BULGARIA – ROMANIA : 8 days / 7 nights
Day 1 Arival to sofia
Arrival at Sofia Airport. Transfer and accommodation in Kempinski Zografski 5*. Dinner in local restaurant.
Day 2 Sofia-Rila Monestery-Sofia SOFIA
Breakfast. Morning city tour of Sofia. Sofia is a city with a 7000-year history, which makes it a unique phenomenon in Europe, and places it among the settlements dating back to most distant antiquity. Walking city tour which includes: Alexander Nevski Memorial Cathedral, St Sofia Church, Parliament square, the monument of King Liberator, Russian church, National Theatre, The Ethnographic Museum, The National art Gallery outside, Archeological Museum outside, the Presidency, St. George`s Rotunda. Lunch. Departure for the Rila Monastery – the most famous and fascinating monastery in Bulgaria, under the UNESCO protection. The entire complex is quite impressive for its size. The 4-floor residential part consists of no less than 300 monks’ cells, 4 chapels, an abbot’s room, a kitchen, a library and guestrooms for donors. The kitchen is particularly interesting for its really huge cooking vessels. The exterior of the monastery is no less intriguing for its high and severe stone walls (reaching 4 floors and even more at some places) cut through by small windows – reminding of a military fort rather than a monastery. Once in the complex, it is worth visiting the monastery’s museum, which hosts a unique work of art, namely The Raphael’s Cross. The cross is made of a whole piece of wood (81cm x 43cm) and is named after its creator. Return back to Sofia for overnight. Dinner in local restaurant near the hotel.
Day 3 Sofia-Plovdiv
Breakfast. Drive to Plovdiv and tour of the Old Town. The city lies on seven hills which are noticeable from quite a distance. The hills, as well as the old town of Plovdiv bring specific color and atmosphere to the town and shape up its unique view and nature. A contemporary of Troy and having survived Mycenae, Plovdiv is a city upon layers of cities and an epoch upon layers of epochs. Plovdiv is all in one: a Thracian and classical Greek polis, the pride of Philip of Macedonia, the capital of Thrace under the Roman Empire, a centre of Byzantinism, a stronghold of the Bulgarians, a dream of the crusaders — a magnificent, wealth and most important city. The most interesting landmark is The Old Town of Plovdiv Architecture Reserve which covers the Three-hill area. It is the original location of the town and almost all of the most interesting history-related sights are within it: cult, residential and public housings, archaeological monuments and museums, narrow cobble-paved streets. Lunch in restaurant in the Old Town. Dinner and overnight in the hotel in Plovdiv.
Day 4 Plovdiv-Kazanlak-Veliko Tranovo
Breakfast. Drive to Kazanlak with visit of the Thracian Tomb, UNESCO site. Later In the afternoon visit of the of Veliko Turnovo, one of the most picturesque Bulgarian towns, preserving the atmosphere of the past century. It is standing in tiers above Yantra River which meanders through the elevations of Turnovo and the three hills – Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora. The buildings, perching one above the other, overhang rocks and precipices and Yantra River below, standing close to one another along narrow winding streets. Visit of Trarevets Royal Hill and Samovodene open-air crafts` market. Lunch. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Day 5 Velinko Tranovo-Ruse-Brasov
After breakfast drive to the border town of Ruse. On the way stop to visit the rock-hewn churches in Ivanovo, part of the UNESCO world heritage. Walking tour of the town with lunch. Change the buses and meeting with the Romanian escort guide-driver. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel in Poiana Brasov.
Day 6 Brasov-Bran-Peles-Sinaia Monastery-Bucharest
Breakfast. Short walking tour in Brasov. Departure for Bran to visit “Dracula’s Castle”. Dracula’s Castle is situated between Bucegi and Piatra Craiului Mountains, right where you enter Rucar-Bran Pass. It`s real name is Bran Castle. The first documentary attestation of Bran Castle is the letter written in 1377 by the Hungarian Ludovic I D’Anjou, giving the inhabitants of Brasov some privileges. The Fortress had an essential role in protecting the Hungarian king from the Ottomans and Tartars’ invasion, coming from Wallachia through Rucar Pass. That’s the reason why the inhabitants of Brasov built the Castle on their own work and expenses.The tour continue with visit of the fabulous Peles Castle. This is one of the best-preserved royal palaces in Europe. It served as the summer residence of the first Hohenzollern king of Romania, Carol I. Built in the latter half of the 19th century, it was the king’s attempt to imitate the styles of his former homeland, creating a Bavarian setting in the mountains of Romania. The palace is decorated, inside and out, with intricate wood carvings and paintings of scenes form Wagner operas. Visit the Sinaia Monastery, founded by Prince Mihai Cantacuzino in 1695 and named after the great Sinai Monastery on Mount Sinai. It was supposed to serve as a Monastery as well as a fortified stronghold on the way from Brasov to Bucharest. As of 2005 it is inhabited by 13 Christian Orthodox monks led by hegumen Macarie Bogus. Overnight in Poiana Brasov. Overnight.
Day 7 Bucharest
Known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards, glorious Belle Époque buildings and a reputation for the high life (which in the 1900s earned its nickname of “Little Paris”), Bucharest is Romania’s largest city and capita and a bustling metropolis. Romanian legend has it that the city of Bucharest was founded on the banks of the Dambovita River by a shepherd named Bucur, whose name literarily means “joy.” His flute playing reportedly dazzled the people and his hearty wine from nearby vineyards endeared him to the local traders, who gave his name to the place. Remodeled in the late 19th century by French and French-trained architects, the city features large neoclassical buildings, fashionable parks, and even its very own Arc de Triomphe on the elegant Soseaua Kiseleff, an avenue longer than the famed Champs-Elysees and home to the city’s mansion district. The full day tour includes: Walk through the old city centre with the Royal Court, Royal Court Church, Stavropoleos Church, the Parliament Palace, the Village Museum. Lunch. Dinner with folklore performance and overnight.
Day 8 Departure Bucharest
Breakfast. Departure transfer to the Airport.