Travel through the gems of Central Europe and explore Romania

Experience the best of this old-world region on a journey through enchanting Central Europe and Romania. Travel to Austria and be immersed in the country's superb musical heritage and step back in time in the castles of the Czech Republic. Experience Polish traditions while exploring the romantic Old Town of Krakow and get active in Slovakia's Tatra Mountains. Then Explore Hungary and Romania; from the beautiful Baroque churches of Budapest to the haunted castles of Transylvania. Learn about the failed Turkish invasion of Eger and take a wine cellar tour in the Valley of the Beautiful Women. Become acquainted with traditional Romanian culture and customs in Maramures. Tour the medieval churches of Brasov, dine with a local family on an overnight homestay in Viscri and visit Bucharest's 12-storey Palace of Parliament. This epic journey through Central Europe and Romania gives a great insight in to that magical part of the world.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Vienna, Austria
Finish
Bucharest, Romania
Countries
Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia
Style
Original
Code
AMSCC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 15

Why we love this trip

  • Soak up the royal history of Krakow's Wawel Castle and step back in time with a stroll through the city's medieval main square

  • Immerse yourself in the history, architecture and bohemian vibes of the Czech Republic. Step right into a fairytale in the World Heritage-listed town of Cesky Krumlov before soaking up the smooth sounds of jazz at a low-lit bar in Prague

  • So much of what is great about Europe can be found in Vienna. Revel in the city's rich offerings of art, history and music and stroll along the eclectic Ringstrasse

  • Enjoy a scenic walk along the banks of the River Danube in Budapest. Threaded with bridges and hemmed in by castles and historic city buildings, Europe’s second longest river is also one of its most beautiful

  • Hike in the picturesque Tatra Mountains and traverse the steep slopes via funicular, gondola and electric steam train

  • A sobering tour of Auschwitz concentration camp museum offers insight into one of the most tragic periods in human history

  • Sample the famous Hungarian 'bulls blood' in Eger, the wine that supposedly gave the Hungarian army supernatural strength during their battle against the Ottoman Empire

  • Experience peasant life on a full-day tour through the countryside of Maramures, Romania's most traditional and colourful region. Don't be surprised if you see horse-drawn carts along the road

  • Learn spooky stories while travelling through beautiful Transylvania, famous for its medieval fortified churches and as the birthplace of the inspiration for the world's most famous vampire, Dracula

  • A home-stay with a local family in the Saxon/Roma town of Viscri will expose you to Romanian hospitality and some finger-licking home-cooked grub

  • Delve into the communist past and the thriving, artistic present-day vibe of Bucharest, a city often underrated by travellers

Is this trip right for you?

  • The journey from the Tatra Mountains to Budapest will be especially long, taking approximately 7-8 hours.

  • Train travel is a fast way to traverse long distances, allowing you to avoid traffic jams and arrive right into the city centre. Trains are comfortable and often decked out with air-conditioning, toilets, and a snack bar (or vending machine). Please note that you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the train, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'What to Take' section of the trip notes.

  • On day 5 & 6 we will stay in private apartments in Prague. Apartments are of different size and usually have two or three rooms. You will share the apartment with other members of the group and it is likely you will also be sharing a bathroom within the apartment with them too. Several separate apartments are located in the city centre so you may be a short walk away from some other group members and your leader. Most of the apartments have fully equipped kitchens (again, shared between the group members staying in one apartment) and you can choose to buy your own groceries and supplies for meals. Please note the apartments are not hotels, which means there's no reception, room service or daily cleaning service, no televisions or washing machines, but plenty of charm and the location is perfect.

  • On day 12 we plan to go for a day’s hike in High Tatra Mountains. To fully enjoy the day, you should have a basix level of fitness. Please also make sure you bring appropriate clothing and footwear; rain coat and sturdy trainers or walking boots are a must.

  • Summer temperatures in Hungary and Romania can reach up to 40°C, which can be uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Please consider the time of year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season. If travelling in summer, drink lots of water and remember to protect yourself from the sun. Bring layers to combat the heat, as well as sun block, shades and a hat.

