Arrival at the Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport, where you will be met by your tour guide and transferred to your centrally-located boutique hotel in Bucharest. In the late afternoon discover the Old Town of Bucharest, have a relaxed dinner, while your guide introduces you to Romania.
Day 2: Bucharest.
Buffet breakfast. In the morning leave Bucharest and drive to Curtea de Arges, a former capital city of the medieval Romanian state of Wallachia. Visit the impressive monastery, one of the architectural jewels of Romania. It was built at the beginning of the 16th century and features amazing stone decorations. Two Royal couples are buried in the church: King Carol I and Queen Elisabeth and King Ferdinand and Queen Mary. In the afternoon drive on one of the most spectacular roads in Europe: the Transfagarasan Road, crossing the Southern Carpathian mountains. The road reaches 2000 meters, offering views of the highest mountains in Romania. In the late afternoon you will reach the Transylvanian town of Sibiu, the cultural capital of Europe in 2007. Accommodation in a centrally-located boutique hotel.
Day 3: Bucharest - Sibiu.
Buffet breakfast. On a walking tour discover the Old Town of Sibiu. The old part of the city is incredibly well preserved, a combination of medieval and Baroque elements, dating back to the period when the city was under Hapsburg rule. Visit the Big marketplace, where the richest and most influential citizens of the city used to live. Here you can admire also the 18th century Catholic church built at the time of Hapsburg Empress Maria Theresa, the town-hall and visit the excellent Bruckenthal Arts Museum, housed in the former 18th century palace of Transylvania’s Governor Samuel von Bruckenthal. Continue to the Small Marketplace, where the different guild of the city used to sell their products and walk on the famous Liar’s Bridge. The afternoon is at leisure so that you can discover more of Sibiu on your own. In the evening you are invited for dinner to the small shepherds’ village of Sibiel where you can taste some delicious Romanian specialties. Accommodation in Sibiu.
Day 4: Sibiu - Sighisoara.
Buffet Breakfast. In the morning depart Sibiu and drive to the small town of Medias. In the Middle Ages it was a fortified town and parts of the city walls and tower are still intact. Meet a member of the Saxon community and talk about the exodus of the German population of Transylvania. Visit together also the impressive Lutheran church. Drive further to the small village of Brateiu, where you will have a unique opportunity to meet members of the traditional Gypsy community. The Gypsies living here are the Kalderash Roma, proud and excellent coppersmiths. Watch them at work and learn about their traditions and history since they left India 1000 years ago! Continue your tour to Biertan, one of the most enchanting villages of Transylvania. The fortified church is also the most impressive of the region, with 3 surrounding defense walls and defense towers. Biertan was also declared an UNESCO Heritage Site. In the afternoon you will arrive in Sighisoara, one of Europe’s last inhabited medieval citadels. Your hotel lies in the heart of the citadel! On a walking tour discover centuries of history. Visit the Clock Tower, the Weapons Museum and the Torture Chamber and admire the towers and bastions of different guilds, the Venetian House, the Antler’s House, the birth- house of Vlad the Impaler and walk through the Wooden Staircase to the highest point of the citadel. Accommodation in a beautifully restored 500-years old house in the heart of the citadel.
Day 5: Sighisoara - Cluj.
Buffet breakfast. After breakfast we will drive to the multi-ethnic city of Targu Mures in central Transylvania. Visit the great Palace of Culture, a building erected between 1911 and 1913. Very impressive is the Mirrors Hall inside with its 3 big crystal mirrors and the 12 stained glass windows. Learn more about the relation between the many nations living together in Transylvania for the past few centuries. In the afternoon arrive in Cluj, the biggest Transylvanian town and one of the most important university centres of the country. Have a walking tour of the city, which saw a rapid development in the last few years. Learn more about the greatest Hungarian king, Mathias Corvinus, who was born in Cluj in the 15th century. An impressive statue on the main marketplace shows him together with his closest collaborators. The Roman-Catholic church next to it dates back to the 14th century. Accommodation in a centrally-located boutique hotel.
Day 6: Cluj - Maramures.
