The best of Romania and Bulgaria

  • Visit 8 UNESCO world heritage sites.
  • Enjoy a full day city tour of Bucharest, Romania’s vibrant capital
  • Explore the fortified Transylvanian cities of Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca & Brasov
  • Visit the monastery in Curtea de Arges which is the resting place of the Romanian Royal family
  • Witness the ruins of the 4th century Poienari castle
  • Enjoy a guided walk of Sibiu’s & Sighisoara’s historical old town’s
  • Visit Alba Lulia, home to an impressive Vauban – style fortress
  • Explore the vast Turda Salt Mines complex and learn the history of salt mining from ancient days to modern times
  • Explore the traditional rural region of Maramures, famous for its steepled wooden churches and ornately carved gates
  • Visit the wooden church in the town of Surdesti which was until recently, the tallest wooden church in the world
  • Enjoy a Romanian cooking workshop where you may learn some traditional recipes & techniques
  • Visit Barsana monastery which is home to the oldest wooden church in Romania
  • Travel across the Carpathian Mountains, the third longest mountain range in Europe
  • Marvel at the beauty of the famous painted monasteries of Voronet, Humor, Sucevita and Moldovita
  • Visit the Nicolae Popa Ethnographical Museum, once home of one of the most appreciated naive sculptors of Romania
  • Enjoy a full day city tour of Brasov, ringed by the Carpathian mountains and surrounded by colorful baroque buildings
  • Enjoy a guided visit of Bran’s Castle, commonly known as Dracula’s Castle and one of Romania’s most famous castles
  • Visit the magnificent former summer residence of the Romanian Royal family – Peles Castle
  • Cross the famous Danube River into Bulgaria and enjoy a stop in the port town of Ruse
  • Visit Veliko Tarnovo, a medieval capital and cultural centre of the Second Bulgarian Empire
  • Explore the old town of Veliko Tarnovo on a guided tour
  • Visit the village of Arbanassi, an architectural gem brought to prominence by the patronage of an Ottoman sultan
  • Travel through the Shipka Pass and the Valley of the Roses
  • Visit Kazanlak Thracian Tomb. a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Enjoy a full day guided tour of Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city and one with centuries old history
  • Enjoy a city tour of Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital
  • Visit Boyana Church in Sofia, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Explore Rila monastery, a 10th century monastery dedicated to the patron saint of Bulgaria, John Rila

Day 1 – Welcome to Bucharest

Upon arrival into Bucharest you will be met and transferred to your hotel accommodation.

Bucharest, in southern Romania, is the country’s capital and commercial center. Its iconic landmark is the massive, communist-era Palatul Parlamentului government building, which has 1,100 rooms. Nearby, the historic Lipscani district is home to an energetic nightlife scene as well as tiny Eastern Orthodox Stavropoleos Church and 15th-century Curtea Veche Palace, where Prince Vlad III (“The Impaler”) once ruled.

Day 2 – Bucharest City Tour

Today, enjoy a full day city tour of Bucharest. Start with a panoramic drive around the main sights  such as the Arch of Triumph, Victoria Square, Victoria Avenue then enjoy guided visits of the Village Museum. Enjoy a lunch break (lunch not included) in the beautiful Old Town area and afterwards enjoy a guided through the old town area, where sights such as Manuc’s Inn and the Princely Court are located. Afterwards transfer back to your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 3 – Bucharest – Sibiu, Transylvania

After breakfast check out and depart Bucharest, headed for the Transylvanian city of Sibiu. On the way, visit the monastery at Curtea de Arges – resting place of the Romanian Royal family. A short ride further on the scenic Transfagarasan mountain road and you will arrive at a vantage point to see the ruins of the 14th century Poienari castle.

Continue onwards to Sibiu and upon arrival check into your hotel, then enjoy a short guided walk of Sibiu’s Old Town. Afterwards return to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Sibiu is a city in Transylvania, central Romania. It’s known for Germanic architecture in its old town, the legacy of 12th-century Saxon settlers. Around the city are the remains of medieval walls and towers, including the 13th-century Council Tower. In the upper town, Brukenthal Palace now houses the Brukenthal National Museum, with European paintings. The nearby Evangelical Cathedral has gravestones in its walls.

Day 4 Sighisoara Day Trip

Today enjoy a day trip to the city of Sighisoara, located on the Tarnava Mare River and the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler.

On the way take a short detour to visit the Biertan Fortified Church (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Upon arrival into Sighisoara enjoy a guided walk in the beautiful Old Town area (UNESCO World Heritage Site), and visit the Clock Tower Museum and the Arms Museum. This afternoon return to Sibiu where you may enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 5 Sibiu – Cluj-Napoca

This morning check out of the hotel and travel further towards the north in Romania. On the way enjoy a short stop at the city of Alba Lulia, home to an impressive Vauban – style fortress, where you may enjoy a guided walk in the fortress. Afterwards continue onwards to the Turda Salt mines – an astonishing complex underground salt mines where you can learn the history of salt mining from ancient days to modern times. Finish the day in Cluj-Napoca- one of Transylvania’s 7 fortified cities.

