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Bulgaria And Romania Small Group Tour

Bulgaria & Romania

From

2300 

Duration

10 days

Languages Support

English

Tour Description

Embark on an odyssey through the treasures of Bulgaria and Romania, where every step whispers tales of ancient mystique and vibrant history. Begin your journey in Sofia, a city pulsating with life. Immerse yourself in the timeless charm of the 11th-century Boyana Church, a prelude to the mountainous allure that awaits at the Eastern Orthodox Rila Monastery perched majestically at 1147 meters above the sea.

In Plovdiv, follow the footsteps of Thracian legends as you explore the Old Town, Roman Stadium, and Antique Theater. Venture to Kazanlak, a fragrant haven of Bulgarian rose oil, where the 4th-century B.C. Thracian Tomb unfolds its captivating secrets.

As you traverse the awe-inspiring Shipka Pass en route to Veliko Tarnovo, let the breathtaking scenery prepare you for the medieval marvels that follow. Tour the formidable Tsarevets Fortress and stroll along the enchanting Samovodene Street, a haven of local crafts waiting to be discovered.

The village of Arbanassi welcomes you with its time-crafted charm, showcasing houses from the 17th and 18th centuries. Step into history at Konstantzalieva House, where the opulent lifestyle of a 17th-century family comes to life.

Cross into Romania and be captivated by Bucharest’s cityscape. Explore the astounding 14th-century Curtea de Arges monastery and capture the eerie beauty of Vlad the Impaler’s actual fortress at Poienari.

In Sibiu, wander through a quintessential Saxon city fortified with history. Sighisoara unfolds its medieval enchantment with the 13th-century Clock Tower and a covered staircase leading to the Gothic Church on the Hill. Transport yourself to ancient Transylvanian life in the picturesque village of Viscri.

The legendary Bran Castle beckons, a fortress steeped in mystery. Admire the opulence of Peles Castle, a 19th-century royal masterpiece. Conclude your odyssey at the mysterious Snagov Island Monastery, where every stone holds echoes of a captivating past.

This journey is an invitation to discover the allure of these timeless landscapes, where history, culture, and natural wonders converge to create an unforgettable tapestry of exploration.

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Tour Inquiry Form

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Included / Excluded

  • A private, licensed English speaking guide/driver, available throughout the tour
  • All guide's expenses (meals, accommodation, etc.)
  • Private transportation in an air-conditioned minivan
  • All minivan expenses, such as gasoline, parking and road tolls
  • Complimentary wireless internet access in the minivan 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
  • Photo fees
  • Accommodation as per the hotel list on the itinerary page
  • Breakfast every day
  • One home cooked dinner in the village of Viscri
  • Airport transfers
  • Airfare to and from Romania or Bulgaria
  • Meals or beverages, other than the included ones
  • Credit card fees (3.25%). You can also pay for the tour via a domestic bank transfer in your home currency.
  • Gratuities for your guide (entirely up to your discretion)

Tour Itinerary

Step into the captivating embrace of Sofia, Bulgaria, where your adventure begins with a warm welcome from your guide. Let the heartbeat of this modern marvel echo through your senses as you find solace and style at Hotel Niky – your cozy sanctuary amid the city’s vibrant pulse.

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

Embark on a day of enchantment as you delve into the heart of Bulgaria’s capital, a journey brimming with cultural treasures and historical wonders. Begin with a guided stroll through the vibrant city center, where every step reveals iconic landmarks like the majestic Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral, the dignified Parliament, the ornate Russian church, the regal Presidential Palace, and the ancient St. George’s Rotunda.

But the adventure doesn’t stop there. A brief drive to the city’s outskirts unveils the UNESCO-listed gem, the Boyana Church, a timeless testament to artistic and historical significance. Feel the echoes of centuries as you stand in the presence of this World Heritage Site, a visual symphony of artistic prowess.

As the day unfolds, the choice is yours – an afternoon of independent exploration guided by your curiosity or a personalized journey with your guide, diving into the depths of Bulgaria’s past at the National History Museum.

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

Start today’s odyssey to the enchanting Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage treasure that unfolds the mystical legacy of Saint John of Rila. Imagine a saint so harmoniously connected to nature that wild creatures circled him without fear. As you step into the sacred grounds, feel the spiritual resonance of this revered haven, deemed one of Bulgaria’s holiest sites. The monastery’s storied complex becomes a living testament to the evolution of Bulgarian culture, preserving the echoes of medieval times through the grandeur of the 1800s.

In the afternoon, continue to Plovdiv, where you will arrive in the early evening.

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

Morning brings an exploration through the ancient city of Plovdiv, a living testament to 6000 years of history, making it one of Europe’s oldest and most captivating gems. As you meander through its storied streets, feel the echoes of its past, known as Eumolpias to the Thracians, Philippoupolis to the Greeks, Trimontium to the Romans—until it embraced its modern identity in the 11th century. Today, Plovdiv is a vibrant canvas adorned with progressive, avant-garde culture and a thriving artistic community.

