General

PRICE FROM: 785 euro pp based on a group of 8 people. For more or less people please ask.
DURATION: 11 days
ITINERARY: Sofia Tour – Rila – Plovdiv – Kazanlak – Veliko Tarnovo – Arbanassi – Roman Ruins at Nicopolis – Ivanovo Rock Hewn Churches – ROMANIA – Bucharest Tour & Folklore Show – Bucovina Frescoed Monasteries and Home Hosted Experience – The Borgo Pass – Art Nouveau in tagu Mures – Gypsy Family Visit – Transylvanian Highlights & Sibiu – Horse & Carriage Ride – Bran & Peles Castles – Bucharest
INFO: For those that like taste the life of the locals. Includes the major sites in Western and Central Bulgaria and the essential historical places of Romania. The highlights of both countries with including visits of local families and tasting home prepared food. There is no better way to discover a country.

DETAILED ITINERARY FOR THE Bulgaria-Romania Highlights TOUR:

Day 0: Sofia Arrival. Pick up from the Sofia airport and transfer to your hotel. Reminder of the day – time at leisure. Accommodation. Overnight.

Accommodation in Sofia at Best Western Thracia Hotel **** (centrally located, two overnights)

Day 1: Sightseeing tour of Sofia: 

In the morning visit the Boyana church (UNESCO) where you will admire beautiful paintings from 1259. In the National Historical Museum see the world famous Thracian Treasure of Panagyuristhe dating to the 4th century BC. Drive back to the central part of Sofia. Visit the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral – the biggest and the most beautiful on the Balkan Peninsula, the St. Sophia early Christian basilica, which has given the city its name, the Monument of Alexander II – Tzar Liberator, the Parliament, the Russian Church, the Presidency, the National Theater, the Ruins of Serdica and the Rotonda St George 4th c. AC, The Statue of St Sofia – the symbol of the city, the Synagogue, the Mosque.

Reminder of the day – explore the little streets of Sofia on your own.

B Accommodation in Sofia at Best Western Thracia Hotel **** (centrally located)

Day 2: Sofia – Rila Monastery – Plovdiv

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. You’ll enjoy a scenic ride to Rila Monastery, Bulgaria’s most famous tourist site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in the 10th century by St. Ivan Rilsky, the monastery was at the center of Bulgarian culture and Orthodox belief for centuries and today the most visited cultural site of Bulgaria. Continue to Plovdiv – the country’s second largest city. Evening at leisure in the lovely pedestrian area of the Old Town.

B Accommodation in Plovdiv at family hotel “Renaissance” – a 19th century house with 5 rooms OR hotel Odeon *** – a Renaissance house turned into a hotel OR Luxury Art Guest House 8 1/2 – a surcharge will apply

Day 3: Plovdiv – Kazanlak – Veliko Tarnovo – Arbanassi

Breakfast at hotel. Morning tour of the Old Town including the large Roman Amphitheatre and the Roman stadium. Departure to Kazanlak. As we wind through picturesque Rose Valley, we make a stop at the world famous Thracian Tomb, you get an up-close view of the wonderfully preserved Hellenistic frescoes dating back to the 4th century BC. Another must-see is The Rose Museum. Continue to Veliko Tarnovo, the anicent capital of Bulgaria. The tour will include the picturesque Samovodene Street with its many artisans shops and a view of the mighty Tsarevets Fortress. Continue to the picturesque village of Arbanassi, near Veliko Tarnovo. Your afternoon highlight is a visit to the Church of Nativity, the most richly decorated church in all of Bulgaria

B Accommodation in Veliko Tarnovo at Hotel Gurko *** (located in the Old Town)

Day 4: Veliko Tarnovo – Roman Ruins at Nicopolis ad Istrum – Ivanovo Rock Churches – Ruse – ROMANIA Bucharest

Departure to the North where your first visit is the complex of Roman ruins of Nicopolis ad Istrum, built in the 2nd century AD by Emperor Trajan. Continue to the cavernous Ivanovo Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take an orientation tour of the center of Ruse,the largest Bulgarian town on the Danube with its classical architecture before you cross the Danube River where you will enter Romania and will change tour guides and vehicles. Drive to Bucharest. Check in and time at leisure. OPTIONAL: In the evening enjoy a Traditional Romanian Welcome Dinner and Folklore Show.

B Accommodation in Bucharest at Hotel Berthelot **** (centrally located boutique hotel)

Day 5: Bucharest City Tour with Parliament Visit – Piatra Neamt via the Moldavian Countryside

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. As of the second half of the 19 century  Bucharest was known as “The Little Paris of the East” because of its many Parisian aspects in the city layout, architecture and nevertheless, lifestyle. Today you will drive on the grand avenues such as Magheru, Kiseleff and Victory. Stop in the Revolution Square and learn about the December 1989 Romanian Revolution. Then visit the Palace of the Parliament (the second largest building in the world) will put you in direct contact with Romania’s last years of its Communist power. The tour will also include Cotroceni Quarter and a view of Ceausescus’ former private residence. Lunch on your own. Leave Bucharest on the way north to Piatra Neamt in Moldova. Arrive in the early evening. Short orientation tour. Hotel check in.

