Join company President Norman Bruce for this special one time only tour travelling from the Hungarian plain through the mountains of Transylvania to the Black Sea Coast. Our next tour to this region will be June 2018: Croatia Cruise with Slovenia and Bosnia
EASTERN EUROPE Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria.
September 14- October 6 2017 (23 Days)
LAND TOUR: $6,395 Canadian Starts in Budapest, Hungary and ends in Sofia, Romania
AIRFARE: approx $1,500 Canadian. Departing Vancouver BC to Budapest Hungary, returning from Sofia, Romania including arrival & departure transfers if arriving & departing on our group tour dates.
NOTE: You do NOT have to come to Vancouver to join the tour please contact us for a quote to depart other cities
In antiquity this region had many Greek and Roman colonies, as well as its own Slavic cultures. Later, this area was divided between the Catholic Hapsburg Empire, Orthodox Russia Empire and Muslim Ottoman Empire – as well as having many Protestant German-speaking communities and a large Jewish population. We learn about the region’s 20th Century history. When the 3 major empires collapsed after the First World War, these countries eventually became part of the Nazi Empire and then became satellite states under the control of the Soviet Union until the collapse of the Communist Empire in 1989. Today these independent countries – diverse in religion, language and culture – are struggling forward, trying to reconcile their deep traditions with their modern European aspirations. On this tour we enjoy beautiful mountain scenery, open plains, the Black Sea coastline, sophisticated cities and gorgeous walled towns with their cobbled lanes & historic buildings. We see many UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Budapest Sightseeing: We recognise that some of our travellers will have already visited Budapest as part of a Danube River cruise – so we have NOT included any sightseeing in the city. However, our tour can be extended with an extra day of sightseeing in Budapest before our main tour begins. See details at the end of our tour itinerary (under October 6) .
( Max 20 people - there are 2 spaces available)
Thurs Sept 14th We fly from North America overnight to Budapest, arriving the next day.
Fri Sept 15th Budapest (HUNGARY)
Today we arrive in Hungary's capital and transfer to our hotel. First of 2 nights in Budapest. President Hotel or similar. Dinner, if arriving in time.
Sat Sept 16th Budapest – Royal Residence – Budapest
Budapest sits majestically on both sides of the Danube River, the second longest river in Europe. We drive north to Godollo and visit the second largest Baroque palace in the world (after Versailles) – Grassalkovich Palace. Our tour through the chateau and gardens (weather permitting) gives us a glimpse of royal life in the last years of the Hapsburg Empire. We see the Grand Hall resplendent in white and gold, richly painted rooms, red marble bathrooms, conservatory, huge riding school, Baroque theatre and large park. On our way back to Budapest we stop in the artist's village of Szentendre, which sits at the meeting place of the River Danube and the Pilis Mountains. We walk around the town and up the narrow streets to the panorama point overlooking the Danube. You have time to go shopping or to visit the Margit Kovacs Ceramic Museum or the Confectionery Museum, with its buildings and people made of marzipan. We return to Budapest for a dinner cruise on the Danube. This is a wonderful way to see the two parts of the city (Buda and Pest) lit up at night. Second of 2 nights in Budapest. President Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner Cruise.
Sun Sept 17th Budapest – Gyor – Fertod
We drive west to the beautiful Baroque and Neo-classical town of Győr. Known as the “City of Rivers”, Gyor sits at the confluence of the Danube, Raba and Rabca rivers. After Budapest, Gyor has the second richest collection of historic buildings and has won many European awards for the protection of its historic buildings. We take a walking tour in the city centre to see churches, palaces, museums, characteristic corner-balconies and narrow lanes. Romantic cobbled stone streets surround the former castle, which was later converted into the Bishop’s Palace. We continue to Fertod and visit Eszterhazy Castle, often called the “Hungarian Versailles.” This is Hungary's grandest Rococo edifice, with 126 rooms, including the Banquet Room which has a painting of Apollo in his chariot on its ceiling. From 1766 to 1790, the estate was the home of the celebrated composer Joseph Haydn, who wrote the majority of his symphonies for the Prince's orchestra here. Overnight in Sopron. Pannonia Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Mon Sept 18th Austrian border – Lake Balaton.
