From Budapest to the Golden Horn tour
A journey in 4 countries, 2 continents, 2 seas and one of the biggest rivers in the Old World
15 days / 14 nights tour in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey
Day 1 Budapest
Arrival at Budapest. Transfer from the airport and accommodation in Hotel President Budapest 4*. Welcome dinner with the guide with a glass of champing. Overnight. D.
Day 2 Budapest (A Beauty over Danube River)
After breakfast – panoramic city tour of Budapest with the most interesting and famous sights of the Hungarian capital, like House of Parliament (inside visit), Castle District, Citadel, Andrássy Avenue, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Opera House and Heroes’ Square. See all the wonderful sights of Budapest; the nicest squares, monuments and churches of the city and the unique panorama of the river Danube!
Lunch in a local restaurant. Overnight in the hotel.
09:00 Budapest city tour
14:00 free time
Day 3 Budapest – Timisoara (The Romanian West)
After breakfast – transfer with a professional guide to Timisoara – the largest city in the Western part of Romania built on the site of an ancient Roman fortress. The country’s hero town in 1989, Timisoara was where the rebel against the Communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu began. Lunch in a local restaurant. Check in Hotel Timisoara 4* (Laszlo Szekely, chief city architect, built this imposing mansion, where Hotel Timisoara stands now, between the two world wars. The exterior reflects the style of the central square). A city tour of Timisoara follows: the Union Square (former Dome Square), the old fortress’ walls, Dome-church, Pillar of the Plague, Bastion, “House with the Iron Tree”, Statue of St. Mary and Huniade Castle. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
08.00 Depart to Timisosara
10.30 Arrive to Szeged for 45min coffee break and snack.
11.15 Depart Szeged for Timisoara
13.45 Arrive Timisoara (14.45 Romanian time), meet Romanian guide & check in at hotel.
15.15 Local time guide to take group to exchange money, lunch and city tour.
17.00 Return to hotel and free time.
19.00 Dinner at hotel.
Day 4 Timisoara – Sibiel – Cristian – Sibiu (The Biggest Medieval City)
After breakfast – departure to the biggest medieval city in Romania – Sibiu. The city was voted as European Capital of Culture for 2007. On the road we will visit Sibiel a typical Romanian shepard village, where we have also lunch. Then we visit Cristian, the viliage with Landler people. After this we arrive in Sibiu. Visit to the medieval city woth the Bigg and Little Square, Liars Bridge, City Hall Tower and Brukenthal Museum and the old style houses. Accommodation and overnight in Hotel Continental Forum 4*.
09:00 Departure to Sibiu en route stop at Sibiel and Cristian village
13.00 arrive in Sibiel, a typical Romanian village where we will visit the glass painted icons
13.15 Traditional lunch at a Romanian peasant family in Sibiel with visit of the peasant farm and local distillery.
14.30 arrive to Cristian a village where the most inhabitants used to be Landlers.
15:00 Depart to Sibiu.
15.30 Arrive Sibiu and Check in the hotel.
16:30 City tour of Sibiu with visit to the old part of the town with the Clock tower and the old style houses.
19:00 Dinner in a local restaurant, overnight
Day 5 Sibiu – Sighisoara (The Birthhouse of Vlad Dracula)
After breakfast we drive to Biertan. This church-castels is over 750 yers old and it is also an UNESCO – Monument. Biertan was the Evangelic Bishop Residence until 17th century. Follows visit of one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Romania – Sighisoara. Visit of the Citadel – a 12th century Saxon edifice located in the historic center of the city. Still occupied, the citadel is listed as a World Heritage Site. Time for your own in Sighisoara. Dinner in the famous restaurant «Vlad Drakula», located in the same house where the popular character of the British writer Bram Stoker was born. Accommodation and overnight in Fronius 5* botique hotel in Sighisoara.
09:00 Departure to Biertan.
10:30 Visit Biertan’s church-castle
12:00 check in the hotel in Sighisoara
13:00 Lunch time, city tour of Sighisoara.
16:00 free time in Sighisoara
20:00 Dinner in the famous restaurant «Vlad Drakula»
Day 6 Sighisoara – Bran (Dracula Castle) – Brasov
After breakfast – visit the Sighisoara citadel and departure to Poiana Brasov. Lunch in a local restaurant with folklore music. Next is visit the Bran village, where the world famous Dracula castle is located. It is the most curious part of the trip in Romania, which attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. Free time at the market for souvenirs. Then we drive to Brasov. Accommodation in a 3*+ hotel Gott in Brasov for 2 nights, direct on the pedestrian street.
10.30 Depart Sighisoara (after visiting Citadel) to Bran
13.00 Arrive to Poiana Brasov. Free time to walk around the area, go into wooden church and lunch with folklore music.
15.00 Continue to Bran castle for tour.
16.30 Free time at markets for souvenirs.
17.15 Drive to Brasov and check in at hotel.
Day 7 Brasov (The Black Church)
After breakfast – sightseeing tour of the really good preserved historical city center of Brasov with the big square, the old city-hall, and the Black Church – the main Gothic style monument in the country. Take the funicular to the top of mountain with unique view over the city.