B Accommodation in Piatra Neamt at Hotel Ceahlaul *** 

 

Day 6: Piatra Neamt – Bucovina Monasteries Tour & Traditional Bucovina Lunch –  Choice of Tours – Campulung

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Bucovina monasteries are gems of medieval Moldavian architecture and artistry. Each of them has a predominant color. Start your day with Voronet, the most famous out of all, known as the Sistine Chapel of the East. Voronet features one the best Last Judgment fresco in this part of the World. Receive a complete explanation of the fresco. Enjoy an  egg painting demonstration followed by a traditional Bucovina lunch.  Next is Moldovita Monastery is where the UNESCO Golden Apple Award given to the painted churches back in 1975, is kept. On the south facade of Moldovita is The Siege of Constantinople belonging to the 24 episodes of the Hymn to the Holy Virgin.  Drive to the nearby Sucevita Monastery, which is the largest of all, looking more like a mighty fortress than a monastery. The Ladder of John of Sinai is considered one of the best of the frescoes of Sucevita, rarely present in medieval Romanian art. In the village of Marginea visit the black pottery workshop – they use a technique called “oxygen reduction”, there is the same technique in Mexico only.

CHOICE OF AFTEROON VISITS:

  1. Visit the Salt Mines at Cacica, founded in 1798 OR
  2. Visit the Bucovina Folk Customs Museum.   The drive to the nearby town of Campulung for overnight.

B L Accommodation in Campulung Moldovenesc at Hotel Eden *** 

 

Day 7: Campulung – The Borgo Pass  –  Art Nouveau in Targu Mures –  Exclusive Gypsy Home Visit –  Sighisoara Guided Walk

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Continue your Romania and Bulgaria private trip with a departure to Bistrita over the picturesque Borgo Pass of the Eastern Carpathians with a stop over at Castle Dracula Hotel. This is where Bram Stoker placed the “residence” of his imaginary character: Count Dracula. You then pass through Bistrita heading south to Targu Mures, one of the important Central Transylvanian mid size cities and known for its wonderful Art Nouveau architecture such as the 1913 Palace of Culture. On the way to Sighisoara make enjoy a unqiue opportunity to meet a Gypsy family in their own home, for an authentic cultural interchange. Sighisoara – this is the only still inhabited medieval citadel in Europe. It was developed by the German settlers as of late 12th century. It stands on a network of tunnels and catacombs and, according to one version of the myth; this is where the Pied Piper brought the children of Hamelin after their ungrateful parents refused to pay him his due. Walking tour includes the two squares of the Citadel (Upper Town), the Scholars’ Staircase, the Ducklings’ Square, the Tinsmiths’ Tower, the House with Antler, the Tower with Clock (climb up for a great view), the Torture Chamber and the Weapon Museum. Sighisoara is the place where the Vlad the Third, The Impaler (Dracula) was born in 1431. The Birthplace is today a restaurant and one of the main tourist attractions. Dinner on own.

B Accommodation in the Upper Town of Sighisoara at The House with Antler ***

 

Day 8: Sighisoara – Biertan (UNESCO Site) – Sibiu Tour – Home Hosted Dinner in the VIllage of Sibiel

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Drive to the impressive fortifiication of Biertan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a visit of the former Seat of the Lutheran Bishops between 1516 and 1867. Your tour  continues to Sibiu: the chief city of the Transylvanian Saxons still surrounded by defense walls and guild towers. Visit the colorful open air fruit & vegetable market of Sibiu followed by a leisurely walking tour of Sibiu, the chief city of the Transylvanian Germans. One of the landmarks of Sibiu is the Bruckenthal Museumassembled by Baron Bruckenthal, Governor of Transylvania at the beginning of the 19th century and the second art museum to open ever to the public. The Evangelical Cathedral was completed in its actual shape in 1520. View the Passage of Stairs linking the Upper town to the Lower town, the 1859 Liar’s Bridge and the Byzantine style Orthodox Cathedral, a replica of St. Sophia in Constantinople.  In the picturesque village of Sibiel, visit the unique incon-on-glass museum followed by a home hosted dinner with one of the local families, an authentic cultural interchange and a dining experience. Overnight in Sibiu’s famous Romans’ Emperor Hotel, first built at the end of the 18th century. Dinner on own. Suggested is Crama Sibiul Vechi, one of the very best cellar restaurants in town.

B  Accommodation in Sibiu at Hotel Imparatul Romanilor ***

Hotel Imparatul Romanilor, located in the old part of Sibiu near the main square, in a 16th century building built in traditional Transylvanian Renaissance style, a former merchant’s hall transformed into hotel in the 18th century, with many famous guests: Emperor Franz Joseph II, composers Franz Liszt, Johann Strauss, as well as Prince Charles and other important people. Wonderfully renovated for the 2007 Sibiu cultural and artistical events.

