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Balkan Adventure

Operated by: Trafalgar

14 Days from $2,995 per person
Bran Castle, Romania

Countries Visited

Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia ...more Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia

Locations Visited

Bucharest, Poiana Brasov, Bran, Brasov, Veliko Tarnovo, Sofia, Arbanassi, Skopje, Tirana, Budva, Kotor, Sarajevo, Mostar, Belgrade ...more Bucharest, Poiana Brasov, Bran, Brasov, Veliko Tarnovo, Sofia, Arbanassi, Skopje, Tirana, Budva, Kotor, Sarajevo, Mostar, Belgrade
  1. Day 1 Arrive Bucharest

    You'd be forgiven for thinking you were in Paris when you explore the Belle-Époque atmosphere of Romania's capital, Bucharest. Your first day will be free to explore the city your way, admiring the elegant boulevards that once hosted high society and an Old City filled with cobbled streets, Baroque architecture and vintage cafés. Later, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception. Why not toast to new friends with a shot of the local Pálinka to set the tone for your memorable journey?

    meals Welcome Reception
    hotel Mercure City Center
  2. Day 2 Bucharest – Sinaia – Braşov (2 Nights)

    A full day of sightseeing stretches ahead, beginning in Bucharest where you'll join a 'Local Specialist' to delve into the city's tumultuous history. See the immense Palace of the Parliament, one of the lasting legacies left behind by dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, whose extravagant tastes culminated in the world's second-largest administrative building in stark contrast to the poverty of his people. Venture deep into the Carpathian Mountains to Sinaia and view Peleş Castle, the summer retreat of Romania's first king. Then, continue to Braşov and check in to your hotel in Poiana Braşov ski resort. Enjoy traditional Romanian cuisine for dinner at your hotel against the backdrop of panoramic mountain views.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Teleferic Grand
  3. Day 3 Braşov Sightseeing and Free Time

    The highlight of the day is this morning's visit to Bran Castle, the legendary home of Dracula. 'Dive Into Culture' with a 'Local Specialist' and learn about its history as the favourite royal residence of Queen Maria of Romania. Although the connection between the castle and Bram Stoker's famous literary figure are tentative at best, its imposing walls, towering spires and secret passageways may convince you otherwise. Next, we journey to the medieval streets of Braşov. The city once stood at the crossroads of trade routes linking the Ottoman Empire and western Europe, forging a melting pot of influences that can be seen to this day. Join a 'Local Specialist' who will reveal the city's trading history and Saxon roots as you walk around Town Hall Square and see the Black Church, so named following the damage caused by the Great Fire of 1689. Your evening is free to indulge in some of the local Transylvanian favourites, or consider joining your travel companions for an optional dinner.

    meals Breakfast
  4. Day 4 Braşov – Veliko Târnovo

    Head south, through ancient villages and tranquil landscapes across the Danube River into Bulgaria. Your journey ends in Veliko Târnovo, the 'City of the Tsars' and former capital of the Bulgarian Empire. Relax after your scenic drive and join your travel companions for dinner at your hotel. After dinner, resist the urge to retire early and take a stroll through the Old City admiring the Renaissance gems that line its winding streets.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Yantra Grand
  5. Day 5 Veliko Târnovo – Arbanasi – Sofia (2 Nights)

    The fairy-tale façades of Veliko Târnovo exude medieval history around every turn and your 'Local Specialist' will reveal a rich history and culture befitting a former imperial capital. At the heart of the city is Tsarevets Fortress, which you'll have an opportunity to visit as part of your sightseeing tour. Our next stop is the UNESCO-listed town of Arbanasi, renowned for its Bulgarian National Revival architecture and rich spiritual history reflected in the beautiful medieval frescoed churches that can be found here. Visit the Church of the Nativity before we continue to Sofia, where you'll join a 'Local Specialist' for an in-depth sightseeing tour of Bulgaria's modern-day capital including views of the golden-domed St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and St. Sofia Church.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Marinela
  6. Day 6 Sofia Free Day

