Tour from bustling Budapest to Turkey’s picturesque capital, Istanbul
Be mesmerised by the magic of Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey on this explorer tour through the best and most beautiful regions of Eastern Europe. Explore the captivating cities of Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia and Istanbul. Sample culinary delights with local folk in Viscri, be inspired by the traditional craft workshops in Plovdiv, hear enthralling myths from Transylvania and visit the quaint town of Bansko, snug at the foot of the Pirin Mountains. This is a journey full of culture and history, of mosques and monuments, markets and museums, tantalising towns and charming cities.
Rich in history, art, architecture, cuisine and nightlife, Budapest is a hot European destination. The Museum of Fine Arts offers free English tours that reveal the famous artwork of Monet, Manet and Goya, just to name a few
A home-stay with a family in the Saxon village of Viscri in Romania offers insight into local life and the chance to sample some delicious home-cooked food
This trip takes you to a mix of exciting capital cities and quaint mountain villages, allowing you to see the many sides of Eastern Europe
Transylvania is drenched in history and myth. Discover the medieval city of Sighisoara, the birthplace of one of Romania's most infamous figures, Vlad the Impaler - better known as the inspiration for Count Dracula
Journey deep into the forested valley of Rila to find the Monastery of Saint Ivan. Over 1,000 years old, this spectacular building is one of Bulgaria's most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments
Enter the chaotic and colourful world of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, before unwinding with a relaxing day in a traditional Turkish hammam
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.
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. 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. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other travellers, so embrace it while you can. Please also note that some accommodation used on this trip offer shared bathrooms rather than en-suite facilities.
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.
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.
As this is a combination of 2 trips, your leader and the composition of your group may change in Bucharest.
This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 24 October 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018
ITINERARY CHANGES 2018
This trip will no longer finish in Istanbul, but will travel from Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv, Bansko, Gorno Draglishte, before finishing in Sofia. The length of the trip will increase from 17 days to 18 days.
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 Explorer trips score an average of 4.8 out of 5 based on 5 reviews in the last year.
I loved this trip and would highly recommend it for anyone interested in history or the charm of Eastern Europe. Vlad is an incredible guide and I'm so thankful for getting to travel with him.
Review submitted 08 Aug 2017
The whole trip was amazing! Romania in particular was my favorite. Make sure you give yourself a few extra days at the end in Istanbul because there's A LOT to see and do.
Review submitted 19 Jul 2017