Treasures of the Balkans & Transylvania

Discover the treasures of the Balkans on this adventure that starts in Budapest, the lively city on the Danube. Guided sightseeing introduces you to the highlights, including the Royal Castle, Parliament, and Fishermen’s Bastion. Next, head south through ever-changing landscapes to Novi Sad, famous for its citadel, then Serbia’s capital of Belgrade and the breathtaking gorges leading into Bulgaria. Explore Sofia with its ornate orthodox churches; visit Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and explore Plovdiv’s charming Old Town and Roman Amphitheater. Continue to medieval Veliko Târnovo and Arbanassi before arriving in beautiful Bucharest, Romania, for two overnights. On to the picturesque mountains, fortified villages, and castles of Transylvania. Visit Sinaia Monastery and Bran Castle, the medieval dwelling of legendary Count Dracula. Enjoy additional stops in enchanting Sighisoara and Cluj-Napoca, and return to Budapest for the final overnight on this outstanding holiday.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 01: Arrive In Budapest, Hungary

Check into your hotel. Take advantage of the CosmosGO app to visit Budapest at leisure. in the early evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers.

Hotel: Ibis Styles City West, 2 nights

Day 02: Budapest

Budapest is a treasure trove of architectural wonders, from Gothic to Baroque; Neoclassical to Art Nouveau, but also full of history, a food capital, and surprisingly rich in thermal waters. Discover all of this and more during the guided city tour.

Day 03: Budapest – Novi Sad, Serbia – Belgrade

Travel to Serbia. Stop in Novi Sad, capital of the province, situated on the Danube River and famous for its Petrovaradin Citadel, the fortress known in the west as the “Gibraltar of the Danube.” Continue to Belgrade, and discover the capital of Serbia on a guided city sightseeing tour.

Hotel: Best Western Hotel

Day 04: Belgrade – Sofia, Bulgaria

Cross the border into Bulgaria to arrive in the capital city of Sofia. Join a Local Guide for a city tour that includes the Parliament building, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Bojana Church, a medieval Bulgarian orthodox church listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the National Theatre, and St. Sofia Church.

Hotel: Crystal Palace, 2 nights

Day 05: Sofia – Excursion to Rila Monastery

This morning, discover Rila Monastery with its colourful frescoes, located inside a nature park. its checkered history goes back to ivan Rilski, a hermit who founded it in 927. During the long Turkish rule over the country, the monastery became a beacon of Bulgarian culture. Return to Sofia.

Day 06: Sofia – Plovdiv – Veliko Tarnovo

Head eastwards to Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second-largest city, located along the banks of the Maritsa River. Stop here to visit the charming Old Town and the ROMAN Amphitheatre. Journey northwards through fine scenery over the Stara Planina Mountains to Veliko Tarnovo.

Hotel: Yantra Grand Hotel

Day 07: Veliko Tarnovo – Bucharest, Romania

Today, time to see some of the highlights of Veliko Tarnovo, located on the Yantra River. During the Middle Ages, it was Bulgaria’s capital and it still retains some of its most attractive medieval features. Visit nearby Arbanassi, world famous for its house design, a cross between a dwelling and a fortress. The village is known as an architectural and historic reserve and was at one time the summer residence of Bulgarian kings. One of the highlights of the visit is the Church Of The Nativity, built in 1637. Carry on north to Rousse and cross the Danube to reach Bucharest.

Hotel: Pullman, 2 nights

Day 08: Bucharest

Flower-festooned parks, gardens, and wide boulevards shaded by century-old trees contribute to Bucharest’s beauty. The highlight of your sightseeing tour is a visit to the open-air Village Museum, a unique collection of traditional farmhouses, cottages, windmills, watermills, and artisans’ workshops from all parts of the country. Your Local Guide will show you other places of interest, including the Government Victoria Palace, the Royal Palace, and the Savings Palace. There is also an optional afternoon visit to the massive Romanian Parliament, known as the “House of the People”.

Day 09: Bucharest – Sinaia – Brasov

Travel to Sinaia in the Prahova Valley. This is a lovely ski resort, almost 3,300 feet above sea level. While in Sinaia, there will be time to visit the Sinaia Monastery and Peles Castle, considered among the most romantic castles in the world. Only a few more miles and you reach Brasov, a lovely medieval town famous for its town square filled with baroque architecture and outdoor cafes.

Hotel: Aro Palace, 2 nights

Day 10: Brasov

This morning, depart for Bran and visit its legendary Castle, built in 1377 and inhabited by Vlad the impaler-better known as Dracula. in the afternoon, a walking orientation of the Old Town of Brasov includes a visit to the Black Church, followed by leisure time.

