ruled the grasslands of the Pontic steppe and Huns, Goths, Turks and Russians strove for mastery around these colourful shores.

Would it be possible to make a complete loop around the Black Sea? The Verkhny Lars-Darial Gorge border crossing the Caucasus Mountains between Vladikavkaz and the Georgian Military Highway was open to foreigners, but the Russian Embassy advised against travelling this route. Undeterred, the brothers both agreed that at the worst case scenario they would have to backtrack to Odessa in the east of the Ukraine and journey by ferry to Georgia. The plan was set. Their journey traversing this mighty Black Sea was about to begin.

3 inspiring books to read on the Trans-Siberian

Trans-Siberian Handbook

Bryan Thomas

A trip across Siberia on the longest continuous railway track in the world is undoubtedly the journey of a lifetime. It's also a convenient way to reach China, Mongolia or Japan. Tickets are not expensive or difficult to arrange. This acclaimed guide shows you how to organise a trip, where to get tickets, where to stay and what to see.

*Practical information - planning your trip; what to take; getting to Russia from Europe, North America and Australasia

*Kilometre-by-kilometre route guides covering the entire routes of the Trans-Siberian, Trans-Manchurian, Trans-Mongolian and Siberian BAM railways with 49 strip maps in English, Russian and Chinese: see where you are as you travel.

*City guide and maps - the best sights, places to stay and restaurants for all budgets: Moscow, St Petersburg, Ulaan Baatar, Beijing and 32 towns in Siberia; plus Lake Baikal guide

*Siberia and the railway - the detailed history of Siberia, the construction and the running of the railway today are of great interest not only to visitors but also to armchair travellers.

*With 92 maps - plus timetables, fares, Russian & Chinese phrases

Driving the Trans-Siberian: The Ultimate Road Trip Across Russia

The Raven Brothers

Ever had the desire to jump in your car and keep driving? Well, that is precisely what The Raven Brothers decided to do whilst stacking boxes of frozen oven chips in a -30 degrees freezer. With a squeaky foot pump and an SAS survival guide, the travel writing duo from the UK fired up their rusty Ford Sierra and headed east. After clocking up over 12,000 kilometres, quite literally living in the car, they miraculously arrived in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok on the Sea of Japan. 

What the brothers had in fact done was drive Russia’s new Trans-Siberian Highway, a staggering eight years before the road was completed. With only very limited skills of wilderness survival and, virtually zero knowledge of the internal combustion engine, Simon and Chris crossed ten time zones in the beat up petrol engine saloon they used for work. Driving through endless rivers and canyons in a bid to cross the notorious Zilov Gap in darkest Siberia, the hapless heroes capture the true spirit of overland travel during a life-altering journey across one of the world’s last frontiers. 

Along the way they rub shoulders with Chechen criminals, escape highway robbery, trade banana flavoured condoms with Russian cops, meet an eccentric cast of characters at truck stops in Siberia, endure torturous road conditions and enter into a race to the finish with the Germans. Surviving the journey by the skin of their teeth, the brothers are forced to confront their worst fears in a toe-curling comedy of extreme road trip adventure. Priding themselves on going it alone, The Raven Brothers have been noted by Lonely Planet for their talent to portray an “accurate view of what to expect”.


To the Edge of the World: The Story of the Trans-Siberian Railway

Christian Wolmar

Christian Wolmar expertly tells the story of the Trans-Siberian railway from its conception and construction under Tsar Alexander III, to the northern extension ordered by Brezhnev and its current success as a vital artery. He also explores the crucial role the line played in both the Russian Civil War -Trotsky famously used an armoured carriage as his command post - and the Second World War, during which the railway saved the country from certain defeat. Like the author's previous railway histories, it focuses on the personalities, as well as the political and economic events, that lay behind one of the most extraordinary engineering triumphs of the nineteenth century.

Epic Bike Rides of Europe


In this guide to unmissable European cycling routes bike enthusiasts share stories from the best road, mountain, dirt, and trail routes across the continent.

Epic Bike Rides of Europe

Whether it's Italy's Trans-Dolomites, a Copenhagen art ride, or a Bavarian Beer ride, this book features epic rides for every level and trip type. With practical details to help plan your trip and guides to picturesque spots to pull over, Epic Bike Rides of Europe is the perfect companion for exploring Europe on two wheels.

You may also be interested in:

Epic Drives of the World

Epic Hikes of the World


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Hike, Drive, Stayin' Alive!

by The Raven Brothers

On Amazon >

Out of shape and unprepared, The Raven Brothers return to the road in a collection of ten quests to travel to their dream destinations against all odds! After two decades pioneering new routes across the globe, you would expect the authors of 'Driving the Trans-Siberian' to be hotshot explorers, with a sixth sense and an ability to survive in almost any situation. Think again! With virtually zero knowledge of the workings of the internal combustion engine and very limited skills of wilderness survival, Simon and Chris struggle into their hiking boots and power across three continents by river, tarmac and trail.

