Private Discoveries for our World Travelers

+ Discover the amazing 13th-century frescoes of Bulgaria’s Boyana Church, considered to be some of the finest examples of Eastern European medieval art.
+ The erstwhile Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo is a living museum… Step back into the 14th century as you explore this architectural gem nestled against steep mountain slopes along the River Yantra.
+ Travel through the beautiful Carpathian Mountains and tour the spectacular Peles Castle, former summer residence of the Romanian Royal family.
+ Visit the impressive fortified church in Biertan, a legacy of the region’s Saxon community.
+ Tour the fairytale town of Brasov, founded in the 12th century and home to the historic Black Church.
+ Journey to the banks of the Olt River and tour the Cozia Monastery; built in the 13th century, this is one of Romania’s oldest and most distinctive architectural landmarks.
+ End your trip on a high note in the handsome Romania
+ 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites 

2015 Itinerary2016 Itinerary

  • Day 1 – Welcome to Sofia, Bulgaria

    Check in to the deluxe Arena de Serdica Hotel, ideally located in the heart of this vibrant and historic city.
  • Day 2 – City tour & Rila Monastery

    This morning’s city tour focuses on the architectural landmarks of Sofia’s historical core. Chief among these monuments is the impressive Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. With its large gilded domes visible from many areas of the city, this cathedral of the Bulgarian Orthodox Patriarch has become one of the city’s most recognized and popular symbols.

    After visiting the National History Museum, continue your sightseeing at the Rila Monastery , famed for its remarkable frescoes. Originally founded in the 10th century by St. John of Rila, the monastery was destroyed by fire at the beginning of the 19th century and rebuilt in the mid 1800’s in classic Bulgarian Renaissance style. It is now recognized as an important symbol of the country’s strong Slavic cultural identity following centuries of Ottoman occupation. Return to Sofia and enjoy the rest of your afternoon and this evening at leisure. Meals B,L  
  • Day 3 – To Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo

    Depart Sofia this morning and travel to Plovdiv for a tour of Bulgaria’s second largest city, famed for its handsomely restored historic quarter. Stroll with your guide along its winding cobblestone streets where grand 19th-century buildings are now home to popular galleries, cafes and the studios of working artists. Visit the Roman Amphitheater and continue to Kazanlak to visit the remarkable Thracian Tomb .  With its exceptionally well-preserved Hellenistic frescoes of the 4th century, this monument is the only one of its kind in the world!

    Learn how Bulgaria’s world-famous Rose Water is produced at the Rose Museum & Distillery, and then continue your scenic journey into the Shipka Pass through the Balkan Mountains. Continue to Veliko Tarnovo and check in to the Grand Yantra Hotel, one of the finest in town.  Meals B,D
  • Day 4 – Explore Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi

    Cradled by forested hills and set along the banks of the meandering Yantra River, this handsome town was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom from the 12th through the 14th centuries. In the heart of town, protected by a loop in the river and occupying a commanding hillside position, Tsarevets Fortress was home to medieval Bulgarian tsars. Today’s sightseeing will include this impressive citadel as well as other sites in the town’s medieval quarter. Then in the nearby village of Arbanasi, the simple exterior of the Church of the Nativity belies the incredible 17th century frescoes which adorn the interior. Meals B
  • Day 5 – Onward to Brasov, Romania

    Depart Veliko Tarnovo this morning to visit another one of Bulgaria’s astounding World Heritage Sites… Situated high atop the banks of the Rusenski Lom River with commanding views over the countryside, the spectacular rock-hewn churches of Ivanovo  comprise an impressive collection of churches, chapels and monasteries that were hewn out of solid rock. In several of these churches, frescoes from the 13th and 14th centuries have been amazingly preserved. Together, they are thought to be some of the finest examples of Bulgarian medieval art. Then drive across the border into Romania, pausing at a winery in the resort town of Azuga for a tour and tasting of their sparkling wine. Continue on to historic Brasov and check in to the comfortable Casa Wagner Hotel, ideally situated on the town’s main square. Meals B 
  • Day 6 – Out and about in Transylvania

    Tour the fairytale town of Brasov, founded in the 12th century and home to the historic Black Church, so-named after its massive Gothic walls were blackened by a fire that devastated much of the town. At a museum dedicated to the first school in Transylvania, we’ve made special arrangements for you to meet with Professor Olteanu, who will share fascinating insight into his life and native land – past and present. Travel on to Sinaia, a charming resort town in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains, to tour the magnificent Peles Castle, once the summer residence of the Romanian royal family. Next up, visit Bran Castle, originally built in the 13th century as a stronghold by the Knights of the Teutonic Order and later made famous in Bram Stoker’s novel. Return to Brasov where you’ll have some time to explore more of this handsome town at your own pace. Meals B
  • Day 7 – Journey to Sighisoara and Sibiu

    Journey to Sighisoara   this morning where an impressive silhouette of towers and spires will welcome you to one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns. Your guided tour here includes the highlights of Old Town and the Clock Tower Museum with its fascinating exhibits on medieval weapons and torture. Sit down to lunch in the 15th-century home where Vlad the Impaler, more popularly known as Dracula, was born. Then drive to the historic town of Sibiu and check in to the comfortable Levoslav Villa Hotel.  Meals B
  • Day 8 – Explore Sibiu and travel to Bucharest

    Once a major Saxon trading center, the 12th-century town of Sibiu retains a distinctly Germanic ambience and still reflects the grandeur of its wealthy past. This morning’s city tour here will take you inside its medieval walls to explore the historic district. See the cathedral and admire the town’s steep-roofed 17th-century homes and fine medieval churches as you explore its handsome town squares and narrow cobblestone streets. Continue your scenic journey through the Carpathian Mountains to Bucharest and check in to the deluxe Grand Continental Hotel. Meals B 
  • Day 9 – Bucharest sightseeing