Day 11: Brasov – Sighisoara – Cluj-Napoca

Stop in Sighisoara, a medieval town with 11 towers within the city walls that surround cobblestone streets, ancient houses, and churches-one of Romania’s prettiest towns. Legend has it that it is also the birthplace of the notorious Vlad (Dracula). Continue to Cluj-Napoca, the film capital of Romania.

Hotel: Golden Tulip Ana Dome

Day 12: Cluj-Napoca – Budapest, Hungary

Cross the border at Oradea into Hungary and return to Budapest.

Hotel: Ibis Styles City West

Day 13: Budapest

Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
April: 14$2,739.00$3,603.00
April: 21$2,809.00$3,673.00
April: 28$2,909.00$3,773.00
May: 05, 12, 26$2,909.00$3,773.00
June: 02, 09$2,979.00$3,843.00
June: 23$3,029.00$3,893.00
July: 14$2,939.00$3,803.00
July: 21$2,879.00$3,743.00
August: 04, 11, 18$2,879.00$3,743.00
August: 25$2,939.00$3,803.00
September: 01, 08, 15$2,909.00$3,773.00
September: 22$2,809.00$3,673.00
September: 29$2,739.00$3,603.00
Inclusions 
Meals: 12 breakfasts, 4 dinners
Transport:Deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring
Accommodation: 12 nights accommodation
Guide:An expert Tour Director and separate Driver.
Local Guides for city Sightseeing in Budapest, Sofia, Bucharest & Peles Castle
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Treasures of the Balkans

This is where the sway of the Mediterranean meets Central Europe and blends with the exotic East. From the Danube to Dracula’s castle, there is history at every turn.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Welcome to Bucharest

Transfers depart Henri Coandă International Airport at 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00 for your hotel, which is one of the city’s most sophisticated and prestigious landmarks. At 18:00, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for your Welcome Dinner served with wine.

Join a Local Expert for a sightseeing to view University Square and the former communist headquarters. Visit the immense Parliament Palace, one of the largest buildings in the world. Travel along the Prahova Valley to the elegant mountain resort of Sinaia to visit Peleș Castle, the former summer residence of Romania’s first royal family. Led by a local historian, admire the lavish rooms filled with art, armour and tapestries. Continue through the Carpathian Mountains to the charming medieval city of Brașov, founded in 1211 by the Teutonic Knights. This evening you are treated to a sumptuous dinner at a local restaurant.

With your Local Expert, take a walk around Town Hall Square, lined with beautiful red-roofed houses and dominated by the Black Church. Then, picture a horse and carriage careering up a wet mountainous road, thunder booming and lightning illuminating the medieval fortress guarding the Transylvanian border. Visit Bran Castle, said to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s novel and discover if this popular image of Dracula’s castle is true or like the vampire story itself, only a myth.

Day 4: Veliko Tarnovo

Cross the Danube into Bulgaria and continue to Veliko Tarnovo, the City of the Tsars, where houses cling to the cliffs of the River Yantra, making it one of the country’s most beautiful towns. In the evening, enjoy a Highlight Dinner of local specialties and wine, followed by an authentic folklore show.

Day 5: To Sofia

In the morning, see the Monument of the Assens, before meeting your Local Expert to climb up to the ruined Tsarevets Fortress, a reminder of the town’s former imperial status. Enjoy the stunning views over the old Bulgarian capital and the Yantra Valley. Arbanasi is one of Bulgaria’s most beautiful villages and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The frescoed churches and fortified dwellings offer a unique insight into the former wealth and spiritual commitment of the settlement. Visit a traditional 17th century merchant’s house and the Church of the Holy Nativity. Cross the Balkan Mountains to Bulgaria’s modern day capital of Sofia. On arrival, sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you to St. Sofia Church, across the square from the golden domed St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the archaeological complex, dominated by the church of St. George Rotonda.

Day 6: Sofia at Your Pace

Enjoy the day at your leisure. Perhaps visit the Rila Monastery or enjoy a fascinating insight into the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria?

Day 7: Skopje

Cross the border and continue to the Macedonian capital of Skopje, an ultra-modern city juxtaposed by an ancient bazaar, where Turkish influences can still be seen and felt. Enjoy sightseeing with a Local Expert.

Day 8: Ohrid and Tirana on the Move

Making your way to the border, stop by the scenic Lake Ohrid for lunch. As you cross into Albania and journey to Tirana, renowned for its friendly locals, you are joined by a resident expert. Continue to the landmark Skanderbeg Square for an insider’s look at the Albanian capital.

