Transylvanian Treasures – Romania and Bulgaria

Transylvanian Treasures – Romania and Bulgaria

16 Days From



Transylvanian Treasures – Romania and Bulgaria

16 Days

Tour operator:

Crooked Compass

Tour code:


Trip Styles:

Adventure Tours

$10443 Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$492

NB: Prices correct on 27-May-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

  • Discover Romania's pastoral traditions at a local sheepfold with cheese tasting

  • Gently hike through the scenic Carpathian Mountains

  • Visit the legendary Bran Castle at sunset for a private wine tasting, famously known as Dracula's Castle

  • Dine like royalty in one of King Charles' favoured spots in Crit

  • Ebike amidst the scenic Transylvanian hills near Sighisoara and Apold village

  • Indulge in a delightful cooking class, delving into the heart of Romanian cuisine.

  • Discover Sofia’s architectural marvels, bustling markets, and culinary delights

  • Experience dining in an exclusive and historic venue atop a 2nd-century ancient Roman defensive wall

  • Immerse in Soviet nostalgia at a retro communist-themed restaurant

  • Explore Plovdiv’s rich Roman heritage

  • Discover Gela: A Mythical Haven in the Rhodope Mountains

  • Masterchef Bulgaria Experience

  • Discover the winemaking process from vine to bottle

Embark on an extraordinary journey through the captivating landscapes and rich heritage of Romania and Bulgaria, where ancient history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking natural beauty intertwine.

Our immersive tour takes you on a captivating odyssey through these diverse and vibrant countries, showcasing the best of their cultural, architectural, and natural treasures. From Romania's enchanting castles, picturesque villages, and the majestic Carpathian Mountains to Bulgaria's ancient Thracian civilisations, medieval splendours, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Walk in the footsteps of legends at Bran Castle in Romania and explore the charming villages of Transylvania, where time seems to stand still. Indulge your senses with a unique wine-tasting experience inside the walls of Dracula's Castle and immerse yourself in the warmth of Bulgarian hospitality as you discover picturesque villages like Melnik and explore the dynamic capital, Sofia.

Embrace life in the Rhodope Mountains, where folklore intertwines with stunning vistas, and uncover Bulgaria's rich heritage at Rila Monastery and the architectural wonders of Kovachevitsa. Be captivated by cultural immersion, mountain escapades and gastronomic delights.


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Day 1 - Arrival In Bucharest

Welcome to Romania! Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Bucharest.

The rest of the day is yours at leisure to explore the city. Bucharest, Romania’s lively capital is known for its diverse histories and cultures. Enjoy the blend of old-world charm and modern vitality found in its grand architecture and bustling streets.




Epoque Hotel Relais Chateaux or similar


Airport transfer


Day 2 - Bucharest - Peles Castle - Cantacuzino Castle - Brasov – Magura Village

Today, you will explore the captivating region of Transylvania, known for its rich history, stunning

landscapes, and intriguing folklore.

Peleș Castle

Begin your day with a visit to Peleș Castle in Sinaia. Nestled in the scenic Carpathian Mountains of Sinaia, Peleș Castle is a masterpiece of Neo-Renaissance architecture. This former royal residence boasts ornate facades and lush gardens, serving as a testament to Romania’s rich heritage. Explore its lavishly decorated rooms and be transported to an era of opulence and romance, making it a highlight of the Romanian tour.


Cantacuzino Castle

Continue to Cantacuzino Castle in Bușteni, set against the backdrop of the Bucegi Mountains. Once the grand residence of the Cantacuzino family, this historic castle boasts intricate designs and lavish interiors that echo tales of aristocratic grandeur. Indulge in a sumptuous lunch featuring Transylvanian delicacies followed by a wine-tasting session, where you’ll sample and savour the region’s finest wines, offering a delightful fusion of local history and gastronomy.


Explore Brașov, renowned for its medieval Saxon walls and the Gothic-style Black Church, is nestled at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. As you stroll through its Old Town, you’ll be transported to a bygone era. Cobbled streets, lined with colourful baroque buildings and medieval Saxon architecture, lead to the bustling Council Square, the heart of the city. The towering Black Church stands as a testament to Brașov’s storied past, while the charmingly narrow Rope Street, one of Europe’s narrowest, adds to the town’s unique character. Experience a delightful blend of history, culture, and urban legends as you explore this captivating gem of Transylvania.

