Treasures of the Balkans & Transylvania (6710)

13 Day Tour from Budapest to Budapest

2017 Tour Details View 2016 Tour Details »

Discover the treasures of the Balkans on this adventure that starts in Budapest, the lively city on the Danube. Guided sightseeing introduces you to the highlights, including the Royal Castle, Parliament, and Fishermen’s Bastion. Next, head south through ever-changing landscapes to Novi Sad, famous for its citadel, then Serbia’s capital of Belgrade and the breathtaking gorges leading into Bulgaria. Explore Sofia with its ornate orthodox churches; visit Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and explore Plovdiv’s charming Old Town and Roman Amphitheater. Continue to medieval Veliko Târnovo and Arbanassi before arriving in beautiful Bucharest, Romania, for two overnights. On to the picturesque mountains, fortified villages, and castles of Transylvania. Visit Sinaia Monastery and Bran Castle, the medieval dwelling of legendary Count Dracula. Enjoy additional stops in enchanting Sighisoara and Cluj-Napoca, and return to Budapest for the final overnight on this outstanding vacation.
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 Destinations & Sightseeing

Individual headsets

Inside visits and special features:
Shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.

Sightseeing:
Visits to Novi Sad, Belgrade, Rila Monastery, Plovdiv, Veliko Târnovo, Arbanassi Village, Sinaia Monastery, Brasov, Bran Castle, Sighisoara, Cluj-Napoca

Scenic Highlights:
Stara Planina Mountains, Southern Carpathians, Transylvania

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:

  • Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, and Andrássy Avenue
  • Boyana Church
  • Rila Monastery

Transportation:

Transportation:
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

Buffet breakfasts daily; 5 dinners, including a dinner at a local restaurant in Belgrade

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.

Day 1 Arrive in Budapest, Hungary

Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.

Day 2 Budapest

Included sightseeing with a Local Guide features Buda Castle, which dominates the twin cities of Buda and Pest, separated by the broad ribbon of the Danube. Also see Heroes’ Square, which typifies the modern capital, as well as the old inns and along the riverbank, the Royal Castle, Parliament, Margaret Island, Fishermen’s Bastion, and Matthias Coronation Church.

Breakfast

Day 3 Budapest–Novi Sad, Serbia–Belgrade

This morning, travel southwards at first along the motorway to the border town of Szeged to cross into the province of Vojvodina in Serbia. Stop in Novi Sad, the capital of the province, situated on the Danube River and famous for its Petrovaradin Citadel, known in the west as the “Gibraltar of the Danube.” Continue to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. This evening, enjoy a typical dinner at a local restaurant.

Breakfast
Dinner

Day 4 Belgrade–Sofia, Bulgaria

A comfortable drive this morning southeast by way of Nis; then, across the border into Bulgaria. Arrive in Sofia, its capital, for sightseeing with a Local Guide, which will include such highlights as the Parliament building, ALEXANDER NEVSKY CATHEDRAL, BOJANA CHURCH, the National Theater, and ST. SOFIA CHURCH. The locals will tell you that Sofia is growing all the time, yet never aging.

Breakfast
Dinner

Day 5 Sofia. Excursion to Rila Monastery

This morning, drive to Rila to visit its MONASTERY (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the most famous in the country. It has a checkered history that goes way back to Ivan Rilski, a hermit who founded it in 927. During the very long Turkish rule over the country, the monastery became a beacon of Bulgarian culture. Return to Sofia. Tonight, maybe join an optional folklore dinner.

Breakfast

Day 6 Sofia–Plovdiv–Veliko Târnovo

Head eastwards to Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second-largest city, located along the banks of the Maritsa River. Stop here to visit the charming OLD TOWN and the ROMAN AMPHITHEATER. Journey northwards through fine scenery over the Stara Planina Mountains to Veliko Târnovo.

Breakfast
Dinner

Day 7 Veliko Târnovo–Bucharest, Romania

Today, time to see some of the highlights of Veliko Târnovo, located on the Yantra River. During the Middle Ages, it was Bulgaria’s capital and, although now a modern town, it still retains some of its most attractive medieval features. Later, drive to nearby Arbanassi, world famous for its type of house, which is a cross between a dwelling and a fortress. The village is known as an architectural and historic reserve and was at one time the summer residence of Bulgarian kings. One of the highlights of the visit is the CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY, built in 1637. In the afternoon, journey north to Rousse and cross the Danube to reach Bucharest.

Breakfast
Dinner

Day 8 Bucharest

Flower-festooned parks, gardens, and wide boulevards shaded by century-old trees contribute to Bucharest’s beauty. The highlight of your sightseeing tour is a visit to the open-air VILLAGE MUSEUM, a unique collection of traditional farmhouses, cottages, wind and watermills, and artisans’ workshops from all parts of the country. The Local Guide will also show you other places of interest, including the Government Victoria Palace, the Royal Palace, and the Savings Palace. There is also an afternoon optional visit to the Romanian Parliament, known as the “House of the People.“

Breakfast

Day 9 Bucharest–Sinaia–Brasov

Leave this morning for a stop in Sinaia in the Prahova Valley. This is a lovely ski resort, almost 3,300 feet above sea level. While in Sinaia there will be time to visit the SINAIA MONASTERY and PELES CASTLE, considered among the most romantic in the world. Only a few more miles and you reach Brasov, a lovely medieval town famous for its town square filled with baroque architecture and outdoor cafés. This evening, enjoy an optional folklore dinner in a typical Transylvanian restaurant.

Breakfast

Day 10 Brasov

This morning, leave for Bran and visit its CASTLE, built in 1377 and inhabited by Vlad the Impaler—better known as Dracula. In the afternoon, a walking orientation of the Old Town of Brasov will include a visit to the BLACK CHURCH and leisure time.

Breakfast

Day 11 Brasov–Sighisoara–Cluj-Napoca

Head northwards for a stop in Sighisoara, a medieval town with 11 towers within the city walls, which surround cobblestone streets, ancient houses, and churches—it is one of Romania’s prettiest towns. Legend has it that it is also the birthplace of the notorious Vlad (Dracula). Continue the journey north by way of Tirgu Mures on to Cluj-Napoca in the heart of Transylvania.

Breakfast
Dinner

Day 12 Cluj-Napoca–Budapest, Hungary

Travel westwards today by way of Oradea into Hungary and return to Budapest.

Breakfast

Day 13 Budapest

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Breakfast

 Tour Director

With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

SIMONA CIOCANEL

Years of Experience: 9

In my country, there is a saying that "Romanians were born poets." It is a great pleasure to present my country as a descendant of Dracula (though today we switched from blood to wine). Even more, I live in a country with a tremendous landscape of diversity, great inventors, history, and culture.

 Accommodations

BUDAPEST Novoltel Centrum (F)
BELGRADE Best Western Hotel M (ST)
SOFIA Crystal Palace (F)
VELIKO TÂRNOVO Yantra Grand Hotel (F)
BUCHAREST Ramada (F)
BRASOV Aro Palace (F)
CLUJ-NAPOCA Grand Hotel Napoca (F)

 Know Before You Go

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