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Grand Tour of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria
Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia - Trip code RSB Discovery
Days 15
Deposit From £174
Was From £1780
Now from £1735
Flights inclusive
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Why book this trip?

On this trip experience the highlights of three fascinating countries. In Romania explore Bucharest before heading out into the Transylvanian countryside to the famed castles of Peles and Bran and see the amazing rock carved statue of King Decebalus towering above the Danube River. In Serbia visit the main cities, but also the impressive natural rock formations found in Devil's Town. Lastly discover Bulgaria, including the Rila Monastery and Plovdiv's Roman Theatre, and also spend time in the Rose Valley and relaxing on the Black Sea coast.

    • Included meals

      Breakfast: 14

      Dinner: 1

    • Trip staff

      Explore Tour Leader

      Driver(s)

      Local Guide(s)

    • Transport

      Bus

    • i

      Accommodation

      1 nights standard guesthouse

      13 nights standard hotel

    • i

      Trip pace:

      Full on

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      Group Size:

      10 - 16

    Itinerary

    Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

    Day 1 - Join trip in Bucharest, Romania

    Arrive in Bucharest and meet the group and our Explore Leader. Bucharest is Romania's largest city and became the capital in 1832 and thanks to a period of urban renewal and modernisation, it's now a bustling centre of Romanian culture, arts and media.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: None

    Day 2 - Walking tour of Bucharest; visit the remarkable Peles Castle

    We begin with our Explore Leader taking us on a tour of Romania's capital. Bucharest is situated on the Danube Plain and set amid a series of lakes and spacious gardens and here we will see a remarkable blend of turn of the century elegance and communist excess. We visit many of the older parts of the city to discover the architecture that earned it the reputation as the 'Paris of Eastern Europe' such as the striking columned facade of the Romanian Atheneum concert hall and the Royal Palace of Bucharest. We will also see the exterior of the Palace of Parliament, which is an incredible construction, the second largest building in the world. Many homes were destroyed to make way for this massive structure and it took 13 years to build at an alleged cost of over three billion Euros, so it's of little surprise that it was and still is a very controversial building. We will make a visit to the fascinating Village Museum where we can see a collection of old wooden churches, windmills and peasant dwellings from different regions of the country.

    Driving out of Bucharest we head into the rolling countryside filled with forests, farmland and dramatic mountain peaks. We arrive in Sinaia, known as the 'pearl of the Carpathians' and visit the wonderful Peles Castle. Built for the Hohenzollern monarch Carol I, it resembles a Bavarian chateau and is richly decorated with stained glass, Persian carpets, Renaissance weapons, ebony and mother of pearl.

    This evening we will stay in a quaint local guesthouse in the Transylvanian village of Moieciu, where we have a delicious home cooked meal this evening. Romanian cuisine is hearty and their red wine is surprisingly good. A typical meal can consist of stewed beef, freshly baked bread, pearl barley, cabbage, roasted root vegetables and sour cream. Before a meal the locals tend to sip the aperitif, tzuica, a strong plum brandy.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Guesthouse

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

    Day 3 - Visit Bran Castle, the reputed home of Dracula; Sibiu city tour

    This morning we go to visit what is probably the most famous castle in the world, Bran Castle, the apparent haunt of Count Dracula. Perched on a crag in a valley between two high mountain ranges, it dominates the surrounding scenery. We'll learn that the truth behind 'Dracula's castle' is even more fascinating than the myths. It was the home of the remarkable British born Queen Marie of Romania, grand daughter of Queen Victoria, whereas Vlad the Impaler, the heroic 15th century ruler of Wallachia who Dracula is based on, never lived here. In fact, the author of the much-loved Dracula novel, Bram Stoker never even came to Transylvania.

