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The Golden Eagle Danube Express - Castles of Transylvania

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Absorb the vibrant cultures, ancient castles and spectacular scenery of Transylvania on this exclusive rail cruise aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
7 days Sold out

2021 Tour code: GE-CTRW-21

About the tour

Absorb the vibrant cultures, ancient castles and spectacular scenery of Transylvania on this exclusive rail cruise aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Istanbul

Arrive into Istanbul where you will be met and transferred to the iconic five-star Four Seasons Sultanahmet hotel for a one-night stay. A century-old neoclassical home located in the tranquil sanctuary of the Old City and steps away from the top historic attractions of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, this boutique hotel offers a calming space filled with charm and sophistication.

This evening we will enjoy a welcome reception dinner, giving you the opportunity to meet your fellow travelers.

Day 2 - Istanbul

Istanbul is the fabled city that spans Asia and Europe. Today see how old meets new, east meets west when we visit a selection of Istanbul's must-see historic sites.

One of the most famous monuments in both the Turkish and Islamic worlds, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (the Blue Mosque) is a superb creation in the classical Ottoman style and features six towering minarets and 260 windows illuminating its vast main chamber, which is decorated with more than 20,000 Iznik tiles.

Now a museum, Hagia Sophia was built in the 6th century by the Emperor Justinian and was one of the largest basilicas in the Christian world. After the Ottoman conquest, it was converted to a mosque and is today one of the most magnificent museums in the world. Take a moment to linger here to admire the fine Byzantine architecture.

The largest and oldest palace in the world and primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans from 1465 to 1853, Topkapi is the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire. With its treasury and exotic buildings overlooking the Golden Horn, your visit to Topkapi promises to be a truly fascinating experience.

Late afternoon we join our private train, the Golden Eagle Danube Express, to begin our rail journey through Bulgaria and Romania to Budapest.

Day 3 - Veliko Tarnovo

This morning we enjoy the views from our private train as we climb over the Shipka Pass and arrive at our first stop Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria's ancient capital. Nestled in a magnificent mountain setting, the stone houses seem perched one above the other on the steep banks of the Yantra River. A tour includes the superbly preserved medieval Tsarevets Hill and Castle and there is free time to wander through the narrow alleyways of the ancient city.

This evening relax in the Bar Lounge Car before dinner is served as our train continues through the scenic landscape as we head across the Romanian border.

Day 4 - Sanaia & Brasov

Overnight the train twists and turns as it climbs over the Carpathian Mountains and threads its way through the dramatic landscape with crystal clear mountain streams.

This morning we arrive in Sinaia for a tour of Peles Castle. The castle is a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture, considered by many one of the most stunning castles in Europe. Commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 and completed in 1883, the castle served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947. Its 160 rooms are adorned with the finest examples of European art, Murano crystal chandeliers, German stained-glass windows and Cordoba leather-covered walls.

Returning to our private train for lunch we continue onto Brasov in the afternoon for a visit to Bran Castle. Surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend and perched high atop a 200-foot-high rock, the 14th century castle owes its fame to its imposing towers and turrets as well as to the myth created around Bram Stocker's Dracula. Following a tour of the castle and its surroundings we will enjoy a gala dinner tonight inside the castle walls.

Day 5 - Sighisoara & Sibiu

This morning we make an early departure from Brasov and arrive after breakfast into Sighisoara for a walking tour of the town's main highlights. A World Heritage site rumored to be the birthplace of Dracula, it is one of the best-preserved fortified medieval towns in Europe. Burgher houses and ornate churches line its cobbled streets.

We return to the train for lunch as we continue onto Sibiu, known specifically for its Germanic architecture in the Old Town due to the legacy of 12th-century Saxon settlers. Around the city today can be seen the remains of medieval walls and towers, including the 13th-century Council Tower which connects the two main squares.

Tonight, we enjoy a Farewell Dinner on board our private train as we travel across the Great Hungarian Plain.

Day 6 - Kecskemet & Lajosmizse

This morning we get the opportunity to explore Kecskemét, a fascinating city at the geographical center of Hungary before the train heads to Lajosmizse for a spectacular 'Puszta' horse show.

We then arrive late afternoon at the romantic and historic Hungarian capital, Budapest, located on the banks of the magnificent Danube, where we will enjoy a one-night stay in the five-star Four Seasons Gresham Palace hotel, a unique art nouveau landmark which combines historical elegance with ultra-modern comforts.

This evening we will enjoy a farewell reception dinner at a local restaurant, giving you the opportunity to reflect on your journey through this fascinating part of Europe.

Day 7 - Budapest

This morning, after an overnight stay at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace, we enjoy our final breakfast on the tour.

Additional information

Pricing Plans

Golden Eagle Danube Express
The Golden Eagle Danube Express is your luxurious hotel-on-wheels. Unpack and settle into your well-appointed and comfortable cabin as you begin this voyage of a lifetime. Your cabin attendant will be on hand to look after all of your needs.

Deluxe Class
Deluxe cabins are 83 square foot private compartments that include a private en suite bathroom with cubicle shower, two armchairs and a free standing chair for daytime seating (converting to two beds for the evening), a large picture window, full-length wardrobe and power outlets, and remote controlled air-conditioning.

Superior Deluxe Class
Superior Deluxe cabins, with private en-suite facilities, offer the ultimate in European rail accommodation regarding space, facilities and comfort. Limited to just 4 cabins per departure, each cabin offers comfortable daytime seating with a full-length sofa and two additional chairs. The large cabin also benefits from two full-size picture windows, one of which is openable to add to the bright and airy feel of the interior. Each evening the cabin is transformed into a luxurious bedroom with a UK-standard King Size bed. All cabins have, as standard, a large double wardrobe with excellent storage space, individually controlled air-conditioning, lighting with dimmer switches, individual reading lights, in-cabin Wi-Fi and USB ports, power sockets and a safe.

 

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest

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Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

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Train

Danube Express

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