Beautiful castles and monasteries of Romania and Bulgaria

  • Visit the Primaverii Palace, house of Ceausescu
  • Stop at the Village Museum where you will find one of the most interesting open air museum
  • Discover the Painted Monasteries from Bucovina, Unesco World Heritage
  • Walking tour in the fascinating city of Cluj
  • Take a visit to Apulum (Alba Iulia), one of the largest roman castrum
  • Walk in the beautiful city of Targu Mures, known for its wonderful Art Nouveauarchitecture
  • Discover the birth place of Vlad Dracula, Sighisoara
  • Enjoy Sibiu, the European Capital of Culture for the year 2007
  • Stop at the Astra Museum Horse and Carriage Tour
  • Walk amongst myth and legends at Dracula’s Castle
  • Meet the Royalty in Sinaia, the Peles Castle
  • Visit the largest sanctuary at Liberty Bear Sanctuary
  • Visit “the city of the countries”, Veliko Tarnovo
  • Discover Kazanlak, the center of the Valley of the Roses
  • Visit Bachkovo Monastery, known and appreciated for the unique combination of Byzantine, Georgian and Bulgarian culture
  • Rila Monastery , the largest and most famous orthodox monastery from Bulgaria

1st day-Arrival in Bucharest

Your tour guide will be expecting you at the airport and after a short orientation tour , you will be transferred to your accommodation.
Accommodation in Bucharest in 3*-4* hotel ( Capitol Hotel or similar)

 

2nd day-Bucharest city tour

Your day will begin with a visit to the Primaverii Palace, house of Ceausescu. After the visit we will take a walking tour through the Old City and find out more about the man that founded Bucharest – Vlad the Impaler aka Dracula that established his royal court here in the 15th
century. A must stop is the Village Museum where you will find one of the most interesting open air museum with original peasant households from all over Romania. Another visit will include The Revolution Square and many others amazing places. After lunch, you will leave Bucharest
and head to Piatra Neamt in Moldova.
Accommodation in Moldova in 3*-4* hotel (Pensiunea Casa Humor or similar).

3rd day-Bucovina Monasteries

Start your day with Voronet Monastery,a medieval monastery in the Romanian village of Voroneț, now a part of the town Gura Humorului. It is one of the famous painted monasteries from southern Bukovina, in Suceava County. The monastery was constructed by Stephen the Great in 1488 over a period of 3 months and 3 weeks to commemorate the victory at Battle of Vaslui. Often known as the “Sistine Chapel of the East”, the frescoes at Voroneț feature an intense shade of blue known in Romania as “Voroneț blue”. The legend of the origin of the church unites two men central to Romanian history: the founder of the monastery,
Stephen the Great, and Saint Daniil the Hermit, the first abbot of the monastery. The tomb of Saint Daniil is located within the monastery. The church is one of the Painted churches of Moldavia listed in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. Moldovita Monastery was built in 1532 by Petru Rareș and it was founded as a protective barrier against the Muslim
Ottoman conquerors from the East. Next is Sucevita Monastery, an Eastern Orthodox convent situated in the Northeastern part of Romania. The architecture of the church contains both Byzantine and Gothic elements, and some elements typical to other painted churches of
northern Moldavia. Both interior and exterior walls are covered by mural paintings, which are of great artistic value and depict biblical episodes from the Old and New Testament. The paintings date from around 1601, which make Sucevița one of the last monasteries to be decorated in the famous Moldavian style of exterior paintings. Sucevița was a princely residence as well as a fortified monastery. The thick walls today shelter a museum that presents an outstanding collection of historical and art objects. The paintings date from around 1601, which makes Sucevița one of the last monasteries to be decorated in the famous Moldavian style of exterior paintings. End your day with Humor Monastery, one of the first of Moldavia’s painted monasteries to be frescoed and, along with Voroneţ, is probably the best preserved. The dominant color of the frescoes is a reddish brown. The monastery was built over the
foundation of a previous monastery that dated from around 1415. The Humor monastery was closed in 1786 and was not reopened until 1990.
Accommodation in Moldova in 3*-4* hotel (Pensiunea Casa Humor or similar).

