2017 Land Cost Per Person (4 travelers, double occupancy)
Available Anytime – $2496
Single supplement – $410
This tour operates with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 10 travelers. Other group rates available on request.
- Meet and assist upon arrival at the airport
- Airport transfers in each city
- 13 nights accommodation in 3* and 4* hotels on BB basis
- English-speaking guide throughout
- Transportation by private car or minibus
- All entrance fees related to tour program
- All border and road taxes
Price Does Not Include:
- Airfare (unless otherwise arranged)
- Departure and custom fees
- Gratuities and individual daily expenses
- Additional beverages
- Travel insurance
- Trip cancellation
- Medical and luggage insurance are recommended for coverage against all unforeseen circumstances
Day 1: Bucharest
Meet your local guide and transfer to your hotel in Bucharest. After you check into your room, your guide will lead a brief orientation tour. Overnight in Bucharest.
Day 2: Bucharest – Pitesti – Curtea de Arges – Cozia – Sibiu
Morning panorama tour of Bucharest, Romania’s capital. Bucharest is an old city that has served as the capital of Wallachia and later Romania since 1659. Today, it is noted for its broad, tree-lined boulevards, well-kept parks, and mix of architectural styles. Depart north to visit the Curtea de Arges Princely Church, founded in 1340, Mason Manole’s fountain, and the Cozia Monastery. Continue through Olt Valley River to Sibiu. Sibiu, built on the site of the Roman village of Cibinum, which dates from 1192, is renowned for its well-preserved medieval walled city center. Accommodation in Sibiu.
Day 3: Sibiu – Sighisoara – Bran – Brasov
Start in the morning with a sightseeing tour of Sibiu. Sibiu has always been the most important center of the German minority in Transylvania. The Brukenthal Museum opened on February 25th, 1817. It was the second museum opened in Europe, and it bears the name of the former governor of Transylvania, Samuel von Brukenthal, who donated his vast personal art collections and his impressive library with the purpose of founding this museum. Leave Sibiu for the museum town of Sighisoara. Sighisoara, founded in the 13th-century by German immigrants and best known as the birthplace of Count Dracula, retains a medieval ambiance. Departure for Bran Castle, often referred to as Dracula’s Castle. Prince Vlad Tepes, the son of Vlad Dracul and the person who inspired Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, used this castle as headquarters for his incursions into Transylvania. Vlad Tepes ruled in the 15th century and became known as “Vlad the Impaler” for his practice of impaling enemies of the kingdom. Bran Castle was built in 1377 to protect nearby Brasov from invaders. In 1920, the people of Brasov, who owned the castle, offered it as a gift to Queen Maria of Romania, and the castle soon became her favorite residence. Bran is home to a collection of Romanian and foreign furniture and art items from the 14th through 19th centuries. Overnight in Brasov.
Day 4: Brasov – Sinaia – Giurgiu – Ruse
Brasov, one of Romania’s best-preserved medieval towns and one of Romania’s most visited cities, lays nestled in the peaks of the Carpathian Mountains. Among Brasov’s best-known historical and cultural attractions are the Council Square, the beautiful St. Nicholas Church, Black Church, Brasov Fortress, the Museum of History, the Museum of Ethnography, the Opera House, the Drama Theater, and Marionette Theater. Continue with the tour of Sinaia, which is considered one of the most famous resort destinations in Eastern Europe. Tour of Peles Castle. Set dramatically in the hills above Sinaia, this 160-room palace, built in German Renaissance style, was completed in 1914 for the first Hohenzollern king of Romania, Carol I. The palace is ornately decorated, inside and out, with intricate woodcarvings and paintings of scenes from Wagner’s operas. Transfer to the border town Giurgiu where we will change cars and tour guides. We continue to the Bridge of Friendship, the only bridge on the Danube, connecting Romania and Bulgaria. Arrival in Ruse, the largest Bulgarian Danubian city. Check in at your hotel and enjoy a short walking panorama tour, including the Monument of Liberty, the main square of Ruse, the Theatre, and the City library. Overnight in Ruse.
Day 5: Ruse – Veliko Turnovo – Varna
Morning departure to Veliko Turnovo, the medieval capital city of Bulgaria, picturesquely located on four hills above the Yantra River. Visit Tsarevets Royal Hill with the fortress, the Patriarhs’ complex, and Baldwin Tower, which imprisoned the leader of the 4th Crusade. Early afternoon departure east towards the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. Arrival in Varna, the marine capital city of Bulgaria. Check in at the hotel. Tour of Varna, including the Archaeology Museum. Overnight in Varna.
