Multi-Day Tour | Independent, Locally Hosted, Private

Essential Bulgaria (10 days)

Exeter International

Sofia, Bulgaria To Bucarest, Romania

Valid for Departures Now Through: 31 Dec 2018

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Sofia, Bulgaria
Grand Hotel Sofia None

Arrival in Sofia. The cost of the flight is not included in your program. You will be met by your private guide and driver for the transfer to your deluxe and centrally located hotel.


You will check in and have the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. If you are interested and not too tired, your guide will be happy to take you on a brief overview walking tour of Sofia’s central areas.

Day 2
Sofia, Bulgaria
Grand Hotel Sofia Breakfast

This morning at 10:00 AM, your guide and driver will meet you in the hotel lobby to take you to the National History Museum, which is located in a former presidential residence in the outskirts of Sofia. Your guide will take you into the museum and through several of its magnificent collections, including the Thracian gold treasures and other artifacts, jewelry dating back to the First Bulgarian kingdom, and exquisite pieces of religious art, which have survived the period of the Ottoman domination.


Later today, your guide and driver will take you back to Sofia’s center to continue your exploration of the Bulgarian capital. He will point out the famous Rotunda Sveti Georgi (St. George), which was built in the 4th Century as a Roman temple. Later, it was consecutively used as both a church and a mosque, and recent restoration works have revealed magnificent medieval frescoes. The rotunda is considered to be the oldest preserved building in Sofia.


If you are interested, you may also visit Sofia’s magnificent Great Synagogue, which was built by an Austrian architect in the Byzantine-Moorish style in 1909 and is the third-largest Sephardic synagogue in Europe, after the ones in Budapest and Amsterdam. It seats 1,200 and the interiors feature ornate decorations, arches, and a huge chandelier hanging from the dome. The synagogue’s grand opening was a lavish occasion attended by Bulgaria political elite and the Tsar himself who cut a ribbon if front of the Ark. The synagogue was damaged and its library destroyed during the bombings in the Second World War. During the Communist regime, the building remained empty and neglected for decades before being fully renovated in the 1990s and rededicated in 1996. A Jewish Museum was established in 1992 on the second floor which exhibits historical and Holocaust artifacts and documents.


Continuing with your tour, you will also see Sofia’s signature gold onion-domed landmark, the Alexander Nevski Memorial Cathedral, built as a tribute to the Russians who liberated Bulgaria from the Turks at the turn of the 19th Century.


The St. Sofia Church stands just across from the Alexander Nevski Church and is in rather modest contrast to the cathedral’s Russian flamboyance. The current building dates as far back as the 6th Century, but excavations have revealed that it stands on the remains of an even older church. The Ottomans who used it as a mosque added minarets to the church in the 16th Century. This graceful monument has inspired the city of Sofia’s coat of arms.


You will return to your hotel where you will enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure.



Day 3
Sandanski, Bulgaria
Sofia, Bulgaria
Park Hotel Pirin Breakfast

This morning, after meeting your guide and driver, you will transfer south to visit the Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is said to be one of the most impressive religious monuments on the continent with its size, unique architecture, unsurpassed abundance of frescoes and its amazing setting in the Rila Nature Park.


En route, in the outskirts of Sofia, you will stop at the small Boyana Church which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its rich collection of medieval murals, some dating back to the mid-13th Century and considered to be among the finest examples of religious art. The east wing of the two-storey church was originally constructed in the late 10th or early 11th Century. Later, the central wing was added in the 13th Century during the period of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. The whole building was finally finished with a further expansion to the west in the middle of the 19th Century.


The church is famous mainly for its frescoes from the 13th Century, which actually form a second layer over the paintings from earlier centuries and represent one of the most complete and well-preserved monuments of Eastern European mediaeval art, including a total of 89 scenes with 240 human images are depicted on the walls of the church.


Later this afternoon, you will reach the majestic Rila Monastery. It is believed that the monastery was founded by the hermit St. John of Rila (Ivan Rilski), whose name it bears, in the 10th Century. The hermit actually lived in a cave not far from the monastery's location, while the complex was built by his students, who came to the mountains to receive their education. Ever since its creation, the Rila Monastery was supported with large donations by the Bulgarian rulers, gradually turning the monastery into a cultural and spiritual center throughout the centuries of the Ottoman dominations.


