Grand Tour of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria

Grand Tour of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria

15 Days
From
$2170
$2067

Grand Tour of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria

15 Days Starting and ending in Bucharest

Visiting:

Bucharest

,

Moieciu

,

Sibiu

,

Orșova

,

Belgrade

,

Niš

,

Sofia

,

Kazanluk

,

Veliko Tarnovo

,

Balchik

Tour operator:

Explore!

Physical rating:

Medium, FullOn

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Vegans

Trip Styles:

Activities:

Tour code:

RSB

Group size:

4 - 16

Age range:

14-99

Tour operated in:

English

Interests:

From:
$2170

$2067 (USD)

tourhub discount: $103

See local operators tour description
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Tour Overview

In two-weeks experience the highlights of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria. Explore their bustling cities along with the rolling Transylvanian countryside, the Rose Valley and the Black Sea coast. Also discover the extensive history from ancient Roman right up to the more recent communist regimes. Legendary Castles - Delve beneath the myths at Castle Bran and marvel at the exquisite stained glass and décor in Peles Castle Belgrade - Discover the Ottoman, Roman and Communist history in the old capital of Yugoslavia Rila Monastery - Visit this spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site with its brightly coloured frescoes

Highlights

  • Legendary Castles - Delve beneath the myths at Castle Bran and marvel at the exquisite stained glass and décor in Peles Castle

  • Belgrade - Discover the Ottoman, Roman and Communist history in the old capital of Yugoslavia

  • Rila Monastery - Visit this spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site with its brightly coloured frescoes

Itinerary

Expand All
icon Day 1: Join trip in Bucharest, Romania
Location:

  Bucharest


Accommodation:

  Hotel, Minerva


Meals Included:

  No Meals


Arrive in Bucharest, Romania's largest city that became the capital in 1832. Thanks to a period of urban renewal and modernisation, it's now a bustling centre of Romanian culture, arts and media.

For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 6pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Bucharest at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP), which is about 30 minutes' drive from the city centre. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.

If your flight arrives earlier in the day, then there's plenty to discover in the city's Old Town or there's a multitude of museums available to choose from including the National Museum of Romanian History, the Military Museum and the Folk Art Museum, to name but a few.

icon Day 2: Walking tour of Bucharest; visit to remarkable Peles Castle and Bran Castle
Location:

  Moieciu


Accommodation:

  Casa Zada Guest House


Meals Included:

  Breakfast, Dinner


Our trip leader will take us to explore Romania's capital, Bucharest. Situated on the Danube Plain and set amid a series of lakes and spacious gardens, here we will see a remarkable blend of turn of the century elegance and communist excess. We visit many of the older parts of the city to discover the architecture that earned it the reputation as the 'Paris of Eastern Europe' such as the striking columned facade of the Romanian Atheneum concert hall and the Royal Palace of Bucharest. We will also see the exterior of the Palace of Parliament, which is an incredible construction, the second largest building in the world. Many homes were destroyed to make way for this massive structure and it took 13 years to build at an alleged cost of over three billion Euros, so it's of little surprise that it was and still is a very controversial building. We will make a visit to the fascinating Village Museum where we can see a collection of old wooden churches, windmills and peasant dwellings from different regions.

Driving out of Bucharest we head into the rolling countryside filled with forests, farmland and dramatic mountain peaks. We arrive in Sinaia, known as the 'pearl of the Carpathians' and visit the wonderful Peles Castle. Built for the Hohenzollern monarch Carol I, it resembles a Bavarian chateau and is richly decorated with stained glass, Persian carpets, Renaissance weapons, ebony and mother of pearl.

Next we'll visit what is probably the most famous castle in the world, Bran Castle, the apparent haunt of Count Dracula. Perched on a crag in a valley between two high mountain ranges, it dominates the surrounding scenery. We'll learn that the truth behind castle is even more fascinating than the myths. It was the home of the remarkable British born Queen Marie of Romania, grand daughter of Queen Victoria, whereas Vlad the Impaler, the infamous 15th century ruler of Wallachia who Dracula is based on, never lived here. In fact, the author of the much-loved Dracula novel, Bram Stoker never even came to Transylvania.

