Balkan Discovery – Budapest to Bucharest
|Resort:||Balkan Discovery - Budapest to Bucharest|
|Destination:||Bulgaria, Europe, Hungary, Romania, Serbia|
Day 1 Budapest
Travel to Budapest where you will be met and transferred to the InterContinental Budapest (or similar) for a two night stay.
Day 2 Budapest
Included today: Guided sightseeing, see Fishermen’s Bastion and Heroes Square Whether you’re seeing the sights, shopping for hand crafted embroidery or Herend porcelain, or basking in the coffee house culture over a rich cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Caf, Budapest’s unique energy is positively palatable. On your included guided tour of the city, see Heroes’ Square as well as the massive hilltop castle complex with its remarkable Fishermen’s Bastion and 11th-century Matthias Church, the coronation spot of several Hungarian monarchs. Be sure to take note of the city’s eight bridgesmany famous sights in and of themselves, which connect ancient Buda on the right bank with Pest on the left. You may want to walk across Chain Bridge, built in 1849 and a symbol of Budapest. This afternoon is free. Perhaps visit St. Stephen’s Basilica for marvellous city views from its viewing platform, or stroll along Vci utca, the main shopping street.
Day 3 Budapest (Embarkation)
This morning is free for you to enjoy Hungary’s exciting capital. Visit one of the many museums, take a walk to see some of the remaining statues from the communist era, shop at the Great Market Hall to purchase paprika and embroidery, or stroll along Vac Utca main shopping street. Transfer to your ship and meet your crew at a welcome reception.
Day 4 Mohcs
Included today: Guided sightseeing in Pcs, visit underground tombs; organ concert. Cruise to Mohcs this morning and join the included excursion to Pcs. Established by the Romans in the 2nd century, this was a flourishing and important town for Christianity by the 4th century. With a local guide, visit the early Christian Underground Tombs, many of which have splendidly decorated murals with Christian themes that are now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, enjoy an organ concert. After lunch, enjoy some time leisurely cruising towards Belgrade.
Day 5 Belgrade
Included today: Guided sightseeing. One of the oldest cities in Europe, the capital of Serbia is situated at the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers. A local guide will be proud to show you its main sights, including St. Sava, the world’s largest Orthodox Church. In your free time, be sure to check out the city’s lively pedestrian area and charming outdoor cafes. Perhaps visit one of the many art galleries or museums or browse the local shops. Stroll through Belgrade’s largest and most beautiful park which surrounds the city’s principal landmark, Kalemegdan Fortress.
Day 6 Lepenski Vir – Iron Gates Gorge
Included today: Visit Lepenski Vir archaeological site; cruise the Iron Gates Gorge. This morning, dock at Donji Milanovac, where a short drive takes you to the impressive Lepenski Vir Exhibition Centre which houses archaeological artefacts, and from where you have unique views of the Danube Gorge. Return to your ship before lunch, then cruise the spectacular scenery of the dramatic Iron Gates gorge. The gorge is a narrow and formerly very dangerous passage dividing the Alps in the north-west from the Carpathians in the south-east, forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania.
Day 7 Cetate – Belogradchik
Included today: Visit the cultural port of Cetate; excursion to Belogradchik rock formations. This morning stop in Cetate, an old Danubian grain shipping port, now turned into a cultural centre. The owner will explain the concept of this fascinating venture before you have a chance to see for yourself and to taste some of the locally made products. In nearby Belogradchik, view the eclectic group of rock formations on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains. Sculpted by natural elements for more than 200 million years and in a variety of sizes and shapes, the Belogradchik Rocks are a spectacular sight to behold.
Day 8 Veliko Trnovo – Arbanassi – Rousse
Included today: Visit Tsarevet’s Fortress in Veliko Trnovo and the Ethnographical Museum and Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi’ or guided sightseeing of Rousse. This morning stop in Nikopl from where an excursion takes you to the ancient Bulgarian capital of Veliko Trnovo. Situated on three hills surrounding the Yantra River, the city was a natural fortress with ancient stone houses clinging to the steep slopes. One of the oldest towns in Bulgaria (dating back to 4300 BC), the oldest part is Tsarevets Hill, home of the Royal Fortress and the Patriarch’s church. With your local guide, discover this town that played an important role in Bulgaria’s history. Next, journey to Arbanassi, founded in the 15th century, and best known for its Bulgarian Revival architecture and Ethnographical Museum, a 400-year-old house preserved as a museum. Visit the Church of the Nativity, one of the town’s oldest churches, and see its outstanding collection of frescoes. Return to your ship in Rousse, Bulgaria’s largest inland port. If you don’t wish to participate in the full-day excursion, you can stay on board and relax, or join a guided tour of Rousse.
Day 9 Oltenita (Disembarkation) – Bucharest
Included today: Guided sightseeing. After breakfast, say goodbye to your crew. Bucharest, Romania’s lively capital, is only a short drive from Oltenita. Its wide, tree-lined boulevards and Arc de Triomphe – built in 1922 to honour the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in World War I – have gained it the name ‘Paris of the East’. During the included tour, see the main sights including the Royal Palace Square, the scene of riots in 1989, which led to the collapse of the communist dictatorship. In your free time, discover this interesting city even further. Stroll down Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue), Bucharest’s most historic and alluring street. Initially built in 1692, today it is lined with shops, museums, churches, restaurants, cafs and fine houses.
Day 10 Bucharest
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.