The monastery museum houses a rich collection of valuable ancient manuscripts, coins, and weapons. After visiting the museum’s historic treasures, you will visit the main church.


After your tour of the Rila Monastery, you will continue south to the town of Sandanski located in the Southwestern corner of Bulgaria. This area has been known for its mineral springs since Roman times and Sandanski is still a famous Bulgarian spa resort. Upon your arrival in Sandanski, you will check in at your elegant and picturesquely-located hotel and enjoy an evening at your leisure.  

Day 4
Sandanski, Bulgaria
Park Hotel Pirin Breakfast

This morning, after again meeting with your guide and driver, you will transfer east to the Southern slopes of the Pirin Mountains to visit the Rozhen Monastery nestled in the hills above a village of the same name.


Originally established in the 13th century by a local ruler, the Rozhen Monastery is one of the few well-preserved Bulgarian medieval monasteries. The monastery church lies a short distance down the hill and was built and decorated with frescoes in the 16th century. The monastery was devastated by fire between 1662 and 1674, destroying the library and severely damaging most buildings. It was restored over the next century with the financial help from around the country.  Today, the best-preserved frescoes are from the beginning of the 18th century.


Your next stop will be at the charming town of Melnik which is tucked away in a valley among sandstone hills.  Once a thriving center of wine making and trade, Melnik is now an architectural reserve and officially the smallest Bulgarian town with a population of less than 300. It has an amazing location amid fascinating sandstone rock formations and is still famous for the locally-produced wine made from the dark-blue grapes grown in the volcanic soil of the surrounding areas.  Your guide will take you around Melnik to show you some of the restored traditional houses from the 18-19th century (a period known as the Bulgarian Renaissance), the ruins of the medieval fortress, and the local history museum. Your guide will also suggest a local restaurant for lunch where you can also taste the red full-bodied Melnik wine. The cost of lunch is not included in your program.


This afternoon, you will continue to Rupite – a small village not far from Melnik. It is believed that this area is in fact the crater of a long-extinct volcano as it is rich with volcanic rocks and thermal springs, but Rupite is probably best known as the place where the famous Bulgarian prophet, natural healer, and clairvoyant Baba (Grandmother) Vanga lived and was buried. The Church of St. Petka was erected on a spot chosen by Baba Vanga before her death and has since then become a place of worship and pilgrimage. The church is rather contemporary in design and its frescoes were painted by a noted modern Bulgarian artist but were generally not approved by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for being too realistic and not conforming to the official religious canons.


Later today, you will return to Sandanski where you may stop at the monument of Spartacus. Believed to have been of the Thracian tribe Medi, which once occupied the territory of present-day Southwestern Bulgaria, Spartacus was a gladiator in the Roman Empire and later led a slave uprising known as the Third Servile War. It is said that Spartacus was born in the area around Sandanski.


Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. You may wish to sample some of the numerous spa treatments at your hotel.  

Day 5
Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Sandanski, Bulgaria
Hebros Breakfast

This morning, your guide and river will take you north of Sandanski to the mountain town of Bansko.


Once a sleepy town located right at the foot of the Pirin Mountain, Bansko is gradually being developed into one of Bulgaria’s prime ski resort, but still boasts a charming Old Town featuring a maze of winding cobblestone streets lined with traditional stone and timber houses. In the very center of the Old Town, the stunning 19th-century Holly Trinity Church is surrounded by a 12-foot-tall wall erected in order to hide its true dimensions which exceeded the limit set by the Ottomans. Bansko was also one of three icon-painting schools of Bulgaria and the local Icon Museum has a fascinating collection of works by artists from the Bansko School which flourished in the 19th century. The buildings housing the museum surround a quiet courtyard and are from the 1750s when they were used as a hostel for traveling nuns.


After some time for lunch in Bansko (not included in the cost of your trip) you will continue through the covered with pinewoods slopes of the Rodopi Mountains to reach the town of Batak near a picturesque reservoir with an island. You will stroll with your guide to learn about this small town’s history which is mainly related to the struggles for freedom under the times of Ottoman domination (14th -19th century). As Batak supported the 1876 April Upraising against the Ottomans, the town was punished with exceptional cruelty. Some 5,000 of its inhabitants were brutally slaughtered and this event provoked international outrage which led to pressure being put on the Ottoman Empire to eventually recognize Bulgaria’s independence. You can visit the local history museum and the old church to see some striking displays devoted to the Batak massacre.    