Return back to Brasov. Lunch in a local restaurant and free time. Overnight in the hotel
09.00 Start tour of Brasov including Black Church.
11.00 Funicular to the mountain.
13.30 Lunch at a local restaurant.
15.00 End tour in hotel with free time.
Day 8 Brasov – Sinaia – Bucharest (The Little Paris)
After breakfast – Departure to the mountain resort Sinaia, also called “the pearl of the Carpathian Mountains”. Visit to the Peles Castle, constructed in 1873 as a summer residence of the Romanian royal family. You can see a rich collection of old furniture, carpets, weapons and armors.
In the afternoon we will reach Bucharest. A walking city tour of the Romanian capital follows: the Royal Palace, the University’s Library, the City-Hall and other interesting sights of the city also called “the little Paris” because of the similar architecture style of the buildings. Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Grand Hotel Continental 5*.
09:00 Departure to Sinaia
11:00 Visit to the Peles Castle,
13:00 lunch break in Sinaia
14:00 drive to Bucharest
16:00 Arrival in Bucharest, check in the hotel.
17:00 City walking tour of the Romanian capital
19:00 Dinner in a local restaurant
Day 9 Bucharest – Ruse – Veliko Tarnovo (The rock churches of Ivanovo)
After breakfast – city tour of Bucharest by bus with interior visit of Palce of Parliament (the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon in USA).
Departure to Bulgaria. Crossing the Danube River to reach Ruse – the main Bulgarian river port. Panoramic tour by bus in Ruse.
Departure to the Rusenski Lom River Valley. Visit Rock Churches of Ivanovo (XII-XIV c) – an UNESCO object, famous for its unique frescoes. Then we will drive to the old capital of Bulgaria – Veliko Tarnovo. Accommodation, dinner and overnight in 3* hotel Gurko.
09:00 Bus tour of Bucharest
12:30 free time for lunch in Bucharest
13:30 departure to Ruse (Bulgaria)
15:00 arriving in Ruse
16:00 Visit Ivanovo rock churches
18:00 Arrival in Veliko Tarnovo, accommodation
Day 10 Arbanassi – Veliko Tarnovo (The Capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom)
After breakfast – city tour of Veliko Tarnovo with visit to the Asenevtsi monument, the historical hill Tsarevets with the Fortress, the Patriarchal hurch and the Emperor Baldwin’s Tower. Next is visit of Arbanassi village, famous for its ancient rich decorated churches and magnificent architecture. It used to be a residence of the Bulgarian kings. Visit of a private guest house in Arbanassi, where we will have delicious homemade meals for lunch.
Back to Veliko Tarnovo for walk along the old Trade Street – Samovodska charshia.
In the afternoon – free time. Overnight in the hotel.
09:00 City tour of Veliko Tarnovo with visit Tsarevets fortress and Asenevtsi Monument
12:30-13:00 Arrival in Arbanassi, lunch
14:00 Walk in Arbanssi, visit Church of the Nativity
15:00-15:30 – back to Veliko Tarnovo for walk along Samovodene crafts street and return back to the hotel by walking
Day 11 Veliko Tarnovo–Kazanlak–Sofia (The Valley of the Roses and the Thracian Kings)
Departure to Kazanlak – the capital of the Rose valley. The road to Kazanlak passes by Shipka peak, where is situated the monument of the Bulgaria’s liberators from the 19th C. There is a wonderful view to North and South Bulgaria from the monument’s top – over 1100 m above sea level. You will learn more details about the crucial battles, which changed the course of the Russian-Turkish war in 1877-78. On your way to Kazanlak, in the village of Shipka is the Russian church, where concerts with Church Slavonic music are often performed. In Kazanlak you will visit the Thracian Kazanlak tomb (the copy) dating back to the 4th c. B.C. It is listed in the world natural and historical heritage of UNESCO. In the Historical museum you will see the recently golden mask of the Thracian king Theres and the bronze head of the King Seuthes III. Next we will pass thorough Skobelevo village where we will visit the Ethnographical Complex “Damascene”, where you can see how the famous Bulgarian rose oil (used in the perfumery) is produced. Late in the afternoon – a drive to Sofia, accommodation, dinner in a local restaurant and overnight in 4* hotel Crystal Palace. Strategically located in the heart of the city, the hotel is right next to the main state institutions, business centers and banks, as well as to the cultural and historical places of interest in Sofia.
