Treasures of the Balkans & Transylvania (6710) - 2017 / 2016

13 Day Tour from Budapest to Budapest

Treasures of the Balkans & Transylvania
Roman Amphitheater in Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Roman Amphitheater in Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Rila Monastery in Bulgaria
The beautiful domes of St. Nicholas Church in Bucharest
Visit the historical Kalemegdan Fortress while in Belgrade
Visit the monumental Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest
Bran Castle in Romania, built in 1377 and inhabited by Vlad the Impaler, better known as Dracula
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge spanning the River Danube in Budapest
Enjoy a visit to Veliko, also known as the City of the Tsars

Vacation Overview

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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Individual headsets

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

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


Local Guides for city sightseeing in Budapest, Sofia, Bucharest, Peles Castle; professional Tour Director while touring

Day 1Arrive in Budapest, Hungary

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

Day 2Budapest

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. (B)

Day 3Budapest–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. (B,D)

Day 4Belgrade–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. (B,D)

Day 5Sofia. 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. (B)

Day 6Sofia–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. (B,D)

Day 7Veliko 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. (B,D)

Day 8Bucharest

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.“ (B)

Day 9Bucharest–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. (B)

Day 10Brasov

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. (B)

Day 11Brasov–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. (B,D)

Day 12Cluj-Napoca–Budapest, Hungary

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

Day 13Budapest

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

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

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

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

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.


Years of Experience: 9 years

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.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the Treasures of the Balkans & Transylvania:

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

* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).
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