Grand Tour round Eastern Balkans
12 days/11 nights tour in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia
Day 1Budapest (D)
Arrival in Budapest. Transfer from the airport and accommodation in the selected hotel. Welcome dinner and overnight.
Day 2Budapest (A Beauty over Danube River) – Timisoara (B, D)
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 impressive squares, monuments and churches of the city and the unique panorama of the Danube river!
Transfer to Timisoara – the largest city in Western Romania built on the site of an ancient Roman fortress. In 1989, Timisoara was where the rebel against the Communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu began. Check at the selected hotel. 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 at the hotel.
Day 3Timisoara – Hunedoara – Sibiu (The Biggest Medieval City) (B, D)
After breakfast – departure to the biggest medieval city in Romania – Sibiu. The city was voted as the European Capital of Culture for 2007. On the road we will visit Hunedoara castle – one of the largest castles in Europe, build over the site of an older fortification on a rock above Zlaști River.
After this we arrive in Sibiu. Visit to the medieval city with the Bigg and Little Square, Liars Bridge, City Hall Tower, Brukenthal Museum and the old style houses. Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Sibiu.
Day 4Sibiu – Sighisoara (The Birthhouse of Vlad Dracula) – Bran – Poiana Brasov ( B, L)
After breakfast we drive to 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.
Lunch in the famous restaurant «Vlad Drakula», located in the same house where the popular character of the British writer Bram Stoker was born.
In the late afternoon we will 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.
Departure towards Poiana Brasov. Accommodation and overnight in selected hotel in Poiana Brasov.
Day 5Poiana Brasov – Brasov – Sinaia – Bucharest (B, D)
After breakfast – we will enjoy the city tour in Brasov where we will visit the Black Church.
Then 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 late afternoon – arrival in Bucharest, the Romanian capital. Dinner and accommodation at a selected hotel in which you will stay for next 2 nights.
Day 6Bucharest (The Little Paris) (B, D)
After breakfast – 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. Interior visit of Palace of Parliament (the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon in USA).
Free time at leisure in the afternoon for further exploration on your own.
Dinner and overnight in Bucharest.
Day 7Bucharest – Ruse – Ivanovo Rock Churches – Veliko Tarnovo (B, D)
After breakfast – 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 sight, famous for its unique frescoes. Then we will drive to the old capital of Bulgaria – Veliko Tarnovo. Sightseeing tour with visit to the Asenevtsi monument, the historical hill Tsarevets with the Fortress, the Patriarchal church and Emperor Baldwin’s Tower.
Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 8Veliko Tarnovo – Kazanlak (Valley of Roses) – Plovdiv – Sofia (B, D)
After breakfast –Departure to The Valley of Roses and Thracian Kings to visit the replica of UNESCO listed Kazanlak tomb. Next is Tarnicheni village where we will visit a family-run rose oil distillery operating since 1909. The hosts will show how the famous Bulgarian rose oil (used widely in the perfumery) is produced.
In the afternoon we will reach Plovdiv – the city of the seven hills, built IV centuries before Christ from King Philip of Macedonia. Plovdiv was selected as the European capital of culture 2019 and is currently the second largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia. It is 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.
In Plovdiv we will see the old town with the Antique theatre, the Roman stadium, as well as some of the most luxury homes from the Bulgarian Renaissance which were owed by wealthy citizens of Plovdiv.
Departure towards Sofia – the capital city of Bulgaria. Dinner and accommodation at a selected hotel in Sofia.
Day 9Sofia – Rila Monastery – Sofia (B, D)
After Breakfast – sightseeing tour of the Bulgarian capital – a 8500 years old city reffered to as “My Rome” by Emperor Constantine the Great. Visit to the most interesting historical sights: Ancient Serdica, the rotunda church St. George (dated IV century AC), St. Nedelya square, 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 Alexander I square where the Royal Palace and the National Theatre are located, the Parliament, the Church of ”St. Sofia” (the name means Holy Wisdom), which had given the name of the city and the “Alexander Nevski” cathedral (the biggest Orthodox temple on the Balkan peninsula).
Departure 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, with peak “Moussala” as high as 2925 m.
Return back to Sofia for dinner and overnight.
• Dinner in a typical Bulgarian folklore restaurant with entertainment program
Day 10Sofia – Nis – Blegrade (B, D)
After breakfast – departure to Serbia. Our first stop is Nis – a city where for the first time the Emperor Constantine The Great approved Christianity as equal religion in the Roman Empire. Visit the most remarkable sight – the tower made of skuls.
In the afternoon we will arrive in the Serbian capital Belgrade. The guide will tell you secrets and stories about Belgrade and will show you all attractions and places of interest: The Republic Square, the National theater and the National museum, Bohemian Quarter (Skadarlija), the oldest part of Belgrade with Ottoman heritage, the oldest residential house and museum of Serbian language, the only mosque in the city, Kalemegdan park, Belgrade fortress, „Victor“ the most famous symbol of Belgrade, the confluence of the Sava and the Danube rivers, Saborna church and Knez Mihailova street.
Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Belgrade.
Day 11Belgrade – Novi Sad – Budapest (B, D)
After breakfast – separt to Novi Sad – the Serbian pearl on the Danube river. On the road to visit Sremski Karlovci, where you could enjoy short walk through the city. You will be presented with a view to the Patriarchy Court – the most monumental building of the 19th century in Vojvodina, Saborna church – one of the most beautiful example of the architecture of the 18th century, Gymnasium of Karlovci, Magistracy, Roman-Catholic church, fountain Four lions.
Proceed to Novi Sad for sightseeing tour including Synagogue, Serbian National Theater, Square of Freedom with City Hall, monument of Svetozar Miletic and the Name of Mary Roman-Catholic church. Continue the walk through the Street Zmaj Jovina to the Bishop’s Palace, then proceed to Danube street to Danube park.
Return back to Budapest in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight.
Day 12Departure (B)
After breakfast – transfer to the airport and flight back home.