You will continue northeast to Plovdiv - the second largest city in Bulgaria after the capital Sofia. After your arrival in Plovdiv this evening, you will check in at your small and charming hotel located in the historic Old Town. The rest of the evening will be at your leisure. We suggest dining in the hotel’s excellent restaurant which prides itself as being a ‘slow-food’ establishment and has won numerous culinary awards.

Day 6
Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Hebros Breakfast

This morning, your guide will take on an overview tour of Plovdiv’s Old Town. The first settlement on this place was founded by the Thracians, and was later conquered by Philip of Macedonia – the father of Alexander the Great, who named it after himself – Philipopolis (the town of Philip). The Romans came here around the turn of the first millennia and further fortified the city, also building streets, towers and aqueducts. You will have a chance to see the famous Roman amphitheater and the Roman Stadium, which were also built in that period (2nd Century AD). The amphitheater could seat at that time 6,000 spectators and was probably the site of bloody gladiator fights. It is still used today for performances and cultural events.


You will stroll along the cobble-stoned streets of the Old Town and admire its beautifully restored Baroque houses. Mostly built in the 19th Century, these houses typically feature overhanging upper floors with jutting eaves, porticos with colonnades, and brightly colored facades. The interiors usually include a salon, one or more drawing rooms, and bedrooms featuring finely carved woodwork, wall decorations, ornamental niches, and mid-19th-Century European furniture.


In the afternoon, you will transfer to the second largest Bulgarian monastery – Bachkovo, which is situated in a narrow river valley in the Rodopi Mountains. Bachkovo is known for its miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary with Jesus, because of which the monastery has been a pilgrimage site for centuries. The frescos in the monastery’s medieval refectory are fabulous examples of 17th Century art.  The dome of the church of St. Nicholas (Sveti Nikola) also contains some well-preserved frescoes.  


Later today, you will return to Plovdiv and your hotel.  The rest of the evening will be at your leisure.

Day 7
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Grand Hotel Yantra Breakfast

Early this morning, after having checked out of your hotel in Plovdiv, your driver and guide will take you north to Kazanlak where you will enjoy the events of the annual Rose Festival.  


Kazanlak is located at the foot of the Balkan Mountains and at the eastern end of the famous Rose Valley which has been a center of rose cultivation and rose oil extraction for centuries. It is believed that the particular type or rose used for rose oil extraction was introduced to this region from Asia Minor in the 18th - 19th century and, thanks to the favorable climate and soil, rose oil production soon became a major industry with plantations stretching for miles and supplying over half of the world’s supply of rose oil. The roses bloom from late May till early June and have to be hand-picked before dawn in order to preserve their oil content.


The week-long Rose Festival is an annual event unique to Bulgaria and held in the first week of June. Its culmination is always on the first Sunday in June its main event is the harvesting ritual in the rose plantations near Kazanlak followed by parades, performances of traditional Bulgarian music and dance (including the ‘horo’ ring dance), and the election of a Rose Queen.


After the Rose Festival, you will have the chance to visit the famous Thracian Tomb located just north of Kazanlak. The Kazanlak Tomb is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and dates back to the 4th Century BC. Discovered in 1944, it is located near the ancient Seutopolis - the former capital city of the Thracian king Seutes III, and is part of a large Thracian necropolis. The tomb’s interiors include a narrow corridor and a round burial chamber, both decorated with murals representing Thracian burial rituals and culture. These paintings are Bulgaria’s best-preserved artistic masterpieces from the Hellenistic period.


Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

This afternoon, you will enjoy a private tour of a rose oil distillery near Kazanlak. An engineer from the factory will show you the entire process – how the rose petals are collected, soaked, and heated so that the fragrance can be captured during the steam distillation.  


You will continue your journey through the Shipka Pass, which was the scene of an epic battle during the Russo-Turkish War in 1877, when some 7,000 Russian soldiers and Bulgarian volunteers died while successfully fending off the attacks of some 27,000 Turkish troops trying to cross the mountain range and enforce the Ottoman army in the northern part of the country.  Today, 900 steps lead to the mountain top, dominated by the impressive Freedom Monument, dedicated to the fallen soldiers and offering magnificent vistas.


