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Bulgaria + Romania

10 days

Never more than 16 guests. Guaranteed.

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Small Group 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 13th 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.
+ 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites c

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Day
1

Welcome to Sofia, Bulgaria

Grand Hotel - Sofia, Bulgaria

Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the deluxe Grand Hotel in the heart of Sofia. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner and your first taste of traditional Bulgarian cuisine.  Meals D

This morning’s expertly guided city tour begins with 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, the cathedral of the Bulgarian Orthodox Patriarch has become one of the city’s most recognized and popular symbols. You’ll also see the round church of St. George, a splendidly preserved Byzantine building, and the impressive Parliament and National Theater. Traveling to the outskirts of the city, you’ll also visit Boyana Church c, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in the 10th century and expanded 300 years later. The interior frescoes date to the 13th century and are considered to be some of the Continent’s most important examples of east European medieval art. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore and enjoy as you wish.  Meals B

Depart Sofia this morning and visit the Rila Monastery c, famed for its impressive 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 rule.

Relax over lunch here in Rila and then continue to Plovdiv where you’ll enjoy a guided walking tour through the Old Town with its cobbled streets and fine examples of National Revival architecture. At the unusual Trakart Museum, you’ll see the amazing restoration of a Roman mosaic floor of the 2nd century. Check in to the Ramada Plovdiv Trimontium for the night.  Meals B+L

Day
4

Onward to Kazanlak + Arbanassi + Veliko Tarnovo

Grand Yantra Hotel - Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Check out after breakfast and travel to the village of Skobelevo. On your guided tour through the Damascena Complex, you’ll see how Bulgaria’s famed rose oil was distilled in ancient times - and watch the modern techniques in use today. The rose was first introduced to Bulgaria by Ottoman Turks in the 1600’s. Within 100 years, large quantities of rose oil were being exported to France for use by French perfume producers. Today, it’s still an important part of the region’s economy.

Nearby in Kazanlak, the Thracian Tomb  is no longer open to visitors - a step taken to protect its Hellenistic frescoes that date from the 4th Century B.C. Next door, however, an educational center offers a remarkably accurate reconstruction of the tomb and its remarkable wall paintings. After this visit, continue to Veliko Tarnovo and check in to the Grand Yantra Hotel. Then join your guide for an afternoon walking tour here in Bulgaria’s former medieval capital. Later today, you’ll enjoy a pleasant evening stroll with your guide in the historic village of Arbanassi. Sit down to dinner in a local restaurant and then return to your hotel in Veliko Tarnovo.  Meals B+D

Day
5

Prahova Valley + Brasov

Hotel Aro Palace - Brasov, Romania

This morning’s scenic drive takes you across the border into Romania where the Prahova River winds its way through a forested valley in the picturesque Carpathian Mountains. Enjoy a wonderful lunch in the pretty mountain town of Sinaia and continue to the Azuga Rhein Cellars for a winery tour and a tasting of their traditional sparkling wine.
 
End your day in the fairytale town of Brasov, founded in the 13th 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. Enjoy an evening walking tour in Brasov and a 2-night stay at the deluxe Aro Palace Hotel.  Meals B+L

Day
6

Excursion to Biertan + Sighisoara

Hotel Aro Palace - Brasov, Romania

Set out after breakfast to the Transylvanian town of Biertan c to visit its fortified church. Dating to the 16th century, it evidences the defensive response of the region’s Saxon communities as the Ottoman Empire began to menace the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Lacking the resources to fortify the entire town, these settlements created fortresses around their churches, enclosing the storehouses to withstand long sieges.

From Biertan, continue to Sighisoara where an impressive silhouette of towers and spires will welcome you to one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns. Your privately guided tour includes the architectural landmarks of Old Town c and the Clock Tower Museum with its fascinating exhibits on medieval weapons and torture. Then continue to Viscri c, the site of another fortified church. Here in this timeless village, you’ll watch skilled blacksmiths at work - using the traditional generations-old horseshoeing techniques that are still employed throughout much of this pastoral region. Then return to Brasov where your evening is free.  Meals B

Day
7

Bran Castle + Villages of Transylvania

Continental Forum Hotel - Sibiu, Romania

Start the day with a visit to Bran Castle, originally built in the 13th century as a stronghold of the Knights of the Teutonic Order and later made famous in Bran Stoker’s novel, Dracula. In Zarnesti, you’ll visit the Bear Sanctuary to learn about their work rescuing bears from captivity to live here among the forests and waterways of the sanctuary’s 160-acre tract of land. In the nearby villages of Ohaba and Lisa, you’ll gain further insight into the region’s history and cultural traditions. Then visit the imposing Fagaras Fortress, built in 1310 on the site of an earlier 12th-century wooden fort that was burned by the Tartars in 1241. Continue to the historic town of Sibiu and check in to the Continental Forum Hotel for the night.  Meals B

Day
8

Sibiu + Cozia Monastery + Bucharest

Grand Continental Hotel - Bucharest, Romania

Once a major Saxon trading center, the 12th-century town of Sibiu retains a distinctly German ambience and still reflects the grandeur of its wealthy past. This morning’s walking tour will take you through the historic district inside the city’s medieval walls. Walk through Huet Square, hear the stories behind the unusually-named Liars’ Bridge, and enjoy a guided tour of the Brukenthal Palace Art Museum, set inside a handsome Baroque building overlooking a lovely town square.