Immerse yourself in the grandeur of the ancient Roman Theater and wander through the corridors of history at the Ethnographic Museum, housed in the magnificent 1847 Kuyumdzhioglu House. Its exquisitely curved roofline is a testament to the Baroque-inspired architecture of the time, a visual feast that transports you to the elegance of bygone eras.

The adventure continues to Kazanlak, nestled at the foot of the Balkans amidst Bulgaria’s renowned rose fields. Here, the extraordinary Thracian Tomb awaits, a UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing superb murals from the Hellenistic era—the only wholly preserved Hellenistic works of art in Bulgaria. Although you’ll tour the replica, the essence of ancient artistry unfolds, leaving an indelible imprint on your senses.

Journey toward Veliko Tarnovo, the medieval Bulgarian capital, traversing the high mountain vistas of the Shipka Pass. En route, absorb captivating tales of local history and culture. Pause to marvel at the onion-domed Russian Church in the village of Shipka and pay homage at Shipka Peak, a sacred site honoring the brave ancestors of all Bulgarians.

In the afternoon, arrive in Veliko Tarnovo, where the magic of the medieval era lingers in the late afternoon air.

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

Awake to the promise of a mesmerizing morning in Veliko Tarnovo, a town steeped in secrets waiting to be uncovered. Wander through the enchanting Old Town, where the air is filled with the irresistible aroma of living art, textiles, and centuries-old metalworking traditions. Lose yourself in the charm of handcraft shops, each offering a treasure trove of unique wares, inviting you to become a part of the living tapestry of Veliko Tarnovo.

The journey leads you to the commanding 12th-century Tsarevets, a fortress palace standing tall as Bulgaria’s medieval stronghold. Step into history as you explore the formidable walls, towers, throne room, and the remnants of the old drawbridge. Feel the echoes of royalty and religious significance in every stone, unveiling the tales of a bygone era.

Venture to the quaint village of Arbanassi, a hidden gem adorned with 17th- and 18th-century architectural marvels. Once a hub of luxury and privilege, this charming town opens its doors to you. Explore the opulent Konstantzalieva House, where the daily life of a prosperous 17th-century family comes alive. Descend into the underground marvel of Nativity of Christ Church, a testament to resilience under Ottoman restrictions.

As the sun begins its descent, embark on an afternoon journey to the vibrant heartbeat of Bucharest.

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

Embark on a captivating journey through the vibrant heart of Bucharest, a city that beckons with tales of grandeur and a spirit as dynamic as the flow of the Dambovita River. With a population exceeding 2 million, Bucharest is the grand metropolis between Berlin and Athens, a city that breathes a captivating blend of history and modern allure.

Once christened “the little Paris” in the aftermath of World War I, Bucharest is a treasure trove of contrasts waiting to be unveiled. Trace the echoes of bohemian times lingering in the French-inspired architecture and ancient churches that grace the cityscape. Today’s exploration promises a feast for the senses as you traverse iconic landmarks, including the majestic Arch of Triumph, the historical Revolution Square, and the regal former Royal Palace.

Prepare to be enthralled by guided tours of architectural marvels—the monumental Parliament Palace and the immersive Village Museum– embodying the rich tapestry of Romania’s past. After lunch, join your guide for a leisurely stroll through the enchanting old town area. Here, history comes alive amidst the cobblestone streets, where the iconic Manuc’s Inn and the Princely Court are silent witnesses to the city’s storied past.

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

Today, continue your journey into the untamed beauty of Transylvania, a land of mystical depths and captivating tales waiting to be unraveled. Along the way, pause at the awe-inspiring Curtea de Arges monastery, a masterpiece of architectural splendor adorned with trompe l’oeil cupolas, a soaring façade, and an interior that rivals its external beauty. Constructed in the early 1500s, this Romanian Orthodox cathedral is a marvel of craftsmanship and a repository of legends—stories of attempted human flight, deadly ultimatums, and the haunting tragedy of a lost love.

Continue your expedition with a photo stop at the breathtaking ruins of Poienari Castle, a fortress that once served as the formidable home of Vlad the Impaler. As you stand before this nearly inaccessible citadel perched on an impossibly high cliff face, feel the weight of history. Vlad’s ruthless methods, employing slave labor and the arrest of aristocrats as traitors, unfold in the ruins. The castle, shrouded in perilous location and unmerciful circumstances, tells a story of lives deemed utterly dispensable and a construction that claimed more than it revealed.

In the afternoon, arrive in the exquisite city of Sibiu, where history comes alive in the cobblestone streets and medieval charm. Your hotel awaits, a sanctuary for the weary traveler. Let the adventure continue with a guided walking tour through the medieval Old Town, the most protected and secure of all Saxon settlements. Sibiu, once a bustling center for trade, wears the scars of battles and stands encircled by a complex bastions and walls system—a living testament to a city that weathered storms and emerged with tales etched in its very stones.

