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The Countryside of Romania Tour - 12 days

Romania starts where the asphalt ends. Group upt to 6 persons

There is no doubt Romania starts where the asphalt ends. The “Romania Countryside Tour” takes you to the most remote areas of the country where life looks like it’s frozen in time, where cars must avoid the cows walking slowly on the road, where the locals will be happy to have you as a special guest and friend. This tour of Romania starts in Bucharest and continues in all other amazing rural areas from Transylvania, Maramures, or Bucovina. To all these add several famous tourist destinations of Romania part of any other tour.

Type: shared, cultural

Distance: 2400km / 1491mi

Country: Romania

Accommodation: 3-, 4-star hotels and B&Bs

Year: 2022

6 March – 17 March
8 May – 19 May
19 June – 30 June
17 July – 28 July

Year: 2023

5 March – 16 March
7 May – 18 May
18 June – 29 June
16 July – 27 July

This tour can be organized as a private tour on any other date you prefer. In this case, the price will be provided on request.

€2429/person sharing a double room

Single Supplement: €320

Book for 3 persons and get a discount of 5%

Book for 4 or more persons and get a discount of 10%

Highlights of the tour:

Regions

  • Wallachia
  • Transylvania
  • Maramures
  • Bucovina
  • Moldova

Cities

  • Bucharest
  • Sibiu
  • Sighisoara
  • Hunedoara
  • Alba Iulia
  • Piatra Neamt
  • Brasov

Major Sights

  • The Parliament
  • Transfagarasan Highway
  • Corvin Castle
  • Vlad Dracul House
  • Turda Salt Mine
  • Merry Cemetery
  • Borgo Pass
  • Bicaz Gorge
  • Bran Castle
  • Peles Castle

UNESCO Sights

  • Horezu Monastery
  • Sighisoara
  • Surdesti Wooden Church
  • The Painted Monasteries

Day 1
OTOPENI AIRPORT – BUCHAREST (40min drive)

Arrival in Bucharest. You’ll be transferred to your hotel where you’ll receive more details about your tour. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Overnight in Bucharest: 4-star hotel

Day 2
FULL-DAY TOUR OF BUCHAREST (1h drive)

After breakfast, a full-day sightseeing tour of Bucharest, including the visit to the famous Parliament Palace. The walking tour includes Revolution Square and the bustling old center of Bucharest. You’ll admire as well The Village Museum and famous boulevards and neighborhoods of this interesting city.

Bucharest's settlement was first mentioned in 1459, and, ever since, the town went through a series of continuous changes, representing the central scene of Romania’s political, artistic, university, financial and cultural life. Between the two world wars, due to the elegant architecture and to the elite living in Bucharest, the city was nicknamed “The Little Paris.”

During the tour of Bucharest, you’ll stop to visit the Romanian Parliament, the largest administrative building in Europe. The building is located in Bucharest's historical and geographical center, and it was built on a hill. The building, whose works were started in July 1984, includes a huge combination of monumental sculptures, gilded ornaments, decorative flooring, laced ceilings, brocade curtains, heavy carpets, tapestry, all in a succession of chambers, galleries, lavish vast rooms, and halls. It’s the perfect image of a regime detached from reality, a regime that didn’t care at all about the real needs of the Romanian society.

Located in a green area of Bucharest and inaugurated in 1936, The Village Museum is one of the most beautiful and most interesting museums in the country. It boasts old and original houses brought from different parts of the country. In The Revolution Square, you’ll get the story of the anti-communist revolution from 1989, and you’ll find out more about the hardships an entire nation had to suffer for 45 years. The day ends with what became the most bustling area of Bucharest, The Old Center. Once the place of princely families and nobles, later an area of the craftsmen, the old center became today the Mecca of bars, restaurants, and quaint cobblestone streets.