Sopron is one of Hungary's most beautiful Baroque towns - the winner of the Europa Nostra prize because of its wealth of historical monuments and their excellent state of protection. Situated close to the Austrian border at the foot of the Alps, Sopron is surrounded by pine woods and vineyards producing fine wines. We take a walking tour to see the so-called “Goat Church”, once the site of coronations and parliamentary sessions. The Holy Trinity Statue is a masterpiece of the Hungarian Baroque. The Gothic houses of the Castle District follow the line of the former castle wall. Later this morning we drive through glorious scenery of extinct volcanoes and rolling hills capped by castles surrounded by vineyards to the world’s largest porcelain factory at Herend, founded in 1826, for a guided tour where we follow step by step how the white clay gets transformed into beautiful, delicate hand-painted porcelain. You can even order your own design! We also visit the museum, which traces the factory’s illustrious history, including grand successes such as Queen Victoria's commission for a set with a special pattern, named after her ever since. This afternoon we drive on to Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe – also known as “the Hungarian Sea.” Our destination this afternoon is Balatonfüred, the oldest spa town in Hungary. We enjoy a walk along the famous Tagore Promenade, lined by old sycamore trees and with a nice view over the lake to the Tihany Peninsula. First of 2 nights in Balatonfured. Hotel Fured or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Tues Sept 19th Lake Balaton + free time
This morning we travel along the north shore of Lake Balaton to the Tihany Peninsula, where we visit the Abbey Church founded in 1055. This marvellous peninsula almost divides the lake in two. The town of Tihany was the winner of the European Village Renewal Award in 2014. From Tihany we drive to Orvenyes to see the oldest watermill in Hungary, dating from the 11th Century. Today we include lunch together. Later this afternoon, when we return to Balatonfured, you are free to enjoy the promenade, public buildings and grand villas from the 19th Century. This evening you are free to try a special restaurant for dinner. Second of 2 nights in Balatonfured. Hotel Fured or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.
Wed Sept 20th Lake Balaton – “Cowboys” – Eger
This morning we drive around the eastern end of Lake Balaton and cross the Danube to enter the Hungarian Plains, known as the Puszta. We make a short stop for a walking tour in Kecskemet, the cultural, economic and administrative centre of the Puszta and the birthplace of composer Zoltan Kodaly. Every day at 11 o’clock the 19th Century City Hall’s bells ring out some of Kodaly’s lovely melodies. Driving out onto the grassy plains we are greeted by traditional Hungarian wagon riders (called ”csikos”) and Hungarian cowboys (called ”gulyas”) with “Barack Palinka” (Apricot Schnapps) and “Pogacsa” (a salty scone). Both the men and the women wear their gorgeous Hungarian folk costumes. The horsemen take us for a carriage ride around the area and invite us to watch a traditional Horse Show. On the ranch we will also see the original breeds of Hungarian farm animals such as grey cows, ”racka” sheep, donkeys, ducks, guinea fowl and hairy mangalitza pigs. We then enjoy a traditional lunch, accompanied by gypsy music. First of 2 nights in Eger. Hotel Korona or similar. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.
Thurs Sept 21st Eger + folk art and wine tasting
The town of Eger is situated in a valley between the Matra and Bukk mountains, We enjoy a panoramic view down over Eger from the medieval castle and take a guided walking tour through the historical centre, including the Turkish baths, the second largest church in Hungary and the library of the 18th Century Lyceum. The 16th Century Turkish minaret was the most northerly minaret in Europe, almost at the limit of Ottoman expansion. Today we include lunch together. This afternoon is free for you to enjoy Eger or you can join our (included) excursion to Mezokovesd. At the Matyo Museum we learn about the disappearing lifestyle of the Matyo ethnic group through their folk costumes, embroidery and folk art. Later this afternoon we visit the Szepasszony Valley, home of “Bull’s Blood” red wine, for a wine tasting. After we return to Eger you have the remainder of this afternoon to enjoy the Old Town. This evening you are free to try a special restaurant for dinner. Second of 2 nights in Eger. Hotel Korona or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.
