Eastern Europe small group tour
Description of Eastern Europe small group tour
This Eastern Europe small group tour is nothing short of an odyssey of discovery, with an ambitiously comprehensive itinerary that brings you to some of region’s most iconic locations while building in plenty of free time to let you soak up the culture at each stop.
Begin in the glamorous Hungarian capital of Budapest with its grand architecture and boulevards to see how the city has undergone a renaissance since the fall of Communism, before crossing the border into Romania and pausing in charming Maramures. Here life continues much as it has done for centuries, a culture heavy with tradition and folklore where you’ll admire the beautiful wooden churches and the famous hand-carved crosses in the Merry Cemetery.
Moving on to Transylvania, you’ll learn there’s much more to this area than just legends of vampire bats as you explore gorgeous pastoral landscapes and medieval architecture on a horse-drawn cart ride, and perhaps sample the renowned nightlife of Brasov.
Spend a few days roaming the historic attractions of cosmopolitan Bucharest, such as the magnificent Palace of Parliament, before an enthralling boat tour around the remote, UNESCO-listed Danube Delta, as rich in ecological wonder as the cities on this trip are in culture.
Reaching Moldova a few days later, take a wander around the Milestii Mici wine cellar, thought to be the largest in the world and holding some 2 million bottles in 220km of underground passages – enough to make even the greatest wine connoisseurs green-eyed with jealousy.
One of the most interesting points on the trip is Tiraspol, capital of the breakaway republic of Transnistria, which holds onto its Soviet principles to this day making it feel like stepping into the past. From Tiraspol it’s a short journey over the border to Odessa on the Black Sea, where you can see the iconic Potemkin Steps sweeping down to the sea, the stunning Opera & Ballet House, and the handsome sandy beaches.
After a comfortable overnight train ride to Kiev you’ll finish the trip with a few days in the splendid Ukrainian capital, along with a haunting but enthralling tour of Chernobyl to see a place that really has been frozen in time.
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PlanetWe promote small group travelling, therefore maximum group size is 12. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Additionally, travelling in a small group allows us to stay in family-run hotels and pensions throughout this trip. We also support small restaurants and cafes, serving locally sourced produce.
All our tour leaders are passionate about responsible travel, so the message is consistent at all times in regards to environmental issues. In Eastern Europe the main issue is littering, and our leaders address this issue on the ground.
Especially in Moldova a lot of businesses are not yet environmental responsibility, however we are trying to educate them by giving them business and delivering our message to them as well. The main environmental issue in Moldova is littering. We actively educate locals by showing an example, such as picking up rubbish others have left behind.
PeopleThe local train and bus journeys on this trip are excellent examples of travelling like a local, with locals. The remaining parts of the trip are done by private transport, the operators of which are always sourced locally.
This small group tour has a maximum of 12 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.
This tour actively encourages guests to chat with local people, visit local cafes and bars, purchase local produce, gifts and crafts and discover what life is really like in this part of Europe. In the Danube Delta we visit a local home for lunch and all ingredients are sourced from within the delta.
On the third day we visit Eger, where we include wine tasting in the traditional cellars in the Valley of the Beautiful Women. Instead of frequenting big state run wineries, we are taking our groups to small family-owned cellars (some just as big as a standard living room) where the owners will tell us everything about the local wine specialties we are trying.
In Valeni (en-route from Tulcea to Comrat) we stop at a local family’s home for lunch, and our guests are treated to a folklore music show while having lunch. The lady of the house is known as “the grandma” throughout Moldova. She is plays the drum, her husband plays the flute, and they both sing.
In Chisinau we visit the local market where our guests are encouraged to buy local produce to create a picnic lunch. Our visit supports the local economy and it allows our passengers to have local integration with the vendors.
On our day trip from Chisinau to Old Orhei we visit yet again another family in a village for lunch. Ingredients are sourced locally, and our clients have the opportunity to partake in a cooking lesson for traditional Moldovan sweets. While the group eats lunch the sweets are in the oven, when lunch is over the group gets to eat the sweets for dessert.