New for 2017: Ottoman Treasures by Private Train

New for 2017: Ottoman Treasures by Private Train

One of the world’s grandest empires, the Ottoman Empire conquered a vast stretch of land from Northern Africa to the Persian Gulf, and from the South Caucasus to the fringes of Central Europe, with Constantinople (known today as Istanbul) as its central bridge between East and West. Uniting diverse continents, civilizations and cultures, the Ottomans left a permanent mark on the social, political, economic and artistic development of the nations it once ruled.

Now travelers can trace the path of this influential empire, and the many civilizations that ebbed and flowed throughout this complex region, on an exciting new rail journey for 2017, Ottoman Treasures by Private Train, rolling through Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey.


Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Old Bridge of Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Photo credit: Lisa Peterson

A Cultural KaleidoscopeThe new 12-day journey is offered both northbound and southbound, gliding between the modern-day capitals of Budapest, Hungary, and Istanbul, Turkey. Enjoy the pleasures of Old World rail travel as you discover the mountains, valleys, towns and villages of eight fascinating countries in Central Europe, the Balkans, Greece and Turkey, and encounter four UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the way.

Traveling southbound, the journey begins in sophisticated Budapest, with its monumental Parliament building facing the Danube. Crossing the Hungarian border, the train starts its foray into the Balkan Peninsula, where travelers will discover the Ottoman Empire’s lasting impact on this multicultural and multiethnic region.


Surrounded by remains of the ancient tour of Serdica, St. George's Church is considered the oldest building in Sofia, Bulgaria

Surrounded by remains of the ancient town of Serdica, St. George’s Church is considered the oldest building in Sofia, Bulgaria

Ancient and Modern SightsThe adventure continues in Bulgaria’s 7,000-year-old capital of Sofia, home to over 250 historic landmarks and architectural monuments, and UNESCO-listed Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, dotted with early Roman monuments, historic Christian churches and Byzantine reminders.

The train will make a stop on Turkey’s Gallipoli Peninsula, the site of a protracted battle between the Ottoman Empire and British and French forces during WWI, before rolling into romantic Istanbul, the former heart of the Ottoman Empire, today a cosmopolitan city of extraordinary artistic treasures, culinary delights and profoundly diverse cultures.


Locals walk through the gardens outside Istanbul's Blue Mosque <br /> Photo credit: Jered Gorman

Locals walk through the gardens outside Istanbul’s Blue Mosque
Photo credit: Jered Gorman

Journey Through HistoryEach day is filled with visits to significant sights, including:

  • The Royal Palace in Budapest, the largest baroque palace in Hungary, used by Franz Josef of Austria as his opulent summer home in the 19th century.
  • A tour of the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum with a survivor from the Bosnian War who used the tunnel to escape the shelling.
  • The UNESCO-listed area around the Old Bridge of Mostar, rebuilt over five years in an effort to heal the deep ethnic divide that characterized its destruction.
  • Belgrade’s Kalemegdan Fortress, an ancient Roman citadel named by the Turks to mean “fortress amid battlefields.”
  • The cobbled streets of Plovdiv’s Old Town and its 3,000-seat Roman amphitheater, built by Marcus Aurelius.
  • The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, founded to remember the 200,000 Russian soldiers who died helping to free Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire in 1878.
  • Istanbul’s legendary 17th century Blue Mosque, and grand Hagia Sophia, commissioned by the great Byzantine emperor Justinian in 537 AD.


Comfort of a Rail Journey by Private TrainRail journeys on the Golden Eagle Danube Express private train are in a class of their own, combining the dream of Old World rail travel with modern amenities, and allowing travelers to experience remote destinations in style and comfort. Each luxury train departure is all-inclusive, with abundant food and wine, onboard entertainment and no need to pack and unpack as the journey unfolds.


Travel Aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express with MIR
Rolling along the rails aboard the <em>Golden Eagle Danube Express</em><br>Photo credit: Daniel Secarescu

Rolling along the rails aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express
Photo credit: Daniel Secarescu

MIR is an award-winning company with nearly 30 years of travel experience in this area of the world, as well as affiliate offices in Siberia, Western Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, providing a superior edge in on-the-ground operations. Our full service, dedication, commitment to quality, and destination expertise have twice earned us a place on National Geographic Adventure’s list of “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.”

Discover our other luxury rail journeys by private train aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express, traveling through the heart of Europe to the Balkans and beyond:

You can also explore our menu of luxury rail journeys by private train along the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Silk Route and around Iran aboard the Golden Eagle luxury private train. Each Golden Eagle luxury train departure is all-inclusive, first class, and first-rate in comfort and ease, from beginning to end. No matter which journey you choose, MIR makes it easy to discover incredible destinations in comfort and style.

(Top Photo: Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, soars upwards with its six minarets and layered domes. Photo credit: Jered Gorman)

PUBLISHED: May 26, 2016

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