    This afternoon we drive to the city of Sibiu, which back in the 12th century was one of the largest and wealthiest of seven walled citadels in Romania. Your Explore Leader will take you beneath the ramparts and through the backstreets, past the first hospital and pharmacy in Romania and to Liar's Bridge. Here it is said that if you told a lie whilst on the bridge it would collapse, but it's also a known place where lovers would meet to declare their love and in recent times to attach padlocks to it as a symbol of their affections.

    You'll have some free time in the city and you might like to visit the Brukenthal National Museum, which is home to over 1,000 works of art, sculptures and a Gothic exhibition. Sibiu is a good spot for food lovers with a range of restaurants and some of the best, which are frequented by the locals, can be found in the Small Square. A speciality is ciorba, which is a sour soup that comes in several varieties with vegetables or meatballs. Many local establishments in the town serve their beer by the metre.

    Our guesthouse tonight is in a listed building in the centre of Sibiu with all the bedrooms facing a traditional inner courtyard where we have breakfast in the warmer months and if the weather is pleasant. Bedrooms are en suite, simply decorated and have a television. Some also have a balcony. The guesthouse offers free Wi-Fi internet access, a bar and a breakfast room.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 4 - See King Decebalus' statue and take a dip in riverside hot springs

    We drive to the large Gothic Corvin Castle with its pointed red-roofed turrets and vaulted ceilings. It's supposedly here that Vlad the Impaler was held prisoner for seven years by John Hunyadi until they later became allies, even though John had previously killed Vlad's father. In the castle yard is a well that is an astonishing 30 metres deep. Legend has it that it took three Turkish prisoners 15 years to dig and that they were promised freedom in return for reaching water, but they were tricked and having succeeded they weren't released. There an inscription here that is said to have been written by them saying 'you have water, but not soul'. Due to its long and sometimes chequered history the castle is rumoured to be haunted.

    We drive to Orsova beside the Danube River where we can see the gigantic statue of King Decebalus' head carved into the rocky river gorge. The rock relief is over 40 metres high and 30 metres wide and it took 10 years to carve. Although its subject is ancient, it was in fact only constructed in the 1990s. King Decebalus was the last king of Dacia (pre-Roman Romania) and he fought hard against the Roman emperors Domitian and Trajan to preserve Dacia's independence and as such he is regarded as a Romanian folk hero. You might like to join a boat trip on the Iron Gates Gorge to take a closer look at this monument.

    Later this afternoon we arrive in the spa town of Baile Herculane in the Cerna River Valley where you are free to relax. Maybe you'd like to take an easy walk through the town to admire the surrounding forest covered hills with their jagged rocky peaks and the well-tended fields, which are often filled with high-piled hay stacks. There's also the opportunity to take a dip in the old hot spring baths on the river bank. The baths haven't been modernised and are regularly frequented by the local residents, so it's a very authentic Romanian experience.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 5 - Explore ancient Roman Viminacium and arrive in Belgrade, Serbia

    Today we leave Romania and cross the border into Serbia and drive to the ancient Roman city and military fort at Viminacium. The drive should take about 3.5 hours, but at times it can take an additional hour at the border crossing. A local guide will explain the history of the city which prospered during the reign of Hadrian, during the 1st century AD, right up to the 6th century, due to its location on the Danube River, and it was home to the Imperial Navy Fleet. Among the ruins the frescoes in the 4th century tombs are especially interesting along with the remains of one of the biggest amphitheatres discovered in the Balkans. The people living in Viminacium had a good quality of life and this is evident from the 30,000 artefacts that have been found here, however these are now mostly housed in the National Museums of Belgrade and Pozarevac. During the excavations other fascinating items have been found, and most notably in 2009 when a 5-millon year old mammoth skeleton was uncovered.

    This afternoon we drive to Serbia's capital Belgrade. This romantic city lies on the confluence of the Sava and the Danube Rivers and it's said that Belgrade, meaning 'the white city', is where the rivers met and fell in love. However, it's certainly not always been a peaceful picture, but bustling with locals and visitors it's now rising from its turbulent past and is quickly becoming one of the 'must see' places in the Balkans. This evening we check-in to our hotel and have the evening free for dinner.

