Medieval Magic of Bulgaria and Romania | Sisterhood Womens Travel

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Medieval Magic of Bulgaria and Romania

20 Days  |  Departing Sunday 8th September 2024 and returning Friday 27th September 2024

Prices & Options

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$3000 deposit payable $3500 deposit payable $ deposit payable $ deposit payable
Prices are subject to change due to airfare increases and surcharges may apply. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Progress Payment: $ 4200 4900 by 10 Apr 2024
Final Payment: $ 5659 6459 by 3 Jun 2024
Pay by direct deposit or credit card.

Highlights

  • Visit to VItosha Mountains and easy hike to Boyana Waterfall
  • Visit to the UNESCO listed Rila monastery
  • Visit to the thermal springs town of Sandanski
  • Kordopulova house with tasting of local wine in Melnik
  • Dolno Drahlishte Village with traditional bulgarian cooking class
  • Visit to the House of Master Valyan the famous 18th century Bulgarian painter and woodcarver
  • Visit to Carpet Factory - the only one in Bulgaria to make giant carpets
  • Walking tour of the Old Town of Plovdiv including the Antique Theatre in Plovdiv
  • Visit to 11th Century Bachkovo Monastery
  • Demonstration of lace making and wood carving
  • Visit to the famous Rose oil distillery used by Givenchy, Bvlgari, Chanel & Estee Lauder
  • Visit and homemade traditional lunch in a local house 
  • Visit to Etara open-air museum
  • Visit to Ruse known as "Little Vienna" on the banks of the Danube River
  • Spectacular drive through the Carpathian Mountains in Romania
  • Visit Cozia Monastery built in 1388
  • Walking tour of Alba Lulia and the impressive Vauban style fortress
  • Visit to Corvin's Castle one of the most beautiful medieval castles in the world
  • City tour of the medieval city of Sibiu
  • Visit to the UNESCO fortified church of Biertan
  • Visit to the abandoned village of Viscri and learn about it's restoration project
  • Visit a local peasant's home for a crochet stocking lesson
  • City tour of Brasov including the narrowest street in Romania
  • Visit to Bran Castle in Transylvania - evoking tales of the legend of Dracula
  • Visit to Peles Castle the summer residence of the Royal Family
  • City tour of Bucharest known as "Little Paris"
  • Visit to Ceausescu Mansion the former residence of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu
  • Free day to explore Bucharest

Inclusions

Fully escorted by a Sisterhood Tour Hostess who is on hand to assist with making your holiday a memorable one.
Return economy airfares and taxes from Melbourne to Sofia / Bucharest (other cities and classes of travel available on request)
Comfortable 4 star accommodation with private facilities
Specialist guides at each destination
All transportation as detailed in our itinerary
All sightseeing and activities as detailed in our itinerary
All meals as detailed in our itinerary
Willing to share option prior to departure
Friends for company!

Notice

Please visit smartraveller.gov.au for all country information and updates.

View Itinerary map here : https://hayleymorris.travelmap.net/bulgaria-romania-2024

Itinerary

Day 1 - Sunday 8 September 2024

Melbourne - Sofia, Bulgaria (Meals inflight)

Welcome to Sisterhood Womens Travel. 

Meet your Tour Hostess and fellow travellers at the Melbourne Airport for our flight to Sofia. 

Sit back, relax and enjoy the inflight entertainment as we head towards our next adventure.

Day 2 - Monday 9 September 2024

Sofia (D)

Welcome to Bulgaria!

Upon arrival in Sofia, we transfer from the airport to our hotel and accommodation with the remainder of the day at leisure.

Welcome dinner tonight in a traditional Bulgarian restaurant.

Overnight: Rosslyn Central Park Hotel, Sofia (or similar) 

Day 3 - Tuesday 10 September 2024

Sofia (B)

Today we take a walking tour around the Bulgarian capital – an 8,500 year old city called “My Rome” by the emperor Constantine The Great. Visit the most fascinating places of interest: the forum of Ancient Serdica (the old name of the city) with the newest archeological discoveries from Roman time, which are exhibited next to the Bulgarian presidency.

