DAY 01 INTRODUCTION MODERN ROMANIA
Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your driver, and then you will be transferred to your centrally located boutique hotel, where you will drop your bags and relax after your long flight.
This is Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, a city where you will find contrasts at every step of the way. In Romanian, the name of the city is derived from the word “bucurie”, meaning “joy”, which is exactly what we’re promising you will feel at the end of your experience. The city is surrounded by legends about its founding, as well as about its name. The protagonist of one of those legends is none other than Mircea the Elder, a legendary prince of Wallachia, which founded the city after he defeated the Turks in a difficult battle.
At night we will start our Romanian adventure through a tour of Bucharest’s Old Town, where you will admire the historical buildings that were scarred by the Communist regime, but also the modern structures recently completed.
You will enjoy a delicious dinner with traditional products in one of the most beautiful and interesting locations in Bucharest, Caru cu Bere, a place where the interwar period brought to its tables celebrities like The Rolling Stones, Demi Moore, and the Crown Prince of Japan.
DAY 02 THE ROAD TO THE SKY
After serving our first Romanian breakfast, we will put on our trekking gear and the second chapter of our adventure will begin, with a trip to an estate that belonged to the family of Vlad the Impaler. We will climb the 1480 stone steps in order to reach the proud Poenari Citadel, one of the fortresses that belonged to the infamous Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration behind Dracula.
We will then take a trip on the best road in the world, as named by Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, Transfagarasan. Prepare your cameras for a wonderful scenery, where the mountains seem so close that you’ll feel like you can touch them, and where the wilderness of the forest will charm you. We will make a short stop at the Vidraru Dam, a colossal building raised with a great human sacrifice, designed to resist any earthquake and flood.
For lunch, we will stop at the Valea cu Pesti restaurant, where we encourage you to try the trout, a local fish which is caught and cooked on the same day.
After a full day like this, we will head towards the boutique hotel, located close to Sibiu’s city center.
DAY 03 A TASTE OF TRANSYLVANIA
Today we will discover together the taste of Transylvania, its history, and its beautiful and hard-working people. One of the best dishes in Romania is in Transylvania, the region which was, over the years, home to many nationalities which left their mark on the local cuisine. Today you will learn the art of baking Saxon bread.
The Transylvanian villages are quiet and remote, but behind its gates, you will find people that work from dusk ‘til dawn, and today we will meet one of the local families that inhabit this historic region.
The animal farm and the bio-garden that we will visit today belong to a local family, and we will help with housekeeping, feed the animals, and we will embrace the family atmosphere. Afterward, we will hop on our bikes and take a ride to a nearby village where we will visit a fortification that dates back to the medieval times. Here, the locals will teach us how to bake a traditional Saxon bread, one that Prince Charles himself orders it every time he comes to Romania.
The recipe for Saxon bread is different in each family, but the local women were taught ever since they were children the secret behind baking the perfect bread. Its unmistakable smell can be picked up from hundreds of meters away, and together we will learn how to bake a perfect bread, how to clean the burnt crust, which is used in cereal-based coffee, and we will serve it together with other local products.
At night, we will head back to Sibiu where we will spend the night. The stunning city of Sibiu was founded by German settlers in the 12th century, but the first human settlements in the area are dating from the Paleolithic period. The city was named the European Capital of Culture in 2007, and each year it hosts Romania’s most beautiful Christmas Market.
The Sibiu Grand Square is located in the center of the city, and it is one of the largest in Transylvania. It is also close to numerous important attractions, such as the Brukenthal Palace which houses the National Brukenthal Museum, and to the Jesuit Church.
DAY 04 BACK TO THE MEDIEVAL AGE
The fourth day is dedicated to the appreciation of the cultural heritage that we were blessed to have in Romania, and one of the touristic attractions that we will visit today is the Biertan Fortified Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church was fortified in the Middle Ages by its craftsmen, whose descendants live in this area to this day, preserving traditions that are hundreds of years old. BBC presented the uniqueness of Biertan, and compared it to a “medieval prison for marriage problems”.
Like any other Saxon settlement, the village had an urban organization, standing out through a French style of rows of houses placed around a central square, on top of which the imposing Fortified Church watches. The interior of the church is spectacular, with the impressive monument combining the Gothic and Renaissance styles beautifully. It is said that inside the church you can find a cell where couples were locked in order to solve their personal issues.
We will then take a stroll through the village, where we will attend to a local workshop of traditional embroidery, and then we will serve lunch in a medieval-themed restaurant. Then, we will leave for Sighisoara, whose historic center is included in the UNESCO Patrimony.
Sighisoara is the only medieval citadel in Europe that is still inhabited, and some historians claim that it is the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler. Due to its remarkable architecture, its imposing positioning, and its geographic ambiance, the city was named the “Pearl of Transylvania” ever since the 19th century.
In Sighisoara, we will visit the Clock Tower, about whose clock a legend says that it is never desynchronized, thus tourists and locals always adjust their clocks according to the one in the tower. The roof has a pyramidal shape and is 34 meters tall, being covered by two bulb-shaped domes covered in copper sheets. The roof of the Clock Tower closes with a small golden globe, and on top of it, a meteorological pole was placed, with a metal rooster on top that tells the direction the wind is blowing from. Also, if the rooster faces the sunset, it is said that it will rain soon.
We will then head to a castle that belongs to the Kálnoky Family, mentioned in official documents for the first time in 1588 as the landowners of Micloșoara. The archeologic sites proved that a manor existed on that location before today’s castle. Near the castle, you will also find an English park from the 19th century, where today only a couple of rare species of trees remain.
Overnight at a traditional guesthouse
DAY 05 MEETING THE LOCAL CRAFTSMEN
Today we will meet some of the people who chose to make Romania their home. We will discover their stories, why they moved here, as well as the things they have done for the local community.
