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Trailblazer Itinerary

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If you're looking for a new challenge, this one-month itinerary is waiting. Travel north to south across Europe, experiencing secret spots one at a time. 

 

  • Start your trip in the Baltic Countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to experience their charming cities and lake towns. 

  • Continue your trip through Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to explore the history, natural beauty and gastronomies of Central Europe.

  • End your trip with a warm welcome in Romania, Bulgaria and Greece, with islands, beaches and beauty all around.

Cities visited in this trip:

 

1. Tallinn, Estonia

2. Riga, Latvia

3. Trakai, Lithuania

4. Kraków, Poland

5. Dunajec Gorge, Slovakia

6. Eger, Hungary

7. Sibiu, Romania

8. Sofia, Bulgaria

9. Thessaloniki, Greece

10. Skopelos, Greece

 

For this itinerary we recommend:

 

Travel days: 10 days within 2 months

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Tallinn, Estonia

 

One of the most northern European capitals, Tallinn is a medieval destination filled with history. Whether you want to see the snow-dusted streets or the sun shining across the towers, it's a great destination at any time of year. 

  • Learn about the city's medieval history through its ancient fortifications. Top sights include the Kiek in de Kök Museum, the Maiden's Tower and Hellemann Tower.

  • Wander through the neighbourhood of Kadriorg, admiring the simple architecture and friendly atmosphere. 

  • Climb up to the Patkuli Viewing Platform on Toompea Hill for the best views across the Old Town.

 

 

Train tip: you can get from Tallinn to Riga by both bus and train. The bus journey is shorter (around 4 hours) and departs from Tallinn Central Bus Station.

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Riga, Lativa

 

With a youthful atmosphere, a UNESCO centre and an absorbing history, it's easy to see why Riga reels people in. 

  • Try a free walking tour around Vecrīga, the old centre of Riga. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has colourful houses, beautiful churches and great food options hidden around every cobblestone corner.

  • Admire the contrasting architecture in the Town Hall Square, from the elaborate House of the Blackheads and the Town Hall to its Soviet-style neighbours.

  • Go hunting for Art Nouveau architecture, with more than 800 buildings scattered across the city. You'll find great photo opportunities on Alberta Street and Elizabetes Street.

 

 

Travel tip: the bus from Riga to Trakai passes via Lithuania's capital, Vilnius. You can always choose to stay in Vilnius to explore this city's hidden treasures.

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Trakai, Lithuania

 

Just 30 minutes outside of Vilnius, Trakai is famous for its island castle. Whether you come here for a day trip or spend the night in Trakai itself, you won't regret it!

  • Explore Trakai Island Castle, a 14th-century Gothic fortress settled in the centre of Lake Galvé. Enter the castle to learn about its medieval history and links with Vilnius.

  • Wander the streets of Trakai Old Town, a diverse settlement. Learn the history of the Karaites, a religious community that relocated to Trakai in the 14th century.

  • Sample some traditional food in Trakai's Small Town district, such as kybyn, small meat-stuffed pastries. Why don't you join the locals and learn how to make them?

 

 

Train tip: Trakai can be accessed by both train and bus from Vilnius.

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Kraków, Poland

 

As the former capital of Poland, Kraków is full of historical gems. Combined with its lively modern culture, this colourful city is well worth your time.

 

  • Experience Kraków's food scene. From tasting bagels, kielbasa (sausages) and zapiekanka (a baguette pizza) from street vendors, you won't be going hungry here.

  • Learn about Poland's WWII history with a visit to Oskar Schindler's Factory or the Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp outside the city. 

  • Bask in the sun at a café in Rynek Glowny Square, the largest city square in Europe.

 

 

Train tip: Kraków's Main Station is only a 20-minute walk from the historic city centre.

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Dunajec Gorge, Slovakia

 

Acting as a border between Poland and Slovakia, the breathtaking Dunajec Gorge is unmissable. With ancient rock formations, rare wildlife and stunning towns scattered in both countries, this natural wonder is perfect for outdoor lovers.

 

  • Go rafting in Dunajec Gorge on traditional wooden rafts. With the route running from Sromowce Katy and ending in the spa village of Szczawnica, this 10km adventure is unforgettable.

  • Explore the end destination of Szczawnica, one of the oldest spa resorts in the area. With its wooden architecture and nearby nature reserves, this is the perfect place to have a break.

