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Eastern Balkans - Bulgaria & Romania Gay Tour

Toto Gay Tours

Romania gay tour

Eastern Balkans
Bulgaria & Romania Gay Tour

Sofia, Rila, Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria), Bucharest, Bran, Rasnov, Brasov, Sinaia, Sighisoara, Biertan, Valea Vlilor, Sibiu, Alba Iulia, Hunedoara, Timisoara (Romania) & more!

14 Days from Sofia, Bulgaria to Timisoara, Romania

May 20 – June 2, 2019

 

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Bulgaria gay tourThe Balkans is a geographical region in southeastern Europe. Although the boundaries of the Balkans have varied over the centuries, Bulgaria and Romania have certainly been part of the region at various times. The word “Balkan” comes from Ottoman Turkish meaning a “chain of wooden mountains.” It is an apt description for both these infrequently visited countries, with their gorgeous mountain scenery.

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Even though Bulgaria is not very famous amongst tourists, it is one of the few remaining exotic destinations of Europe. It has lovely unique architectural styles in each of its cities and towns, Roman ruins, and beautiful vistas lined with mountains, covered with forests and crossed by rivers.

Romania’s greatest calling card is its natural beauty, with the Carpathian Mountains serving as majestic backdrop. Many intact medieval villages feel like a trip back in time, with their town squares, churches, and surrounding Bavarian-style homes and shops reflecting the region’s Hungarian and German ancestry. Toto Tours has visited most of the Balkan countries in the last few years, and we now complete our Balkans circuit with these final two countries during this exciting two-week gay group tour.

 

Sinaia, Romania gay tour

 

Eastern Balkans - Bulgaria & Romania Gay Tour Highlights

• Sofia
• Medieval Boyana Church in Sofia *
• Rila Monastery *
• Plovdiv *
• Thracian Tomb in Kazanlak *
• Veliko Tarnovo
• Bucharest
• Dracula Castle in Bran
• Brasov
• Sinaia
• Peles Castle
• Sighisoara *
• Saxon Fortified Church in Biertan *
• Sibiu
• Timisoara

* UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Rasnov, Romania gay tour

 

Eastern Balkans - Bulgaria & Romania Gay Tour Itinerary

Day 1 - Monday, May 20, 2019
Arrive in Sofia, Bulgaria / Welcome Dinner
Sofia, Bulgaria gay tourYour international flight to Sofia, Bulgaria should land sometime today. Collect your luggage and look for a driver holding a Toto Tours sign. He will drive you to our centrally located hotel.

This evening our group gathers for the first time for cocktails in the hotel’s bar, followed by a short walk to a local restaurant for our Welcome Dinner. Overnight in Sofia.

Meals: Welcome Dinner
Hotel: Anel Hotel Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria, 5*

 

Day 2 - Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Sofia Sightseeing
Bulgaria Sofia gay tourDating back to the fourth century BC, the ancient capital of Sofia has a wealth of different architectural styles including Greek, Roman, Turkish, Byzantine, and Bulgarian. The city boasts many theaters, museums, opera houses, art galleries, universities, open-air markets, and over 300 parks. The tour includes a general orientation and overview of the city center, plus entrance to Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National History Museum, and the UNESCO Boyana Church.

Following lunch, the afternoon is at leisure. This evening, we enjoy a lovely dinner with traditional Bulgarian music. Overnight in Sofia.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel: Anel Hotel Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria, 5*

 

Day 3 - Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Rila Monastery / Plovdiv
Bulgaria gay tour - Rila MonasteryOur destination this morning is the Rila Monastery, the country’s most famous site, which is hidden away in a remote forested valley. Founded in the late 13th century, this complex is no delicate religious structure, but an imposing medieval fortress. UNESCO included the Rila Monastery on its list of World Heritage Sites in 1983.

