Vienna- the gateway to East European countries- leads us on a trail of discovery involving the river Danube, a Roman bridge, ancient settlements, surprising architecture and plenty more. Your tour begins and ends at historic, romantic imperial dream city of Vienna.
Eastern Europe itinerary: You will be met at Vienna Airport by your chauffeur-guide. This first day our destination is Budapest, the Hungarian capital, where we for stay one night. On the way, depending on your flight arrival time, we can make the first stop at Parndorf for shopping. The Designer Outlet Shopping Centre, rather than souvenirs, gives you the chance to pick up anything else you need for the trip. It is a good idea to keep some luggage space for the shopping items you can use during the rest of the holiday. Then a stop at Austria’s largest lake Neusiedlersee for some leisure before going onto Budapest
For the Budapest city tour we will take in the highlights covering Fishermen’s Bastion, Parliament, Heroes Square, St.Stephens Basilica and the Chain Bridge In the afternoon we will cross the border to Romania, reaching the main social, economic and cultural centre of western Romania, Timisoara. We make a city orientation drive through Timisoara and overnight stay. The charm of this city lies in its distinct architectural character and vibrant cultural life. It is sometimes referred to as “Little Vienna”.
Today we visit some of Timisoara’s historical and cultural monuments, and try your hand at the Escape Game. In the afternoon we head south to rejoin the Blue Danube on the lower reaches of the river at Trajan’s Bridge on the border with Serbia. Now we are just downstream of the Iron Gates gorge of the Danube. We learn the story of why we will not be crossing the bridge(!?) and savour the Romanian nightlife of Drobeta Turnu Severin.
Today we take a leisurely drive south witnessing Romanian rural life then crossing the Danube into Bulgaria. We pass Montana, historically known as Kutlovitsa, on the river Ogosta with its ancient fortress. The valley of Ogosta was of gold mining importance. In the afternoon we reach the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia.With 7000 years of human habitation and in more recent history, including Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Soviet occupation, it has a deep mixture of architecture and culture. We stay the night here so let’s check out the nightlife scenes in Sofia.
On the Sofiacity tour we arevisiting ancient Greek, Romans and Turkish historic monuments. In the afternoon we leave Sophia heading east, first to VelikoTarnovo, the historic capital Bulgaria, known as the City of the Tsars. Tsarevets is the old fortress weel worth a visit. The archaeological excavations on the hill continue and interesting finds are often revealed. It is often referred to as the most beautiful town in Bulgaria. Then in the evening we reach Ruse to stay for the night, maybe even on the banks of the Blue Danube.
The Danube river was favorable for its development. Due to the beautiful architecture and the internal shaping of the buildings constructed by Italian, Austrian, German and Bulgarian architects, Ruse was also known as “The Small Vienna”. Todaywe cross the Danube into Romania and stay overnight at the Romanian capital Bucharest.
After a short Bucharest city tour we drive to the beautiful historic mountain resort of Sinaia and then to Bran to see the famous castle of Count Dracula, then onto Brasov for the night. Founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 on an ancient Dacian site, resplendent with Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture it exudes a distinct medieval ambiance and has been used as backdrop in some period films.
After exploring Brasov we head northwest visit Cluj Napoca to visit its Botanical Garden and monuments. Commonly known as Cluj, it is the second most populous city in Romania, with its origins dating back to the Dacian times.
Another leisurely day passing through villages in Romania before we enter in Slovakia, reaching the town of Michalovce (Michael).The Zemplín Museum is the manor house, the well preserved former seat of the noble family of Sztárays is one of several notable sights.
This morning we will get to know Slovakian villages and then a lunch break in Poland.
In the afternoon visiting historic attractions in Krakow. We take the overview and sights of Krakow, the 2nd city of Poland, capital of “Lesser Poland”, with Wawel hill, castle and cathedral. Overnight we stay in Krakov.
We spend some time in Krakow then visit the memorial site of the Nazi Concentration Camp in Auschwitz then onto Otmuchow for the night. Quite a rural area with some lakes nearby.
We head into the Czech Republic, first stop is the cute little city of Kutna Hora to wander the streets and visit the famous “Bone Church”. It used to compete with Prague for prominence. It makes a fine spot for a lunch break. Late afternoon an orientation city tour of Prague including Old Town square and the Charles Bridge.
In the morning visit Prague Castle, then we head to Vienna, first visiting the splendid baroque Schonbrunn Palace and then sit back and enjoy the drive around the famous Vienna Ringstrasse to see the beauty of Vienna with photo stops on request.
Depending on departure time we may visit more Vienna sights such as the famous Natural History Museum, Belvederepalace, St.StephensCathedral, Spanish riding school or wander the old streets for treasure hunting and window shopping. As your chauffeur-guide sends you off, we trust you feel in your heart, to have found some of the hidden treasures of Eastern Europe.