4thday From Moldova to Cluj Napoca

After your breakfast together with you guide depart towards Cluj Napoca. Upon arrival, you will have some free time for lunch. Later on, meet your guide for a walking tour through the fascinating city of Cluj-Napoca, know as Cluj for short. Visit the birth house of Matthias Corvinus, Hungary’s most renowned 15th-century king, and learn fascinating stories about his life, as well as the importance of wine in the region. Continue the tour to the large Union Square to admire the classic Gothic style of the 14th-century St. Michael’s Church, and the large equestrian statue of Corvinus that rests in front of it.
Continue walking until you arrive at the “Street of the Intellectuals,” famous for its many educational institutions, including the Babes-Bolyai University. As you walk, learn from your knowledgeable guide about the fate of the witches living in Cluj in the Middle Ages, and the formation of the Guilds. Walk past the remains of the city’s defensive walls and arrive at a newer part of the old city, named the Avram Iancu Square. Admire the Orthodox Cathedral that rests here, built in the 1930s, as well as the National Theater, built in 1906 by a team of Viennese architects.

Overnight in Cluj Napoca at 3*-4* hotel (Capitolina Hotel or similar.

5thday- Day Trip to Turda Salt Mines and Alba Carolina Fortress

Starting in the morning you will meet with your guide and head to Alba Iulia – the fortress city, a town in the heart of Transylvania that takes you back in time centuries ago because of the Roman influences. Apulum due to its strategic importance was the largest roman castrum, due to its strategic importance. Over time this city was also influenced by the Germans and the Hungarians, which transforms the town into a place with a very high cultural diversity. Different architectural styles will delight you: Baroque and Romanesque churches, roman citadels and even a Babylonian building.
You will have the opportunity to travel back in time by visiting an 18th century fortress, Alba Carolina.
After the tour, you will have some free time for lunch.
Romania’s largest fortress is Alba Carolina, an impressive six pointed star-shaped fortification surrounded by 12 km of walls. The fortification has a symbolic meaning being located in the center of the country, surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains and the place where kings were crowned in Romania. None of the 6 entrances will disappoint. All of them have impressive Baroque decorative elements, specific to European military architecture. The fortification was first a Roman fort, then a fortress during the Middle Ages and later a Vauban type citadel provided with bastions.
Next on the journey is the Transylvanian salt mine in Turda.  In this area, the salt deposits were formed 13 million years ago, and the result of two thousand years of work will amaze you. The hundred meter galleries open into a huge room carved in salt with a 90 meter height, and in the middle of it you can enjoy a boat ride on the salt lake. If you are in search of spectacular images to capture, this is the place to be. A glass elevator provides an astonishing overview of the mine. All year long the temperature is constant, between 10 to 12 degrees Celsius, and the salty air has proven therapeutic properties, especially for people with respiratory problems. Return to the same accommodation in Cluj Napoca (Capitolina Hotel or similar).

6th day-Transilvania-Targu Mures and Sighisoara

On your way to Targu Mures you will pass through the picturesque Borgo Pass of the Eastern European Experience with a stop at the Castle Dracula Hotel. Targu Mures, one of the most important mid-size city from Transylvania is known for its wonderful Art Nouveau
architecture such as the 1913 Palace of Culture. On your way to Sighisoara you will get the chance to meet a Gypsy family in their own home for an authentic cultural interchange. . We will end this day in Sighisoara, one of the most preserved medieval city in Europe. Called
the pearl of Transylvania was founded by the German immigrants in the second half of the 12th century and turned into a city in 1407. The medieval aspect can be found in both city center and inside the fortress of Sighisoara. In the evening you will take a tour and will discover
the Clock Tower and History Museum, Birth place of Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), Covered Stairs and the Church on the Hill. Enjoy your evening in Sighisoara.
Accommodation in Sighisoara in 3*-4* hotel (Casa Georgius Krauss or similar).

7th day-Sibiu

Depart from Sighisoara early in the morning and head towards Sibiu, one of the most important cultural centers of Romania and designated the European Capital of Culture for the year 2007, along with the city of Luxembourg. Formerly the center of the Transylvanian Saxons, the old
city of Sibiu was ranked as “Europe’s 8th-most idyllic place to live” by Forbes in 2008. You will begin with a walking city tour and a first stop at the Great and Lesser Square and discover the old surrounding defense walls and the remaining guild towers. The Bruckenthal Museum it was
erected in the late 18th century in Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania, housed in the palace of Samuel von Brukenthal — who was Habsburg governor of Transylvania and who established its first collections around 1790. The collections were officially opened to the public in 1817, making it the oldest institution of its kind in Romania. Something you can’t miss in Sibiu is the Evangelical Cathedral, the most famous Gothic-style church in Sibiu, Transylvania. The four turrets situated on top of the steeple were a sign to let foreigners know that the town had the right to sentence to death. The Sibiu Lutheran Cathedral was built in the 14th century on the location of another 12th-century church. For three centuries it served as a burial place for the mayors, earls and other personalities from Sibiu. This practice was banned in 1796 but one
exception was made in 1803 when baron Samuel von Brukenthal was laid to rest in the crypt. In 1671 a Slovakian craftsman built an organ to replace the previous one that was built in 1585. Today the newer organ is the largest in the southeastern region of Europe. During the summer,
there are concerts every Wednesday night.
Accommodation in Sibiu in 3*-4* hotel (Levoslav Hotel or similar)

