Enjoy Romania Tour with Daniel Gheorghita

Enjoy Romania Tour with Daniel - 15 days

Shared tour of Romania led by Rick Steves' tour guide in Transylvania. Group up to 6 persons

After almost 20 years of guiding around Romania tourists from many parts of the world, journalists, politicians, and regular people, Daniel Gheorghiță, Rick Steves' tour guide in Transylvania, designed the best 2-week tour of Romania. It's a tour with very few compromises, which takes care of the major attractions of Romania, but at the same time is focused on the authentic life, culture, and cuisine of the locals. On this tour of Romania, you will enjoy genuine experiences, meet interesting people, find out many stories, legends, and local superstitions. You'll visit the famous castles when it's the best time to be there; you'll take hidden paths in remote areas, you'll have time to admire and understand the country. It's like a lesson about Romania but in a fun and pleasant way. So join Daniel on our tour and fall in love with Romania!

Type: shared, cultural

Distance: 2700km / 1670mi

Country: Romania

Accommodation: 4-star hotels and B&Bs

Year: 2022

  • 2 April – 16 April
  • 2 July – 16 July
  • 27 August – 10 September

Year: 2023

  • 1 April – 15 April
  • 1 July – 15 July
  • 26 August – 9 September

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.

€3500/person

Single Supplement: €400

Book for 3 persons and get a discount of 10%

Book for 4 or more persons and get a discount of 15%

Highlights of the tour:

Regions

  • Wallachia
  • Transylvania
  • Maramures
  • Bucovina
  • Moldova

Cities

  • Bucharest
  • Sibiu
  • Alba Iulia
  • Medias
  • Cluj Napoca
  • Piatra Neamt
  • Brasov

Major Sights

  • The Parliament
  • Transfagarasan Highway
  • Corvin Castle
  • Merry Cemetery
  • Bicaz Gorge
  • Red Lake
  • Seven Ladders Canyon
  • Peles Castle
  • Bran Castle

UNESCO Attractions

  • Horezu Monastery
  • Surdesti Wooden Church
  • Moldovita Painted Church
  • Sucevita Painted Church
  • Voronet Painted Church
  • Sighisoara
  • Biertan fortified church
  • Viscri fortified church

Day 1, Saturday
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, Sunday
BUCHAREST – FULL DAY TOUR (1h drive)

The day starts with a tour of Bucharest. The capital of modern Romania since 1859, Bucharest is by far the largest city boasting a rich history, notable buildings, a vivid life, large green parks in the central area, a large number of restaurants, and many contrasts. Bucharest is a city of everything.

The tour will include the famous Revolution Square, where thousands of people end up with a 45-year vicious regime. Get to understand the communist horrors and sufferings an entire nation had to endure. Around Revolution Square, there are many impressive buildings such as The National Art Museum, The Kretzulescu Church, The Central Library University, and others. We’ll give you explanations about each one. You won’t leave this area before visiting The Romanian Athenaeum, the symbol of Bucharest.

In the old town, you’ll get to roam on its quaint little streets packed with restaurants, bars, buildings with outstanding architecture, and old inns.

The tour of Bucharest continues with the famous Parliament, also known as the House of People. Built at the request of Ceausescu, the former communist leader, the building became the most significant administrative construction of Europe.

After lunch, we’ll take you to the northern part of Bucharest. First, you’ll enjoy a driving tour. Then, you’ll admire the large and green boulevards, the impressive private houses, and several monuments such as the Aviators’ Statue or the local Arch of Triumph.

The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure.

Accommodation in Bucharest: 4-star hotel

Sights: Revolutiei Square, The Romanian Athenaeum, walking tour of the old town, The Parliament, panoramic tour of Bucharest.

Bucharest, Romania

Day 3, Monday
BUCHAREST – HOREZU (4h drive)

Leave Bucharest in the morning and head off to Horezu. 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. Unfortunately, the founder, Constantin Brancoveanu, had a tragic end, being executed by the Ottomans and his four sons and one son-in-law.

Horezu is the synonym for ceramics in Romania. It is here where you can admire the most beautiful traditional ceramics in Romania. In addition, you’ll get to visit a local potter who will show you the ancient technique of making ceramics.