08:00 departure to Shipka
09:30 Arrive Shipka, short break at the monument of the liberators. Shipka church
11:00 Arrive Kazanlak, visits, lunch break
14:00 Departure to Sofia
17:30 Arrival in Sofia, accommodation
Day 12 Sofia – Rila Monatery – Sofia (The Treasury of Rila Monastery)
After breakfast – waking city tour around Sofia. The Bulgarian capital is a 8500 years old city called “My Rome” by the Emperor Constantine the Great. Visit to the most interesting historical sights: the Ancient Serdica, the rotunda church St. George (dated IV century AC), the mineral springs, the antique Roman theatre dated III-IV-th century (the time of the Emperor Constantine the Great) and the St. Nedelya sqare, where 4 temples from different religions are located next to each other: The Catholic church, The Ortodox church, The Synagogue and The Mosque are forming quadrangle, which symbolize the peace between religions in Bulgaria. Next is the Alexander I square where the Royal Palace and the National Theatre are located, “Tzar Osvoboditel” boulevard, the Parliament, the Church of ”St. Sofia” (the name means wisdom), which had given the name of the city, the Sofia University and the “Alexander Nevski” cathedral (the biggest Orthodox temple on the Balkan peninsula).
Take off to the Rila monastery, founded in 10th c. It was the biggest Bulgarian medieval spiritual centre with rich collection of icons, wall-paintings, old-printed books – some 15 000 volumes, etc. Guided tour around the monastery. The monastery is a monument on the UNESCO list of world heritage and is situated in the highest mountain on the Balkans – Rila Mountain, with peak “Moussala” as high as 2925 m. Lunch in restaurant near the monastery famous with its dishes of fresh trout.
Drive back to Sofia. Free evening, overnight in the hotel
- Dinner in a typical Bulgarian folklore restaurant with entertainment program
Overnight in the hotel.
9.00 – 10.30 – Sofia city tour
10.30 – 13:00 – drive to Rila with 1 coffee break on the road
13.00 till 14:00 – lunch in a local restaurant
14:00-15:30 – guided tour of monastery
15.30 – drive back to Sofia including toilet stop
17.30/18:00 – arrive Sofia
Evening at leisure
Day 13 Sofia (A 8500 years Old City) – Plovdiv
After breakfast – departure for Plovdiv – the city of the seven hills, built in IV centuries before Christ from the King Philip of Macedonia.
City tour of Plovdiv – the third-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia. It is the administrative centre of Plovdiv Province in southern Bulgaria, as well as the largest and most important city of the historical region of Upper (or Northern) Thrace, famous for its ancient and diverse culture and millennial history. Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It is a contemporary of Troy and Mycenae, and older than Rome, Athens, Carthage or Constantinople. In 342 BC, it was conquered by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, who renamed it “Philippopolis” or “the city of Philip” in his own honor. Later, it again became independent under the Thracians, until its incorporation into the Roman Empire, where it was called Trimontium (City of Three Hills) and served as metropolis (capital) of the province of Thrace.
In Plovdiv we will see the old town with the Antique theatre, the oldest church in the city which took name of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great and his mother Helena, the ancient fortress at the time from Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great, the Roman stadium, as well as some of the most luxury homes for the Renaissance which were owed by rich citizens of Plovdiv.
Dinner in a local restaurant, overnight in Trimontium Princess hotel 4*.
09:00 – Sofia city tour
10:30 – Drive to Plovdiv
13:30 – Arrive Plovdiv and check in at hotel (free time for lunch at hotel restaurant)
15:00 – Plovdiv city tour and return back to hotel.
18:30 – walk to dinner at local restaurant
Day 14 Plovdiv – Istanbul (Border of Two Continents)
After breakfast – transfer to Istanbul – a city on two continents, an Emperors’ Citadel and a guard of the secular Turkey of today.
Arriving in Istanbul in the afternoon. Accommodation in 4* Peak hotel.
Boat trip along Bosporus – border of two continents.
Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in the hotel
07.30 Depart Plovdiv to Istanbul.
12.30 Stop for lunch in Turkey
15.30 Arrive to Istanbul and check in at hotel with free time for refreshments.
17.00 Private Bosporus Cruise with guide to explain the sights.
19.00 After cruise and walk/drive to good restaurant with traditional Turkish dinner (farewell dinner) which includes a good quality meal and fabulous Turkish delight desserts & tea/coffee.
21.00 Return to hotel for overnight.
Day 15 Istanbul
After breakfast – transfer to the airport and flight back home.
What is included?:
- Accommodation for 14 nights in the above mentioned 3*, 4* and 5* hotels (or similar).
- Meals according to the program. Lunches and dinners are 3-cource meals. All meals are inclusive mineral water, bread, coffee or tea
- Welcome dinner in Budapest with a glass of champing
- Traditional dinner in Istanbul
- Bosphorus boat trip in Istanbul with private boat
- Dinner in Poiana Brasov with Romanian Folklore Music
- All entrance fees for the museums, sites and churches.
- Professional guides throughout + local tour guides when needed
- Transportation by private van/mini bus with driver throughout
- Mineral water in the bus 1×0.5 l per client form day 4 till day 13
- Individual arrival and departure transfers for clients, who arrive earlier or depart later
- Ticket for funicular in Brasov
- Parking fees, road and border taxes
- Porterage in the hotels.