By far the most magical, fascinating of Romania’s historical provinces Transylvania has always fascinated the travelers’ imagination: vampires, haunted cemeteries, fog-covered countryside, and people terrorized by Count Dracula were all present; but in reality the past is still alive in all the main features which make this land such a unique place. Snow-capped mountain peaks, dense forests sheltering abundant wildlife, legendary castles, fairytale-like villages, sparkling streams, caves, fortified churches & lowland valleys altogether reveal a land rich in history and natural beauty. Transylvania prince Charles is enraptured by Transylvania’s countryside and has started a supporting environmental & rural sustainable development.
“It’s the timelessness which is so important”
Tour type: Discovery tour (explore the picturesque region of Transylvania and learn about its people, sites and history)
Itinerary: Cluj-Napoca – Turda - Sighisoara – Viscri – Brasov – Sinaia – Bran – Brasov – Transfagarasan (partially) – Sibiu – Alba-Iulia – Hunedoara - Cluj-Napoca
Group pick up from Avram Iancu Airport, Cluj-Napoca.
Transfer to the hotel.
Cluj-Napoca City Tour: a great experience for all of those who want to have a firsthand feeling of the urban Transylvanian life. The city’s historical heritage combines itself with a great atmosphere, fine dining places for all tastes, multiple cultural activities, nice and friendly locals.
Two hours walking 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.
Enjoy a special dinner with traditional Transylvanian dishes in a cosy restaurant.
Cluj-Napoca – Turda - Mosna - Sighisoara (~210 km)
Drive to Turda, for a visit to the amazing Salt Mine, one of the oldest and most important salt mines in Transylvania, dating from the XVIIth century. It is an exquisite example of a salt mine transformation into a special facility with a modern approach, to enhance its personality.
Cross the transylvanian countryside through Mosna village.
Experience the warm acquaintance of an old Saxon lady who takes much pride in presenting the history of the community and of the fortified church, while enjoying a bacon tasting in the Bacon Tower of the church.
In the afternoon, walking tour of Sighisoara, UNESCO World Heritage listed, a small fortified city in the heart of Transylvania.
Sighisoara (Schässburg in German) is one of the most visited cities in Transylvania and offers an outstanding testimony of the local Saxons culture.
The medieval Citadel is almost entirely preserved and one of the few places of its kind that was continously inhabited. It was built in the XIIIth century and later restored in the XIVth century, having the aspect of a settlement with narrow streets and old massive buildings. The Clock tower is the main attraction of the Citadel and represents the town symbol. Its name derives from the clock with the figurines situated at the fourth floor of the tower, a unique clock in Romania. The Rope Makers’ Tower, built probably in the XIIIth century, was part of the initial fortress situated on the top of the hill. The Venetian House is located in the Museum Square and gets the name from its gothic arched doors and double windows, closed by a foiled arch. Vlad Dracul’s House is one of the Citadel’s oldest civil buildings made of stone, judging by the semi cylindrical stone arch at the ground floor. Between 1431 and 1435, this was the residence of Vlad Dracul, son of Mircea cel Bătrân. The Stag House (the name derives from the stag trophy hung on the corner of the house) is a typical Transylvanian Renaissance construction, dating from the XVIIIth century.
Bloody dinner at Vlad Dracul House.
Sighisoara – Saschiz - Viscri – Brasov (~135 km)
Short drive to Saschiz for an Optional sweet break and visit of a local manufacture: bio produced jam/confiture tasting, a tasty cake with coffee and water.
The tour continues to Viscri scenic village, an oasis of transquility placed in the middle of The Oat Land (Haferland), as Saxons named it. A walk in the village allow you to get into the medieval atmosphere: visit of a smith shop and a brickyard (the bricks are manufactured by same methods as hundreds of years ago).
Optional: lunch with home cooked meal (seasonal menu, fresh ingredients from the local gardens) in Viscri.
Apart the fortified church, the village Viscri presents the traces of its strong Saxon community who resisted to many barbarian attacks along the centuries and are fighting to preserve the rich heritage of their ancestor’s land ("Siebenbürgen, alte Heimat"). Their efforts have been sustained by Charles, Prince of Wales, who is enraptured with the unspoiled natural beauties of Transylvania. Starting with 2006, the Prince of Wales bought and restored XVIIIth century Saxon houses in Viscri (the "Blue House") and other properties, in order to support and protect this unique way of life and bring sustainable tourism into the region; he visits privately each year the "last corner of Europe where you see true sustainability and complete resilience".
Journey to Brașov.
