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St. Petersburg to Istanbul

32 days with Intrepid Travel   Rating: Budget

Click for Dates and Prices

Day 1-2 St Petersburg
Arrive in St Petersburg, Russia, and be dazzled by a multitude of palaces, museums and galleries. 

Days 3-4 Novgorod
Travel to Novgorod on the banks of the Volkhov River. Explore the graceful Kremlin with a local guide before joining a local family for a Russian tea party. 

Days 5-6 Moscow
Arrive in the enigmatic city of Moscow and grab some pirozhki - Russian pastries - to fuel explorations of the Kremlin, Red Square and Lenin's mausoleum. 

Days 7-9 Kyiv
Roam the cobbled streets of Kyiv, the 'Mother of Slavic Cities' and gain valuable insight into Ukraine's tragic history with a visit to the Chernobyl Museum. 

Days 10-11 Carpathian Mountains
Travel deep into the stunning Carpathian Mountains and join in a cooking class, learning to make traditional Ukrainian delicacies. Appreciate the Carpathian's eclectic mix of Eastern European culture, discover lovingly decorated Hutsul houses, complete with private chapels and ornate wells, and soak up the immense natural beauty of this region while hiking. 

Days 12-13 Lviv
Be captivated by the crumbling facades of Lviv's old town. 

Days 14-15 Budapest
Head out on a cycling tour to uncover what Budapest, the 'Pearl of the Danube', has to offer. 

Day 16 Eger
Sip on 'Bull's Blood', a red wine native to Hungary's Eger region, while exploring wine cellars in the evocatively named, 'Valley of the Beautiful Women'. 

Days 17-18 Maramures
Discover one of the last peasant cultures in Europe on a visit to rural Maramures, the heart and soul of Romania. 

Day 19 Sighisoara
Travel through pastoral fields to Sighisoara before crossing into Transylvania, a magical place that conjures images of haunted castles, gothic churches and vampires – it doesn't disappoint! 

Day 20 Viscri
Enjoy a home-cooked dinner with a local family in Viscri. 

Days 21-22 Brasov
Why not change things up with a night out in the lively medieval town of Brasov. 

Day 23 Bucharest
Travel on to Bucharest, where a guided tour visits the expansive Piata Unirii Square and prodigious 12-storey Palace of Parliament, supposedly the largest civilian administrative building in the world.

Days 24-25 Veliko Tarnovo
Cross the Friendship Bridge into Bulgaria and travel to scenic Veliko Tarnovo. Wander the Tsarevets Fortress that looms impressively over the town, tread the cobblestone streets of the Old Quarter or relax in the cafes or vinarnas and people watch. 

Day 26 Sofia
Make tracks to Sofia. Marvel at the gold-domed Aleksander Nevski Church. 

Day 27 Gorno Draglishte
Be a guest of a local family during a stay in the Rila Mountains. 

Days 28-29 Bansko
Stretch legs on an invigorating hike through alpine scenery and try the local cuisine at night. 

Days 30-31 Plovdiv
Wander among impressive Byzantine ruins in Plovdiv and take an optional trip to a nearby hot springs before an overnight train to Istanbul. 

Day 32 Istanbul
Finish up among a myriad of mosques and a bevy of bazaars in Istanbul, Turkey's eclectic and very beautiful capital.

All This Included
Join us on a journey to discover the splendours of St Petersburg, the iconic Kremlin in Moscow and ancient Novgorod, the birthplace of history and religion in Russia. Travel onwards through Ukraine by train and head to Kyiv, elegantly situated along the glorious Dnipro River. Take time out to explore the majestic Carpathian Mountains before crossing stunning countryside to arrive in romantic and cosmopolitan Budapest. Continue this epic Eastern European adventure past the haunted castles of Transylvania and across stunning mountains to Bulgaria and beyond. Be enchanted by medieval monasteries, old-world towns and the warm hospitality of this region before ending the journey in magnificent Istanbul.
  • 15 Breakfasts, 4 Dinners
  • Boat, Metro, Bus, Taxi, Overnight sleeper train, Train, Minibus, Tram, Bicycle
  • Marvel at the beauty of St Petersburg
  • Explore Moscow's many treasures
  • Discover a tragic past in Ukraine
  • Soak up the romance of Budapest
  • Sample 'Bull's Blood' in beautiful Eger
  • Experience traditional peasant life in a Maramures village
  • Be spooked at Dracula's Castle
  • Travel through the stunning Carpathian Mountains
  • Go hiking in the Bulgarian mountains
  • Visit Byzantine ruins in Plovdiv
  • Admire Istanbul's majestic mosques
Hotel (15 nts)
Guesthouse (7 nts)
Overnight sleeper train (5 nts)
Pension (3 nts)
Homestay (1 nt)
  • Allow USD $300 for meals not included.
  • A Single Supplement is available on this trip.
  • This trip finishes in Istanbul on day 32 at 12pm midday.
  • St Petersburg to Istanbul trips departing in 2013 will be 33 days long (rather than 32) and start on Saturdays. The updated price and full itinerary will be available later this year.
  • Group size: Minimum 4, Maximum 12.
  • This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
  • Expect some culture shock. You will be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Intrepid Travel terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.