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Sofia, Bulgaria, air/3 nights, from $1,199

Discover the classic café culture, mineral baths, and Byzantine churches of the 7,000-year-old Bulgarian capital.

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare to Sofia on Austrian Airlines; three nights at the 25-room Hotel Central or the 33-room Hotel Lion; breakfast daily; hotel taxes and fees; and fuel surcharges; from $1,199 per person — plus about $180 in airport taxes and fees.

When: Aug. 31–Oct. 31, 2010; add $460 through Aug. 30.

Gateways: New York City; add from $169 for Boston, Philadelphia; from $239 for L.A., Miami, Orlando; from $249 for Chicago, Detroit; from $279 for Atlanta; from $294 for Dallas; from $299 for Houston; from $339 for San Francisco; from $399 for Denver, Salt Lake City; from $429 for Seattle; additional gateways available.

The fine print: Airport taxes and fees cost approximately an additional $180 per person. Based on double occupancy; the single supplement is $115. Airport transfers are not included. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: Oct. 17; bookings must be made at least two weeks in advance.

Contact: Austrian Airlines Vacation Center, 800/790-4682,

Why it's a deal: In a recent Kayak search, we found a round-trip flight between New York City and Sofia in early October for $1,134 (Malev Hungarian). For $245 more, this package covers the airfare, plus three nights' accommodations, breakfast daily, and all taxes and fees.

More: Hotel upgrades are available upon request. Extend your stay at either hotel for an additional $71 per person per night, based on double occupancy. Add round-trip, private-car airport transfers for an additional $75 per person.