This evening we will stay in a quaint local guesthouse in the Transylvanian village of Moieciu, where we have a delicious home cooked meal this evening. Romanian cuisine is hearty and their red wine is surprisingly good. A typical meal can consist of stewed beef, freshly baked bread, pearl barley, cabbage, roasted root vegetables and sour cream. Before a meal the locals tend to sip the aperitif, tzuica, a strong plum brandy.

icon Day 3: Explore medieval Brasov and the walled city of Sibiu
Location:

  Sibiu


Accommodation:

  Hotel Roberts


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


We drive to the Brasov, which is a treasure trove of centuries-old buildings and churches, and cobbled streets all clustered within the medieval city walls and overlooked by a magnificent 15th century Gothic cathedral. You'll have free time here to take a stroll through the City Square and down the extremely narrow Rope Street to see the Black Church or perhaps you may like to visit one of the museums, the First Romanian School or Saint Nicolas Church in the Scheii district.

This afternoon we drive to the city of Sibiu, which back in the 12th century was one of the largest and wealthiest of seven walled citadels in Romania. Our trip leader will take us beneath the ramparts and through the backstreets, past the first hospital and pharmacy in Romania and to Liar's Bridge. Here it is said that if you told a lie whilst on the bridge it would collapse, but it's also a known place where lovers would meet to declare their love and in recent times to attach padlocks to it as a symbol of their affections.

You'll have some free time in the city and you might like to visit the Brukenthal National Museum, which is home to over 1,000 works of art, sculptures and a Gothic exhibition. Sibiu is a good spot for food lovers with a range of restaurants and some of the best, which are frequented by the locals, can be found in the Small Square. A speciality is ciorba, which is a sour soup that comes in several varieties with vegetables or meatballs. Many local establishments in the town serve their beer by the metre.

Our hotel tonight is a modern hotel in a quiet area just outside the old city walls, within walking distance to the city centre.

icon Day 4: See King Decebalus' statue and take a dip in riverside hot springs
Location:

  Orșova


Accommodation:

  Pensiune Safrane


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


We drive to the large Gothic Corvin Castle with its pointed red-roofed turrets and vaulted ceilings. It's supposedly here that Vlad the Impaler was held prisoner for seven years by John Hunyadi until they later became allies, even though John had previously killed Vlad's father. In the castle yard is a well that is an astonishing 30 metres deep. Legend has it that it took three Turkish prisoners 15 years to dig and that they were promised freedom in return for reaching water, but they were tricked and having succeeded they weren't released. There an inscription here that is said to have been written by them saying 'you have water, but not soul'. Due to its long and sometimes chequered history the castle is rumoured to be haunted.

We drive to Orsova beside the Danube River where we can see the gigantic statue of King Decebalus' head carved into the rocky river gorge. The rock relief is over 40 metres high and 30 metres wide and it took 10 years to carve. Although its subject is ancient, it was in fact only constructed in the 1990s. King Decebalus was the last king of Dacia (pre-Roman Romania) and he fought hard against the Roman emperors Domitian and Trajan to preserve Dacia's independence and as such he is regarded as a Romanian folk hero. You might like to join a boat trip on the Iron Gates Gorge to take a closer look at this monument.

icon Day 5: Explore ancient Roman Viminacium and arrive in Belgrade, Serbia
Location:

  Belgrade


Accommodation:

  Mr President Hotel


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


Today we leave Romania and cross the border into Serbia and drive to the ancient Roman city and military fort at Viminacium. The drive should take about 3.5 hours, but at times it can take an additional hour at the border crossing. A local guide will explain the history of the city which prospered during the reign of Hadrian, during the 1st century AD, right up to the 6th century, due to its location on the Danube River, and it was home to the Imperial Navy Fleet. Among the ruins the frescoes in the 4th century tombs are especially interesting along with the remains of one of the biggest amphitheatres discovered in the Balkans. The people living in Viminacium had a good quality of life and this is evident from the 30,000 artefacts that have been found here, however these are now mostly housed in the National Museums of Belgrade and Pozarevac. During the excavations other fascinating items have been found, and most notably in 2009 when a 5-millon year old mammoth skeleton was uncovered.

