Romania’s World Heritage Sites are well known: the Medieval Fortified Churches of Transylvania, the Historic Centre of Sighisoara,the Painted Monasteries of Bucovina, the Wooden Churches of Maramures, Dacian Fortresses of the Orastie Mountains, Danube Delta. All these sites are travel destinations for those seeking out history, art and culture. This trip will take you into some of the most fascinating among them, those that evoke an experience rich in life, passions and dreams.
Duration: 11 nights/12 days
Price from: 910 Euro/person
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR:
- Bucharest – the capital of Romania -Little Paris of Eastern Europe;
- Sibiu – European Capital of Culture in 2007;
- 9 UNESCO HERITAGE SITES: Biertan fortified church, Prejmer fortified church, Saschiz fortified church, the painted monasteries in Bucovina (Moldovita, Sucevita, Voronet), the wooden churches of Maramures (Surdesti, Ieud ), Sighisoara medieval citadel,
- Meet the locals and taste their traditional home-made specialities;
- steam train on Vaser Valley- an authentic experience,
- Bear Lake in Sovata- the biggest heliothermal lake in Europe,
- The medieval city of Brasov and the Black Church,
- Peles Castle and Bran Castle.
Day 1 Bucharest
Upon arrival to Bucharest transfer to your hotel in the city center followed by a guided panoramic tour of this city of contrasts. The city tour will give you the opportunity to admire some of the landmarks of Bucharest, such as the Arch of Triumph, the Athenaeum, the Revolution Square, the Romanian Patriarch’s Church, and the Palace of Parliament – the second largest building in the world. The day ends with a traditional dinner and special entertainment show in the Old Historical Center. Overnight in a 4* hotel in Bucharest.
Day 2 Bucharest-Curtea de Arges-Sibiu (270 km)
After breakfast departure to Sibiu, following the scenic route of Olt Valley. On the way, you will make a stop to admire one of the most beautiful monasteries in Romania built in the16th century, the Monastery of Curtea de Arges, which amazes visitors with its elegant shape and its exquisite exterior decorations. In the afternoon, you will reach the beautiful medieval city of Sibiu. Leisure time followed by a delicious Transylvanian dinner in one of the most famous restaurants of the city. Accommodation in a 4* hotel in Sibiu.
Day 3 Sibiu-Hosman-Biertan-Sighisoara (110 km)
After breakfast, you will enjoy a walking tour of Sibiu, European Capital of Culture in 2007. During your visit, you will pass through the old streets to admire the main monuments, such as the Bruckenthal Palace, the famous Liars’ bridge, the Catholic Cathedral, the main squares of the city (the Big Square, the Little Square and the Huet Square) and Christian Orthodox Cathedral. Later you will discover the picturesque Hartibaciu valley and Hosman village, a typical Saxon village with true treasures of the old times Europe: old traditional Saxon houses, a well preserved fortified church and a truly unique attraction… an old mill with a bakery and a forgery. Drive to Biertan to visit the impressive Saxon fortified church. Surrounded by quaint streets and vineyards, the 15th century fortified church at Biertan is perched high on a hill in the middle of the village. Three tiers of 35-foot-high defensive walls, connected by towers and gates, encircled the complex, making the church impossible to conquer during medieval times. Late afternoon you will reach Sighisoara, the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler (also known as Dracula), UNESCO World Heritage. This evening you will enjoy a Saxon dinner at Dracula’s house. Accommodation in a charming 4* hotel in Sighisoara.
Day 4 Sighisoara- Targu Mures-Baia Mare (257 km)
In the morning guided walking tour of the citadel. Stroll around the streets of the old citadel; admire the Clock Tower, concentrating Sighisoara’s history, the beautiful Church on the Hill and the unique Covered Stairs. Drive to Targu Mures, the city of roses, enjoying the best of both Romanian and Hungarian cultures. In the afternoon arrival in Baia Mare, one of the most important mining centers of Romania. First mentioned in 1329, Baia Mare has preserved some its medieval past around the main town square, Liberty Square. Dinner and accommodation in a 4* hotel in Baia Mare.
Day 5 Baia Mare- Surdesti- Barsana- Ieud-Viseu de Sus (130 km)
After breakfast, you will be driven toward the region of Maramures, a place where the purity of nature blends with the beauty of the old villages, a place where the locals kept untouched their traditions, where the carved wood represents a common way of building. You will arrive in the village of Surdesti with the first wooden church from this trip. This UNESCO site boasts the purity of the locals’ faith, their outstanding talent of building wooden constructions and a great level of modesty through its traditional simplicity. Perched on the hills of Maramures, overlooking the Iza Valley, the Barsana Convent is one of the most impressive monastic places of Romania despite it was rebuilt recently. The slender and tall silhouette of the wooden church, the carvings of each building and the amazing garden represent a perfect synthesis between the strong faith of the locals, their skills and nature. Ieud wooden church, the oldest one in Romania, stands amidst a typical Romanian scenery – one can see the beautifully ‘sculpted’ hills on the horizon, smell the fresh grass, and feel the warmth of the people living here. The peacefulness of it all is extraordinary! In addition, it is truly an honor to find yourself in the same place where the oldest piece of writing in Romanian had been discovered. Dinner and accommodation in a 3* hotel in Viseu de Sus.
