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  • The small group
    travel experience

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    Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST


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What People Are Saying About Us

I would definitely do another Odysseys tour – great company, great value.

Nancy Huntley
Springfield, IL

We continue to be amazed at the value and quality of these trips.

Peg & Ray Dutcher
Wellesley, MA

Love your company and feel like we get excellent value.

Eugene & Carol Simpson
Raleigh, NC

The small group (20) was perfect.

Jacqueline Meyer
Foster City, CA

Love small group tours.  Odysseys does it right!

Kathy Root
Grafton, OH

I loved the small group...I felt safe and well cared for.

Deborah Miles
Denver, CO

Odysseys is our #1 choice for group travel.

Karin Knutsen
Chagrin Falls, OH

It was a truly first-rate experience in every way.

Enid & Jerry Liess
Annandale, VA

Each of our four tours with you has been outstanding!

Howard Sosne
Raleigh, NC

Our first experience made us loyal customers.

Doug Bates
The Villages, FL

First-rate tour. Odysseys Unlimited came highly recommended.

Carol & Michael Ferraris
Massapequa Park, NY

The small group is wonderful and the quality of tour directors is exceptional.

Bill Jones
Vancouver, WA

All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.

Susan & Paul Krupp
Georgetown, TX

Odysseys does everything with style, but without pretension. Beautiful meals and hotels. Excellent guides.

Barbara Schoetzau
New York, NY

We like the model – small groups, excellent tour directors, solid hotels, good mix of group/independent activities.

Roger Soder
Seattle, WA

We love the small group experience.

Dave & Alice Wilson
Williamstown, MA

Odysseys tours are just right for us: great value, nice group size, complete trips, sufficient free time.

Laurin & Phyllis LeTart
Shepherdstown, WV

It was the best value in travel we’ve ever had. It was a wonderful experience.

Trish Merrill & Mac White
Austin, TX

This was my 7th trip with Odysseys and they keep getting better and better.

Merle Frank
Miami, FL

Love the small group format and the ease of traveling with arrangements made for us.

Ken & Carolyn Helm
Newburgh, IN

Tour exceeded my expectations having never taken a group tour. An excellent experience – can’t wait for my next one!

Ronni Goldberg
New York, NY

Absolutely the best bang for the buck – organization, quality, consistency.

Harvey Wine
Dallas, TX

Because of the group size and outstanding guides, you make travel easy for us!

Sharon Irwin & John Akamatsu
Kent, OH

Seven-time honoree Travel + Leisure's World's Best Tour Operators awards


Ranked #2
Best Group Tour
10Best Readers'
Choice poll

NEW FOR 2021!

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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Sofia sightseeing
  • Rila Monastery UNESCO site
  • Bulgarian folkloric performance
  • Cooking class of Bulgarian specialties
  • Plovdiv’s charming old town
  • Black Sea resort of Varna
  • Bulgarian UNESCO sites of Nessebar, Madara Rock Horseman, and Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo
  • Bucharest tour, including Palace of Parliament
  • Visits to Bucharest’s Choral Temple and Great Synagogue
  • Walled town of Sighisoara
  • Private organ concert
  • Medieval Brasov
  • Transylvania villages and fortified churches UNESCO site
  • Legendary Bran Castle
  • Peles Castle
  • Snagov Monastery
Day-by-Day Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Sofia, Bulgaria

Day 2: Arrive Sofia We arrive in Bulgaria’s capital and largest city today and transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities or meals planned. Dinner tonight is on our own.

Day 3: Sofia We meet our fellow travelers and tour director at this morning’s briefing about the journey ahead. Then we set out on a tour of this historic city, beginning with visits to the huge neo-Byzantine Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the medieval Bulgarian Orthodox Boyana Church, a UNESCO site. Over lunch at a local restaurant, a historian will discuss the impact of Thracian-Roman culture on the region. We return to our hotel late afternoon; tonight, we enjoy a welcome dinner. B,L,D

Day 4: Sofia/Rila Today’s excursion features the Rila Monastery, founded in the 10th century and rebuilt in the mid-19th century after a fire. A symbol of Slavic cultural identity, the monastery is now a UNESCO site. We return to Sofia late this afternoon. Tonight’s dinner at a local restaurant features traditional folkloric music and dancing. B,L,D

Day 5: Sofia/Plovdiv En route today to Plovdiv, we stop along the way for a cooking class and lunch of Bulgarian specialties, including the local pastry-like bread banitsa. Then we continue on to Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s cultural capital in the historical region of Thrace. Late afternoon, we reach our hotel and dine together tonight. B,L,D

