The “Enjoy Romania Tour” begins in the medieval town of Brasov and continues through the rural area of the former German villages and medieval towns. You’ll admire the remote villages from Viscri and Biertan or the medieval towns of Sighisoara and Sibiu. The tour reaches the northern part of Romania passing through Maramures and Bucovina and then goes down in the south, stopping for the famous castles of Bran and Sinaia. In the end you’ll reach Bucharest.
The tour will start in front of your hotel from Brasov at 9AM.
It’s time to discover the forgotten world of the former Saxon villages. On the way to Sighisoara we’ll make a detour to the remote village of Viscri, a great UNESCO site. There is no asphalt in Viscri, just two or three dirt roads, the main one being quite wide. It also serves as a thoroughfare for cows heading out to pasture. This road is lined on both sides with beautiful and unique houses, built in the Saxon style. They stand there like immortal soldiers of the past, telling of a medieval history. To all of this, add one of the oldest fortified churches of Transylvania. Located on a hill at the outskirts of the village, this 16th-century fortified church still stands tall and proud.
The tour continues with Sighisoara, another UNESCO site in Transylvania. Built by the Germans about 800 years ago, the medieval citadel of Sighisoara looks like a perfect postcard. It is the best preserved citadel in Romania, a stunning combination of cobblestone streets, medieval walls, massive watch towers and old architecture. Add to these the House of Vlad Dracul, allegedly the birth place of Dracula. You’ll visit the Clock Tower, the symbol of Sighisoara, and the Church on the Hill, one of the oldest buildings of the citadel.
Overnight in Sighisoara
Day 2 SIGHISOARA – BIERTAN – SIBIU
In the morning you’ll set off for Sibiu. On the way you’ll make a detour for the UNESCO site of Biertan. Located in a beautiful rural area of Transylvania, the castle-church of Biertan is perched on a hill surrounded by old Saxon houses which preserve the medieval atmosphere. You’ll enjoy a tour of the fortress and church, where you’ll learn the history of this place as well as hear some funny stories.
In the second part of the day you’ll enjoy a walking tour of Sibiu. Hermanstadt, to use its German name, was founded by Saxon colonists about 800 years ago. In a short time, Sibiu became one of the most important cities of Transylvania. Sibiu boasts several medieval squares, including the Great Square (Piata Mare) which is the largest of its kind in Romania. It is surrounded by old houses, impressive palaces such as the Brukenthal Palace, and by religious constructions including the Catholic Cathedral. The tour of Sibiu continues with the other squares, the oldest cobblestone streets, and you’ll find out more about the legend which surrounds the Bridge of Lies. The tour of Sibiu ends with the Evangelical Cathedral and the former medieval towers.
Overnight in Sibiu
Day 3 SIBIU – ALBA IULIA – TURDA – CLUJ NAPOCA
In the morning you’ll reach the city of Alba Iulia, a former capital of Transylvania. Alba Iulia is a great Vauban fortification. It was the capital of Transylvania between 1541 and 1690. In the first part of the 18th century the Austrian Empire transformed Alba Iulia into one of the best defended citadels of the region. Several of the gates have been very well preserved, the third gate being a real masterpiece.
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 its interesting history, impressive size, underground lake and long corridors, the salt mine boasts a fantastic game of lights.
In the afternoon you’ll arrive in Cluj Napoca, the largest and most developed city in Transylvania. Cluj Napoca is one of the oldest settlements in the country. Although the town has been inhabited since pre-Roman times, it was incorporated as a city for the first time only in 1213. You’ll take a stroll around the streets and you’ll admire the most important squares and the architecture of the old town.
The tour of Romania now takes you to a new region of the country. Maramures is known for its wooden churches, several UNESCO sites, hospitable people, unspoiled rural areas, great food, and its colorful traditional costumes.
You’ll stop in Surdesti, a village known especially for its wooden church, a fine example of the local architecture, a magnificent UNESCO site, a wonderful little village.
Probably the most famous tourist attraction in Maramures is the Merry Cemetery. The story started in the 1930s when a local traditional wood carver decided to carve crosses representing the dead during their lifetimes. To the beautiful carvings, epitaphs were added, some of them funny, others quite tragic, all painted in the bright.
In the same village you’ll visit the highest wooden structure in the world: the convent of Peri, built for the first time more than 600 years ago and rebuilt in 2003.
In the afternoon you’ll discover the hidden gems of Vadu Izei. Every tour of Maramures should include a visit to a local distillery where the locals make their famous strong tzuica. Maramures boasts many traditional washing wooden installations located along the rivers. Even today, the people of Maramures still come to wash their carpets as they did hundreds of years ago.
