19 days Balkans Tour from Bucharest
Visit the Balkans in this 19 days tour in wich You will visit 9 countries: Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Hungary. Enjoy a small group tour from 1 to 14 with a tourguide that will fit on your interests and will make this experience unforgettable.
In this tour of the Balkans You will have the possibility to understand better the history that separated or connected different countries and experience as well mostly of the Unesco sites.
Day 1 – Saturday – Bucharest – Ivanovo Monastery – Arbanassi – Veliko (200 km) ROMANIA + BULGARIA
We will leave Bucharest in the morning and head to Bulgaria. After crossing the bridge over the Danube River we will enter in Bulgaria and our first visit will be at Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo ( Unesco World Heritage Site ) and noted for its magnificent medieval age frescoes still preserved. Continue with the picturesque Arbanasi village . In the walking tour of the village , we will discover houses that preserves an unique medieval bulgarian architecture and a hidden 16th century Church of Nativity with beautiful and richly inside painted fresco . Early evening arrival in Veliko Tarnovo , “City of Tsars” , the former capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Tsarevets Fortress , Monument of the Asenevtsi kings , Samovodska charshia are the main attractions of the city. Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo in a 4* Hotel.
Day 2 – Sunday – Veliko – Shipka – Kazanluk – Sofia (320 km) BULGARIA
After breakfast departure to Sofia . Crossing the Stara Planina mountains , we will stop to visit Shipka Monument (aka “Monument of The Liberty“) . The memorial complex was erected in memory of the fallen bulgarian volunteers and Russian soldiers during the Shipka battles in the summer of 1877. Shipka battle plays a crucial role in the Russo-Turkish War and for the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule. Continue to drive south to the town of Kazanlak located in the pretty Valley of roses at the foot of the Balkan mountains. The natural geographical center of Bulgaria is just here where the roads of home and international tourist routes cross each other. Visit the most important touristic attractions : Thracian Tomb ( Unesco World Heritage Site , the only monument, completely preserved from the Early Hellenistic Period , 4-3 century B.C.) and Rose oil Museum .
In the early evening we will arrive in Sofia . The walking tour of city center will include the gold-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Saint (Sveta) Sofia Church , Banya Bashi Mosque, the Sofia Synagogue and the main shopping street Vitosha . Overnight in Sofia in a 4* Hotel.
Day 3 – Monday – Sofia – Rila – Skopje (350 km) BULGARIA + MACEDONIA
After breakfast departure to Rila Monastery , Bulgaria’s most famous tourist site ( Unesco World Heritage Site ) and founded in the 10th century by Saint Ivan Rilsky (St John of Rila ) , a hermit canonized by the Orthodox Church . The monastery , one of the largest in the Balkans , was the center of Bulgarian culture and Orthodox belief for more than 1000 years . Our tour includes a visit to the Church, which is of particular artistic value, for it was adorned by the foremost 19-century masters of the Samokov, Bansko and Debar schools of painting and woodcarving.
Continue drive south to the Bulgarian – Macedonian border . In the early evening we will arrive in Skopje , the capital of Macedonia . Orientation tour of Skopje before arriving to your centrally located hotel. Overnight in Skopje in a 4* Hotel.
Day 4 – Tuesday – Skopje – Ohrid (190 km) MACEDONIA
After breakfast enjoy a walking tour of Skopje (internationally famous for being the birthplace of Mother Teresa ) , with its most important landmarks : quay of the Macedonian river “Vardar”, the narrow streets in the Old Bazaar (is the biggest bazaar preserved in the Balkans today ), the Memorial house of Mother Teresa , the 1500 years old fortress Kale , Macedonia Square with the statue of Alexander The Great on horse . Continue the tour and drive to Ohrid ( Unesco World Heritage Site ) situated on the banks of the lake with the same name , perched on the border of Macedonia and Albania. Ohrid area has been the setting of thousands of years of human history and the old city center are testimony to its past. Lake Ohrid itself is Europe’s oldest lake having formed over three millions years ago. The walking tour of the old city center will include the narrow streets and squares , the Anchient Theater , discover the famous old churches, monasteries and basilicas (Sveti Sofia Church ) , Tsar Samuil’s (Samuel’s) Fortress and pedestrian shopping street . Overnight in Ohrid in a 3/4 * hotel .
Day 5 –Wednesday – Ohrid – Bay of Bones – St Naum – Tirana – Kruja (210 km) MACEDONIA + ALBANIA
After breakfast departure to the Museum on Water called also the Bay of Bones, an exceptional archeological complex and a reconstruction of a part of the pile-dwelling settlement, dating back between 1200 and 700 BC.A Roman military fortification. Next will drive to the amazing monastery of St.Naum, built on a rock that offers a great view of the Ohrid Lake and experience a small rowing boat ride to the springs of Black Drimm river.