  • In many Central European cities streets are made of cobblestones. Often there are no lifts or escalators at train stations and some accommodation we use. You will have to carry your bags up and down the stairs yourself. It is recommended that you leave any wheelie bags/case at home and bring a backpack instead. 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 twin-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. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.

  • This trip is designed to give you a fair amount of free time so you can explore each destination at your own pace. We will, however, take you on regular orientation walks, so you'll be on your feet quite a lot. While this may be tiring for some, it’s the best way to get your head around a place and to set yourself up for further discoveries.

Itinerary

Welcome to Vienna, Austria. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please confirm with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception noticeboards. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Vienna is a beautiful city, so if you arrive early make sure you go for a walk. Perhaps even take a spin on the famous old Prater Ferris Wheel. Use the evening getting to know your fellow travellers over dinner.

Your base for two nights in Vienna is Magdas Hotel – an accommodation that is unlike any other hotel you are likely to come across on your travels. Magdas Hotel is a social project bringing refugees from all over the world to work together in one place. Hotel is staffed with refuges so expect to hear different languages and different stories from all over the world. Also the building’s history is interesting – it’s a former old people’s home and homeless shelter which has been completely renovated. Most of the furniture is also re-cycled, renovated and re-purposed. The place is full of love, passion and unity. It’s full of colours and smiley faces. Magdas Hotel ‘brings together what belongs together’

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Join your leader for a walk through the city's compact centre this morning (approximately 2 hours). Stop at the gothic looking St. Stephens Cathedral, wander past the neo-classical grandeur of the Graben and onwards to the Hofburg Palace. Finish your orientation of the city at the State Opera House, one of the world's most important opera houses and the heart of classical Viennese culture. Art lovers have a vast choice of museums, from the Albertina to those located in the Museum Quarter.

You have the rest of today to explore Vienna and its surrounds. You might like to head out to Schoenbrunn for a guided audio tour of the summer palace, designed by Empress Maria Theresa. The Gloriette Monument has incredible views of Vienna and the palace gardens are free to all visitors, but there's a charge for entrance and tours of the palace. In the evening, perhaps head out for some Viennese cuisine.

Notes: Avoid long queues at Schoenbrunn Palace by pre-booking your tickets at: schoenbrunn.at. Also, the Spanish Riding School doesn't operate throughout the summer months. You will need to book tickets in advance to see the performance of the Lipizzaners. Phone: +43 (0)1 505 77 66 55 or e-mail info@viennaticketoffice.com to arrange tickets.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Belvedere Gallery - EUR13
  • Albertina Museum - EUR13
  • Sisi Museum - EUR12
  • Spanish Riding School practice - EUR28
  • St Stephen's Tower - EUR5
  • Schoenbrunn Palace - EUR14
  • Hofburg Palace and Sisi Museum - EUR12
  • Leopold Museum - EUR13
  • Prater Ferris Wheel - EUR10
  • Vienna Boys Choir concert - EUR70
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart Vienna by minivan in the morning and cross the border into the Czech Republic (approximately 3.5 hours). Our first stop is the southern Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov. This picturesque medieval town dates back to the 13th century and is straight out of a fairytale. Cesky Krumlov (pronounced 'Che-skee Krum-lov') means 'crooked meadow', which is befitting of a town that's nestled in a sharp bend of the Vltava River. Venture out on an included cycling trip in the afternoon, across rolling hills and through tiny hamlets (approximately 2-2.5 hours). If you have time, explore the city's castle and its fabulous masquerade hall, or climb the tower for aerial views of the town. For the active, there's the option to canoe or kayak down the river.

