Mostar, Bosnia Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Balkan Odyssey – Golden Eagle Danube Express

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

Tour Itinerary
Venice – Ljubljana – Zagreb – Sarajevo – Mostar – Belgrade – Sofia – Plovdiv – Kazanlak – Veliko Tarnovo – Brasov – Sighisoara – Kecskemet – Lajosmizse – Budapest

The Danube Express offers several itineraries for 2016.  Sightseeing is included in all stops along the route and will be with other passengers on board the train. Enjoy the beautiful European scenery from the comfort of your deluxe cabin, all with individually controlled air conditioning and private bathrooms.

We would also be happy to customize a pre and post train journey program for you in the origination and terminations cities and can include hotels and as much sightseeing as you wish.

Departure Dates:

June 1 - June 12, 2016

July 4 - July 15, 2016

July 9 - July 19, 2017

September 7 - September 17, 2017

Download 2016 Itinerary PDF Here.


Day 1
Venice | Venice, Italy

Join your private train, the Golden Eagle Danube Express, for an early evening departure from Venice Santa Lucia station. This evening you will enjoy a welcome dinner onboard and enjoy the sounds of the pianist in the Lounge Car as you head overnight to Slovenia.

Day 2
Ljubljana & Zagreb | Ljubljana, Slovenia & Zagreb, Croatia

Ljubljana is a delightful city, a combination of ancient architecture and a youthful culture. Your morning city tour includes visits to Preseren Square, Three Bridges, Dragon Bridge and Plecnik Market. You enjoy lunch back onboard the train as you travel onwards towards Croatia’s elegant capital Zagreb.

This afternoon you will tour Zagreb, a central European city with over 900 years of documented history. You will take a walking tour of the upper town and ‘Kapitol’ (the ancient town center), which abounds in Baroque atmosphere and cultural monuments. You will also see the ornate buildings of the lower town and its wide boulevards.

Day 3
Sarajevo & Mostar | Sarajevo & Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

An early morning arrival into the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo which is an intriguing blend of Eastern and Western culture; it has mosques and minarets, an ancient bazaar and an atmospheric old Turkish quarter.

Discover the city’s poignant history through a truly absorbing tour detailing the horrors of the Balkan War. Sarajevo suffered from the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. The scars of war are still evident as you travel past war-torn buildings and you’ll make a special visit to the Tunnel Museum under Sarajevo Airport. Your guide, who lived through the 1992-1996 conflict, brings to life in touching fashion the struggles the citizens of Sarajevo faced during the siege of the city.

This afternoon you tour the historic city of Mostar, the crossroads of many civilizations, cultures and three religions. Mostar was one of the most important cities of the Ottoman Empire. The town’s renowned stone arch bridge linking the Christian and Muslim areas was re-built in the summer of 2004. You also visit Turkish House and the mosque before walking through the narrow bazaar streets, where you can shop for traditional souvenirs and handicrafts.

Day 4
Belgrade | Belgrade, Serbia

Arrive this morning in the Serbian capital Belgrade. Located at the strategic meeting point of the Danube and Sava Rivers, this truly cosmopolitan city has fortifications from Celtic times, medieval tombs and Turkish baths.

You will spend a full day here and your city tour includes Tito’s memorial, the Town Hall, Republic Square and Knez Mihajlova Street; as well as ‘Varos’ Gate and a visit to the mighty Kalemegdan Fortress.

Day 5
Sofia & Plovdiv | Sofia & Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The site of Bulgaria’s modern capital, at the foot of Mt Vitosha, was first occupied by the Thracian tribe of Serdi. On your morning tour you will spot sections of Roman wall, admire the ancient church of St George, the golden domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the Turkish Bashi Mosque.

You’ll enjoy lunch on the train as you travel from Sofia to Plovdiv. The second largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia, ‘The City of Seven Hills’ is one of the oldest cities in Europe with more than 200 known archaeological sites. You’ll spend the afternoon here exploring the many sights in the charming Old Town including its ancient theatres, medieval walls and Ottoman baths.

Day 6
Kazanlak & Veliko Tarnovo | Kazanlak & Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

You arrive before breakfast in Kazanlak, situated in the Valley of the Roses, which produces rose oil prized by perfumers worldwide. Here we visit the Shipka Memorial Church and a Thracian tomb with vaulted brickwork dating back to the 4th century BC.

You’ll have lunch onboard during the climb over the Shipka Pass and travel onwards to 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 ancient city.

Relax in the Lounge Car before dinner is served as your train continues through the scenic landscape as we head across the Romanian border.

Day 7
Brasov & Sighisoara | Brasov & Sighisoara, Romania

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 you arrive into Braşov for a tour of Bran Castle. Popularly known as Dracula’s Castle, this beautiful 14th century building is situated amongst stunning mountain scenery.

You return to the train for lunch as you continue onto Sighişoara 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.

Dinner is served as your train continues onto Hungary and across the Great Hungarian Plain.

Day 8
Kecskemet, Lajosmizse & Budapest | Kecskemet, Lajosmizse & Budapest, Hungary

Your final day onboard is expected to provide a spectacular conclusion to your rail journey. First you have the opportunity to explore Kecskemét, a fascinating city at the geographical centre of Hungary, before the train heads, steam-hauled, to Lajosmizse for a spectacular ‘Puszta’ horse show.

You then arrive early afternoon at your final destination, Budapest, the romantic and historic Hungarian capital located on the banks of the magnificent Danube. Budapest is actually two cities separated by the Danube. The old city of Buda, and its imposing Royal Palace, dominate the city with stunning views across the Danube to the commercial heart of Pest.

Your short afternoon tour includes the Royal Palace, St Mathias Church and a panoramic view of the city from Gellert Hill. This evening you will enjoy a farewell dinner and stay overnight for one night in the five-star Four Seasons Gresham Palace.

Day 9
Departure | Departure

Following breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your onward departure.

There is also an option to extend your stay in Budapest for additional nights to explore more of this fascinating city.

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