This afternoon we drive to Serbia's capital Belgrade and our leader will point out the Ruins of the Yugoslav Army Headquarters before we arrive at our hotel. This romantic city lies on the confluence of the Sava and the Danube Rivers and it's said that Belgrade, meaning 'the white city', is where the rivers met and fell in love. However, it's certainly not always been a peaceful picture, but bustling with locals and visitors it's now rising from its turbulent past and is quickly becoming one of the 'must see' places in the Balkans. This evening you're free for dinner.

Paprika is arguably the most popular ingredient in Serbian cooking and they tend to use the red fruit itself rather than the dried spice. You'll find it chopped up in salads with tomatoes, cucumber and cheese, chargrilled with barbequed meats, pickled, stuffed and even mashed. They also love cream and kajmak, a partially fermented thick cream, which is often served with grilled meats or fresh bread. It's a bit like a cross between sour cream and clotted cream. Rakia is the most popular spirit and it's normally distilled from plums or grapes, but you can also find more unusual variations like quince, walnut or honey.

icon Day 6: Visit to the laidback city of Novi Sad; explore Belgrade on foot
Location:

  Belgrade


Accommodation:

  Mr President Hotel


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


This morning we drive to Novi Sad, meaning 'new garden'. It is the second largest city in Serbia, but boasts a laidback atmosphere; with most locals choosing to enjoy a coffee on the banks of the Danube rather than rush anywhere. On arrival we'll have a walking tour ending at the Petrovaradin Fortress from where the city originated. Novi Sad is rich in Roman, Greek and Byzantine history and we'll explore the main Liberty Square and see the cathedral and the City Hall. Afterwards you'll have the chance to go inside Petrovaradin Fortress, which is known locally as 'the Gibraltar on the Danube' (due to its shape rather than its size). The 16 kilometres of hallways deep under the fort lead to dungeons, which have been home to Karadorde, leader of the first Serbian uprising against the Ottomans, and Tito, the former Yugoslavia's long reigning president.

After time for lunch we return to Belgrade this afternoon for a walking tour to discover its fascinating history from ancient empires through to the more recent conflicts of the early 1990s. We start our walk at Belgrade Fortress and the surrounding large Kalmegdan Park, which overlooks the rivers. We continue down the pedestrianised Knez Mihailova Street back towards the Main Square, which is just behind our hotel.

icon Day 7: See the rock formations at Devil's Town and Skull Tower in Nis
Location:

  Niš


Accommodation:

  Hotel Regent


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


This morning we drive further south to Devil's Town to see the towering rock formations that legend says are petrified wedding guests at a marriage arranged by the Devil between a local brother and sister, who were then punished by god for their sins by being turned to stone. There are over 200 red stone formations with the tallest being 15 metres high, which have actually been created by erosion from the local waters that are abnormally acidic and high in minerals.

