From pastoral countryside to forbidding forests and fairytale villages, this tour from Budapest to Istanbul is definitely the road less travelled, but absolutely a worthy adventure to take. Over 13 days, you’ll explore the weathered architecture of Budapest, grand Ottoman palaces, “Dracula’s Castle” in Transylvania, and much more. With an intriguing combination of cultural colour and exploration, you’ll come away with a real feel for this lesser-explored corner of Europe.
Day 1 Budapest
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Budapest/Sighișoara (1B)
Enjoy an orientation walk of Budapest to get a feel for this charming city. Opt to spend free time visiting Buda Castle, wandering the streets of Pest, or soaking in a thermal bath. This evening, visit a G Adventures-supported social enterprise cafÉ and enjoy a farewell drink, before boarding an overnight train to Sighișoara.
Day 3 Sighișoara
Head to the enchanting town of Sighișoara. 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. Visit charming Brasov.
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)
Enjoy the morning in the medieval town of Veliko Tarnovo. In the afternoon, visit the hilltop village of Arbanasi. Soak in the views over Veliko Tarnovo.
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 evening bus to Istanbul.
Day 12 Istanbul
Enjoy a city tour with a local Turkish guide. Opt to visit the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, Aya Sofya, and the Topkapı Palace.
Day 13 Istanbul (1B)
Depart at any time.
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