8th day-Brasov

Today will be departing from Sibiu with a stop at the Astra Museum Horse and Carriage Tour. Arrival in Brasov with a visit to the Gothic Black Church which stands as the main Gothic style monument in the country as well as being the largest and one of the most important Lutheran
(Evangelical Church of Augustan Confession in Romania) places of worship in the region. The tour will include a stop at the Council Square, Catherine`s gate and the Rope street.
Enjoy your afternoon in Brasov.
Accommodation in Brasov in 3*-4* hotel (Coroana Brasovului Hotel or similar).

9th day- Bran Castle and Bear Sanctuary

After a delicious breakfast, will be heading to Bran Castle, commonly known as “Dracula’s Crib” it is often referred to as the home of the title character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Bran Castle is known outside Romania with the name of Dracula’s Castle due to the legend. This castle
became known abroad owing to the Irish writer Dracula novel Bram Stoker. The name Dracula comes from the surnames of Vlad the Impaler’s father, the Dracu, he was the member of the Dragon Order. Situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Brașov, is a national
monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. This is the one of the most beautiful medieval castles in Romania. The castle is now a museum dedicated to displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Maria. Today you will get the chance to meet the royalty in Sinaia: Peles Castle.
Peleş is a palace, but it is consistently called a castle. Its architectural style is a romantically inspired blend Neo-Renaissance and Gothic Revival similar to Schloss Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. A Saxon influence can be observed in the interior courtyard facades, which have allegorical hand-painted murals and ornate truss similar to that seen in northern
European alpine architecture. Interior decoration is mostly Baroque influenced, with heavy carved woods and exquisite fabrics. It was nationalized after King Michael abdicated and left the country following an agreement with the government dominated by communists. In 1997
the castle was returned to the Royal Family after a long judicial case that has been finalized in 2007. However, the former king expressed his desire that the castle should continue to shelter the Peleș National Museum, as well as being occasionally used for public ceremonies
organized by the Royal Family. After this we will be heading towards Zarnesti at Liberty Bear Sanctuary. Over 100 brown bears saved from captivity and cruel conditions found a new and safe home in the 60 hectares sanctuary from Zarnesti, the largest of this type in Europe.
A visit here is a memorable and emotional experience, no doubt one of the best things to do in Romania. During the tour of the bear sanctuary, you’ll see many of the rescued bears enjoying their new life, playing in their special pools or climbing trees. Return to Brasov.
Accommodation in Brasov at the same hotel (Coroana Brasovului Hotel or similar).

10th day-Bulgaria

In the morning depart towards Veliko Tarnovo with your private guide. One of the most picturesque cities you will ever visit in Bulgaria. It has been named “the city of the countries”. The old town is situated on three hills and it has been the capital of medieval Bulgaria. Here you can find the amazing Tsaravets Fortress which is situated on the Tsaravets hill known as the location of Execution Rock, an outcropping over the Yantra River from which traitors were pushed to their deaths and their bodies fell into the river. Discover the way of life of 18-th century Bulgarian merchants and craftsmen by exploring the architectural reserve of Arbanassi. Try delicious local cuisine specialties.
Benefit from the small group tour’s more personal experience.
Overnight in Arbanassi in 3*-4* hotel (Yantra Grand Hotel or similar).