Fri Sept 22nd Eger (HUNGARY) – Debrecen – Oradea (ROMANIA)
From Eger we descend to the Great Plains again and drive to Debrecen, Hungary’s second biggest city and the cultural, economic and academic centre of the eastern region of Hungary. We see the beautiful pink Paszti Street Orthodox Synagogue, built in 1893. Here we learn about Hungary’s role in Hitler’s empire. From Debrecen we drive the short distance to the Romanian border, where we say good bye to our Hungarian coach, driver and guide. Later this afternoon we take a walking tour of Oradea, first documented in 1113. On our walking tour we see the Church of the Moon, whose clock mechanism features a half-gold, half-black sphere, maintained in perpetual motion, reproducing the phases of the moon. The Zion Neolog Synagogue was dedicated in 1878. At the beginning of the 20th Century 30% of Oradea’s population was Jewish but, like Hungary, Romania was an ally of Nazi Germany. We learn how Romania’s Jews were confined to ghettos and between 280,000 and 380,000 were murdered during the Holocaust. We also see a number of Art Nouveau buildings, such as the Black Eagle Palace and the Opera House. Overnight in Oradea. Hotel Astoria or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Sat Sept 23rd Oradea – Salt Mine – Sighisoara
This morning we drive into the Transylvania region to the city of Cluj Napoca, which is the second most populous city in Romania with 6 state and several private universities, including the country's largest university. In 2015 Cluj-Napoca was European Youth Capital. We visit the main square, dominated by the 15th Century St. Michael's Church. We also see the 18th Century Baroque Banffy Palace, the imposing former residence of the Austro-Hungarian governors. Continue to Turda, where salt was first extracted during Antiquity but was first mentioned in 1075. We take a guided tour of the salt mines, which were closed in 1932 but re-opened in 2010 after a 6 million Euro renovation. Business Insider magazine has voted Turda top of their list of the 10 "coolest underground places in the world." The mines are very accessible and offer all modern facilities. First of 2 nights in Sighisoara. Hotel BinderBubi or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Sun Sept 24th Count Dracula’s birthplace + Gypsies
Many of the towns in this area were founded by Saxons, who were encouraged to immigrate here during the 12th Century, so they have German names as well as Romanian ones. Sighisoara is known as Schassburg in German and is one of the best-preserved Medieval towns in Europe. The name Sighisoara was first noted in a document issued by Vlad Dracul, Vlad the Impaler's father, in 1431. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, this perfectly intact 16th Century gem with 9 towers, cobbled streets, burgher houses and ornate churches rivals the historic streets of Old Prague or Vienna for atmospheric magic. We see the house of Vlad Dracula, also known as Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), ruler of the province of Walachia from 1456 to 1462. It was he who inspired Bram Stoker's fictional creation, Count Dracula. Other highlights include the Clock Tower (the symbol of the city), the Church on the Hill with its 500-year-old frescoes, the 13th Century Venetian House and the Church of the Dominican Monastery. Sighisoara has the only inhabited medieval fortress in Southeast Europe and, according to one version of the story, this is where the Pied Piper brought the children of Hamelin after their ungrateful parents refused to pay him his due. Later this morning we visit a Gypsy (Roma) village, including a visit to a Gypsy home – giving us an opportunity to learn about the language, identity and lifestyle of this much-misunderstood ethnic group. As well as the Jews, Hitler tried to exterminate the gypsies of Europe and murdered about a quarter of a million (about 25% of all the Roma living in German-controlled territories.) Returning to Sighisoara, you have free time to explore more of the town. Today we include lunch together. This evening in Sighisoara you are free to enjoy a special restaurant for dinner. Second of 2 nights in Sighisoara. Hotel BinderBubi or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.