Buffet breakfast. Today we will reach the beautiful traditional region of Maramures. It is a very special region and many ancient traditions are here still alive. Many craftsmen, like woodcarvers, potters and carpet makers and are still active in the region. Maramures is also renowned for its magnificent wooden churches from the 18th centuries, some of them UNESCO World heritage sites. Our first stop is in the village of Surdesti, where we will visit the Greek-Catholic wooden church. The tour takes us further to the Mara Valley, where we will enjoy a home stay for two nights. In the afternoon we will drive to the small town of Sighetu Marmatiei. This is the birthplace of Elie Wiesel, who was deported to Auschwitz in 1944, survived it and later received the Nobel Peace Prize. We will visit his memorial house and visit then The Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance, created 1993 in the former 19th century prison of Sighet. At the end of the 1940s, after the communists took over the power, and during the 1950s it served as a political prison for the former democratic political elite of the country. This can be quite an emotional experience! We will explore further on foot the old town of Sighet, which was before World War II a small Jewish stetl. Accommodation and home-made dinner in the Mara Valley.
Day 7: Maramures.
Buffet breakfast. Today we will explore the historic region of Maramures. In the morning we will drive to Sapanta and visit the Merry Cemetery with its colorful 800+ wooden crosses. On each cross a painting presents a life scene of the deceased and a few verses, some of them really funny, describe its life. We will also visit the memorial house and workshop of Stan Ioan Patras, the one who carved those wooden crosses between 1935 and 1977. Further we will discover the beauty of the Iza Valley with its wooden churches, carved wooden gates and friendly locals. This is one of the last genuine rural communities of Europe! We will visit the workshop of one of the most famous wood carvers of Romania and learn about the techniques of wood carving. An interesting element, that you will find in Maramures, by the rivers, is the so called “valtoare”, a natural wooden whirlpool, where carpets and clothes are being washed. In the evening, before our delicious dinner, have a walk on the hills surrounding the village. Accommodation and home-made dinner.
Day 8: Maramures - Gura Humorului.
Buffet breakfast. In the morning we will drive again through the beautiful villages of Maramures and reach the natural Rodna Mountains park. The highest peak, Pietrosul reaches 2303 m. We will cross the mountains into another traditional region of Romania, into Bucovina. The area is famous in the world for the Painted Monasteries, build during the 15th and 16th century. It is one of the regions of Romania, where centuries-old traditions still survive. Beginning with the end of the 18th century and until World War I, Bucovina was also a part of the Hapsburg empire. Here, you will discover some of the finest examples of Byzantine-style frescoes. In the afternoon we will visit the Humor monastery, near the small town of Gura Humorului. Accommodation and home-dinner in Vama.
Day 9: Bucovina - The Painted Monasteries.
Buffet breakfast. Today is dedicated entirely to the Painted Monasteries of Bucovina (UNESCO World Heritage) and to the traditions of this special region. Here, you will discover some of the finest examples of Byzantine-style frescoes. First we visit the monastery in Voronet, famous for its special color – the “Voronet blue” – and for its Last Judgement fresco. We continue to the Moldovita monastery, with it’s red and yellow-gold frescoes, telling also much about the history of the region, not only religion. Here we will also learn more about the everyday life of nuns. Our next stop will be in the village of Moldovita, where we will visit the workshop of a local artist. Typical for the Bucovina are the painted eggs. It requires a lot of patience, talent and time to create those. Here you have the opportunity to learn how those eggs are actually painted by hand! Moldovita is also the birth village of June (Smerth) Miller, Henry Miller’s second wife! In the afternoon we will reach the Sucevita monastery. It is the biggest of them all, surrounded by strong defense walls. The dominant color here is green. The most famous fresco of this monastery is The Ladder of Divine Ascent. In the nearby village of Marginea we will then visit the black pottery workshop, unique in Romania and Europe. Accommodation and home-made dinner in Vama.
Day 10: Vama - Viscri.