 

Day 9: Sibiu ASTRA Museum Horse & Carriage Tour –  Fagaras – Brasov  & Evening at Leisure

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Morning tour by horse and carriage of the open air ASTRA Museum, a collection of vernacular houses from all over Transylvania dispalyed in a park. Continue to Brasov via Fagaras (view of Fortress). Brasov (Kronstadt) also was developed by the Saxon colonists as of the late 12th century and the Old Town is a true gem of  well preserved medieval architecture. The walking tour of Brasov includes the famous 14th century Black Church with its 4,000 pipe organ and over one hundred Anatolian prayer rugs, the Council Square and the Weavers’ Bastion – a unique structure. Continue to the old Romanian Quarter known as Schei for a tour of the First School in Romanian, then view the narrowest street in South – Central Europe. Hotel check in and time at leisure in the lovely pedestrian area of Old Brasov with its many restaurants and outdoor cafes.

B  Accommodation in Brasov at Hotel Bella Muzica *** OR Hotel Casa Wagner ***

Day 10:   Bran Castle – Sinaia Resort & Peles Castle – BUCHAREST

Hot and cold reakfast at hotel. Take a morning guided tour of the famous Bran Castle also known as Dracula Castle. It was built in 1377 to safeguard the trading route between Transylvania and Wallachia, then enlarged and restored in the 1920 by Queen Marie of Romania. A guided tour of the castle is included. Enjoy cheese sampling on the premises.  Continue to Sinaia mountain resort. Named after St. Catherine Monastery on Mount Sinai, Sinaia became the unofficial capital of the Kingdom of Romania towards the end of the 19th century. The orientation tour of the resort includes a visit to Sinaia Monastery and a view of the superb Casino building, inspired by the one in Monte Carlo. Once the famous Orient Express train use to regularly call here and it still does once a year on its way from Paris to Constantinople (Istanbul). Take a guided tour of one of the most important tourist attractions of the country: Peles Castle the royal residence of King Charles I of Romania and known as one of the most beautiful summer royal residences in Europe. Departure to Bucharest. Accommodation.

B Accommodation in Bucharest at Hotel Berthelot **** (centrally located boutique hotel)

Day 11:  Transfer to the Bucharest airport for your departure flight.

PRICES AND DATES:

Guaranteed departure – every day from April 1 to November 30. On request from Dec 1 to March 31.

If you are looking to share this tour with other people please see our “Scheduled Tours” category.

Included features in Bulgaria:

  • Accommodation in total 4 overnights with breakfasts
  • fully insured sedan with climate control, for the entire distance
  • fuel & parking fees included, border fees, toll fees, vignette
  • all sightseeing tours & cultural connections
  • transfer from Sofia airport to your hotel
  • professional English speaking guide for Day 2
  • local professional tour guide in the Rila monastery
  • admissions to museums, sites, churches as per itinerary
  • VAT and local tax
  • Deatialed map of Bulgaria

Included features in Romania:

  • Accommodation in total 7 overnights with breakfasts
  • fully insured sedan with climate control, for the entire distance
  • fuel & parking fees included, border fees, toll fees, vignette
  • all sightseeing tours & cultural connections
  • 1 home hosted lunch, 1 dinner
  • exclusive visit to a Gypsy family in Transylvania (based on your interest)
  • three informal talks on: Dracula: Truth and Legend, Ceausescu and His Times, The Gypsies and Their Journey
  • cheese tasting in Bran
  • interactive egg painting demonstration in Bucovina
  • portrage at hotels
  • admissions to museums, sites, churches as per itinerary
  • VAT and local tax
  • Deatialed map of Romania

At all time not included:

  • Food and beverages other than stated
  • Photo and camera fees in the sites and the museums
  • Bank or paypal fees

PAYMENT OPTIONS:

This tour can be paid by credit card, paypal, bank transfer or cash upon departure.

Please note paying by credit card will apply a supplementary fee of 2,5% for VISA card and 2,5% for Master Card. Paying by paypal will apply a supplementary fee of 4% for overseas transactions.

BOOKING:

We require 30% downpayment upon booking. In the event of cancellation 14 days prior to date of the tour the downpayment will be fully reimbursed.

CANCELLATION POLICY FOR THIS TOUR:

–  14 days prior to date of activity – Free cancellation

– 13 to 8 days prior to date of activity – 30% Cancellation Fee (70% reimbursement)

– 7 to 4 days prior to date of activity – 70% Cancellation Fee (30% reimbursement)

– 3 days prior to date of activity, on the day of the activity and for now show – 100% cancellation Fee (No reimbursement)

 

You’ll visit 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • Bucovina Exterior Frescoed Monasteries
  • Historic Center of Sighisoara
  • Biertan Fortified Church
  • Sibiu Historic Center
  • Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak
  • The Rila Monastery

Please see our other tours including Romania.

Available departures

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2. The number of people who are taking a part of the visit;
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