Overnight in Sibiu, Hotel Continental Forum**** (located in the Old Town)

Travel to the majestic church fortress of Biertan, an ethereal sanctuary nestled in the Transylvanian landscape and honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Picture the soaring walls and nine gate towers, a testament to the villagers’ ingenuity in building a stronghold that allowed them to defy frequent Ottoman attacks without brandishing weapons. Biertan is a living testament to resilience and community spirit, inviting you to unravel its secrets.

Your quest continues to the captivating citadel of Sighisoara, where the medieval Old Town whispers tales of a bygone era—a UNESCO World Heritage Site that unfolds before you. Let your guide lead you through cobblestone streets, ascending the 13th-century Clock Tower and the ancient covered staircase to the Hill’s Gothic Church. Sighisoara, the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, carries a mystique that enchants every corner, including the house where he was born, now transformed into one of the town’s charming restaurants.

The afternoon unveils the enchanting village of Viscri, a hidden gem in rural Transylvania that captured the heart of Charles III, King of the United Kingdom. Discover the 18th-century house he purchased, echoing his passionate commitment to preserving Transylvanian culture and vast forested landscapes. As you arrive, the Viscri fortified church, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a sentinel to history. Join your guide for a stroll through the village, where time seems to stand still.

Overnight in Viscri, Viscri 125 B&B**** (home-cooked dinner included)

Morning brings the discovery in Viscri, where every corner holds the secrets of a bygone era. Before bidding farewell to this charming Transylvanian village, indulge your curiosity at the local blacksmith’s workshop. Immerse yourself in the ancient artistry, learning about the age-old trade that has shaped the community and fueled its spirit.

As the day unfolds, set your sights on the legendary Bran Castle (a.k.a. Dracula’s Castle), which needs no introduction. The very mention of its name evokes mystery and intrigue, and now it awaits your exploration. Behold its fairy-tale architecture that is a testament to centuries of tales and legends. The castle’s rich history will leave you breathless; once the abode of kings, warlords, and the noble Queen Maria, it witnessed the pages of history turning with each passing era. The echoes of Princess Ileana’s presence linger, her story intertwined with the castle’s fate—exiled by the Communists in a tumultuous chapter of its past. Bran Castle, with its exquisite allure, bore witness to abandonment, occupation by foresters, and the resilience that comes with undetermined ownership.

As the sun begins its descent, the enchanting city of Brasov beckons, a place where history and leisure converge. Your afternoon is yours to savor, to explore at your own pace. Picture yourself wandering through cobbled streets, discovering hidden gems, or perhaps finding a quaint café to absorb the city’s vibrant energy.

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

Embark on a morning of enchantment in Brasov, where every step is a journey through time. Follow your guide on a captivating walk through the Old Town, embraced by seven-foot-thick Saxon walls that echo with the whispers of centuries. Picture yourself surrounded by the towering elegance of the Black Church, a silent sentinel to history, and the Old Town square, where red-roofed houses stand as a testament to the elite of bygone eras.

As Brasov bids you farewell, prepare for a breathtaking journey through mountain vistas. Your destination is Peles Castle, Romania’s 19th-century jewel and the residence of its first king. No expense was spared in crafting an interior that will leave you breathless—mirrors, crystal, and exotic wood merging in a symphony of opulence.

Pause nearby to behold the ethereal Sinaia Monastery, a captivating sight that bestowed its name upon the town. The journey continues to Snagov Monastery, a sacred haven perched on a stunning islet in Lake Snagov. Here, legend intertwines with reality, as many believe this to be the final resting place of Dracula himself.

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

Departure. Included transfer to the airport.

Tour Information

Duration

10 days

Languages Support

English

Highlights Of The Tour:

Discover 12 of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bulgaria and Romania.
Explore the exquisite medieval towns of Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria.
Explore the charming medieval towns of Brasov, Sighisoara and Sibiu.
Spend an afternoon in Viscri, one of the best preserved villages in Transylvania, and learn about some of the ancient crafts in the area.
Discover Romania’s most famous castles: Peles and Bran (a.k.a. Dracula’s Castle).
Enjoy centrally located 3 & 4 star hotels, perfect for exploring on own.

Places Visited:

Sofia | Rila monastery | Plovdiv | Kazanlak Thracian Tomb | Shipka Pass | Veliko Tarnovo | Bucharest | Curtea de Arges monastery | Poienari Ruins | Sibiu | Biertan & Viscri fortified churches | Sighisoara | Viscri | Bran & Peles Castles | Brasov | Sinaia monastery

Total Distance Traveled:

  • 1600 km / 990 mi

Starting Dates:

May 7th, September 3rd 2024

Tour Price:

  • 2300 euros per person
  • 225 euros for single room supplement

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