Overnight in Bucharest: 4-star hotel

Bucharest, Romania

Day 3
BUCHAREST – TARGOVISTE – HOREZU (4h30min drive)

Leave Bucharest in the morning and head off to Targoviste – the former capital of Wallachia and more recently known as the Ceausescu couple's execution place. It is here where you can discover the ruins of the Princely Court. Besides the ruins, you can admire the former church with its beautiful frescoes, and the elegant Sunset Tower built for the first time during the reign of Vlad the Impaler, also known as Dracula.

Horezu will be the next stop. Here you can discover one of the most beautiful monastic places of Romania, a great UNESCO site. The architecture is breathtaking, and the frescoes are very well preserved. It was built in a beautiful area surrounded by a forest. The founder, Constantin Brancoveanu, had a tragic end, being executed by the Ottomans and his four sons and one son-in-law.

In the afternoon, you’ll reach a village known for its 19th century massive fortified mansions. You’ll be able to visit them and find out more details about the life of the nobles who built them.

In the end, you’ll enjoy the beauty of a quiet village and gorgeous accommodation, one of the highlights of the tour.

Overnight in a quiet village: traditional mansion, en-suite rooms

Targoviste, Wallachia, Romania

Day 4
HOREZU – SIBIU (5h drive)

Leave the province of Wallachia and cross the Transylvanian Alps into the famous Transylvania. You’ll take the famous Transfagarasan Highway. Built in just 4 years, the highway is the second highest road in Romania. The landscape is stunning and you’ll stop several times for pictures. Once on the top of the mountain, you’ll admire Balea Lake. (Between November 1st and June 30, Transfagarasan Highway will be replaced with the road along the Olt Valey).

Sibiu, the European Cultural Capital in 2007, is the most beautiful city in Romania. Founded by the Germans about 800 years ago, Sibiu boasts the largest Saxon-like squares in Romania, impressive medieval architecture, quaint passageways, and cobbled streets. You’ll be taken to the old center, and you’ll roam through its squares, you’ll visit the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Cathedral. You’ll be shown the old medieval towers, bastions, and walls. You’ll visit the oldest parts of Sibiu, and you’ll find out much more about the Bridge of Lies. In the end, you’ll climb the Town Hall Tower from where you’ll have a lovely view over the town and beyond.

Overnight in Sibiu – boutique hotel or superior guest house

Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania

Day 5
SIBIU – SIGHISOARA – SIBIU (3h30min drive)

Today we’ll take you on several back roads where you’ll discover the real beauty of Transylvania. Passing through several hidden villages built hundreds of years ago by the Saxon colonists, you’ll reach a Gypsy town where you’ll discover the magic world. Meet a local coppersmith gypsy family and see how they live in a globalized world.

Further on, you’ll be taken back to the hidden roads of Transylvania, and you’ll get to admire the UNESCO site of Biertan. When the German colonists arrived in Transylvania 800 years ago, they realized they are under constant threat of different invasions. That’s why they built hundreds of fortified churches. The one from Biertan was built in the 16th century and even today guards the village.

Not far away lies one of the best-preserved medieval citadels of Europe. Sighisoara, a UNESCO site since 1999, consists of massive walls, tall towers, cobblestone streets, and medieval houses. Some historians believe that Vlad the Impaler, also known as Dracula, was born right in the citadel. The Clock Tower is the symbol of the Sighisoara. Climb its stairs and enjoy the panoramic view over the town.

Get back to Sibiu, taking again forgotten roads. Pass through several Saxon villages and admire their traditional architecture or old fortified churches.

Overnight in Sibiu: boutique hotel or superior guest house

Sighisoara, Transylvania, Romania

Day 6
SIBIU – HUNEDOARA – ALBA IULIA (3h30min drive)

In the first part of the day, you’ll be transferred to Hunedoara for the spookiest buildings of Europe, the Corvin Castle. Built in the 14th century, it became an important stronghold of Transylvania. At this castle, you’ll find out two interesting legends, and you’ll roam the halls of this impressive Gothic castle. More than that, you’ll be astonished to discover the real place where Dracula stayed imprisoned for several weeks.