After having time for a picnic lunch we drive to Nis and en route we'll learn more about the city's history at the Bubanj Memorial Park, which was built to commemorate the execution of over 10,000 of the city's residents during World War II. The cosmopolitan city of Nis is a place where old meets new and you can see new cars travelling beside horse and carts. It's a university city, so its old alleyways are home to sophisticated cocktail bars, as well as pop-up markets in summer and it has a burgeoning music scene. On our walking tour we'll get a taste of this and see Tito's Memorial, the Ottoman Citadel and the somewhat gruesome Skull Tower, which is embedded with the skulls of the rebels that fought and lost to the Ottoman forces at the Battle of Cegar.

icon Day 8: Arrive in Sofia, Bulgaria and visit the Soviet Army Monument by metro
Location:

  Sofia


Accommodation:

  Budapest Hotel, Sofia


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


Before leaving Serbia this morning we'll make a brief stop just outside Nis at the red bricked Latin Church and Cegar Hill where the battle of Cegar took place between the Serbian Revolutionaries and Ottoman army, as part of the First Serbian Uprising in 1809. We drive on to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. The drive takes us around 2.5 hours, but it can take an additional hour at the border crossing.

Sofia has a long history which can be seen by the onion-domed churches, Ottoman mosques, Roman ruins and old Soviet monuments. However, it is now largely modern and youthful with a wealth of museums, art galleries, cafes and restaurants.

We take the metro to visit the Monument to the Soviet Army. This tribute to the Russian soldiers who died supporting Bulgarian efforts during World War II is surrounded by a large park. In recent years its sculpted bronze statues have frequently been vandalised with them being painted in a pop art style. The paint keeps being removed by the authorities and then a new design will appear a short time later. The statues have been all pink, painted in the style of comic book heroes and villains, in the colours of the Bulgarian flag, and more, so who knows what the statues will look like when you visit them.

We'll walk back to the city centre making stops at interesting places along the way. After time for lunch our trip leader will take us on a walk to discover the city centre and to see the Palace of Culture, Independence Square and the Neo-Byzantine Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which was built to commemorate the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died fighting for Bulgaria's independence.

The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore more of the city and this evening you'll have your first chance to sample Bulgarian cuisine. Food in Bulgaria tends to be made from fresh local produce and dinner usually starts with a salad such as shopska salata consisting of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and white cheese. Other specialities include kebapche, small and spicy minced meat rolls, and surmi, stuffed cabbage or vine leafs. Both red and white wines are popular, as is the local brandy rakia and the aniseed spirit mastika.

icon Day 9: Explore Rila Monastery; chance to visit the Museum of Socialist Art
Location:

  Sofia


Accommodation:

  Budapest Hotel, Sofia


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Rila Monastery is an important religious and cultural centre for the Bulgarian people, which we will go to visit this morning. Remaining in wonderful condition it has the most stunning brightly coloured frescoes and distinctive striped brickwork. Originally founded in the 10th century the monastery served to preserve Bulgarian culture during the 400 years of Ottoman rule and was a hiding place for the Bulgarian revolutionaries. Today the magnificent church and its museum house a priceless collection of frescoes, gilded iconostasis and religious art and artefacts. Whilst here you'll have the opportunity to visit the museum.

We return to Sofia for a free afternoon. You may like to visit the Archaeological Museum where there are Thracian, Roman and medieval artefacts on display in a former mosque dating from 1496. Or perhaps the Museum of Socialist Art where you'll find many of the items removed from around the country when the Soviet era came to an end such as unwanted statues of Lenin, the red star from Sofia's Party House and footage from old propaganda films. There are also the ancient ruins of Serdica, which were discovered during the building of a new metro station. Now partially excavated you can see a small section of eight streets, an early Christian church and a bathhouse from this old Roman city.

icon Day 10: See Plovdiv Roman Theatre and a Thracian tomb in the Rose Valley
Location:

  Kazanluk


Accommodation:

  Hotel Zornica


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


We'll drive to Plovdiv, an ancient city built on seven hills, and our trip leader will take us to discover the main highlights. The most famous of which is probably the well preserved Roman Theatre of Philipoppol, which is still used for concerts and theatrical performances. We'll see the exterior of this and if there are no performances taking place or being setup then you may be able to go inside the theatre.