Mon Sept 25th Transylvania
This morning we take a scenic drive through the Saxon Valley of Tarnava to Biertan village, first mentioned in an official document in 1283 and home to the largest fortified church in Transylvania. This was the seat of the Lutheran Bishops and is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We continue south through the Transylvanian countryside to Sibiu, one of the most important cultural centres in Romania which, along with Luxembourg, was European Capital of Culture 2007. The Old City has been ranked "Europe's 8th most idyllic place to live" by Forbes magazine. Later this afternoon we drive to the picturesque village of Sibiel to visit their unique icon-on-glass museum and learn about the technique. We then enjoy a home-hosted dinner with a local family in their home. Overnight in Sibiu. Golden Tulip Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Tues Sept 26th Sibiu – “Dracula’s Castle” – Brasov
This morning you may like to have a relaxed start or you can join us on our (included) tour of the Bruckenthal Museum, opened to the public in 1817 – making it the second oldest art museum in Europe, after the National Gallery in London. Today this beautiful building houses over 14,000 exhibits, which belong to the main European schools of painting from the 15th to the 18th Centuries. Later this morning we drive along the northern foothills of the Transylvanian Alps and cut through the mountains to Bran Castle, also known as “Dracula’s Castle.” Although Bram Stoker never visited Transylvania, the Irish author relied on research and his vivid imagination to create the legend of Count Dracula. The real Prince Vlad Tepes, ruler of Walachia, used Bran Castle as a general headquarters during his incursions into Transylvania. Overnight in Brasov. Belvedere Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Wed Sept 27th Brasov – Royal Palace – Bucharest
Fringed by the peaks of the Southern Carpathian Mountains and resplendent with Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture, we walk through the Old Town to the late Gothic Black Church, the biggest religious building of its kind between Vienna and Istanbul, featuring a collection of precious Turkish rugs. We will also see the first school conducted in the Romanian language and the impressive 1901 synagogue. Later we take a scenic drive south to the mountain town of Sinaia, called “the Pearl of the Carpathians.’’ Sinaia became the unofficial capital of the Kingdom of Romania towards the end of the 19th Century. The famous Orient Express train used to call regularly at Sinaia (and still does twice a year.) We take a guided tour of Peles Castle and Gardens, considered one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe. Driving south to Bucharest we pass Ploiesti, where we learn how critical these oil fields were to the Nazi war machine during WWII. First of 2 nights in Bucharest. Moxa Boutique Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Thurs Sept 28th Bucharest City Tour + free time
Located on the banks of the Dambovita River, the Romanian capital was once called "Little Paris". During our tour we visit the House of the People (Palace of the Parliament), Built between 1984 and 1989, a large portion of the surrounding district was levelled to build this palace. Twelve storeys high with 8-metre ceilings, everything is double the size from any other palace. We enjoy a fine view of central Bucharest from the balconies. We also visit the Spring Palace, where Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena lived the last 25 years of their lives. Here we learn how the Romanian people finally toppled the last Communist dictator in Eastern Europe. On our driving tour of the city we see Revolution Square, the Palace of Justice, the Romanian Athenaeum, the Opera House, the National Military Club, the Military Academy and the Triumphal Arch. Today we include lunch together. Later this afternoon you are free to enjoy the Old Town with its tangle of cobbled streets and alleys which remind visitors of Paris. As an alternative, you might wish to visit the Village Museum - one of the biggest open air museums in Europe with 272 century-old original peasant households from all parts of Romania, which was created in 1936.
This evening you can try a special restaurant at your leisure for dinner. Second of 2 nights in Bucharest. Moxa Boutique Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.