  • Visit Niedzica Castle, a 14th-century fortress and historical museum. Be careful, though - the castle is rumoured to be haunted...

 

 

Train tip: Dunajec Gorge is often visited as a day trip from Kraków, although you may choose to stay closer to the Gorge itself. If you remain in Kraków, take the night train to Budapest and then onwards to Eger.

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Eger, Hungary

 

With its medieval castle, thermal springs and wine cellars, Eger is a city in northern Hungary that travellers often ignore. Easily accessible from Budapest, it's definitely worth a visit.

  • Explore Eger Castle, rising above the town. This 15th-century Gothic fortification has several different museums and an excellent art collection.

  • Go wine-tasting in the Valley of the Beautiful Women, a 15-minute walk from the centre of the town. Here, with over 40 wine cellars, sample the local wine Egri Bikavér (Bull's Blood).

  • Test the waters at Eger's Thermal Baths.

 

 

Train tip: just 2 hours from Budapest by train, you can explore Eger in a day, but we'd recommend staying overnight for the best experience.

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Sibiu, Romania

 

Divided into the Lower and Upper Town, this Romanian treasure has rich architecture, culture and history. 

 

  • Explore the Lower and Upper Town of Sibiu. With labyrinthine streets and hidden passageways, you could spend hours wandering between the two parts.

  • Cross the Bridge of Lies. Legend says that if you sit on it and tell a lie, the bridge will collapse!

  • Visit the ASTRA Museum of Traditional Folk Civilisation, an open-air museum outside the city. With incredible reconstructions and opportunities for live participation, this is a great place to learn about Romania's rural communities.

 

 

Train tip: for the easiest journey to Sibiu from Eger, return to Budapest and take the night train to Medias (Romania). You'll arrive in Sibiu in the early afternoon.

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Sofia, Bulgaria

 

Bulgaria's capital city is bursting with colourful culture, history and a great atmosphere. Are you ready to explore?

 

  • Marvel at the sheer size of the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, a magnificent green-and-white domed structure rising above the city.

  • Go back in time and visit St. George Rotunda, an auburn building dating back to Ancient Serdica, Sofia's Roman settlement.

  • Take the cable car up to Vitosha, a 2,200 metre peak towering over Sofia. Continue up to the Black Peak for incredible views.

 

 

Travel tip: Sofia's metro system is an easy way to get around, and it's very special, too. While waiting for your train, admire the exhibits on display, showing the archaeological complex of Ancient Serdica hidden beneath the city.

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Thessaloniki, Greece

 

The second-largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki, is often overlooked. But with 3,000 years of history and a vibrant atmosphere, it's a great stop before heading to the islands.

 

  • Climb up the White Tower, a historical prison that provides gorgeous views across the city and the Mediterranean.

  • Wander along the car-free zone of Thessaloniki's waterfront. With cafés and restaurants along the promenade, you can rest and relax after a walk in the sea breeze.

  • Visit the Roman Agora to learn about the city's ancient past. Continue underground to the Roman museum to discover even more hidden ruins. 

 

 

Travel tip: the easiest way to travel from Sofia to Thessaloniki is by bus, departing several times a day and taking 5 hours.

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Skopelos, Greece

 

There are so many Greek islands to visit, but Skopelos should be at the top of your list. Famous for being the filming location of Mamma Miathis stunning island in the Sporades boasts much more than the iconic sights. 

 

  • Explore Skopelos Town, a beautiful maze of whitewashed houses and staircases leading down to the harbour.

  • Visit Agios Ionannis Church, an iconic church perched on the top of a cliff. As a Mamma Mia location, try to visit early or late to avoid the crowds.

  • Relax on the beach. After your trip, you've definitely earned it! Top beaches include Panormos, Kastani and Armenopetro.

 

 

Travel tip: daily ferries depart from Thessaloniki's port to the Sporades in the summer. If no ferries are available, either hop over to the North Aegean islands or head down the mainland to catch a ferry from Volos.

Which Pass should I get?

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The Interrail Global Pass is the ideal Pass for longer, flexible adventures. With this itinerary, we'd recommend 15 travel days within 2 months, so you can spend as long as you want at each destination.

 

Go green!

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Not only will your trip be the adventure of a lifetime, but you'll be helping the planet, too. Learn more about our mission to share sustainable travel and what you can do to help.