After lunch, we continue to the town of Plovdiv, arriving in late afternoon. Enjoy some free time after hotel check-in, followed by dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in Plovdiv.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel: Imperial Hotel Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 4*

 

Day 4 - Thursday, May 23, 2019
Plovdiv Sightseeing
Bulgaria gay tour - Plovdiv Roman theatreOur morning city tour of Plovdiv takes us to the Roman Theater (one of the best preserved amphitheatres in the Balkans) and the Ethnographic Museum. Our next stop is the nearby Bachkovo monastery, which ranks second only after the Rila Monastery regarding size and architectural significance.

We have lunch at the monastery, after which we return to Plovdiv where you will have free time to explore the city’s lovely old town.

Early this evening, we drive to the village of Brestovita for winetasting and dinner at one of the local wineries. Overnight in Plovdiv.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel: Imperial Hotel Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 4*

 

Day 5 - Friday, May 24, 2019
Veliko Tarnovo
Bulgaria gay tour - Veliko TarnovoDeparting Plovdiv, we drive 75 miles to the town of Kazanlak. Tucked between two mountain ranges, it was originally settled in ancient times as the Roman city of Sevtopolis. The main attraction is a heavily secured Thracian Tomb, discovered during the building of a bomb shelter in World War II and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We continue onward to the mountains and visit the Shipka Memorial Church built in honor of the Russian soldiers who fought against the Ottoman Empire for the independence of Bulgaria.

We make a final stop in Etara to visit a small but unique open-air museum, before arriving in Veliko Tarnovo, former Capital of the Bulgarian Empire. Overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel: Yantra Grand Hotel, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, 4*

 

Day 6 - Saturday, May 25, 2019
Border Crossing / Bucharest, Romania
Romania gay tour - Bucharest Romanian AtheneumOn our morning tour of Veliko Tarnovo, we visit the remains of the imposing Tsarevets Hill Fortress, followed by some free time at leisure for shopping or strolling on the Samodovska. Transfering to the village of Arbanassi, we visit one of the local famous churches and enjoy a choir performance.

Following lunch, we cross the Danube River into Romania, arriving in Bucharest in the late afternoon. Overnight in Bucharest.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel: TBA, Bucharest, Romania

 

Day 7 - Sunday, May 26, 2019
Bucharest Sightseeing
Romania gay tour - Bucharest Palace of ParliamentDespite decades of neglect, Bucharest is now actively working to reclaim its reputation as the “Paris of the East.” In addition to its landscaped parks and broad boulevards, this morning’s sightseeing tour will include stops at Revolution Square, the enormous and opulent Palace of Parliament (the world’s second largest building after the Pentagon), the Old Princely Court and Church, Bucharest University, and Victory Square.

We will have a free afternoon to explore on our own, followed by dinner at the Old Beercart (Caru cu Bere) which is the oldest restaurant in the city. Overnight in Bucharest.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel: TBA, Bucharest, Romania

 

Day 8 - Monday, May 27, 2019
Bran / Rasnov / Brasov
Romania gay tour - BrasovCross the Carpathians through the scenic Rucar Pass and around noon you will reach Bran to visit the castle made famous by Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula."

Our next stop is Rasnov to visit the largest rural fortress in the country, built as a place of refuge in case of attacks by the Tatars and the Ottomans.

Our final stop is the city of Brasov, founded in 1221 by the Teutonic Knights. We will have dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Brasov.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel: Aro Palace Hotel, Brasov, Romania, 5*

 

Day 9 - Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Sinaia / Brasov
Romania gay tour - Sinaia Peles CastleIn the morning drive to Sinaia, Romania's most famous mountain resort, where we visit the Peles Castle which was the former summer residence of the First Romanian King, Carol I of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.

We return to Brasov for a city tour visiting the imposing Black Church which is the largest Gothic style edifice in Eastern Europe. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight in Brasov.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel: Aro Palace Hotel, Brasov, Romania, 5*

 

Day 10 - Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Sighisoara / Biertan / Valea Vlilor / Sibiu
Romania gay tour - Biertan Fortified churchDrive further into the heart of Romania and reach the city of Sighisoara which is a still inhabited UNESCO medieval city. During the tour you will visit the mighty Clock Tower after which you will listen to an organ concert followed by a glass of sparkling wine.