This evening, you will arrive in Veliko Tarnovo – the former capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.  You will check in at your hotel and enjoy an evening at your leisure.

Day 8
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
Grand Hotel Yantra Breakfast

Today, you will start with a morning tour of the medieval capital of Veliko Tarnovo, including a visit to the Tsarevets Royal Hill, where Bulgaria’s tsars and other distinguished gentry had their royal residences and mansions. You may also visit the Baldwin Tower, where Baldwin of Flanders – one of the leaders of the Fourth Crusade and conqueror of Constantinople, was imprisoned and found his death in the 13th Century. You can climb the stairs up to the main church for splendid views over the city, and also see the Execution rock, from where traitors and enemies of the royal family were once pushed into the abyss of the Yantra river canyon.


The Old Town of Veliko Tarnovo boasts some beautiful examples of 19th Century architecture and a cobbled street with some charming craft shops. The Sarafkina House is a local museum on the pleasant Gurko Street, which is worth visiting.


If you are interested, your guide will point out some of Tarnovo’s numerous medieval churches, mostly situated between the Tsarevets and the Trapezitsa Hills where once the nobles and courtiers used to live, there are two which are not to be missed. The recently renovated Church of the Forty Martyrs has frescoes dating back to the 9th Century. The St. Dimitar Church, which you will be able to see only from the outside, is actually the town’s oldest church, and it is where the Bulgarian nobles Assen and Peter proclaimed the revolt against the Byzantine rule, which led to the formation of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom in the 12th Century.


This afternoon, you will transfer to the picturesque village and architectural reserve of Arbanassi, where some 90 churches, homes, and monasteries are protected as cultural monuments. Originally founded in the 15th Century, the village prospered from trade after the Turkish Sultan gave it as a present to one of his son-in-laws, thus exempting it from taxation. Walking along Arbanassi’s cobble stoned streets; you will visit the oldest remaining church in the village – the Church of Nativity. Its interiors are completely covered with distinctive 16th and 17th Century frescoes, featuring over 3,500 figures in some 2,000 scenes.


You will return to Veliko Tarnovo and enjoy an evening at your leisure.

Day 9
Bucarest, Romania
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
Athenee Palace Hilton Breakfast

Early this morning, after meeting your guide and driver, you will transfer from Veliko Tarnovo to Russe – Bulgaria’s main river port located on the Danube River.


If you are interested, your guide and driver will take you to the Ivanovo Rock Monastery - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On this site, several caves were used for religious purposes in as early as the 13th Century. Later, a monastery was built under the sponsorship of the Bulgarian tsars and was linked to the royal court, thus becoming a regional center of the arts, culture, and religion. The monastery is beautifully decorated with 14th Century murals, depicting portraits of saints and religious scenes.  


Later today, your Bulgarian driver and guide will transfer you along the massive steel bridge, the longest in Europe, which crosses the Danube and the Romanian- Bulgarian border, to the town of Giurgiu – a major river port and the main gateway to Romania from Bulgaria.


Continue onto Bucharest, Romania.

Day 10
Bucarest, Romania
None Breakfast

This morning, you will be privately transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

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Description

A sample itinerary for FIT touring in Bulgaria.

About Us

For 25 years, Exeter International has established itself as the leading deluxe specialist operator to Central and Eastern Europe, Russia & Central Asia. We use our intimate regional knowledge and expertise to create unique, often limited access travel experiences. Our multi-national, multi-lingual specialists craft authentic insider experiences, created with imagination. When you book with Exeter International you can expect the top guides in each city pre-reserved weeks in advance, matched to your preferences. Our specialists have also been recognized by the Conde Nast and Travel & Leisure top agent list since their inception.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Advisor for more information.

Terms & Conditions

Visas & Passports  –

Russia requires visas of United States citizens and Exeter International will arrange for the invitation required for a visa upon

booking. Each traveler will be responsible for one passport photo, a completed visa form, one photo copy of the information pages of his/her passport, the invitation, and the visa processing fee. If the traveler would like, Exeter International will obtain all visas at additional cost. Each traveler is responsible for his/her own passport, which must be valid for six (6) months after the completion of the participant’s tour. Exeter International is not responsible for the refusal of a visa to any traveler by any consulate. In the event of visa refusal, any and all expenses/cancellation fees shall be borne by the traveler.


