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The Grand UNESCO Tour of Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria

Tour ID: 1078
Tour Theme: Historic and Cultural Tours
Countries: Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria
Duration: 20 Days / 19 Nights
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Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1:
ROUTING: BUDAPEST
- Upon arrival your private driver will transfer you to your hotel
- Check in hotel
- Folklore show with dinner
- Return in the evening
- Overnight in Budapest
ACCOMMODATION: OPTION A: HOTEL**** / OPTION B: HOTEL***
D


Day 2:
ROUTING: BUDAPEST
- Breakfast in the hotel.
- 3-hour-long city tour and Parliament visit. Erzsebet Square, Opera House, Heroes Square/Millenium Memorial (photostop), downtown, Erzsebet Bridge, panorama view to the banks of the River Danube with famous public buildings, panorama view from Gellert Hill (photostop), walk in the Castle district, Matthias Church (outside), Fishermen Bastion, panorama view to the city, Margit Bridge.
- Visit the House of Parliament: first outside then inside the impressive building with its magnificent neogothic chambers and staircases, the home of the Hungarian Holy Crown. The program ends in front of the House of Parliament. (Note: this tour maybe changed to a city tour by boat, inquire for details)
- Rest of the day at your leisure
- Overnight in Budapest
ACCOMMODATION: OPTION A: HOTEL**** / OPTION B: HOTEL***
B


Day 3:
ROUTING: BUDAPEST - LAKE BALATON - BUDAPEST
- Breakfast in the hotel.
- Lake Balaton - Herend. Starting from Erzsebet square this is an excursion to the Herend porcelain art that is famous throughout Europe. After a guided tour in the world largest porcelain manufactory (founded in 1826), coffee-break in the Porcelanium. Shopping, then drive to Lake Balaton and enjoy the beautiful nature of Tihany Peninsula. Visit the Abbey that was founded in 1051. 3-course-lunch with wine in a csarda. Drive to Balatonfured, walk round the nice spa-centre. The tour ends in Budapest city centre.
- Rest of the day at your leisure
- Overnight in Budapest
ACCOMMODATION: OPTION A: HOTEL**** / OPTION B: HOTEL***
B


Day 4:
ROUTING: BUDAPEST - ESZTERGOM - VISEGRAD - SZENTENDRE - BUDAPEST
- Breakfast in the hotel.
- Danube Bend tour: Esztergom-Visegrad-Szentendre (9 - 10 hours approx.). Starting from Erzsebet square visit three towns of archbishops, kings and artists. Esztergom: the oldest Hungarian Royal Residence and ecclesiastic centre. Visit the Basilica. Visegrad: unique panorama view from the Citadel and 3-course-lunch with wine in a nice restaurant. Szentendre: walk round the Mediterranean-like town then visit the Caprice Hungarian jewellery museum including multimedia presentation, factory visit and jewellery exhibition. The tour ends in Budapest city centre.
- Overnight in Budapest
ACCOMMODATION: OPTION A: HOTEL**** / OPTION B: HOTEL***
B


Day 5:
ROUTING: BUDAPEST - SZENTENDRE - BUDAPEST
- Breakfast in the hotel.
- Tour to the Romantic Szentendre
Szentendre is located along the River Danube with hills in the background attracts residents and visitors for ages. Thanks to the Serb refugees settled here in the last centuries still retains the Mediterranean townscape, Orthodox churches and Cyrillic-inscribed monuments. The town's baroque appearance has been preserved. Artists discovered this picturesque village in the 1920s and turned it into an art colony. Visit the unique museums of the town: Margit Ceramic Museum and Marcipan Museum. A cup of coffee and biscuits will be offered in a nice confectionery. Free time for shopping.
- Rest of the day at your leisure
- Overnight in Budapest
ACCOMMODATION: OPTION A: HOTEL**** / OPTION B: HOTEL***
B


Day 6:
ROUTING: BUDAPEST - PUSZTA - BUDAPEST
- Breakfast in the hotel.
- 09:00AM: The romantic Hungarian Plain/Puszta horse-show (8 hours approx.). Starting from Erzsebet square this is an excursion to the Hungarian Puszta. The program starts with a short walk in Kecskemet, in the so-called Famous Town. Then journey to a farm in the Puszta. Stud-farm visit, horse-show and carriage drive. Typical Hungarian 3-course-lunch with wine and gipsy music in a Csarda. The tour ends in Budapest city centre
- Rest of the day at your leisure
- Overnight in Budapest
ACCOMMODATION: OPTION A: HOTEL**** / OPTION B: HOTEL***
B