We have lunch here and continue to Biertan to visit the UNESCO Fortified Saxon Church. We make a quick stop at Valea Viilor to visit yet another UNESCO Fortified church, before continuing to Sibiu, founded in the 12th century by the German Saxons. Overnight in Sibiu.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel: Golden Tulip Ana Tower Sibiu Hotel, Sibiu, Romania, 4*

 

Day 11 - Thursday, May 30, 2019
Sibiu Sightseeing
Romania gay tour - SibiuSibiu is a medieval Saxon town situated in the province of Transylvania, surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains. Its reputation is internationally recognized for its medieval buildings (such as the Brukenthal Art Museum) and its high schools and universities. On a morning sightseeing tour, visit the Upper Old Town with its Big and Little Squares, Clock Tower, the Liar’s Bridge, and Orthodox and Catholic Cathedrals.

Following lunch, the afternoon is free. In the evening we drive to the nearby village of Sibiel to take a horse cart ride and enjoy dinner, with traditional dishes, at one of the local farmhouses. Overnight in Sibiu.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel: Golden Tulip Ana Tower Sibiu Hotel, Sibiu, Romania, 4*

 

Day 12 - Friday, May 31, 2019
Alba Iulia / Hunedoara / Timisoara
Romania gay tour - Alba IuliaDrive to Alba Iulia, the city chosen as the place where the proclamation of the union between Transylvania and the Kingdom of Romania was announced. The upper town's fortress has seven bastions in a stellar shape.

Continue to Hunedoara to see the 14th century Corvinesti Castle, the most important monument of Gothic lay architecture in Transylvania. Finally, we reach the city of Timisoara by early evening. Overnight in Timisoara.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hotel: Timisoara Hotel, Timisoara, Romania, 4*

 

Day 13 - Saturday, June 1, 2019
Timisoara / Farewell Dinner
Romania gay tour - TimisoaraA half-day city tour of Timisoara will take us to many historic sites, with the city center largely consisting of buildings from the Austrian Empire era. The old city consists of several historic areas. We will also see the main square where the Romanian Revolution was started in 1989 and the Revolution Memorial.

The afternoon is free, and we gather again in the evening for a celebratory cocktail before our Farewell Dinner. Overnight in Timisoara.

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Hotel: Timisoara Hotel, Timisoara, Romania, 4*

 

Day 14 - Sunday, June 2, 2019
Departure
The tour officially ends after breakfast this morning. Your airport transfer is included in the price of this tour. If you wish to extend your stay in Timisoara, please let us know on your reservation form so that we can keep your room available for another night.

Meals: Breakfast

 

Gay Balkans tour

 

Bulgaria & Romania gay tour map

 

Included:

• 13 nights hotel accommodations:
- 2 nights at Anel Hotel Sofia in Sofia, Bulgaria;
- 2 nights at Imperial Hotel Plovdiv in Plovdiv, Bulgaria
- 1 night at Yantra Grand Hotel in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
- 2 nights at TBA in Bucharest, Romania
- 2 nights at Aro Palace Hotel in Brasov, Romania
- 2 nights at Golden Tulip Ana Tower Sibiu Hotel in Sibiu, Romania
- 2 nights at Timisoara Hotel in Timisoara, Romania
• Arrival and departure airport transfers;
• All meals as listed in the itinerary;
• Ground transportation in climate controlled motorcoach;
• Sightseeing activities and entrances as listed in the itinerary.
• This is a fully escorted tour, with local guides added during tours.