Payment Policies - Deposit Requirements

Small Group Tours - Deposits ($500) per person, for group tours are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis and are non-refundable and nontransferable. We will hold your reservation for one week after you book your tour without a deposit. Some special programs (cruises and trains) may have different deposit policies.


Independent Programs -

 A 10% or $250 per person (whichever is greater) non-refundable deposit is required to confirm an independent travel program. No Services are confirmed prior to deposit being received.


Payment Policies – Final Payment

Final payment is due 60 days prior to the commencement of travel. If final payment is not received 60 days prior to departure, your reservation will automatically be canceled. Some special programs (cruises and trains) may have different final payment policies.


Prices and Services – All taxes are included in program prices.


Payments –

Payments must be made in Tampa, FL to Exeter International at least eight weeks prior to departure and are accepted by check, cash or credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card for credit card payment. Please note that payment for any services a traveler wishes to add once travel commences must be made in United States Dollars to the Exeter International local representative. We cannot accept personal checks or travelers checks overseas.


Hotels –

The tour cost assumes double occupancy in all hotels. Single supplements will be calculated based on exact dates of travel. We reserve the right to substitute hotels of equal or superior quality.


Transfers & Vehicles –

Exeter International will supply its travelers with personal transportation to and from all train stations, airports and ports, as described in the tour description. Baggage assistance is included for one piece of luggage per person, but tour participants should be prepared to handle their own bags at certain times during the tour. Please read carefully the Exeter International Travel Tips publication. We cannot guarantee air-conditioned vehicles in some cities. Touring and transfers will be by regular 4 passenger cars unless you have specifically ordered a

luxury car for your tour.


Scheduling –

Please note that due to circumstances beyond the control of Exeter International, the tour may not be deliverable exactly as described (i.e. theater scheduling, hotel occupancy, etc.), BUT Exeter International will substitute scheduled or advertised events, hotels, and restaurants with alternatives of equal or greater value and quality. All hotels, restaurant and airline space is subject to their management’s approval. Exeter International will make every effort to guarantee this package as is, but conditions will sometimes mandate minor changes to the program. Reservations are nontransferable.


Expedited Services


Expedited Bookings –

All bookings confirmed less than six weeks before departure will require expedited procedures. The cost for expedited

bookings is $250 per booking.


Expedited Documents –

If final travel documents are required more  than four (4) weeks in advance of the departure date, a $50 expedited documents fee applies to the booking. If overnight delivery of documents is required at any time, a fee of $35 will be applied to the booking.


Itinerary Changes –

Once a group or individual travel itinerary has been confirmed, an amendment fee of $100 per revision will be charged. The traveler will also be responsible for any additional expenses that may be incurred due to a voluntary itinerary change.


Cancellation Policies –

Up to 8 weeks prior to departure: Deposit is nonrefundable 8 weeks to 14 days prior to departure: 50% cancellation fee 13 days or less prior to departure: 100% cancellation fee Reservations made at Russian and non-Western hotels are nonrefundable within 30 days of departure. Travelers are liable for airline and hotel cancellation fees as stated in their agreements. For all cruise and train bookings, please refer to the cancellation policies outlined in the specific Terms & Conditions for that program. All cancellations must be received in writing. If Exeter International must cancel your trip, you will be fully refunded.


Guaranteed Departures and Small Groups -

All Exeter International tours are guaranteed departures unless specifically noted with a minimum group size in the tour description. In small groups (less than 8 guests), the guides will act as the tour mangers in each of the cities. For all groups larger than 8 guests a tour manger will meet the group upon arrival in the first city of the tour and travel with this group throughout the duration of the tour. Certain events and meals may be changed slightly for small groups, as described in the brochure.


No Smoking –

 For the enjoyment of all passengers, smoking is not allowed on Exeter International buses and cars or while the group is together on tour or at meals.


Insurance –

Exeter International highly recommends that you purchase travel insurance for your trip. This may be purchased directly through Exeter International or through your travel agent.


