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Bulgaria & Romania – get fascinated!

This compact 8-day trip offers an exciting Balkan experience for those interested in visiting Dracula’s motherland and strolling down the ancient streets of the medieval Bulgarian capital Veliko Turnovo!
We will start from the Bulgarian capital Sofia - a dynamic, attractive and cultured city that never sleeps and the best place to get acquainted with Bulgaria’s ancient and modern faces. Veliko Tarnovo, one of the most ancient Bulgarian towns amazes with its picturesque location and medieval atmosphere. With its art galleries, winding cobbled streets and bohemian cafes, Plovdiv equals Sofia in things cultural and is a determined rival in nightlife as well – it has a lively, exuberant spirit befitting its status as a major university town. The Rila Monastery, tucked away in the Rila Mountain is a true architectural masterpiece of its time fascinating with its distinguished works of art.
Transylvania is best known as the mysterious land of bloodthirsty vampires and howling wolves. Some may think it’s fictional, but the central Romanian region is a real place. And it’s pretty special, too. Bordered to the east by the spectacular Carpathian Mountains, ‘the land beyond the forest’ still feels undiscovered. So, pack your garlic – we will be cruising through one of Eastern Europe’s most captivating regions!
The Carpathian Mountains are truly spectacular and outdoor enthusiasts would just love the myriad of opportunities for mountain sports and adventures. A melange of architecture and chic sidewalk cafes punctuate the towns of Braşov, Sighişoara and Sibiu, while the vibrant student town Cluj-Napoca has the country’s most vigorous nightlife. Many of southern Transylvania’s Saxon villages are dotted with fortified churches that date back half a millennium.

Day - by - day Itinerary:

Day 1: Welcome to Sofia!
Our guide will meet you at the Sofia Airport upon your arrival and escort you to the hotel. After getting your first impressions from the Bulgarian capital we will invite you to a welcome dinner where you will have the chance to get to know your fellow travellers who will share the Balkan adventure with you.
Overnight in Sofia. (D)

Day 2: The capital city Sofia, the Rila Monastery, Plovdiv
We will start the day with a walk in the centre of the Bulgarian capital Sofia. Our guided tour will reveal the colourful blend of numerous ancient sites and modern-day landmarks that shape the face of the city and add to its vibrant character. At the foot of the Vitosha Mountain in the outskirts of Sofia we will visit the National History Museum and the UNESCO classified Boyana Church with its stunning 13th - century frescoes.
After lunch we will travel to the Rila Monastery tucked in the heart of the imposing Rila Mountain. The sanctuary is a true architectural masterpiece of its time fascinating with its distinguished works of art.
In the late afternoon we will reach Plovdiv – one of the oldest cities in Europe that prides itself with exquisite cultural and artistic heritage. Before dinner we will have some time at leisure to enjoy the city’s modern centre on the south side of the Maritsa River, which features the famous a shop-lined pedestrian mall -  Knyaz Aleksander  Street.
Overnight in Sofia. (B, L, D)

Day 3: Plovdiv, Kazanlak, the village of Shipka,  Veliko Tarnovo
This morning we will spend in the Old Quarter of Plovdiv famous for its spectacular Roman Theatre, the multitude of tiny art galleries and the authentic cobbled streets lined with Revival period houses. Our lunch stop will be Kazanluk - the town of the Bulgarian Rose Damascene and the Capital of the Valley of the Thracian Kings. Continuing north towards the Balkan Mountain, we will visit the Shipka Memorial church - a monument dedicated to the bravery of the Russian and Bulgarian defenders of the Shipka pass in the War of Liberation in 1878. The highlight of our afternoon will be the medieval capital of Bulgaria - Veliko Tarnovo and its imposing Tsarevets Fortress. Before dinner we will take some time to unwind, relax and take a stroll down the old market street “Samovodska Charshia” with its authentic workshops and romantic old-time coffee houses.
OPTIONAL excursion: The spectacular evening LIGHT and MUSIC show on the Tzarevets Hill
Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo. (B, L, D)