We'll have the opportunity to have lunch here before driving on to Kazanlak in the Rose Valley. The flower laden fragrant fields (normally in bloom in May) sit between the Middle Forest Mountain and Balkan Mountains and the rosa damascene variety has been cultivated here for centuries. The rose blossoms are used in the production of rose oil and nearly a ton is made here every year which is about 70% of the world's overall production. Rose oil is used in many different ways from antiseptics to aphrodisiacs and laxatives to beauty products. You'll have the option to visit the Rose Museum to learn more.

Next we visit the excellent reproduction of the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak with a local guide. The original tomb was discovered in 1944 and dates back to the Hellenistic period. The ancient burial ground has impressive murals which show images of the ritual funeral feast, traditional dress and fanciful horses. In keeping with Thracian culture the burial site consists of three rooms - the main round burial chamber which would have been the owners final resting place, an antechamber where their chariot, horses and slaves would have been kept for use in the afterlife and a corridor between the two which served as storage for other items needed in the spirit world.

After our visit we'll go to Kazanlak and check-in to our hotel for the night.

icon Day 11: Visit Shipka Memorial Church, Etar Museum and Tsarevets Fort
Location:

  Veliko Tarnovo


Accommodation:

  Hotel Concorde


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


Today we'll get to experience a range of different sights. We start by driving deep into the mountains to Shipka Memorial Church. Its tall bell tower, golden domes and intricately decorated red and white exterior stand out somewhat from the remote surrounding tree covered hills. The church is dedicated to the Russian soldiers who gave their lives in the Battles of Shipka Pass during the Russo-Turkish War from 1877-78 in a bid to free Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire. It officially opened on the 25th anniversary of the conflict and the names of the fallen soldiers are inscribed on walls of the church's crypt. Its bells are cast from battlefield cartridges and are extremely heavy, weighing up to 12 tons.

From here we drive to the northern edge of the Bulgarka Nature Park to visit the Etar Open Air Museum. Here there are approximately 50 old buildings that showcase Bulgarian customs and craftsmanship, the best known is probably the watermill which dates back to 1780. As well as being historical important, the park is very pretty with lots of running water, cobbled streets and colourful wooden buildings nestled within a leafy valley.

We drive on to one of Bulgaria's oldest towns, Veliko Tarnovo, where we will spend the night. It exudes medieval history with its fortified walls, cobbled ramshackle lanes and the mighty Tsarevets Fortress, which was formerly the city citadel. We will walk up to this fort, which was home to the medieval tsars, to see some of the ruins of over 400 houses, more than a dozen churches and the royal palace. We will also visit the handicraft market, Samovodska Charshiya, which has changed little over the past two centuries.

icon Day 12: Discover Varna and Balchik on the Black Sea coast
Location:

  Balchik


Accommodation:

  The Palace Villa Complex


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


This morning we drive to Varna on the Black Sea coastline. Our trip leader will point out the main sights and take us on a walk into the city centre. We'll see the ruins of the ancient Roman Baths of Odessos and the most famous Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral in the country, the Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral. The city is famous for the 'gold of Varna' - 6,000 year-old Thracian jewellery which was found here and you can choose to go to see it in the Archaeological Museum. Perhaps you'd prefer to visit the Sea Garden, which is thought to be the largest landscaped park in the Balkans and you can see a variety of sculptures here along with the immaculate and wonderfully colourful selection of flowers.

This afternoon we drive on to Balchik where we will stay for the next two nights. We have the unique experience of staying in rooms in the old villas that formed part of the Black Sea Summer Palace of Queen Marie of Romania. This accommodation is rated as simple, but once the day visitors leave we have the botanical garden palace grounds to ourselves to explore. There is a restaurant in the grounds and other bars and restaurants are just a short walk away along the coast.

icon Day 13: Visit Kaliakra Fortress and take a walk along the cliff tops
Location:

  Balchik


Accommodation:

  The Palace Villa Complex


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


Today we'll continuing exploring the Black Sea coast beginning with a visit to Kaliakra Fortress. Perched on a rocky peninsula and surrounded by the crashing sea waves this fort used to be a vital stronghold in protecting the Black Sea Cape. After our visit we'll take an easy walk along the cliffs that line the shore (taking about 1.5 hours) to take in the sea views. At the end of our walk we can reward ourselves with a coffee break on a nearby terrace overlooking the waters. There'll also be the chance to go for a swim from Boiata Beach.