What is included –

Your tour includes everything that is specifically stated in the tour description. Breakfast (usually buffet) is usually provided daily; lunch and dinner will be provided only as stated in the tour description. Meals always include tea and coffee. Alcoholic beverages and mineral water are not included in meals, unless specifically noted. Visa fees are not included in tour prices.


Exeter International’s Responsibility –

Exeter International reserves the right, but is not obligated, to not accept or retain as a tour passenger any member whose

condition or physical needs or conduct impede the operation of the tour or affect the rights, welfare, or enjoyment of the tour’s other participants. A refund of the unused portion of the tours is the limit of Exeter International’s liability if such a person is asked to leave the tour.

Exeter International acts only on behalf of hotels, restaurants, train lines, boat lines, its owners, operators or contractors (all herein called contractors) providing services in connection with Exeter International’s tours. In the absence of negligence on Exeter International’s part, Exeter International is not responsible for personal injury or property damage or loss arising out of the act or negligence of any direct air carrier, hotel or other person rendering any of the services or accommodations offered herein. The traveler agrees to the foregoing, and also agrees that Exeter International will not be or become liable or responsible for any loss, default, or injury of any person, company, or other legal entity engaged to supply the same. Exeter International accepts no responsibility for losses or expenses due to delays or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strikes, hotel overbooking, social and labor unrest, terrorist activities, war, quarantine, or any other causes, actions or omissions, or conditions over which it has no control.


Additional Terms – Venue for all claims or disputes shall be exclusively in Hillsborough County, Florida, whose Courts, using Florida Law, shall have exclusive jurisdiction. Damage claims against Exeter International shall be limited to the value of the particular item in dispute and not for any incidental, consequential, or special damages. Exeter International assumes responsibility for representations it makes, but not for those made by others and including, but not limited to, any employee of Exeter International or independent travel agent. Payment for reservations on any Exeter International tour shall constitute consent to all the provisions in the General Information and Conditions published herein and is binding on all tour and travel participants.


All tour prices include the cost of planning and operations and are based on the tariffs, fuel costs and exchange rates in effect November 1, 2009 and are subject to change without notice at any time prior to payment in full of tour services.


Exeter International, Inc. is a Florida corporation, licensed, registered and bonded in the State of Florida for the sale of travel products and services.



The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.

Reviews and Recommendations for Exeter International

95%

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recommend


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Highly recomended

By: KandeeB


Reviewed on: 06 Jun 2013

Exeter International was staffed with first class personnel from the drivers to the EXTRAORDINARY guides through out the trip. The vehicles used to transport us were luxurious. The hotels were commensurate with the level of quality expected by the cost and located in the most advantageous sites. Totally organized and stress free experience.
Travel Advisor:  Brigitte Feinberg
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Great high-end travel company

By: Not provided


Reviewed on: 23 Aug 2013

Does superb job for demanding high-end travel Customized travel with excellent guides and programs. You pay but you get what you pay for.
Travel Advisor:  Leah Bergner
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Highly recommend

By: Jean


Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2013

Exeter was very well organised with very good guides and drivers. Our requests were responded to with professional speed. Some of our hotels could have been better. But we understand that they were the best available. We would have no hesitation using this agency again and recommending them to others.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale
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Pampered Travel

By: KandeeB


Reviewed on: 07 Nov 2013

Exeter provides luxury travel with all the hassles and worries removed. The quality of their drivers and guides is first rate. From the minute you arrive until your final departure you are in excellent hands. The itinerary is well thought out and provides many special visitations not offered to other tourists. I have heartily recommended Exeter to several people without any reservation.
Travel Advisor:  Brigitte Feinberg

Recommended

By: Jean


Reviewed on: 13 Jun 2014

We have used Exeter on a prior trip and were equally happy with them this time. We did have a Russian Visa situation which could have been serious, but was resolved quickly.The guide spoke very good English and was knowledgable in history and art along with the local architecture. The driver was also very safe in a chaotic traffic system.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale

highly recommend

By: BB


Reviewed on: 22 Jun 2014

Travel Advisor:  Rochelle Lieberman

Highly recommended

By: Mkt123


Reviewed on: 11 Jul 2014

We were connected with local English speaking guides and drivers that gave us an inside view of each country we traveled to. The experience was priceless.
Travel Advisor:  Martha Rhodes