Then journey to the banks of the Olt River to visit the Cozia Monastery. Built in the late 1300’s, it is considered to be one of the country’s oldest and most architecturally distinctive landmarks. Continue to Bucharest and check in to the deluxe Grand Continental Hotel for a 2-night stay.  Meals B+D

This morning’s guided tour of Bucharest’s historic landmarks takes you inside the enormous Palace of Parliament; built during the Ceausescu 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 Ceausescu fled by helicopter at the end of 1989.
 
Your touring also takes you inside the Primaverii Palace, the opulent former residence of Ceausescu. Then head to Herastrau Park to visit the open-air Village Museum; here you’ll find traditional farm houses, churches and windmills that have been gathered from all across Romania to showcase traditional village life in the country’s various regions.  Tonight you’ll dine at Casa Doina, where fine Romanian cuisine is served in a beautiful landmark building in one of the Bucharest’s finest districts.  Meals B+D

Day
10

Depart Bucharest

You’ll be escorted to the airport today for your onward journey.  Meals B

Extend Your Trip

The Painted Monasteries of Bukovina

4 Day Post-Trip Extension

In the tranquil countryside of this rural Romanian province, you’ll discover some of Europe’s greatest artistic monuments. We include round-trip transportation from Bucharest after your tour, fine accommodations, and extensive sightseeing.

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Day
1

Bucharest to Bukovina

After breakfast on the last day of your Bulgaria + Romania private tour, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your included flight from Bucharest into the lovely province of Bukovina. Upon arrival in Iasi, you’ll be met by our engaging, native-born guide. Enjoy a tour of this historic Moldavian city and have lunch on your own before continuing to Gura Humorului in the heart of historic Bukovina. Check in to Hilde’s Residence, where you’ll have time to refresh before dining here at our charming countryside inn.  Meals B+D

Day
2

Monasteries + Culture of Bukovina

After breakfast, your engaging personal guide will be waiting to take you on a full-day exploration of the region, beginning in the nearby village of Vama where you’ll learn about Romania’s famous egg-painting tradition, an intricate and painstaking art form which can involve up to six layers applied to the delicate egg shell. Next is the Moldovita Monastery, built in 1532 with impressive fortress-like walls that belie the splendor and delicacy of its inspiring blue-background frescoes. In nearby Sucevita, you’ll tour a 16th-century monastery encircled by high walls with massive towers at each corner. Adorned with more exterior and interior frescoes than any other Romanian monastery, you’ll admire thousands of sacred images and portraits, many painted against a calming green background. Continue to the quiet village of Marginea to learn about the history of the region’s distinctive black pottery and visit a local workshop to see how it’s made. The day’s sightseeing ends at the Ethnographic Museum in the town of Suceava and chance to learn more about Bukovina’s cultural traditions and daily life.  Meals B

Day
3

Voronet Monastery + Back to Bucharest

This morning you’ll enjoy a tour of the Voronet Monastery. Built in 1488 by Stefan the Great, regarded as the greatest Moldavian prince, its entire western façade is adorned with a spectacular fresco of The Last Judgment. Then return to Iasi for lunch at a local restaurant and a tour + tasting at the Bucium Winery. Continue to the airport for your included flight back to Bucharest where you’ll be met and chauffeured to the conveniently located Angelo Airport Hotel.  Meals B+L

Day
4

Depart Bucharest

After breakfast, we’ll take you to the airport for your homeward journey.  Meals B

Private Tour Add-Ons

Vienna

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

Prague

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.

Kiev

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

Bulgaria + Romania MapSearch

Save $1,000 Per Couple
+ $500 Solo

Pay in full at time of booking.

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11 October 201920 October 2019$4,199Sold Out
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24 April 202003 May 2020$4,299Available
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09 October 202018 October 2020$4,299Available
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Prices are per person, land only. We offer air on Lufthansa. Add extra nights.

Pay-In-Full

Save $1,000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full at time of booking.

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
  • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
  • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
  • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
  • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!

Book Your Air

Ask about international air service, including business class. See your travel agent or call us for current international airfare associated with this program. We offer both economy and business class fares. Prices are in U.S. currency and are per person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted. Availability is limited.

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