ALONG THE MIGHTY SHORES OF THE SOVIET MEDITERRANEAN
Bulgaria – Romania – Ukraine
This tour is offered on a regular monthly basis from March through May and again from September through November. Let us know your desired departure month by clicking on the learn-more button below: we will match your preferences with the next relevant scheduled group departure. If you are still unsure about your desired departure date, then simply tell us a period or a season of the year and we will provide you a range of scheduled group departures: just pick up yours!
Our scheduled group departures don't suit your plans? If you are travelling with more than 4 friends, you can set your own departure date: we will arrange a bespoke tour just for you for the same price per person advertised below. If you are travelling solo or with less than four companions, we will then organise a slightly more expensive tailored tour according to your time schedule and specific geographical preferences.
DAY 1 - Burgas
Our tour guide will meet you in the arrival hall of Burgas International Airport (exact meeting time will be communicated well in advance per email in accordance to your flight schedule).
We’ll spend the day strolling around Burgas, a large Black Sea port famous for its tacky holiday resorts and huge oil refineries (a typical Eastern European combo).
Among the many communist-era monumental and architectonic wonders you’ll be able to admire walking around Burgas, we are particularly fond of the giant Memorial To Defenders Of Bulgaria and the imposing Soviet Soldier Monument: proud remnants of a Bulgaria that is no more.
Dinner and overnight in Burgas.
DAY 2 - Varna
We’ll leave Burgas in the in the morning and travel north along the Black Sea coast crossing little fishing villages, rusty marinas and kitschy resorts until we’ll eventually arrive in Varna, the third-largest city in Bulgaria.
We’ll spend the day touring Varna, a true architectural paradise by the sea, where Ottoman, Neo-Renaissance, Neoclassicist, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Soviet shapes blend, more or less harmoniously, together.
As in Burgas we will be able to admire some true communist gems in Varna too such as the impressive and essential Monument of the Bulgarian-Soviet Friendship amongst others.
Dinner and overnight in Varna.
DAY 3 - Constanța
From Varna we’ll move further north, cross the border into Romania and head for the classy city of Constanta, the main Romanian town along the melancholic, tacky and slightly depressing Black Sea coast.
Constanta is famous for its splendidly abandoned Art Nouveau casino as well as for its fair share of elegant neoclassical buildings, exotic Ottoman heritage and ancient Roman ruins.
We’ll spend a relaxing day in town touring its many architectonic treasures, sampling delicious seafood and hunting for the decrepit remnants of its communist past.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Constanta.
DAY 4 - Danube Delta
From Constanta will travel on to the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage and a labyrinth of water and land, made up of countless lakes, channels, islands at the end of the 2,860 km long river: the Danube Delta is, in fact, the largest European wetland.
The Danube Delta is also home to a rich ethnic mix of Ukrainian, Russian, Lipovan, Bulgarian, Romanian, Turkish, and Gagauz people, inhabiting melancholic hamlets scattered around the biosphere.
We’ll spend the day touring the Delta and indulge in the gastronomic delicacies offered by the river such as herring, grilled sturgeon fish and zander croquettes, tastily washed down with Aligote, Muscat or Merlot.
In the late afternoon we will transfer to the sleepy provincial town of Tulcea, where we’ll spend our last Romanian night.
Dinner and overnight in Tulcea.
DAY 5 - Southern Gagauzia and Budjak Steppes
From Romania we’ll head towards Ukraine making a forced but pleasant detour through Southern Moldova and Gagauzia.
First we’ll cross the Romania-Moldova border at the remote and desolate post of Giurgiulești, Moldova’s only port on the Danube, and then head to the sleepy Gagauz city of Vulcănești, a forgotten provincial outpost of concrete Soviet blocks and exotic cultural heritage: the Gagauzes are, in fact, a heavily Russified obscure Turkic ethnicity, professing Christian Orthodoxy and speaking an endangered language very few people outside the region have ever heard the sound of.
From Vulcănești we’ll then enter the former Soviet republic of Ukraine and specifically the remote and melancholic region of Budjak, a multiethnic flatland of Wes-Anderson-style roadside cafés and crumbling Soviet blocks.
Travelling through the Budjak steppes, we’ll reach the Tuslovsky Lagoons, a group of limans boasting a rich and diverse ecosystem with thriving bird rookeries and ichthyic fauna.
In the evening we’ll drive to the end-of-the-world town of Tatarbunary to spend a night of fish and vodka with the locals.
Dinner and overnight in Tatarbunary.
DAY 6/7 - Odessa
From Tatarbunary, driving across Northern Budjak, we’ll reach the elegant city of Odessa, glory of the Soviet Union.
We’ll spend two full days in this city of elegant Tsarist buildings, heroic Soviet history and legendary stairways.
Soviet highlights in Odessa will include:
During our stay in the area we’ll also visit the remote Kinburn Spit, home to the National Park Biloberezhia Sviatoslava, a paradise for birdwatchers, beachgoers and scuba-divers.
Dinners and overnights in Odessa.
DAY 8 - Kherson
The last stop of our Black Sea voyage will be the port city of Kherson, near the contested border with Russian-controlled Crimea.
DAY 9 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations
After enjoying a last Ukrainian breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to the airport/train station of choice.
For those flying out: to Kherson International Airport for your flight back home.
For those wishing to take the train/bus to reach further destinations: transfer to the local train/bus station.
End of the tour.
4 to 6 participants: 1990 € per person
The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (breakfast included; single supplement: 20 euros/night), private transport in the region (minivan and/or jeep), entrance fees to the attractions listed in the itinerary, guiding and translation service.
The price does not include: international flights and any other flight not explicitly included in the tour price and itinerary, meals, drinks and tips, transport to and from the airport of arrival/departure (35 euros/ride), visas if required, entrance fees to attractions not listed in the itinerary, insurance.
The route of this tour has been carefully designed after several research trips in the region. It is, however, always possible to slightly modify the itinerary according to the needs and the suggestions of the participants. Our motto is flexibility. It is also possible to make the tour the other way around, starting from Ukraine and finishing in Bulgaria.