Cluj-Napoca, a city in northwestern Romania, is the unofficial capital of the Transylvania region. It’s home to universities, vibrant nightlife and landmarks dating to Saxon and Hungarian rule. Surrounding its central square, Piața Unirii, is the Gothic-style St. Michael’s Church and the dramatic Matthias Corvinus Statue of the 15th-century king. The baroque-era Bánffy Palace is now a museum showcasing Romanian art.

Day 6 – Cluj-Napoca – Vadu Izei

Today travel north to the area known as the Maramures, a geographical, historical and cultural region in northern Romania and western Ukraine and widely regarded as Romania’s most traditional region, dotted with steepled wooden churches and farmhouses fronted by ornately carved gates, Maramureş feels as if you are climbing into a horse-drawn time machine and heading back a couple of centuries. On the way visit the wooden church at Surdesti (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and until recently the tallest wooden church in the world. Continue your drive along the scenic Mara Valley, famous for villages where many of the ornate wooden gates can be seen. Upon arrival into the small village of Vadu Izea, check in to a traditional family run Romanian guesthouse, where you will stay for the next two days. Tonight enjoy a home cooked Romanian dinner and the remainder of the evening at leisure.

Day 7 Exploring Maramures

Today enjoy a full day of exploring the beautiful region that is Maramures. Visit a local market, the Sapanta Merry Cemetery, and discover more of the regions iconic wooden architecture. In the afternoon, visit the Memorial Museum which pays respects to the Victims of Communism in Sighetu Marmatiei. In the late afternoon or evening enjoy a Romanian cooking workshop where you may learn some traditional recipes. Finish the day with an exclusive Romanian folk show with music and dances from Maramures region followed by another delicious home cooked dinner.

Day 8 Maramures – Gura Humorului

This morning leave Maramures headed for Bucovina region. In the morning, visit the astounding Barsana monastery

with its impressive Ieud wooden church which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is believed to be the oldest wooden church in Romania. Afterwards continue your journey across the Carpathians over the Borgo pass and stop for photos in the small village of Ciocanesti, famous for its ornate wooden houses, before arriving in Gura Humorului this afternoon. Check in and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

 Day 9 Voronet, Humor, Sucevita and Moldovita Monasteries

Today enjoy a full day  spent exploring the famous painted monasteries of Voronet, Humor, Sucevita and Moldovita (all of them UNESCO World Heritage sites).

Also known as the ‘the Sistine Chapel of the East’ due to its splendid frescoes, the church of the Monastery of Voronet was built in just a couple of months, in 1488, by Stephen the Great, the most popular prince of Moldavia, after one of his victories against the Ottoman armies. This was a common practice of the prince who promoted an architecture known as the Moldavian style. Many of the churches built this way are still preserved until today in the regions of Moldavia and Bucovina. Exquisite testimonies of their painters’ talent, the frescoes of Voronet conserve a centuries-old secret. The distinct ‘Voronet blue’ color is unique in the world, and its composition is almost impossible to replicate today.

 

Afterwards travel onwards to a local black pottery workshop in the nearby village of Marginea where you will discover the ancient art of egg painting. Painted Easter eggs are art objects in Romania, a tradition that goes back hundreds of years, using dazzling combinations of symbols and colors. Finish the day back in Gura humorului and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 10 Gura Humorului – Bicaz Gorges – Brasov

Leave Gura Humorului, returning back towards Transylvania. On the way enjoy a stop at the Nicolae Popa Ethnographical Museum. Housed in the home of where the artist, one of the most valued and appreciated naive sculptors of Romania and a true creator of folklore, used to live, the museum offers a great opportunity to learn more about the folk traditions of the area. Continue your journey through the picturesque Bicaz Gorges before arriving in the beautiful city of Brasov. Upon arrival check in and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Brașov is a city in the Transylvania region of Romania, ringed by the Carpathian Mountains. It’s known for its medieval Saxon walls and bastions, the towering Gothic-style Black Church and lively cafes. Piaţa Sfatului (Council Square) in the cobbled old town is surrounded by colorful baroque buildings and is home to the Casa Sfatului, a former town hall turned local history museum.