11thday- Plovdiv

Next morning, you will be heading to Plovdiv with a stop at the Kazanlak. The town of Kazanlak is located in the center of Bulgaria, in the western part of the Kazanlak basin. Kazanlak is the center of the Valley of the Roses, the home of the Thracian kings. The country’s
largest and best preserved Thracian tombs are found here, and they are included among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, along with the Museum of Roses. There are two nature reserves and five protected areas in the vicinity of Kazanlak, preserving natural wonders and age-old forests. The town neighbors on the largest and stunningly beautiful reserve in the Stara Planina mountain range, Dzhendema, which is part of the Central Balkans National Park. The park extends almost to the Kazanlak’s western town limits. The Rosa Damascena, known as the Damask or Castile rose, is the greatest treasure in the region of Kazanlak. The rose was imported into Bulgaria centuries ago, and today it is one of the nation’s symbols. Under the influence of the country’s unique climate and soil, this rose gradually developed into a Bulgarian strain distinct from Damask roses elsewhere. After a short ride you will get
to Shipka monastery, which was dedicated to the Russian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian soldiers who got the country back from the Ottoman rulers.
Accommodation in Plovdiv in 3*-4* hotel (Alliance Hotel or similar).

12th day- Rila Monastery

In the morning you will explore the second largest city from Bulgaria. It is one of the oldest city of Europe. It has been initially Thracian settlement, before becoming a very important Greek and Roman city and in the central square you can see the ruins of a Roman forum. The
city itself remains a source of inspiration for many contemporary artists. After this, you will be visiting Bachkovo Monastery. The monastery is known and appreciated for the unique combination of Byzantine, Georgian and Bulgarian culture, united by the common faith.
Although the monastery survived the first waves of Turkish invasion in Bulgarian lands, it was then looted and destroyed, but restored near the end of the 15th century. The refectory, whose mural paintings by an anonymous painter bear a significant artistic value, was reconstructed in
1601 and the Church of Mary, still preserved today, was finished in 1604. The most valued item here is the 14th century icon of Virgin Mary Eleusa which can heal just by touching it. Next stop is at Rila Monastery , the largest and most famous orthodox monastery from Bulgaria. Built in the 10th century, is considered to be one of the most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments in Bulgaria and all over Southern Europe and figures on Unesco World Herritage List. The Museum of the Rila Monastery is known especially for the cross of Rafail, a wooden cross made of one piece of wood (81 Å~ 43 cm). She was carved by a
monk named Rafail with fine raindrops and a magnifying glass to create 104 religious scenes and 650 miniatures. The work lasted at least 12 years and was completed in 1802 when the monk lost sight. Accommodation in Sofia in 3*-4* hotel (Sofia Place Hotel or similar).

13th day- Sofia

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and the middle of the Balkans and one of the oldest towns from Europe. Very close to her there are several hot water springs and that’s why the Romans after they conquered her they have transformed her into a typical roman settlement becoming one of
the most prosper area from the Balkans in that time. Visit the National History Museum. Boyana Church listed as Unesco Heritage Site is one of the most beautiful Bulgarian historical treasure.
Afternoon at your leisure. Accommodation in Sofia in 3*-4* hotel (Sofia Place Hotel or similar).

14th day- Transfer to Bucharest

Start your day with a delicious breakfast. After that, together with your guide you will leave beautiful Sofia and head back to Bucharest. Late afternoon, arrival in Bucharest. Afternoon at your leisure. Accommodation in Bucharest in 3*-4* hotel (Capitol Hotel or similar).

15th day- Departure

Transfer to the airport with your private driver. Hopefully you will have plenty of memories to tell to your friends !

INCLUDED

  • Fully customizable itinerary: make this tour your dream tour and customized it the way you want for no extra charge
  • Flexibility: you decide when to start and make changes in the daily itinerary 
  • Private Guide: Fully licensed English speaking guide for the entire program ( other languages on request)
  • Transportation: Private transportation in air conditioned car/minivan 
  • Car expenses: Gasoline, parking and road tolls
  • Internet: Free wifi in all our vehicles
  • Entrance fees: Included to all proposed touristic sites mentioned in the program 
  • Accommodation:  accommodation for 15 nights in 3*-4* hotels
  • Meals: breakfast and one dinner in gypsy house
  • Airport transfer: at arrival and departure
  • Beverages: Bottled water in the car

 

EXCLUDED

  • Photo fees & Video fees
  • Meals others than specified
  • Phone calls and other personal expenses
  • There is an extra pay for single supplement
  • Flights to and from Romania
  • Personal insurance

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  • We offer standard accommodation. Upgrade and downgrades are available based on your budget
  • Limited wheelchair access
  • Peles Castle is closed as following: 12 May – 15 Sept: closed on Monday; 16 Sep – 15 May: closed on Mondays and Tuesdays; 03 Nov – 02 Dec: Peles Castles is closed for a full month for cleaning & restoration. Other sites can be visited instead

Eastern European Experience, the organizing tourism agency will not be held liable if the places visited are closed without prior notice.

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