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London to Istanbul by Rail

Code: GA-EEIR

A 25-Day G Adventures tour starting from $999,999.99

Dates & Prices

Start Date End Date Brochure Price Action
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Please call a tour specialist at 1-800-942-3301 for personalized assistance.

Important Notes
1. RAMADAN Depending on the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between June 7th and July 7th, 2016. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan in Muslim areas, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can't at that time. 2. YOUR CEO It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places. 3. LUGGAGE In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times. 4. CUISINE Vegetarians should be aware that the cuisine on the eastern portion of this trip on is predominantly meat-based. Although you will be able to find and enjoy vegetarian food, please be aware that there will not be the variety or range of choices that you would find at home. 5. PLOVDIV TO ISTANBUL TRAIN The train from Plovdiv to Istanbul will occasionally be out of service. As we can never predict exactly when this will happen, we substitute an overnight bus on that last leg when necessary. 6. COMBO Please note that this is a combo of 2 G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and/or travel companions may depart the tour in Budapest. Likewise, new travellers may join the tour in Budapest and continue on for the duration.

Solo Travellers
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage. You must be prepared to carry your luggage up and down stairs, as well as on and off transportation.

Checklist
Conservative Dress: • Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders) • Shawl or scarf (for temple visits) Documents: • Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border) • Insurance info (required) (With photocopies) • Passport (required) (With photocopies) • Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies) • Vouchers and pre-departure information (required) Essentials: • Binoculars (optional) • Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries) • Cash, credit and debit cards • Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights) • Ear plugs • First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking) • Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal) • Fleece top/sweater • Footwear • Hat • Locks for bags • Long pants/jeans • Moneybelt • Outlet adapter • Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.) • Reusable water bottle • Shirts/t-shirts • Sleepwear • Small travel towel • Sunglasses • Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable) • Watch and alarm clock • Waterproof backpack cover • Windproof rain jacket Warm Weather: • Sandals/flip-flops • Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended) • Sun hat/bandana • Swimwear

Tipping
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2). Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program, and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day, depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €30-40 per person, per week can be used.

Health
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.


All prices are per person, double occupancy, subject to availability and are quoted in U.S. Dollars. These pages are not endorsed or supported by the tour operator in any way. All information presented is based on promotional material provided by the tour operator. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates are subject to change without notice and at any time by the tour operators. Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. The prices on this website are not guaranteed. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or changes in pricing. Please call us toll free at 1-800-942-3301 to confirm availability and pricing.

Escorted Tour Highlights

Countries Visited:

Austria, Bulgaria, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey

Cities Visited:

See Description


Sightseeing Highlights

Highlights
Travel across Europe by train, explore tiny villages and big capital cities, soak in gorgeous Alpine scenery from the window of the Glacier Express, sample cuisine across different countries, get spooked at 'Dracula's Castle'.

Itinerary Disclaimer
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 12

Spending Money
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Overview

Whether you’re looking for Europe’s most famous highlights or its undiscovered treasures, the answer lies aboard the trains running between London and Istanbul. This 25-day Rail journey allows you to check out the dramatic landscapes across Europe, as well as experiencing both medieval charm and modern cool in tiny villages and capital cities. Take in the Alpine scenery from the windows of the Glacier Express, step off to visit 'Dracula’s Castle' in Transylvania and revel in as much ancient eastern European charm as you can get. Once you’ve seen the countryside gliding by from a comfortable train, you’ll never forget it.

Year Round Offers

  • Book 3 or more tours - Get an extra 5% off
  • Book a group 8 people pay, 9th person is free.

London to Istanbul by Rail Day 1 London
There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2 London/Paris (1B)
It's hard to run out of things to do in a city like Paris. Visit the Eiffel Tower, dozens of museums, Luxembourg Garden, wander the banks of the Seine or sip wine and eat cheese at a sidewalk café like a local. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Train (3.00 hour(s))

Day 3 Paris (1B)
The Louvre, Musée d'Orsay and Rodin Museum are all worth a visit. Stop by Notre Dame or Sacre Coeur to add some spirituality to your day. Shop on the Champs-Élysées or explore the Left Bank.

