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Another Bulgaria and Romania Itinerary Question!

We've created a tentative itinerary for Bulgaria and Romania after reviewing the posts here - thank you to those who made suggestions - it really helped to get us started on a plan.

We plan to travel May/June and will rent a car in Romania and take the bus or train in Bulgaria - if feasible (still researching options). We'd like to know if the times we're proposing are about right - we like to settle in a bit once we arrive in a place. It would also be helpful to know if there is a destination that we could consider deleting. We're not so much beach types so we're skipping the Black Sea region. Our interests are food, wine, a little hiking and museums.

We're not sure how to route our flights but might try to fly direct Atlanta to Munich or Frankfurt and to Cluj-Napoca from there. Then fly home from Sofia (or vice versa.) Any thoughts on routing from Atlanta would be helpful.


Fly into Cluj - (3 nights)

Maramures Region--base in Sighetu? - (3 nights)

Timisoara - (3 nights)

Sibiu- (3 nights)

Brasov - (2 nights)

Bucharest (Drop Off Car) - 3 nights


Ruse - (2 nights)

Veliko Turnovo - (3 nights)

Plovdiv (4 nights)

Sofia - (4 nights)-day trip or overnight to Rila Monastery

Posted by
15109 posts

You might want to compare your trip against the package tours for route. You might also consider flying in and out of Budapest as it has discount air connections to Cluj N. and Sofia.

I've been to all of your stops. The reason I'm not much help and one of the reasons I love Eastern Europe is it's the one place I can afford a guide with a car. So much easier.

Posted by
3188 posts

Thanks for your reply James! I looked at flying from Budapest to Cluj but there is not currently a direct flight - I was surprised!

Posted by
15109 posts

I looked, you are correct, the flight is no more. But there is a nonstop to/from Sofia, Târgu Mureș and Bucharest to/from Budapest.

Also, noticed you skipped Sighisoara. Probably my favorite place, other than the trout streams.

Posted by
507 posts

I have been to all of your Romania destinations except for Timisoara and would drop one night each from Brasov and Sibiu as they can be visited adequately on less time, and add a day to each of Maramures and Bucharest.

For the Maramures piece I would highly recommend a guide that can embed you right into the homes and lives of the people there. Sure, you can drive through the villages and visit the wooden churches on your own but you will have a much richer experience using a well informed well connected local guide. And as James has mentioned the cost is quite reasonable. Let me know and I will send you a PM with the name and contact of the guide we used (...he is kind of a private fellow and I haven't confirmed with him that he is ok with me promoting him here publicly).

We haven't been to Bulgaria (yet).

Posted by
3188 posts

Thank you for the suggestions!

@James - those are good ideas for other airports to consider - Targu Mures wasn't on my radar so it's another one to consider. Also for the suggestion of adding Sighisoara as I see that it's on several tour itineraries. Wondering about substituting it for Sibiu?

@Peter - thank you! I've sent a PM for info about the guide you suggested.

I'll be doing more research and considering all suggestions!

Posted by
24001 posts

I liked both Sighisoara and Sibiu. BymRomanian standards Sighisoara is quite touristy. It's fairly small, and the medieval area has a lot of tourist services. Sibiu is a city; tourists were less evident there during my 2015 trip.

I agree that a guide would be a very worthwhile expense in Maramures.

Posted by
3188 posts

Thank you acraven!

Your previous posts have been helpful to me in planning!

Still more work to do...