Fri Sept 29th Bucharest (ROMANIA) – Black Sea Coast – Balchik (BULGARIA)
This morning we drive east to the Black Sea Coast, crossing the Danube. The city of Constanta is the largest port on the Black Sea. Legend has it that Jason landed here with the Argonauts after finding the Golden Fleece. Our city tour takes us to the Secession-style Casino, the Genoese Lighthouse, the Museum of National History, the Carol I Mosque, the House with Lions and Ovid's Square featuring an 1887 statue of the Roman poet. In Constanta we change buses and tour guides and head south across the border into Bulgaria. Overnight in Balchik. Regina Maria Hotel & Spa or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Sat Sept 30th Varna – UNESCO carving – Veliko Turnovo
This morning in Balchik we visit the small summer palace of the Romanian queen Maria. The Palace is famous for its botanical gardens. Of the 3,000 species of plants in the gardens, 250 are cacti – making this the second most important collection of cacti in Europe. From Balchik we drive south to Primorski Park, which stretches for 8 kilometres beside Varna’s glorious sandy beach and is said to be the largest of its kind in Europe. We take a driving tour of Bulgaria’s third-largest city, including a visit to the well-preserved ruins of Varna's 2nd Century AD Roman Baths, which are the fourth-largest of their kind in Europe. After lunch we explore the Archaeological Museum – the finest in the country. The collection of bangles, necklaces and earrings is said to be the oldest worked gold in the world, dating from 4,600 BC to 4,200 BC but only discovered in 1972. From the port city of Varna we drive inland to see the “Madara Horseman” – an enormous image of a knight triumphing over a lion which is on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List. First of 2 nights in Veliko Turnovo. Panorama Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Sun Oct 1st Veliko Turnovo + free time
We start our tour of the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185 – 1396) at Tsarevets Royal Hill with the fortress and the Baldwin Tower, where the leader of the 4th Crusade was imprisoned. We see masters pursuing traditional crafts – potters, armourers, coppersmiths, carvers, confectioners, weavers, an icon-painter’s studio, photographers, a café, a workshop where kadaif (a classic Middle Eastern pastry) is made, and a bakery – all in the style of the first decades of the 20th Century. Today we include lunch together. This afternoon is free for you to enjoy Veliko Turnovo or you can join our (included) excursion to Arbanassi museum village, whose 15th Century Church of the Nativity has more than 1,200 frescoes and so is known as the “Sistine Chapel of the Balkans.” After we return to Veliko Turnovo you have the remainder of this afternoon to enjoy the Old Town. This evening you are free to try a special restaurant for dinner. Second of 2 nights in Veliko Turnovo. Panorama Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.
Mon Oct 2nd Veliko Turnovo – Valley of Roses – Plovdiv
This morning we head south and cross the highest part of the Balkan Mountains through the spectacular Shipka Pass. Winding down from the mountains, we stop at Kazanluk, the principal town in “the Valley of Roses”, where 75% of the world’s rose attar was once produced. We visit the Rose Museum to learn about the centuries-old traditions of rose oil production and its modern development.
