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Bulgaria And Romania At a Glance

Bulgaria & Romania

From

1080 

Duration

6 days

Languages Support

English

Tour Description

Begin your tour of Eastern European history and culture in Sofia’s vibrant Bulgarian capital. You’ll stroll along the famed yellow brick road leading from the gold-domed Alexander Nevski Cathedral to the Royal Palace. Tour one of Sofia’s greatest treasures: the magnificent 11th-century Boyana Church (UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Continue to the beautiful Rila Monastery and Plovdiv, a picturesque artistic haven; you’ll tour the Old Town, Antique Theater, and Roman Stadium. In Kazanlak, visit the duplicate of the celebrated 4th-century B.C. Thracian Tomb.

On the way to Veliko Tarnovo, the medieval Bulgarian capital, drive through the breathtaking and culturally significant Shipka Pass. Visit the soaring Tsarevets Fortress, and take in the spectacular view of the Old Town. Explore Samovodene Street, a mecca for traditional Bulgarian arts and crafts.

Next, visit the architectural gem of Arbanassi, filled with beautifully preserved houses from the 17th and 18th centuries. Tour the Church of the Nativity along with the enchanting 17th-century Konstantzalieva House. Witness the incredible Ivanovo Rock Monastery, hewn directly into canyon walls.

Cross the border into Romania toward Bucharest, and drive into the breathtaking Transylvanian landscape. Explore Bran Castle, renovated in full 1920s style by Maria, second queen of Romania.

In Brasov’s Old Town, admire the Black Church, the Old Town Square, and the medieval city walls. At Peles Castle, the 19th-century royal residence, marvel over the extravagant décor, which epitomized the height of luxury available at the time.

If you’re looking for different tour options in Romania or have specific preferences, feel free to explore our alternative Bulgaria & Romania tours or reach out to us for a personalized experience tailored just for you!

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Included / Excluded

  • The possibility of having your itinerary customised at no extra charge
  • Great flexibility regarding changes to the daily itinerary even after the start of the tour
  • A private, licensed English speaking guide/driver, available throughout the tour
  • All guide's expenses (meals, accommodation, etc.)
  • Private transportation in air conditioned car
  • All car expenses, such as gasoline, parking and road tolls
  • Complimentary wireless internet access in the car, so that you can stay in touch with your loved ones even while traveling
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary, with guided visits. If you wish to add any sight on the go, the guide will always be available with information during the visit
  • Accommodation as per the hotel list on the itinerary page (we can also offer a different selection of hotels, based on your preference)
  • Breakfast every day
  • Airport transfers
  • Airfare to and from Romania or Bulgaria
  • Meals or beverages, other than the included ones
  • Credit card fees (3.25%). We offer you the possibility of paying by domestic bank transfer (for U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom)
  • Photo fees (some sights require the payment of a fee for allowing you to take pictures - they are mostly inexpensive, around 2 or 3 euro/sight)
  • Gratuities for your guide (entirely up to your discretion)

Tour Itinerary

Arrive in Sofia, connect with your guide, and settle into the Hotel Niky, strategically placed right at the center of this sparkling, revivified city.

In the afternoon, delight in a guided promenade down Sofia’s beautiful streets paved in unique yellow-glazed brick. Drop by the Neo-Byzantine Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral; the National Assembly chambers; the Presidency, built in the style of Socialist Classicism; and St. George Rotunda, Sofia’s oldest building and an excellent illustration of surviving Roman architecture.

*Please note that if you experience a delayed arrival in Sofia for any reason, the city tour can be broken into two parts: the afternoon of your arrival day and the following morning.

Overnight in Sofia, Hotel Niky*** (centrally located)

Today, we will discover Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded by Bulgaria’s 10th-century patron saint, it is considered one of the country’s holiest sites. This architectural masterpiece played an essential role in Bulgarian cultural preservation throughout the Middle Ages and well into the 19th century, when exquisite restoration work produced frescoes and icons by prominent masters.

In the afternoon, continue your day with a visit to the breathtaking Boyana Church (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site), located on Sofia’s outskirts. Built over more than six centuries, the church is famous for its well-preserved, realistic Byzantine-style frescoes.

Continue to Plovdiv; late afternoon arrival.

Overnight in Plovdiv, Hotel Evmolpia**** (located in the Old Town)

This morning, you’ll have the remarkable opportunity to experience a guided exploration of Plovdiv, one of Europe’s most ancient cities. The Thracians, Romans, and subsequent cultural forces all left indelible imprints that are still visible today. Plovdiv emanates a delightfully inventive aesthetic, and it is a notable gathering place for artists. Take in the atmosphere as you stroll to the Roman Theater and the Museum of Ethnography, founded in 1917. Here, you’ll have the chance to take a closer look at Bulgarian history and culture as represented by myriad examples of traditional clothing and textiles, painting, tapestries, and ceramics.