Continue the tour and crossing the Macedonian – Albanian border driving to Tirana, capital of Albania . The walking tour of city center of Tirana will reveal the main tourist attractions : Tirana’s massive main square – Skanderbeg , National History Museum , Palace of Culture, National Bank, Et’hem Bey Mosque and Skanderbeg’s statue . In the evening we will arrive in Kruja . The name and the importance of the city are attributed to the national hero of Albania, George Castriot Skanderbeg, who made Kruja a fortress of resistance against the Turkish Ottoman empire for more than 25 years in the 15th century . Orientation tour of Kruja before arriving to your centrally located hotel. Overnight in Kruja in a 4* hotel.
Day 6 Thursday – Kruja – Budva – Kotor (190 km)
After breakfast visit the Kruja Castle, the headquarter of “the Dragon of Albania” . Enjoy a visit of the Kruja Castle Museum for a short lesson of Albanian history than discover the local souvenir market of the local traditional Old Bazaar. Next, departure to Budva – Montenegro , crossing the Albanian – Montenegro border and stop to visit the Old Town and show you the most important spots: Ballerina and Mogren Beach, Land Gate, Ancient Necropolis, Square of Churches, Citadel, Njegoš’s street, marina, Mediternaska Street and Slovenska Plaza. In the evening we will arrive in Kotor and discover the fortified old town – Stari Grad ( Unesco World Heritage Site ) . Overnight in a 3* hotel in Kotor.
Day 7 Friday – Kotor Bay Tour – Dubrovnik (150 km) MONTENEGRO + CROATIA
After breakfast ,on the way to Dubrovnik ( Croatia ) start with the Kotor Bay Tour : Perast (boat trip to Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rocks), Tivat & Porto Montenegro . Continue the tour and cross the border to Croatia and head to Dubrovnik. “The Pearl of the Adriatic:”, Explore the Old Town also part of Unesco Heritage, via Onofrio’s Fountain and up Prijeko Street to the Old Port – the key to Dubrovnik’s trading and maritime success. Overnight in a 3* hotel in Dubrovnik.
Day 8 Saturday – Dubrovnik – Mostar – Split (300 km) CROATIA
After breakfast we will head to Bosnia – Herzegovina and after we will cross the border we will visit the beautiful city of Mostar with its Old Bridge Area and the old city, part of Unesco Heritage. Next, we will cross the border back to Croatia and arrive in one of the most important cities at the Adriatic Seat: Split. Visit the 4th century Diocletian’s Palace and city’s historical center also listed on Unesco’s heritage. Overnight in a 3* hotel in Split.
Day 9 – Sunday – Split – Trogir – Plitvice (260 km) CROATIA
After breakfast , we will continue the sightseeing or free time of Split and we will head to Trogir (Unesco). Greek, Roman, Venetian history on a small island connected to one, make this one of the most interesting historic oasis on the Adriatic Coast. The famous Cathedral of St Lawrence, remains of city walls, many palaces, forts and their stories are just some of the things that will impress you on this tour through the beautiful streets of this still small and quiet little town in the heart of the Mediterranean, the heart of Dalmatia. In the late evening we will arrive in Plitvice. Overnight in a 3* hotel in the area of Plitvice.
Day 10 – Monday – Plitvice – Postojna – Ljubljana (290 km) CROATIA + SLOVENIA
After breakfast explore the Oldest National Park from Croatia that is also part of Unesco heritage. We will enjoy a walking tour in the nature and discover the amazing colours of the Natural Park that are ranging from azure to green, grey or blue depending on the sunlight. After crossing the border in Slovenia, explore the largest show-cave in Europe, the Postojna Cave with an electrical train, a touristic attraction that you can’t miss it , thanks to its natural beauty. In the late evening we will arrive in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. Overnight in a 4* hotel.
Day 11 – Tuesday – Ljubljana – Zagreb (140 km) SLOVENIA + CROATIA
After breakfast , enjoy walking tour in wich you will discover the main tourist attractions of Ljubljana city centar : Congress Square, the National University Library, Križanke Monastery, the New Square, and Cobbler’s Bridge, main square with the Prešeren monument, Franciscan Church, and Three Bridges , Old Square, the river promenade, the Municipality Square, St. Nicholas Cathedral, the Open Air Market, Butcher’s Bridge, and Dragon Bridge.
Next, we will head to the capital of Croatia, Zagreb where we will discover this magical city. Explore Zagreb’s Upper Town and Lower Town districts on this 2.5-hour private walking tour. Hop aboard the funicular with a guide to Gradec — the Upper Town — and enjoy fine city views from the Strossmayer Promenade. Discover top attractions including the Lotrščak Tower, St Catherine’s Church, the Stone Gate and the seat of the Croatian Parliament. Then, descend via Tkalčićeva Street to the Lower Town and head through Dolac Market to medieval Kaptol. Admire traditional architecture in Ban Jelačić Square, then finish in the pretty surroundings of Zrinjevac Park
Overnight in a 4* hotel in Zagreb.