In the afternoon, you’ll be in 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

Sights: Horezu Monastery (UNESCO), Horezu pottery, Maldaresti fortified mansions

Horezu Ceramic

Day 4, Tuesday
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 four 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, the route along the Olt Valley will replace Transfagarasan Highway).

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. We’ll take you to the old center; you’ll roam through its plazas, you’ll visit the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Cathedral. Next, we’ll show you the old medieval towers, bastions, and walls. Then, we’ll take you to 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 - en-suite rooms

Sights: Transfagarasan Highway, Balea Lake, Sibiu walking tour, the Town Hall Tower

The Large Square in Sibiu

Day 5, Wednesday

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

In the first part of the day, we’ll transfer you 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 exciting legends, and you’ll roam the halls of this impressive Gothic castle. But, more than that, you’ll be astonished to discover the actual place where Dracula was 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 stronghold 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 fortress known as Balgrad are now integrated into the Austrian citadel. Their ruins are part of the tour.

On the way back to Sibiu, you’ll take a detour to discover the hidden mountain villages. Admire the architecture and the landscape, meet the locals and observe the rural life.

Overnight in Sibiu – 4-star boutique hotel

Sights: Corvin Castle, Alba Iulia, mountain villages

Hunyadi Castle

Day 6, Thursday
SIBIU – MEDIAS (3h drive)

It’s time to hit the road and head to Medias, another medieval German town. Enjoy a walking tour in this little town, admire the most lined tower in Romania and visit the local church.

Leave behind the cities and once again enter the forgotten world of the Transylvanian villages, 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 beautiful houses boasting the purity of rural life. Then, continue up to the ruins of a 13th-century fortification and admire the villages surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains.

Overnight in a Transylvanian village – traditional Transylvanian estate
Sights: Medias citadel, 13-century ruins, walk around mountain villages

Transylvanian village

Day 7, Friday
CLUJ NAPOCA – SURDESTI – MARAMURES (4h30min)

The tour of Romania continues with an easy hike in the beautiful Turda Gorge. Admire the wonders of nature, go along the river which constantly cuts the mountain, and enjoy the fresh air.

Cluj Napoca is the largest city in Transylvania. Cluj Napoca is an ideal stop for a walking tour with a long history, diverse community, and exciting attractions. You’ll get to know the old town located between the Orthodox Cathedral and the Catholic one.

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

You’ll arrive at your final destination, a traditional guest house located near Sighetu Marmatiei. Finally, you’ll be in time for a fantastic homemade dinner.

Overnight in Maramures: traditional guesthouse, private bathroom

Sights: Turda Gorge, Bontida Estate, the UNESCO site of Surdesti

Surdesti Church

Day 8, Saturday
MARAMURES DAY-TOUR (2h)

In the morning we’ll take you to a local market to see the farmers selling their products. The cheese market is a must. Further on, we’ll change the register dramatically. Finally, we’ll take you to the Memorial of the Anti-communist Victims from Sighetu Marmatiei. Probably this is a vital museum a Romanian should visit. This former political prison is the place 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 potent plum brandy.

Overnight in Maramures: traditional guesthouse, private bathroom

Sights: the local market, the Memorial, the Merry Cemetery, the Peri Convent, the walking tour in the village

Rural life in Maramures

Day 9, Sunday
MARAMURES – BARSANA – BUCOVINA   (5h30min)

The village of Barsana is known for several tourist attractions. However, you’ll be meeting a local carver who is happy all the time to greet his guests. Discover this wonderful craft and admire his works, from wooden spoons or chains to massive 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 a 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 a fantastic garden and an incredible rural landscape.

It’s time to enter Bucovina, the historical region known for the painted churches, gentle slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, and great food. 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. As a result, it boasts the best-preserved “Siege of Constantinople” fresco. 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 center of black ceramic 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

Sights: local carver (subject of availability), Barsana Convent, the painted monasteries of Moldovita and Sucevita (UNESCO)

Sucevita Monastery

Day 10, Monday
BUCOVINA – VORONET – BICAZ – SAXON VILLAGE

Today the journey is long but impressive.

Voronet convent is the first attraction of the day. 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.