This afternoon we return to Balchik and will visit Balchik Palace, the summer residence of Queen Marie of Romania and the botanical gardens that surround it, which contain over 2,000 different plant varieties. You then have free time to relax on the beach and paddle in the sea or maybe you'd like to explore more of the gardens.

icon Day 14: Return to Bucharest, Romania
Location:

  Bucharest


Accommodation:

  Hotel Minerva


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


This morning we leave Bulgaria and cross back over the border to Bucharest in Romania. Our drive will take approximately five to six hours and potentially around another hour at the border crossing. We'll make a stop to pick-up lunch along the way and arrive back in the city at around 3.30pm.

After checking-in to our hotel the rest of the afternoon is free for you to unwind and explore Bucharest at your own pace. There's plenty to discover in the city's Old Town or there's a multitude of museums available to choose from including the National Museum of Romanian History, the Military Museum and the Folk Art Museum, to name but a few. Alternatively, you could visit inside the Palace of Parliament where you'll find marble columns, grand halls and glittering crystal chandeliers.

icon Day 15: Trip ends in Bucharest, Romania
Location:

  Bucharest


Meals Included:

  Breakfast


The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Bucharest.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Bucharest at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP), which is about 30 minutes' drive from the city centre.

What's Included

  • Meals – Breakfast Only

    Breakfast: 14 Dinner: 1

  • Accommodation

  • Fully Guided

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • Country Entry Visas

  • 1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day

Check out our Q&As

Are airport transfers included in this tour?

Transfers are included on the first and the last day of the trip

Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

No

What is the maximum group size?

16

Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

Yes

Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

Yes

    Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    Yes

    Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Trasnfers are included on the first and the last day of the trip

    Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?

    Yes

    What is the fitness level required to do this tour?

    Moderate

    Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?

    Yes

    What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    1 nights comfortable guesthouse 11 nights comfortable hotel 2 nights simple hotel

    I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

    Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

    Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

    How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

    Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

    Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at https://www.explore.co.uk/about/sustainability/charities-and-partners

    What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

    What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

    What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

    What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

    Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

    What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

    Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

    Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

    Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews

Grand Tour of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria

P.S. We also appreciated being able to fill up water bottles from the van supply. Definitely less plastic used. We had a very enjoyable trip.

P.

S.

We also appreciated being able to fill up water bottles from the van supply.

Definitely less plastic used.

We had a very enjoyable trip.


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Kay

06-Jul-2019

Grand Tour of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria

Balcik was fabulous and a lovely contrast to being in big cities.

Balcik was fabulous and a lovely contrast to being in big cities.


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Sally

22-Apr-2019

Grand Tour of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria

The group were all well travelled andt on well.

The group were all well travelled andt on well.


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David

10-Jan-2018

Grand Tour of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria

Thank you for a great holiday which I really enjoyed.

Thank you for a great holiday which I really enjoyed.


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Laurence

09-Mar-2019

Grand Tour of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria

Good new trip and worth doing. For us it was an opportunity to see more of Bulgaria (following and Ancient Macedonia trip) and to see some of Romania and Serbia. ....more

Good new trip and worth doing.

For us it was an opportunity to see more of Bulgaria (following and Ancient Macedonia trip) and to see some of Romania and Serbia.

Would certainly want to back and see more of Romania now.

.

Would recommend this trip.

less....


