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  • P.O. Box 148145 Nashville, Tennessee 37214-8145
  • 615-478-3203
  • P.O. Box 148145 Nashville, Tennessee 37214-8145
  • 615-478-3203

Romanian Tours

What a strange land Romania is. Although recently accepted into the European Union and on its way to recovering from the scars of the communist party, led by the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, Romania remains a unique country and very different from other countries in Europe.

 

Medieval cities like Brasov, Sighisoara, and Sibiu are unforgettable. The Carpathian mountain range carves a U-shape through Romania and offers some of the most remote territory left in Europe…complete with bears and wolves! Quite different is crowded Bucharest, Romania’s capital, which before Communism was called the Paris of the East and is home to the world’s second largest building after the Pentagon! And could you really come to Romania without being able to say you saw Dracula’s castle?!

 

A trip to Romania is a unique experience – but be careful! Romania has a way of grabbing a hold of you and not a few have found it hard to leave, and have come back again and again.

 

Please follow the links below to see what Romania has to offer you!

The word “Transylvania” usually conjures up images of Dracula, werewolves, spooky castles and blood-sucking bats – nothing could be farther from the truth! In reality, Transylvania is one of the last places where you can see Europe as it once was!
Pastoral Lanscape

But hurry, things are changing fast. Horse-drawn carts vie with BMWs on Romania’s rural roads. Peasants with cell phones? Beautiful new hotels next to Communist ruins? Romania is most definitely unique!
Horse-drawn cart and car service

Itinerary

Day One – Oradea, Apuseni Mountains, Hunedoara Castle, arrive in Sibiu
Day Two – Tour of Sibiu and the Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization
Day Three – The Fortified Saxon Church Villages, medieval Sighisoara
Day Four – The Transylvanian Alps seen from the Transfagarasan road, Dracula’s castle at Poienari, Romanian Orthodox monastery, the other Dracula’s castle – Bran Castle!
Day Five – Rasnov fortress, Brasov
Day Six – Sinaia, Peles Palace, arrive in Bucharest
Day Seven – Tour of Bucharest, farewell dinner

Our tour of Romania begins in…Budapest, Hungary? That’s right, your plane will land at Ferihegy airport in Budapest and a short drive through the Hungarian Great Plain will take us to Oradea, Romania for our first night.

We will soon be entering Transylvania, the best known part of Romania, but before we do that we will visit the Crisana region and its capital, Oradea!

This area is very different from most of Romania and the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s influence is strongly felt here. The baroque architecture is unique to this part of Romania and very different from what awaits us in Transylvania and Bucharest!
Oradea

Highlights of our brief stay here will be a traditional Romanian meal with a local family, the Roman Catholic Cathedral, and an optional (as you may be tired from your overseas flight) walking tour through the city to see the baroque architecture!

Our next day takes us into Transylvania, by way of the Apuseni Mountains, and one of Romania’s most beautiful cities, Sibiu! Called Hermannstadt in German, Sibiu is, along with Sighisoara and Brasov, one of Transylvania’s big three Saxon cities.
Sibiu

In the twelfth century peoples from western Germany, called Saxons, were invited to settle lands in Romania. They thrived here and were an integral part of Romania until the time of communism. Now very few Saxons still live in Romania, but their architecture and influence remain for us to see!

But before we arrive in Sibiu we will stop off at one of Romania’s star attractions, Hunedoara Castle! One of the most spectacular castles in Eastern Europe the Corvin Castle, as it is also known, is a spooky, gothic, medieval edifice that will have you thinking you have just stepped back into the 14th century!
Hunedoara Castle

In addition to the Dracula-style castle in Hunedoara you can expect a few more surprises along the mountainous way as we make our way to Sibiu through the heart of Transylvania.

Day two will be spent touring Sibiu, which was designated “Capitol of Culture” by the EU in 2007 and thus received a complete makeover. The old town has been renovated and Sibiu is a wonderful place to stroll around and enjoy the European atmosphere.

Our tour will include the three major squares in Sibiu – Piata Mare, Piata Mica, and Piata Huet; a climb to the top of the Gothic Evangelical Church; the Council Tower and the Liar’s Bridge.
Sibiu house with eyes
The houses have eyes in Sibiu!

Sibiu house with eyes

Day three leads us to one of the most unique areas left in Europe and one that will most certainly be a highlight of your Romanian trip – The Fortified Saxon Church Villages.

The threat from the Turks in the 15th and 16th centuries resulted in the construction of fortress-like churches that doubled as houses of worship and places of refuge in times of need.

This area is not heavily travelled and the villages, churches, and surrounding countryside are pure magic! We’ll have a wonderful time wondering around this area exploring the many villages and churches along the way.

Our destination, after all of our rambling, is Sighisoara, a not to be missed Transylvanian highlight! Sighisoara is the second of the big three medieval cities we will visit (the others being Sibiu and Brasov).
Sighisoara

Sighisoara

Sighisoara

Sighisoara’s narrow, medieval streets and gothic architecture will have you thinking of knights and maidens as we stroll around this hilltop fortress! The birthplace of Vlad Tepes, Sighisoara is a medieval paradise that brings in the tourists who eat up the Dracula-themed restaurants, hotels, and souvenirs.