Day 7:

ROUTING: BUDAPEST - CLUJ-NAPOCA
- Breakfast
- Take a train to Cluj, train times are below...
Budapest-Keleti pu. 08:43 - Cluj-Napoca 16:40 (Duration 6:57)
Budapest-Keleti pu. 13:43 - Cluj-Napoca 21:33 (Duration 6:50)
Budapest-Keleti pu. 17:43 - Cluj-Napoca 01:38 (Duration 6:55)
- Upon arrival to Cluj your English-speaking driver/guide will pick you up from the train station
- Overnight in Cluj
ACCOMMODATION:
Option A: City Plaza ****
Option B: City Central ***
B


Day 8:
ROUTING: CLUJ-NAPOCA - CAVNIC
- Breakfast
- Tour of Cluj-Napoca; one of the oldest cities from Romania, its origins came fron the ancient times of Roman Empire when the city was named "Napoca". Visit the center of the city with the St Michael's Cathedral, The Orthodox Cathedral, Romanian Opera, Born House of Matei Corvin (Mathias Corvinus) the former king of Hungary, the "Cetăţuia" with its wonderful panorama of the city.
- Depart to Cavnic (approx 2 hours)
- Overnight
ACCOMMODATION:
Option A: Secret Garden Hotel***
Option B: 3 stars pension
B


Day 9:
ROUTING: CAVNIC - BAIA MARE - DESESTI - SIGHET - VISEU
- Breakfast.
- Depart from Cluj to the north to visit Maramures County, the land of traditions and wooden churches.
- First stop at Desesti in order to visit the local wodden church (UNESCO). Than go to Sapanta and visit the famous Merry Cemetery, truly one of the most unique sites in Europe. It is famous for its colourful tombstones with native paintings describing, in an original and poetic manner, the persons that are buried there as well as scenes from their lives. The Merry Cemetery became an open-air museum and a national tourist attraction.
- Next we are to The Birsana church , built in 1720 , listed on UNESCO Heritage List , with the florid paintings , the best in Maramures and the Barsana Monastery (UNESCO ) a large monastic complex comprising of several wooden buildings, all constructed in the local style , including the wooden church . The Gate Tower is the higher wooden building from Europe.
- At Ieud we can visit the oldest wodden church made in to the 14-een century (UNESCO). Don’t miss the The Maramures’s Woman Museum from Dragomiresti, where you can learn about maramuresean traditions and way of live.
- Overnight in Viseu
ACCOMMODATION:
Option A: Gabriela Hotel***
Option B: 2 stars hotel/pension
B


Day 10:
ROUTING: VISEU/BORSA - MOLDOVITA - HUMOR - VORONET / GURA HUMORULUI
-
Breakfast
- Today we’ll visit some of the World famous Painted Monasteries
- Sucevita : the last and the most magnificent monastic achievement among the painted monasteries in Bucovina , looks as a real fortress, with towers, buttresses and watch roads. Built in 1581, by one bishop, it was dedicated to the Assumption in 1584. Paintings of the Sucevita monastery were best preserved both on the outside and on the inside( Ladder of Virtue, the last Judgment, the tree of Jesse,)
- Moldovita (UNESCO): dates back from 1532 and is due to the ruling prince Petru Rares
It has the aspect of a fortress, with imposing towers and high, thick walls. The church has a three-cusped plan, as well as an open porch. It Is decorated with scenes from the 16th c Moldavian life. You can see here the best preserved frescoes, with fresh and vivid colors
- Humor (UNESCO) : dates from 1530, this monastery was among the first churches to be painted , the frescoes were painted in 1535. Humor is painted in reddish brown ( from oriental madder pigment), colors are brilliant and truthful to nature

- Overnight in Gura Humorului or Vornet
ACCOMMODATION:
Option A: Hilde's Residence****
Option B: 3 stars pension
B