Magura village

In the evening, head to the serene Magura village, just 50 minutes from Brasov. Nestled amidst rolling hills and picturesque landscapes, Samedru offers an authentic Transylvanian experience, blending traditional design with modern comfort. Here, indulge in a traditional dinner, savouring authentic Romanian cuisine in a cosy, rustic ambience.


Breakfast, Lunch


Samedru Guesthouse or similar


English speaking guide

Day 3 - Magura Village - Carpathians – Bran Castle

After breakfast, explore the rustic charm of Magura village and the captivating mystique of Bran Castle.

Local Sheepfold Experience

Visit a local sheepfold and delve into Romania’s timeless pastoral traditions. Discover the ancient practice of Transhumance as shepherds lead their flocks between highland and lowland pastures. Indulge in a cheese-tasting session, savouring the authentic flavours of the region.

Carpathian Mountains

Take a leisurely hike in the serene beauty of the Carpathian Mountains. Enjoy the tranquil surroundings as you connect with nature amidst the rolling hills and lush landscapes.

Bran Castle

In the evening, experience the legendary Bran Castle, famously known as Dracula’s Castle. As the sun sets and the castle is illuminated by enchanting lamplight, explore its dark and mysterious corners. Unveil the secrets hidden within as you venture through the Torture Room and take a mesmerizing journey through the Time Tunnel. Indulge in a wine-tasting session, perfectly complementing the haunting ambience of this legendary place. Let the eerie allure of this legendary place enhance your experience as you savour each sip, adding an extra layer of enchantment to your exploration.


Breakfast, Dinner


Samedru Guesthouse or similar


English speaking guide

Day 4 - Magura Village – Viscri Village – Crit

Viscri Village

This morning, explore Viscri in a rustic horse-drawn cart, providing an authentic glimpse into rural Transylvanian life. Along the way, you’ll encounter skilled local craftsmen, masters of traditional arts, who will showcase their talents and introduce you to their time-honoured crafts.

Traditional Lunch Experience

Indulge in a traditional lunch that will transport your taste buds to another era. Savour local delicacies and enjoy the warm hospitality of the villagers as you dine. Afterwards, get ready for an extraordinary wildlife encounter at a hidden wild observatory. Keep your eyes peeled and your senses alert, as you might spot bears and other fascinating creatures native to the region.

Crit Village

Finally, retreat to the welcoming embrace of Crit. Indulge in a dining experience fit for royalty in one of King Charles’ preferred areas. Relish a delicious dinner, enveloped by the charm and history of this extraordinary destination. It’s the perfect end to a day that combines Transylvania’s culture, nature, and culinary delights into one unforgettable experience.


Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Casa Schmidt or similar


English speaking guide

Day 5 - Crit – Sighisoara - Apold Village


After breakfast, explore Sighișoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where every cobblestone and tower echoes tales of medieval times. Wander its narrow streets and marvel at the city’s citadel, a testament to its rich history. Climb the Clock Tower for breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.

Biking Tour

Next, embark on an eco-friendly adventure through the picturesque Transylvanian hills surrounding Sighisoara and the charming Apold village. Explore this enchanting region with ease by hopping on an electric bike. As you cycle along, soak in the stunning landscapes and tranquil countryside, experiencing a perfect blend of nature and culture.

Cooking Class at Apold village

Indulge in a delightful cooking class, delving into the heart of Romanian cuisine. Craft traditional dishes using fresh, local ingredients, and as the aromas waft through the air, feel a palpable connection to the land, the ingredients, and the centuries-old culinary traditions.


Breakfast, Dinner


Casa Schmidt or similar


English speaking guide

Day 6 - Crit- Biertan- Brateiu Village – Sibiu

Biertan Fortified Church

After breakfast, head to the imposing walls of Biertan Fortified Church. As one of Transylvania’s largest and most well-preserved, its robust fortifications and Gothic detailing echo stories of communities that sought refuge within its embrace.

