Europe Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and SerbiaBook this Package
Duration: 13 days 12 nights
Description: This trip promises a fascinating and in-depth tour of the capital cities- Budapest, Sofia and Bucharest. Other major highlights of the 13-day tour include visits to the Rila Monastery in Hungary, Plovdiv and Veliko Târnovo towns in Bulgaria and the Dracula Castle in Bran.
Day 1- After arrival at Budapest Airport, you will be transferred to the hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is free for you to spend as you wish. In the evening meet up with the Travel Director and fellow companions.
Day 2 – The day begins with a sightseeing tour, which introduces you to places like the Buda Castle dominating the twin cities of Buda and Pest, which are separated by the Danube River. You will also visit the Heroes’ Square, the old inns and wine cellars along the riverbank, the Royal Castle, Parliament, Margaret Island, Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Coronation Church.
Day 3- Next day you will travel southwards to the border town of Szeged and cross into the province of Vojvodina in Serbia. Make a stop-over at the provincial capital Novi Sad, situated on the River Danube and famous for its Petrovaradin Citadel. This Citadel is well-known in the West as the “Gibraltar of the Danube.” Then drive along the motorway to reach the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
Day 4 – Next morning, a comfortable drive southeast by way of Nis will take us across the border into Bulgaria. After arrival at the capital Sofia, join a sightseeing tour that includes highlights like the Parliament building, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Boyana Church, the National Theater, and St. Sofia Church.
Day 5- On Day 5 of the tour, drive to Rila to visit the monastery there. The most famous monastery in the country, the site also finds a place in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List. The monastery has a checkered history that dates back to Ivan Rilski, a hermit, who founded it in 927. You will also learn that during the very long Turkish rule over the country, the monastery became a beacon of Bulgarian culture. After your return to Sofia, you can enjoy an optional folklore dinner.
Day 6- We then head eastwards towards Bulgaria’s second largest city Plovdiv, located along the banks of the Maritsa River. The main attractions here are the charming Old Town and the Roman Amphitheater. Next we travel northwards through the scenic Stara Planina Mountains to reach Veliko Târnovo.
Day 7 – Day seven is dedicated to discovering the town of Veliko Târnovo, located on the Yantra River. During the Middle Ages, it was Bulgaria’s capital and, although now modern, it still retains some of its quaint medieval features. Later we drive to nearby Arbanassi village to view a special type of house, which is a cross between a dwelling and a fortress. The village is famous as an architectural and historic reserve and was at one time the summer residence of Bulgarian kings. Another must-visit spot at the village is the Church of the Nativity, built in 1637. Later in the afternoon, we journey north to Rousse and cross the Danube to reach Bucharest.
Day 8 –Bucharest is well-known for its flower-festooned parks, gardens and wide boulevards shaded by century-old trees. The highlight of your city tour is a visit to the open-air Village Museum, which houses a unique collection of traditional farmhouses, cottages, wind, watermills and artisans’ workshops from all over the country. Other places of interest include the Government Victoria Palace, the Royal Palace, and the Savings Palace. In the afternoon, you can also opt to visit the Romanian Parliament.
Day 9- In the morning we leave for the Sinaia ski resort in Prahova Valley. While in Sinaia, take time out to visit the Sinaia Monastery and Peles Castle, considered among the most romantic spots in the world. Moving forward, we reach Brasov, a lovely medieval town famous for its town square filled with baroque architecture and outdoor cafés. Round off the evening by enjoying an optional folklore dinner in a typical Transylvanian restaurant.
Day 10- The morning walking orientation tour of the Old Town of Brasov will include a visit to the Black Church among others. Some leisure time will also be available. In the afternoon, leave for Bran and visit the 1377-built castle, which is said to be inhabited by Vlad the Impaler or more famously Dracula.
Day 11- Next we head northwards to one of Romania’s prettiest towns, Sighisoara. It is a medieval town with 11 towers within the city walls, which surround cobblestone streets, ancient houses and churches. Legend has it that this is also the birthplace of the notorious Dracula. Continue the northward journey by way of Tirgu Mures to reach Cluj-Napoca in the heart of Transylvania.
Day 12- Today we travel westwards through Oradea into Hungary and return to Budapest. Enjoy the last evening of the tour with an optional Danube dinner cruise.
Day 13- After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Budapest Airport for your journey back home or next destination.