Day 1 Depart USA
- Private sightseeing in Budapest
- A personally guided tour of Esterhazy Palace with a trained local guide
- A Ferry ride across Lake Balaton
- A farewell evening dinner cruise on the Danube
You depart on your overnight flight for Budapest, the capital of Hungary. This charming capital is bisected by the Danube River with hills and valleys on the Buda side and the flat, low-lying Pest on the other. The riverside panorama has been designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Day 2 Welcome to Hungary
Upon arrival and after clearing customs you will be met by your guide and taken to your waiting car. Although we will explore the city in more detail, this morning you will get an orientation tour of the key parts of the city. You will stop for lunch and begin to become at home with this most charming of European cities. You are then taken to your deluxe hotel where you have a chance to relax and freshen up. Dinner is at the hotel this evening.
Day 3 A Private Exploration of both Buda and Pest
After a good night's rest you are ready to meet your guide for a personalized exploration of both parts of the city, divided by the Danube but connected by nine bridges the oldest being the Szechenyi Chain Bridge built in 1849. You start your visit on the Buda side beginning with the Castle district and a visit to Matthias church, Budapest's most famous church and dating back to the 13th Century. You will then visit the Fisherman's Bastion, a neo-Romanesque edifice with seven towers built on the medieval walls and offering spectacular views of the city. The views continue as you travel to Gellert Hill where you enjoy lunch. In the afternoon you explore Pest including Heroes' Square, Vajdahunyad Castle, Andrassy Street, the Opera House, St. Stephen's Basilica and the Parliament building before returning to the hotel. This evening we are pleased to host you at the Marvabymenyasszony Restaurant where you will enjoy a dinner with wine, gypsy music and a folklore show.
Day 4 Esztergom and the Danube Bend
After breakfast you will leave the city for an excursion to Danube Bend, considered one of Hungary's most beautiful regions. Your first stop will be Esztergom which is the center of the Catholic Church in Hungary. You will have a chance to visit the Basilica before moving on to Visegrad once a royal seat where you can enjoy some of the most beautiful panoramas in the country. After lunch at a local restaurant you drive to Szentendre a picturesque baroque town noted for its winding streets. The town is noted for its artists and the many museums including the Kovacs Margit Ceramics museum which you will visit before returning to Budapest.
Day 5 Pannonhalma, Gyor and Esterhazy Palace
Today your guide will be taking you out of Budapest heading west towards the Austrian border. You first stop will be at Pannonhalma. Upon arrival you will be met by a local guide who will take you on a personal visit to the Abbey, which is over 1,000 years old and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After your visit your regular guide will take you to the town of Gyor where you have lunch before exploring the highlights of the town which is equidistant between Vienna and Budapest and thus grew to prominence in the Hapsburg era. The last visit of the day will be to the town of Fertod and Esterhazy Palace where you are introduced to another local guide who will take you on a tour of Castle Esterhazy which was, until early in the last century, the homes of the Princes of Esterhazy known for their support of the arts. It was here that the composer Joseph Haydn was both sponsored and performed and the Castle still puts on musical recitals with ideal acoustics. More a palace than a castle, the exterior spiral staircase leading from the main ballroom to the courtyard is a must see. After your visit you will continue on to the scenic town of Sopron located in a sub-Alpine pine forest and your hotel. Weather permitting, having dinner on the terrace offers the opportunity for spectacular Alpine views.
Day 6 Sopron, Nagycenk, and Keszhely
After breakfast you will have a chance to explore Sopron including the Baroque style, Storno-House before heading south to Nagycenk. Here you will have the chance to visit Castle Szechenyi and also have lunch at the Castle Hotel nearby. After lunch you will take a scenic drive to Keszhely and visit Castle Festetics before arriving at your hotel on the shores of Lake Balaton.
Day 7 The Abbey of Tihany and a Scenic Visit to Pecs
Your guide will be waiting to take you to Tihany where you will visit the Benedictine Abbey where you can find the royal document prescribing the foundation of the church. After your visit you will take a ferry across Lake Balaton which is the largest lake in Central Europe and often referred to as the Hungarian Sea since Hungary has no access to a port. After lunch in a local restaurant on the way to Pecs, your guide will take you on an intimate and informative tour of the town including Kossuth Square, the Mosque of Pasha Ghazi Kassim and the Mosque of Yakovali Hassan with its minaret. Next you will visit St Peter's Cathedral and the Famous Museum of Zsolnay Porcelain before finishing your day at the ancient Roman burial chambers, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 8 The Puszta and the Danube
After breakfast, you will depart for the Hortobagy Puszta, the most well known part of the Great Hungarian Plain (known as the Puszta). This national park allows you to become acquainted with the region's flora and fauna. You will visit the Museum of the Shepherd where you enjoy a carriage ride, a thrilling equestrian show and have a chance to view some of the unusual and indigenous animals including long-horned Hungarian Grey cattle, stud horses, spiral horned Racka sheep and buffalo herds. After the visit you will have a lunch with wine at a local Csarda restaurant before returning to Budapest. This evening, be our guest for a farewell dinner cruise on the Danube where you have the chance to enjoy the food, the illuminated monuments accompanied by music.
Day 9 Return to USA
Your guide will be waiting to take you to the airport and assist in your check in. Your flight arrives back in the USA later the same day.
Available Year Round
Luxury Guided Tour - Esterhazy Palace, Lake Balaton and Puszta ULHU04 Location and other villas and tours nearby
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Budapest, Sopron, Balatonfured, Pecs
Additional Pricing Information
- 1st Class rail travel as indicated on the itinerary
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport or rail station at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)
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