Journey through the spectacular scenery of Montenegro to the Old Town of Kotor, known as Stari Grad. Located beside a beautiful bay near the limestone cliffs of Mt. Lovćen, its no surprise it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue over the Croatian border to the fortified port of Dubrovnik where you are at leisure to explore the Old Town, bustling with street artists, cafes and restaurants.

Day 10: Dubrovnik

Join a Local Expert for a morning of exploring the stone-paved streets within the 16th century bastions. See Onofrio’s Fountain and the Rector’s Palace, the city walls and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. The rest of the day is free for you to immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings. Perhaps enjoy an Optional Experience to a stunning town on the Adriatic coast, Cavtat, where you can wander along the pine-forest paths beside the crystal-clear sea. At night you may choose from a fine selection of restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening.

Day 11: Dubrovnik, Paradise on Earth

Spend a day at leisure in the Pearl of the Adriatic. Sunbathe by the pool or stroll with friends along the ancient city walls. Perhaps explore some of the filming locations of the award-winning series ‘Game of Thrones’ and appreciate the enterprising spirit of the Old Harbour? As the sun starts to set, maybe take a relaxing cruise to admire the city and its incredible walls from the water.

Journey to Mostar. With your Local Expert, see the famous Stari Most, the Old Bridge, reconstructed after being almost completely destroyed during the war. Explore the cobbled Old Town stretching on both sides of the bridge and filled with shops selling souvenirs. Continue your travels following the scenic route to Sarajevo for a unique and rewarding insight into the local way of life as you are invited into a Sarajevan family home for a dinner with drinks. Savour the authentic cuisine and traditional Bosnian coffee as you hear inspirational stories.

Start the morning with sightseeing. Visit the Sarajevo War Tunnel Museum and talk to one of the survivors, for whom the Siege of Sarajevo remains a defining moment in his life. With a Local Expert, see the Latin Bridge where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated sparking World War 1. The rest of the afternoon is for you to explore as you wish.

Day 14: The Serbian Capital of Belgrade

Trace your way along the Drina river, that lies on the border of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Take in beautiful landscapes of lush, green mountains that create magical forest canyons, winding your way through deep valleys as you make your way to Belgrade.

Join a Local Expert to see the best of Belgrade including Terazije Street, the national museum and national theatre in Republic Square, as well as a visit to the famous St. Sava Church. Finish your sightseeing at the Kalemegdan Fortress, situated at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. Enjoy a free afternoon to relax or continue exploring on your own.

Day 16: Across to Budapest

Journey north and cross the Province of Vojvodina to reach Palić on the Hungarian border. See the picturesque lake, where you can admire the art nouveau buildings. Continue on through the vast wilderness of the Puszta, where once cowboys rustled up goulash under the stars. Your destination will be Budapest on the Danube.

Venture into the heart of Buda’s medieval Castle District with a Local Expert to visit Matthias Church and take in the view of the immense Hungarian Parliament Building from the Fisherman’s Bastion. Cross the Danube to the Pest district to visit Heroes’ Square and travel down elegant Andrássy Boulevard. Enjoy time to wander through the Central Market Hall. Spread over three levels, the market is a foodie’s paradise, brimming with aromatic food stalls offering delicious salamis, spicy paprika, delicious Tokaji wines and an array of flavoured Pálinkas, a traditional Hungarian fruit brandy. Tonight you are in for a treat with your Celebration Dinner at Gundel, one of Budapest’s most renowned restaurants for over a hundred years. Dine in elegance as you savour hearty, Hungarian delicacies accompanied with specially-selected Hungarian wine.

Day 18: Depart Budapest

Departure transfers arrive at Ferenc Liszt International Airport at 07:00 and 11:00.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
April: 27$6,295.00$7,585.00
May: 11, 18$6,295.00$7,585.00
May: 25$6,325.00$7,655.00
June: 08$6,325.00$7,655.00
June: 15, 22$6,450.00$7,655.00
July: 06, 20 $6,450.00$7,925.00
August: 03, 17, 24$6,450.00$7,925.00
August: 31$6,495.00$7,925.00
September: 07, 14$6,495.00$8,025.00
September: 21$6,395.00$7,585.00
Inclusions 
Meals: 17 breakfasts, 10 dinners
Transport: Airport Transfers & Luxury air-conditioned coach
Accommodation: 17 nights accommodation
Guide: An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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