Vlad Tepes (the Impaler) vs Count Dracula
A Comprehensive Tour
Take your time to learn the history, discover the truth beyond the legends and see why Bram Stoker chose this mythic land for his novels.
Bucharest – The Old Princely Court, Targoviste – Chindia Tower and Princely Court, Poienari – The ruins of Vlad Tepes Citadel, Sibiu – Europe’ s Cultural Capital in 2007, Hunedoara – Huniazi Castle, Alba Iulia – The Ancient and Medieval citadels, Bistrita, Borgo Pass – places from a novel, Sighisoara – the birth place of Prince Vlad Tepes, Brasov, Bran Castle, Sinaia – Peles Royal Castle, Snagov Monastery – Prince’s burial place
DAY 1: Bucharest
Bucharest – transfer to the hotel, dinner and overnight (D)
DAY 2: Bucharest – Targoviste – Curtea de Arges – Sibiu (340km)
Bucharest – morning city tour including visit to the Old Princely Court ruins; Targoviste – visit Chindia Tower and the Princely Court ; Curtea de Arges Monastery; Poienari Castle; Olt valley; Sibiu. Overnight. (B, L)
DAY 3: Sibiu – Hunedoara – Deva (200km)
Sibiu – city tour of the medieval part of the city; Hunedoara – Huniazi Castle, overnight in Deva area (B, L)
DAY 4: Deva – Alba Iulia – Tihuta pass (340km)
Deva; Alba Iulia – Ancient and medieval citadels; Bistrita – The Golden Crown Inn is the place where Bram Stoker’s hero stopped for a special meal; Borgo Pass described by the Irish novelist is the actual Tihuta pass; overnight in Dracula Castle Hotel – a modern building with a medieval architecture where Count Dracula has surprises for the vistors ; (B, D)
DAY 5: Tihuta Pass – Sighisoara (200km)
Tihuta pass; Bicaz Gorges; Sighisoara medieval citadel – Clock Tower museum, the covered wooden stairs and the house where Vlad Tepes was born; overnight in Sighisoara (B, L)
DAY 6: Sighisoara – Brasov county (150km)
Sighisoara; Brasov – city tour including the Black Church and St. Nicholas Church; Bran Castle; overnight in Brasov county (B, D)
DAY 7: Brasov county – Snagov – Bucharest (170km)
Brasov; Sinaia – visit the exquisite Peles Royal Castle; Snagov island – Snagov Monastery , Vlad Tepes ‘s burial place; overnight in Bucharest (B, L)
DAY 8: Bucharest – departure
Bucharest – transfer from hotel to airport (B).
Vlad Tepes (the Impaler) vs Count Dracula – A Comprehensive Tour Features:
· 7 overnights at 3*, 4* hotels as specified
· Buffet Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner as per programme (3 course menu, mineral water, coffee)
· Entrance fees to the tourists sites as per the program
· Transportation throughout itinerary by car / minibus or motorcoach
· R/T airport transfers
· English speaking guide assistance throughout itinerary
· All local taxes are included (luggage handling is not included)
Price does not include:
· Air tickets, travel insurance, luggage handling, tipping
· 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, 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)
Romania is a country where history, religion, folk art and nature blend magically, creating one of the most sought-after destinations. Adding the legends to the already rich old Romanian history is a bonus, for those who dare venture to the mythical sites.
Vlad Tepes “the Impaler” could be one reason why you should choose to visit Romania.
Your tour logically starts in Bucharest, the 500 years old capital of Romania. 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.
Targoviste, a throne residence of Wallachia between 1396 – 1659 is 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.
Curtea de Arges was founded in the first decades of the 14th century by Wallachian Prince Radu Negru. The town replaced Campulung as capital city of Wallachia, hence the name of `Curtea` (The Court). 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.
The ruins of Poienari Castle are 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 the rulers of Wallachia. In the 15th century, realizing the potential of a fortress perched high on a steep precipice, Vlad the Impaler 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.
Sibiu, European Cultural Capital in 2007, is a beautiful addition to the medieval atmosphere. Even having a short time to take it in, you will fall in love with its narrow streets, large squares, cozy buildings.
Huniazi Castle, built in the 15th century, is the biggest medieval castle in Romania and it’s also considered one of the most haunted places of Europe. Vlad Tepes spent about 7 years here as a prisoner.
Alba Iulia, known in ancient time as Apulum, is 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.
The Borgo Pass is the border between Transylvania and Bucovina, with fantastic landscapes. Dracula Castle Hotel is situated on a 1116 m altitude with a marvellouss view over the Carpathian mountains. The hotel dates back to 1983, it is built in the style of a medieval mansion and it was meant to bring to life the authentic atmosphere surrounding Dracula’s character.
Sighisoara citadel, built by the Saxons in the 12th Century, rises above the town and is situated in the midst of Transylvania province. Sighisoara, the best preserved inhabited medieval citadel in Europe is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site; pay a visit to the Clock Tower Museum, climb the covered wooden steps to the the Church on 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 and a museum that keep 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.
A great tip: if you ever come to Romania in August, don’t miss the famous “Medieval Art and Theatre Festival” taking place in Sighisoara, where arts and crafts blend with rock music and stage plays.
Brasov is a medieval trading centre, the second largest city in Romania, strategically situated at the meeting point of the three Romanian principalities: Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania. You may visit the Black Church, so called because of a 1689 fire; drive slowly to old Schei District of Brasov, to visit St. Nicolas of Schei Church, built between 1518-1598, where you can see actual 16th century books and documents of great value, as well as the first printing machines.
Bran Castle, widely 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 later on turned into a museum and opened to visitors.
Peles Castle, situated in Sinaia mountain resort, is a masterpiece of German New-Renaissance architecture. 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.
Snagov Monastery is 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.