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Eastern Europe Explorer Back Roads: Prague to Budapest

Duration
9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,534

Travel to not only 4 fascinating and colourful major Eastern European cities – Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia and Istanbul but also the smaller communities and countryside of Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. This tour is a wonderful opportunity to discover what makes up this region of Eastern Europe.


Join one of our unique small group Back-Roads touring experiences (maximum 18 participants) that includes specially selected accommodations, transportation in purpose built Mercedes Benz Sprinters, sightseeing, special culinary experiences and a knowledgeable Tour Leader. Click here for all the EXCLUSIVE DIFFERENCES.

Start off in Budapest, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is a city of culture with more than 200 museums, 40 theatres, 7 concert halls and an opera house. It is also known for its “coffee culture” due to its many cafes and is also well known for its many excellent spas first introduced by the Romans who discovered the underground thermal springs. Your time here during your 3 night stay is at leisure to explore the city on your own or take local tours.

On your last day in Budapest, you will travel to Eger, 3 hours away by train, known for its historic sites and thermal baths. It is also known for its wine productivity especially the well-known Bull’s Blood which you will be able to sample. There is also a 13th Century castle to view. Later, enjoy a sing-along with local folk musicians.

The next morning, leave Budapest and travel to Debrecen, Hungary’s 2nd largest city and important as the centre of Protestantism in Hungary. From here, take the train and cross into Romania to the Mamures region known for its rural scenic beauty. Stay 2 nights in the area.

Mamures is a place where time appears to have stood still and has retained its traditional lifestyle. Its traditional music and ancient festivals are some of its attractions. Visit the Merry Cemetery in nearby Sapanta with its colourful tombstones and which is more like an open-air museum as well as being a cemetery. Also visit the village museum in Sighetu.

The following day head to Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage site and located in the heart of Transylvania with its Count Dracula associations. Interesting features of Sighisoara are the 12th Century citadel and its cobblestoned streets. Overnight here.

Leave Sighisoara for Viscri, another UNESCO World Heritage site with its both Roma and Saxon origins and traditions. Visit the fortified church, the oldest in Transylvania and the local museum. Learn about the Sock Project which supports the Roma community. In Viscri, you will stay with a local family and enjoy learning about their lifestyle and culture.

From Viscri, travel to Brasov, a former medieval trading centre surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains. It is a walled city exuding an old world charm. Visit the Gothic Black Church dating back to 1477 and see here the 120 Turkish rugs hanging from its balconies. Brasov has a vibrant nightlife and you will stay here overnight.

Head south to Bucharest where you will spend the next 2 nights. During your stay in Rumania’s capital, known for its wide tree-lined boulevards, take time to explore this interesting city. It was labeled “Little Paris” between the time of the two World Wars due to its Belle Époque architecture. The city centre is a mixture of medieval, neoclassical and art nouveau buildings which give it a unique look. In the heart of the city are the attractive and popular Cismigiu Park and Lake Cismigiu. The imposing and huge Palace of the Parliament was built in the 1980’s during the communist era and is the largest parliament building in the world. A landmark is the Triumphal Arch built in 1935 and modelled after the one in Paris. Two prominent museums are the National Museum of Art of Rumania and the Museum of the Rumanian Peasant, a collection of peasant artifacts.

From Bucharest, travel by bus over the border into Bulgaria and arrive at its capital, Sofia for a 2 night stay. Sofia is a cosmopolitan city with tree-lined boulevards and pleasant parks. While here, check out the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, on e of the world’s largest Eastern Orthodox churches and built as a memorial to the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died liberating Bulgaria from Turkey in the 1800’s. Other interesting buildings include the St. Nikolas Russian Church with its beautiful ornate domes, the medieval Sveta Nedelya Cathedral and the Banya Bashi Mosque (a reminder of the Ottoman Empire occupation).