Day 6: Plovdiv We set out this morning on a walking tour of Plovdiv’s charming old town, with its cobbled streets and beautifully restored houses. Set on three of the city’s seven hills, the old town features remnants of its Roman past, including the well-preserved theater (ca. 1st century CE), which can hold as many as 7,000 spectators and is still in use today. Following our tour and lunch in the old town, the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration and dinner on our own. B,L

Day 7: Plovdiv/Nessebar/Varna (Black Sea) Today we travel to the Black Sea resort of Varna, stopping en route in Nessebar, “Pearl of the Black Sea,” whose ancient city is a UNESCO site. While the site retains traces of its occupation by a variety of civilizations over the millennia, most of the ruins that we explore today date from the Hellenistic period. After time for lunch on our own here, we continue on to Varna and our hotel. We dine together tonight. B,D

Day 8: Varna/Black Sea At the same time modern and historic, Varna offers visitors a laid-back respite, as we see on this morning’s tour. Highlights include the Roman baths and a visit to the Archaeological Museum, with more than 100,000 artifacts from Northern Bulgaria’s multicultural past. Then the remainder of day is at leisure in this seaside resort, perhaps to stroll the landscaped grounds of the waterfront Sea Garden; visit Varna Cathedral, modeled after grand Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg; or simply to relax on the beach. B,D

Day 9: Varna/Bucharest, Romania Along the way to Romania today, we visit two Bulgarian UNESCO sites: the late 7th-century rock relief carving of a horseman on the Madara Plateau; and the Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo (ca. 12th century), with their brightly-colored frescoes dating to the 14th century. We continue on to Bucharest, arriving late afternoon and dining together tonight. B,L,D

Day 10: Bucharest We see the highlights of the Romanian capital on our city tour that features a visit to the Soviet era, 1,100-room Palace of Parliament, the world’s most expensive government building and the heaviest building in the world, weighing in at roughly nine billion pounds. We also tour the National Village Museum, with Romanian monuments, buildings, and artifacts dating from the 17th to early 20th centuries. Dinner tonight is on our own in this lively city. B,L

Day 11: Bucharest Today we encounter two vibrant vestiges of Bucharest’s once-thriving Jewish community: the Choral Temple, a copy of Vienna’s Great Synagogue; and Bucharest’s Great (or Polish) Synagogue, built in 1847 and now the city’s oldest remaining temple after most were destroyed during the Communist era. Following an afternoon free for independent exploration, tonight we enjoy dinner and a wine tasting at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 12: Bucharest/Sighisoara This morning we journey by train to Brasov, where we board a coach for the medieval walled town of Sighisoara in Romania’s forested – and storied – Transylvania region. Upon arrival we take a walking tour of the Historic Centre, the best preserved in eastern Europe and a UNESCO site. Then we check in at our hotel and dine together tonight. B,D

Day 13: Sighisoara/Malancrav In nearby Biertan today, we visit the elaborate fortified church (ca. 15th century) then continue on to the early 14th-century storybook village of Malancrav, where we enjoy a traditional lunch cooked over an open fire. Back in Sighisoara, we have free time to enjoy this lovely town as we wish before tonight’s private organ concert. Dinner is on our own. B,L

Day 14: Sighisoara/Brasov We depart this morning for the stunning medieval town of Brasov, ringed by mountain peaks and dense forests. Our city tour here includes the First Romanian School, a museum housing rare books and Romania’s first printing press; and the famed Black Church, southeastern Europe’s largest Gothic church. We check in at our hotel mid-afternoon and dine together tonight. B,L,D

Day 15: Brasov Legend comes to life today as we visit towered and turreted Bran Castle, built in the 14th century atop a 200-foot-high rock and once believed to be the lair of Bram Stoker’s fictional Count Dracula. We tour the castle, now a museum, then continue on to the fortified church of Prejmer. Along with the church and village we saw on Day 13, Prejmer is part of UNESCO’s Transylvania historic site. After returning to Brasov late this afternoon, we’re free for dinner on our own. B,L

Day 16: Brasov/Sinaia/Snagov/Bucharest Returning to Bucharest today, we stop in the mountain resort of Sinaia, “Pearl of the Carpathians,” where we visit exquisite Peles Castle, former summer home of Romanian royalty. Then we head to Snagov Monastery, perched on a tiny island on a lake near Bucharest and, legend has it, burial site of infamous Vlad the Impaler, said to be the inspiration for fictional Count Dracula. We continue on to Bucharest, where tonight we toast our Balkans adventure at a farewell dinner. B,L,D