Venture to the top of Norway, cruise the road to Damascus, hike the Camino trail into Spain’s Wild West, row the Ganges, explore Frida Kahlo’s world in Mexico City, hangout with the dead in Sicily’s eerie catacombs, crawl deep inside Bolivia’s notorious silver mine, seek lions in Gujarat, wellness in Berlin and journey into the Naga Hills where tribal kings still rule.

Noted by Lonely Planet for their talent to portray an “accurate view of what to expect”, 'Hike, Drive, Stayin’ Alive!' signals a return to the duo writing “buttock clenching” travel comedy with the first in a series of candid stories of adventure by The Raven Brothers.

Explore the ruins of Ancient Salamis with the NEW The Rough Guide to Cyprus travel guide


Discover Cyprus with this comprehensive, entertaining, ‘tell it like it is’ Rough Guide, packed with comprehensive practical information and our experts’ honest and independent recommendations.

Click HERE to buy the The Rough Guide to Cyprus travel guide

Windswept peaks dotted with ancient ruins, dazzling beaches and sapphire-blue seas, photogenic ports and painted churches - Cyprus is bewitching. Birthplace of Aphrodite and at the crossroads of Europe and the Middle East, this vibrant island has seduced travellers for centuries.

Whether you plan to explore picturesque villages, discover on spectacular ruins, hike in the Troodos Massif or just laze on a pristine beach, The Rough Guide to Cyprus will help you discover the best places to explore, sleep, eat, drink and shop along the way.

Cyprus Top 10

1. North Coast Beaches

2. Wine Tasting

3. Bellapais

4. Turtle-Watching

5. Girne (kyrenia)

6. Lemesos

7. Painted Churches of the Troodos Mountains

8. Omodos

9. St Hilarion

10. Kykkos Monastery

Epic Hikes of Europe by Lonely Planet


Explore Europe's most thrilling treks and trails

With Stories of spectacular hikes in Europe, from Andalucia to the Arctic Circle. Lonely Planet Epic Hikes of Europe will inspire a lifetime of incredible walking adventures. 


Hikes range from urban rambles to mountain summits, via wine-tasting trails, coastal walks, multi-day pilgrimages, cultural hikes and snowshoeing. Whatever your experience, all these hikes are epic.

Lace up your hiking boots for the next in Lonely Planet’s highly successful Epic series, this time exploring 50 of Europe’s most rewarding and beautiful hikes. From the sun-kissed regions of Southern Europe, including Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain, to North Europe’s history-rich heartlands (including France, Germany, Belgium, Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia), we cover a huge variety of themes and experiences for every type of hiker. 

Epic Hikes of Europe features some classic routes to tick off: Ireland’s Dingle Way, Speyside’s Malt Whisky Trail, a battlefield hike through Belgium and Italy’s stunning Sentiero degli Dei along the Amalfi Coast. Hikes are graded according to their challenge and practical info is provided so you can follow in the writers’ footsteps. A vibrant illustrated cover continues this collectible series. Inspiring, full-page images, maps plus practical details Engaging first-person accounts from writers who have completed the hike A wide range of routes for every ability, from one-day walks to multi-day treks.

Lonely Planet Malta & Gozo


Lonely Planet’s Malta & Gozo is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. 

Lonely Planet Malta & Gozo 

Sense the excitement of Valletta’s current bloom, explore the ancient underground burial chambers at the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, and discover the restored fortress town of Il-Kastell in Gozo; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Malta & Gozo and begin your journey now! 

Inside Lonely Planet’s Malta & Gozo Travel Guide: 

Top experiences feature - a visually inspiring collection of Malta & Gozo’s best experiences and where to have them 

What's new feature taps into cultural trends and helps you find fresh ideas and cool new areas

Accommodation feature gathers all the information you need to plan your accommodation

Planning tools for family travellers - where to go, how to save money, plus fun stuff just for kids

Colour maps and images throughout

Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests

Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots

Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, websites, transit tips, prices

Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sightseeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss

Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, people, music, landscapes, wildlife, cuisine, politics

Over 25 maps

Covers Valletta, Sliema, St Julian’s, Paceville, Gozo, Comino

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet’s Malta & Gozo, our most comprehensive guide to Malta & Gozo, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled.

Lonely Planet Malta & Gozo: (Travel Guide 8th edition)
By Brett Atkinson

Explore the colourful Porto riverfront with the NEW Rough Guide to Portugal


The Rough Guide to Portugal (Travel Guide with Free eBook)

With miles of power-soft dunes, cliff-backed coves and perfect surfing waves, in Portugal you're rarely far from a remarkable beach.

The Rough Guide to Portugal

An epic coast is only part of the story, though, as in the green interior, hilltop castles and ancient walled villages await. That's before you've discovered one of Europe's most captivating capitals, the port wine route from Porto and a passion for seafood that sees a festival dedicated to sardines.

Discover Portugal with this comprehensive and entertaining travel guide, packed with practical information and honest recommendations by our independent experts. Whether you plan to explore the colourful Porto riverfront, visit some of the many medieval houses in the fortified hilltop village of Monsaraz or witness one of the greatest achievements of Portuguese architecture: the Mosteiro da Batalha, The Rough Guide to Portugal will help you discover the best places to explore, eat, drink, shop and sleep along the way.

