This tour is an opportunity to learn about Romania; to visit local places of interest and enjoy the beautiful countryside. You sample very tasty, home made and home grown produce, a variety of flavors and dishes.
Enjoy the hospitality of local families and their rural accommodation.
It will be opportunities to take advantage of local events as: organ concerts, festivals, weddings, Sunday church service, etc.
Arriving to Bucharest
Driving about 3 hours north-west for our first overnight accommodation in a guesthouse in Curtea de Arges, a very small town today, but once upon a time the capital of Valahia (the south province of the country). The church in town, build in the 16 century is an architectural jewelry. Inside the kings of Romania are buried.
After breakfast, we start our drive over the mountains: we pass TRANSFAGARASAN. The highest road in Romania, build in the communist time to conquer Romanian highest mountains. The road goes up to 2100 m altitude. Because of the altitude the road is open only 3 month a year (usually July, August, September). You might see bears on this road!
Possible to buy cheese from the shepherds and have a picnic to enjoy the spectacular views.
Arrival in Sibiu. Overnight accommodation in a 3* central hotel, on the corner of the Large Square. Dinner independent.
Time to explore and see Sibiu, the European Capital of Culture in 2007. 80 ha of old architecture, 3 medieval squares and beautiful museums.
A nice place to relax and enjoy a leisure lunch and a cup of tea or coffee.
In the after noon we take back roads through beautiful Saxon villages to head to one for our accommodation. Dinner and accommodation in a restored Saxon house. We use this accommodation for the next 2 nights.
We visit the largest Saxon defensive fortress, with three surrounding walls – Biertan, considered to be among the most fantastic Saxon heritage in Transylvania. The fortified church is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Visit Richis church and listen the story about the green men of the church.
A small walk in the area.
Same avernight accommodation as last night. Dinner at the accommodation.
We take again back roads and hidden villages, passing Saxon villages and mountain villages with wonderful views. We get at the foothills of Piatra Craiului mountain to a small mountain guesthouse with wonderful views over Bucegi and Piatra Craiului mountains. The guesthouse is at 1100 m altitude. Dinner at the accommodation.
DAY 6: 8th September, Monday
As you are in the mountains, have a walk in the surroundings. Walk along Zarnesti gorge (where Cold Mountain movie was filmed). Picnic lunch provided by your host.
You may also wish to visit Bran Castle, built in 1377. Since 1920 the castle has become the summer residence of Queen Marie of Romania. The castle is strangely linked to the Count Dracula, even if it is doubtful that Vlad the Impaler ever spent the night here. The castle is open on Mondays 12PM to 6PM.
B L D
Drive to Brasov, a Saxon fortress, often compared with old towns in Poland and Czeck Republic. We climb a little hill to the White Tower where you can have a stunning panorama of the old stronghold and from here we start our tour in the old center, visiting the Council Square and the famous Black Church.
Lunch independent in Brasov.
(I like Brasov very much and its old center. But if you do not wish to visit it, we can skip it and other fortresses or villages instead. That’s the advantage of having your private group!).
Continue to Viscri, a remote village with a beautiful12th century fortified church. Beside the one-room church and the traditional house architecture, we can still find treasures of many Saxon civilization families. Viscri is the headquarter of Mihai Eminescu Trust (English trustee aims to preserve the villages fabric, remedy their loss of income and revive their sense of community. The Trust helps the inhabitants to develop new sources of revenue and the restore their houses with sympathetic use of traditional materials).
Dinner and accommodation not far from Viscri, in Crit www.casa-cu-zorele.ro
In your way to the next accommodation stop to visit Sighisoara, considered to be the most beautiful and complete medieval architectural assemble of Romania and the most beautiful inhabited citadel throughout Europe. Sighisoara is also the birth place of Vlad the Impaler, connected according Bram Stoker’s novel with Count Dracula. The medieval citadel is perched on a hillock and is fortified with a 14th century wall.
Lunch independent in Sighisoara.
Before dusk you will reach your accommodation in a Hungarian minority village.
Overnight accommodation in Praid, in a traditional Hungarian house with a Hungarian minority family. Dinner at the accommodation.
Crossing the Eastern Carpathians, by Bicaz gorge, we head in the province of Moldavia.
Afternoon tea with wonderful views by the lake.
Overnight accommodation in Gura Humorului, at Hilde’s Residence.
Dinner not included.
Among the most picturesque treasures of Romania are the Painted Monasteries of Bucovina. Their painted exterior walls are decorated with elaborate 15th and 16th century frescoes featuring portraits of saints and prophets, scenes from the life of Jesus, images of angels and demons, and heaven and hell. Deemed masterpieces of Byzantine art, these churches are one-of-a-kind architectural sites in Europe.
MOLDOVITA’s exterior walls feature predominantly gold and deep blue paintings, dating from 1537. The large and vivid Siege of Constantinople highlights the frescoes. There is also a beautiful fortified wall and garden and the museum displays the “Golden Apple”, a prize received by the painted churches in 1977 for the “best travel destination”.
SUCEVITA High walls and heavily buttressed defensive towers surround the great monastic complex of Sucevita, giving it the appearance of a fortress. The Ladder of Virtues is magnificent.
Drive then to VORONET, also known as the Sistine Chapel of the East. Perhaps the most stunning of the painted monasteries, it was founded in 1487 by Stephen the Great to celebrate a victory over the Turks. The frescoes were added about 60 years later and feature an intense blue…even after more than 500 years!
Same overnight accommodation at Hilde’s Residence.
We cross the Carpathians again to get to Transylvania and to head north to Maramures, the Land of Wood.
Because of the road it is a 5-6 hours drive. In Maramures, drive along Iza Valley, with its beautiful wooden gates and pretty villages.
Overnight accommodation for the next 3 nights with village families, in a lovely rural setting.
It is good to have a Sunday in Maramures to see locals at their churches, dressed in their traditional costumes.
Easy walk with superb views from our village, Hoteni, to Desesti (visit the Unesco heritage church).
You may continue the walk to Breb, the village where William Blacker lived, a remote traditional village at the foothills of Gutai mountains. (William Blacker’s book recommended “Along the enchanted way”).
Sightseeing in the picturesque villages of Budesti and Sarbi. Along the riverside there are several water-powered installations, all made of wood: valtori (villages’ simple washing machines) for washing clothes and blankets, water mills operating all day long.
Same overnight accommodation. Dinner included.
Drive up north to Sighetu Marmatiei town, near the border with Ukraine. Sighetul Maramtiei is also the birth place of Eli Wiesel, laureate of Nobel Peace Prize and Holocaust survivor.
Visit the colorful daily market with fruits and vegetables.
Leaving Sighet town head along the Tisa river to the mixed Romanian, Hungarian and Ukrainian villages of Sarasau, Campulung la Tisa. We will stop in the famous village – Sapanta – very well known for its unique Merry Cemetery. It owes its name to the vivid colours of the wooden headboards on which naively painted scenes narrate the biography of the deceased.
Return to your accommodation.
Have more visits in the morning through Maramures villages, then start driving south towards Cluj. Overnight accommodation in a central 3* hotel for your early flight next day.
Flight to Luton.
1850 euro/person in double room sharing.
For a group of 2.
If other people will join your group, the price will decrease.
The price includes:
– 14 nights accommodation
– Breakfast and dinners at the accommodation (except day 1, 2, 9, 10 and 14 when restaurants are available.)
– 2 picnic lunches
– Transport by car, fuel
– English speaking guide
The price does not include:
– 5 dinners
– alcoholic drinks
– travel insurance