We will start the day with a short visit to the Rupea Citadel, one of the oldest fortifications in Brasov County, which offers a splendid view over the village and its surroundings. The citadel is composed of three courts built between the 13th and 17th centuries, their extension having been caused by the demographic growth. It was used both as a defense citadel as well as an administrative citadel of Saxon seat.After visiting it, we will head to Saschiz, a small town which, at one point, was the rival city of Sighisoara. Here, a local craftsman will teach us how ceramics are made, according to ancient techniques.
Here we will meet a couple which settled here and made a goal out of promoting local products and growing short food chains. We will visit their household and the processing workshop, and we will enjoy some homemade cookies, a cup of coffee, water, and some delicious jars of jams and pickles.
Our next heroes are some people that developed a pottery workshop in the community, a workshop that reinvents the ceramics made in the area between the 16th and 18th centuries, together with the local authorities, a foundation from Great Britain, and another one from Romania. Together, we will find out their story and learn their techniques, which we will then apply when we will create our own ceramics, which we will keep as souvenirs.
Afterward, we will head back to the g
DAY 06 WILDLIFE TRACKING
On the sixth day, we will listen to the murmur of the forest and discover the wild animals of Transylvania. The Romanian Carpathian Mountains are home to approximately 6,500 bears and 3,000 wolves, making it one of Europe’s wildlife hotspots as well as one of the last resorts of wildlife diversity. Besides bears and wolves, a large number of lynx, deer, wild boars, and chamois live in these mountains.
From Micloșoara we will leave for Brasov, a very beautiful city, located in the center of Transylvania. We will step into the natural world ever since the first hours of the morning, by climbing the Tampa Mountain Natural Reservation. It was created in order to protect and preserve the natural landscape and the species of flora and fauna, and it is considered the only natural reservation in the world located in the middle of a city.
The plant collection of Tâmpa is remarkable: 458 superior plants and over 40 species of mosses. A large number of plants are protected at a national and European level, such as Snake’s Head (Fritillaria meleagris), which is almost extinct. Other animal species also live there, such as European pine martens, squirrels, and numerous brown bears and grey wolves. The animals can also be observed from a quiet observatory in the natural reservation so that you can truly enjoy the beauty of nature.
Once you reach the top of the mountain, you’ll be able to admire the beautiful city, and then we will take a cable car ride in order to get back to the city and take a city tour. We will discover some of the most important touristic attractions in Brasov, as well as a small part of its history.
The rest of the day is booked for a bear tracking session through the wild forests of the Carpathians. Our trained professionals will guide you through the forest and will initiate you into the art of animal tracking, and you’ll have the chance to spot some of the wild animals mentioned above, as well as some of the birds that live in this area (hawks, buzzards, mountain eagles, peregrine falcons, owls, woodpeckers, and more).
After four hours of wandering through the forests, we will head back to Bran Castle, where we will learn more about the spooky Dracula Legend. We will take a tour of Dracula’s Castle and discover some of its stories and legends, and with a little bit of luck, we might even stumble into Count Dracula himself. The evening is then followed by a traditional Dracula dinner and overnight in a beautiful mansion.
DAY 07 ON THE FOOTSTEPS OF DRACULA
Today we follow the footsteps of Dracula and discover the villages that are strongly connected with Dracula himself. Every village, every mountain road, and every mountain peak reminds us of the tales of the infamous vampire lord.
We will then head to Sinaia, where we will visit Peleș Castle, the former residence of the Romanian Royal Family. The Royal family is a branch of the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty, and it is related to most of the great European Royal Families, including the British Royal Family (Windsor dynasty), the Spanish Royal Family, the Danish Royal Family, the Greek Royal Family, the French Royal Family (Bourbon) and the Russian Imperial Family (Romanov).
Peles Castle has an approximate number of 160 rooms, and during Nicolae Ceausescu’s Regime, the castle was designated a protocol location. Peleș Castle was the first fully electrified castle in Europe.
Due to the exquisite quality of the wines and champagnes, the Rhein & CIE Azuga Wine Cellars became in 1920 the “Main supplier of the Royal Court of Romania”. Halewood continues this tradition by recreating the elegance and shine of the interwar period to its RHEIN EXTRA sparkling wine.
Today, the Rhein & CIE Azuga Wine Cellars are a promotion center for the wine culture, providing all the wine lovers the chance to visit a functioning wine cellar and to discover the authentic atmosphere of a sparkling wine factory more than 120 years old.
Your trip to Romania has ended, make sure to start planning your next trip, to discover even more of what Romania’s history and legends.
Transfer to Bucharest.
Every country has its own story, that is told through its people, places, and traditions. And Romania is no different. Our tour will help you discover the true face of Romania through a fascinating tale narrated over the course of 7 days, on a tour that’s meant to help you discover the people, nature, taste, and wilderness of the country. Each day of this tour represents a key moment in our story. During your 7 days in Romania, you will be introduced to the local values and traditions through a series of personalized workshops, you will meet the locals and sample some of Romania's delicious dishes, and you will trace the some of Romania's wildlife through the forests of the Carpathian Mountains.
Airport TransfersAccommodation for 6 nights BB, in centrally located hotels - except for the castles or traditional lodgesPrivate English speaking guideEntrance fees for the sights included in the itineraryTransport by private car4 dinners; 3 lunchesWild animal tracking3 workshopsWine tasting session
Tour Does Not Include
Airline tickets Travel insuranceMeals, other than mentioned in the itinerary and alcoholic beveragesEntrance fees to monuments/sights other than those mentioned in the itineraryPhotography FeeTips for guide/driverVarious expenses such as room service, beverages, personal calls, souvenirs etc.