ROMANIA and BULGARIA

  • Duration:9 NIGHTS / 10 DAYS
  • Countries Visited: Bulgaria, Romania
  • Highlights: Monasteries, Castles, Culture of Romania and Bulgaria
  • Tour Inclusions:
    • Round trip airfare NYC/Bucharest x Sofia/NYC
    • Comprehensive sightseeing as per the itinerary
    • Transportation by a deluxe air-conditioned motor coach.
    • English speaking tour escort.
    • Baggage handling of one suitcase per person.
    • Select International Travel Portfolio

     

DAY 1: DEPART USA.

Your European journey begins as you sit back and relax aboard an overnight flight to Bucharest.

DAY 2: BUCHAREST

We arrive in the Romanian capital of Bucharest, which was given its name in 1459 by Prince Vlad Tepes, the model for the main character in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. We explore the city of bucurie (Romanian for “joy”) and see the vast and imposing Palace of Parliament (the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon), the Metropolitan Church, the grand neoclassic Romanian Athenaeum, and the Arch of Triumph, the signature of 19th Century French architects who remodeled the city in the image of Paris with wide, tree-lined boulevards and Belle Epoque buildings. We finish our sightseeing with a visit to Bucharest’s Harastrou Park and a tour of the Folk Village Museum, a microcosm of Romanian culture with over 70 traditional Romanian structures on display in an open-air setting. Tonight we have a welcome dinner in a restaurant with local wine. (D)

Day 3:  PAINTED MONASTERIES TOUR

{mosimage} Today get ready for a full day of the famous monasteries of Bucovina: Humor Monastery with the preserved inside frescoes; Voronet Monastery, the “Chapel “of Eastern Europe, so famous for the blue by the artist as background for its frescoes; Moldavian Monastery, where the Golden Apple award given in 1975 by UNESCO affiliated journalism association and Sucevita Monastery- the best preserved with imposing walls and defensive towers. Overnight Pietra Neamt. (B.D.)

DAY 4: SIBIU

After breakfast, we depart for Sibiu, once the richest town in Transylvania. Our route crosses the Transylvanian Mountains through the magnificent scenic beauty of the Olt River Valley. Along the way we’ll visit the Cozia Monastery, built in 1386. We also stop at the Church of the Annunciation. In the evening we’ll enjoy a hearty Romanian dinner with a local family at a farmhouse in the village of Sibiel and stay overnight in Sibiu. (B.D.)

DAY 5: SIGHISOARA- BRASOV

In the morning we’ll embark on a comprehensive walking tour of Sibiu, past medieval shops and houses and stopping at the cathedral where the son of Vlad the Impaler was assassinated. We’ll visit the Brukenthal Art Gallery, continue to the Saxon village of Biertan to visit the Fortress Church, UNESCO World Cutlural Heritage Site and then on to Sighisoara — the best-preserved and continuously inhabited medieval citadel in the world, also a UNESCO World Cutlural Heritage. We take a walking tour of the town and visit the famous Clock Tower Museum with its Torture and Weapons Rooms and the house where Dracula (Prince Vlad Tepes) was born in 1432. Next, we continue on to Brasov for dinner and overnight. (B.D.)

DAY 6: TRANSYLVANIA

{mosimage} Today we’ll journey to Bran, home to the spectacular Bran Castle made famous by Bram Stoker as “Dracula’s Castle.” This formidable structure, built on top of a steep rock in 1377, is now a museum of history and medieval art with a rich collection of furniture and decorative art dating from the 14th century. In the early 20th century this castle became the summer residence of the Romanian royal family.  Afterward, we return to Brasov, a medieval city so charming it feels like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. We’ll visit the 13th century, world-famous Gothic Black Church which it took almost 100 years to be built, the Nicolae Church and the First Romania school. We’ll also see the old town hall and explore Brasov’s city center. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore on your own. Tonight, we gather for a delightful dinner in a typical medieval atmosphere. We enjoy dinner at Hunters Lodge restaurant. Overnight in Brasov. (B.D.)

DAY 7: VELIKO TURNOVO

After breakfast we depart Brasov and travel to Peles where we visit the opulent Peles castle, once the summer residence of the Romanian royal family. We’ll continue our journey southward to the border town of Giurgiu, drive across the Danube and enter the Bulgarian port town of Ruse. From there, we’ll continue to the famous “Valley of the Roses”, where the world prominent Bulgarian rose oil is still being produced and the medieval Veliko Tarnovo, the former capital of the Bulgarian Empire, where we’ll enjoy dinner and spend the night. (B.D.)

DAY 8: ARBANASI – PLOVDIV

We’ll take a morning tour of Veliko Turnovo and then drive to the picturesque village of Arbanassi. In this typical medieval Bulgarian town with its stone houses and red tile roofs, we’ll visit the Church of Nativity, its walls covered with colorful frescoes from the 1600s, making this the most richly decorated church in Bulgaria. We’ll continue through the heart of Bulgaria toward Plovdiv. On the way, we’ll enjoy an included lunch and visit the Etura ethnographic museum and Shipka Memorial Church. In the late afternoon, we enjoy a walking tour of old Plovdiv, including a visit to the Roman Amphitheater. The evening is free. Overnight in Plovdiv. (B.L.)

DAY 9:  SOFIA

This morning we have an excursion to the Bachkovo Monastery /11thC – one of the richest galleries of traditional Bulgarian religious art with exquisite murals and medieval icons.  In the afternoon  we’ll travel to Rila Monastery built in the 10th century amidst the rugged beauty of the Rila Mountains. Splendid architectural ensemble, ancient icons and superb woodcuts, breathtaking murals and rare incunabula – this is just a part of the historical and cultural wealth preserved by Bulgaria’s most distinctive monastery. After our visit to this most impressive monastery, we’ll arrive in the late afternoon in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. The balance of the day is yours to do as you wish. Overnight in Sofia. (B)

DAY 10: SOFIA

We’ll enjoy a comprehensive tour of Sofia, born over 7000 years ago in the green embrace of the Vitosha Mountain. Today, the city’s more than 250 monuments from different centuries blend harmoniously with its modern appearance. Our sightseeing includes visits to Alexander Nevsky Memorial Cathedral with its gilded domes and dazzling interior with murals, icons and mosaics; St. Nicholas Russian church, and the 4th century Rotonda of St. George church, the oldest building in Sofia, and St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Your afternoon is free to explore the city further at your leisure. Tonight we’ll gather for a farewell dinner. (B,D)

DAY 11: RETURN TO USA

You’ll be transferred to the Sofia airport for your flight home. (B)

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