Bulgaria & Romania
Connected by History, Distinct in Spirit
Ker & Downey’s Bulgaria Romania Adventure is packed with cultural treasures, sacred buildings, and plenty of refreshing natural beauty all woven together to tell the story of two countries connected by history but distinct in spirit. Over 14 days you will traverse through the cultural capitals of Sofia and Plovdiv, explore the hills and caves of the Rhodope Mountains, trace the history of Bucharest, and go behind the walls of the UNESCO-celebrated fortified churches of rural Transylvania.
Begin your Bulgaria Romania Adventure in Sofia, the dynamic capital city of Bulgaria. Your accommodations at the Grand Hotel Sofia are centrally located, making it easy to access many of the city’s notable sites. Take a walking tour of the nearby museums, or have your private driver take you outside the city to Boyana Church.
Drive to Gella in the Rhodope Mountains, arriving to Villa Gella and a magnificent view over the mountainous surroundings. From this intimate and authentic location you can explore the wonders of the mountains, from the Devil’s Throat cave and waterfall to the astounding hidden villages. This area is rich in culture, and you will get a taste of it all with authentic home-cooked meals and a folk dancing lesson.
Continue to Plovdiv where you will stay in the center of its historic Old Town in Hebros Hotel, the restored 19th-century home of a merchant. The cobblestone streets of Old Town beckon, and you can explore its galleries and museums as well as its Roman-era sites. A day trip to Kazanlak will reveal even more ancient sites in the Valley of the Thracian Kings and the fragrant rose fields that produce Bulgarian rose oil.
On the sixth day of your journey, begin the Romania portion of your Bulgaria Romania Adventure. Fly into the capital city, Bucharest, where the Grand Hotel Continental welcomes you to the heart of the city. Walk along Victoriei Avenue to see the buildings that remain from the city’s heyday as “The Little Paris” and the changing face of its architecture through its Old Town. You also have the option to experience Bucharest’s vibrant nightlife after a gourmet dinner.
Drive into the Transylvania region—and seemingly back in time—as you are surrounded by the charm and culture of the castles and villages of the Carpathian Mountains. Start your journey at the Inn at Balaban, in the heart of this rural region, in a home constructed in traditional 18th-century style. The fortified churches of this region are included on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, and you will see the structures at Viscri, Sighisoara, Biertan, and Cincsor. Staying in traditional guesthouses along the way will give you insight into this very traditional culture and its robust Saxon history.
A scenic drive back to Bucharest takes you through the twisting mountain passages along the beautiful Transfagarasan Road, another exciting note on your Bulgaria Romania Adventure. Spend your final evening in Bucharest, reflecting on your journey.