Enjoy a city tour with the visit of the City Council Square, the Black Church (Brasov's landmark, over 500 years old, the largest Gothic church in SE Europe, hosting one of the greatest pipe organs in Europe), Ecaterina's gate (a fairy-looking medieval tower, part of the last preserved original city gates), the rope street (one of the narrowest streets in Europe) and many others.
Dinner on your own
Overnight Brasov area
Brașov - Sinaia - Bran - Brașov area (~145 km)
Journey to Sinaia mountain resort, the ”Pearl of the Carpathians”.
Visit Peles Castle, former residence of Romania's Kings.
The scenic landscape of Sinaia provides an exquisite backdrop for the Peles Castle, built by King Carol I of Romania (born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen dynasty), as his summer residence. The castle shelters a huge collection of works of art, rare furnitures, weapons collections, valuable books, and over 2.000 paintings in its 160 rooms and surrounded by the majestic Carpathian mountains.
Peles Castle reveals its beauty on the outside, as well as on the inside, the architects have used an abundance of wooden decorations, combined with stone, bricks and marble, providing a special feeling. It is also surrounded by seven terraces decorated with statues, intricate stone-made wells, ornamental vases and Carara marble. Its architecture profiled against the snow-capped mountain peaks is a stunning and breathtaking view; one of the finest castles one can ever see.
Lunch and wine tasting (sparkling wines produced using the traditional method) in "Rhein Azuga" wine cellars, official supplier of the Romanian Royal Court.
Continue to Bran, to see Bran (Dracula’s) Castle – spooky or not, it is up to you to decide, just make sure your neck is well covered, you never know when The Count decides to make an appearance for a quick meal… just kidding’… are we?...
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.
Dinner with local meal on the foothill of the castle.
Overnight Brasov area
Brașov – Transfagarasan alpine Road - Sibiu (~240 km)
Transfer from Brasov following the majestic Fagaras mountains ridge, to the Transfagarasan Alpine Road, Romania’s most impressive, best-known road. The windy road north scene is little short of spectacular at its top: Balea Lake, a glacial lake offering beautiful views of the wide open valleys which surrounds it.
In the afternoon, the tour of the medieval centre of Sibiu, one of Romania’s most attractive cities
Sibiu is one of Romania’s most charming cities, elected in 2007 as the European Capital of Culture, together with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. In 2019, Sibiu region become the European Reagion of Gastronomy. The two hour walking city tour includes: Large Square (Brukenthal Palace, Haller House, Catholic Church and Council Tower – one of the city’s landmarks; Small Square (Luxembourg House, Liar's Bridge, House of Arts); Huet Square (Evangelical Church and its tiny colourful houses, some built in the XIIth century); and Cetatii Street (Fortress Street) with the Guilds Defense Towers and cozy cafes.
Considered in its earlier days one of the best fortified citadel in Europe, Sibiu offers the best mix between a medieval atmosphere and a modern outlook.
Sibiel: 22 km far from Sibiu is one of the 18 traditional Romanian villages with a special cultural, architectural and historical heritage, located SW of Sibiu outskirts ("Marginimea Sibiului").The village is surrounded by scenic landscapes and the tourists will be charmed by the simplicity & hospitality of the locals, the genuine Romanian traditions & culture visible everywhere.
- dinner with home cooked traditional menu and folk show in a rural pension, in Sibiel. Have the chance to connect with local people. OR
- dinner in a restaurant situated in the cosy atmosphere of the Small Square.
Sibiu – Alba Iulia – Hunedoara - Cluj Napoca (~370 km)
Your journey takes you to Alba Iulia for a visit of the Alba Carolina Fortress.
Optional - a nice lunch on the premises of the fortification.
The next stop of the tour reveals the most impressive gothic castle in Transylvania: Hunedoara castle.
Alba Carolina Fortress (Guard Changing Ceremony - every day at 12 pm), Roman Catholic church, Reunification Cathedral. Alba Iulia's landmark is represented by the Vauban-style fortress with its star-shaped bastions. It was built in the early XVIIIth century, after plans who radically transformed the medieval fortress into a seven-bastion baroque fortress, the most remarkable of its kind in SE Europe.
Corvin Castle (Hunyad Castle), in Hunedoara, was built in the XIVth century, on a cliff above Zlaști river and represents, by its greatness, the most important Gothic style secular building in Transylvania. The castle is a large and imposing building, with tall and colored roof tiles; showing towers, turrets, windows and balconies with intricate stone carvings. This unique castle is representative for the XVth century military architecture in SE Europe; it is a special place and it shows the social & financial power of the Corvin family.
The day ends with dinner in Cluj-Napoca, Hungarian cuisine.
Transfer to Avram Iancu Airport, Cluj-Napoca.