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On this tour we have combined Romania and Bulgaria with 2 of our most popular 3 day breaks in each country. You also have the option to start in Bucharest or Sofia on this privately guided customized tour.
Starting off on the Trail of Dracula in Transylvania. On this part of the tour your guide will take you to sights in Romania relating to the Legend of Dracula. From his real castle of Poenari, to his birthplace town Sighisoara, and his fictional castle in Bran. We have also included some must see sights along the way such as the medieval town of Brasov, Peles Palace in Sinaia, Snagov Lake and a short stay in Bucharest.
Moving onto Ancient Bulgaria to meet your local tour guide who will take you on a journey through this old country. First stop is in Veliko Turnovo where you will get a chance to discover this great medieval fortress. Next stop of the tour is Plovdiv which is another town from the middle ages with old houses from the Bulgarian Revival period (18th - 19th century). Here we will visit its ancient amphitheatre from the Roman times. On the way to Sofia we will stop to see the Rila Monastery; the largest in the country. Located next to nature and the mountains this wonderful piece of architecture is one of Bulgaria's most important cultural attraction.
See the "Day by Day Itinerary" for more details...
The Dracula's Romania and Ancient Bulgaria Tour
Day by Day Itinerary:
ROUTING: BUCHAREST - CURTEA DE ARGES - POIENARI - BRAN - BRASOV
- Depart from Bucharest in the morning. First stop will be at Curtea de Arges, the former second capital of Wallachia. The strongholds rebuilt in the 14th century. See its Princely Church and its frescoed interior which is one of the first examples of Romanian paintings. The Episcopal Church (the monastery) which is a recreation of the original built in 1512 -1517 by prince Neagoe Basarab (rebuilt in 1875 – 1885).
- Then we continue our route to Poienari Castle. Standing on a cliff but now in ruins this is known as the real castle of Vlad the Impaler. To get to the top you must climb up its 1400 steps (takes approx. 1 hour). Once you arrive to the top of the Citadel you will find that the citadel is surprisingly small, one third has collapsed down the mountainside in 1888. Entering through a narrow wooden bridge, you come across the crumbling remains of two towers within; the prism shaped one was Vlad's (Dracula's) residential quarters, from here, according to the legend , The Impaler's wife flung herself out from the window, declaring that better this way than be captured by the Turks, who were besieging the castle. Legend has it that Vlad himself escaped over the mountains on horseback.
- After we go to Bran and visit the famous Bran Castle. Also called Dracula's Castle, 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 became a royal residence. The museum preserve the furniture and objects from that period.
- We end the day in the medieval Saxon city of Brasov
- Evening at your leisure
ACCOMMODATION: Casa Wagner *** or similar
ROUTING: BRASOV - SIGHISOARA - BRASOV
- Brasov is one of the most important cities from Romania and a very powerful medieval citadel during the history. Short tour of the medieval center of Brasov (2 hours) – Concil Square, Black Church, White and Black Towers, Weaver’s Bastion and Ecaterina's Gate.
- Then we cross the beautiful Saxon villages and hills of Transylvania. One can admire the fortified churches from Rotbav, Feldioara, Saschiz and the citadels from Rupea and Saschiz.
- Arrive at Sighisoara, Also called "The Pearl of Transylvania" the old medieval city is include on UNESCO's Word Heritage. The Old Town or the Citadel is the only one still inhabited in Europe - a lost world and still so at the present!
- In 1431, the storey house at Museum Square 6, within the shadow of the old town's Clock Tower, a women whose name is lost to posterity gave birth to a son called Vlad, who in later life earned the title of The Impaler , abroad better known as Dracula, derived from Dracul or the Devil – referring to his father Vlad Dracul, whom the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Hungary made a knight of the order of The Dargon in 1431.
- The Clock Tower, the Church on the Hill, the Scholar’s Stairs, The Monastery Church, the towers of the citadel (originally fourteen), The Shoemakers Town, the Tailor’s Tower, the Tinsmiths Tower are only a few of the marvels of this place called Sighisoara
- Return to Brasov
- Evening at your leisure
- Overnight in Brasov
ACCOMMODATION: Casa Wagner *** or similar
ROUTING: BRASOV - SINAIA - SNAGOV - BUCHAREST
- First stop at Sinaia to 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.
- On the route to Bucharest we’ll go to Snagov, a small village 40 km north of Bucharest, with its beautiful sixteen kilometer long lake; In the centre of the lake is an island occupied by a monastery, built in 1519. The Snagov monastery is situated on the island of the lake with the same name, we have to reach the monastery by crossing the lake by boat (If time and weather permit).
- Visitors come here to see the tomb of Dracula sitting in the front of the church altar. Vlad's murder is believed to have occurred in the forests nearby, where the monks took his body, since both Vlad and his father had both given money to the monastery.
- In the evening arriving at Bucharest
- Overnight in Bucharest
Option A: Berthelot Hotel ****
Option B: Venezia Hotel***
ROUTING: BUCHAREST - GIURGIU (BULGARIAN BORDER) - VELIKO TURNOVO
- Late morning transfer to Bulgarian Border where you will meet the Bulgarian guide. Estimate arriving hour 13.00
- Pick up at Giurgiu – Romanian side of the border
- Cross the border to Bulgaria
- Transfer to Veliko Turnovo
- 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.
- Check-in hotel
Option A: Bolyarski hotel****
Option B: Alegro Hotel***
ROUTING: VELIKO TURNOVO - SHIPKA - PLOVDIV
- Drive to Plovdiv via Shipka Pass.
- On the way entrance to the Outdoor ethnographic museum Etura with its 18th -19th C. crafts.
- Stop at Shipka monument for pictures.
- Visit to the Shipka Memorial church with golden domes.
- 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 in Plovdiv.
Option A: Trimontium Hotel****
Option B: Seven Hills Hotel***
ROUTING: PLOVDIV - RILA - SOFIA
- 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.
- Sightseeing of Sofia - St. Sofia statue, St. George Rotunda, Ruins of Serdica, National Theatre, Russian church, Al. Nevski Cathedral and St. Sofia church.
- Overnight in Sofia
Option A: Hotel Princess****
Option B: Hotel Arte***
- Transfer to the airport and the final good-bye
End of tour services
Prices, Dates & What's Included:
Prices available upon request...
The Tour Includes:
- 6 nights accommodation as described on the itinerary (or similar)
- English-Speaking Specialist driver/guide for the duration of the tour in Romania (3 1/2 days)
- English-Speaking Specialist guide and Private Driver for the duration of the tour in Bulgaria (3 1/2 days)
- Local Taxes
- Entrance fees
- Alcoholic drinks
- Extra charges of hotel, eg. Laundry, telephone or fax charges, room service, etc..
For more details please fill out the Inquire/Book It form which you can access from the button below, and one of our agents will answer you as soon as possible.