After lunch, you’ll get to see the biggest and the best-preserved Vauban-like citadel in Romania. Built at the beginning of the 18th century, the citadel of Alba Iulia has been restored recently to its once former glory. Besides the two cathedrals, the Orthodox and the Catholic ones, we’ll show you the intricate gates of the citadel, the 3rd gate being the most impressive. The old Roman castrum and the medieval citadel known as Balgrad are now integrated into the Austrian citadel. Their ruins are part of the tour.

Leave behind the cities and once again enter the Transylvanian villages' forgotten world, where you’ll discover the beauty of Hungarian rural architecture.

Before dinner, you’ll take a walking tour of a village, an exquisite example of the Hungarian villages. The winding dirt roads are flanked by wonderful houses boasting the purity of rural life.

Overnight in a Transylvanian village – superior guesthouse

Corvin Castle, Transylvania, Romania

Day 7                                
TURDA – BONTIDA – SURDESTI – MARAMURES (4h30min drive)

The tour of Romania continues with a very different tourist sight. The salt mine of Turda, probably the best in Europe, has received a major investment, and it was transformed into an important tourist attraction of Romania. Along with its interesting history, impressive size, underground lake, and long corridors, the salt mine boasts a fantastic game of lights.

Bontida was the homeland of Miklos Banffy, a famous Hungarian writer. It is here where he wrote the great Transylvanian Trilogy. His former estate, also known as the Transylvanian Versaille, was unfortunately destroyed by the German army during the Second World War. Today the descendants of Miklos Banffy try to bring back the estate to its former glory.

Passing through the villages of Maramures, you’ll arrive in the village of Surdesti, where you’ll visit the first wooden church on this trip. This UNESCO site boasts the purity of the locals’ faith, their outstanding talent for building wooden constructions, and a great modesty level through its traditional simplicity.

You’ll arrive at your final destination, a traditional guest house located near Sighetu Marmatiei. You’ll be in time for a great traditional home-made dinner.

Overnight in Maramures: traditional guesthouse, private bathroom

Rural Life, Maramures

Day 8
MARAMURES DAY-TOUR (2h30min drive)

In the morning, we’ll take you to a local market where you can see the farmers selling their products. The cheese market is a must. Further on, we’ll change the register dramatically. You’ll visit the Memorial of the Anti-communist Victims from Sighetu Marmatiei. Probably this is the most important museum a Romanian should visit. It is here, in this former political prison, where you’ll find out many things about the horrors of the communist regime.

Not far away from Sighetu Marmatiei lies the village of Sapanata. In this village, a local carver had the great idea of carving wooden crosses painted in bright colors. Each cross depicts an image of the buried one and more or less funny epitaphs. Don’t miss the cross of the drunker or mother-in-law.

In the afternoon, you’ll roam on the roads of your village, and you’ll discover a local distillery producing the famous tuica, a strong plum brandy.

Overnight in Maramures: traditional guesthouse, private bathroom

Sunrise in Maramures, Romania

Day 9
MARAMURES – BARSANA – BUCOVINA (5h30min drive)

The village of Barsana is known for several tourist attractions. You’ll be meeting a local carver who is happy all the time to greet his guests. Discover this wonderful craft, admire his works, from wooden spoons or wooden chains to huge and intricate wooden gates.

In the same village, you’ll visit the Convent of Barsana. Although it has a long history, the present monastic complex is quite new, being built in 1992. The convent is not just another religious place but a fine testimony of the wooden constructions from Maramures. Add to all these an amazing garden and a great rural landscape.

Moldovita is the first painted monastery of your tour around Romania. Rebuilt in the 16th century, the church had its exterior walls covered by frescos at the same time. It boasts the best-preserved “Siege of Constantinople” fresco. In fact, this fresco will let you know why these churches were painted on the exterior walls.

