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Discover the treasures of the Balkans on this vacation through Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania. On this Balkans and Transylvania tour, get to know the capitals—Budapest, Belgrade, Sofia, Bucharest—as well as some of the fascinating towns and cities along the way. Visit Novi Sad, famous for its citadel; Plovdiv, with its picturesque old town centre; Veliko Târnovo, Bulgaria’s capital during the Middle Ages; and Sinaia, a lovely ski resort town. Explore Brasov, a charming medieval town famous for its Baroque town square; Sighisoara, one of Romania’s prettiest towns with 11 medieval towers within the city walls; and Cluj Napoca, Romania’s film capital. Enjoy sightseeing throughout this tour, including visits to Sofia’s Boyana Church, a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and Plovdiv’s Roman Amphitheatre, one of the world’s best-preserved ancient theatres. Visit Arbanassi’s Church of the Nativity, built in 1637 and housing an outstanding collection of frescoes; Sinaia Monastery, built between 1690 and 1695; Rila Monastery, with a history dating back 10 centuries and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at Peles Castle, a masterpiece of German neo-renaissance architecture and nestled at the foot of the mountains. In Bucharest, visit the open-air Village Museum, showcasing traditional village life from all parts of the country. Last, but not least, visit Bran Castle, built in 1377 with imposing towers and turrets, and once inhabited by Vlad the Impaler—better known as Dracula. This Balkans and Transylvania tour is designed for value-minded, savvy travelers. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime vacation!
To know more about the visas for this vacation, click here
Visits to Novi Sad fortress, Belgrade, Rila Monastery, Plovdiv Roman Amphitheater, Veliko Târnovo, Arbanassi Village, Sinaia Monastery and Peles Castle, Brasov, Bran Castle, Sighisoara, Cluj-Napoca.Guides:
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Budapest, Sofia, Bucharest, Peles Castle; professional Tour Director while touringScenic Highlights:
Stara Planina Mountains, Southern Carpathians, Transylvania
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi
Buffet breakfasts daily; 4 dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN BUDAPEST, HUNGARY Check into your hotel. Take advantage of the CosmosGO app to visit Budapest at leisure. In the early evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
BUDAPEST Budapest is a treasure trove of architectural wonders, from Gothic to Baroque; Neoclassical to Art Nouveau, but also full of history, a food capital, and surprisingly rich in thermal waters. Discover all of this and more during the guided city tour.
BUDAPEST–NOVI SAD, SERBIA–BELGRADE Travel to Serbia. Stop in Novi Sad, capital of the province, situated on the Danube River and famous for its Petrovaradin Citadel, the fortress known in the west as the “Gibraltar of the Danube.” Continue to Belgrade, and discover the capital of Serbia on a guided city sightseeing tour. Today’s Distance: 242 mi/ 390 km
BELGRADE–SOFIA, BULGARIA Cross the border into Bulgaria to arrive in the capital city of Sofia. Join a Local Guide for a city tour that includes the Parliament building, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Boyana Church, a medieval Bulgarian orthodox church listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the National Theater, and St. Sofia Church. Today’s Distance: 243 mi/ 391 km
SOFIA. EXCURSION TO RILA MONASTERY This morning, discover Rila Monastery with its colorful frescoes, located inside a nature park. Its checkered history goes back to Ivan Rilski, the hermit who founded it in 927. During the long Turkish rule over the country, the monastery became a beacon of Bulgarian culture. Return to Sofia. Today’s Distance: 130 mi/ 210 km
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. Today’s Distance: 224 mi/ 360 km
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 it still retains some of its most attractive medieval features. Visit nearby Arbanassi, world famous for its house design, 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. Carry on north to Rousse and cross the Danube to reach Bucharest. Today’s Distance: 112 mi/ 180 km
BUCHAREST Flower-festooned parks, gardens, and wide boulevards shaded by century-old trees contribute to Bucharest’s beauty. The highlight of the included sightseeing tour is a visit to the open-air Village Museum, a unique collection of traditional farmhouses, cottages, windmills, watermills, and artisans’ workshops from all parts of the country. Your Local Guide will show you other places of interest, including the Government Victoria Palace, the Royal Palace, and the Savings Palace. There is also an optional afternoon visit to the massive Romanian Parliament, known as the “People’s Palace.“
BUCHAREST–SINAIA–BRASOV Travel to 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 castles 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.Today’s Distance: 118 mi/ 190 km
BRASOV This morning, depart for Bran and visit its legendary castle, built in 1377 and inhabited by Vlad the Impaler—better known as Count Dracula. In the afternoon, a walking orientation of the Old Town of Brasov includes a visit to the Black Church, followed by leisure time.
BreakfastToday’s Distance: 37 mi/ 60 km
BRASOV–SIGHISOARA–CLUJ-NAPOCA Stop in Sighisoara, a medieval town with 11 towers within the city walls that surround cobblestone streets, ancient houses, and churches—one of Romania’s prettiest towns. Legend has it that it is also the birthplace of the notorious Vlad (Dracula). Continue to Cluj-Napoca, the film capital of Romania. Today’s Distance: 174 mi/ 280 km
CLUJ-NAPOCA–BUDAPEST, HUNGARY Cross the border at Oradea into Hungary and return to Budapest. Today’s Distance: 292mi/ 470 km
BUDAPEST Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
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.
Escorting tours for more than 10 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."
Escorting tours for more than 20 years
"I decided to become a Tour Director in order to see the world-and lose weight. Unfortunately, the latter is impossible, because the food is incredible here. Still, it was worth a try! Since those early years I've discovered that the reality of travel is better than I ever imagined. Every day is different, and there is always something new to see and learn."
Escorting tours for more than 15 years
"Traveling, researching the history and culture of new places has always been a passion of mine so when the opportunity arose to become a Tour Director I did not hesitate, and I still enjoy it - sharing my knowledge, passion and experience with guests, doing my best to ensure that their trip exceeds their expectations and becomes a wonderful memory. On tour there are travelers from all around the world, so I also learn a lot from them, broadening my horizon with each tour. It is not easy to choose a favorite country or a favorite tour as there is something unique and delightful in every corner of the world, but perhaps the Balkans and Transylvania are closest to my heart, as they are regions I am closely linked to."