    You'll have a full day to explore this modern city built on Roman ruins. Once a thriving centre for trade and crafts, Sofia's history, culture and architecture have been influenced by Greeks, Romans, Ottomans and communists. Settle in to the relaxed atmosphere and take a stroll along its elegant boulevards or sit in a park and people-watch. You could choose instead to join an Optional Experience to the UNESCO-listed Rila Monastery, founded by the hermit St. Ivan of Rila in the 10th century. Later this evening, you may wish to get your foot tapping to the flurry of red skirts at a traditional folklore show.

    meals Breakfast
  7. Day 7 Sofia – Skopje

    Cross the Macedonian border today, bound for Skopje, the capital, religious crossroads and a vibrant medieval trading centre. See the legacy of the Ottomans in the mosques and bazaars as you join a 'Local Specialist' for a sightseeing tour this afternoon. Local flavours and stories are on the menu tonight as you 'Connect With Locals' for an exclusive 'Be My Guest' dinner, perhaps with some of the local rakija on hand to toast to new friends.

    meals Breakfast, Be My Guest
    hotel Holiday Inn
  8. Day 8 Skopje – Tirana

    Leaving Macedonia behind, head to the Albanian capital of Tirana where you'll join a 'Local Specialist' on arrival for a sightseeing tour. Delve into how the city has emerged from decades of communist rule into a vibrant, trendy tourism centre - one where dour grey city blocks have been transformed into a kaleidoscope of colourful façades. You'll view such highlights as the Palace of Culture, the National Library and the Clock Tower before enjoying dinner at your hotel.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Hilton Garden Inn
  9. Day 9 Tirana – Kotor – Budva

    Soak up Montenegro's natural beauty as you drive towards Kotor. You'll have some time for lunch on your own and an orientation tour of this fortified town, tucked deep within enchanting fjord-like surrounds. Travel to Budva next where your Travel Director will provide an orientation tour before you have the rest of the day to explore 'Montenegro's Miami' on your own. Head to Stari Grad (the Old Town) surrounded by 15th-century ramparts to explore its labyrinthine lanes and small squares where you could choose to sit back and watch the world go by.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Falkensteiner
  10. Day 10 Budva – Mostar – Sarajevo (2 Nights)

    Leave the shimmering Adriatic coast for Mostar, a multicultural city that has restored itself with enviable verve following the Bosnian War. A 'Local Specialist' will lead you through its colourful cobbled streets and you'll view the Stari Most Ottoman-style bridge reconstructed entirely using traditional methods. Head to Sarajevo next where you'll delve into the rich religious and multicultural heritage that has earned it the nickname, the 'Jerusalem' of Europe. Tonight you'll enjoy dinner at your hotel.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Novotel Bristol
  11. Day 11 Sarajevo Sightseeing and Free Time

    Join a 'Local Specialist' for a guided walking tour of Sarajevo, which will reveal centuries of religious history reflected in its beautiful synagogues, mosques and Orthodox and Catholic churches. Visit the War Tunnel, an underground tunnel of hope that was built in 1993 during the Siege of Sarajevo, allowing war supplies and humanitarian aid to reach the city at the height of the Bosnian War. Then, enjoy a free afternoon to explore on your own. Visit the Old Town and trace the Sarajevo Roses, dotted across the city as a stark reminder of that tumultuous time in the city's history. You could choose to join your travel companions for an optional dinner this evening.

    meals Breakfast
  12. Day 12 Sarajevo – Belgrade (2 Nights)

    Travel through lush forests, pastures and the Bosnian Mountains into Serbia - a scenic day of driving that will end in Belgrade. The 'White City' has a long history which you'll have an opportunity to explore tomorrow.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Mercure Excelsior
  13. Day 13 Belgrade Sightseeing

    Your 'Local Specialist' will share the sights and sounds of Belgrade from an insider's perspective this morning. Delve into its Celtic, Roman, Serbian, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian history, then visit Kalemegdan Fortress, the symbol of the Serbian capital and perched perfectly on a ridge overlooking the confluence of two great rivers. Discover how each of these empires have had a hand in rebuilding the fortress over the past 16 centuries. This evening, we reunite one final time for a rousing Farewell Dinner to reminisce over our shared travel experience.