Oustanding Guides

By: J & W


Reviewed on: 15 Oct 2014

All of the services provided by Exeter were truly outstanding. The hotel accommodations were excellent. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and well organized. The drivers were prompt and courteous. The suggestions for restaurants and additional things to do and see were very good. The printed booklet of helpful hints and language support was a nice bit of support for travelers who are visiting countries for the first time.
Travel Advisor:  Sara Krutsinger

Across the Russian Far East

By: Judee 544


Reviewed on: 30 Aug 2015

Everything was perfectly planned and resulted in a wonderfully exciting trip with all of our interests and needs taken into account. going on such an adventurous and challenging trip, so far away when one is no longer young could have been quite difficult, but instead was nothing but a fabulous experience. Wonderful guides and wonderful experiences on the Trans-Siberian Express and the cities of the Russian Far East, and a lovely hotel at the end in Moscow.
Travel Advisor:  Vivian Rubenstein

Excellent Russian Trip

By: Roger


Reviewed on: 09 Aug 2016

Exeter provided all of our guides and support for a 9 day family trip to Russia - very well informed, personable guides and smooth transportation. We were a bit hesitant to go to Russia but highly recommend - the trip of a lifetime !
Travel Advisor:  Tony Huffman
Not Recommended

Germany

By: TheGrapevine


Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2017

Take out trip insurance - not going to bash - but you get the idea.....
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1st Class

By: Carlos Gavidia


Reviewed on: 08 Mar 2017

From the beginning to the end this organization really surprised me! From getting our travel visas for Moscow to every detail of the tour pick up transfers and tours through the city were perfectly executed
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Yale

Uzbekistan

By: Podge84@aol.com


Reviewed on: 14 May 2017

Exeter was excellent with tour logistics and great guide. Seamless trip.
Travel Advisor:  Britt Gerber

Great planning and service

By: WWII And Cold War History


Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2017

Exeter planned an excellent two week trip for me and my three teenagers. We went to Poland, Germany and Amsterdam. We focused on WWII and Cold War history. The plan was thoughtful and well paced. When I had questions Exeter staff responded promptly. A very good experience.
Travel Advisor:  Josh Friedman

St. Petersburg Tour

By: B Snead


Reviewed on: 18 Jul 2017

Our driver and guide could not have been better. Polite and accommodating for the three days we were in St. Petersburg. We saw a lot of attractions, got some behind the scenes tours and were able to access some sights prior to the general public. I would use Exeter again without hesitation!
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Guide

By: Hodges


Reviewed on: 17 Jul 2017

Exceeded all expectation. Super cost effective to compared to Oceania.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Germany & Russia

By: Oz


Reviewed on: 19 Jul 2017

I strongley reccomend Exeter for shore excursions. Their staff and vehicles were first class, and the value was tremendous. We never felt uncomfortable or worried about being back to the ship on time. True professionals.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Barth

Great tour

By: mt


Reviewed on: 25 Aug 2017

Knowledgable, efficient and friendly tour operators!

Baltic Cruise

By: Roger


Reviewed on: 17 Sep 2017

Fantastic tour service. Their guides and drivers were outstanding. Guides all had an excellent knowledge of the city and the history. We are very pleased that Ralph recommended Exeter. When comparing notes with others that had used the tours supplied by the ship, we learned that we had seen and accomplished much more than they had. Our guides were able to make special arrangements that others could not. Will always use Exeter when it is available
Travel Advisor:  Ralph Iantosca

Great tour

By: Ann


Reviewed on: 26 Sep 2017

Everything was wonderful. Very nice guide and well informed about the places we visited.

Exeter International

By: Goodwitch


Reviewed on: 02 Oct 2017

All guides were great and expedited airport service was fantastic
Travel Advisor:  Joanne Smith

St Petersburg

By: Swan


Reviewed on: 06 Nov 2017

Absolutely fabulous
Travel Advisor:  Sherrie Coffey

Custom Guided Tour

By: JJ


Reviewed on: 18 Dec 2017

The tour guides and drivers were outstanding plus. They were very personable, always early, and their local knowledge was excellent. All of them were eager to please and all adapted to the changing crowd situation caused by weather, national holiday, or political meeting.
Travel Advisor:  Eleanor Hardy