The area is also known as “the Valley of the Thracian Kings”, due to the numerous archaeological finds from the Thracians, an ancient Indo-European people inhabiting an area that includes over half of modern-day Bulgaria as well as parts of Greece and Turkey. We visit the replica of the world-famous 4th Century BC Thracian tomb – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with beautiful murals. First of 2 nights in Plovdiv. Ramada Hotel Trimontium or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Tues Oct 3rd Plovdiv + free time
Plovdiv is today Bulgaria’s second-largest city but was known for most of its recorded history as Philippopolis because Philip II of Macedon (the father of Alexander the Great) conquered it in the 4th Century BC and made it his capital. The city is contemporary with Troy and Mycenae and is much older than Athens and Rome. Plovdiv is recognized as the oldest continuously-inhabited city in Europe and the sixth-oldest in the world. Plovdiv will be European Capital of Culture in 2019. We walk along the longest pedestrian street in the world, 1.75 kilometres in total length. Rising above the city is the 2nd Century AD Roman Amphitheatre, Theatre and opera performances are still staged here during the summer. Its 28 tiers of marble seats can accommodate over 7,000 spectators. The 2nd Century Roman Stadium is modelled after the one at Delphi in Greece and could seat up to 30,000 spectators. We also see the Forum and the “Eirene” Roman house with its original mosaic floor. We see the building that served as the only centre for the “Whirling” Dervishes in the Balkans. Today we include lunch together. This afternoon is free for you to enjoy Plovdiv or you can join our (included) excursion to the winery of Todoroff to taste some of their wines which have won numerous international awards. Bulgaria grows over 3,000 wine varieties and is a renowned exporter to more than 70 countries, ranking among the 15 leading wine producing countries in the world. After we return to Plovdiv you have the remainder of this afternoon to enjoy the Old Town.
This evening you are free to try a special restaurant for dinner. Second of 2 nights in Plovdiv. Ramada Hotel Trimontium or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.
Wed Oct 4th Plovdiv – Rila Monastery – Sofia
This morning we drive further west into the majestic Rila Mountains to Orthodox Rila Monastery, the largest monastery in the Balkans and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating back to the 10th Century, Rila played a key role in preserving Bulgarian culture and language over the centuries. The centrepiece of the Museum is the astonishing Rila Cross, a double-sided crucifix carved between 1790 and 1802 with 140 miniature Biblical scenes and 650 human figures. First of 2 nights in Sofia. Best Western Premier City Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Thurs Oct 5th Sofia City Tour
Bulgaria’s capital, which was founded more than 7,000 years ago, was called by the first Byzantine Emperor, Constantine the Great, “My Rome.” This morning we make an excursion to the foothills of nearby Vitosha Mountain to visit the Boyana Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its murals from the year 1259 - created 200 years before the Italian Renaissance. In this area we also visit the National Historical Museum where we see the magnificent 4th Century BC Thracian gold and silver treasures. The museum is one of the richest in Europe, with more than 650,000 artifacts.
On our driving tour of central Sofia this afternoon we see the ruins of ancient Roman Serdica, the round 4th Century Byzantine St George Church, the 6th Century St Sophia Basilica (named after the city’s patron saint), the Great Synagogue (the third-largest in Europe), the Banya Bashi Mosque from 1566 by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan (who also designed the Blue Mosque in Istanbul), the Russian Church of St Nikolas, the huge gold-domed Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Cathedral from 1912, the Parliament building, the National Art Gallery, the Old City Garden, the Austrian-designed National Theatre, the Monument to the Unknown Soldiers and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. At Battenberg Square we see the former Royal Palace (today housing the Ethnographical Museum), the Presidency building and the building of the Bulgarian National Bank. After our driving tour you have the remainder of this afternoon free to visit any of the sites we have seen from the outside. Second of 2 nights in Sofia. Best Western Premier City Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Fri Oct 6th This morning we fly from Sofia, arriving home the same day.
Budapest pre-tour extension:
$287 Canadian/person sharing $367 Canadian in a Single room
Wed Sept 13th We fly from North America overnight to Budapest, arriving the next day.
Thurs Sept 14th Budapest (HUNGARY) Today we arrive in Hungary's beautiful capital and transfer to our hotel. First of 3 nights in Budapest. Hotel President or similar. No meals.