You’ll stay in the manor house. Prepare yourself to step back in time…

Accommodation in Transylvanian village: superior estate

Sights: the Voronet painted church (UNESCO), Bicaz Gorge, the Red Lake

The Red Lake

Day 11, Tuesday
SIGHISOARA - BIERTAN (2h drive)

The tour of Romania continues with Biertan, another attraction part of the World Heritage. Built by the local German colonists, Biertan boasts one of the most beautiful fortified churches in Romania. It is here where you can find out more about the matrimonial prison, funny frescoes, and impressive doors.

It’s time to discover Sighisoara, one of the best-preserved medieval German towns in Transylvania. With a history of 1000 years, Sighisoara, a UNESCO site, boasts medieval towers, churches built on hills, old houses, and quaint cobblestone streets. You’ll roam the citadel and you’ll visit the Clock Tower from where you can have a great view of the citadel.

In the afternoon you’ll enjoy a stroll through the Saxon villages and then another great homemade dinner.

Accommodation in Transylvanian village: superior estate

Sights: Sighisoara medieval town (UNESCO), Biertan fortified church (UNESCO), stroll in a Saxon village

Sighisoara medieval citadel

Day 12, Wednesday
VISCRI - SZEKELYLAND - BRASOV (4h drive)

Viscri, a stunning UNESCO site, is the first visit of the day. The fortified church, one of the oldest in Transylvania, is located in an idyllic village that made even Prince Charles of Great Britain purchase an old traditional house. Admire the architecture of the local houses and visit the old fortified church. Then, if you are brave enough, you could climb the steep ladders of the main tower and admire the rural landscape.

One of the best-preserved rural areas in Romania is the one where the Hungarian minority lives. It is known as the Szekely Land or Szeklerland. We will show you the life and the traditions of the Hungarians from Romania. 

You are going to visit the local charcoal makers. An old occupation, the making of charcoal, is one of the most challenging jobs. Get to understand how the wood is transformed into charcoal and discover the hard life of the people involved in this activity.

It’s time for a beautiful walk in the forest along a small river. Enjoy the wonders of nature, the remote hiking trails, and the clean air.

The tour of Romania continues with a visit to a wooden watermill, more than 150 years old. Even today, the locals come here for their wheat flour. Meet the owner of the watermill and see how this old machinery still works.

In the afternoon, you will reach the medieval town of Brasov, where you will spend the next two nights.

Accommodation in Brasov: 4-star boutique hotel

Sights: Viscri village, Viscri fortified church (UNESCO),  the charcoal makers, easy hike in a local gorge, local watermill, Hungarian villages

Szekelyland

Day 13, Thursday
BRASOV - CARPATHIAN VILLAGES - BRASOV (2h drive)

In the morning 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; it was built by the people of Brasov between 1377 – 1378. It represents for many tourists 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 attractive with the one of Dracula, if not more interesting.

Then, it’s time to enjoy the Carpathia Mountains. Get an easy hike, admire the beautiful gorges near Brasov, take a leisurely walk/hike, and discover the hidden villages. 

In the afternoon you will enjoy a short walking tour of the old town of Brasov. You’ll admire the beautiful buildings like the Black Church, which is 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.

Accommodation in Brasov: 4-star boutique hotel

Sights: Bran Castle, easy hike in the Carpathian Mountains, Brasov walking tour, the Black Church

Bran Castle

Day 14, Friday
BRASOV - SINAIA - BUCHAREST (4h drive)

Near Brasov lies the beautiful 7 Ladders Canyon. For about one hour will take a walk along the gentle river. Then, for those who can, you can feel some adrenaline climbing through the canyon on some metal ladders while the waterfall goes down right next to you.

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

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

On the way to Bucharest, you’ll take a detour to the vineyards of Romania for a special wine tasting and farewell dinner.

In the evening you’ll reach Bucharest.

Accommodation in Bucharest: 4-star hotel.

Sights: walking tour of Brasov, Bran Castle, Peles Castle (standard tour – ground floor exhibition)

Peles Castle

Day 15, Saturday
BUCHAREST – OTOPENI AIRPORT (40min drive)

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

End of the tour

Price

€3274/person

Single Supplement: €320

Book for 3 persons and get a discount of 10%

Book for 4 or more persons and get a discount of 15%

Included:

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Transport by modern car
  • Accommodation according to the program
  • Breakfast each morning
  • 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.)
  • Drinks (other than water)
  • Other meals than listed
  • Photographing or filming fees at the visited sites
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses

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