Notes: During the cooler and winter months, cycling is often not possible. You'll take an extended walking tour of the town instead.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cecky Krumlov Cycling trip (weather and season permitting)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free for you to enjoy as you please. Perhaps take an optional guided walking tour of the town, which includes commentary of the mysteries that lie behind every shopfront and house on the crooked little streets. For those who want a bit more culture, and time permitting, visit the Egon Schiele Art Centrum and browse the gallery that's dedicated to the Austrian painter. If you are an adventurous spirit, jump in to a canoe and discover the town from a perspective of Vltava River.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Brewery tour - CZK130
  • Guided walking tour - CZK300
  • Egon Schiele Art Centrum - CZK160
  • Raft/canoe trip per person - CZK1200
  • Guided castle tour - CZK250
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Farewell this southern bohemian town and travel by bus to Prague (approximately 4 hours). During your stay in Prague, you'll have share the apartment with other members of the group. Several separate apartments are located in the city centre so you may be a short walk away from your other group members and your leader. Staying in the city centre allows easy access to all the sights and the restaurants and bars. Each apartment has two to three rooms with one or two shared bathrooms. Most of the apartments have fully equipped kitchens and you can choose to buy your own groceries and supplies for meals. On arrival into Prague, head out on an orientation walk with your leader, and spend the rest of your afternoon as you wish.

Notes: The apartments are not hotels, which means there's no reception, room service or daily cleaning service, no televisions or washing machines, but plenty of charm and the location is perfect. Please also note that individual rooms are allocated on a same gender twin share basis, however the apartments itself are allocated on a mixed gender basis, which means you will be sharing a two, or three room apartment with the other members of the group. Apartments may only have one bathroom and one fully equipped kitchen and these facilities are also shared between the group members staying in the same apartment. If you have booked a single room, you will be allocated one, however, this again will be a single room in shared apartment, not a single or studio apartment.
Accommodation
  • Private apartment (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventure - Prague Discovery - EUR64
  • Urban Adventure - Prague Beer and Czech Tapas Tour - EUR63
  • Urban Adventure - Bohemian State of Mind - EUR58
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free to explore Prague. The city offers many possibilities, so perhaps take a walk around the Jewish Quarter and pay respects at the Gothic looking Old Jewish Cemetery. This is Europe's oldest surviving Jewish cemetery, with 12,000 tombstones and 100,000 graves. Visiting The Museum of Communism can shade some light on this part of dark history shared by most of central European countries which somehow isn’t yet well known to the broader audience. Visiting town hall Clock Tower is a great way to finish off a busy day, before heading out for a dinner, and perhaps discovering another great side of Prague: the longest-standing and respected jazz scenes in Europe. If you should find yourself out until the early hours in an atmospheric jazz club, have a wander along Charles Bridge or Old Town Square as the sun rises for magical photo opportunities.
Accommodation
  • Private apartment (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Jewish Quarter - CZK480
  • Kafka Museum - CZK200
  • Day Trip to Kutna Hora - CZK250
  • Mucha Museum - CZK240
  • Museum of Communism - CZK190
  • Prague Castle Entrance - CZK350
  • Sedlec Ossuary - CZK90
  • Church of St Barbara - CZK60
  • Town Hall Clock Tower - CZK105
  • Bike tour - CZK490
  • The Dancing House - Free
  • John Lennon Wall - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Spend some time this morning at Prague Castle, the biggest castle in the Czech Republic, where you'll find the famous St. Vitus Cathedral and colourful alleyway of the Golden Lane. A bike tour through the city is a great way to see a lot of the city's sights and attractions in a short period of time. If you can make time, take a day trip out of town and visit Kutna Hora. The Bone Church (Sedlec Ossuary) is a particularly unique experience. Perhaps use your evening to head out for dinner with the group.
Accommodation
  • Private apartment (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Heading north by train, arrive in the small town of Broumov from where you'll cross the Czech–Polish border. From here you'll be transferred in a private vehicle to the nearby small village in range of Gory Sowie (translated as Owl Mountains). Today's travel time will be around four hours in total. On arrival, check in to our pension situated at the foot of highest mountain in the range – Wielka Sowa. On arrival, visit a nearby underground city from the tragic times of the II World War. Osowka is a mysterious underground complex where workers from concentration camps were forced to work in order to create huge systems of concrete corridors, fortifications and halls. As the work was kept in secret, until now there is many theories trying to explain what the underground city was meant to be used for. Find out yourself on an included guided visit this afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Underground City of Osowka- entrance
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Continue east today by private bus and journey to Oswiecim (Auschwitz) (approximately 4 hours). On arrival, learn more about the history of World War II at the former Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz, with a guided tour of the Auschwitz Museum and Birkenau (approximately 2.5 hours). After this sobering day trip, carry on driving to Krakow (approximately 1.5 hours). Possibly the best known of all Poland's cities, Krakow was the residence of Polish kings from the 11th to the 17th centuries, and its Old Town is a World Heritage-listed site. In the evening, perhaps head out for some good Polish grub.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided visit to State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventure - Communist Krakow Adventure - EUR37
  • Urban Adventure - Polish Krakow Adventure - EUR37
  • Jewish Krakow Adventure - EUR39
  • Urban Adventure - Home Cooked Krakow - EUR52
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, explore the city in your own time. Discover Wawel Royal Castle, which sits atop a hill next to the Vistula River. Check out the 13th-century town square of Rynek Glowny and get a glimpse inside St Mary's Basilica which features an extraordinary wood-carved Gothic altarpiece. There's also the lovely neo-Gothic St Francis' Basilica, which has some of Poland's best Art Nouveau. In Krakow, you will also find the second oldest university in Central Europe (the oldest is in Prague). Jagiellonian Univeristy counts Copernicus and Pope John Paul II among its alumni.