Day 17: Depart for U.S. We transfer to the Bucharest airport for our return flights to the U.S. B

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 15 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, and First Class hotels
  • 35 meals: 15 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
2022 Tour Dates & Prices

2022 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Apr 14
Oct 6
Oct 13
May 5
May 12
Aug 4
Sep 1
Sep 8
Jun 2
Jun 16
Jul 14
Jul 28
Boston, New York$4,792$4,992$5,192
Phil, Wash, DC$4,992$5,192$5,392
Atlanta, Balt,
Char, Chicago,
Cinc, Cleveland,
Detroit, Miami,
Orlando, Tampa
Dallas, Den, Hou,
Los Ang, Minn,
Phoe, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $597, which are subject to change until final payment has been made.

Single travelers please add $995. Your $475 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2022 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Business Class upgrade (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: $3,795 per person; Premium Economy: $1,595 per person

    Grand Hotel Sofia, Sofia / Days 2-4 / Superior First Class

    Ideally located in the heart of the Bulgarian capital, the beautiful Grand Hotel Sofia offers a luxurious stay within walking distance of most of Sofia’s top attractions.  This elegant hotel boasts a collection of over 400 original oil paintings, and has played host to a number of high-profile guests over the years, including Elle McPherson, Morgan Freeman, and Harrison Ford.  Boasting two excellent restaurants and a café with outdoor garden, the Grand Hotel Sofia also includes a fitness center with sauna, solarium, and Jacuzzi; full spa with a range of treatments (some at additional cost), hair salon, laundry and dry-cleaning services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each of the 122 air-conditioned guest rooms has private marble bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone.

    Grand Hotel Plovdiv, Plovdiv / Days 5-6 / Superior First Class

    The Grand Hotel Plovdiv sits on the banks of the River Maritsa that winds through the city.  The hotel’s amenities include a restaurant, café, lobby bar, indoor swimming pool, full fitness center, bowling alley, laundry and dry-cleaning services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.   Guest rooms are decorated with bright colors and murals on the walls, and have air conditioning, private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Graffit Gallery Design Hotel, Varna / Days 7-8 / Deluxe

    The Graffit Gallery Design Hotel was built on the foundations of the Center for Contemporary Art in Bulgaria’s seaside capital of Varna, and pays homage to this location with its second-floor contemporary art gallery.  A handful of architects and designers collaborated on the hotel’s layout and aesthetics, and the end result is a strikingly modern building with a contemporary, yet homey feel.  Amenities include a popular restaurant and café, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, sauna, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and laundry and dry-cleaning services (for a fee).  Each air-conditioned guest room has private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone.

    Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest Hotel, Bucharest / Days 9-11, 16 / Superior First Class

    If these walls could talk, the stories they would tell… the Athenee Palace sits in the center of Bucharest, and is well known as the former haunt for more spies, diplomats, politicians, journalists, and hangers-on than any hotel in Europe.  The building dates back to 1914, was rebuilt and restyled with an Art Deco motif in the mid-1930s, and claims “as central a place in a country’s history, perhaps, as any hotel in the world,” according to travel writer Dan Halpern. The hotel closed in 1994 and reopened as a Hilton property in 1997, bearing all the luxurious trappings of its heyday, with none of the surveillance devices.  Hotel amenities include two restaurants, a bar, café, outdoor terrace, heated indoor swimming pool, fitness center, hot tub, sauna, steam bath, beauty salon, laundry and dry-cleaning services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private marble bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Sighisoara Hotel, Sighisoara / Days 12-13 / First Class

    The first brick in the building that is now the Sighisoara Hotel was laid over five hundred years ago, in 1520.  Since then, the hotel has served as a private home, a bishop’s residence, and the Sighisoara city hall, among other uses.  It sits in the center of the city’s ancient citadel, and includes a restaurant, medieval wine cellar, spa with sauna and massage treatments, laundry and dry-cleaning services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each of the hotel’s 32 air-conditioned rooms is individually decorated and has private bath with hair dryer, minibar, TV, and phone.

    Aro Palace, Brasov / Days 14-15 / Superior First Class

    Originally opened in 1939, the Aro Palace sits across from Brasov’s center-city Nicolae Titulescu Park.  The hotel offers a restaurant, two bars (including one on the top floor), fitness center, spa with massage treatments, indoor swimming pool, laundry and dry-cleaning services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
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