Explore Eastern Europe's Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey
Embark on a spectacular journey from Romania, through Bulgaria and into Turkey, discovering the architectural grandeur and quaint cultural enclaves that make this such an intriguing part of the world. Absorb Bucharest’s austere atmosphere on a guided walking tour, compare age-old places of worship in Sofia and be treated to traditional Bulgarian hospitality on an overnight homestay in Gorno Draglishte. Breathe in crisp alpine air on a hike in the Pirin Mountains, meander back in time in the Old Town of Plovdiv and be dazed and amazed by Istanbul. Relatively short in terms of distance travelled, this eight-day trip is a fascinating study in just how much regions can change as you cross national borders.
Immerse yourself in the communist past and vibrant present of Bucharest, a city often underrated by travellers
Travel through the scenic Rila Mountains in Bulgaria, mingling with monks at the 10th-century Rila Monastery
The mountain village of Gorno Draglishte is home to a rich cultural heritage and a delightful community of welcoming locals. Experience the best of both worlds during a family home-stay (delicious home-cooked dinner included)
The ancient Roman theatre in Plovdiv’s city centre was only discovered when a landslide uncovered it in the 1970s. Explore the amphitheatre and Plovdiv's other significant sights on a guided walking tour
East meets west, tradition meets modernity, culture meets commerce - the vast metropolis of Istanbul is a beguiling mix of just about everything. Admire the majestic Aya Sofia and Blue Mosque before shopping to your heart’s content at the famous Grand Bazaar. This is one of Europe's most exciting cities to explore on foot
As there are potholes and cobblestones in many European cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/cases at home and bring a backpack instead.
This trip involves some travel by public bus, including a few long journeys of up to seven hours. Although this can be a bit tiresome, it's a great way to meet locals and relax while enjoying the passing scenery.
Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart. Please also note that some of our accommodation on this trip offer shared bathrooms rather than en-suite facilities.
As you will have the opportunity to visit several orthodox churches and mosques on this trip, please ensure you cover your legs, shoulders and chest and show the appropriate respect. It's a good idea to bring a light scarf to cover your skin as needed.
A single supplement is available on this trip.
Please note that visas can not be obtained on arrival. Please visit evisa.gov.tr/en/ and obtain an e-visa.
Following recent safety incidents we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Turkey before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page: intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts
Our Eastern Europe Express trips score an average of 4.9 out of 5 based on 29 reviews in the last year.
Overall the trip was an amazing experience. The small group allowed us to really get to know the other members of the group, and the stays in small villages and the local tour guides all helped us to really understand and experience the local culture which is exactly what I look for when I travel.
Review submitted 28 May 2017
This trip offers a great combination of the region's major cities, smaller historical towns and cities plus out of the way rural areas demonstrating just how much this relatively little-known area has to offer.
Review submitted 17 May 2017