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Romania and Bulgaria

Romania and Bulgaria are both countries of timeless beauty, with painted medieval monasteries, wooden churches, fairy-tale castles and Roman ruins.   
Romania has recently become a full member of the European Union, however the country still retains all its historic charm and quaint villages of a bygone era.  We will discover the capital, Bucharest, with its famous landmark - the massive, communist-era Parliament Building, and the mysterious Transylvanian region made famous by Bram Stoker’s Dracula - a region of rugged landscapes with daunting castles, dense forests and the towering Carpathian Mountains.   

In Bulgaria we explore the capital Sofia, with landmarks that reflect more than 2,000 years of Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Soviet occupation.  We will also travel the countryside to see the most important highlights off-the-beaten-track ... remote, peaceful and fascinating.
We will touch into Serbia and the city of Nis to learn of its tumultuous history, and from Kladovo we will sail one of the most beautiful sections of the Danube River as it cuts through the Carpathian Mountains. Our well-planned itinerary will include a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites - a testament to this region’s historical importance.  

Tour Highlights:

   • Romania’s capital city Bucharest
   • Tsaravets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo
   • Gabrovo Architectural-Ethnographic Complex
   • Bulgaria’s capital Sofia and Boyana Church (UNESCO)
   • Nis Fortress (Serbia)
   • A cruise of the Danube “Caldrons” 
   • The charming town of Timisoara
   • Hunyad Castle, one of the seven wonders of Romania
   • Alba Carolina Fortress 
   • Biertan Fortified Church
   • Medieval Fortress of Sighisoara
   • Viscri Village (UNESCO) in the heart of Transylvania
   • Brasov’s medieval centre and black church
   • Dracula’s Castle in Bran

* Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for Bucharest via Munich.
We arrive in Bucharest, Romania’s capital, and transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure until this evening’s Welcome Dinner.
Our city tour of Bucharest will include the open-air Village Museum of traditional Romanian life, and then a walking tour in the charming historical centre. We will also visit the Parliament Palace - the world’s largest and most expensive administrative building.
We visit Veliko Tarnovo, where we will have a tour of the magnificent Tsaravets Fortress - the most important Bulgarian fortification from the Middle Ages. We overnight here in Veliko Tarnovo.
We travel to Gabrovo to visit the Architectural and Ethnographic Complex, showcasing the architecture, way of life and economy of this region during the Bulgarian National Revival. We will see traditional Bulgarian culture and craftsmanship here before continuing to Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, for a 2-night stay.
On our tour of Sofia we will visit Boyana Church - a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the National Historical Museum with its collection of historic artifacts. We will then enjoy a walking tour of the city centre to explore the main sights such as the National Theatre, Royal Palace, the Presidency, St. George Rotunda, the Synagogue and Banya Mosque. The afternoon is at leisure to further explore Sofia on your own.
We depart for Nis, and on our tour here we’ll learn about the tumultuous history of the city and see iconic landmarks such as King Milan Square, the Skull Tower and the Nis Fortress. After our tour we continue to Kladovo for a 2-night stay.
We sail one of the most beautiful sections of the Danube River - the Danube Cauldrons, where the river cuts through the rocky Carpathian Mountains forming one of the most scenic wonders in this region. Enjoy viewing the natural beauty as well as unique landmarks such as the Trains Plaque, Monastery of Mraconia and the Sculpture of Decebalus.
We head for Timisoara - a charming town on the bank of the Bega River. The town has unique architecture and a vibrant culture. Often referred to as “Little Vienna,” Timisoara is home to year-round musical and theatrical performances, art galleries and museums.
We proceed to Hunedoara to visit Hunyad Castle - a Gothic-Renaissance castle and one of the largest in Europe. It is one of Romania’s premium wonders. Then we continue to Alba-lulia to see Alba Carolina Fortress - the best-preserved in Romania, featuring European military architecture.
We travel to Biertan with a stop at the Fortified Church. This historic architectural masterpiece is idyllically situated high on a hillock in the centre of the village, surrounded by vineyards and forests. We then arrive in Sighisoara - one of Europe’s most beautiful medieval citadels (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) still inhabited today. Our walking tour will reveal the Clock Tower, the Church on the Hill and Dracula’s House!
We continue deep into the heart of Transylvania and the charming town of Viscri for a walking tour to admire the style of the houses and idyllic way of life unaltered by time. Next we visit Brasov, a city that blends dramatic mountain scenery and medieval history, as can be seen at the Main Square, the Council Hall, the Black Church and the walls and defence towers.
Today is one of the tour’s highlights as we visit Dracula’s castle in Bran. Surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend, perched high atop a 200-foot-high rock, Bran Castle owes its fame to its imposing towers and turrets as well as to the myth created around Bram Stocker’s Dracula. After exploring the castle we will visit Poiana Brasov with a cable car ride to enjoy magnificent views of the mountains, before returning to Brasov.
Today we visit Peles Castle in Sinaia - a Neo-Renaissance castle in the Carpathian Mountains on an existing medieval route linking Transylvania and Wallachia. It is an architectural masterpiece and considered one of the most stunning castles in all of Europe. After our visit we make our way back to Bucharest for our Farewell Dinner and overnight.
We fly home via Frankfurt.
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