If you can tear yourself away from Krakow, head out to the Wieliczka Salt Mines, a network of tunnels and chambers some 135 metres below the ground. This is a salt mine that was in operation for over 700 year and is listed as the UNESCO world heritage site. The mine has a labyrinth of tunnels, pits, and chambers, all hewn by hand from solid salt, with beautifully adorned chapels and underground lakes. Don't miss a look at the elaborate salt chandeliers and carvings in the Blessed Kinga Chapel.

Krakow has many cellar restaurants and pubs. Perhaps end the day indulging in a few drinks and a plate of pierogi in one of the city's cheerful establishments.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • History Museum - PLN8
  • Galicia Jewish Museum - PLN15
  • Schindler's Tour - PLN65
  • Wawel Royal Castle - PLN25
  • Walking tour - PLN30
  • St. Mary's Basilica - PLN10
  • Wieliczka Salt Mines - PLN145
  • Cloth Hall 'Sukiennice' Krakow - Free
  • Rynek Underground Museum - PLN19
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Say farewell to Krakow today and travel by local buses through southern Poland to Zakopane where you will switch on to a private transport (approximately 5 hours altogether). The trip may be long and a little slow, but the scenery of rolling hills and tiny villages is soothing. Tatranska Lomnica is your destination in Slovakia. It's a small alpine resort at the base of the Vysoke Tatry (High Tatra) Mountains. The Tatras, the highest range of the Carpathians, stretch for about 60 kilometres across the Polish-Slovakian border and are a trekker's dream. The evening is free for you to enjoy as you please. Perhaps the best way to do it is to sit back, kick your feet up and soak in the atmosphere of this beautiful mountainous region.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Between the months of April and October, the group will go on an included hike in the Vysoke Tatry mountains. From your base, the group will head out on a variety of transport in the mountain region, including a gondola, an electric train and or a funicular. There are many hiking options to choose from, depending on your energy and enthusiasm levels. You may notice that some parts of the forest have been destroyed. This was the result of a tornado-like storm in 2004 that decimated approximately 10,000 hectares of timberland. In the afternoon, head back to the accommodation and enjoy the balance of the day in this beautiful location.