Fri Sept 15th Budapest City Sightseeing
This morning we walk from our hotel to the impressive Neo-Gothic Houses of Parliament – the symbol of Budapest – for a guided tour. From here we take one of the most scenic tram rides in the world to the famous Central Market Hall. Joining our coach we drive to the Jewish Quarter, where we visit the Dohany Street Synagogue, which is the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world. Driving down Andrassy Avenue we pass the Opera House and stop at Heroes’ Square (with its statues of the most famous Hungarian kings and dukes.) From the Pest side of the city we drive over one of Budapest’s 7 bridges across the Danube to the Buda side. Here, our first stop is Gellert Hill (the Citadel) to see the most spectacular view of Budapest. Next we drive to the Castle District with the Palace of the Hungarian President, the buildings of the National Library and the National Gallery. We walk to the Matthias Church and to the Fishermen’s Bastion, from where we enjoy a beautiful panorama. The Castle Hill Funicular (opened in 1870) takes us to Adam Clark Square, from where we walk across the oldest suspension bridge in continental Europe – the Chain Bridge. Back on the Pest side, we walk past the Gresham Palace (now the Four Seasons Hotel) and The Academy before ending on a pedestrian street at St Stephen’s Basilica. This evening the newly-arrived members of the group join us for dinner. Second of 3 nights in Budapest. Hotel President or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
mainly in 4 Star hotels. All our hotels have en-suite bathrooms. As
appropriate, they have central heating and/or air-conditioning.
Breakfast & dinner daily. We usually enjoy our dinners out at excellent local restaurants. On the second days at Lake Balaton, Eger, Sighisoara, Bucharest, Veliko Turnovo and Plovdiv we include lunch together, instead of dinner. This allows you to enjoy some relaxing free time in each of these charming towns and enjoy dinner at your leisure.
Arrival and Departure Transfers, if arriving and departing on our group flights on the tour dates.
Land transport by our own coach.
Sightseeing and entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary.
ALL TIPS for group activities.
Porterage for one piece of luggage per person where available
Guiding by Royal Heights tour leader with assistance of local guides.
Visa fees. Canadian passport holders do NOT currently require a visa for any of the countries on this tour. However, your passport should be valid for 3 months beyond the date of your departure from Bulgaria i.e. until at least Jan 6th 2018.
Lunches, except on our second nights at Lake Balaton, Eger, Sighisoara, Bucharest, Veliko Turnovo and Plovdiv. We also include lunch with the “cowboys” on Sept 20th.
Dinners on our second nights at Lake Balaton, Eger, Sighisoara, Bucharest, Veliko Turnovo and Plovdiv.
Trip Cancellation / Interruption and Medical Insurance. We offer insurance coverage with Manulife Insurance.
Single Supplement, if requested: $1,200.
Personal Expenses such as souvenirs, laundry, drinks not included at meals.
Flights: Please note the cost of the airfare is an estimate and the actual price will be confirmed at the time of booking your flights. Payment for the flights will be due at that time. Land portion of the tour must be booked directly with Royal Heights Tours. You can book the Land portion of the tour with us and make your own flight arrangements through your travel agent or using your Frequent Flyer points. You do NOT have to come to Vancouver to join this tour. Our preferred routing is with Air Canada via Toronto into Budapest and returning from Sofia via Munich on Lufthansa. Please note that there will be an additional cost for your arrival & departure transfers should you wish to travel with another airline or purchase the LAND ONLY package.
Single Travellers: If you wish to be guaranteed a single room, there is a Single Supplement charge of $1,200. Our price is based on two people sharing a room. If you would like to share, we will do our best to find you a roommate. The EARLIER you pay your deposit, the more likely we are to find you a roommate. Those people travelling alone but wishing to share will be informed 3 months prior to departure if a roommate is not currently available. At that point you will be invoiced for the single supplement [$1,200.] If a roommate subsequently joins the tour, your single supplement will be refunded with the final documents.
Payment: You can secure your place on the tour with a $400 per person non-refundable deposit. We take payment by cheque, VISA or MasterCard for the $400/ person DEPOSIT. The invoice for the balance owing will be sent in mid-June. Payment for the balance of the tour will be due on July 14th 2017. Prices quoted are for FINAL PAYMENT made BY CHEQUE.
Special Notes: Our office staff are not medically qualified to advise you on which immunizations you require. Please consult your local travel health clinic.
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
BC Registration # 3379
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.