Overnight: Rosslyn Central Park Hotel, Sofia (or similar) 

Day 4 - Wednesday 11 September 2024

Sofia (B,L)

This morning after breakfast, we'll spend a day in the mountains.  Vitosha Moutain is a true blessing for the capital - an escape from the city noise into the quietness of nature.  We'll take an easy hike from the Golden Bridges to Boyana waterfall.  We'll have a picnic lunch in a beautiful meadow before returning later that afternoon to Sofia.

Dinner at leisure tonight.

Overnight: Rosslyn Central Park Hotel, Sofia (or similar) 

Day 5 - Thursday 12 September 2024

Sofia – Rila Monastery – Sandanski (B, L, D)

After breakfast we depart for the Rila Monastery - the biggest Bulgarian spiritual centre since the Middle Ages till nowadays, included in UNESCO World Heritage List and located in a picturesque mountain area.

The Rila Monastery has а rich collection of icons and wall paintings. Its museum keeps a real treasure: a wooden cross of just 81 cm in height, carved with 104 religious scenes and 650 figures. Enjoy a delicious local fresh trout in a local restaurant.

After our visit to the monastery, we will head to Pirin mountain, followed by Sandanski - the warmest town in Bulgaria where the cultural heritage is all around and the warm thermal water springs keep up with the town’s temperature.

Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Sandanski.

Overnight: Park Hotel Pirin, Sandanski (or similar)

Day 6 - Friday 13 September 2024

Melnik – Dolno Draglishte – Bansko (B, L D)

After breakfast, we check out and head off towards Melnik - the town of the sand pyramids. The town is an architectural reserve and 96 of its buildings are cultural monuments. With a population of about 385, it is the smallest town in Bulgaria, retaining its city status today for historical reasons. Melnik is also famous for its red wines.

Next, we take off for Dolno Draglishte village, where we will visit a rural house for a cooking class to prepare some traditional Bulgarian meals for lunch. During the preparation, the inspired local grannies will entertain you and will not leave you bored. They have plenty of  funny stories from their lives to tell; they will sing some folklore songs and will welcome you to dress yourselves in traditional Bulgarian costumes.

In the afternoon we will reach Bansko – the most prospering winter and mountain resort.

Accommodation, dinner and overnight in Bansko.

Overnight: Apart Hotel Casa Karina, Bankso (or similar)

Day 7 - Saturday 14 September 2024

Bansko – Kostandovo – Plovdiv (B, L, D)

After breakfast we will take a short walk in the historical part of the city with a visit of the house of Master Velyan – a famous Bulgarian painter and woodcarver from 18th century.

Then driving along the beautiful mountains, we will reach a one of a kind place in Bulgaria - a visit to the only one carpet factory in the country, producing giant carpets, whose clients are world celebrities as Queen Elizabeth II, Mick Jagger, etc. Take a look at the process of making this unique carpet and if you want, you can order one for yourselves to have at home.

Arrive in Plovdiv, also known as the “City of the Seven Hills’’ and is the oldest city in Europe still existing today. Today Plovdiv is a cultural center of Bulgaria and selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2019. 

Accommodation in a hotel in the heart of the city and enjoy dinner this evening.

Overnight: Double Tree by Hilton, Plovdiv (or similar)

Day 8 - Sunday 15 September 2024

Plovdiv – Bachkovo monastery - Plovdiv (B, D)

After our breakfast, we head out to explore the wonders of the city with a walking tour of the Old Town of Plovdiv. The spirit is visible throughout and impresses with the houses and museums of the Revival period like the Ethnographical Museum; the Ancient Theater, which still stands today back from the Roman period and is used and today for great events and concert, the Bishop’s Basilica with great mosaics on 2-floors, the Fortress walls, the oldest church in the city – “St. Constantine and Helena”, etc. We will also see the Muslim temple Dzhoumaya Mosque and the Roman Stadium on the main street of Plovdiv.