Notes: There may be still be considerable snow in April and May, which may prevent us from choosing the usual hiking route. Please ensure you bring extra warm clothes and waterproof boots in April. Having said that, the crisp, clear atmosphere and fewer tourists make this a fantastic time to visit.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hiking in the Vysoke Tatry mountains (not between Nov and Mar)
  • StareSmoke Electric train
  • Smokovec Funicular
  • Gondola, Tatranska Lomnica
Optional Activities
  • Summer Luge - EUR3
  • Bike rental- Tatranska Lomnica - EUR10
  • Spa treatment in Grand Hotel Praha (starting from price) - EUR20
  • Ski Museum - EUR3
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You have an early start today for the long journey to Budapest As there won't be too much free time to explore on arrival, perhaps check in to the accommodation and then go for a brief walk around the city to get your bearings. The grand architecture and boulevards evoke a bygone era, while glamorous stores and glitzy restaurants make this one of the truly great cities of Europe. Take the evening as an opportunity to relax after a long day of travelling. Visiting one of Budapest's many restaurants or bars is a great way to do it.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bike Ride - HUF6000
  • Great Synagogue - HUF3500
  • House of Terror - HUF2000
  • Hungarian National Museum - HUF1600
  • Hungarian State Opera House Tour - HUF3000
  • Parliament Tour - HUF5200
  • Pub Crawl - Starting from - HUF5000
  • Transport and Entry to Statue Park - HUF5000
  • Thermal Bath - Starting from - HUF4500
  • Urban Adventures - Budapest Custom Tour - EUR35
  • Urban Adventures - Buda Castle Explorer - EUR44
  • Urban Adventures - Bites & Sights - EUR63
  • Urban Adventures - Happy Hour Budapest - EUR58
  • Budapest Central Market - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you have a full free day to explore Budapest. Known as 'The Pearl of the Danube', Budapest is a great city to enjoy from the water. Perhaps take a boat trip along the river or catch a funicular up to the castle for spectacular views of the Parliament Building. Perhaps head to Statue Park to see the communist monuments that were removed from the city after the fall of the Iron Curtain. One unmissable activity is a soak in Budapest's hot thermal baths. The pools vary in temperature, and some even feature whirlpools or seats where you can enjoy a game of chess. You might like to take part in one of our Urban Adventure day tours, such as the Budapest Custom Tour or Bites and Sights. See more at urbanadventures.com.

Note: Many museums throughout Europe are closed on Mondays. If you are interested in a particular museum, you may want to check the opening times and plan your arrival into Budapest accordingly.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free for you to enjoy as you please.

As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today enjoy a free day to explore Budapest. Hiring a bike is a great way to move between the sights. Perhaps head to Statue Park to see the communist monuments that were removed from the city after the fall of the Iron Curtain. One unmissable activity is a soak in Budapest's hot thermal baths. There are several around the city, ranging from elegant to simple outdoor types. The pools vary in temperature, and some even feature whirlpools or seats where you can play chess while you turn into a prune. You can wander the pedestrianised streets of the old district of Buda with the castle on the hill and the Matthias Church, then perhaps take a cruise along the Danube, discovering the history that unfolded along the riverbanks. You might like to take part in one of our Urban Adventure day tours, such as the Budapest Custom Tour or Bites and Sites. Check them out at urbanadventures.com. Tonight perhaps discover some of the city’s ‘ruin bars’, cool places to grab a drink that are usually located in abandoned buildings in downtown Pest and are filled with thrift-shop décor and mismatched art.