Brateiu village

Next, explore Brateiu village, where you’ll discover a realm of dazzling metals and artistic excellence. Welcomed by a family of Gypsy metal craftsmen, their workshops buzz with narratives of skilful artistry. Witness the melding and shaping of metal, each piece reflects stories of heritage, dedication, and an art form passed down through generations.


Afterwards, head to Sibiu, a city nestled in the heart of Transylvania.  Here, you’ll encounter grand squares, bridged alleys, and baroque buildings seamlessly intertwining to create a vibrant tapestry of Romanian heritage. As the sun sets over Sibiu, every corner embodies the essence of bygone eras.




Hilton Hotel or similar


Private vehicle with English-speaking guide

Day 7 : Day 7 – Farewell Romania, Hello Bulgaria

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the Bulgarian border. Meet your Bulgarian crew and transfer to Sofia.

Nestled at the foothills of Vitosha Mountain, Sofia exudes an alluring charm with its diverse architectural landmarks, from the iconic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral to the ancient Roman ruins scattered throughout the city. As a dynamic European hub, Sofia captivates visitors with its lively atmosphere, bustling markets, and a burgeoning culinary scene, making it a captivating destination that harmoniously embraces its past while embracing the promise of the future.


Hotel Sense or similar



Day 8 - Sofia To Plovdiv

Morning Walking Tour of Sofia

Embark on an immersive walking tour through Sofia, a city that effortlessly intertwines its historical significance with modern vibrancy. Starting near the iconic St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the largest church in Bulgaria, your journey navigates through the renowned Yellow Pavements, a symbol of Sofia’s core and a pathway to key landmarks like the National Assembly, Council of Ministers, and the National Theatre. Strolling along these cobblestones, you’ll encounter architectural gems such as the Sofia city bath, Banya Bashi Mosque, Central Sofia halls, the synagogue, and the National Palace of Culture, each revealing a unique facet of the city’s heritage. To truly absorb the contemporary spirit of Sofia, your exploration concludes with a delightful break at Vitoshka for a coffee.


Lunch Experience

Lunch today is all about Soviet nostalgia in a retro communist-themed restaurant. Dine amongst the communist memorabilia and bask in the mid-century minimalism of bare bulbs and blocky, modernist propaganda posters. Indulge in the rich flavours of Bulgarian cuisine while basking in the eclectic soviet atmosphere. The menu, thoughtfully curated, showcases an array of dishes, from hearty mezes to expertly crafted mains, all complemented by an extensive selection of rakia, the iconic Bulgarian fruit brandy, making every bite a delightful celebration of local culinary artistry.

Afternoon Meeting with Traditional Jeweller

This afternoon, you will meet with an upcoming local entrepreneur who has brought traditional Bulgarian patterns and emblems back to life in new modern designs.


Transfer to Plovdiv. Approx 2hr (150km)

Steeped in over 6,000 years of continuous habitation, Plovdiv proudly boasts the title of Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city. Stroll through its enchanting cobbled streets, where well-preserved Roman ruins harmonize with vibrant art scenes and lively cafes, creating an ambience that seamlessly bridges the gap between the past and the present.

Welcome Dinner Experience

Dinner this evening is a short stroll from your hotel in an exclusive and private venue. Perched on top of an ancient Roman defence wall from around the 2nd century, the house of Hajji Aleko Tzetkov is a gem of beauty and elegance. This mansion is declared a national monument of culture. Dine in this restored historic residence amongst a collection of art from the 19th century to the present day. Sit amongst the history of the Bulgarian people after the Liberation from Ottoman dominance to modern times, embodying legends, stories, artists fortunes and events. A truly enchanting experience and a venue exclusive to Crooked Compass.


Hotel Vizualiza Residence or similar


Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9 : Day 9 - Plovdiv – Dragomir Winery

Morning Food Tour

Begin your journey through the charming cobbled streets, where the enticing aroma of traditional Bulgarian delicacies fills the air. Our expert local guide will lead you to hidden gems, from bustling markets to tucked-away eateries, unveiling the diverse flavours that define Plovdiv’s culinary identity.

Savour mouthwatering banitsa pastries, aromatic kufte kebabs, and the famed Plovdivian speciality, Kapama, a rich and savoury slow-cooked meat stew. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Kapana district, where modern cafes and traditional taverns coexist, offering a delightful blend of contemporary and timeless Bulgarian flavours. Along the way, discover the city’s passion for wine as you sample local varieties and learn about the rich winemaking heritage of the region.

