Nearly all of Romania in a single tour - TRANSYLVANIA, MARAMURES & BUCOVINA
14 days (14 overnights), from EUR 1,950
A tour especially tailored for those seeking a deeper experience of Romania. Visiting Transylvania with its Saxon heritage of fortified churches, Maramures with its charming wooden churches and living and authentic Romanian rural civilization, Bucovina with its painted churches and the land of natural beauty. Discover also the Jewish communities' heritage in Romania, the most vibrant cities in Romania - Cluj-Napoca and Oradea, the capital of Art Nouveau, the Bran and Peleș castles, the fortresses of Alba Iulia and Sighisoarei, the cities of Sibiu, Brasov, and Bucharest, and the scenic beauty of the Carpathians - including, if the weather allows, their crossing by Transfăgărășan mountain road.
Being a somewhat lengthy tour, we planned it as comfortably as possible with as many as two nights of accommodation in the same place. Thus, we will stay two nights in Bucharest, Sibiu, Maramureș (in a wooden rustic guesthouse in Breb), Bucovina (in traditional wooden cottages in Gura Humorului), Sighișoara and Brașov.
2,950 EURO per person in a 2 persons group
2,200 EURO per person in a 3-4 persons group
1,900 EURO per person in a 5-6 persons group
– private car with driver
– private guide in English
– 14 nights accommodation in double-room occupancy, 4* and 3* hotels/guesthouses, breakfast included
– two traditional dinners and one lunch in rural areas
– all admission fees
– all transport costs
– all driver and guide’s expenses
– meals, other than mentioned above
– flight tickets
Day 1.Meeting you at the airport, transfer to your hotel and then, in the evening, have a short tour of Bucharest to discover the historical buildings and places of Romania's capital, the Jewish heritage, but also the Communist dark legacy.
Overnight in BUCHAREST.
Bucharest – Transfagarasan – Sibiu
Day 2. We head towards Transylvania.
We then start our long drive on Transfagarasan. From the road we cast a look at Poenari fortress, perched on a rock in the 13th century by the first Wallachian rulers, the forefathers of Vlad the Impaler. We cross the highest Romanian mountains - Fagaras - and enjoy the sights at the glacier Bâlea Lake (2,034 m).
We descend to Sibiu. While in Sibiu, after a short rest, we have a guided tour of the old city. A great sight over Sibiu rewards our effort of climbing the medieval stairs of the Council Tower. We stroll the old streets of the city and it’s most important plazas: the Grand Square, the Small Square, and the Albert Huet Square (the oldest square, dating from 12-th century, in fact the first precint - the origins of nowadays city). We also pay a visit to the Orthodox Cathedral (discovering the similarities with the Saint Sofia’s Basilica of Constantinople) and to the impressive Evangelical Church.
You’ll also enjoy a lovely Transylvanian evening at one of the numerous restaurants and bars of the Old City.
Overnight in SIBIU.
https://bit.ly/3P621sD 430km, 7h drive
We have a stop at Curtea de Arges, famed as the Royal Town, the gateway of the scenic Transfagarasan Mountain Road. We visit the marvelous monastery of Curtea de Arges. A masterpiece of marble and stone, Curtea de Arges monastery is the burial place for the kings and queens of Romania. Nearby, is the ancient princely church of Saint Nicholas with one of the most lustrous examples of the Byzantine painting of the 14th century.
Sibiu - Cisnadioara - Poiana Sibiului and Jina villages - SIbiu
Day 3. A day-trip departing from and returning to Sibiu to discover the culture and the traditions of the Romanian shepherds' community from the villages of Marginimea Sibiului (meaning ”the outskirts of Sibiu”). We shall be starting with a visit to the ancient Saxon fortified church at the top of the hill in Cisnadioara, a 12th century Romanesque basilica.Then we continue up into the mountains, to the picturesque villages of Romanian shepherds Poiana Sibiului and Jina (VIDEO), with breathtaking views over the Transylvanian plateau. Before returning to Sibiu, we can make a short stop at the Câlnic fortress, UNESCO World Heritage site. Second overnight in SIBIU. https://bit.ly/3VQbpCM 170km, 3h drive
Sibiu – Alba Iulia fortress - Turda salt mine - Cluj-Napoca
Day 4. We leave Sibiu on the traces of a great medieval hero - John Hunyadi (Corvin), regent of Hungary, and of his son, King Matthias Corvinus. A Hungarian brilliant military commander of Romanian ancestry, John Hunyadi stopped in Belgrade, in 1456, the offensive of the Ottomans emboldened by their takeover of Constantinople three years earlier.