Day 11 Brasov City Tour

Today enjoy a full day tour of Brasov beginning with a guided walk in the Old Town area, with visits to sites such as St. Nicholas’s church, where you can also visit the First Romanian School, the Catherine Gate, Rope Street, the Black church and the Council Square. In the afternoon visit one the most famous sights in all of Romania: the Bran Castle (a.k.a. Dracula’s Castle). Upon arrival in Bran, join your guide for a tour of the castle, then you may spend some time in the shopping area next to the castle, where you can pick some local souvenirs and also taste locally made products, such as the plum brandy (palinka) famous in the region, and various types of hams and cheese. Finish the day back in Brasov where you may enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 12 Brasov – Sinaia – Bucharest

After breakfast check out and leave Brasov heading for Sinaia, where you will visit the magnificent former summer residence of the Romanian Royal family – Peles Castle along with the Sinaia monastery. Enjoy a lunch at leisure (not included) before returning to Bucharest in the afternoon. Check in to your hotel and enjoy one last evening at leisure in Romania.

Day 13 Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Today check out and leave the Romanian capital headed south for the neighbouring country of Bulgaria. You will cross the Danube river, which forms most of the border between the 2 countries and arrive at the town of Ruse, Bulgaria. Enjoy a quick stop in the port town of Ruse with its charming pedestrian area then continue onwards to Veliko Tarnovo, a medieval capital and cultural centre of the Second Bulgarian Empire. Upon arrival enjoy a guided tour of the Old Town area, where you’ll find delightful handcraft shops offering demonstrations of icon painting, woodcarving, textile arts, and traditional metalworking and take the opportunity to savour a cup of Turkish coffee brewed over hot sand, just as it was done in times long past. Next up take a short drive to the nearby village of Arbanassi, an architectural gem of the 1600s and 1700s brought to prominence by the patronage of an Ottoman sultan. This is where rich and powerful merchants of the past lived out their lives. Catch a glimpse at the Konstantsalieva House, home of one of the wealthiest merchants of the 18th century and discover the Nativity Church, built at a time when Christian architecture in Bulgaria was heavily restricted by the Ottomans. Return to Veliko Tarnovo and enjoy an evening at leisure. 

Medieval history emanates from Veliko Târnovo’s fortified walls and cobbled lanes. One of Bulgaria’s oldest towns, Veliko Târnovo has as its centrepiece the magnificent restored Tsarevets Fortress, citadel of the Second Bulgarian Empire.

Day 14 Veliko Tarnovo – Plovdiv

Today check out after breakfast and embark on a scenic journey that will take you over the Shipka Pass to the area known as The Valley of Roses. Stop at the top of the Shipka Pass to visit a monument there, built as a reminder of the

heroic Shipka Pass battle that took place there in 1878. Continue onwards to the colourful Kazanlak Thracian Tomb (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) then in the afternoon, arrive in Plovdiv, one of the oldest cities in Europe. Upon arrival enjoy an orientation of the Old Town and then the remainder of the day at leisure.

With an easy grace, Plovdiv mingles invigorating nightlife among millennia-old ruins. Like Rome, Plovdiv straddles seven hills; but as Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city, it’s far more ancient. It is best loved for its romantic old town, packed with colourful and creaky 19th-century mansions that are now house-museums, galleries and guesthouses.

Day 15 Plovdiv City Tour

Today enjoy a guided tour of Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria and one with centuries old history and today you will visit the town’s landmarks and uncover its rich history. Start with a walk in the Old Town situated on 3 hills which is an architectural reserve with lovely examples of Bulgarian Renaissance architecture. You will visit the Kîyumdzioglu House which nowadays houses the city’s Ethnographic museum, then you will walk to the Roman Amphitheatre which is beautifully preserved and still used as the cultural heart of Plovdiv. Continue onwards with a walk down to the 14th century Djumaya mosque and past the Roman Stadium in the middle of the pedestrian street.  Enjoy the charming pedestrian street with more charming examples of end of 19th and beginning of 20th century houses, parks and fountains as well as lively cafes and cosy restaurants before returning to your hotel where you may enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 16 Plovdiv – Sofia

After breakfast, check out and drive onward to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Upon arrival in Sofia enjoy a city tour including a panoramic sightseeing drive, a visit of the Boyana Church (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and a walk that will explore the major sights Sofia has to offer including the Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral, the Parliament, the Russian church, the Presidential Palace and St. George’s Rotunda. Afterwards check in to your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 17 Rila Monastery

Today enjoy a day trip from Sofia to Rila monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded by the 10th-century patron saint of the Bulgarians, John of Rila, it is considered one of Bulgaria’s holiest sites. This architectural masterpiece played an essential role in Bulgarian cultural preservation throughout the Middle Ages and well into the 19th century, when exquisite restoration work produced frescoes and icons by prominent masters. Return to Sofia in the afternoon and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 18 Sofia

Today transfer to the airport for your return flight back home.

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 17 nights in 3*-4* hotels
  • Meals: breakfast and two home cooked Romanian meals
  • 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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