Day 11:
ROUTING: VORONET/GURA HUMORULUI - TARGU NEAMT - BRASOV
-
Breakfast.
- Starting the day with a visit at Voronet Monastery and than depart to Brasov stoping on the route for visits at Neamt Monastery and Neamt Citadel.
- Voronet Monastery (UNESCO) : founded in 1488 by Stephen the Great . It is the most accomplished sample of artistic achievement in Moldavian architecture and painting . The doors of the porch have a Renaissance framing, whereas the stone carvings of the broken arches at the doors and windows belong to the Gothic style. Voronet Monastery had been dubbed the oriental Sistine Chapel , whereas Voronet Blue , a color obtained from lapis lazuli, entered in the lexicon of art alongside Titian red and Veronese green, and to this day has yet to be reproduced by natural means.
- Neamt Monastery, one of the oldest and most important of its kind in Romania. It was built in 14th century, and it is an example of medieval moldavian architecture.
- Arrive in Brasov in the evening.
- Overnight in Brasov
ACCOMMODATION:
Option A: Casa Wagner***
Option B: Flamingo Guesthouse***
B


Day 12:
ROUTING: BRASOV - SINAIA - BRAN - RASNOV - BRASOV
-Breakfast.
- Today we will explore the region of castles and citadels.
- First stop at Sinaia and visit the Peles Castle, former summer residence of the kings of Romania, the Peles Castle is 44 kilometres far from Brasov, in Sinaia, a well-known mountain resort as well. Nowadays the Castle is one of the most important museums in Transylvania where one can admire furniture and ornamental objects, carpets, tapestry, sculptures, paintings, collections of weapons from the 15th up to the19th centuries.
- Continuing the journey to Bran and visit the famous Bran Castle. Also called Dracula`s Castle, it is situated not far from Brasov (25 kilometres) at the entrance in the Bran - Rucar passage. The castle got its fame from Dracula`s legend written in 1897 by Bram Stoker and later on made into a film by Francis Ford Coppola.. The first documents about the Bran Castle appeared in 1377. Along the history, the Castle had a strategic mission being the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. First it was under the rule of the King of Hungary Sigismund of Luxemburg, of the Romanian voievodes Mircea cel Batran and Vlad Tepes and later on it came under the jurisdiction of the City of Brasov. In the XX century the castle was donated to the royal family and becamed a royal residence. The museum preserve the furniture and objects from that period.
- Last stop at Rasnov Fortress. Built in 1331, the Fortress had a defence role and it was a shelter for the inhabitants of Rasnov in case of enemy attacks.
In the middle of the courtyard there is a well 146 metres deep and the ruins of an 11th - 12th century - Orthodox church were discovered here. Nowadays the Fortress houses an interesting museum
- Return to hotel
- Overnight in Brasov
ACCOMMODATION:
Option A: Casa Wagner***
Option B: Flamingo Guesthouse***
B


Day 13:
ROUTING: BRASOV - PREJMER - SIGHISOARA - SIBIU
-
Breakfast
- Begin our day with a short tour of the magic medieval center of Brasov (2 hours) - Concil Square, Black Church, White and Black Towers, Weaver’s Bastion and Ecaterina’s Gate.
- Then we go to Preajmer a village near Brasov for a visit at the Prejmer fortified church - the biggest fortress of its kind from East Europe built in the 14th century. The fortress has double walls and dungeons. Inside its walls there is a church, but the interesting thing here is the honeycomb like inner wall. Every family had one small room for sheltering in case the village was attacked.
- Then onto Sighisoara (UNESCO), also caled "The Pearl of Transylvania" a wonderful medieval city where you can stil enjoy the medieval atmosphere. Short walking in Sighisoara and visits at Clock Tower and History Museum, Birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, Covered Stairs, Church on the Hill, etc..
- End the day in Sibiu
- Overnight ACCOMMODATION:
Option A: Hotel Ramada Sibiu ****
Option B: Zorba Pension ****
B