    Paprika is arguably the most popular ingredient in Serbian cooking and they tend to use the red fruit itself rather than the dried spice. You'll find it chopped up in salads with tomatoes, cucumber and cheese, chargrilled with barbequed meats, pickled, stuffed and even mashed. They also love cream and kajmak, a partially fermented thick cream, which is often served with grilled meats or fresh bread. It's a bit like a cross between sour cream and clotted cream. Rakia is the most popular spirit and it's normally distilled from plums or grapes, but you can also find more unusual variations like quince, walnut or honey.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 6 - Visit to the laidback city of Novi Sad; explore Belgrade on foot

    This morning we drive to Novi Sad, meaning 'new garden'. It is the second largest city in Serbia, but boasts a laidback atmosphere; with most locals choosing to enjoy a coffee on the banks of the Danube rather than rush anywhere. On arrival we'll have a walking tour ending at the Petrovaradin Fortress from where the city originated. Novi Sad is rich in Roman, Greek and Byzantine history and we'll explore the main Liberty Square and see the Name of Mary Church and the City Hall. Afterwards you'll have the chance to go inside Petrovaradin Fortress, which is known locally as 'the Gibraltar on the Danube' (due to its shape rather than its size). The 16 kilometres of hallways deep under the fort lead to dungeons, which have been home to Karadorde, leader of the first Serbian uprising against the Ottomans, and Tito, the former Yugoslavia's long reigning president.

    After time for lunch we return to Belgrade this afternoon for a walking tour to discover its fascinating history from ancient empires through to the more recent conflicts of the early 1990s. Highlights include the main Prince Michael Street, Ruins of the Yugoslav Army Headquarters, and Belgrade Fortress and the surrounding large Kalmegdan Park, which overlooks the rivers.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 7 - See the rock formations at Devil's Town and Skull Tower in Nis

    This morning we drive further south to Devil's Town to see the towering rock formations that legend says are petrified wedding guests at a marriage arranged by the Devil between a local brother and sister, who were then punished by god for their sins by being turned to stone. There are over 200 red stone formations with the tallest being 15 metres high, which have actually been created by erosion from the local waters that are abnormally acidic and high in minerals.

    After having time for a picnic lunch we drive to Nis. This cosmopolitan city is a place where old meets new, where you can see new cars travelling beside horse and carts. It's a university city, so its old alleyways are home to sophisticated cocktail bars, as well as pop-up markets in summer and it has a burgeoning music scene. On our walking tour we'll get a taste of this and learn more about the city's history including at the Bubanj Memorial Park, which was built to commemorate the execution of over 10,000 of the city's residents during World War II, the red bricked Latin Church and Skull Tower.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 8 - Arrive in Sofia, Bulgaria; option to visit the Soviet Army Monument

    We leave Serbia this morning and head to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. The drive takes us around 2.5 hours, but it can take an additional hour at the border crossing. Sofia has a long history which can be seen by the onion-domed churches, Ottoman mosques, Roman ruins and old Soviet monuments. However, it is now largely modern and youthful with a wealth of museums, art galleries, cafes and restaurants.

    After time for lunch we'll take a walking tour where we will see the Neo-Byzantine Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which was built to commemorate the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died fighting for Bulgaria's independence. Along the way we will also see the Palace of Culture and Independence Square.

    The rest of the afternoon is free; perhaps you'd like to take the metro to visit the Monument to the Soviet Army. This tribute to the Russian soldiers who died supporting Bulgarian efforts during World War II is surrounded by a large park. In recent years its sculpted bronze statues have frequently been vandalised with them being painted in a pop art style. The paint keeps being removed by the authorities and then a new design will appear a short time later. The statues have been all pink, painted in the style of comic book heroes and villains, in the colours of the Bulgarian flag, and more, so who knows what the statues will look like when you visit them.