Day 12 – Wednesday – Zagreb – Belgrad (400 km) CROATIA + SERBIA
After breakfast we will head to Serbia and in the afternoon we will arrive to Belgrad, capital of Serbia. Visit the Republic Square, the National theater and the National museum, Bohemian Quarter (Skadarlija), the oldest part of Belgrade with Ottoman heritage, the oldest residential house and museum of Serbian language, the only mosque in the city, Kalemegdan park, Belgrade fortress, „Victor“ the most famous symbol of Belgrade, the confluence of the Sava and the Danube rivers, Saborna church, and Knez Mihailova street. Overnight in a 4* hotel in Belgrad.
Day 13 – Thursday – Belgrad – Novi Sad – Budapest (400 km) SERBIA + HUNGARY
After breakfast , departure to Budapest with a stop in Novi Sad where we will visit Zmaj Jovina Street, the promenade of Novi Sad and obligatory sight for any tourists, not least for the ornamental Palace of the Orthodox Bishop. We will see also y – Dunavska, street with its long line of single-storied 19th century houses. The Danube embankment, the Petrovaradin Fortress on the other bank as well as at the sights and stories about the troubled bridges of Novi Sad. In the evening we will arrive to Budapest ,`´ The Queen of Danube “ , capital of Hungary . Free time and overnight in a 4* hotel in Budapest.
Day 14 – Friday – Budapest HUNGARY
After breakfast , full day dedicated to Budapest in wich we will get a comprehensive look at Budapest’s top attractions on a 4-hour guided tour of the city. See the iconic statues of Heroes’ Square and drive along Andrássy Avenue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your guide will also take you past St. Stephen’s Basilica, Dohány Street Synagogue and the beautiful Castle District in Buda, discussing the unique stories behind each landmark as you go. To continue seeing the sights from the water, you will have a scenic, 1-hour river cruise along the Danube.
Day 15: Budapest – Arad – Timisoara
Departure from your hotel in Budapest at 09.00 a.m. We will visit the city of Arad after we enter in Romania where we will see the impressive white City Hall Palace (1875), the Palace of Culture (1911-1916), the neo-gothic and secessionist-style Red Church (1906), the large, domed Roman Catholic Church (1902-1904) and the neo-classical State Theatre. After lunch we will arrive in the city of Timisoara, a city full of charm and distinct architectural style thanks to many influences from the turks, serbians, Austrians , germans , ecc , that will become European Capital of Culture in 2019. Overnight in a central located 4* hotel.
Day 16: Timisoara – Corvini’s Castle – Alba Iulia – Sibiu
In the morning we will visit the most important gothic Castle from Eastern Europe: The Corvini’s Castle and later the city where Romania was Born in 1918: Alba Iulia. In the evening arrival in Sibiu, one of the most beautiful medieval city of Romania and a magical city steeped in an atmosphere of another era, which in 2007 was the European cultural capital. Overnight in the old town in a 4* hotel. (Continental Forum or Ramada)
Day 17: Sibiu – Sighisoara – Brasov
We have breakfast and depart to Sighisoara, “fortress city” also a Unesco monument, which retains its medieval center on the hill of the fortification. Here and also born Vlad Tepes, more known as Count Dracula. You will enjoy also the city of Brasov and visit the Black Church and the oldtown with its typical saxons houses. Brasov is called also Kronstadt “the city of the crown”, and we will take a walking tour of the historical center, enriched by particular civil and religious buildings, such as the Black Church, the largest Gothic church in Romania, the Council House from the fifteenth century, the Gates Schei and Ecaterina. Overnight in a 3* hotel close to the old town (Hotel Kolping or similar).
Day 18: Brasov – Bran – Sinaia – Bucharest
We have breakfast and depart to visit the famous Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle) built between 1377 and 1382 on a large rock. But the castle owes especially its fame to the legend associated with the figure of Vlad Tepes. After the visit of Dracula’s Castle we will departure to Sinaia, where will be visiting the Peles Castle, considered among the most beautiful in Europe. Peles Castle may be considered the castle of Records: – was the first building of its kind to have since the construction of central heating and elevator – in the hall of the theater commissioned by Queen was presented for the first time in Romania a film.
In the afternoon we will arrive in Bucharest. Overnight in a 4* modern hotel in the city center (Hotel Novotel).
Day 19: Bucharest
Visit to the Parliament Building, the second largest building of the world after the Pentagon in the United States and the old town. You will also enjoy a visit of the Village Museum, an open-air museum that conserve typical houses from all over Romania.
- Overnight in 3/4 * Hotel with breakfast included as indicated in the itinerary
- Entrance fees to museums
- All breakfasts included
- Transport by minibus / coach with air conditioning
- Guide in English that will accompany the group for the duration of the trip
Services not included:
- Photo/Video fees where applicable
- Meals other that the ones indicated in “Services included”
- Anything not expressly indicated under “Included services”