Gems of Southeast Europe

Resort: Gems of Southeast Europe
Operator: AMA Waterways
Destination: Austria
Price From: Contact for latest offers

Overview

Touch history in Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, as you sail along the exotic lower Danube. Celtic fortifications, medieval towns and grand cities, along with the natural beauty of pastoral landscapes and the Danubes famed Iron Gates, showcase the best of eastern Europe. Nature lovers will relish the opportunity to see Bulgarias natural wonder, Belogradchik, a fairytale stone world of fantastic shapes associated with interesting legends; or to bike through Belgrades sprawling Kalemegdan Park. Wine connoisseurs will have a chance to taste history from the centuries-old wine-growing hills dating back to the Romans in Ilok, a royal and vinous town. Be treated to the flavors, sights, sounds and cultures of this diverse swath of the continent.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Budapest

Board the ship for your Gems of Southeast Europe cruise. (D)

Day 2 – Budapest & Mohacs

Enjoy a scenic morning cruise to Mohcs. Youll then visit Pcs, founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans. Visit the UNESCO-designated Christian Necropolis; St. Peters Basilica, the citys main Catholic cathedral along with its catacombs; and Szchenyi Square, the heart of Old Town Pcs. You will also see the Mosque of Pasha Qasim the Victorious, one of the symbols of the city. Or for wine connoisseurs, youll want to go to the Szekszrd wine region, one of the oldest red-wine-growing areas in Hungary, established more than 2,000 years ago. You may also take an exhilarating guided bike tour around Mohcs. (B,L,D)

Day 3 – Vukovar, Ilok & Novi Sad

Vukovar is a Croatian symbol of resistance, which youll better understand on your city tour showcasing the Ovara Memorial and Eltz Castle. Alternatively, choose a wine tasting in Ilok, a center of wine production since Roman times, where youll sample its famous Grasevina, Traminac and Frankovka wines. Back on board, cruise to Novi Sad, sometimes called the Serbian Athens. Discover Novi Sad on a walking tour to Dunavski Park and through Stari Grad, the Old Town center. If you prefer a more active exploration, join a guided biking tour or hike through Fruska Gora National Park. During the evening, visit Petrovaradin Fortress, a mighty stronghold no enemy has ever breached. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Belgrade

Explore Serbias capital, Belgrade, on a city tour, which includes the Kalemegdan Fortress and the Serbian Orthodox Temple of St. Sava. Visit the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Serbian Royal Family; and then tour the House of Flowers, the mausoleum of Marshal Tito, who became the first President of Yugoslavia. Alternatively, you can enjoy a taste of the region by sampling Serbian plum brandy, livovitz, and delicious local delights at the Quburich Distillery. Later in the afternoon, for those wishing a more active adventure, join a guided bike tour or hike to Belgrade Fortress. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Iron Gates

The Iron Gates is one of Europes most awe-inspiring natural wonders. The Danube narrows as it winds through a series of magnificent gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan mountains, forming a natural border between Serbia and Romania. The ancient King Decebalus, the last king of Dacia, is proudly carved into the mountainside and always captivates travelers. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Vidin

Explore Vidin, one of Bulgarias oldest cities, and surrounding areas with a choice of excursions. Discover Baba Vida Fortress, the largest preserved medieval castle in Bulgaria. Continue on to Belogradchik, one of Bulgarias natural wonders, where you can hike around its most spectacular rock formations. Alternatively, visit a local home for a demonstration of traditional Bulgarian yogurt and Banitsa, a pastry you will also get to make. You also have the choice to bike through Vidin and to the castle. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Rousse

Visit Bulgarias ancient capital, Veliko Tarnovo, with its medieval fortress and multiple orthodox temples. You can opt instead to go to Rousse, known for its 19th- and 20th-century Neo-Baroque and Neo-Rococo architecture, and then afterwards visit the UNESCO-designated Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo with frescos revealing exceptional artistry of 14th-century paintings. Later in the day, travel through the Romanian countryside to the capital of Bucharest, known as the Little Paris of the East. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the historic city center and its elegant architecture, followed by a visit to the Palace of the Parliament, the second largest administrative building in the world. (B,L,D)

Day 8 – Bid farewell to Giurgiu as you prepare for your flight home. (B)

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