    This evening you'll have your first chance to sample Bulgarian cuisine. Food in Bulgaria tends to be made from fresh local produce and dinner usually starts with a salad such as shopska salata consisting of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and white cheese. Other specialities include kebapche, small and spicy minced meat rolls, and surmi, stuffed cabbage or vine leafs. Both red and white wines are popular, as is the local brandy rakia and the aniseed spirit mastika.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 9 - Explore Rila Monastery; chance to visit the Museum of Socialist Art

    Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Rila Monastery is an important religious and cultural centre for the Bulgarian people, which we will go to visit this morning. Remaining in wonderful condition it has the most stunning brightly coloured frescoes and distinctive striped brickwork. Originally founded in the 10th century the monastery served to preserve Bulgarian culture during the 400 years of Ottoman rule and was a hiding place for the Bulgarian revolutionaries. Today the magnificent church and its museum house a priceless collection of frescoes, gilded iconostasis and religious art and artefacts. Whilst here you'll have the opportunity to visit the museum.

    We return to Sofia for a free afternoon. You may like to visit the Archaeological Museum where there are Thracian, Roman and medieval artefacts on display in a former mosque dating from 1496. Or perhaps the Museum of Socialist Art where you'll find many of the items removed from around the country when the Soviet era came to an end such as unwanted statues of Lenin, the red star from Sofia's Party House and footage from old propaganda films. There are also the ancient ruins of Serdica, which were discovered during the building of a new metro station. Now partially excavated you can see a small section of eight streets, an early Christian church and a bathhouse from this old Roman city.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 10 - See Plovdiv Roman Amphitheatre and a Thracian tomb in the Rose Valley

    We'll drive to Plovdiv, which is an ancient city built on seven hills, and take a tour of the main highlights. The most famous of which is probably the well preserved Roman Amphitheatre of Philipoppol, which is still used for concerts and theatrical performances. The rows of marble seats are set on a hillside with views over the city sprawling below it.

    We'll have the opportunity to have lunch here before driving on to Kazanlak in the Rose Valley. The flower laden fragrant fields sit between the Middle Forest Mountain and Balkan Mountains and the rosa damascene variety has been cultivated here for centuries. The rose blossoms are used in the production of rose oil and nearly a ton is made here every year which is about 70% of the world's overall production. Rose oil is used in many different ways from antiseptics to aphrodisiacs and laxatives to beauty products. You'll have the option to visit the Rose Museum to learn more.

    Next we visit the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak with a local guide, which was discovered in 1944 and dates back to the Hellenistic period. This UNESCO-Listed ancient burial ground has impressive murals which show images of the ritual funeral feast, traditional dress and fanciful horses. In keeping with Thracian culture the burial site consists of three rooms - the main round burial chamber which would have been the owners final resting place, an antechamber where their chariot, horses and slaves would have been kept for use in the afterlife and a corridor between the two which served as storage for other items needed in the spirit world.

    After our visit we'll go to Kazanlak and check-in to our hotel for the night.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 11 - Visit Shipka Memorial Church, Etar Museum and Tsarevets Fort

    Today we'll get to experience a range of different sights. We start by driving deep into the mountains to Shipka Memorial Church. Its tall bell tower, golden domes and intricately decorated red and white exterior stand out somewhat from the remote surrounding tree covered hills. The church is dedicated to the Russian soldiers who gave their lives in the Battles of Shipka Pass during the Russo-Turkish War from 1877-78 in a bid to free Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire. It officially opened on the 25th anniversary of the conflict and the names of the fallen soldiers are inscribed on walls of the church's crypt. Its bells are cast from battlefield cartridges and are extremely heavy, weighing up to 12 tons.

    From here we drive to the northern edge of the Bulgarka Nature Park to visit the Etar Open Air Museum. Here there are approximately 50 old buildings that showcase Bulgarian customs and craftsmanship, the best known is probably the watermill which dates back to 1780. As well as being historical important, the park is very pretty with lots of running water, cobbled streets and colourful wooden buildings nestled within a leafy valley.