Roman Ruins

As part of your walking tour, you will also be introduced to Roman ruins in Plovdiv. The entire city is constructed on top of ruins dating back to Roman Empire which are still being excavated today! The Ancient Theatre of Philippopolis, a marvel of Roman engineering, stands as a testament to the city’s rich past. Built in the 2nd century AD, this amphitheatre once hosted grand performances and gatherings, and today, its well-preserved seats offer panoramic views of Plovdiv.


The Roman Stadium, another striking relic, unveils itself beneath the city’s bustling streets. Originally accommodating athletic contests and competitions, this well-preserved structure showcases the grandeur of Roman architecture. As you traverse the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, they encounter remnants of Roman walls, gates, and buildings, revealing the lasting impact of Roman civilization on Plovdiv’s urban landscape.



We have co-ordinated an exclusive meeting with a fascinating Iconographer. An iconographer is an artist specialising in the creation of icons, which are religious images typically used in Eastern Orthodox Christian worship. The role of an iconographer goes beyond mere artistic expression; it is a deeply spiritual and sacred vocation. Iconographers follow a tradition rooted in symbolism, theology, and specific techniques that have been passed down through generations.

An iconographer is such a rare trade connecting the earthly and the divine. Our delightful host is one of few in the world today. With such a steady hand, the skill of an iconographer is incredible. Witness works she is restoring dating back to 800 years old from various churches around Bulgaria.


Transfer to Dragomir Winery on the outskirts of Plovdiv.

Dragomir Winery

Dragomir Winery Estate is situated in the heart of the Thracian Valley, which is famous for its traditions in winemaking dating back to ancient times. The Thracians are known to be among the best winemakers in the Antiquity. The aromatic, strong wine, they were making, is famous around the world, and even Homer writes about its qualities. We transfer history in the present days with the name of our emblematic wine PITOS – an ancient Thracian vessel, used for wine production and storage.

Embark on a sensory journey at Dragomir Winery, where the essence of Bulgarian winemaking comes to life in a private tour and exclusive tasting experience. Nestled amidst picturesque vineyards, this boutique winery in Bulgaria invites guests to explore the intricate process of wine production, from grape to bottle. Led by our knowledgeable oenologist, delve into the vineyard’s terroir, witness the meticulous winemaking techniques, and conclude the tour with an exclusive private tasting of Dragomir’s exquisite wines, each sip revealing the nuanced flavours that define the region’s viticultural excellence.



Day 10 - Gela


This morning, you will transfer to Gela. Approx 2.5hrs (100km)

Legend has it that Gela, nestled in the enchanting Rhodope Mountains, is the mythical birthplace of Orpheus, who ventured into the nearby Devil’s Throat Cave in search of Eurydice. Steeped in ancient history, the village’s name derives from the Thracian Bes tribe, revered as the Priests. Founded by the Thracians, Gela boasts remnants of a Thracian fortress near its borders, echoing tales of times long past.

Perched high in the mountains, Gela feels like a secluded haven, inviting you to embrace its timeless charm. Renowned as one of Bulgaria’s three major energy centres, Gela is blessed with crisp mountain air and the rejuvenating Fion wind from the Aegean Sea, offering a haven for respiratory health. The village exudes a serene ambience, fostering a profound connection with nature and a sense of tranquil solitude.

Gela’s allure extends beyond its natural beauty, drawing music enthusiasts to the annual National Bagpipe Festival held in the heart of summer. Nestled in the Rhodope Mountains, a global hub for bagpipers, Gela becomes a stage for over 10,000 attendees to revel in the magical symphony of this iconic instrument, adding another layer to the village’s cultural significance.

Bachkovo Monastery

Regarded as the second largest and most profoundly significant Bulgarian monastery, this sacred site stands as a cultural crossroads, blending influences from Byzantine, Old Georgian, and Bulgarian traditions. Established in 1083 by Georgian brothers, the monastery houses the oldest carved wooden iconostases in the region, alongside a treasure trove of original icons, frescoes, church artefacts, and manuscript book covers. A jewel within its walls is the revered icon of Our Lady of Vlaherna, shrouded in silver and revered for its miraculous aura, although its origin remains shrouded in mystery since its appearance in the early 19th century. The monastery’s extensive library, with its wealth of books and manuscripts dating back to the 1930s, adds another layer to its cultural and historical richness.