Buffet breakfast. Today we will leave Bucovina and drive back to Transylvania. We will first cross the mountains, over the Borgo pass, and reach the Northern Transylvanian town of Bistrita. We will drive further to the multi-ethnic city of Targu Mures. We will visit the great Palace of Culture, a building erected between 1911 and 1913. Very impressive is the Mirrors Hall inside with its 3 big crystal mirrors and the 12 stained glass windows. Learn also more about the relation between the many nations living together in Transylvania for the past few centuries. This region belongs to the so called Szeklerland, where the majority of inhabitants are Hungarian- speakers. The exact origins of the Hungarian-speaking Szeklers is actually unknown, there are only a few interesting theories. In the late afternoon you will arrive in the small village of Viscri. The village was included in a restoration project led by the Mihai Eminescu Trust, under the patronage of Prince Charles . Many of the old Saxon houses have been beautifully restored, as well as the medieval Saxon fortified church. Prince Charles himself owns here an old farm dating back to the 18th century. Accommodation and home-dinner.
Day 11: Transylvanian countryside.
Buffet breakfast. In the morning have a walk through the village and discover a cultural landscape which disappeared in most parts of Europe. You will meet members of the small Saxon community living here and visit the beautiful fortified church, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon explore the region around the village. You can choose to have a walk through the hills and forests surrounding the village, a very rewarding and relaxing walk. Another option is to drive to the villages of Saschiz and Archita and discover other interesting communities. In the evening enjoy a delicious home-made dinner in Viscri.
Day 12: Viscri - Brasov.
Buffet breakfast. In the morning, drive southwards and discover the area around Brasov. The region is called the Burzenland and was home for a short while of the Teutonic Knights, in the 13th century. This happened after the Christian forces were defeated in the Middle East. The Hungarian kings permitted them to settle here and defend the eastern borders of Hungary.You will visit two villages which were founded by the Teutonic Knights and were then taken over by the Saxon settlers: Prejmer and Harman. In Prejmer strong defense walls guard the Lutheran church and the approximately 200 storage rooms. A special element is represented by the guards’ walkway: this is the only place in Transylvania where you can actually walk all the way around. In the next village, Harman, you will discover some of the few remaining medieval frescoes in Transylvania. In the afternoon arrive in the city of Brasov, one of the most beautiful medieval cities of Transylvania. The Old Town is very well preserved and has a great atmosphere. Your Brasov tour includes the famous Black Church, the Council Square and the Council Tower (the former town hall of the city). Impressive are also the fortifications of the city: the White Tower, the Black Tower, the Weaver’s bastion and the Catherine’s gate. Accommodation in a centrally-located boutique hotel.
Day 13: Brasov - Bucharest.
Buffet breakfast. Leave Brasov in the morning and visit in Bran the famous castle from the 14th century, which gained the nick-name of “Dracula Castle”. The castle was built on a rock by the wealthy merchants of Brasov in order to protect the border between the medieval states of Wallachia and Transylvania. Find out more about the real historical character of Vlad the Impaler. Drive further through the Prahova Valley and the Carpathian mountains. In Sinaia visit the 17th century Sinaia monastery, the first building to be erected in the area. The name “Sinaia” has a direct connection with Mount Sinai: in the 17th century monks from the St. Catherine monastery came here and founded the Sinaia monastery. Later, in the 19th century the place was chosen by the first Romanian king, Carol I, for building the summer residence of the Romanian Royal Family, the Peles Castle. Have a guided tour of the castle and admire the richly decorated rooms. Your guide will also give you a great insight into the history of Romanian royalty. In the late afternoon arrive in Bucharest. Accommodation in a centrally located boutique hotel.
Day 14: Bucharest.
Buffet breakfast. Today is dedicated entirely to the Romanian capital, a bustling city, full of life, interesting places and surprises. Visit the Ceausescu Palace (the second largest building in the world) and find out more about communism in Romania. Visit the open-air Village Museum, displaying houses from all over Romania, built in different architectural styles. Walk also through less known quarters with beautiful Belle Epoque villas and Art Deco architecture. In the afternoon you will have time to discover more of Bucharest on your own. There are many less known beautiful places, as well as excellent museum. Your tour guide will present you the options.In the evening enjoy a fare-well dinner in one of Bucharest’s famous restaurants.
Day 15: Buffet breakfast. Your Romania tour ends today. Transfer to the airport.
- 14 nights at charming, centrally located hotels
- Transportation with AC (cars, vans and minibuses are all very
modern and clean, some of them quite new)
- Transfers from/to the airport
- All excursions and entrance fees to museums, monasteries, castles
- Fuel and parking fees
- Professional English speaking guide (also driving)
- Personal visits
- Meals: 14 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 9 dinners
- All taxes.
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