Portugal Top 10

1. Porto's Riverfront

2. Monsaraz

3. Algarve Beaches

4. Évora

5. Mountain Biking in the Algarve

6. Óbidos

7. Rio Douro Valley

8. Velha Universidade, Coimbra

9. Mosteiro da Batalha

10. Kayaking on the Mondego River

Laze on the white sand beaches of Little Corn Island with Lonely Planet's new Nicaragua travel guide


An affable all-rounder, Nicaragua embraces travelers with diverse offerings of volcanic landscapes, colonial architecture, sensational beaches, remote, idyllic islands, wave-battered Pacific beaches and pristine forests.

Click HERE to buy the Lonely Planet's Lonely Planet's new Nicaragua travel guide

Wander the cobblestone streets of Granada, laze on the white sand beaches of Little Corn Island, or hike around the paradise of Isla de Ometepe.

Lonely Planet writer Anna Kaminski describes why she loves Nicaragua. "I first got to know Nicaragua many years ago, when backpacking across Central America. I learned of the proxy war played out on Nicaraguan soil, courtesy of the USSR and the USA, and witnessed the still-healing scars from the conflict. Even then, Nicaragua struck me as an incredibly resilient country and Central America's ultimate all-rounder. It has a rich and fascinating history, and beautiful and varied landscapes - from barely explored jungle to arid volcanoes and windswept pacific beaches. But what draws me back, above all, is the warmth and tenacity of its people."

Nicaragua Top 10

1. Granada

2. Little Corn Island

3. Isla de Ometepe

4. León

5. Pearl Keys

6. Rio San Juan

7. Coffee Country

8. Surfing near San Juan del Sur

9. Volcan Masaya & Laguna de Apoyo

10. Turtles at La Flor

Great Britain

Lonely Planet's Great Britain is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. 


Puzzle the mysteries of Stonehenge, sip whisky in Scotland, and hike the mountains of Wales; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Great Britain and begin your journey now! 

Inside Lonely Planet's Great Britain Travel Guide: 

Planning tools for family travellers - where to go, how to save money, plus fun stuff just for kids

What's New feature taps into cultural trends and helps you find fresh ideas and cool new areas our writers have uncovered 

NEW Accommodation feature gathers all the information you need to plan your accommodation

NEW Where to Stay in London map is your at-a-glance guide to accommodation options in each neighbourhood Colour maps and images throughout

Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests 

Writers: Isabel Albiston, Oliver Berry, Joe Bindloss, Fionn Davenport, Belinda Dixon, Peter Dragicevich, Anthony Ham, Damian Harper, Anna Kaminski, Catherine Le Nevez, Andy Symington, Tasmin Waby, Kerry Walker, Luke Waterson, Neil Wilson, Barbara Woolsey 

Sponsored link



Hike, Drive, Stayin' Alive!

by The Raven Brothers

Out of shape and unprepared, The Raven Brothers return to the road in a collection of ten quests to travel to their dream destinations against all odds! After two decades pioneering new routes across the globe, you would expect the authors of 'Driving the Trans-Siberian' to be hotshot explorers, with a sixth sense and an ability to survive in almost any situation. Think again! With virtually zero knowledge of the workings of the internal combustion engine and very limited skills of wilderness survival, Simon and Chris struggle into their hiking boots and power across three continents by river, tarmac and trail.

Venture to the top of Norway, cruise the road to Damascus, hike the Camino trail into Spain’s Wild West, row the Ganges, explore Frida Kahlo’s world in Mexico City, hangout with the dead in Sicily’s eerie catacombs, crawl deep inside Bolivia’s notorious silver mine, seek lions in Gujarat, wellness in Berlin and journey into the Naga Hills where tribal kings still rule.

Noted by Lonely Planet for their talent to portray an “accurate view of what to expect”, 'Hike, Drive, Stayin’ Alive!' signals a return to the duo writing “buttock clenching” travel comedy with the first in a series of candid stories of adventure by The Raven Brothers.

Caribbean Islands travel guide by Lonely Planet


Lonely Planet’s Caribbean Islands is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you.

Set sail from Tortola, snorkel in Aruba’s clear waters, and feel the music in Cuba; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of the Caribbean Islands and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet’s Caribbean Islands Travel Guide

Improved planning tools for family travelers - where to go, how to save money, plus fun stuff just for kids

What's New feature taps into cultural trends and helps you find fresh ideas and cool new areas our writers have uncovered

Accommodations feature gathers all the information you need to plan your accommodations

Color maps and images throughout

Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests

Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots 

Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices 

Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sightseeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss

Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, people, music, landscapes, wildlife, cuisine, politics

Over 115 maps

Covers Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saba, Sint Eustatius, St-Barthelemy, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St-Martin & Sint Maarten, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, US Virgin Islands

Writers: Paul Clammer, Marc Di Duca, Alex Egerton, Sarah Gilbert, Michael Grosberg, Paul Harding, Ashley Harrell, Mark Johanson, Anna Kaminski, Tom Masters, Brendan Sainsbury, Andrea Schulte-Peevers, Polly Thomas, Wendy Yanagihara, Stephanie d'Arc Taylor