Whether you’re looking for Europe’s most famous highlights or its undiscovered treasures, the answer lies aboard the trains running between London and Istanbul. This 25-day Rail journey allows you to check out the dramatic landscapes across Europe, as well as experiencing both medieval charm and modern cool in tiny villages and capital cities. Take in the Alpine scenery from the windows of the Glacier Express, step off to visit 'Dracula’s Castle' in Transylvania and revel in as much ancient eastern European charm as you can get. Once you’ve seen the countryside gliding by from a comfortable train, you’ll never forget it.
- Travel Style : Rail
- Service Level : Standard
- Physical Grading : 2 - Light
- Trip Type : Small Group
- What's Included:Your G for Good Moment: Magdas Hotel, Vienna
Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group
Your Discover Moment: Paris
Your Discover Moment: Budapest. Eurostar ride through the Chunnel. Paris orientation walk. TGV train. Lausanne orientation walk. Zermatt stay. The Glacier Express train with lunch onboard. Dachau tour (Munich). Salzburg orientation walk. Vienna orientation walk. Budapest orientation walk. Romanian villages and countryside tour (half-day, from Sighisoara). 'Dracula's Castle' (Bran). Bucharest orientation tour. Hike to Arbanasi village. Sofia orientation walk. Istanbul city tour with local guide. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- Highlights:Travel across Europe by train, explore tiny villages and big capital cities, soak in gorgeous Alpine scenery from the window of the Glacier Express, sample cuisine across different countries, get spooked at 'Dracula's Castle'.
- Itinerary Disclaimer:While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
- Important Notes:1. RAMADAN
Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan in Muslim areas, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can't at that time.
2. YOUR CEO
It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places.
In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times.
Vegetarians should be aware that the cuisine on the eastern portion of this trip on is predominantly meat-based. Although you will be able to find and enjoy vegetarian food, please be aware that there will not be the variety or range of choices that you would find at home.
5. PLOVDIV TO ISTANBUL TRAIN
The train from Plovdiv to Istanbul will occasionally be out of service. As we can never predict exactly when this will happen, we substitute an overnight bus on that last leg when necessary.
Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.
- Group Leader Description:This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
- Group Size Notes:Max 16, avg 12
- Meals Included:20 breakfasts, 1 lunch
- Meals:Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
- Transport:Train, public bus, metro, walking.
- About our Transportation:Intercity transport on this trip will be by train unless otherwise noted. The train systems in Europe are generally good, with seat reservations and toilet/snack facilities on longer journeys. You will notice trains run according to the schedule more stringently in some regions and not-so-stringently in others. Pack a book, some music and your sense of adventure.
Please note that you MUST be comfortable carrying your own luggage as there will be a lot of up and down stairs on this trip due to the nature of station layouts in Europe (very few are equipped with escalators or elevators). Between public transport and hotels you may be required to carry your luggage short distances (up to 15 mins walk), in larger cities you may travel by metro or city bus, and occasionally the group will take taxis to and from hotels.
- Solo Travellers:We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
- Accommodation:Hotels/pensions (23 nts), overnight train (1 nts).
- My Own Room Exceptions:Day 14 (overnight train), Day 23 (overnight train/bus).
- About Accommodation:It is important to note that accommodation in Europe tend to be quite different to other areas of the world you may have travelled in. Buildings and rooms are generally old and may not have been renovated or maintained to the highest standard. Downtown hotels in Europe were not built to be hotels but houses of the rich, which have been changed into hotels. Therefore unusual room sizes are common as large rooms have been partitioned in the past, resulting in rather "thin" walls. Reception areas, rooms and bathrooms tend to be very small as they were often added into an existing room, and may have a hand nozzle rather than a conventional shower head.
On this trip you can expect to stay in small family-run hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. You can expect to find clean, safe, simple accommodation in convenient locations.
Staff can occasionally demonstrate less than perfect customer service. As accommodation is in short supply, especially during the summer months, hotels can charge a premium and there is sometimes little motivation to improve facilities.
In one or two locations on the Budapest to Istanbul portion we use accommodation with shared bathrooms.
- Joining Hotel:For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
- Joining Instructions:Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.
If you have pre-arranged an arrival transfer, look for the driver holding a G Adventures sign in the arrivals hall. Please approach them, and ask them who they are supposed to be picking up (do not tell them your name, they should have this information already). Once they give you the correct name, have your passport ready to show them and you will be on your way!
- Arrival Complications:We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
- Emergency Contact:Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office: +447817262559
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from within Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from within Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from within New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
- What to Take:We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage. You must be prepared to carry your luggage up and down stairs, as well as on and off transportation.
- Packing List:Conservative Dress:
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
- Laundry:Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your CEO where the closest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
- Spending Money:Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
- Money Exchange:Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Visa cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work - check with your bank. You should be aware when purchasing products or services on a credit card, that a fee usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of Euros and cards is best.
Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
For this trip you will be in regions using the British Pound (GBP), Euro (EUR), Swiss Francs (CHF), Hungarian Forint (HUF), Romanian New Leu (RON), Bulgarian Lev (BGN) and the Turkish Lira (TRY).
- Emergency Fund:Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
- Tipping:It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2).
Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program, and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day, depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €30-40 per person, per week can be used.