In the afternoon, drive through the famous Bulgarian rose fields to witness the extraordinary Thracian Tomb (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Please note: you will visit a meticulous replica, as visits to the ancient site, for reasons of preservation, are seldom allowed. The necropolis, recently discovered in the 1940s, represents Bulgaria’s only example of intact, priceless Hellenistic murals.

Next, voyage to Veliko Tarnovo by way of the spectacular Shipka Pass. Tour the Russian Church and the historical monument at Shipka Peak—a revered place for Bulgarians.

Late afternoon arrival in Veliko Tarnovo.

Overnight in  Veliko Tarnovo, Hotel Yantra**** (located in the Old Town)

In the morning, discover Veliko Tarnovo. Meander through the Old Town and search through the delightful shops on the arts and crafts streets, perusing metalworking offerings, icon painting, woodcarving, and weaving.

Next, tour the immense fortification at Tsarevets, strategically placed high on a hill with an uninterrupted view. The fortress served as home to the Bulgarian patriarch in medieval times. Tour the extensive fortress walls and watchtowers, and let yourself be transported back to another era.

Later, take a small side trip to Arbanassi, a sweet, spectacularly preserved village featuring houses built in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the old days, the village became a center of affluence, primarily due to Ottoman luminaries’ preference. Take an insider’s peek into the lifestyle of the era inside the fascinating Konstantsalieva House, a preeminent museum that successfully freezes in time the home of a wealthy 18th-century merchant and his family.

Next, view the Nativity Church in Arbanassi, a fantastic example of the religious architectural style prevalent during Ottoman rule.

In the afternoon, depart for a drive north, in the direction of the Romanian border and Bucharest.

Overnight in Bucharest, Hotel Capitol**** (5 minutes walk from the Old Town)

The following morning, savor a lovely city tour of Bucharest, the vast Romanian capital. Against a backdrop of monumental 20th-century architecture, vestiges of a more serene, artistic time are still in evidence, most importantly in the 19th-century French houses and extant medieval churches sprinkled throughout the city.

Next, depart on an exciting journey into windswept Transylvania, still carpeted with old-growth forest and teeming with wildlife.

In the afternoon, your guide will lead you on a comprehensive walking tour of Brasov’s Old Town. Discover the citadel, the enormous Black Church, and the Strada Sforii, the narrowest street in Europe. Old Brasov is still encircled by medieval bastions and fortifications, much to the delight of travelers seeking an immersion in that time period.

Overnight in Brasov, Hotel Schuster*** (located in the Old Town)

In the morning, you’ll visit the jaw-dropping Bran Castle, situated at the edge of a dramatic cliff and one of the most well-loved and celebrated sites in all of Romania. The interior, made warm and inviting by Queen Marie, does not align with the expectation of a vampire’s abode; but be sure to explore the secret passage while you’re there.

A bit later, set out through the untamed Transylvanian wilderness, arriving in the resort town of Sinaia. Here, you’ll have the chance to tour Peles Castle, the astonishing 19th-century royal abode. The castle overflows with all of the riches available for purchase during that time period; pay special attention to the dozens of types of rare and exotic wood employed to finish the interior. Afterward, stop at the lovely Sinaia Monastery, complete with gold mosaic paintings, a museum, and a beautiful bell tower.

Return to Bucharest in the evening.

Overnight in Bucharest, Hotel Capitol**** (5 minutes walk from the Old Town)

Departure; transfer to the airport for the flight home.

Tour Information

Duration

6 days

Languages Support

English

Highlights Of The Tour:

The Arch of Triumph in Bucharest.
Visit the Boyana church and the Rila monastery, the most famous churches in Bulgaria.
Explore the most famous medieval towns in the two countries: Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo and Nessebar in Bulgaria and then Sibiu, Sighisoara and Brasov in Romania.
Bran Castle.
Walk the streets of Brasov, one of the most important cities in Transylvania.
Enjoy centrally located 3 & 4 star hotels, perfect for exploring on own.

Distance Traveled:

2100 km / 1300 mi

Places Visited:

Sofia | Rila monastery | Plovdiv | Veliko Tarnovo | Arbanassi | Bucharest | Peles Castle | Bran Castle | Brasov

Tour Price:

  • Single traveler: from 2680 euro pp
  • 2 travelers: from 1415 euro pp
  • 3 travelers: from 1080 euro pp
  • 4 travelers: from 1100 euro pp
  • For a different number of travelers, please contact us.

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