    We drive on to one of Bulgaria's oldest towns, Veliko Tarnovo, where we will spend the night. It exudes medieval history with its fortified walls, cobbled ramshackle lanes and the mighty Tsarevets Fortress, which was formerly the city citadel. We will walk up to this fort, which was home to the medieval tsars, to see some of the ruins of over 400 houses, more than a dozen churches and the royal palace. We will also visit the handicraft market, Samovodska Charshiya, which has changed little over the past two centuries.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 12 - Discover Varna and Balchik on the Black Sea coast

    This morning we head for the Black Sea coastline and to Varna. We will go for a walk in this seaside resort to see the ruins of the ancient Roman Baths of Odessos and the most famous Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral in the country, the Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral. The city is famous for the 'gold of Varna' - 6,000 year-old Thracian jewellery which was found here and you can choose to go to see it in the Archaeological Museum. Perhaps you'd prefer to visit the Sea Garden, which is thought to be the largest landscaped park in the Balkans and you can see a variety of sculptures here along with the immaculate and wonderfully colourful selection of flowers.

    This afternoon we drive on to Balchik where we will stay for the next two nights. You can choose to relax on the sandy beaches and paddle in the sea or maybe you'd like to visit Balchik Palace, the summer residence of Queen Marie of Romania and the botanical gardens that surround it, which contain over 2,000 different plant varieties.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 13 - Visit Kaliakra Fortress; option to walk along the shore cliffs

    Today we'll continuing exploring the Black Sea coast beginning with a visit to Kaliakra Fortress. Perched on a rocky peninsula and surrounded by the crashing sea waves this fort used to be a vital stronghold in protecting the Black Sea Cape. After our visit there'll be the opportunity to take an easy walk along the cliffs that line the shore (the walk will take about 1.5 hours) to take in the sea views. At the end of our walk we can reward ourselves with lunch on a nearby terrace overlooking the waters.

    This afternoon we return to Balchik for our final afternoon spent relaxing on the coast.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 14 - Return to Bucharest, Romania for a free afternoon

    This morning we leave Bulgaria and cross back over the border to Bucharest in Romania. Our drive will take only about 1.5 hours, plus potentially around another hour at the border crossing.

    After checking-in to our hotel this afternoon is free for you to unwind and explore Bucharest at your own pace. There's plenty to discover in the city's Old Town or there's a multitude of museums available to choose from including the National Museum of Romanian History, the Military Museum and the Folk Art Museum, to name but a few. Alternatively, you could visit inside the Palace of Parliament where you'll find marble columns, grand halls and glittering crystal chandeliers.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Day 15 - Trip ends in Bucharest, Romania

    Our trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Bucharest.

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Trip information

    Country information

    Bulgaria

    Climate

    Bulgaria has a somewhat temperate climate, influence by the combination of Mediterranean and Eastern European weather systems. The winters are mild and the summers warm and fresh. The alpine regions can be cooler, but Ezerovo is one of the sunniest areas in this part of Europe, with some 280 days of sunshine a year.

    Time difference to GMT

    +2

    Plugs

    2 Pin Round

    Religion

    Bulgarian Orthodox, Islam

    Language

    Bulgarian, Russian and English.

    Romania

    Climate

    Romania's climate is continental, temperatures being strongly influenced by the physical features of the Carpathians. Temperatures will fall from highs of 18°C (by day) to lows of 6°C (at night) in October; by January they will hover around freezing during the day and go down to -10°C at night.They will then rise to reach October temperatures again by April. Temperatures will generally be lower in the mountains than in Bucharest. Snowfall may occur at any time.

    Time difference to GMT

    +2

    Plugs

    2 Pin Round

    Religion

    Eastern Orthodox

    Language

    Romanian

    Serbia

    Climate

    Serbia has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. There is a chance of sporadic rain in spring and autumn, though generally it is in the form of short showers. Thunderstorms can occur in summer, generally helping to cool the air. Temperatures from May to October are generally in the low to mid 20's (in °C), but can reach into the 30's (in °C) in July and August - although sometimes warm air currents from Africa can reach here and push the temperatures as high as 40°C.