From Sofia, travel by bus to Rila and then transfer to the mountain village of Gorno Draglishte where you will have time to explore some of the very important monasteries here. Stay overnight at a local guesthouse.

The next morning, take the train to Plovdiv 5 hours away. Plovdiv is Bulgaria’s second largest city and has a long history dating back 6000 years making it one of the oldest cities in the world. Today, it is a picturesque city with many parks, gardens, museums and monuments. Of note are the 18th and 19th Century baroque houses. On a tour, you will visit the 2nd Century BC Roman amphitheatre. Also go the hilltop fortress for excellent panoramic views of Plovdiv. Stay overnight here.

Your last journey crosses the Bulgarian – Turkish border arriving at Istanbul. With its long history, many ancient monuments date back to the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods and as such, the historic areas of Istanbul became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. While rich in history, Istanbul also offers an exciting nightlife and is very fashionable and progressive making the city a true blend of ancient and modern. You will have one night here, During your stay, discover amazing sites and sights such as the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sofya, a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica which has been turned into a museum, Topkapi Palace which houses important holy relics from the Muslim world and the Grand Bazaar, an excellent place to pick up souvenirs.

At Goway we are experts at designing personalized itineraries to suit your special interests, tastes and budget. Let us arrange your ultimate travel experience today.
Duration
9 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,534

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Budapest

With so much to see, there is no time to waste. We will make tracks on a guided city tour of Budapest. Then, the afternoon is all yours to discover the historical capital before we meet for our first meal together.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Boutique Hotel Zara

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Boutique Hotel Zara



    Boutique Hotel Budapest was opened in August 2006, in the heart of Budapest, within the triangle formed by the bustling pedestrian shopping street Vaci utca, the fascinating Central Market Hall and the Liberty Bridge. In addition to excellent transport links at the meeting point of ...

    Boutique Hotel Budapest was opened in August 2006, in the heart of Budapest, within the triangle formed by the bustling pedestrian shopping street Vaci utca, the fascinating Central Market Hall and the Liberty Bridge. In addition to excellent transport links at the meeting point of a main metro line and tram line, the hotel is surrounded by the city centre's elegant shops, cafés, restaurants, bars, the famous Gellert Thermal Spa, Szabadsag hid and other tourist sights just a few steps from the left bank of the Danube.

    Our hotel established a new trend on the Hungarian market that are known as city lifestyle (design and boutique) hotels. Our four-star hotel with its 74 rooms offering comfort and relaxation reflects the very popular, modern yet elegant style of international boutique hotels.

    Each of our rooms with their simple, fresh and warm style, and welcoming colours meet current city design and comfort standards.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Room Service
    • Babysitting Services
    • Business Centre
    • Car Rental Available
    • Concierge
    • Doctor on Call
    • Dry Cleaning
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry Service
    • Luggage Storage
    • Non-Smoking Rooms
    • Undercover parking

    More Details

Day 2

Budapest - Holloko - Banska Bystrica

Leaving Budapest behind us, we make way to Holloko, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, we meet with locals and enjoy a performance by the Holloko Women's Choir dressed in their traditional regional garments, accompanied by an authentic lunch. Later, we reach Banska Bystrica where the evening is of your own entertainment.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration1 Night
Day 3

Banska Bystrica - Wieliczka - Krakow

Waving farewell to Banska Bystrica, our road carries us to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines - one of the oldest in the world - before we reach Krakow. Dating back to the 13th century, this historic mine also houses enchanting chandelier-lit chambers and chapels, all carved from salt. Its perfectly preserved centre harks back to its medieval glory day and is sure to impress.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Amadeus

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Hotel Amadeus



    Amadeus Hotel situated in a convenient location - in the centre of historical Krakow, where every street, every building tells its own story of the centuries. Here you will be able to soak up the atmosphere of a city pulsing with cultural and academic life, ...

