Romania’s facets in detail
A friendly approach of a marvellous land
Take in the tales, feel the history, listen to the music, perceive the colours, sample the traditional tastes, enjoy the ever changing scenery and you’ll find out that this old land with its people charmed your soul and enriched your knowledge.
DAY 1: Bucharest
Arrival transfer from airport to the hotel in Bucharest. Welcome dinner and overnight. (D)
DAY 2: Bucharest
Breakfast. Start your venture into Romania’ s history with a full day sightseeing tour of Bucharest, the five-century-old capital of Romania. Drive by the Romanian Athenaeum, the former Royal Palace, the Town Hall, the Opera House, the Military Academy. Vist the Cotroceni Palace – now the Presidential palace, the Palace of Parliament – the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon in Washington. Short stop for a visit to the Metropolitan Church. Light lunch. Afternoon visit of the Old Princely Court ruins. The oldest document attesting the city’s origin under the name of Bucuresti was discovered in the Old Court Museum area; it was issued on September 20, 1459 and signed by Prince Vlad Tepes. Drive by the University Square and the Arch of Triumph, then stop to visit the Village and Folk Art Museum – to have a sample of the traditional life from allover the country. Late afternoon and evening at leisure. Overnight in Bucharest. (B, L)
DAY 3: Bucharest – Targoviste – Olanesti area
Breakfast. Morning departure to Targoviste, a throne residence of Wallachia between 1396–1659, known for the Princely Court (14th -17th centuries) and for the Chindia Watch Tower, dating from the 15th century, built during the reign of Vlad Tepes.
A short drive will take you to Curtea de Arges, founded in the first decades of the 14th century by Wallachian Prince Radu Negru. A stunning arhitectural gem is the 14th century Curtea de Arges Monastery, with its two towers spiralling in opposite directions. The monastery is the resting place for two of the Romanian Kings and their wives: King Carol I and King Ferdinand I.
Next stop are the ruins of Poienari Castle; a real challenge for the visitors. The castle is located on a cliff on a canyon formed by the Argeş River valley. It was built around the 13th century by Wallachia’s rulers. In the 15th century, realizing the potential of a fortress perched high on a steep precipice, Vlad Tepes consolidated the structure. Due to its size and location, control of the castle was difficult to take. To reach the castle, visitors need to climb about 1,480 steps.
After a winding drive you’ll pass the border to a new region of Romania, called Oltenia. Dinner and overnight in Ramnicu Valcea/ Olanesti Spa area. (B, D)
DAY 4: Olanesti area – Horezu – Sibiu
Breakfast. This morning we invite you to discover Horezu Monastery, one of the 25 Romanian sites included in UNESCO World Heritage, built in the 17th century by Prince Constantin Brancoveanu, The nearby Horezu Village is one of the biggest and famous pottery centre in the country. Its fame crossed the borders of the country and people from all over Europe come here to buy the beautiful Horezu ceramic. Another two magnificient natural wonders in the area – Oltet Gorges and Woman’s Cave are on your itinerary. Woman’s Cave, the first electrified cave in Romania, has a unique history, a mix of different legends, myths and scientific discoveries. For example, in one of the galleries, known as Bears’ Gallery, an ancient unusual ‘cemetery’ was unveiled. More precisely, there were skeletons of dozens of wild animals, such as bears, wolves, foxes or deer. The name of the cave is related to a legend which points out the centuries of harsh battles between Romanians and Ottomans. During those battles, the women, children and elderly people took refuge to the cave, while men fought against the Ottomans. According to another legend, some of the cave’s galleries have mysterious healing powers.
Departure to Sibiu, Europe’ s Cultural Capital in 2007. Late afternoon arrival in Sibiu for overnight. (B, L)
DAY 5: Sibiu – Huniazi Castle – Deva
Breakfast. Walking tour of the old part of the city, with its narrow streets, pass across Liars Bridge, visit the Evangelic Cathedral and the Catholic Church and find out that this is an old citadel built by Saxons, where history, art and folklore blend to the tourists’ delight. Late morning departure to Sibiel village, to see the renowned collection of handmade glass icons, and to enjoy a late lunch at a peasant house. Leave Sibiel and head West, to an area abundant in old citadels, almost all UNESCO heritage sites. Visit the imposing Huniazi Castle, dating back to the 14th Century, a beautiful gothic construction, well kept, the place where Vlad Tepes (the Impaller) was imprisoned for 7 years. Overnight in Deva area. (B, L)
DAY 6: Deva – Turda – Cluj Napoca
Breakfast. Morning departure to Alba Iulia, known in ancient time as Apulum, one of the oldest settlements in Romania; Alba Iulia was the largest commercial centre during the Roman occupation and became an impressive Habsburg citadel. Nowadays, Alba Iulia is worth visiting not only for the restored ancient citadel, but also for the Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Batthyaneum Library, the Orthodox Cathedral of the Reunification, the National Museum of Unification, the Union Hall, the Apor Palace, the Princely Palace, and the University of Alba Iulia. About noon leave to Cluj-Napoca with stop over in Turda for visiting the ancient Salt Mine, a real history museum of Salt exploitation, prepared for touristic use and thanks to an impressive renovation, a site for treatment for allergies and asthma using the caves ionized air, pressure and humidity. The old mining equipment and galleries has been converted to lead visitors through on tours. A panoramic wheel, a bowling track and other playing grounds, a small lake with boats in the mine are just some of the attractions. Overnight in Cluj-Napoca. (B, L)
DAY 7: Cluj Napoca – Maramures region
Breakfast. Morning sightseeing tour of Cluj-Napoca city, the Roman settlement Napoca, being first recorded on a milestone discovered in 1758 in the vicinity of the city. Visit the Orthodox and the Catholic Cathedrals.