Day 14:
ROUTING: SIBIU - COZIA - HOREZU - BUCHAREST
-
Breakfast.
- In the morning visit the Old Center of Sibiu. Sibiu was the European Capital of Culture in 2007. The Big Square, the Small Square, the Ursuline Church, The Franciscan Church, The staircase Tower, the Tanners Tower, the Lier’s Bridge , the House of the Butcher’s Guild and Bruckenthal Museum are the most important sights.
- Leaving Sibiu we’ll cross Carpathians Mountains through the beautiful Olt River Valley. One can admire the amazing landscapes of the mountains.
- In our way a stop for a visit at Cozia Monastery, which is set in one of the most picturesque of the many carpathian landscapes which are the pride of Oltenia, this immense repository of such monuments.
- Than after a short detour to visit the Monastery of Horezu was founded in 1690 by Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu in the town of Horezu, Wallachia, Romania. It is considered to be a masterpiece of "Brâncovean" style, known for its architectural purity and balance, the richness of its sculpted detail, its treatment of religious compositions, its votive portraits, and its painted decorative works. The town of Horezu is well known for its people who make pottery and present it at an annual fair. There are special traditions which have been well preserved .
- End the day in Bucharest.
- Overnight
ACCOMMODATION:
Option A: Berthelot Hotel****
Option B: Venezia Hotel***
B


Day 15:
ROUTING: BUCHAREST - GIURGIU (BULGARIAN BORDER) - VELIKO TURNOVO
- Breakfast in Hotel
- In the morning a panoramic tour of Bucharest the capital of Romania. Highlights: Village Museum, Peasant Museum, Parliament Palace – the second largest building from the world, Royal Palace, Revolutin Square, Historical center.
- Then transfer to Bulgarian Border where you will meet the Bulgarian guide.
- Pick up at Giurgiu – Romanian side of the border approx. at 1 p.m.
- Cross the border to Bulgaria
- Drive to the Rock monasteries by Ivanovo, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List
- Check-in hotel
- Overnight.
ACCOMMODATION:
Option A: Hotel ****
Option B: Hotel***
B


Day 16:
ROUTING: VELIKO TURNOVO
- Breakfast
- After breakfast – sightseeing of Veliko Turnovo - the ancient capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (12th -14th C.), picturesquely situated on the hills at the banks of the meandering river Jantra. Visit of the medieval fortress of Tsarevets hill and of Samovodska charshiya - handy craft street.
- Sightseeing of Arbanassi – 17th C. fortified village with entrance to Konstanzaliev’s house (17th C.) and Jesus Christ’s Nativity Church which interior is covered in frescos depicting 2000 scenes.
- Overnight
ACCOMMODATION:
Option A: Hotel ****
Option B: Hotel***
B


Day 17:
ROUTING: VELIKO TURNOVO - SHIPKA - PLOVDIV
- Breakfast
- Drive to Plovdiv via Shipka Pass.
- Visit to the Shipka Memorial church with golden domes.
- Visit to the Thracian tomb in Kazanlak, UNESCO World Heritage monument
- Arrival in Plovdiv in the afternoon. Walking in the old part of the town with beautiful old houses from the Bulgarian Revival period (18th – 19th C.).
- Entrance to the St. Konstantin and Elena church and to the Roman Theatre.
- Overnight at 3-star hotel in Plovdiv.
ACCOMMODATION:
Option A: Hotel ****
Option B: Hotel***
B


Day 18:
ROUTING: PLOVDIV - RILA - SOFIA
- Breakfast
- Departure to Rila Monastery across the magnificent nature of the Rila and Rhodope Mountains.
- Stop at winter resort Borovets.
- Visit of the largest and one of the oldest Bulgarian monasteries (10th C.), included in the UNESCO World Heritage List with medieval defense tower from the 14th C. and fine frescoes.
- Departure to the capital Sofia. Overnight at 3-star hotel in Sofia.
- Overnight in Sofia
ACCOMMODATION:
Option A: Hotel ****
Option B: Hotel***
B


Day 19:
ROUTING: SOFIA
- Breakfast
- Sightseeing on foot of the capital town – St. Sofia statue, St. Petka church, St. George Rotunda, Ruins of Serdica, National Theater, Russian church, Al. Nevski Cathedral and St. Sofia church.
- Continue the sightseeing of Sofia – entrance to Boyana Church (UNESCO site) and National History museum or trip to Vitosha Mountain. Overnight as the same hotel.
- Overnight in Sofia
ACCOMMODATION:
Option A: Hotel****
Option B: Hotel***
B


Day 20:
ROUTING: SOFIA
- Breakfast
- Transfer to the airport and the final good-bye
B


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