We visit then the spectacular Turda salt mine (VIDEO).
Next stop is Cluj-Napoca. A short tour of the city always ends at one of the restaurants or bars near the house where one of the greatest kings of Hungary was born - Matthias Rex, the son of John Hunyadi.
Overnight in CLUJ-NAPOCA.
https://bit.ly/3Vx9HGT 200 km, 4h drive
We visit the Alba Iulia fortress (Alba Carolina) where John Hunyadi was laid to rest in the ancient Saint Michael Cathedral (the construction started in 1004). We also pay a visit to the ruins of the Roman castrum of the elite 13th Gemina Roman Legion and to the Orthodox Coronation Cathedral in which, after the Second World War, King Ferdinand was crowned as King of all Romania ( merging the three ancient Medieval principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia , and Transylvania ) .
Cluj-Napoca - Oradea
Day 5.We leave Cluj-Napoca for Oradea, the Romanian Capital of Art Nouveau.
Overnight in ORADEA.
https://bit.ly/3OWgxTO 170 km, 3h30min. drive
Oradea is member of the Art Nouveau network of cities (alongside Budapest, Barcelona, Glasgow etc.) with a lot of beautiful Secession style buildings and palaces built around 1900. Oradea is also home of the Sion Neolog Synagogue – a replica of the Synagogue in Nuremberg - the third largest in Europe. Excellently renovated in the last decade, alongside Cluj-Napoca, Oradea is one of the most booming cities of Romania.
Oradea - Surdesti - Breb
Day 6. From ORADEA we are heading north-east towards Maramures, on of the last remaining bastions of traditional peasant culture in Europe.
https://bit.ly/3P2UQl8 260 km, 5h drive
We stop in the village of Surdesti, amazed by the local wooden church (UNESCO World Heritage monument). Built in 1766, the Greek-Catholic church of Surdesti has been until recently the tallest wooden church in the world.
In early-afternoon we check-in at a traditional cottage in the village of Breb which will host us for the following couple of days. We take our time to enjoy a pleasant afternoon and the home cooked dinner with our hosts.
Overnight in BREB.
Breb village, Maramures
Nestled in a valley beneath the Gutâi Mountains and bypassed by any national or county road, amongst the villages of Maramures, the village of Breb has succeeded most in preserving the old traditional wooden houses. A long time ago, when I first travelled to the region to explore Maramures in depth and search the best places to accommodate, I didn't make it to Breb. But, one year later... Read more and find out why Breb is a magical place to stay.
Breb – Sapânta – Desesti – Breb
Day 7. We dedicate this day trip to discovering of the Romanian peasant culture of Maramures – this corner of Europe that miraculously preserved centuries-old customs and traditions.
We have the opportunity to see a watermill at work, to visit Desesti wooden church (UNESCO World Heritage monument) and the famous Merry Cemetery of Sapânta.
https://bit.ly/2L8uT3d 125 km, 2h30min. drive
We visit the Memorial to the Victims of and the Resistance against Communist Dictatorship, organized in the dreaded Communist prison of Sighet.
We return to Breb for a traditional Romanian evening and home cooked traditional dinner.
Second overnight in BREB.