 

Thracian Tomb Kazanlak

 

Not Included:

• International airfare to Sofia, Bulgaria (SOF) and returning from Timisoara, Romania (TSR);
• Ground transportation for sightseeing on your own (taxis, local guides, etc.);
• Meals and optional activities not specifically listed in the itinerary;
• Camera fees; alcoholic beverages; laundry, telephone calls, faxes, or any other expenses of a personal nature.
Travel Insurance
• Tips to drivers and guides and other conveyance attendants are not included;
• Tipping guidelines for our group tips will be provided prior to departure.

 

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria gay tour

 

Tour Hotels

Anel Hotel Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria

Anel Hotel SofiaHotel Anel is situated in the centre of Sofia, offering spacious rooms and free Wi-Fi internet access. Free access to the spa centre and free private parking are available for all guests.

The restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine accompanied by a wide selection of wines and gentle live piano music. Special menus and discounts are available to guests staying at the hotel, and there is a lobby bar serving aromatic teas and coffees. There is a 24-hour room service.

Anel Hotel SofiaAnel Hotel Sofia roomAll rooms are decorated with crisp colours, unique furniture and original artwork. The private bathrooms come with a bathtub and free toiletries.

At the Sports Center guests can make free use of the heated indoor pool, hot tub and gym. For an additional charge, guests can also relax in a steam bath, sauna and infrared cabin, or enjoy a wide offer of massage and beauty treatments.

 

Imperial Hotel Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Imperial Hotel PlovdivImperial Plovdiv Hotel & SPA is centrally located in a private garden. The hotel offers a free fitness centre, free private parking and free WiFi in all areas. The spa facilities features a steam bath, a Finnish sauna, an aroma sauna, an infrared cabin, a hot tub, a relax zone and an ice bowl for temperature shock.

The restaurant serves delicious meals and desserts. It has 2 halls and is suitable for organising diverse events. There is also a congress centre, as well as a cosy lobby bar.

Imperial Hotel Plovdiv roomThe elegant and comfortable rooms are carefully designed, and some of them overlook the private garden. They feature LED TV, minibar, individual air-conditioning and free high speed wireless internet.

 

Yantra Grand Hotel, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Yantra Grand Hotel, Veliko TarnovoThis 4-star hotel is situated in Veliko Tarnovo, offering views of the Tzarevets Fortress and the historical settlement of Arbanassi. It offers Lobby Bar and Vienna Cafe and free private parking. Rooms have free WiFi access. An indoor pool and a fitness centre are provided free of charge.

Yantra Grand Hotel is part of the Sharlopov Hotels chain. The hotel building is a cultural monument and has a unique panoramic view to St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo.

Yantra Grand Hotel roomThe modern spa & wellness centre offers various procedures and therapies. A hot tub, a sauna, massages and a Turkish Bath are available at a surcharge.

The traditionally decorated hotel restaurant is spread over 2 halls and seats up to 250 guests. It serves a variety of international and local Bulgarian dishes. Attached to the restaurant is "Trapezitsa" panoramic terrace with views over Tsarevets Castle, Trapezitsa Hill and Yantra river. Some of the specialties served at the restaurant are prepared according authentic medieval Bulgarian cuisine recipes.

 

Aro Palace Hotel, Brasov, Romania

Aro Palace Hotel, BrasovOverlooking the Tampa Mountain and the medieval historic quarter of Brasov, the traditional Hotel Aro Palace faces the Central Park. It features spacious and luxurious accommodation and free internet access.

The rooms have air conditioning, cable TV and bathrobes. They are designed in warm colours and have carpeted floors.

Aro Palace Spa & Wellness Centre offers various treatments and beauty procedures. It features a swimming pool, saunas, massage areas and a gym.

Aro Palace Hotel roomGuests can sample Romanian and European cuisine at the hotel's restaurant and enjoy the views over Brasov's Citadel from the Belvedere Club, which is on Hotel Aro Palace's top floor.

The hotel's Night Bar is decorated with marble, wood and Art Deco elements. The chandeliers and large mirrors create a special atmosphere where guests can sip their favorite beverages.

