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Budapest to Istanbul

Travel on this historic and fascinating route with your own private driver/guide and with all travel, accommodation and sightseeing fully prepaid.

You have a choice of the full 12 day journey from Budapest to Istanbul, or portions of the itinerary as shown below.

Highlights include dinner with villagers in Transylvania, a dinner and folklore show in Sofia, dinner at a traditional restaurant in Veliko Tarnova in Bulgaria and visits to medieval towns and UNESCO sites and Transylvania - home to the Count Dracula legend.

Tour type   Privately Escorted Tour
Departs   Daily  (tailored to suit) 01 Jan - 31 Dec

Start/End Point


  a. 11 nights Budapest to Istanbul  
b. 06 nights Budapest to Bucharest
c. 05 nights Bucharest to Istanbul  

Day 1

  Budapest - Cluj Napoca
Meet your driver/guide and travel to Oradea in romania for lunch and sightseeing.  See the Roman Catholic Cathedral and Oradea Fortress dating from 1241.

Day 2





Cluj Napoca -Sighisoara
After a sightseeing tour of Cluj, drive on to visit Salina Turda - a mine producing table salt since the Middle Ages.  Continue to Transylvania and the spectacular and mysterious Sighisoara built in the 12th century and the best preserved medical citadel in Europe.  You'll stay within the ancient walls and have the chance to dine in the 15th century house where Vlad Dracula was born!.  Overnight in Sighisoara.  (B)


Day 3



Your morning sightseeing includes the Clock Tower Museum and the Church on the Hill.  After lunch visit the village of Biertan and the fortified church.  Later drive to the Transylvania Saxon village of Malancrav restored by Prince Charles.  There visit an organic farm and enjoy dinner at a villager's home.  Overnight in Sighisoara.  (B,D)


Day 4




Sighisoara - Brasov
This morning drive to Bran Castle - often called Dracula's Castle.  Built in 1378 as a toll station it has a dramatic fairytale appearance, but little connection with Vlad Tepes (Dracula).  Later travel to medieval Brasov where your sightseeing includes the Town Hall Square, Black Church and the first Romanian school.  Overnight Brasov. (B)

Day 5


Brasov - Bucharest
First drive to Sinaia to visit Peles Castle - the former summer home of Romania's royal family, and later the ancient Sinaia Monastery founded in 1695.  Arrive late afternoon in Bucharest  at your central hotel.  (B)


Day 6



Enjoy a comprehensive private morning sightseeing tour of Bucharest, often called the "Paris of the East".  You'll also visit the worlds second largest building, the amazing Palace of the Parliament.  Your afternoon and evening is free. (B)

Day 7


Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo
Meet your Bulgarian driver/guide and cross the Danube to arrive at Ivanovo to see the UNESCO listed rock hewn churches and Archangel Michael Rock Monastery.  Then travel to the old Bulgarian capital.  (B)

Day 8

Veliko Tarnovo
Your city tour includes the medieval fortress of Tsarevets Hill, the Patriarchal Church and a visit to the Royal Palace.  Later travel to nearby Arbanassi to visit the Church of the Nativity.  Tonight you dine at a traditional restaurant on typical Bulgarian dishes. (B,D)

Day 9




Veliko Tarnovo - Sofia
Travel to Etar for a guided tour of the Open Air Museum of Old Crafts, then to Kazanlak to visit the famous UNESCO listed Thracian Tomb dating from the 4th century BC.  Continue to the Bulgarian capital and your first class central hotel.  Overnight Sofia. (B)


Day 10



Today visit the famous 10th century Rila Monastery with its lavish collection of precious old manuscripts, icons, jewellery, masterpieces of woodcarving, ethnographic exhibition of fabrics and carpets.  Continue on to Boyana Church to see the frescoes dating from 1259.  Tonight you will have a dinner and folklore show.  Overnight Sofia. (B,D)

Day 11


  Sofia - Plovdiv
Morning sightseeing tour before driving to Plovdiv where sightseeing includes a guided tour of the Old Town, the impressive ancient Roman theatre and St. Constantine and Helena Cathedral.  Overnight in Plovdiv. (B)

Day 12



Plovdiv - Istanbul
After entering Turkey stop for lunch at the ancient city of Edime, formerly Adrianople, named after the Roman Emperor Hadrian.  Visit the UNESCO listed 16th century Selimiye Mosque and then travel on to Istanbul - arriving late afternoon. (B)



  * 11 nights accommodation with breakfast in 3 & 4 star hotels
* Transport by modern private A/C car including all fuel, road & parking taxes
* Romania - dinner with villagers in malancrav, Transylvania
* Bulgaria - dinner in a traditional restaurant in Veliko Tarnovo and a folklore show in Sofia
* Professional English speaking driver/guide throughout
* Sightseeing and entrances as listed in itinerary.


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