Day 6 Steam train- Bistrita (95 km)
Mocanita, the steam train on Vaser Valley. For a one-of-a-kind experience, you will take a ride with the narrow-gauge steam train. Starting from the small logging town of Viseu de Sus, the steam railway runs along a scenic road for about 30 miles, chugging behind an old steam engine. The train provides the only access – other than walking – to settlements higher up in the valley. During stops, you can watch workers load firewood and take on water from clear mountain streams. The train will stop at half way so tourists can enjoy the nature. You are invited to discover the wild, unaltered nature of the valley and to a picnic lunch and admire the view from the rock platform located nearby. In the afternoon you will reach Bistrita, one of the oldest towns from Romania, an important Saxon citadel. A short walking through the center to discover the most important landmarks of this medieval town: The Orthodox Church and the Saxon Evangelical Church, the Silversmith’s House and Sugalete Medieval Building. This evening you will taste the very meal Jonathan Harker, the main character of Dracula Novel, served when in Bistrita Citadel. Accommodation in a 4* hotel in Bistrita.
Day 7 Bistrita- Borgo Pass- Gura Humorului (157 km)
We leave the wonderful land of Transylvania behind and start making our way toward Bucovina the land of the Painted Monasteries. From the Borgo pass, we will find ourselves in Dracula Land where the famous Irish novelist Bram Stoker imagined and located the fantastic castle of the count. The large panorama of Bargaului Mountains will delight our view from Dracula Castle Hotel where we will take a refreshing brake. To test your courage, visit Dracula’s Coffin in the dungeon of the castle. Today the famous land of painted monasteries Bucovina reveals you the best-preserved secret of Moldova region: Voronet monastery with its blue outdoor paintings and Humor Monastery with a variety of frescoes dating from 1535. Dinner and accommodation in a 4* guesthouse in Gura Humorului.
Day 8 Bucovina- land of traditions and tranquility
Start your day with the workshop of Black Ceramics of Marginea, the only place in Europe where this special kind of pottery is still made. Sucevita Monastery is your next stop, a stunning UNESCO site of Romania. The church, dedicated to the “Resurrection of Lord Jesus”, was built in the Moldavian architecture style established at the time of Stephen the Great. Driving on one of the most beautiful roads in the country, crossing the gentle slopes of Bucovina Mountains, admiring the amazing panoramas from the Ciumarna Pass, you will reach the Convent of Moldovita. It is famous for its “Siege of Constantinople” fresco. The tour continues with an egg painting demonstration given by one of the many local artists from Bucovina. Dinner and accommodation in a 4* guesthouse in Gura Humorului.
Day 9 Gura Humorului-Bicaz-Sovata (244 km)
After your breakfast you’ll leave Bucovina region heading south to Transylvania again. Further on, you’ll pass through the Bicaz Gorges located in the Hasmas Mountains. About 7km long with 300m high walls, Bicaz Gorges are not just a splendid occasion to admire the beauty of nature but also a place for buying souvenirs from the local merchants. Not far from the gorges, Red Lake presents an interesting picturesque area, with its empty trunks of old fir trees which jut out of the water. Arrival in Sovata, definitely one of the most significant and most popular bathing resorts in Romania. Sovata owes its excellent reputation to the picturesque salt lakes that have formed in the course of history; among these the helio-thermal Bear Lake is indisputably the most popular one. Dinner in a local restaurant by the lake. Accommodation in a 4* hotel in Sovata.
Day 10 Sovata- Saschiz- Prejmer-Brasov (210 km)
After breakfast, we will continue our journey to Saschiz village, UNESCO World Heritage site. Saschiz is renowned not only as home to one of Transylvania’s finest fortified churches but also as a carpentry and wood-painting center. Visit the Cooking Museum and take part in one of the cooking classes. Taste some delicious Transylvanian dishes and some local organic homemade jams and juices. Continue to Prejmer fortified church. It is the biggest of its kind in the southeastern Europe being built in the 13th century, first by the Teutonic nights and then by the German settlers of Transylvania. The circular fortress has walls 3-4m thick and 12m high, fire holes, bastions, iron gates, deep moats and drawbridges. Next destination the medieval city of Brasov. Dinner and accommodation in a 3* hotel in the city center.
Day 11 Brasov- Bran-Sinaia-Bucharest (140 km)
After breakfast, you will enjoy a walking tour of Brasov with visit of the old downtown. You will admire the beautiful buildings like Black Church, built in Gothic and Renaissance style. You will also see the narrowest street in Romania, the Rope Street, Schei and Catherine’s Gates, and the old Schei neighborhood. Taking a scenic road you will reach Bran Castle built 700 years ago and famous for the Dracula legend. A former fortress guarding a commercial road, Bran dates back to 1377. In 1920, Queen Mary, the niece of Queen Victoria of Great Britain, turned the castle into a beautiful summer residence. Transfer to Sinaia, the pearl of mountain resorts in Romania. Visit of Peles Castle, one of the most beautiful royal residences in Europe, which served as retreat residence for most of Romania’s monarchs. The building of the Peles Castle began in 1873 under the direct order of the Viennese architect Wilhem Doderer and continued in 1876 by his assistant, Johann Schultz de Lemberg. It was the first castle in Europe to have central heating and electricity. In the afternoon arrival in Bucharest. Farewell dinner in a local restaurant in the city center. Accommodation in a 4* hotel in Bucharest.
Day 12- Bucharest-departure
In the morning free time in Bucharest and then transfer to the International Airport for the flight home.