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 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. 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.
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 CHANGE IN 2018
In 2018 this trip will no longer visit Turkey, but will instead focus on Bulgaria, travelling from Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv, Bansko and Gorno Draglishte, before ending in Sofia. The length of the trip will increase to 9 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 Express trips score an average of 4.87 out of 5 based on 45 reviews in the last year.
Intrepid makes exotic places accessible to the traveler who wants to experience the authentic culture of a place
Review submitted 10 Oct 2017
These countries are more interesting than I would have thought. Be prepared to be delighted by the food, the scenery, the companionship, and the very professional leadership. You'll come away knowing a whole lot more about the Eastern Balkans.
Review submitted 07 Oct 2017