Tour Type: Self drive experience
Itinerary: (Bors customs) Oradea - Cluj-Napoca - Sighetu Marmatiei - Gura Humorului - Suceava - Piatra Neamt - Bicaz - Brasov - Tulcea - Bucharest - Sibiu - Sighisoara - Sibiu - Hunedoara - Arad
Bors customs - Oradea - Cluj-Napoca (~200km)
As you enter Romania continue your drive Oradea, then follow the signs to Cluj-Napoca.
Cluj-Napoca, the spiritual heart of Transylvania, today one of Romania’s most dynamic cities which harmoniously combines the contemporary bustle with the secular heritage. Cluj-Napoca is definitely worth visiting for its excellent cultural activities, wonderful historical legacy, fine dining and great atmosphere.
Optional: Guided tour through the center of the city, including visits to the main squares, monuments and churches, most of them representing the city’s landmarks: St Michael’s Gothic Church, Unification’s Square, Franciscan Monastery, Museum’s Square. Gothic, baroque, and neoclassical styles mix together and offer a special feeling in Transylvania’s medieval capital.
Accommodation in Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca - Turda - Sapinta - Sighetu Marmatiei (~320km)
First stop today it have to be at Turda Salt Mine (~40km away from Cluj-Napoca), one of the oldest and most important salt mines in Transylvania, dating from the XVIIth century; displaying for the tourists old shafts, health and recreational facilities.
Continue with the UNESCO-listed Desesti wooden church, one of the best preserved typical tall wooden churches in the region of Maramures, XVIIIth century.
Next stop Sapanta, a small village in Maramures county and visit of the original Merry Cemetery. Famous for its colorful wooden tombstones, depicting episodes of the villagers lives in a naïve manner, Sapinta's Merry Cemetery represents a genuine chronicle of the rural life.
Return to Sighetu Marmatiei, a small town in northern Romania hosting the impressive Memorial for the Communism and Resistance Victims, a place meant to “resuscitate the collective memory”.
Accommodation in Sighetu Marmatiei
Sighetu Marmatiei - Barsana - Sacel - Moldovita - Suceava (~315km)
Leaving Sighetu Marmatiei you will pass through the picturesque Iza Valley, well worth visiting for the beautiful landscapes and villages. Stop at Barsana Wooden Church (“Barsan” = Shepherd in Romanian), one of the 8 Maramures churches on the UNESCO World Heritage list) where you can soak in the tranquility of the site. Continue to Sacel, famous for red ceramic.
The tour continues by leaving Maramures and entering the Bukovina region, with scenic villages, traditional workshops and the famous painted monasteries.
Visit of the Moldovita Orthodox monastery, built in the XVIth century, one of the eight monasteries in Moldavia & Bukovina with beautifully preserved frescoes painted on the outer walls.
Accommodation in Suceava
Suceava - Voronet - Marginea - Suceava (~151km)
One day dedicated to the beautiful Bukovina region.
Leaving Suceava (the former capital of Moldavia during Stefan the Great’s reign), visit of the Voronet monastery, famous for its stunning XVth - XVIth century vivid blue exterior frescoes and the painted monastery of Humor, one of the first painted Moldavian monasteries in the XVth century, small but shining bright among Bukovina’s treasures and, along with Voronet, probably the best preserved.
Visit of a traditional workshop in Marginea, a small village preserving a unique and beautiful tradition of producing black ceramics, craftsmanship dating from the XVth century.
Accommodation in Suceava
Suceava - Tirgu Neamt - Brasov (~360km)
Departure from Suceava, transfer to Piatra Neamt, a “green urban island” near the mountains; pass through the spectacular Bicaz Gorges, a narrow path carved into the sheer rocks, one of Romania’s most spectacular roads.
Optional, en route visit of the Neamt Fortress a XIVth century important medieval monument, and Agapia monastery, an Orthodox nunnery built in the XVIIth century, with its beautiful inside frescoes, created by Nicolae Grigorescu, the first founder of modern Romanian painting.
Transfer from Moldavia to Brasov, Transylvania; short city tour with the visit of the City Concil Square the Black Church (Brasov's landmark, over 500 years old, the largest Gothic church in SE Europe, hosts one of the greatest pipe organs in Europe); Ecaterina's gate, a fairy-looking medieval tower, part of the last preserved original city gates.
Brasov (Kronstadt in German, “Crown City”), surrounded on three sides by the mountains, was founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 on an ancient Dacian (Romanian ancestors) site.
It is a remarkable city which hosts Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance architecture, as well as other historical attractions. The marks of the Saxon heritage, are well preserved mainly in the Old Town.
Accommodation in Brasov/Poiana Brasov
Brasov - Sinaia - Bran - Brasov (~142km)
Transfer to Sinaia mountain resort, the ”Pearl of the Carpathians”, visit of Peles Castle, former residence of Romania's Kings. Built by King Carol I of Romania, as his summer residence, Peles castle shelters an important collection of works of art, rare furniture and valuable paintings.
Lunch and wine tasting (sparkling wines produced using the traditional method) in the "Rhein Azuga" wine cellars, the former supplier of the Romanian Royal Court.
In the afternoon - visit of the Bran Castle, known as the Vlad Dracul/Dracula's Castle. The medieval stronghold perched on rocks high above the valley was built in the XIVth century, in order to protect the peasants and landowners at the border between the two historical provinces: Walachia and Transylvania.
Accommodation in Brasov/Poiana Brasov
Brasov - Tulcea - Danube Delta (~441km)
..Transfer from Brasov into the Dobruja region (situated between the Danube River and the Black See) to Tulcea, an important and ancient harbor, with Byzantine, Genovese, and Ottoman influences, considered to be the entry gate in the Danube Delta.
