Day 1 Arrive Bucharest
Upon arrival you will be met and taken to your centrally located hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant. Overnight Hotel Athenee Palace Hilton.
Day 2 Bucharest
Get acquainted with the Romanian capital, once nicknamed "Little Paris". During the tour you will visit the Parliament Palace, the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon and the open air Village Museum. Your tour will bring you also to the Romanian Athenaeum, the Metropolitan Church, the Opera House, the National Military Club, the Military Academy and the Triumphal Arch. The rest of the day is free. Overnight Athenee Palace Hilton Hotel.
Day 3 Bucharest-Cozia-Sibiel
After breakfast, depart for Sibiu, once the richest town in Transylvania. Your route crosses the Transylvanian Alps through the scenic Olt river valley; along the way you?ll visit the Cozia monastery built in 1386. Arrive in the picturesque village of Sibiel where you enjoy a hearty Romanian dinner at a local home with overnight stay at a farmhouse.
Day 4 Sibiel-Biertan-Sighisoara-Brasov
In the morning enjoy a comprehensive walking tour of Sibiu including the visit to the Cathedral, where the son of Vlad the Impaler (another of Dracula?s monikers) was assassinated. You also stop at the Brukenthal Art Gallery before continuing to the Saxon village of Biertan where you visit the fortress church that is one of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites. The church hosts the largest wing altar in Romania and was used as the residence of the Lutheran bishop of Transylvania for over 300 years. Your next stop is Sighisoara the best-preserved medieval fortified town in Romania and the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler. After arrival, you proceed on a walking tour of the town and visit the famous Clock Tower Museum with its Torture and Weapons Rooms and stop in the house in which Dracula (Vlad the Impaler) was born in 1432. Later, arrive in Brasov in time for dinner and overnight at the Curtea Brasoveana Hotel, situated in the medieval old town.
Day 5 Brasov-Bran-Brasov
After breakfast depart to the small village of Bran, where you visit the spectacular Bran Castle, made famous by Bram Stoker's novel as the residence of the vampire count. The castle that today is popularly referred as the "Dracula's Castle" was built on the top of a steep rock by the prince Mircea the Old in 1377 to protect the border between Valachia and Transylvania. The day continues in the fairytale town of Brasov, founded in the 12th century. Sightseeing includes the Black Church where you can admire the collection of ottoman prayer rugs dating from 16th-18th centuries. At the museum dedicated to the first Romanian school in Transylvania, Professor Olteanu presents an engaging and informative talk about Romania, past and present. Accommodation and dinner in Brasov at the Curtea Brasoveana hotel
Day 6 Brasov-Sinaia-Veliko Turnovo
After breakfast you will visit the marvelous Peles Castle, once the summer residence of the Romanian royal family, located in the charming town of Sinaia. Then you will start driving south, cross the Danube river and continue to Bulgaria and medieval Veliko Tarnovo, former capital of the Bulgarian Empire.
Accommodation and dinner at Yantra Hotel, in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 7 Veliko Tarnovo-Arbanassi-Veliko Tarnovo
After breakfast this you will enjoy a morning tour of Veliko Turnovo. See the medieval quarter of the town and the historical Tsarevets Hill, where remains from the former capital's glory can still be seen. Proceed to the picturesque village of Arbanassi. The village was originally founded by Albanians and it grew rich after Sultan Suleyman I gave it to one of his sons-in-law in early 1538, thus exempting the bustling town from the harsh Ottoman taxation. In this typical medieval Bulgarian town of stone houses and red tiles roofs, we visit the Church of Nativity, the most richly decorated church in Bulgaria. Its interior is completely covered with colorful frescoes painted in the first part of 1600s. Accommodation at Yantra Hotel, in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 8 Veliko Tarnovo-Etara-Kazanlik-Plovdiv
Departure towards Plovdiv. On The way stop for a short visit to the Etara open-air museum, representative for its architecture, the life style and the economic past of the Gabrovo region during the Revival period. Cross the Balkan mountains through the Shipka Pass, famous for its historical significance. Later on you will stop in Kazanlik to see the UNESCO listed Thracian Tomb with its Hellenistic frescoes from the 3rd century BC. Just arrived in Plovdiv, have a walk in the old town with its cobbled streets and typical national revival architecture. Visit the Ethnographic Museum, the Roman Amphitheater, the Church of St. Konstantine and Elena, one of the oldest churches in Bulgaria.
Accommodation at Novotel Hotel, in Plovdiv.
Day 9 Plovdiv-Rila Monastery-Sofia
Leave Plovdiv in the morning and drive across the mountains to the Rila Monastery, one of the greatest centers of scholarship and religion in Bulgaria during the National Revival Period. Founded in the middle of the 10th century it played a key role in preserving Bulgarian culture and language during the centuries. It is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. See the monastery church with its amazing frescoes painted by the most famous Bulgarian finest artists from 19th c. and the monastery museum. Proceed to Sofia and overnight at the Hilton Hotel.
Day 10 Sofia
In the morning discover the Bulgarian capital during a walking
city tour including Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St. Nicholas Russian Church and the Rotonda of St. George Church- the oldest building in Sofia, the National Theater. Afternoon at leisure and Farewell dinner in the evening.
Accommodation at Hilton Hotel in Sofia.
Day 11 Sofia-End of Tour
After breakfast you will be taken to the airport or you can extend your stay in Sofia.