- Optional Activities:Paris
- Eiffel Tower Visit (16EUR per person)
- Luxembourg Garden Visit (Free)
- Walk Along the Seine River (Free)
- Champs-Élysées Visit (Free)
- The Louvre Visit (12-16EUR per person)
- Sacre Coeur Visit (Free)
- Musée Rodin Visit (12EUR per person)
- Musée d'Orsay Visit (11EUR per person)
- Napoleon's Tomb - Les Invalides Army Museum (12EUR per person)
- Monet's Giverny Gardens (10.20EUR per person)
- Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne Visit (Free)
- Cantonal Botanical Museum and Gardens (Free)
- Hiking (Free)
- Hofbräuhaus Visit (Free-30EUR per person)
- Munich Guided Walking Tour
- Bavarian National Museum (7EUR per person)
- Alte Pinakothek Art Gallery (7EUR per person)
- Neuschwanstein Castle Visit (51EUR per person)
- Füssen Visit
- Salzburg Old Town Visit (Free)
- Salzburg Salt Mines Visit (16EUR per person)
- Sound of Music Tour (40EUR per person)
- Belvedere Gallery Visit (19EUR per person)
- Vienna State Opera House Visit (8EUR per person)
- Saint Stephen's Cathedral Visit (Free)
- Schönbrunn Palace Visit/Tour (11-15EUR per person)
- Vienna Boys' Choir Visit (35EUR per person)
- View Lipizzaner Horses at Spanish Riding School of Vienna (14EUR per person)
- Hotel Sacher Visit and dessert (30-50EUR per person)
- Naschmarkt Walk
- Buda Castle Visit (1500HUF per person)
- Thermal Baths Visit (4200-5000HUF per person)
- Budapest Bike Tour (28EUR per person)
- Danube River Cruise
- Parliament Building Visit (5200HUF per person)
- Great Market Hall Visit (Free)
- Chain Bridge (Free)
- Hungarian State Opera House (2900HUF per person)
- Hungarian National Museum (1600HUF per person)
- Budapest Morning Walking Tour
- Clock Tower Visit (Free)
- The History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie) (5RON per person)
- Casa Dracula (Vlad Dracul Restaurant) (10-50RON per person)
- The Church of the Dominican Monastery Visit (Free)
- Tampa Mountain Visit (Free-16RON per person)
- Catherine's Gate (Poarta Ecaterinei) Visit
- Art Museum (Muzeul de Arta) (5-8RON per person)
- Brasov History Museum (7RON per person)
- Schei District Visit
- Black Church (Biserica Neagră) Visit (8RON per person)
- Arch of Triumph Visit (Free)
- National History Museum Visit
- National Village Museum Visit
- Palace of the Parliament Visit
- Tsarevets Fortress Visit (6BGN per person)
- Mountain Biking (7EUR per person)
- Nativity Church Visit (6BGN per person)
- Ladies' Market Visit (Free)
- St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Visit (Free-6BGN per person)
- Vitosha Boulevard Visit (Free)
- Ancient Theatre of Philippopolis Visit (3BGN per person)
- Plovdiv Old Town Visit (Free)
- Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum Visit (5BGN per person)
- Hagia Sophia (or Aya Sofya) Visit (72TRY per person)
- Spice Bazaar Visit (Free)
- Blue Mosque Visit (Free)
- Topkapi Palace Visit (72TRY per person)
- Health:This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
- Safety and Security:Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
- Trip Specific Safety:Always keep an eye on your belongings especially in major cities, bus and train terminals.
- A Couple of Rules:Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they engage in any form of paid sex work.
- Travel Insurance:Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
- Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation:The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
- Feedback:After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
- Newsletter:Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
- Minimum Age:You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
- International Flights:Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
- Max Pax:
- Group Leader:Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Itinerary (25 days)
Arrive at any time.
Board the famous Eurostar train for the journey through the Chunnel to Paris. Enjoy an orientation walk and free time to visit the city.
Spend the day with free time to visit dozens of museums, patisserie shops, sidewalk cafés or grand boulevards.
Take a morning TGV train to Lausanne, Switzerland. Spend the afternoon in this charming town.
Board another train for the journey to Zermatt, a tiny village in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Enjoy the afternoon in the car-free centre or hiking in the nearby mountains.
Board the Glacier Express for a slow and stunning ride through the Alps. Pass meadows, rushing streams, bridges, villages and massive mountains as the train heads towards Chur. Arrive in the evening after a full day of soaking in the scenery.
Take a full day to reach Munich, in the heart of Bavaria. Arrive in time for an optional evening out at a local brewery with a few steins of beer and some typical German fare.
Explore the city or head further afield to visit Füssen and the famous Neuschwanstein Castle.
Visit Dachau before a short train ride to Salzburg, Austria. This charming city is brimming with history and character.
Make the most of a free day in Salzburg. Opt to visit the salt mines or take the famous Sound of Music tour.
Continue by train to Vienna. Opt to visit the famous opera house, join a city tour or visit world-class museums. Stay overnight at a G Adventures for Good supported hotel that supports migrant workers.
Take a morning train to Budapest, Hungary. Take an orientation walk upon arrival, then opt to enjoy a night out in this charming city.
Enjoy a full day for exploration in Budapest. Opt to visit Buda Castle, the famous thermal baths or take a bike tour of the city.
Take another free day to explore Budapest before boarding an overnight train to Sibiu.
Arrive in the enchanting town of Sighisoara. Use your free time here to explore the cobblestone streets and medieval architecture.
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.
Visit the picturesque Bran Castle and learn the history (and rumours) of this fascinating place.
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.
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.
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.
Travel to Sofia and take an orientation walk of the capital city. Later, wander down the pedestrian street or visit the eclectic Ladies' Market.
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.
Spend the day exploring more of Plovdiv before boarding an evening bus to 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.
Depart at any time.