Bran Castle, the home of 'Dracula'
Caption: Bran Castle, the home of 'Dracula'
Caption: Brasov Old Town
Caption: The historic Rila Monastery
Caption: The colours of Bulgaria's traditional costumes
Caption: St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia
Caption: Peles Castle
Caption: Plovdiv
Caption: Historic Sibiu
Caption: The colourful streets of Sighisoara
Caption: Rila Monastery's amazing frescos

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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 2 Requires moderate physical activity. You need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing steps and be comfortable with some periods of standing. Not suitable if you have limited mobility or require a wheelchair/mobility scooter.
Destination: Treasures of Romania & Bulgaria
Duration: 11 days / 10 nights
Flight information: Please arrange your flights to arrive into Bucharest Otopeni Airport [OTP], Romania on Day 1 and depart from Sofia Airport [SOF], Bulgaria on Day 11
Pickup location: Bucharest Airport [OTP]


Choose your own departure date for your group.

Mountain castles, Dracula, amazing monasteries, Roman amphitheatres, historic cities & modern capitals await as we discover the Treasures of Romania & Bulgaria


Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Welcome to Romania
DAY 2 - Discovering Bucharest
DAY 3 - Into Translyvania
DAY 4 - Old Towns, Fortresses and Salt Mines
DAY 5 - Hunting Count Dracula
DAY 6 - Welcome to Bulgaria
DAY 7 - Bulgarian Traditions, Tombs and Roses
DAY 8 - Picturesque Plovdiv & Wine Tasting
DAY 9 - Mountain Trains and Monasteries
DAY 10 - Exploring Sofia
DAY 11 - Farwell to Sofia
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Welcome to Romania

Welcome to Romania! You’ll be met on arrival at Bucharest Otopeni Airport and transferred to the hotel for check-in.

After time at leisure after your journey, this evening we join together to enjoy a welcome dinner in the evening at a historic restaurant in the Old Town, with a spectacular Romanian folklore show to start our adventure.

Included meals: Dinner 
Accommodation: Bucharest 

DAY 2 - Discovering Bucharest

Today we discover Bucharest, the capital of Romania. A city of contrasts, in the center you can admire constructions built in the 15th century, while the northern part of the city is full of modern buildings. The city was shaped by Nicolae Ceausescu, the famous communist ruler.

A guided tour will reveal about the city’s history, during which we’ll visit the Palace of Parliament, a testimony of the city’s Communist past. The impressive “giant” building is the second largest and the most expensive building in the world! We’ll have some tiem at leisure before lunch at a local restaurant.

This afternoon, we will visit the former residence of Nicolae Ceausescu, a lavish villa located in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods of Bucharest and in the evening, we’ll enjoy a Romanian fine-dining experience at a local restaurant.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Bucharest 

DAY 3 - Into Translyvania

We depart Bucharest this morning towards Sibiu, probably the most beautiful Transylvanian medieval town. We enjoy a scenic route as we travel along the Olt River Valley, through the mountains, and make a stop along the way at the Cozia Monastery, perched on the riverbank. The monastery has a history of over 600 years, and still preserves some of its original frescoes.

We’ll enjoy free time for lunch near the monastery before continuing our journey towards Sibiu.

Sibiu was settled by the German Saxons in the 12th century and its wonderfully preserved Old Town is full of colorful houses, large squares and lots of legends. We’ll have time to enjoy a stroll through the Old Town before we head to the nearby village of Sibiel for dinner. Here we will meet the locals and enjoy a traditional home-cooked dinner with wine and brandy.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Sibiu 

DAY 4 - Old Towns, Fortresses and Salt Mines

Sibiu was chosen as the European Cultural Capital City in 2007. This morning, we’ll discover Sibiu’s history on a walking tour through the Old Town, revealing the city’s most important square and sites before departing towards Alba Iulia, one of Romania’s most important historic cities.

Here we’ll discover the beautifully preserved Citadel of Alba Iulia ‘’Alba Carolina’’, one of the largest Vauban fortresses in Eastern Europe. The citadel’s distinctive star shape is distinguished by its seven bastions that ensured the safety of the most important fortification from the area. We’ll travel back in time and enjoy the medieval atmosphere of the citadel with a guided tour and at noon witness the changing of the guards in the citadel.

Our next stop is Turda and its Salt Mine, one of the world’s oldest. Now no longer in use, the area has been transformed into an amazing underground theme park with a ferries wheel, mini golf course, bowling lane, boating on the underground lake and a sports arena.

Your destination for the day is Sighisoara, but before you arrive, we’ll stop at a local vineyard on route and enjoy dinner and a wine tasting of Transylvanian specialties.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Sighisoara 

DAY 5 - Hunting Count Dracula

After breakfast, we’ll start the day a short walking tour of Sighisoara, a small town founded by the Transylvanian Saxons in the 12th century. The medieval fortress with nine towers, cobbled streets, colorful houses is still inhabited and was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO before we depart towards Bran, the village which is home to the world famous Dracula Castle.

Known as the place where Bram Stoker's fictional creation, Count Dracula, is set, in 1920 Bram castle became Romanian Royal Residence, offered as a gift by the people of Brasov to Queen Maria of Romania.