Continue North to Maramures, a special area where traditions are still alive; the houses with a specific architecture, the carved wooden gates and fences, the colorful folk costumes worn especially on Sundays and other celebrations. Visit the unique Merry Cemetery in Sapanta village and the Museum of Arrested Thought, one of the most oppressive prisons in the country during the communist years, site of torture and starvation of numerous members of Romania’s intellectual , religious and political elite during the 1950s. Stop en route vor visiting a couple of wooden Churches of Maramures, also included in the UNESCO Heritage.
Overnight in Maramures region (B, L)
DAY 8: Maramures region – Bucovina region
Breakfast. Today, a morning ride through the villages of this remote region will have you on the tracks of Bram Stocker’s hero of “Dracula”, passing by fairytale scenery to the novel’s Borgo Pass, actualy Tihuta pass, where the literary castle would be located. Enjoy lunch at a hotel, built castle style, surrounded by a magnificent landscape, where a specific Dracula meal is on the menu. Late afternoon reach Bukovina, land of the painted monasteries, most of them included in the same UNESCO Heritage. Ovenight in Bukovina area. (B, L)
Day 9: Bucovina region
Breakfast. The Painted Churches of Bucovina are some of the most valuable treasures of Romania. With their painted exterior walls, decorated with 15-16th century elaborate frescoes (featuring portraits of saints and prophets, scenes from the life of Jesus, angels and demons, heaven and hell), deemed as masterpieces of Byzantine art, these churches are one-of-a-kind architectural sites in Europe. The purpose of the frescoes was to make the story of the Bible and the lives of the most important saints known to the villagers, by use of images. The best preserved frescoes can be seen at the monasteries in Humor, Moldovita, Patrauti, Probota, Suceava, Sucevita, Voronet and Arbore. Visit Sucevita and Moldovita Monasteries, Voronet Monastery, Putna Monastery with Stefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great) tomb while being in the area. You may also want to explore Marginea Village renowed for its black pottery workshops. Have lunch at a local restaurant and taste the full of flavours Moldavian cuisine. Overnight in Bucovina area. (B, L)
DAY 10: Bucovina region – Sighisoara
Breakfast. Begin your day heading South visiting Agapia Monastery. Then ride West, crossing the Eastern Carpathians through Bicaz Gorges. Stop over in Red Lake, the biggest natural dam lake in Romania. It is relatively young, dating back to July 1837. Ucigasu Mount collapsed, after a series of storms and heavy rains, creating a natural dam into the Licas Creek. In the following years the water took the shape of lake, the Red Lake.
In the late afternoon arriving in Sighisoara for overnight. (B, L)
DAY 11: Sighisoara – Brasov county
Breakfast. Start with a tour of the 10 century old citadel of Sighisoara; pay a visit to the Clock Tower Museum, climb the covered wooden steps to the hill, take a peek to Vlad Dracula’s House, where Prince Vlad Tepes (“the Impaler”), nicknamed Dracula, was born. The house has been turned into a restaurant like a museum that preserves the old atmosphere. Passing through the town’s narrow streets with original architecture, cobbled alleys, steep stairways, secluded squares and towers, is like stepping back in time.
Head South through scenic saxon villages and old forests. Late afternoon arrival in Brasov, a mediaeval city, namely the second largest one in Romania. Sightseeing tour of Brasov, considered the chief tourist area of Romania: the Black Church, with its imposing Gothic architecture, St.Nicolas of Schei Church, built between 1518-1598, here you can see 16th century books and documents of great value, as well as the first printing machines. Stroll on your own in the main square and the nearby streets with attractive Saxon architecture, boutiques and small restaurants. Hotel Check in in order to get ready for a special dinner. Enjoy the flavours of the Romanian cuisine, of the folk music and the atmosphere of local traditional decorations. Overnight in Brasov or Poiana Brasov mountain resort. (B, D)
DAY 12: Brasov county – Snagov – Bucharest
Breakfast. Morning departure to Bran castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, built at the beginning of the 13th century by Knight Dietrich of the Teutonic Order. Mainly used as a fortress, to protect the commercial route to Transylvania, then used by the Royal Family, it was turned into a museum and opened to visitors. Driving southwards, stop in Sinaia mountain resort, to admire a masterpiece of German New-Renaissance style – the Peles Castle. Former summer residence of the Royal Family, it is now one of Romania’s most beautiful museums, displaying priceless collections of weaponry, hand woven silk rugs and furniture, ceramics and sculptures. Since Romania is a renowed vine yard country a wine tasting before lunch awaits for you at a native style house. Continue South to Snagov Monastery, located on an island in the northern part of Snagov Lake, some 38 km from Bucharest. It was built by Mircea the Old (grandfather of Vlad Tepes), who attested the church in 1408. The monastery was rebuilt by Vlad the Impaler and some other rulers of Wallachia and is the supposed resting place of Vlad Tepes. Overnight in Bucharest (B, L)
DAY 13: Bucharest – departure
Breakfast. Departure transfer to the airport.
· Accommodation: 12 night’s at selected 3*+, 4* hotels
· Buffet Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner as per program (3 course menu, mineral water)
· Entrance fees to the tourists sites as per program
· Transportation throughout itinerary by car / minibus/bus
· R/T airport transfers
· English speaking guide assistance throughout itinerary
· All local taxes (luggage handling is not included)
Price does not include:
· Air tickets, travel insurance, luggage handling, tipping
· Health insurance
· Photo & Video taxes and permissions where necessary
· Any meals and drinks not included in the programme
· Any items of personal belonging such as laundry, mini bar, phone, fax, room service, etc.
Note: – Museums are closed on Mondays
– Peles Castle is closed on Mondays (winter time closed also on Tuesdays))
– The Black Church is closed on Mondays (short program on Sundays)