Leaving Tulcea you will be guided to the selected hotel (by bus/car/boat) in the Danube Delta.
Danube Delta - World Cultural and Natural heritage site and a UNESCO protected area is one of Romania’s leading tourism attractions and offers a completely different experience, compared with other European regions, for its travelers.
The accommodations in the Danube Delta comprise hotels, floating hotels, ships, rural pensions, villas, bungalows, hostels, holiday villages, camping sites, youth camps.
Each traveler will have the opportunity to enjoy the tours in the Danube Delta: fishing expeditions, birdwatching, itinerant tourism, discovery tourism, specialized trips, scientific trips, youth programs tourism, rural tourism, ecotourism, rest & relax tourism, kayak tours and more others.
Accommodation in Danube Delta
* Optional, en route short stop in Ploiesti (in the mid XIXth century the Ploiești region was one of the world's leading oil extraction and refinery sites), and visit of the Clock Museum, sheltering valuable exhibits from the XVIth century till nowadays.
One full day dedicated to the Danube Delta, includes a 3-4 hours boating on the waterways, and lakes.
The Danube Delta, a sanctuary for birds, fish, and animals, is the third largest biodiversity in the world (over 5,500 flora & fauna species) spreading over 5,050 km2 of marshes, canals, reed islets and lakes.
This special place, Europe’s best preserved delta is considered to be the largest and most compact reed bed area in the world, sheltering the richest ornithological fauna.
The tourists / wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the charm of this wonderful region.
The Danube Delta shows the well preserved spirit of the locals (“Lipovans”), with the specific fisheries (“cherhanale”) and houses covered with reed roofs, and their traditions: fishing, beekeeping, gardening and cattle raising, craftsmanship.
The local gastronomy will charm the tourists with the original fish dishes (fish broth, stuffed fish, brines, fish meatballs, fish egg/roe salad, seafood – the best in Romania).
Accommodation in Danube Delta
Danube Delta - Bucharest (~315km)
Transfer to Bucharest.
Known in the past as "The Little Paris", Bucharest has suffered a decline in the communist period, followed by a "revival in its own way", in the past 20 years.
Nowadays the city displays an interesting mix of old and new: modern steel-and-glass buildings mixed with ancient monuments with long and rich history; palaces and museums scattered in the Old Town, sophisticated cafes and restaurants providing unique feelings along with grey marks from the communist era, altogether representing the reborn charm of Romania's modern and interesting capital, with its cultivated sensibility.
Short city tour of Bucharest, with the visit of the Old Town (attractions in the Lipscani/Historical Centre: Manuc's Inn, the ruins of the Old Court), Victoriei Boulevard with the Romanian Athenaeum - the capital's cultural landmark, the former Royal Palace, the Cantacuzino Palace, Kretzulescu church.
Accommodation in Bucharest
Bucharest - Olt Valley - Sibiu (~314km)
Transfer from Bucharest to Sibiu, former European Capital of Culture, passing through the Olt river valley.
On the way, visit of Cozia monastery, one of the oldest historical art monument in Romania, beautifully located on the Olt riverbanks, built in the XIVth century by the Romanian ruler Mircea the Elder.
In the afternoon, the tour of the medieval center of Sibiu one of Romania’s most charming cities: the Large Square with Brukental Palace, Haller House, the Catholic Church and the Council Tower - symbol of the city; the Small Square with Luxembourg House, the Liar's Bridge, the House of Arts; Huet Square with the Evangelical Church; and the Fortress street.
Considered in its earlier days one of the best fortified citadels in Europe, Sibiu retains and displays the testimonies of a glorious past, and offers the best mix between a medieval atmosphere and a modern outlook.
Accommodation in Sibiu
*Optional: Dinner with traditional menu and folk show in a rural pension, in Sibiel (22 km from Sibiu) - Glass icon Museum unique in Europe, over 700 exhibits
Sibiu - Biertan - Sighisoara - Sibiu (~223km)
On the way to Sighisoara, the tour crosses an area that concentrates a large part of the Transylvanian fortified churches: almost every village in the area is settled around a fortified church built between the XIIIth - XVth century by the Saxon colonists.
Visit of Medias - St Margareth's church, late Gothic and the impressive Biertan fortified church, former see of the Protestant bishops for 300 years.
Transfer to Sighisoara, small fortified city in the heart of Transylvania, visit of the well preserved fortified site: the Stag House, the Clock Tower, the Church on the Hill, the Venetian House and the Covered Stairs.
Sighisoara (Schässburg in German) is one of the most visited cities in Transylvania, and offers an outstanding testimony of the local Saxons culture. The best preserved medieval citadel in Romania, Sighisoara offers a genuine feeling of a medieval fortress, one special feature is that its houses have been permanently inhabited.
Accommodation in Sibiu
Sibiu - Deva - Hunedoara - Arad (~342km)
From Sibiu, en route to Hunedoara, a town famous for two main attractions: it once contained Romania's largest steel work factories, and the Corvin Castle was nearby.
Visit Corvin Castle (Hunyad Castle) the most important Gothic style secular building in Transylvania. Even though the castle is built in Gothic style, it has also Baroque and Renaissance influences, and tourists are told that it was the place where Vlad Dracul (commonly known as Dracula, courtesy of Bram Stoker's novel) was held prisoner for seven years.
The Hunyad Castle, a legacy of the Transylvanian Hunyadi dynasty, was included in the "10 most fascinating castles and palaces" list.
In the afternoon, visit of the centre of Arad: the Orthodox Cathedral, the Administrative Palace, the National Theatre, Cenad Palace. Part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of World War I, Arad is a charming city, set on the Mures riverbanks, preserving a majestic atmosphere through its imposing architectural monuments.
Accommodation in Arad
Transfer to the Romanian-Hungarian border, Nadlac.
Goodbye Romania !