Day 4 Paris/Lausanne (1B)
Take a morning TGV train to Lausanne, Switzerland. Spend the afternoon in this charming town. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Train (4.00 hour(s))

Day 5 Lausanne/Zermatt (1B)
Board another train for the journey to Zermatt, a tiny village in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Enjoy the afternoon in the car-free centre or hiking in the nearby mountains. Transport: Train (3.00 hour(s))

Day 6 Zermatt/Chur (1B, 1L)
Board the Glacier Express for a slow and stunning ride through the Alps. Pass meadows, rushing streams, bridges, villages and massive mountains as the train heads towards Chur. Arrive in the evening after a full day of soaking in the scenery. Transport: Board the Glacier Express and enjoy the stunning view out of the domed glass roof. Train (5.00-6.00 hours)

Day 7 Chur/Munich (1B)
Take a full day to reach Munich, in the heart of Bavaria. Arrive in time for an optional evening out at a local brewery with a few steins of beer and some typical German fare. Transport: Train (5.00-8.00 hours)

Day 8 Munich (1B)
Explore the city or head further afield to visit Füssen and the famous Neuschwanstein Castle.

Day 9 Munich/Salzburg (1B)
Visit the concentration camp of Dachau, right outside the city centre. Learn of the atrocities of war and the triumph of the human spirit. Return to the city for a short train ride to Salzburg, Austria. This charming city is brimming with history and character. Known for the nearby salt mines, Mozart and the setting for The Sound of Music, Salzburg has plenty to pack into a day and a half. Included Activities: Dachau Concentration Camp Visit Transport: Train (1.50 hour(s))

Day 10 Salzburg (1B)
Make the most of a free day in Salzburg. Opt to visit the salt mines or take the famous Sound of Music tour.

Day 11 Salzburg/Vienna (1B)
Continue by train to Vienna. Opt to visit the famous opera house, join a city tour or visit world-class museums. Stay overnight at a G Adventures for Good supported hotel that supports migrant workers. Included Activities: Magdas Hotel Transport: Train (3.00 hour(s))

Day 12 Vienna/Budapest (1B)
Journey by train to Budapest, the 'Pearl of the Danube'. The city, split into Buda and Pest by the river, retains its eastern charm with Buda Castle and Turkish-style thermal baths. Depending on arrival time, opt to visit some city sights or soak in one of the famous baths. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Train (4.00 hour(s))

Day 13 Budapest
Today, new travellers may join you for the rest of your adventure. You are welcome to join them at a group meeting this evening, followed by an optional dinner. Included Activities: Optional Welcome Meeting for Travellers on Combos

Day 14 Budapest/Sibiu
Take another free day to explore Budapest before boarding an overnight train to Sibiu. Transport: Overnight train (beds) (12.00 hour(s))

Day 15 Sibiu/Sighi?oara
Explore Sighisoara's medieval walled citadel with its cultural attractions and great restaurants and bars. Sample some Romanian cuisine—the Casa Dracula (original home of Vlad, the model for Count Dracula) is now a restaurant specializing in hearty meat and game dishes of the region. Transport: Local train (2.50 hour(s), 90km)

Day 16 Sighi?oara/Brasov (1B)
Enjoy a half-day guided tour of Sighi?oara's countryside. Take in the beautiful rolling scenery and visit medieval villages and fortified churches. In the early evening, transfer to Brasov - the best preserved medieval city in Romania. Included Activities: Sighi?oara Region Guided Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))

Day 17 Brasov (1B)
Impressively situated on a rock outcrop and dominating the valley, this 14th century castle is steeped in history and folklore. Soak in the gorgeous countryside as you learn about the creepier side of Romania. Included Activities: Bran Castle Visit

Day 18 Brasov/Bucharest (1B)
Travel to Bucharest and enjoy an orientation walk. Take time to explore the Soviet-esque architecture, the beautiful cathedral, or indulge in Bucharest's international cuisine. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Train (4.00 hour(s))