The day ends with a wonderful home-made dinner.
Ovenight in Vadu Izei
Day 5 VADU IZEI – BARSANA – MOLDOVITA – SUCEVITA
In the morning we’ll continue our Romania tour in Barsana, a village located along the river Iza. Here you will meet one of the most charismatic craftsmen in Romania. A master woodcarver will show you the wide range of his works, from traditional spoons to traditional wooden houses and gates.
In the same village you’ll make your last stop in Maramures. You’ll be visiting the most impressive wooden convent in Romania. Built more than 600 years ago, this religious complex was rebuilt in 1993 and during the years which followed. You’ll admire the tall and slender silhouette of the church, the stunning wooden buildings, the fine wooden art, and the lovely gardens.
Driving through the beautiful green slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, you’ll reach Bucovina, one of the historical regions of Romania. You’ll pass through the Borgo Pass, made famous by Bram Stoker in his novel “Dracula.”
The tour of Bucovina includes several painted churches, all of them UNESCO sites. We will beginning with the convent in Moldovita. You’ll receive explanations about the frescoes and why they were painted on the exterior walls more than 400 years ago.
The last journey takes you through the gentle mountains of Bucovina. At the end you’ll reach Sucevita, known for its stunning painted church, the most impressive and the best preserved of all the painted churches. This religious complex, which looks more like a fortress, is set in a beautiful valley surrounded by green mountains. You’ll spend the night in this wonderful setting.
Overnight in Sucevita
Day 6 SUCEVITA – VORONET – BICAZ – SZEKLERLAND
Our tour of Romania continues with Marginea, a village famous for its traditional black pottery. You’ll see how the pots are made, talk with the potters, and perhaps even take home a unique souvenir.
The convent of Voronet will be the last stop in Bucovina. Voronet is known for its extraordinary painted church. Built in 1448 by the most famous prince of Moldova, the church is known for its unique blue color and for the stunning “Last Judgment” fresco. Painted on an entire wall, the fresco depicts in five horizontal registers the fantastic religious beliefs of the 16th century.
Now we are going to cross the mountains back into Transylvania. On the way we’ll pass through the Bicaz Gorge where nature shows her full splendor. Tall cliffs flank the narrow road, while the river gushes through the gorge. Not far from the gorge lies the Red Lake, a strange attraction with wooden stumps which are still visible in the lake even after hundreds of years after the valley had been completely flooded.
In the afternoon we’ll reach the Szekely region, where the core of the Hungarian minority has lived around 1000 years. We’ll reach a remote Hungarian village where you’ll enjoy a delicious typical dinner in a mansion originally built by an important noble Hungarian family.
Accommodation in Szeklerland
Day 7 SZEKLERLAND – BRAN – SINAIA – BUCHAREST
The famous castle of Bran is the most visited tourist landmark in Romania. Built about 800 years ago when Transylvania was controlled by Hungarian kings, the castle became a major attraction in the ’60s when it became known as “Dracula’s Castle.” You’ll get to admire its beautiful rooms renovated by Queen Marie of Romania and you’ll be told the story of Dracula.
Next, you’ll be crossing the mountains in order to reach Sinaia, a beautiful resort in Romania. Here you’ll get to see the local monastery, the oldest building in the town. Further on, you’ll be literally overwhelmed by the splendor of Peles Castle*. Built at the request of Carol I, the first king of Romania, Peles castle is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Europe. The amazing architecture and exquisite interiors are matched only by the beauty of its setting in the Carpathians.
In the afternoon you’ll reach the city of Bucharest where you’ll enjoy a panoramic tour.
* Peles Castle is closed on Mondays between May 16th and September 15th. For the rest of the year it is closed on both Mondays and Tuesdays. Each year the castle is closed for the entire month of November. Pelisor Castle or the Cantacuzino Castle in Busteni may be used as alternatives.
Overnight in Bucharest
Day 8 BUCHAREST – AIRPORT
Today you’ll be transferred to the airport according to your schedule.
End of the tour
Airport/hotel pick-up and drop-off
Transport by modern car
Accommodation for 7 nights in 4/3-star hotels and superior B&Bs
Two traditional home-made dinners
Licensed English-speaking tour guide/driver
Entrance fees to sites included in the program
Hotel extras (telephone, mini bar, etc)
Drinks (other than water)
Other meals except breakfast
Photographing or filming fees at the visited sites
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