In the afternoon we take our last visit of the day with Bachkovo monastery - Founded in 11th century by two Georgian brothers, this is the second-largest Bulgarian Monastery after the Rila Monastery. There are extremely valuable frescos of biblical subjects from 16th century in the monastery. The Icon of Virgin Mary, the patron saint of the monastery, is considered as miraculous.

Getting back into Plovdiv, we can enjoy our night in the bohemian quarter full of small cafes, restaurants, bars.

Overnight: Double Tree by Hilton, Plovdiv (or similar)

Day 9 - Monday 16 September 2024

Plovdiv – Karlovo - Rose oil distillery – Kazanlak (B, D)

After breakfast we depart towards the Rose Valley and the Valley of Thracian Kings. Our first stop is Karlovo where we will visit the Ethnographic complex in the old town with the following activities included: coffee tasting on the sand with traditional delights, crafts demonstration – lace-making and wood carving, demonstration for enteric oils distillation. Also information about local herbs and their curative properties and dressing in traditional folklore costumes.

Next, we will visit a rose oil distillery where the hosts will show how the famous Bulgarian rose oil (used in many perfume companies like Givenchy, Bvlgari, Chanel, Estee Lauder and more) is produced and you will see and smell the essential oils and rose water for yourself.

End the day in Kazanlak for an overnight. 

Overnight: Residence Konstantina Palace, Kazanlak (or similar)

Day 10 - Tuesday 17 September 2024

Kazanlak – Etara – Veliko Tarnovo (B, L, D)

After breakfast today, we will visit the replica of Thracian Kazanlak Tomb, dating back to the 4th c. B.C. It is listed in the world’s natural and historical heritage of UNESCO. Our next stop is Etara – a unique open-air museum, reproducing the way of life and occupation of the local people in 19th century.

Around lunch, we will arrive in a local house in the area of Veliko Tarnovo, where the welcoming hostess will teach you how to prepare traditional Bulgarian dishes – banitza and yogurt, followed by a homemade lunch.

Arrive in Veliko Tarnovo – the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Visit the historical hill Tsarevets with the Fortress, the Patriarchal church, and the Emperor Baldwin’s Tower. We also have free time to take a stroll along the old Trade Street – “Samovodska charshia”.

Overnight: Grand Hotel Yantra, Veliko Tarnovo (or similar)

Day 11 - Wednesday 18 September 2024

Veliko Tarnovo – Ruse - Bucharest (B, D)

After breakfast we depart towards Ruse - the first Bulgarian city with European appearance, also called the "little Vienna". The city is also the main Bulgarian port, located on the bank of Danube River.

We then meet with our Romanian guide in Ruse. From here, we will cross together the Danube and will drive to Bucharest.

The remainder of the day is free

Overnight: Hotel Central Bucharest (or similar)

Day 12 - Thursday 19 September 2024

Bucharest – Cozia - Sibiu (B, D)

After breakfast, we will drive to Transylvania, departing through the Carpathian Mountains to Sibiu and the Oltului Valley – the most spectacular river valley in Romania.

We visit Cozia Monastery, built in 1388 and one of the country’s most valuable monuments of medieval architecture. 

The remainder of the day is free

Overnight: Hotel Continental Forum, Sibiu (or similar)

Day 13 - Friday 20 September 2024

Sibiu – Alba Iulia – Hunedoara – Sibiu (B, L, D)

We start our trip in the morning by travelling to Alba Iulia. During our walking tour we will learn the history of the impressive fortress in Vauban style which was originally a Roman fort.

From here, we will drive to a local winery where we will have lunch and be invited to taste some of the local wines. Then we'll drive to the Corvin's Castle in Hunedoara, also known as Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle, which one of the most beautiful medieval castles in the world.

In the evening, we drive back to Sibiu.

Overnight: Hotel Continental Forum, Sibiu (or similar)

Day 14 - Saturday 21 September 2024

Sibiu – Biertan – Sighisoara (B, L, D)

After breakfast, we'll do a city tour of Sibiu (the European Cultural Capital 2007 and European Region of Gastronomy in 2019) in order to discover the secrets of this magnificent medieval city. We will visit the main cultural objectives like The Evangelical Church, the Liar’s Bridge, The Small Square with “the eyes of the city”, The Big Square.

