St Petersburg to Istanbul

Jump aboard this amazing tour of Eastern Europe. Travel from St Petersburg to Istanbul via Moscow, Budapest, Kyiv, Brasov, the Carpathians and Plovdiv.

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Explore the heart of Eastern Europe - Russia, Ukraine, Hungary and Bulgaria

Join us on a journey to discover the splendours of St Petersburg, the iconic Kremlin in Moscow and ancient Novgorod, the birthplace of history and religion in Russia. Travel onwards through the Ukraine by train and head to Kyiv, elegantly situated along the glorious Dnipro River. Take time out to explore the majestic Carpathian Mountains before crossing stunning countryside to arrive in romantic and cosmopolitan Budapest. Continue this epic Eastern European adventure past the haunted castles of Transylvania and across stunning mountains to Bulgaria and beyond. Be enchanted by medieval monasteries, old-world towns and the warm hospitality of this region before ending the journey in magnificent Istanbul.

  • Admire Istanbul's majestic mosques
  • Be spooked at Dracula's Castle
  • Experience traditional peasant life in a Maramures village
  • Go hiking in the Bulgarian mountains
  • Sample 'Bull's Blood' in beautiful Eger
  • Soak up the romance of Budapest
  • Travel through the stunning Carpathian Mountains
  • Visit Byzantine ruins in Plovdiv

What's included in this trip

  • Start:

    St Petersburg, Russia
  • Finish:

    Istanbul, Turkey
  • Group size:

    Min 4 , Max 12
  • Ages:

    Min 12
  • Meals:

    9 breakfasts, 4 dinners
  • Accommodation:

    Guesthouse (6 nts), Homestay (2 nts), Hotel (15 nts), Overnight sleeper train (5 nts), Pension (3 nts)
  • Transport:

    Bicycle, Boat, Bus, Metro, Minibus, Overnight sleeper train, Private minibus, Taxi, Train, Tram
  • Included activities:

    Bucharest - Guided walking tour, Budapest - Guided bike tour, Chernobyl Museum, Cooking Class, Kolomiya, Eger - Wine tasting, Gorno Draglishte - Rila Monastery, Guided walk in Carpathians, Kyiv - Orientation Walk, Lviv - Guided walking tour, Maramures - Guided tour, Moscow - Kremlin & Armoury guided tour, Moscow - Lenin's Mausoleum, Moscow - Red Square, Novgorod - Family visit & dinner, Novgorod - Public Banya, Novgorod - Walking Tour & Kremlin, Plodiv - Guided tour, St Petersburg - Boat tour

  • Carbon emissions offset:

    713kg pp per trip
  • Notes:

    A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. 2012 Itinerary change St Petersburg to Istanbul trips departing in 2012 will spend Day 23 overnight in Bucharest (previously was Sinaia)

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About Bulgaria , Hungary , Romania , Russia , Turkey , Ukraine

St Petersburg to Istanbul Summary

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Days 1-2 St Petersburg

Arrive in St Petersburg, Russia and be dazzled by this city's multitude of opulent palaces.

Days 3-4 Novgorod

Travel to Novgorod, on the banks of the Volkhov River, and explore the graceful Kremlin with a local guide.

Days 5-6 Moscow

Arrive in the enigmatic city of Moscow and grab some pirozhki - Russian pastries - to fuel explorations of the Kremlin. Take time to discover Moscow's many cultural attractions and modern sights.

Days 7-9 Kyiv

Stop by the Chernobyl Museum in Kyiv to gain insight into Ukraine's tragic history.

Days 10-11 Carpathian Mountains

Head into the Carpathian Mountains that are located near the borders of no less than five European countries. Stay with a local family and join in with the cooking of Ukrainian delicacies. Perhaps appreciate the immense natural beauty of this region with a hike in the hills.

Days 12-13 Lviv

Be captivated by the crumbling facades of Lviv's old town.

Days 14-15 Budapest

Since Communism collapsed, Budapest has experienced a renaissance. Head out on a cycling tour to uncover all this wonderful city has to offer.

Day 16 Eger

Sip on Egri Bikaver - a red wine native to Hungary's Eger region - during an optional trip to the evocatively named, Valley of the Beautiful Women.

Days 17-18 Maramures

Discover one of the last peasant cultures in Europe on a visit to rural villages in Maramures, the heart and soul of Romania.

Day 19 Sighisoara

Uncover the myths of Transylvania.

Day 20 Viscri

Enjoy a home-cooked dinner with a local family in Viscri.

Days 21-22 Brasov

Travel to the medieval town of Brasov and be sure to sample the nightlife at some of the funky bars in town.

Day 23 Sinaia

No trip to Romania would be complete without a visit to the eerie Bran Castle, the home of Dracula. Explore this iconic castle before travelling on to Sinaia. Once a quiet monastery settlement, Sinaia quickly became a booming resort town with the construction of King Carol I's summer residence, the Peles Castle.

Days 24-25 Veliko Tarnovo

Explore the imposing fort which overlooks picturesque Veliko Tarnovo.

Day 26 Sofia

Make tracks to Sofia, Bulgaria's capital. Marvel at the gold-domed Aleksander Nevski Church.

Day 27 Gorno Draglishte

Be a guest of a local family during a stay in the Rila Mountains.

Days 28-29 Bansko

Stretch legs on an invigorating hike through alpine scenery.

Days 30-31 Plovdiv

Wander among impressive Byzantine ruins in Plovdiv, nestled on the banks of the Maritsa River before boarding an overnight train to Istanbul.

Day 32 Istanbul

Finish up among the many mosques and bevy of bazaars in Istanbul, Turkey's eclectic and very beautiful capital.
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