17 days / 16 nights
Day 01 VIENNA
Arrival in Vienna - the capital of Austria. Transfer to hotel.
Accommodation and overnight in Vienna.
Day 02 VIENNA
Breakfast at the hotel.
City Tour and visit of Palace and gardens of Schönbrunn (part of UNESCO World Heritage List). Drive along the “Ringstrasse” with its famous buildings: the MAK, the State Opera House, the magnificent Museum of Fine Arts with its world famous art treasures of the Habsburgs and the Natural History Museum, the cultural district MuseumsQuartier, the Parliament, the City Hall and the “Burgtheater”. The highlight of this tour will be a visit of the showrooms of Schönbrunn Palace - once the summer residence of the Habsburg family. The way back passes by the Belvedere Palace, the former summer residence of Prince Eugen. In the afternoon time at leisure. Overnight.
Day 03 VIENNA
Breakfast at the hotel. Half-day excursion to the most beautiful sights of the southern part of Vienna Woods incl. visit at Mayerling. Passing the Roman City of Baden which is famous for its thermal springs, a short drive through the romantic valley “Helenental” to the former “Mayerling” hunting lodge, visit of memoral chapel, where Crown Prince Rudolph together with Baronesse Vetsera died tragically in 1889.
Continuing with a visit in the Cistercian Abbey of “Heiligenkreuz” (1133) and a boat ride on the largest subterranean lake in Europe at “Seegrotte”. Return to Vienna. Option for shopping. Transfer to airport for departure to Sofia. (Air ticket not included in the price)
Arrival in Sofia - the capital of Bulgaria. Accommodation and overnight in Sofia.
Day 04 SOFIA
Sightseeing tour of Sofia – a city with 7000 years long history, concentrating numerous cultural and historic monuments from different periods. Visits of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the St. George Rotunda from the 4th century, the St.Sofia Basilica, the Ruins of Serdica. Overnight in Sofia.
Day 05 SOFIA – RILA MONASTERY – PLOVDIV
Departure to the Rila Monastery/10th c/, UNESCO World Heritage site, the largest and the most impressive Bulgarian monastery. Tour of the monastery complex, church and museum with its lavish collection of precious old manuscripts, icons, jewellery, masterpieces of woodcarving, ethnographic exhibition of fabrics and carpets. Continue to Plovdiv – the second largest Bulgarian city. Overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 06 PLOVDIV - BACHKOVO MONASTERY – KAZANLAK
Plovdiv is one of the most ancient cities in Europe and in the world. Sightseeing of the Old town of Plovdiv with National Revival architecture and excavations from Roman times. Visit of the magnificient Roman theatre with impressive marble statues, decorative columns and arcades. Excursion to the Bachkovo Monastery /11th c/ - one of the richest galleries of traditional Bulgarian religious art with exquisite murals and medieval icons. Departure for Kazanlak, the capital of the famous Valley of Roses. Overnight in Kazanlak.
Day 07 KAZANLAK - TRYAVNA - VELIKO TARNOVO
Visit the Kazanlak Historical Museum to admire the golden treasures from the Valley of the Thracian kings. Continue with one of the UNESCO’s sites – the Thracian Tomb dating back from the 4th century B.C. Visit the replica of the Thracian Tomb. Departure to the town of Tryavna via the historical Shipka Pass. Walking tour of Tryavna, where vaulted stone bridges, houses, churches and the square with a clock tower preserve the spirit and talent of the artists from Tryavna School of Art from the 17th century. Visit the Woodcarving Museum. Continue to Veliko Tarnovo. Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 08 VELIKO TARNOVO - ARBANASSI
Sightseeing of Veliko Tarnovo, including a walk on Samovodska Charshiya – traditional arts and crafts street and visit to Tsarevets hill - an impressive sight with medieval fortifications and dramatic architecture. Departure to the museum town of Arbanassi boasting a genuine gallery of religious art in its Church of Nativity. Visit Konstantsalieva house – fine example of 17th century house of a wealthy merchant. Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 09 VELIKO TARNOVO – IVANOVO – RUSSE
Departure to Ivanovo. Ivanovo medieval rock churches are unique monuments, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. They consist of churches, chapels and monastic cells, hewn into the craggy gorge of the Russenski Lom River. Visit of the main church. Arrival in Russe. In the afternoon visit to the Museum of the Town Lifestyle and the Regional Historical Museum. Overnight in Russe.
Day 10 RUSSE – BUCHAREST
Morning walking tour of Russe – one of the key cultural and economic centers of the country and the seat of Bulgarian shipping in the beginning 20th century. In the afternoon departure to Bucharest. Overnight in Bucharest.
Day 11 BUCHAREST - CURTEA DE ARGES - SIBIU
In the morning panoramic sightseeing tour of Bucharest with a stop at the Cathedral of the Patriarchate, then departure to Curtea de Arges, former capital of Wallachia. Visit the Episcopal Church where the Romanian Kings are buried. Drive along the picturesque Olt Valley to Sibiu, one of the oldest towns in Transylvania - formerly Hermannstadt - founded by the Saxon colonists. Guided walking tour of the medieval town: the Main Square, the Evangelical Church, the Liars’ Bridge. Overnight in Sibiu.
Day 12 SIBIU - BIERTAN - SIGHISOARA
Morning drive to the heart of Transylvania to visit the secret retreat for the royalties of Europe. The Saxon villages display a remarkable, unspoilt harmony between people and landscape. Drive to Biertan to visit the impressive fortified church- - UNESCO world heritage. Drive on to Sighisoara, birthplace of Vlad the Impaler (“Dracula”). Visit the medieval citadel (the “Upper Town”): the Clock Tower, the Church on the Hill. Overnight in Sighisoara.
Day 13 SIGHISOARA - GURA HUMORULUI
After breakfast continue to Târgu Mures - visit of the elegant city centre well known for its architecture. Drive on to Bistrita - one of the 7 main medieval towns of “Siebenbürgen” (the German name for Transylvania). Continuation through Tihuta Pass.
Overnight in Gura Humorului.
Day 14 GURA HUMORULUI - MONASTERIES - PIATRA NEAMT
Full day in Bucovina – land of the unique painted monasteries belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage. Visit the Moldovita and Sucevita monasteries with outside frescoes. Visit the famous monastery of Voronet, “the Sistine Chapel of the Orient”. Late afternoon drive south to visit the Agapia monastery. Overnight in Piatra Neamt.
Day 15 PIATRA NEAMT – BRASOV or POIANA BRASOV
Departure across the mountains to Brasov through the spectacular Bicaz Gorges - the Red Lake – Miercurea Ciuc. Visit the beautiful fortified church of Prejmer. Late afternoon arrival in Brasov. Panoramic sightseeing tour and guided walking tour in the historical center of Brasov, formerly Kronstadt. Overnight.
Day 16 BRASOV - BRAN - BUCHAREST
Departure to Bran for a visit to “Dracula’s Castle”. Drive across the mountains to Sinaia. Visit the fabulous Peles Castle - former summer residence of the Royal family. Late afternoon drive to Bucharest. Upon arrival visit the outdoor Village Museum. Overnight in Bucharest.
Day 17 BUCHAREST
In the morning free time in central Bucharest for visits and shopping (subject to the flight schedule) and transfer to the airport. End of our services.
Possibility of daily departures for minimum 2 participants.
Prices available upon request.