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Miriam

07-May-2018

Dates & Availability

Instant Booking Available

Saturday

Apr 08, 2023

Saturday

Apr 22, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $103 (USD)

$2170
$2067 (USD)
$2170
$2067 (USD)

tourhub discount: $103

Instant Booking Available

Saturday

Apr 08, 2023

Saturday

Apr 22, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $121 (USD)

  • IncludingUK Flights

$2550
$2429 (USD)
$2550
$2429 (USD)

tourhub discount: $121

Including Flights from the UK

Instant Booking Available

Saturday

May 13, 2023

Saturday

May 27, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $103 (USD)

$2170
$2067 (USD)
$2170
$2067 (USD)

tourhub discount: $103

Instant Booking Available

Saturday

May 13, 2023

Saturday

May 27, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $120 (USD)

  • IncludingUK Flights

$2530
$2410 (USD)
$2530
$2410 (USD)

tourhub discount: $120

Including Flights from the UK

Instant Booking Available

Saturday

Jun 17, 2023

Saturday

Jul 01, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $103 (USD)

$2170
$2067 (USD)
$2170
$2067 (USD)

tourhub discount: $103

Instant Booking Available

Saturday

Jun 17, 2023

Saturday

Jul 01, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $123 (USD)

  • IncludingUK Flights

$2590
$2467 (USD)
$2590
$2467 (USD)

tourhub discount: $123

Including Flights from the UK

Instant Booking Available

Saturday

Jul 29, 2023

Saturday

Aug 12, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $109 (USD)

$2290
$2181 (USD)
$2290
$2181 (USD)

tourhub discount: $109

Instant Booking Available

Saturday

Jul 29, 2023

Saturday

Aug 12, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $133 (USD)

  • IncludingUK Flights

$2810
$2677 (USD)
$2810
$2677 (USD)

tourhub discount: $133

Including Flights from the UK

Instant Booking Available

Saturday

Aug 12, 2023

Saturday

Aug 26, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $103 (USD)

$2170
$2067 (USD)
$2170
$2067 (USD)

tourhub discount: $103

Instant Booking Available

Saturday

Aug 12, 2023

Saturday

Aug 26, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $125 (USD)

  • IncludingUK Flights

$2640
$2515 (USD)
$2640
$2515 (USD)

tourhub discount: $125

Including Flights from the UK

Instant Booking Available

Sunday

Sep 03, 2023

Sunday

Sep 17, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $103 (USD)

$2170
$2067 (USD)
$2170
$2067 (USD)

tourhub discount: $103

Instant Booking Available

Sunday

Sep 03, 2023

Sunday

Sep 17, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $121 (USD)

  • IncludingUK Flights

$2540
$2419 (USD)
$2540
$2419 (USD)

tourhub discount: $121

Including Flights from the UK

Instant Booking Available

Sunday

Sep 17, 2023

Sunday

Oct 01, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $103 (USD)

$2170
$2067 (USD)
$2170
$2067 (USD)

tourhub discount: $103

Instant Booking Available

Sunday

Sep 17, 2023

Sunday

Oct 01, 2023
  • tourhub discount: $121 (USD)

  • IncludingUK Flights

$2540
$2419 (USD)
$2540
$2419 (USD)

tourhub discount: $121

Including Flights from the UK

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 60 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a minimum deposit of 10% 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 explore! charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: 100% of deposit.

    At 59 days before tour starts: 30% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: 60% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: 90% of booking price.

    At 13 days before tour starts: 100% of booking price.

Grand Tour of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria

15 Days Starting and ending in Bucharest

Visiting:

Bucharest

,

Moieciu

,

Sibiu

,

Orșova

,

Belgrade

,

Niš

,

Sofia

,

Kazanluk

,

Veliko Tarnovo

,

Balchik

Tour operator:

Explore!

Physical rating:

Medium, FullOn

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Vegans

Trip Styles:

Activities:

Tour code:

RSB

Group size:

4 - 16

Age range:

14-99

Tour operated in:

English

Interests:

From:
$2170

$2067 (USD)

tourhub discount: $103

See local operators tour description
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A 'MUST' whilst you're there?

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