Then on to Biertan, which is one of the most important Saxon villages with fortified churches in Transylvania, having been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1993. Visit the Biertan fortified church, which was the see of the Lutheran Evangelical Bishop in Transylvania between 1572 and 1867 and has one of the largest Saxon populations in the region.

Next, on to Sighisoara, the only inhabited citadel in the South-Eastern Europe, part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. In a tour of the magnificent, still inhabited citadel, we visit the main cultural objectives: The Clock Tower; the birth house of Vlad the Impaler; the Stag House. We will climb the 177 steps of the Covered Staircase, until we arrive at the Church on the Hill.

Overnight: Double Tree Hilton Sighisoara (or similar)

Day 15 - Sunday 22 September 2024

Sighisoara – Viscri – Braşov (B, L, D)

Today, we drive around the area of the Saxon village Viscri where we will participate in a local cooking class and afterwards we will have lunch.

After this, we will visit Viscri, one of the most beautiful villages in Transylvania, where we will find out more about the “Mihai Eminesu Trust" and its restoration project of Saxons villages. Viscri is an abandoned village which is now coming back to life - King Charles (of U.K.) even has a house here! 

We'll also learn to crochet stockings at a peasant family’s home, before moving on to Braşov where we will have a city tour of the middle-aged city inside the Carpathian Arch, and visit the main touristic features: The Council Hall, the Black Church, the 14th century St. Saint Nicholas Church, the Schei quarter, The Rope Street (the narrowest street in Romania). 

Overnight: Hotel Aro Palace, Braşov (or similar)

Day 16 - Monday 23 September 2024

Braşov – Bran – Sinaia – Bucharest (B, D)

This morning, we depart to Bran village, where the world-famous Dracula Castle is located. The castle was built in 1377 to safeguard the trading route between Transylvania and Wallachia, enlarged and restored a few times to become a royal residence in the 1920s under Queen Marie of Romania. Nowadays, Bran Castle is the most visited castle in Romania and is known, all over the world, as Dracula`s Castle.

The Royal Family`s favorite city (Sinaia) will be our next destination and is the gateway to wild nature in Romania. We visit the mountain resort known also as „The Pearl of the Carpathians “. This place impresses everyone by the beauty of its landscapes, guarding a treasure of the Romanian history: The Peles Castle, used as a summer residence for the royal family, this monument represents a symbol of elegance and nobility. 

Later, we drive back to Bucharest.

Overnight: Hotel Central Bucharest (or similar)

Day 17 - Tuesday 24 September 2024

Bucharest (B)

This morning, after breakfast, we enjoy a city tour of Bucharest. Discover the atmosphere of “Little Paris” with its main attraction points: The Press House, the Kisselef Boulevard, The Arch of Triumph, the Victoriei Square, the Victoriei Street, the Revolution Square, the Cotroceni Palace, the Palace of the Parliament and other old streets like the Lipscani Street.

We'll visit The Palace of Parliament –the second largest building by surface area in the world after the pentagon in USA. We will visit today also “Primaverii Palace” or “Ceausescu Mansion” (was for a quarter of a century (1965-1989) the private residence of Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu and their children, Nicu, Zoia, and Valentin).

Overnight: Hotel Central Bucharest (or similar)

Day 18 - Wednesday 25 September 2024

Bucharest (B, D)

Free day to explore on our own in Bucharest.

This evening we'll regroup and enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate great times with good friends.

Overnight: Hotel Central Bucharest (or similar)

Day 19 - Thursday 26 September 2024

Departure from Romania (B, in flight meals)

After breakfast we will be transferred to the Airport Otopeni for our flight home.

Sit back, relax and reminisce about great times shared with new friends.  

Day 20 - Friday 27 September 2024

Welcome home

Thank you for joining us for our latest adventure. We look forward to welcoming you back.

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