Upon arrival at the castle, you are invited for a special lunch at her Majesty’s Tea House, located on the castle grounds, a reception place for her esteemed guests. After lunch, we’ll tour the 14th century castle, which served as customs point for many centuries between Transylvania and Wallachia.

We’ll continue to Brasov, our stop for the night, which boasts a well preserved old town and Brasov fortress, which a short walking tour will reveal before we check-in to our hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Brasov 

DAY 6 - Welcome to Bulgaria

This morning, we depart Romania and make our way to the border with Bulgaria. The scenic route leads us towards the town of Sinaia and Peles Castle.

Considered by many one of the most stunning castles in Europe, Peles Castle is a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture. Commissioned by King Carol I in 1873, the castle served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947.

We’ll have a short stop in the village of Russe at the Bulgarian border on the way before arriving early evning in Veliko Tarnovo, the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. After check-in, we’ll dine this evening at a local restaurant to start our time in Bulgaria.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Veliko Tarnovo 

DAY 7 - Bulgarian Traditions, Tombs and Roses

Our first stop after breakfast is the famous open-air village museum, Etar. Here, discover what life was like in old with many traditional Bulgarian houses with artisan workshops, watermills, fulling mills.

We’ll continue through the Shipka Pass to Kazanlak, where we’ll visit the ancient Thracian Tomb, which is listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.

Kazanlak is located in the renowned “Valley of the Roses”. This afternoon, we’ll learn more about the beautiful flowers and the local traditions of how they are used as we visit a functioning rose distillery in the village of Skobelevo and taste the local rose jam and rose brandy.

Our final destination of the day is the historic city of Plovdiv, where we check in and enjoy dinner.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Plovdiv 

DAY 8 - Picturesque Plovdiv & Wine Tasting

Plovdiv is one of the oldest settlements in Europe and was European Cultural Capital in 2019. Over the course of time, the city has taken various names, including Philippopolis - when Philip II of Macedon conquered the city or Trimontium - at the time when it was under Roman rule.

A guided tour this morning allows us to discover the old town and visit the well preserved Ancient Roman Theatre, the Roman Odeon, the Ethnographic Museum and the St. Constantine and Helena Church, among other sites.

The afternoon is at leisure to explore the city on your own before we travel this evening to a nearby wine estate. Welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine accompanied by the sounds of the Bulgarian bagpipe, after a tour of the winery, we’ll enjoy dinner and a wine tasting at the winery’s restaurant

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Plovdiv 

DAY 9 - Mountain Trains and Monasteries

After breakfast, we check out and make our way to enjoy a ride on a historic narrow-gauge train up to the highest train station on the Balkan peninsula. As the train slowly weaves through the mountains and over a glass of local wine, learn about the local “Pomac” ethnic group, who use the train every day, to reach the city from their villages.

Our next stop, Rila Monastery is one of the largest orthodox monasteries in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the monastery was founded in the 10th century in the heart of the Rila Mountains. In the Middle Ages it developed into an important centre of intellectual and cultural life in Bulgaria. The buildings on the monastery grounds are home to around 300 ornamented chambers, each one - a unique work of art. Explore among others the main church and the monastery museum with its valuable exhibits of religious books, ancient weapons of the monastery guards, deeds by Bulgarian Tsars, jewellery and church objects.

We’ll lunch at a local restaurant on freshly caught trout before continuing our journey through the countryside to our final stop on the tour Sofia, the Bulgarian capital.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Sofia 

DAY 10 - Exploring Sofia

This morning, on our city tour of Sofia, admire the bustling city’s main attractions, such as St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the 4th century St George Rotunda, the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Serdika, St. Sofia’s Church - one of the oldest churches in South-Eastern Europe, the Bulgarian National Bank, the National Assembly building, the Russian Church and the National Theatre amongst others.

With free time at leisure in the afternoon to explore the city on your own, we rejoin in the evening to enjoy a special farewell dinner at a restaurant located on the nearby Vitoscha Mountain with a fantastic folk show and Neshtinari fire dances to round off our time in Eastern Europe.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Sofia 

DAY 11 - Farwell to Sofia

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for your departure flight home

Included meals: Breakfast 


More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • Meet & Greet at Bucharest Airport on arrival
  • Accommodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Meals as detailed in the itinerary
  • Transportation throughout in an air-conditioned deluxe vehicle
  • All activities, visits and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • English speaking tour guides where applicable.
  • Porterage/baggage handling in/out of hotels
  • Services of a Big Journey Company Tour Director throughout (subject to minimum numbers)

What's not included

  • ATOL Protection
  • Flights to Bucharest Otopeni Airport [OTP], Romania on Day 1 and from Sofia Airport [SOF] on Day 11 - flight quotations available on request, please contact us for further details
  • Additional food and beverage unless otherwise included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Optional excursions/entrances
  • Gratuities
  • Any COVID tests or related entry & exit requirements

Important information

  • Please note, flights to Romania or from Bulgaria are not included in this package. The Big Journey Company would be happy to provide a quotation for your flights - please contact us for further detail
  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Check in is after 2pm and check out is before 11am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90 – 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable and final payments are due 14 weeks prior to departure.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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