Note: Many museums throughout Europe are closed on Mondays. If you are interested in a particular museum, you may want to check opening times and plan your arrival into Budapest accordingly.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • House of Terror - HUF2000
  • Thermal Bath - Starting from - HUF4500
  • Pub Crawl - Starting from - HUF5000
  • Hungarian State Opera House Tour - HUF3000
  • Urban Adventures - Buda Castle Explorer - EUR44
  • Hungarian National Museum - HUF1600
  • Urban Adventures - Bites & Sights - EUR63
  • Bike Ride - HUF6000
  • Parliament Tour - HUF5200
  • Transport and Entry to Statue Park - HUF5000
  • Great Synagogue - HUF3500
  • Urban Adventures - Happy Hour Budapest - EUR58
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a two-hour train east to Eger today. This beautifully preserved Baroque town is surrounded by hills and is home to some of the most renowned vineyards in Eastern Europe. Visit the wine cellars of the seductively-named Valley of the Beautiful Women with the group to sample some of the town's famous 'Bull's Blood' red wine, which supposedly gave the Hungarian army supernatural strength during their battle against the Ottoman Empire. Among the Turkish soldiers it was rumoured that the enemy army drank blood diluted with wine, as the firm resistance they encountered couldn't be explained any other way. In your own time, perhaps explore Eger's 13th-century castle, which was the scene of the historic siege that thwarted the Ottoman Empire's advancement into Western Europe. Here you can explore the Gothic Palace, a gallery of fine Hungarian art, and tour underground passageways of archaeological finds. You may also like to check out the town's 19th-century cathedral, the northernmost medieval minaret in Europe for views of the city, or the Minorite church in Dobo Square.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Eger - Wine Tasting
Optional Activities
  • Eger Castle - HUF1400
  • Minaret - HUF300
  • Astronomy Museum, Magic Tower, Camera Obscura, Lyceum Panorama Terrace - HUF1300
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by bus to the pleasant town of Debrecen today (approximately 3 hours). While here, you'll have time to explore Deri Square with its fountains, colourful buildings, museums, and golden Great Church. Continue on by train and private vehicle across the central plains into the Maramures region of Romania. This second part of the journey should take around six hours. Time in Romania is an hour ahead of Hungary, so don't forget to set your watch. Maramures is also a place that can feel like stepping back in time. The region may be modernising, but among the traditional wooden houses and churches, the traditional music and forests, you can still find parts of life fairly unchanged since medieval times. Upon arrival, settle into your room at the pension, which is run by a local family, and look forward to some hearty home-cooked fare.