    Time difference to GMT

    +1

    Plugs

    2 Pin Round

    Religion

    Christian (mainly Serbian Orthodox)

    Language

    Serbian

    Budgeting and packing

    Optional activities

    The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


    Many of the castles and museums charge a camera fee. You should allow approximately £15.00 for this.

    Orsova: Boat trip on the Danube Iron Gates to see King Decebalus' head (duration approximately 1 hour) €10.00.
    Sofia: Rila Monastery Museum entrance €3.00.
    Balchik: Balchik Palace entrance (duration approximately 2 hours) €8.00.
    Bucharest: Palace of Parliament entrance €10.00. Please note you must take your passport with you to be permitted entry.

    Clothing

    July and August are the hottest months and lightweight cotton clothing is best. During spring and autumn temperatures can be lower or drop during the evenings and there is also a stronger possibility of rain, although light rainwear may be needed at any time of year. Layered clothing and a warm fleece are recommended for cooler evenings and in the mountains along with a windproof/waterproof jacket. Ladies should take a headscarf to cover their head when entering religious sites.

    Footwear

    We recommend taking comfortable walking shoes for exploring and trainers or sandals for relaxing.

    Luggage

    20kg

    Luggage: On tour

    One main piece of baggage and a day pack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.

    Equipment

    We advise taking a water bottle for our included walks as well as sun glasses, sunscreen and a sun hat. In case of emergency we recommend that you carry a first aid kit and a torch, which you may also find useful for viewing frescoes as churches and tombs can be dimly lit. For the time spent in the countryside you might find mosquito repellent handy. Bring a swimming suit and towel for bathing in hot springs and taking a dip in the Black Sea.

    Tipping

    Explore leader
    At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Explore Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
    Local crew
    Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly please allow £30.00 for tipping.

    In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.

    Bulgaria

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Lunch price
    £9
    Dinner price
    £15
    Beer price
    £2.3
    Water price
    £1.8
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Bulgarian Leva.
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    All major currencies may be exchanged, but Euros are easiest to exchange. We suggest you travel with Euros cash.
    Where To Exchange
    Banks or 'Forex' offices in main towns/cities.
    ATM Availability
    Major towns.
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Larger hotels and restaurants - of very limited use on this trip.
    Travellers Cheques
    We do not recommend Travellers cheques. Places to exchange Travellers cheques are very limited.

    Romania

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Lunch price
    £8
    Dinner price
    £10
    Beer price
    £1
    Water price
    £0.7
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Romanian Leu.
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    Sterling Pounds, US Dollars and Euros cash can all be exchanged for local currency. Old style £10 and £20 notes are not accepted.
    Where To Exchange
    Please note that the exchange rates at the airport on arrival are particularly low.
    ATM Availability
    In most towns, your tour leader will advise you.
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Major stores and restaurants only.
    Travellers Cheques
    It is not possible to exchange Travellers Cheques on the tour.

    Serbia

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Lunch price
    £8
    Dinner price
    £12
    Beer price
    £1.20 - 4.00
    Water price
    £1
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Dinar.
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    Euros, US Dollars and Pound Sterling can all be exchanged for local currency. However, Euro is the best currency for exchange in most places. Please note if using Pound Sterling then only Bank of England issued bank notes are accepted. Scottish and Northern Irish bank notes are not accepted. Please consult your Explore Leader for more information on currency exchange.
    Where To Exchange
    Banks or official Forex Offices in the main towns and cities. British banks don't generally exchange Dinars, so you should exchange any unwanted local currency before you leave Serbia. Your Explore Leader will advise you on arrival.
    ATM Availability
    Generally widespread, but limited in more rural areas.
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Accepted in major restaurants and hotels.
    Travellers Cheques
    Travellers Cheques can be exchanged for the local currency but only in banks and they are only accepted in major hotels and shops in the main towns and cities.
    Transport, Accommodation & Meals

    Transport Information

    Bus

    Accommodation notes

    Our guesthouse tonight is in a listed building in the centre of Sibiu with all the bedrooms facing a traditional inner courtyard where we have breakfast in the warmer months and if the weather is pleasant. Bedrooms are en suite, simply decorated and have a television. Some also have a balcony. The guesthouse offers free Wi-Fi internet access, a bar and a breakfast room.