    meals Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  14. Day 14 Depart Belgrade

    Our journey through the Balkans has come to an end. All that's left is to say a fond doviđenja as you bid your new friends farewell and take your transfer to the airport. Conditions apply.

    meals Breakfast
Balkan Adventure
Price Includes

Dining Highlights

  • 13 breakfasts
  • 7 dinners (including Be my Guest)

First class travel Highlights

  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and up to half your evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • Handcrafted Highlights
  • VIP entry to many sights

Sightseeing Highlights

  • ORIENTATION of Kotor and Budva
  • VISIT Bran Castle in Braşov, Tsaravets Fortress in Veliko Târnovo, the Church of the Nativity in Arbanasi, Sofia, Skopje, Tirana, Kotor, Budva, Mostar, the War Tunnel in Sarajevo and Kalmegdan Fortress in Belgrade
  • VIEW Peleş Castle in Sinaia, St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and St. Sofia Church in Sofia, the Palace of Culture and the National library in Tirana and the Stari Most in Mostar
  • SEE the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest

Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request Trip prices are based on double occupancy; single supplement discounts are available on select departures, call us at 1-877-622-9109 for more info
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Start Date: Sun, Jul 5, 2020
Return Date: Sat, Jul 18, 2020
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Optional Add-Ons

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Sofia

Rila Monastery

Rising out of a forested valley, magnificent Rila Monastery is the largest and most important symbol of the Bulgarian Orthodox church. Founded in the 10th Century, the monastery looks like a fortress, but once through the gates, you are dazzled by the kaleidoscopic frescoes and red-and-cream striped brickwork, set against the vertiginous green mountains. Our Local Specialist will explain the apocalyptic artwork beneath horseshoe-shaped arches, while black-robed monks go about their business.
Adult Price: € 37

Bulgarian Folklore Evening with Dinner

Join us at one of the oldest folk-style restaurants in Sofia, where we will experience a traditional folklore program including the jolly 'Horo' dance and traditional Bulgarian cuisine.
Adult Price: € 53

Sarajevo

Sarajevo: Off the Beaten Track

Discover the fascinating historical periods of Bosnia that continue to impact the identity of Sarajevo today. Our Local Specialist will share with us the beauty of a traditional Mosque, its architecture and traditions. We then fast forward to the 1984 Winter Olympics, hearing stories of ice skaters Torvill and Dean and their famous gold medal, while ascending Mt Trebevic by coach, where we'll admire spectacular city panoramas. Learn about the Siege of Sarajvo with a photo stop at the war-torn bobsled track, and enjoy a refreshment at one of the most spectacular vistas of the city.
Adult Price: € 35

Traditional Bosnian Dinner with Entertainment

Enjoy a typical Bosnian evening in an authentic restaurant, famous for its local cuisine, accompanied by lively entertainment, to ensure an unforgettable final evening in Sarajevo.
Adult Price: € 49

Belgrade

Icons of Serbia

Get an insider look at two of Serbia's most famous icons. First we'll visit the museum of Nikola Tesla – best known for his contribution to alternating current science. We unravel the stories behind some of his genius inventions and hear the legends that surrounded 'the man who invented the twentieth century'. Next, we'll wind down with dinner at top tennis player Novak Djokovic's restaurant. The first Serbian player to be ranked no. 1, he and his restaurant are considered national icons.
Adult Price: € 75

A Historical View of Belgrade

Visit the resting place of former Yugoslavian President – Josip Broz Tito at the House of Flowers built in 1975 as a winter garden near his Belgrade home. Featuring impressive views of the city and surrounded by tranquility, this is not just a scenic discovery, but an important historical landmark as well. Our Local Specialist will share interesting stories of Tito and his rule, while also sharing views from both the gardens and Avala Tower which was reconstructed after the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.
Adult Price: € 39

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