Afternoon Village Walk

Embark on a captivating walking tour through the picturesque village of Gela in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains, where ancient history and natural beauty converge. As you traverse the charming cobbled streets, your knowledgeable guide will unveil the village’s Thracian origins, showcasing remnants of a bygone era, including the legendary Thracian fortress. Gela’s serene atmosphere, enveloped by mountain peaks, creates a perfect backdrop for an immersive exploration.

Delve into the rich flora of the Rhodope Mountains as part of a unique foraging experience for wild mushrooms. Led by a local expert, you’ll meander through lush landscapes, learning to identify an array of edible fungi hidden beneath the forest canopy. Your foraging adventure will be infused with insights into traditional mushroom-picking practices passed down through generations.


Hotel Gela and Spa or similar


Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 - Kovachevitsa


Drive towards Kovachevitsa.

Masterchef Bulgaria Experience

Meet Maria Jekova, the winner of Bulgarian Masterchef. Now with her own TV show, The Taste of Bulgaria, Maria’s culinary journey extends beyond the screen – she has transformed an abandoned hamlet into a charming guesthouse and kitchen, using her Masterchef winnings. Witness the revival of this once-forgotten mountain village as Maria gradually lures locals back by providing employment in this remote and rejuvenated location.

Immerse yourself in a hands-on cooking adventure with Maria, utilizing ingredients sourced from the surrounding forests and mountains. This is more than a cooking class; it’s a mountain-to-plate odyssey, where you’ll not only learn the art of crafting authentic Bulgarian dishes but also partake in a culinary narrative that breathes life back into an abandoned village.


Continue to Kovachevitsa.

Kovachevitsa, a charming village nestled in Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains, captivates visitors with its timeless allure and rich cultural heritage. Its well-preserved 18th and 19th-century architecture, featuring traditional stone houses adorned with wooden details, transports visitors to a bygone era.


Lavanda Bed & Breakfast or similar


Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 12 – Zornitza


Transfer to the captivating villages of Leshten and Delchevo.


Leshten welcomes you with the timeless beauty of Kovachev architectural style, where houses perch gracefully on the mountain’s steep slopes, preserving the authentic spirit of Bulgarian village life.


In contrast, the village of Delchevo, founded during the era of Turkish slavery, boasts houses that reflect the architecture of that time – characterized by stone foundations, charming facades, and numerous windows. These houses appear nestled into the rocks, utilizing natural formations as walls. Positioned high in the mountains, Delchevo provides breathtaking panoramic views of the Mesta valley and the Rhodope Mountains from nearly every vantage point.

Zornitza Estate Tour

Begin your exploration with a stroll through the lush vineyards, where the estate’s exquisite wines take root. Learn about the winemaking process, from the meticulous cultivation of vines to the artistry of crafting fine wines, as you visit the state-of-the-art winery.

Continue your journey through the olive groves, where the estate produces its exceptional olive oil. Delight in the sensory experience as you witness the harvest and pressing of olives, gaining insights into the estate’s dedication to quality and sustainability.

The tour extends to the exquisite culinary realm with a visit to the estate’s kitchens. Here, indulge your senses as talented chefs transform locally sourced, seasonal ingredients into culinary masterpieces. Discover the secrets behind the estate’s farm-to-table philosophy, celebrating the richness of the region’s flavours.

As the tour unfolds, immerse yourself in the luxurious ambience of the estate’s boutique hotel and spa. Marvel at the seamless integration of modern elegance with the natural surroundings, offering a retreat where relaxation and sophistication harmonise.

Dinner Experience

Experience a culinary delight at Zornitza Family Estate with our exclusive BBQ Dinner in a secret location. An enchanting evening that combines the rustic charm of a barbecue with the sophistication of the estate’s luxurious surroundings. As the sun sets, guests are invited to a specially curated outdoor setting, where the enticing aroma of grilled delicacies fills the air. BBQ Dinner unfolds with a selection of premium meats and fresh, locally sourced ingredients expertly prepared by skilled chefs. Indulge in a feast that showcases the rich flavours of the region, with succulent meats grilled to perfection and accompanied by an array of delectable side dishes.