Breb – Bârsana – Ieud – Voronet – Gura Humorului
Day 8.This day we are travelling eastwards to Bucovina. But just before we leave the land of Maramures, we pay a short visit to Barsana Monastery, a beautiful new wooden monastery complex built in a traditional way, and to Ieud church on the valley, famed as "The Wooden Cathedral" of Maramures for its slenderness and well-balanced proportions.Then we drive few hours on one of the most scenic roads of Romania to reach beautiful region of Bucovina, and the small town of Gura Humorului. Late afternoon we visit the Voronet painted church, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Overnight in GURA HUMORULUI. https://bit.ly/3GJEcBM 240 km, 5h drive
Gura Humorului - Moldovita - Sucevita - Gura Humorului
Day 9.We are going to discover Bucovina, land of natural beauty and land of faith.
https://bit.ly/3H6BdGr 180 km, 4h drive
First we meet lady Coca, a true master of egg-waxing and decorating with a special story of life. We visit then the painted church of Moldovita nunnery - UNESCO World Heritage site - to discover the meanings of the paintings and admire their beauty. A steam train, Mocănița Huțulca, carries us up into the mountains to Argel station where we have a brunch. The next stop is Sucevita monastery (on UNESCO list), defended by impressive walls and with a painted church famous for depicting the Stairway of virtues. Back to Gura Humorului.
Second overnight in GURA HUMORULUI.
Gura Humorului – Piatra Neamt – Bicaz Gorge – Sighisoara
Day 10. From Bucovina, back in Transylvania over the mountains.
https://bit.ly/3JybAPV 320 km, 6h drive
Our first stop is at the wooden synagogue Baal Shem Tov of Piatra Neamt. Built in 1766 over an even more ancient one, this synagogue has a special significance. The Jewish mystic and founder of Jewish Hasidism, Baal Shem Tov, is said to have prayed here on the Sabbath, hence the synagogue's inherited name. The oldest graves in the Jewish cemetery date back to 1620.
We then drive to the spectacular Bicaz Gorge and stop at the Red Lake, which was the result of a 19th century natural disaster. From the Red Lake, we end our day at the medieval citadel of Sighisoara – UNESCO monument – and spend the late afternoon and evening visiting the citadel: the Clock Tower, the Church on the Hill, the Stairs, the fortifications and their towers.
Sighisoara is the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler.
Overnight in SIGHISOARA.
Sighisoara - Malancrav – Biertan – Alma Vii - Sighisoara
Day 11.A day trip to discover Sighisoara and Transylvanian hills
From Sighisoara take the road to Mălâncrav village, home of a superb Romanesque basilica whose frescoes, in part, somehow miraculously, have survived the Reformation. We then visit the church and fortress of Biertan, both imposing monuments (on UNESCO World Heritage list) erected by a prosperous rural Saxon community that once thrived on exploiting the vineyards. In the Saxon village of Alma Vii we enjoy a home cooked traditional lunch prepared by a local lady, or, if you prefer, we can opt to eat at a sheepfold in the village of Florești we are going to visit on our way back to SIghisoara.
Second overnight in SIGHISOARA
http://bit.ly/3LhGqO1 130 km, 2h 30min. drive
Sighisoara - Saschiz – Viscri – Brasov
Day 12. From Sighisoara to Brasov via the famous Viscri village
http://bit.ly/3YBvn5b 140 km, 2h45min. drive
In our way from SIGHISOARA to Brasov we enjoy our lunch time and traditional, organic food at a household in Viscri, the remote village Prince Charles fell in love with.
We are going to visit Viscri fortified church - UNESCO World Heritage monument, and, from the road, also catch a glimpse of another such monuments - Saschiz fortified church, Rupea and Rasnov fortresses.
Once in BRASOV, we go for a short walk at the foot of Mount Tâmpa: the fortifications, bastions and towers of the medieval fortress, the curious Rope Street (one of the narrowest in Europe) and, of course, the impressive Black Church – a 14-th century Gothic monument and symbol of the city. In the evening, you could enjoy dinner and one of the best Romanian ice-creams at the restaurants bordering the Brasov’s City Council Square.
Overnight in BRASOV.
Brasov – Bran Castle – Bran Pass - Brasov
Day 13.Dracula Castle and Brasov's spectacular surroundings
http://bit.ly/3ZYd6QS 90 km, 2h drive
This day we visit Bran Castle, identified with Count Dracula legend, and enjoy the breathtaking scenery at Bran Pass over Piatra Craiului and Bucegi mountains.
Second overnight in BRASOV.
Brasov – Peles Castle (Sinaia) – Bucharest