Eastern Europe Explorer

18 Days | Tour from bustling Budapest to Istanbul through enchanting Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria.

4.9 out of 5 based on 7 reviews submitted.
Explorer
From
ZAR  64,555
View dates and book

Be mesmerised on this explorer tour through the best and most beautiful regions from Eastern Europe to Turkey. Explore the captivating cities of Budapest, Bucharest and 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 and bask in the transcontinental glory of Istanbul. This is a journey full of culture and history, of monuments, markets and museums, tantalising towns and charming cities.

Trip overview

Map of Eastern Europe Explorer including Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Turkey
Start
Budapest, Hungary
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, Hungary
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
WMSEC
This trip generates 26.8 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • 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 homestay 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 through Eastern Europe all the way to the transcontinental Istanbul.
  • 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

Is this trip right for you?
  • 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.
  • 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 or train, 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 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.
  • If you have more time to explore the region you can extend your trip by starting your travels in Vienna to see the best of Central Europe before heading to Romania and then Bulgaria. Check out our trip 'Journey through Central Europe & Romania' (trip code AMSCC). Most departure dates are designed to create these perfect combination trips.
  • On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight between 15kg / 33lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are likely to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2023 to 31 December 2023.

View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2024 - 31 December 2024

Map of Eastern Europe Explorer including Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Turkey

Inclusions

Meals

14 breakfasts, 3 dinners

Transport

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

Accommodation

Hotel (14 nights), Pension (2 night), Homestay with shared facilities (1 night)

Activities
  • Eger - Wine Sampling
  • Maramures - Day Tour with Local Guide
  • Maramures - Sapanta Merry Cemetery
  • Maramures - Barsana Monastery
  • Viscri - Local Home Cooked Dinner
  • Viscri - Sock Project
  • Viscri - Fortified Church
  • Bucharest - Walking Tour with Local Guide
  • Veliko Tarnovo - Tsarevets Fortress
  • Rila - Monastery Visit
  • Pirin Mountains - Hike
  • Plovdiv - Walking Tour with Local Guide
  • Edirne - Selimiye Mosque
Add on activities
  • Eger - Castle - HUF2400
  • Eger - Minaret - HUF500
  • Eger - Astronomy Museum, Camera Obscura, Panoramic terrace in the Lyceum building - HUF2200
  • Eger - Town Under The Town - HUF1500
  • Sighisoara - Church of the Dominican Monastery - RON10
  • Sighisoara - Covered Stairway - Free
  • Sighisoara - Church on the Hill - RON5
  • Sighisoara - The Clock Tower - RON16
  • Viscri - Prince Charles House - RON15
  • Viscri - Blacksmith demonstration - RON80
  • Brasov - The Black Church - RON15
  • Brasov - Walking Tour with Local Guide - RON200
  • Rasnov - Fortress - RON20
  • Brasov - Cable Car to Mt Tampa - RON25
  • Bran Castle - Tour - RON55
  • Bucharest - Bike Tour - EUR25
  • Bucharest - Urban Adventures Bohemian Bucharest Markets and Mahallas Tour - EUR75
  • Bucharest - Village Museum - RON30
  • Bucharest - Palace of Parliament Tour - RON60
  • Bucharest - Romanian Athenaeum - RON10
  • Bucharest - Former Ceauşescu Residence - RON55
  • Veliko Tarnovo - Archeological Museum - BGN6
  • Sofia - National Art Gallery - BGN10
  • Sofia - Aleksander Nevski Church - Free
  • Sofia - National History Museum - BGN12
  • Sofia - The Red Flat - BGN18
  • Bansko - Spa Visit - BGN40
  • Plovdiv - Bachkovo Monastery - BGN16
  • Plovdiv - Hisarya Hot Springs - BGN50
  • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - Free
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY340
  • Istanbul - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts - TRY390
  • Istanbul - Galata Tower - TRY650
  • Istanbul - Bosphorus Boat Cruise (Public Boat) - TRY150

Dates and availability

Loading trip dates and availabilities...

Important notes

1. A single supplement is bookable on this trip, excluding Day 6. Availability is limited due to small properties we use. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. You don't have a lot of time in Istanbul at the end of the trip, so if you're keen to explore in depth we recommend you extend your stay at the end of the trip.
3. As this is a combination of 2 trips, your leader and the composition of your group may change in Bucharest.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.9 out of 5 based on 7 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

Filter by rating

Stacey · Traveled October 2023
This was an excellent educational tour for those of us who knew very little about the history of these countries particularly during the communist era. The food and wine were way better than I had anticipated which was great. There is a lot of walking and moving from place to place using local and public transportation. There is plenty of opportunities to spend money within these communities and let you feel you are contributing something to them. I definitely recommend this trip but it is a fatiguing pace. So be ready.
Review submitted 28 Oct 2023

Pauline · Traveled September 2023
The countries I visited in the Eastern Europe trip were great. It was interesting to learn about their history and culture and how these countries - Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Turkey have adapted and moved on from the Communist regime times. I would highly recommend this trip
Review submitted 29 Sep 2023

Stephen · Traveled July 2023
Intrepid run small groups and always take you to the most interesting places that the Country has to offer.
Review submitted 17 Aug 2023

Janet · Traveled June 2023
Excellent trip for anyone interested in Romania and Bulgaria. Lots of local experiences— public transportation, homestays, local guides, Traditional foods.
Review submitted 10 Jul 2023

Neal · Traveled June 2023
Fascinating insight to a less travelled part of Europe led by a thoughtful and organised leader Robert Sertic
Review submitted 22 Aug 2023
Eastern Europe Explorer
From
ZAR  64,555