 

Golden Tulip Ana Tower Sibiu Hotel, Sibiu, Romania

Golden Tulip Ana Tower Sibiu HotelGolden Tulip Ana Tower Sibiu Hotel is situated in city centre, within walking distance from the old town. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. At a surcharge and upon prior reservation, the hotel also offers a sauna, a hot tub, a solarium and massage services.

The Golden Tulip Ana Tower features rooms with state-of-the-art technology, spacious bathrooms and large windows. From your room, enjoy the mountain landscape or the historic ambience of the old city.

Golden Tulip Ana Tower Sibiu Hotel roomThe Golden Tulip Ana Tower also features a panoramic elevator, a gym and the Atmosphere bar. At the 585 Fusion restaurant, you can enjoy your meal while enjoying the view from the 11th floor, 585 m above the ground.

 

Timisoara Hotel, Timisoara, Romania

Timisoara Hotel, TimisoaraHotel Timisoara is situated right in the centre of Timisoara, overlooking the Opera Square and within walking distance from the main landmarks of the city. It offers spacious and elegant accommodation with air conditioning and free WiFi internet access in all areas.

Hotel Timisoara also features a lobby with a well-appointed business centre. A collection of Romanian contemporary art is available in the public areas of the hotel.

Timisoara Hotel roomGuests can enjoy a variety of Serbian, Bulgarian, Italian and Turkish dishes at the Belvedere Restaurant. Delicious drinks are served in the Art Deco lobby bar and guests can relax in the intimate atmosphere. An English breakfast is served at the restaurant each morning.

 

Romania gay tour - Dracula Castle

 

Trip Notes

Entry Requirements
U.S. and Canadian citizens a valid passport is the only document required to enter Bulgaria & Romania for stays of up to 60 days.

Immunizations & Health
No immunizations are currently required for travel to Bulgaria & Romania, but it is wise to have your inoculations up-to-date. Is your tetanus booster current?

Exit Requirements
There is currently no separate departure tax required of visitors leaving Romania other than that included with the cost of your airline ticket.

Making Travel Arrangements to Bulgaria & Romania
On this tour, international airfare is NOT included. You will need to get your international air to Sofia, Bulgaria (airport code is: SOF), and return from Timisoara, Romania (airport code is: TSR).

You will need to arrive in Sofia, Bulgaria by the late afternoon on Monday, May 20, 2019. Departure from Timisoara, Romania is on the morning of June 2, 2019.

What to Bring
Temperatures in Bulgaria and Romania at this time of year are still springtime cool, ranging between 50 and 70 degrees F throughout the countries. You won’t need a suit jacket or tie, as the tour is informal and dinner attire will be casual, but you will want nice outfits for concerts and dinners. Try to pack light and bring only one piece of luggage plus your carry-on. Create mix and match outfits, and think about layering! Pack any medications you require in a carry-on bag and leave expensive jewelry at home.

Money Matters
Bulgaria: The national currency is the “lev” (the code is BGN when looking up exchange rates), which is subdivided into 100 stotinki.
Romania: The national currency is the “leu” (code ROL) divided into 100 bani.

Credit cards are used in the larger cities and larger establishments. Since almost all meals are included on this tour, you will not need to carry much local cash around with you.

Tipping in Bulgaria & Romania:
It is customary to tip about 10% for good service for taxi drivers and servers in restaurants. We will offer a group tip to guides and drivers, and more details will be provided before departure.

 

Romania gay tour - Biertan

 

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Eastern Balkans - Bulgaria & Romania Gay Tour Prices

Tour Date Description
Per person
$ (USD)
Availability

Tour Only, Per Person, Double Occupancy.

$ 3,800

Tour Only, Per Person, Single Occupancy
(Paying a single supplement is not required. Toto Tours will try to match you with a roommate if you are traveling alone and prefer to share a room. If this is not possible, a single supplement will be applied to your reservation before the final payment date.)

$ 4,400

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Prices are per person in USD.

Min. Deposit: $600. Balance Due before March 1, 2019

Price does not include payment card charges.

 

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