Discover once and for all what it really means to cross from west to east on this 28-day rail tour from Budapest to Tehran. Stroll the streets of Budapest, chug along through the incredible Romanian countryside, gaze upwards at the dome of Aya Sofia in ancient Istanbul, and then explore the main cities of Iran and wonder how it is you didn’t make it here sooner. Your expert CEOs know just where to take you to make the most of your introduction to this part of the world.
Day 1 Budapest
Arrive at any time. We recommend booking pre-accommodation to fully explore this breathtaking city.
Day 2 Budapest/Sibiu (1B)
Enjoy an orientation walk of Budapest to get a feel for this westernized city with eastern charm. Opt to spend free time visiting Buda Castle, wandering the streets of Pest, or soaking in a thermal bath. In the evening, board an overnight train to Sibiu.
Day 3 Sibiu/Sighișoara
Arrive in the enchanting town of Sighisoara. Use your free time here to explore the cobblestone streets and medieval architecture.
Day 4 Sighișoara/Braşov (1B)
With a local guide, venture into the Romanian countryside to visit traditional villages. Get a true sense of life in this less-visited region. Transfer to charming Braşov.
Day 5 Braşov (1B)
Visit the picturesque Bran Castle and learn the history (and rumours) of this fascinating place.
Day 6 Braşov/Bucharest (1B)
Travel to Bucharest and enjoy an orientation walk. Take time to explore the Soviet-esque architecture, the beautiful cathedral, or indulge in Bucharest’s international cuisine.
Day 7 Bucharest/Veliko Tarnovo (1B)
Enjoy some free time to explore more of Bucharest in the morning before travelling to Bulgaria and one of the oldest cities in the world, Veliko Tarnovo. Wander the medieval town, visit the museums, or sample your first taste of Bulgarian cuisine.
Day 8 Veliko Tarnovo (1B)
Hike to the hilltop village of Arbanasi. Soak in the views over Veliko Tarnovo. Opt to go mountain biking or view the murals at the Church of the Nativity.
Day 9 Veliko Tarnovo/Sofia (1B)
Travel to Sofia and take an orientation walk of the capital city. Later, wander down the pedestrian street or visit the eclectic Ladies’ Market.
Day 10 Sofia/Plovdiv (1B)
Travel to Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second-largest city. Visit the hilly old town, museums, or the Theatre of Ancient Philippopolis, one of the many Roman ruins found here.
Day 11 Plovdiv/Istanbul (1B)
Spend the day exploring more of Plovdiv before boarding an overnight bus to Istanbul.
Day 12 Istanbul
Arrive at any time.
Day 13 Istanbul/Ankara (1B)
Enjoy an orientation walk around Istanbul before moving on to the capital city of Ankara.
Day 14 Ankara/GÖreme (1B, 1D)
Visit Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal AtatÜrk, before driving to the Cappadocia region. Enjoy a home-cooked dinner with a local family.
Day 15 GÖreme (1B)
Enjoy an included visit to the GÖreme Open Air Museum before free time to explore this unique region. Opt to see it from above on a hot air balloon ride.
Day 16 GÖreme/Tatvan (1B)
Enjoy one more morning in Cappadocia before driving to nearby Kayseri. Board an overnight train for Eastern Turkey.
Day 17 Tatvan/Van
Arrive to Tatvan and board a ferry for the scenic ride€ross Lake Van. Arrive to the other side and the town of Van in the afternoon.
Day 18 Van
Enjoy a day trip to Mt Ararat with a visit to the Ishak Pasha Palace.
Day 19 Van
Use a full day here to enjoy Lake Van. Drive to Gevas for a short cruise to Ahtamara Island to visit a beautiful Armenian Church. Opt to swim at the local beach.
Day 20 Van/Tehrān
Enjoy another day in the Van area with a visit to the Van Castle. Board the Trans-Asia train in the evening for the journey to Tehran.
Day 21 Tehrān
Spend the day absorbing the scenery from the train, arriving into Tehran in the evening.
Day 22 Tehrān/Shiraz (1B)
Explore Tehran with a local guide, visiting the Sa’d Abad Palace and National Jewel Museum before boarding an evening train to Shiraz.
Day 23 Shiraz (1L, 1D)
Arrive in Shiraz in the late morning. Spend the day visiting the Karim Khan Citadel, Vakil Mosque, and the tombs of Hafez and Sa’adi.
Day 24 Shiraz (1B)
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Persepolis, the ceremonial palace of Darius, and admire its amazingly well-preserved carvings. Later, wander the streets and mingle with the students in laid-back Shiraz.
Day 25 Shiraz/Isfahan (1B)
Stop at the Koran Gate and the UNESCO-listed Pasargadae complex en route to Isfahan, one of the finest Islamic cities in the world.
Day 26 Isfahan/Tehrān (1B)
Tour the beautiful city of Isfahan, enjoying the famous square, mosques, and bartering at the bazaar. Hang out on the many bridges that make Isfahan unique, or shop for an authentic Persian rug. In the evening, board a final overnight train to Tehran.
Day 27 Tehrān
Arrive early and enjoy a final day of sightseeing in the busy capital of Tehran. Visit Golestan Palace, the National Museum, and the Carpet Museum.
Day 28 Tehrān (1B)
Depart at any time.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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