Day 4: Veliko Turnovo, Arbanasi, Giurgiu, Bucharest
We will start the day with a short scenic drive to the village of Arbanasi, which used to be an important merchant and cultural centre during the Bulgarian Revival Period and today boasts impressive Revival architecture and exquisite frescoes at the UNESCO classified Rozdestvo Christovo Church. For lunch we will try some traditional specialties at a local family’s home. Then we will depart to the city of Ruse – which will be our last stop in Bulgaria. Also known as “the little Wien” for its remarkable early 20th century architecture, Ruse is the biggest Bulgarian port on the river Danube. Its eventful history and economic development have always evolved around the most international river in Europe that connected it to the western European capitals.  Its Roman name was Sexaginta Prista, the Port of the Sixty Ships, which was the main base of the war ships in Emperor Trajanus’ campaign against the Dacians in the 2nd century AD. In the late afternoon, we will say “Goodbye” to Bulgaria and cross the Bulgarian – Romanian border. We will spend the night in the charming capital city Bucharest and find out why it is dubbed “little Paris”.
Overnight in Bucharest. (B, L, D)

Day 5: Bucharest,Bran, Brasov
Today we will explore the capital of Romania with its loud commercial streets and intimate cafes, the crowded beer houses and the cosmopolite restaurants, the monumental buildings and the numerous green parks. We will see the Patriarchal Church which is part of the patriarchal complex perched on the Dealul Mitropoliei hill (‘the Metropolitan Hill’); the House of Parliament, worldwide known as “The House of Ceausescu” even though the dictator never lived there; the Cotroceni Palace, now official residence of the Romanian president; the Village Museum, where we will have the chance to see representations of houses from all over Romania that were brought and rebuilt here piece by piece.
In the afternoon, we will set off for the heart of the famous Transilvania region and visit the mysterious Bran Castle. Wrapped in creepy legends, the place is more famous as “Count Dracula’s castle” and nowadays houses the Feudal Art Museum. In the afternoon we will arrive in the picturesque town of Brasov, where we will spend the night.
Overnight in Brasov. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Brasov, Sighisoara, Sibiu
We will spend the morning in Brasov, a cultural and commercial centre founded back in the 13th century. Here we will visit the Black Church, a beautiful example of gothic architecture. Then we will travel to Sighisoara, famous for its old town established in 1820 - one of the very few preserved and still inhabited city-fortresses in Europe. The highlights here are the History Museum and the Clock Tower. In the late afternoon we will travel to Sibiu, instantly charming with a maze of cobbled streets and baroque squares.
Overnight in Sibiu. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Sibiu, Sinaia
Sibiu has a magic all of its own with its bohemian yet stately ambience, which probably makes it so appealing. This morning we will explore its old quarter and picturesque main square, where there is always a market or some kind of cultural event taking place. In 2007 the city was voted European Capital of Culture. In fact, the country's first hospital, school, library and pharmacy were all established here, so there is a special spirit of enterprise in the air. After lunch we will travel to Sinaia where we will take our time to enjoy the aristocratic atmosphere of the Peles Castle and visit the impressive Sinaia Monastery.
Overnight in Sinaia. (B, L, D)
 

Day 8: Trip finishes in Bucharest.
Today we will travel to Bucharest and say “Goodbye” with the promise to keep the colourful memories of our journey in the heart of the Balkans! (B)

 

If you like the suggested program, ideas, services and this is really your kind of holiday please send us your request for further details! We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and give you our professional advice. Thank you!

Highlights

  • The Bulgarian capital Sofia - a blend of ancient and modern!
  • The Rila Monastery – the grandest monastery on the Balkan Peninsula!
  • Visit the city of Plovdiv - #6 in Lonely Planet’s “Best in travel 2015” and European capital culture in 2019!
  • The city of the Bulgarian Tsarzs Veliko Tarnovo!
  • The town of Ruse more famous as “the little Wien”!
  • Bucharest - the vibrant capital of Romania, a luminous cultural bridge between East & West!
  • The mysterious Bran Castle or Count Drakula’s home!
  • Sibiu - the cultural gem of Romania!

Route

Photos


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What Is Included

  • 8 days / 7 overnights
  • Countries visited: Bulgaria & Romania
  • Tour starts: Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Tour finishes: Bucharest, Romania
  • 8 breakfasts (B), 7 Lunches (L), 7 Dinners (D)
  • 7 nights 4 - star hotel accommodation on a twin-share or double basis
  • Guided sightseeing tours of all visited cities and sights
  • Escorted services of an experienced guide in the requested language for the whole tour
  • Transport: Modern air-conditioned coach
  • Group Size: T/A
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