Highlights of Romania
Discover several regions of Romania learning about their history and culture along the way. During this trip you will be immerses in Romanian life, experiencing traditional food and meeting local craftsmen. Visit this less-explored, fascinating country before everyone catches on to its charm and beauty!
- Visit Bran Castle, made famous by the legends of Dracula
- Experience local life in Romanian villages
- Watch local craftsmen making their products
- Discover the beautiful landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains
- Medieval heritage and UNESCO sites of Sighisoara, Sibiu, Viscri
The trip starts in Cluj Napoca. Depending on your arrival time, you will have time to explore one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in Romania. During the dualist Austro-Hungarian period Cluj experienced significant urban development, benefiting greatly from western influences. This is visible in the architecture of the city, making it very different from Bucharest. Meals: (none)
This morning we leave Cluj behind and make our way towards Maramures. The woodwork in this region is a result of a secular tradition, which will fascinate you, passed down from generation to generation it is now a perfectly mastered skill. Today we will stop for lunch at a trout-farm at the foot of Gutin mountains, the “old guardians” of Maramures. You’ll be surrounded by fresh, crisp air, traditional architecture and a man-made waterfall. In the afternoon we visit centuries‑old wooden churches, registered on the UNESCO world heritage list.
This evening we will stay in the rural village of Botiza at a local guesthouse. Before we dine there, we’ll have a weaving demonstration, another ancient craft. One of the local ladies will show you this art. You’ll notice a few recurrent symbols, such as the rope of life, the sun, vegetal motifs, folk dances etc. All these have deep meanings for the villagers: daily life chores, religion, ancestral beliefs and even death. Meals: (B, D)
We continue discovering the Maramures region. We start with “the Memorial of the Communism victims” in the ancient capital of Maramures; Sighetu Marmatiei. We will visit a museum situated in the former political prison, which will give you a sad testimony of the Romanian dark years. This afternoon we visit the incredible Barsana Monastery, a convent set up in the 1990s, it is one of the greatest masterpieces of Maramures crafts. We conclude today by paying a visit to a renowned craftsman, famous for his woodwork. Meals: (B, L, D)
Today we leave Maramures to explore new regions in Romania. We head south for Sighisoara. This medieval citadel, one of the best-preserved in Europe, will give you the feeling of travelling back in time, as you walk through the narrow cobbled streets. This fortified town is characterized by the presence of towers that were formerly managed by the congregations of artisans. The Tailor’s tower is a real wonder of the medieval architecture. Meals: (B)
Today we drive into the heart of Transylvania with its fortified churches. From the top of the towers, you will have beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and colourful traditional houses. We will drive through Biertan, famous for its double-wall fortification, which is listed as UNESCO World Heritage site. Lunch will be taken at a local family-owned restaurant. In the evening we will arrive in Sibiu, the most beautiful city of Transylvania, a medieval city outstandingly well preserved and restored. Its unique architectural style and the atmosphere in this city, elected the European capital of the culture in 2007, will definitely seduce you. Meals: (B, L)
We continue driving through the highest mountains in Romania, the Fagaras Mountains. On our way we will visit the impressive ruins of a 12th century Franciscan monastery in Carta, then stop at Sambata de Sus, the only monastery in Transylvania built in a Walachian style. Here, we will have lunch at a traditional guesthouse. This afternoon we will continue to the Valtori complex in the village of Lisa, a wool processing workshop powered by hydraulic energy; a technique passed down for generations. In the evening we arrive in the secluded village of Viscri. Our last activity of the day is visiting the tiny charming fortified church of Viscri, which is definitely one of the Transylvanian “pearls”. This church was restored with the help of Prince’s Charles Foundation. Meals: (B, L, D)
In the morning, we’ll have a pleasant walk through the village, visiting two craftsmen along the way: the brick-maker and the blacksmith. Besides assisting the needs of the villages, they also have contributed to the restoration of the village. Leaving Viscri, we go to Brasov. This city (Kronstadt in German) was founded in the 13th century when the Teutonic Knights were sent here by the order of Andrew II of Hungary to fortify the border. The city has a rich Saxon, Hungarian and Romanian heritage, manifested in a lot of sights worth visiting; The White and the Black Towers, the Black Church, the Council House, St. Nicholas Church, the first Romanian school, narrow streets and colored houses, all very well preserved within the old city walls and towers. This evening we stay in the small village called Vulcan, we will enjoy dinner at the local Saxon church where we will also spend the night. Meals: (B, D)
Today we visit Bran Castle, better known as “Dracula’s Castle”. For many years the castle was home to Queen Marie of Romania, Queen Victoria of England’s granddaughter. We will have lunch at a mountain guesthouse, at the foot of the Carpathians: delicious traditional dishes will be waiting for us. We continue driving to Rasnov, a citadel built in the 13th century in order to protect Transylvania from the Turkish attacks. It is built on the top of a hill and offers an impressive overall view on the surroundings. We’ll end the day with a great dinner and a campfire. Meals: (B, L, D)
Optional: Those interested can do bear watching with specialized guides in bear hides. Available upon request at a separate cost.
Today we head to Romania’s capital, Bucharest. On our way, we will stop and visit the exterior of Peles Castle, the former residence of the Romanian Royals and one of the most beautiful architectural examples. We then continue our drive to discover the Romanian capital. Sometimes known as “the Eastern Paris” with a mix of 18th and 19th century buildings, socialist “blocks”, and modern buildings. We will have the opportunity to visit the gigantic Palace of Parliament, the second biggest building in the world. This evening we say goodbye to our local guide. Meals: (B)
After breakfast, the rest of the day is free (depending on your flight time). Meals: (B)
- Accommodation for 4 nights in standard hotels and 5 nights in guesthouses
- 10 days of touring by air-conditioned bus or mini-bus
- Services of a tour leader throughout
- Meals: breakfast (except day 1), 4 picnic lunches, 5 dinners
- All transport and listed activities
- International airfare
- Gratuities to driver and guides
- Optional tours and entrance fees not listed
- Travel insurance
- Passport and visa fees, vaccinations if required
Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.