Zornitza Family Estate or similar


Breakfast and Dinner


Day 13 – Melnik, Sand Pyramids, And Rozhen Monastery

Village of Melnik

Start your day with a scenic drive to Melnik, the smallest town in Bulgaria but abundant in cultural and historical charm. Wander through the cobbled streets lined with traditional Bulgarian houses, many of which are national monuments. You may wish to visit the Kordopulov House (not included), a well-preserved 18th-century mansion showcasing the region’s architectural heritage.

Sand Pyramids Exploration

Depart for the Sand Pyramids, a natural wonder formed by erosion, creating whimsical sand formations. Take a leisurely walk around the pyramids, marvelling at the unique shapes sculpted by wind and water over time. Capture stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes from the elevated viewpoints.

Lunch Experience

Relish a delightful lunch at a local restaurant in Melnik, offering traditional Bulgarian cuisine with a modern twist. Savour regional specialties, including local cheeses, grilled meats, and fresh salads, paired with renowned Melnik wine.

Rozhen Monastery

Continue your journey to the Rozhen Monastery, a significant cultural and religious site. Explore the monastery complex, featuring the Nativity of the Mother of God Church, adorned with remarkable frescoes and icons. Take in the serene atmosphere of the monastery’s surroundings and enjoy panoramic views of the Pirin Mountains.

Leisure Time

The afternoon is yours at leisure to relax and enjoy some of Zonrnitza’s spa treatments and facilities.

Dinner Experience

As the sun sets over the picturesque Melnik region, you are welcomed to a charming pre-dinner reception. Sip on a glass of Zornitza’s finest wine or enjoy a refreshing cocktail amidst the lush vineyards and scenic beauty that surrounds the estate.

Chef’s Tasting Menu

The Chef’s Tasting Menu, curated by the estate’s talented chefs, showcases a symphony of flavours, artfully presented in a sequence of courses. Each dish is a masterpiece, highlighting the freshness of locally sourced ingredients and the creativity of the culinary team.

Wine Pairing

Complementing the gastronomic delights, Zornitza’s knowledgeable sommeliers guide guests through a thoughtfully curated wine-pairing experience.


Zornitza Family Estate or similar


Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 14 – Zornitza

Today is yours at leisure to relax and enjoy some of Zornitza’s spa treatments and facilities.


Zornitza Family Estate or similar



Day 15 – Sofia

Morning at leisure.

Rila Monastery

Founded in the 10th century by the revered hermit St. Ivan of Rila, the UNESCO-listed monastery has undergone expansions and renovations over the years, now revealing a harmonious blend of architectural styles that include elements of the Bulgarian Renaissance. The main church, adorned with vibrant frescoes depicting biblical scenes, captures the attention of visitors with its stunning iconostasis and gilded altar.


Transfer to Sofia. Approx 2.5hrs (175km)


Juno Hotel or similar


Breakfast and Lunch

Day 16 – Departure 


Transfer to the airport for your onward departure.





What's Included

  • Arrival airport transfer

  • 6 nights’ accommodation including breakfast daily

  • All transfers, sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned private vehicle

  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary

  • Wine tasting session at Cantacuzino Castle

  • Professional-speaking local guide

  • Wild animal observation with a specialised ranger

  • Private tour of Bran castle after opening hours including wine tasting inside the castle

  • Cooking Class at Apold village

  • Electric bike rental Bulgaria Inclusions:

    show more

What's Not Included

  • International & domestic air tickets not mentioned above

  • Meals and beverages not mentioned above

  • Early check-in and late check-out charges from the hotel

  • Personal travel insurance

  • Expenditure of a personal nature such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, tipping etc

Check out our Q&As

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes. Focusing on providing authentic experiences where ever you are in the world, Crooked Compass has access to a vast array of accommodation styles. From boutique properties in larger cities to local guest houses and home stays within small villages. Crooked Compass ensures that local authenticity flows through your accommodation throughout your tour without compromising standard.