    This morning’s tour of Bucharest’s historic landmarks includes the enormous Palace of Parliament; built during the Ceauşescu regime, this is one of the largest buildings in the entire world. From Revolution Square, you’ll be able to take in some of the city’s most impressive sites, including the Romanian Athenaeum – a handsome 19th century concert hall – and the imposing structures which once served as the headquarters for the Communist Party. It was from these rooftops that Nicolae Ceauşescu fled by helicopter at the end of 1989. In Herăstrău Park, the open-air Village Museum features a variety of traditional houses, workshops and studios which have been transported here from around the country; it’s a fine introduction to the diversity of Romania’s regional architectural styles. This evening’s farewell dinner on the shores of Herastrau Lake is accompanied by the lively musical and dance traditions of Romania.  Meals B,D
  • Day 10 – Depart Bucharest

    Our tour services end this morning. Meals B 

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Check In!

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  • Ramada Princess Hotel Plovdiv

    Have a refreshing visit to one of the oldest cities in the world at our Ramada Plovdiv Trimontium hotel. Enjoy free breakfast and free Wi-Fi at our ideal location near the main shopping and business district in Plovdiv. You can also visit historic sites nearby, or just relax at our hotel with leisure amenities like swimming pools, day spa, casino and fitness center onsite. They offer onsite parking for cars and large vehicles, such as tour buses and RVs, for a nominal charge. Use the area shuttle for access to local destinations.

  • Grand Yantra Hotel

    Complete with 70 double rooms and 4 luxury suites, the Yantra Hotel is situated at the center of Veliko Tarnovo. The hotel offers dining facilities, a bar, massage, satellite TV, sports facilities, an indoor swimming pool and a jacuzzi.

  • Bella Muzica Hotel

    Enter into the ambiance of the ending of xix century, into a european typically central city, shackled by the medieval walls of the transilvanian fortress Kronstadt. Hotel Bella Muzica is placed in a building ancient of 400 years, with the architecture of neoclassic inspiration, completely restored and arranged for his new destination, but also keeping the architectural elements who assured the charm during the centuries. Placed in the historic centre of the city of Brasov, the Hotel Bella Muzica is waiting for you to spend a special vacation in an ambience full of history.

  • Ramada Hotel Sibiu

    Relax and refresh in style at the Ramada Sibiu hotel. Conveniently located minutes from downtown, this hotel near the Brukenthal National Museum puts one of the cultural centers of Europe at your fingertips. Each morning, start your day with a free breakfast buffet or stay active with a workout in our fitness center. Rejuvenate your senses in our sauna and lounge in one of the spacious suites.

  • Grand Continental Hotel

    Grand Hotel Continental: a boutique hotel, with 5 star accommodation in Bucharest, which combines the details of an exceptional architecture with a vast area of personalized services, dedicated to an elite clientele.

Our Private Journey Value

+ Comprehensive, expertly-guided sightseeing with your own personal car, driver & guide including all entry fees
+ 12 meals: 9 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners
+ 9 nights in our carefully selected first class and deluxe hotels
+ All on-tour transportation
+ Luggage handling and all hotel taxes & service fees

Trip Pricing

  • Traveling as a single?

Travel Any Day Fri-Tues - Per Person Double

Dates   Standard Accommodations
Departure Return   Regular Deal
1/1/2015 12/31/2015 $4499 $4199
1/1/2016 12/31/2016 $3999 $3699
1/1/2017 4/30/2017 $3999 $3699

Select all Deals that apply for best available price.

  • Save $600 per couple + $300 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys worldwide when you pay in full at time of booking. Choose from our original upscale journeys to Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America, South Pacific, Antarctica and the Middle East.
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FreeStyle Travel Add-Ons

  • Vienna

    4 Day FreeStyle Travel

    Our 4-day FreeStyle Touring with a choice of fine city-center hotels, breakfast daily, in-depth private car seeing with our own resident staff, and chauffeured airport transfers

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    4 Day FreeSTyle Travel

    Our 4-day FreeStyle Travel package with a choice of fine hotels, daily breakfast, chauffeured airport transfers, and in-depth private car sightseeing with our experienced resident guide at your side.

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    4 Day FreeStyle Travel

    Our 4-day FreeStyle Travel package with a choice of fine city-center hotels, breakfast daily, chauffeured airport transfers, and in-depth sightseeing with your own personal car, driver and guide

Trip Reviews

Average Traveler Rating:  Review This Trip »

(4 Traveler Reviews)

  • Daniel from NA gives this tour 

    Our guide, Silviu was fantastic. Spoke excellent English, cut through red tape and was always available to go to banks for currency exchange. Dealt professionally with hotels and restaurants. Extremely knowledgeable of the history and background of both nations. He is a keeper! Read More »

  • Milagros from ON gives this tour 

    Hilton accommodations were excellent, Siebel in was quaint - would have been a worthwhile stay if we had a little time to wander around the surroundings - there was a museum there, but we left after breakfast! we were supposed to "enjoy the hospitality of a village family" - our meals were laid out, but not much interaction with the people. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable, but sometimes it was information overload - i understand its hard to balance that among multiple... Read More »

  • Deirdre from AR gives this tour 

    overall a good program Read More »

  • jane from NY gives this tour 

    The visit with Father Gabriel at his monastery in Romania was delightful. Read More »

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+ $300 Solo

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