    Essential Information

    FCO Advice

    We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

    For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
     

    Under 18 immigration guidance

    Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

    Price Guarantee

    Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

    Visa and Passport Information

    Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US or Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

    All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related questions with the relevant embassy prior to departure.


    If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
     

    Booking conditions

    Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

    Transfers

    Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

    Booking a land only package with Explore

    Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

    You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


    Joining Tour Abroad

    Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

    Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

    If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


    For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

    Insurance

    It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
    Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

    Flight information

    Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


    Flight Information

    You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

      

    Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

    We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

    On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

    Ability to swim

    No

    Bulgaria

    Vaccinations

    We recommend protection against typhoid, hepatitis A, polio and tetanus. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Romania

    Vaccinations

    Nothing compulsory, although we recommend vaccination against tetanus, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. Tick-borne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of Eastern Europe, at specific times of the year. The Foreign Office currently recommend considerations of vaccination against rabies if travelling in rural areas of Romania. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Serbia

    Vaccinations

    Nothing compulsory, but we recommend being up-to-date with your routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in the UK including protection against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. Tick-borne encephalitis protection is recommended by some medical sources at certain times of the year. Ticks are most active between spring and late autumn. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Additional Information

    Why book this trip

    In just two-weeks you can experience the highlights of the three fascinating countries. You'll travel from bustling cities to remote mountain ranges and from rushing rivers to Black Sea sand beaches. Along the way you'll learn of the regions extensive history from ancient Roman right up to communist regimes.

    Dates, prices and booking

    All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
    Sat 6 Apr 2019 - Sat 20 Apr 2019 Guaranteed departure
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1490
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 25 May 2019 - Sat 8 Jun 2019 Guaranteed departure
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1490
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 8 Jun 2019 - Sat 22 Jun 2019 Guaranteed departure
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1490
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 22 Jun 2019 - Sat 6 Jul 2019
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1490
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 27 Jul 2019 - Sat 10 Aug 2019 Guaranteed departure
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1490
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 17 Aug 2019 - Sat 31 Aug 2019
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1490
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 31 Aug 2019 - Sat 14 Sep 2019 Guaranteed departure
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1490
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 7 Sep 2019 - Sat 21 Sep 2019 Guaranteed departure
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1490
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 21 Sep 2019 - Sat 5 Oct 2019
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1490
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 6 Apr 2019 - Sat 20 Apr 2019 Guaranteed departure
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1745
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 25 May 2019 - Sat 8 Jun 2019 Guaranteed departure
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1745
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 8 Jun 2019 - Sat 22 Jun 2019 Guaranteed departure
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1745
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 22 Jun 2019 - Sat 6 Jul 2019
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1745
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 27 Jul 2019 - Sat 10 Aug 2019 Guaranteed departure
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1799
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 17 Aug 2019 - Sat 31 Aug 2019
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1735
    Save £45 was £1780
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 31 Aug 2019 - Sat 14 Sep 2019 Guaranteed departure
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1740
    Save £40 was £1780
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 7 Sep 2019 - Sat 21 Sep 2019 Guaranteed departure
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1735
    Save £45 was £1780
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sat 21 Sep 2019 - Sat 5 Oct 2019
    RSB_2019
    Price from £1780
    Save was
    Single room option +£325
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time and place
    18:00 at Hotel reception
    Ending Point
    Town
    Bucharest
    Time
    09:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
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