Eastern Europe cultural tour

“A two week small group tour, starting in Budapest and finishing in Istanbul, or Sofia if you prefer. Traveling by public transport, and staying in small local accommodations. Budget style vacation. ”

Highlights

Hungary: Budapest | Eger | Bükk Mountains Romania: Maramures region | Barsana | Baia Mare mining town | Sighisoara | Carpathian Mountains | Brasov | Bucharest Bulgaria: Veliko Tarnovo | Sofia | Plovdiv Turkey: Istanbul

Travel Team

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Date
Price
Basis
01 Sep 2019
US $2299
US $1380
excluding flights
Available
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15 Sep 2019
US $2299
US $1380
excluding flights
Available
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29 Sep 2019
US $2299
US $1380
excluding flights
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13 Oct 2019
US $2259
US $1356
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27 Oct 2019
US $2259
US $1559
excluding flights
7 spaces left
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12 Apr 2020
US $2299
US $1679
excluding flights
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26 Apr 2020
US $2299
US $1679
excluding flights
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10 May 2020
US $2349
US $1715
excluding flights
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24 May 2020
US $2349
US $1715
excluding flights
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07 Jun 2020
US $2389
US $1744
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21 Jun 2020
US $2389
US $1744
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05 Jul 2020
US $2389
US $1744
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19 Jul 2020
US $2389
US $1744
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02 Aug 2020
US $2389
US $1744
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16 Aug 2020
US $2389
US $1744
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30 Aug 2020
US $2389
US $1744
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13 Sep 2020
US $2349
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27 Sep 2020
US $2349
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11 Oct 2020
US $2299
US $1909
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25 Oct 2020
US $2299
US $1909
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Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group adventure vacation

Whether you are traveling alone or with friends/family its good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is plenty of free time to explore at your own pace. This trip will appeal to travelers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as seeing new places.

Responsible tourism

Eastern Europe cultural tour

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

This is an exciting tour for those that are interested in local culture and history and visits several very old churches, citadels and castles in the area. While we are visiting these places, it is very important we do not damage them in any way.

In our responsible travel policy available on our website and linked from our pre departure information we recommend how to behave while visiting historical monuments such as Bran’s Castle. This includes not taking rocks or stones as souvenirs, nor buying these from vendors which encourages the damage and destruction of ancient walls.

Travel on this tour is completed using public transport and Europe’s existing train network. In doing this, we limit our impact on road congestion and the CO2 produced by this tour is minimal. Traveling using widely available, existing infrastructure is one way that we make our tours environmentally friendly and it has the additional benefit of being able to meet locals whilst traveling as travel by train is one of the best ways to do this.

Community

We also encourage travelers learn some of the local language as we have found that cultural barriers are broken down much quicker when a few words in the native language of the area are spoken. This tour spends over a week in Romania so we recommend learning a small bit of Romanian.

We recommend and assist in learning about the local culture and traditions and endeavour at all stages not to cause offence by our presence, behaviour or dress. This is especially notable in places such as Istanbul, Turkey where we have the chance to discover the mosques. We recommend that our passengers respect this religious environment and dress appropriately.

We also recommend travelers take nothing but photographs and to be respectful when taking photographs of people especially in religious environments such as the Turkish mosques where people may be enjoying their own spiritual time and do not want to be disturbed.

2 Reviews of Eastern Europe cultural tour

2.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 25 Jul 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The excursion to watching wild brown bears,in the Romanian forest. Seeing a
mother bear come to feed and bringing her cub out with her was the perfect end
to the Romanian part of the trip

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Find the trip through another company, do not use this vacation provider.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It benefited locals because I was spending money, can't testify to the
environment of conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


There were two travelers on this trip whose outrageous behaviour spoiled it
for everybody else. One brought a large suitcase and constantly complained about having to carry it up and down stairs and that the hotel staff didn't do it for him and then blamed the tour leader for not organising this for him. Another was an obnoxious, aggressive bully who threw hissy fits because he expected and wasn't getting the exclusive attention of the tour leader. He verbally attached her on more than one occasion for this and other imagined issues, including wanting to go to Sofia in Bulgaria even though it wasn't on the itinerary!! He became extremely aggressive towards the tour leader because she wasn't able to accommodate him. This final episode left her in great distress and although she reported it to the vacation provider, they did nothing. They didn't respond to her so another female traveler rang the Head Office to complain about the passenger as none of us felt safe entering Turkey with such a person. The vacation provider did not support us saying 'it would be 'tricky' to throw him off the tour' but did say that a previous tour leader had had problems with him. He should never have been allowed to be part of this tour but when Emma from the vacation provider did eventually speak to the gentleman we had all ostracised him anyway and the tour was almost over. It for this reason and the fact that the vacation provider obviously don't give a toss about their travelers as long as they have paid their money,that I am giving the trip only one star. Sofie, our tour leader was fantastic and she ran everything seamlessly and professionally but I would never use the vacation provider ever again.

Read the operator's response here:

We are so sorry that your tour did not meet your expectations. While we do our best to ensure that the day to day running of the tour are under control, there is little we can do about group tour dynamics and big personalities. We took action in speaking to the client in question as soon as we were made aware of the situation but there was little we could do given the tour was due to end in a few days’ time. Regarding clients bring inappropriate luggage, we strongly encourage people to bring rucksacks and cases they can carry in Europe as the region has many cobbled streets that can make wheeled suitcases difficult to manoeuvre, however, we cannot force them to do so.

We are sorry that you don’t wish to travel with us again, however, we hope you continue to travel with other tour operators in future.

Reviewed on 25 Aug 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Traveling to new countries others have not heard of or still think are in a war zone. Unspoilt, beautiful countryside and towns with people who have not caught up with the greed of tourism.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


This trip is full board and your have the company guide who looks after you, then you have a local guide who speaks good English and a driver for each country. The tour is full on with lots to see and do but not much free time if you want to do your own thing.
Although I found I learnt more from the local guides rather than exploring on my own.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, we had local guides and drivers, slept in homestays and ate sometimes with local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent trip with small group size as promised by the company.

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