  • What sort of transportation is used for your tours?

    Transportation utilised on a Crooked Compass escorted small group tour is a combination of a private air conditioned vehicle and local transport where appropriate. This may include a local bus ride, use of the cities metro system, a domestic flight to another city or overnight train ride.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Crooked Compass strives to be a leader in sustainable tourism. Crooked Compass is firmly committed to the principles of ethical travel. Our comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Practices policy summarises our commitments and actions. Although the very basis of our ground operations lends itself to the ethos of sustainable tourism, this policy re-iterates our commitment to: Use locally owned hotels Use locally owned ground agents Use local guides and drivers Promote community tourism projects from homestays to craft shops Support charities that work within the destinations that we travel to Carbon offset our travels

  • Who runs your tours and are they experts in their fields?

    Crooked Compass works with the worlds best operators who are specialists in their country, region and cities providing you with in depth local knowledge. We use local guides who live and breathe the areas they work in, making sure you experience their region, their way. We believe it is far better to have a local guide who knows a lot about a little than a text book trained Western tour guide who knows a little about a lot. Using local guides also ensures that money stays within local communities and supports the regions we visit.

  • What can I expect from a Crooked Compass tour that I wouldn't get from travelling with an alternative company?

    Crooked Compass provides a sensory way to understand the world – we help you live like a local, eat like a local, do what the locals do and seek the faces behind the places whilst discovering untouched lands and natural beauty. Crooked Compass tours delve deep into the heart and soul of a destination ensuring you get out of your journey all you intended and much, much more. Our intriguing itineraries have been created by travellers for travellers. Steering travellers to follow a different path, Crooked Compass’ itineraries allow you to experience the world’s most fascinating destinations in ways you never dreamed possible. It brings to life those ‘bucket list’ experiences you have yearned to do and separates the travellers from the tourists. Crooked Compass tours are culturally rich, reward travellers with unexpected encounters and uncommon rendezvous, creating truly unique, authentic travel experiences.

  • Who do your tours cater for?

    Crooked Compass escorted small group tours cater for those who are well travelled seeking the what’s next and what’s new. Our travellers are curious minded soft adventurers who want to uncover something more than the mainstream tourist trail. Crooked Compass tours draw travellers with an interest in sustainable tourism and conservation for the areas they visit. A Crooked Compass traveller is someone who is seeking something fresh and unique, who has a yearning for authenticity and discovery, with an appreciation for cultures, tradition and the natural world. We call them Cultural Purists.

  • I am concerned about my impact on travelling through untouched regions. Can I offset?

    Yes. All travellers on Crooked Compass tours have the option to offset their part of their tour’s carbon footprint by donating $4AUD (tax-deductible) at time of booking. 100% of these funds are donated to Greenfleet, an environmental non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting our climate by restoring our forests. By partnering with Greenfleet, we are confident that our carbon offset program provides genuine and lasting environmental benefits. Your offset donation funds plant trees and restore permanent native forests in Australia and New Zealand. As they grow, these forests provide many community and environmental benefits by absorbing carbon emissions, protecting our unique biodiversity, restoring habitat for native wildlife, preventing soil salinity and erosion, improving water quality and much more. If you’d like to find out more and offset the rest of your carbon emissions, visit

Reviews of this operator

Jeff Rehn  

A wonderful trip to Saudi Arabia organised by Crooked Compass


A wonderful trip to Saudi Arabia organised by Crooked Compass. Considering the country is just opening up to tourism everything went very well - flights, trips, transfers, guides and accommodation - thank you CC - highly recommended

Pauline Mavis Rusby  

We were kept safe at all times.


We were kept safe at all times. When unexpected hurdles appeared they were handled without fuss. Our tour was informative, picturesque and comfortable.

Tina Watts-Seale  

Family holiday to Vietnam


We booked a family holiday to Vietnam with Crooked Compass and it was perfect. The booking process was easy and Lisa took all of our requests on board so that the trip was exactly what we wanted. All flights, transfers, accommodations, guides and activities were fantastic, with great communication throughout the whole trip. Would highly recommend, we will be booking again soon!


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  • Low Deposit

    Crooked Compass requires a minimum deposit of 20% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of crooked compass charges.

    Up to 61 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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