    Amadeus Hotel situated in a convenient location - in the centre of historical Krakow, where every street, every building tells its own story of the centuries. Here you will be able to soak up the atmosphere of a city pulsing with cultural and academic life, full of sounds and joy.

    Our 4 star boutique hotel is well known for its hospitality and intimate atmosphere. Professional and helpful staff allows you to plan unforgettable stay in Krakow. After exciting day you can relax in the cosy hotel's room and interiors.

    Facilities

    • Airport Transfer
    • Car Rental Available
    • Internet Access - Wireless
    • Ironing Facilities
    • Laundry Service
    • Luggage Storage
    • Meeting Rooms Available
    • Private Tours
    • Sauna
    • Theater
    • Ticket Service

    More Details

Day 4

Krakow

Today we give Krakow our full attention. Making the most of our time in this historic city, we meet in the morning for a guided city tour, visiting the essential sights including the Wawel Royal Castle and Cathedral. Then, the rest of the day is yours to explore. Tonight, you will be treated to a pierogi-making class, where we learn how to cook these classic Polish dumplings.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 5

Krakow - Auschwitz - Olomouc

We pay a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp today, a sobering reminder of atrocities committed by the Nazis. Later, we reach Olomouc where we spend the night.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Day 6

Olomouc - Litomysl - Golcuv Jenikov

This morning, we make time for an exploration of Olomouc, before moving on to the town of Litomysl to visit one of the biggest Renaissance castles in the Czech Republic. Next up, we drive to the grand Chateau Hostacov in Golcuv Jenikov. Here, we enjoy a wine tasting session and delicious dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Day 7

Golcuv Jenikov

This morning is free to enjoy the surrounds of the chateau or take a walk to the nearby village. On the cards for tonight's entertainment includes an evening of traditional Baroque style dancing accompanied by a 6-piece orchestra and dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 8

Golcuv Jenikov - Prague

With cathedral spires, cobbled streets and timeless market squares, Prague captivates from the moment you see it. After a guided tour of the majestic city to get your bearings, enjoy free time before we sit down for a farewell dinner with beer tasting.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Charles Bridge Hotel

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Charles Bridge Hotel



    Occupying a historic medieval building, the charming Charles Hotel has been beautifully restored whilst retaining many of its original features. Located in the charming historical district of Prague Mala Strana (also called Prague Lesser Town or Little Quarter of Prague) and close to the famous ...

    Occupying a historic medieval building, the charming Charles Hotel has been beautifully restored whilst retaining many of its original features. Located in the charming historical district of Prague Mala Strana (also called Prague Lesser Town or Little Quarter of Prague) and close to the famous Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, romantic Kampa, Petrin parks and just across the bridge to the rest of Old Town. The Hotel Charles is part of the Royal Road, which starts in Nuremberg (Germany) and leads all the way to Prague Castle through the Powder Tower, Wenceslas Square and across Charles Bridge.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Computer Station
    • Concierge
    • Currency Exchange
    • Housekeeping Service
    • Internet Access - Wireless
    • Laundry
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Newspapers

    More Details

Day 9

Prague - Karlstejn - Prague

Our final day takes us to the countryside town, Karlstejn to explore one of the most beautiful castles. After a short drive back to Prague, our journey ends in the afternoon.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017: Aug 24, 31; Sep 7, 21
2018: May 9, 23; Jun 6,20; Jul 11, 18; Aug 22; Sep 5, 19

PRICES INCLUDES:

  • Meals as indicated in the Itinerary
  • Transport - Bus, Metro, Private minibus, Private vehicle, Taxi, Train, Tram
  • Accommodation
  • Included activities: Maramures - Guided tour, Plodiv - Guided tour, Wine Tasting

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • International or internal flights unless specified
  • Meals other than those specified,
  • Visa and passport fees
  • Travel insurance
  • All personal expenses

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from", per person, based on twin share. Subject to availability.

TB BACKROABUD0118SG: EE
19 Sep 2018
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