Yes, Dracula is a legend created by Bram Stocker’s 1897 novel, which was set in Transylvania. However, there was a real Dracula whose name was Vlad Tepes.
Vlad Tepes

In reality Vlad Tepes was a great Romanian prince who defended his country against the Ottoman Turk onslaught of the fifteenth century, albeit in an extremely cruel manner. His preferred method of terrorizing the Turkish hordes was to torture them by impaling them, thus his moniker, Vlad “The Impaler”.

On day four we head toward the Transylvanian Alps and Romania’s highest peak, Mount Moldoveanu! We will cross the Transylvanian Alps on the TransFagarasan road, built in the 1970’s, in case of a Soviet invasion, by Romania’s megalomaniacal dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu!

The Transylvanian Alps are the highest mountain range in Romania and are the last extension of the famous Austrian and Swiss Alps much further west. The mountain scenery here is breathtaking!

Coming down out of the mountains we will stop off at Poienari, the real Dracula’s castle (as opposed to the other Dracula’s castle which we will see a little later today). Those braving the 1480 steps up to the top will be rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.

A short stop in Curtea de Arges will allow us a visit to a working Romanian Orthodox monastery of whose beginnings are the stuff of legends taught to all Romanian youngsters.

The Transylvanian Alps form the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, two of the three principle areas of Romania, along with Moldavia. However, our stay in Wallachia will be brief as we make our way back into Transylvania between the magnificent Piatra Craiului and Bucegi mountain ranges.
Bucegi Mountains

Here you will have ample opportunity to sample the local handicrafts and delicacies. Cheeses and wool products abound here as do Dracula souvenirs!

Our next stop is the aforementioned Dracula’s castle! Actually called Bran castle, this is the tourist destination for those on Dracula tours, even though Vlad Tepes never lived here! However, for most this little piece of information is irrelevant as Bran Castle is, indeed, a fascinating medieval castle which can be a little spooky also!
Bran Castle

Day five will start with a visit to the 14th century Rasnov fortress. Built to protect against Tatar and Turkish invasions, Rasnov makes an interesting stop on our way to the third of the big three Saxon cities in Transylvania – Brasov!
Brasov

Brasov is rightly one of Romania’s top tourist destinations! Its medieval center, baroque architecture and interesting history will keep us busy for the rest of the day.
Black Church in Brasov

Brasov is a walking town so we’ll stretch our legs and see the sights which will include: Piata Sfatului (Council Square), Biserica Neagra (the Black Church), the old defensive walls with the White and Black Towers, the Schei District, St. Nicholas’ Cathedral and, for those who still have the energy, a hike up Mt. Tampa for breathtaking views over Brasov! (Well, maybe we’ll cheat and use the cable car!)

After a good nights sleep we will make our way to Bucharest, Romania’s capitol. But on the way one of Romania’s top destinations awaits us – Peles Palace.
Peles

Home of Romanian monarchs until World War II, a tour of Peles is a must! Its mountainous location in the resort town of Sinaia (yes, we will cross the mountains again!) located in the Prahova Valley sets the stage for an educational tour of the palace.

Bucharest is the capitol of Romania and has a population of around two million inhabitants. It is, like much of the country, a study in contrasts. Before communism Bucharest sported the nickname “Paris of the East”. Then came Ceausescu!

“Inspired” by a trip to several communist countries in the 1980’s, especially North Korea, Ceausescu returned to Romania determined to create his own socialist empire. He set about destroying a good portion of the historic city center and building the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon in Washington D.C., the People’s Palace.
Palace of Parliament

The Ceausescus (Nicolae’s wife, Elena, was very active in running the country along with her husband) ruled until 1989 when the people finally had enough, revolted, and executed them. But their horrible legacy has scarred the country and many years will be necessary to recover from their megalomaniacal rule.

While in Bucharest we will see the old and the new. A tour of the People’s Palace is a must but we will also see some of the old city in order to understand why Bucharest was called the Paris of the East.
Palace of Parliament

Ceausescu’s Palace of Parliament (People’s Palace) Building

Our day seven tour of Bucharest will take in all of the important sites including Revolution Square, Calea Victoriei, and the monstrous Palace of Parliament. Bucharest is, like Brasov, a good walking city and that is just what we will do.
Romanian Ateneu

Your last day will be happily spent meandering around the city, taking in the atmosphere, sampling the local food, and preparing for departure the next morning.

Our seven-day tour of Romania is just the start! There is so much more to see. Please choose from one of the extensions below to see more of what Romania has to offer!
2 to 3-day extensions

“Mountains and Monasteries” Moldavia Tour
“Grand Budapest” Tour
“Rural Peasant” Maramures Tour
Romania Hiking Tour
Danube Delta Tour
“European Surf and Sand” Black Sea Tour

Other Romanian Tours

14-Day “Grand Romania” Tour
“Rural Romania” Tour
Romanian “Wild Adventure” Tour
Romanian “Endurance Tester” Tour