Day 19 Bucharest/Veliko Tarnovo (1B)
Enjoy this charming town and opt to visit the Tsarevets Fortress just outside the city. Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))

Day 20 Veliko Tarnovo (1B)
Hike to the hilltop village of Arbanasi. Soak in the views over Veliko Tarnovo. Opt to go mountain biking or view the murals at the Church of the Nativity. Included Activities: Arbanasi Village Visit

Day 21 Veliko Tarnovo/Sofia (1B)
A mix of western grandeur and Soviet bulk, Sofia boasts a gold-domed church and delicious international dining. Sample modern takes on Bulgarian and international food, with some great trendy dining opportunities. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Local bus (3.00-4.00 hours)

Day 22 Sofia/Plovdiv (1B)
Opt to relax over coffee and a Bulgarian baklava, a specialty of the area. Transport: Train (2.00 hour(s))

Day 23 Plovdiv/Istanbul (1B)
Spend the day exploring more of Plovdiv before boarding an evening bus to Istanbul. Transport: Local bus (7.00 hour(s))

Day 24 Istanbul
After getting the lay of the land with a local guide, spend some free time visiting all you can in this eclectic city straddling two continents. In the evening, there are plenty of cool little bars and restaurants to celebrate the end of an amazing journey over a raki or two. Included Activities: Istanbul Guided Walking Tour

Day 25 Istanbul (1B)
We highly recommend you book post-accommodation to fully enjoy this vibrant city.

All prices are per person, double occupancy, subject to availability and are quoted in U.S. Dollars. These pages are not endorsed or supported by the tour operator in any way. All information presented is based on promotional material provided by the tour operator. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates are subject to change without notice and at any time by the tour operators. Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. The prices on this website are not guaranteed. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or changes in pricing. Please call us toll free at 1-800-942-3301 to confirm availability and pricing.

G Adventures

What's Included
Your G for Good Moment: Magdas Hotel, Vienna Carte Blanche: Paris Carte Blanche: Budapest. Eurostar ride through the Chunnel. Paris orientation walk. TGV train. Lausanne orientation walk. Zermatt stay. The Glacier Express train with lunch onboard. Dachau tour (Munich). Salzburg orientation walk. Vienna orientation walk. Budapest orientation walk. Romanian villages and countryside tour (half-day, from Sighisoara). 'Dracula's Castle' (Bran). Bucharest orientation tour. Hike to Arbanasi village. Sofia orientation walk. Istanbul city tour with local guide. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Meals Included
20 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Meals
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport
Train, public bus, metro, walking.

Accommodation
Hotels/pensions (23 nts), overnight train (1 nts).

About Accommodation
It is important to note that accommodation in Europe tend to be quite different to other areas of the world you may have travelled in. Buildings and rooms are generally old and may not have been renovated or maintained to the highest standard. Downtown hotels in Europe were not built to be hotels but houses of the rich, which have been changed into hotels. Therefore unusual room sizes are common as large rooms have been partitioned in the past, resulting in rather "thin" walls. Reception areas, rooms and bathrooms tend to be very small as they were often added into an existing room, and may have a hand nozzle rather than a conventional shower head. On this trip you can expect to stay in small family-run hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. You can expect to find clean, safe, simple accommodation in convenient locations. Staff can occasionally demonstrate less than perfect customer service. As accommodation is in short supply, especially during the summer months, hotels can charge a premium and there is sometimes little motivation to improve facilities. In one or two locations on the Budapest to Istanbul portion we use accommodation with shared bathrooms.

Optional Activities
Please see the itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.



All prices are per person, double occupancy, subject to availability and are quoted in U.S. Dollars. These pages are not endorsed or supported by the tour operator in any way. All information presented is based on promotional material provided by the tour operator. All prices, itineraries, accommodations and dates are subject to change without notice and at any time by the tour operators. Availability is limited and must be reconfirmed at time of booking. The prices on this website are not guaranteed. We are not responsible for errors, omissions, or changes in pricing. Please call us toll free at 1-800-942-3301 to confirm availability and pricing.

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