Note: Romanian visas are not available at the border. Should you require one, please organise this before you commence the trip.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today you’ll discover more about the region of Maramures ('mah-ra-moo-resh') and how it seems frozen in time. Rich in tradition and folklore, the music, costumes, festivals and ancient superstitions of one of the last peasant cultures in Europe continue to thrive here. Each village is distinctive in its colourful outfits and style of hat. Maramures is particularly famed for its wooden churches, many of which are World Heritage-listed. Set out on a guided group tour to explore the region. You’ll visit the unique Merry Cemetery in Sapanta, where the life stories of the deceased – the good and the bad of their lives – are displayed on colourful wooden crosses. There are poems and limericks, and little pictures illustrating how the person died, all single-handedly carved over 40 years by Stan Ioan Pătraş until 1977. The work has continued for the last 30 years by his apprentice. You’ll also see the village museum in Sighetu, an assembly of beautiful local wooden architecture, along with stopping by various other traditional villages.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Maramures - Guided tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today is a long day of travel (approximately 9 hours) through pastoral fields and untouched Saxon towns to Sighisoara in Transylvania. While the name may conjure up images of haunted castles, gothic churches and vampires, this is only a small part of what makes Transylvania such an enchanting and exciting destination. Medieval Sighisoara is likely to seduce visitors more than any other place in Romania. Another World Heritage site, the town was first settled by the Romans but flourished under the Saxons from the 12th century. Take a walk around the old town, which coils up a narrow hill and is surrounded on all sides by fortified walls, and explore the 64 metre-high clock tower that dominates the citadel. The town is famed as the birthplace of Vlad Dracul III, better known as Vlad the Impaler, whose name was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s iconic Count Dracula. Vlad III is revered as a folk hero by Romanians for driving off the invading Ottoman Turks, of which his impaled victims are said to have included as many as 100,000. Maybe have traditional Romanian fare at ‘Casa Dracula’ tonight.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
While your next stop is less than an hour away, you'll feel like you've entered a different world. The small Transylvanian village of Viscri was originally inhabited by Saxons from the Luxembourg area, and the whole scene is picture-postcard rural. This idyllic village of red tiled roofs is a World Heritage site, virtually unchanged for 900 years. You’ll visit the town's fortified church (thought to be the oldest in Transylvania) and the museum of Saxon culture. You’ll also learn about the Sock Project, which supports the local Roma community. Time permitting, you may even like to go for a horse cart ride through the area, over pastures and through wondrous woods of oak and hornbeam. Tonight, experience a special village homestay in Viscri. The rooms are in different houses and you'll be sharing facilities with your host family. Eat dinner with them, sampling fresh produce, homemade wines and schnapps. This is a unique opportunity for local interaction and indulgence, and to try to pick up a few tidbits of the Romanian language.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Viscri Fortified Church
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today continue to the 13th-century Saxon city of Brasov (approximately 2 hours). Also known by its German name of Kronstadt, the town is flanked by mountains and city walls was once a major medieval trading centre. Enjoy free time to explore, checking out the ornate churches, townhouses and squares surrounded by gingerbread-roofed merchants' houses. It's worth visiting the town's main attraction, the gothic (Biserica Neagra) Black Church, which took its name from its blackened appearance after a fire in 1689. Stroll along pedestrianized Strada Republicii, take a cable car up to Mt Tampa, or maybe explore the nearby Rasnov Fortress. The fortification is perched on a rocky hilltop above the town of Rasnov, and was constructed by Teutonic Knights in the 13th century as a place of refuge for the common people from Tartar invaders. Otherwise, you could head to Bran Castle, said to be the inspiration for the home of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Though not exactly super spooky, it is undeniably impressive, perched on a high cliff top and surrounded by pine trees. For those looking for a little nightlife action, Brasov has plenty of funky bars and restaurants to enjoy once darkness falls.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • The Black Church - RON7
  • Bran Castle - RON35
  • Rasnov Fortress Entrance Fee - RON15
  • Guided Walk - RON200
  • Cable Car to Mt Tampa - RON8
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Head south to Bucharest today (approximately 3 hours). The city is increasingly known for its cosmopolitan vibe and energy, and while not the most beautiful or stylish city, there are some wonderful art nouveau buildings, ancient churches and monasteries, lush parkland, lakes and elegant boulevards. Romania's interesting capital also likes big things. It’s home to one of Europe's biggest squares, and its Palace of Parliament is the second largest building in the world – former dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu ordered the construction of the 12-storied Palace of Parliament, a building of staggering scale and opulence that includes 1,100 rooms and 4,500 chandeliers. You’ll take a guided walking tour around the city to help you get your bearings, then in free time you can choose to further explore some of the sights pointed out. You can check out the Museum of the Romanian Peasant or indulge your inner foodie on a Home Cooked Bucharest Urban Adventure tour. Another great way to see the city is by bicycle, perhaps exploring some of the city’s neighbourhoods for a glimpse into the daily lives of Bucharest’s residents. Maybe seek out some traditional home-cooked Romanian food with your fellow travellers on your last night together as a group.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bucharest Guided Walking Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. For those who wish to stay longer in Bucharest please enquire about additional accommodation at the time of booking. If it all ends to soon you can choose to continue on towards Bulgaria and Turkey on our 'Eastern Europe Express'.
Included Activities
  • Bucharest Guided Walking Tour
Optional Activities
  • Palace of Parliament Tour - RON35
  • Urban Adventures - Home Cooked Bucharest - EUR41
  • Bucharest Bike Tour - EUR20
  • Museum of the Romanian Peasant - RON6
  • Urban Adventures - Bucharest Sites and Bites - EUR52
  • Urban Adventures - Outcast Bucharest - EUR52
  • Urban Adventures - Bohemian Bucharest: Markets & Mahallas - EUR55
  • Urban Adventures - Locals on Tap - EUR25
  • Village Museum - RON10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

19 breakfasts, 3 dinners

Transport

Bicycle, Metro, Private vehicle, Public bus, Taxi, Train, Tram

Accommodation

Hotel (12 nights), Pension (6 nights), Private apartment (3 nights), Homestay (1 night), Guesthouse (1 night)

Included activities

  • Cecky Krumlov Cycling trip (weather and season permitting)
  • Underground City of Osowka- entrance
  • Guided visit to State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Hiking in the Vysoke Tatry mountains (not between Nov and Mar)
  • StareSmoke Electric train
  • Smokovec Funicular
  • Gondola, Tatranska Lomnica
  • Eger - Wine Tasting
  • Maramures - Guided tour
  • Viscri Fortified Church
  • Bucharest Guided Walking Tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip with the exception of the following nights:
Day 3-4 Cesky Krumlov
Day 8 Gory Sowie

Essential trip information

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