Day 6: Varna – Nessebur – Kazanluk
We will continue south along the coast to another pearl of the Bulgarian Black Sea, the museum town of Nessebur, included in the UNESCO list of world heritage. Enjoy a walking tour in the Old Town with its cobblestone streets, small medieval churches, and the museum, which houses a rich collection of items from the Thracian, Greek, and Roman periods, including precious icons. In the afternoon, we depart to Central Bulgaria, following the foothills of the Balkan Mountains. Depending on the period of the year, you will be able to see rose, lavender, and sunflower fields, as well as many vineyards. Arrival in Kazanluk, the center of the Valley of Roses, also known as the Valley of the Thracian Kings. Overnight in Kazanluk.
Day 7: Kazanluk – Shipka – Plovdiv
Morning tour of Kazanluk. Taste traditional rose jam, rose liquor, and Bulgarian pastry with cheese and yogurt. Visit Kazanluk Thracian Tomb, a UNESCO site. Proceed north to visit Shipka Memorial Church. After a 2-hour drive, we will arrive in Plovdiv, the second largest Bulgarian city, once capital city of Philip the II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great. The city is a contemporary of Troy and is much older than Athens and Rome. Check in at the hotel with some free time to rest. Overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 8: Plovdiv – Bachkovo Monastery – Plovdiv
Morning tour of Plovdiv. Visit the remains of the Ancient Stadium, Djumaya Mosque Square, the Old Plovdiv Architectural Reserve with the Roman Amphitheatre, the Ethnographic Museum, the National Revival Houses Complex, and the Trakart Exhibit of Roman mosaics. Late afternoon visit to Bachkovo Monastery, built in the 11th century and connected with the history of the 3rd Crusade. En route stop for some pictures of Assenova Fortress, the gate to the Rhodope Mountains and the homeland of Orpheus. Return to Plovdiv. Overnight at the same hotel.
Day 9: Plovdiv – Sofia
Departure to Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, which Constantine the Great once called “My Rome.” Check in at the hotel. Next tour Sofia and visit Alexander Nevski Memorial Cathedral, Parliament Square, St. Sofia Basilica (6th c.), National Theatre, St. Nikola Russian Church, and the Largo area with the Presidency and the ruins of Ancient Serdica. Overnight in Sofia.
Day 10: Sofia – Rila Monastery – Skopje
Before we enter Macedonia, we will visit the largest eastern orthodox monastery in Bulgaria, located 1100 m above sea level in Rila Mountain National Park. Admire wooden balconies, azure fretwork, colonades, facades, and colorful frescoes silhouetted against a fantastic panorama of mountain peaks. Visit the monastery’s main church, old kitchen, and museum. Arrival in Skopje around 6:00. Hotel check in. Short refreshment. Individual sightseeing of the Skopje city center by night. Optional dinner in the hotel or in a nearby restaurant. Overnight.
Day 11: Skopje – Stobi – Strumica
Meeting with guide in the hotel lobby. Short introduction of the country. Organized sightseeing of Mother Theresa House, Old Railway Station, and Stone Bridge. Check out of hotel at noon. Departure to Stobi, listed on the World Monuments Watch 2012. Visit the oldest ancient town and see its temples, theaters, necropolis, and basilicas. Optional lunch and wine tasting in some of the nearest wineries. Arrival in Strumica. Overnight.
Day 12: Strumica – Bitola – Ohrid
Visit the Monasteries Vodoca and Veljusa, considered the most beautiful in Macedonia. Optional visit of Kolesino or the Smolare waterfalls (depending of the physical condition of the guests). Departure to Bitola. Visit the Heraclea Lyncestis archeological site. Optional leisure lunch at Sirok Sokak in Bitola. Further visit of covered Bezisten, the tower clock, and Yeni Mosque. Departure to Ohrid. Overnight.
Day 13: Ohrid
Departure to the St. Naum monastery complex. Boat ride on the springs of Crn Drim River. Optional lunch in one of the fishing villages on the shore of Ohrid Lake and possibly the opportunity to taste famous Ohridska Belvica. Afternoon sightseeing will include Samoil Fortress, the Ancient Theatre, Plaosnik, Sv. Jovan Kaneo, Gallery of Icons, and St. Sofia. Optional dinner in the hotel or national restaurant. Overnight.
Day 14: Departure
Breakfast. Transfer from Ohrid hotel to Skopje Airport.
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