Driving through the gentle hills of Bucovina, you’ll reach Sucevita. Here you’ll admire the largest and most impressive painted church. Sucevita was the last to be painted. At that time, the artists had learned how to obtain everlasting pigments. Therefore, Sucevita boasts the best-preserved frescos, such as “The Ladder of Virtues.”

Before the final destination, you’ll have the last stop in Marginea, the black ceramic center in Romania. It is here where you can visit the artists' workshop, and you can admire their works.

Overnight in Bucovina – superior guesthouse/boutique hotel

Moldovita Monastery, Bucovina

Day 10
BUCOVINA – VORONET – BICAZ – SZEKLERLAND (5h 40min drive)

Today the journey is long but impressive.

The first visit of the day will be the Voronet convent. Erected in 1488, Voronet Monastery represented one of the first Moldavian creative elements showing a distinctive style. The church is a combination of Byzantine, Gothic and local elements. The exterior painting on the western wall depicts, on five registers, the Last Judgement scene, unique in the whole world. The Voronet Monastery entered the universal cultural heritage for having in the composition of the paintings the inimitable “Voronet blue.”

You will leave behind Bucovina entering again into Transylvania. It is here where you’ll be astonished by the wonders of nature. The Bicaz Gorge and Red Lake are among the most known landmarks of Romania.

Then we’ll take you to the core of the Hungarian minority that lives in an area known as Szeklerland. It is here where you’ll be able to admire the traditional way of living of these people and their amazing old houses.

You’ll stay in the manor house where you’ll enjoy a lovely dinner (not included in the price, about18€/person). Prepare yourself to step back in time…

Overnight in Szeklerland: superior estate

Bicaz Gorge, Transylvania, Romania

Day 11
SZEKLERLAND – BRASOV – BRAN – SINAIA– BUCHAREST (5h drive)

After breakfast, you will enjoy a short walking tour in the old town of Brasov. You’ll admire the beautiful buildings like the Black Church (during the cold months between April and November, you'll see the church from outside) built in Gothic style. Also, you will see the narrowest street in Romania, Rope Street, Schei and Catherine’s Gates, St. Nicholas Church, and the old Schei neighborhood.

Then, you will visit the famous Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s castle. It was a safeguard castle for the trade route that connected Transylvania and Wallachia, and it was built by the people of Brasov between 1377 – 1378. It represents in the consciousness of any tourist the dark residence of Prince Dracula, a fictional hero in the famous British Bram Stoker’s novel. In reality, Bran Castle is connected to Queen Marie of Romania. Her story is equally interesting with the one of Dracula, if not more interesting.

After a scenic drive, you will leave Transylvania, and you will stop in Sinaia to visit the most beautiful castle in Romania – Peles Castle (ground floor exhibition).

The Peles Castle*, built in two stages between 1875 and 1914. King Carol Ist and his wife, Queen Elisabeth, used the castle as their summer residence. You’ll visit the ground floor where you’ll be astonished by the overwhelming interiors, amazing stain-glass windows, paintings, some of them made by famous artists such as Gustav Klimt.

In the evening you’ll reach Bucharest, in time for the last Romanian dinner during this trip.

*Peles castle is closed on Mondays. Rasnov fortress or the Cantacuzino Castle from Busteni may be used as alternatives.

Overnight in Bucharest: 4-star hotel

Peles Castle, Sinaia

Day 12
BUCHAREST – OTOPENI AIRPORT (40min drive)

You’ll be transferred to the airport according to your flight schedule.

End of the tour

Price

€2341/person sharing a double room

Single Supplement: €315

Book for 3 persons and get a discount of 5%

Book for 4 or more persons and get a discount of 10%

Included:

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Transport by modern car
  • Accommodation according to the program
  • Breakfast
  • 2 homemade dinners in Maramures
  • Licensed English-speaking tour guide/driver
  • Entrance fees to sites included in the program
  • All taxes, parking fees, VAT

Not Included:

  • Flight ticket
  • Hotel extras (telephone, mini bar, etc.)
  • Other meals except for breakfast
  • Photographing or filming fees at the visited sites
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses

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