Transylvania Long Weekend

Transylvania Long Weekend

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5 Days From

$1070

$1041

Transylvania Long Weekend

5 Days Starting and ending in Bucharest, Romania

Visiting: Bucharest, Moieciu, Sinaia, Moieciu de Sus, Bran, Brașov

Tour operator:

Explore!

Tour code:

BU

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

10 - 15

Physical rating:

High

Age range:

16-

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Interests:

Cultural, Wildlife Tours

Activities:

Sightseeing, Walking

From:
$1070
$1041 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$29

NB: Prices correct on 27-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Romania is a ruggedly beautiful country and on this long weekend we uncover dramatic mountains, Medieval towns and fairy tale castles. We travel deep into Transylvania - the legendary home of Dracula - and visit the Saxon fortifications in Brasov. In season we have the unique opportunity to watch European brown bears emerge from the thick forests to feed at a local reserve.

Highlights

  • Transylvanian castles - Visit the opulent Peles and Pelisor Castles and the renowned Bran Castle

  • Bear watching - In season see brown bears emerge from the thick forests at a local reserve

  • Bucharest - Explore the capital city including the huge marbled interiors of the Palace of Parliament

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Join Trip In Bucharest

Location: Bucharest

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Hotel Minerva (or similar)

Meals Included: No Meals

Arrive in Bucharest, Romania's largest city that became its capital in 1832. It has gone through a period of urban renewal and modernisation and it is now a bustling city, at the centre of Romanian culture, art and media.



There are no activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Bucharest at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today you need to arrive into Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP), which is about 30 minutes' drive from the city centre. For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 6pm and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. Due to a number of flights arriving into Bucharest later in the evening, our welcome meeting will take place on the morning of day two.



If you have free time on arrival then there's plenty to discover in the city's Old Town or there's a multitude of museums available to choose from including the National Art Gallery, National Museum of Romanian History, the Military Museum and the Peasant Museum, to name but a few.

Day 2: Tour Of Bucharest And Evening Bear Watching

Location: Bucharest

Accommodation Name: Casa Zada Guest House (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

After our Leader does an initial welcome meeting, we go on a city tour of Bucharest. A remarkable blend of turn of the century elegance and Communist excess can be observed through its architecture. Situated on the Danube Plain and set amid a series of lakes and spacious gardens, remnants of more gracious days still exist to charm the visitor. We visit many of the older parts of the city to see some of the buildings that earned it the reputation as the Paris of Eastern Europe and see the Palace of Parliament; the magnificent but blatantly excessive palace of ex-President Ceausescu.



After our tour, we make our way to the observatory for bear watching. The Romanian bear population is one of the few strong and healthy populations remaining in Europe and the Carpathian Mountains are home to about 43% of all European bears (approximately 6,000 individuals). This region is therefore of key international importance in the conservation of brown bears and due to increasing human-bear interactions, it's also the focus of much research into the effective management of bears and their habitats. Bears may be active at any time of the day, but generally they forage in the morning and evening and rest in dense woodland cover by day. We try to spot these bears from a hide at dusk when they come out to feed. From here we drive to the Transylvanian village of Moieciu, where we stay in a local guesthouse for the next three nights.



Please note, that the bear watching from the observatory may take place on day four depending on the local forestry department's advice. Also, since the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest is still an active government building that it might not always be open to visitors or possible for us to go inside. If this is the case then instead we will visit Sinaia Monastery on day three and the Rasnov Citadel on day four.

Day 3: Visit To Peles And Pelisor Castles; Chance For Further Bear Watching

Location: Moieciu, Sinaia, Moieciu de Sus

Accommodation Name: Casa Zada Guest House (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

We start this morning with a walk in the Bucegi Mountains surrounding Moieciu. The surrounding forest and woodland are protected as a nature reserve. After our walk we drive to nearby Sinaia, known as the 'Pearl of the Carpathians' because of its stunning scenery. Our first port of call is the wonderful Peles Castle. Built for the imported Hohenzollern monarch Carol I, Peles resembles a Bavarian chateau and is richly decorated with stained glass, Persian carpets, Renaissance weapons, ebony and mother of pearl. Then we visit the adjacent Pelisor Castle, largely the creation of Queen Marie of Romania, with a fine Art Deco and Art Nouveau interior. We return to Moieciu this afternoon and there will be the opportunity for you to choose to spend more time bear watching at the observatory. A late dinner is included this evening at our guesthouse where we enjoy a traditional home cooked meal.

Day 4: Visit To Bran Castle; Brasov Walking Tour Including The Black Church

Location: Bran, Brașov

Accommodation Name: Casa Zada Guest House (or similar)

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today we visit the castle at Bran. The truth behind Dracula's Castle is even more fascinating than its myths. In the early 20th century it was the home of the remarkable British born Queen Marie of Romania, granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Vlad the Impaler, the infamous 15th century ruler of Wallachia, never actually lived here and Bram Stoker never came near Transylvania! Perched on a crag in a valley between two high mountain ranges, the castle controlled an international trade route, but is now a rural backwater. Exploring the village, the castle and the museum gives us a chance to unravel fact from fiction.



Later this morning, we drive to the Medieval city of Brasov. Brasov is one of the most historic cities in Transylvania, and we spend the rest of the day exploring. The town is a gem of old buildings, cobbled streets and local atmosphere all clustered within the Medieval fortifications and overlooked by a magnificent 15th century Gothic cathedral. Founded by German settlers to protect the routes that made their way up to the high passes over the Carpathians, Brasov is an architectural delight. There are several churches dating from the 14th through to the 18th century and we shall include a visit to the Black Church as part of our tour.



Later this afternoon you may like to visit one of the museums, the First Romanian School or Saint Nicolas Church in the Scheii area (the old Romanian district of Brasov). In the evening you have an option of returning to the observatory for more bear watching.

Day 5: Drive To Bucharest Airport Where Our Trip Ends

Location: Bucharest

Meals Included: Breakfast

Departing Moieciu this morning we drive for around three hours to Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP), where we will arrive at about 10.30am and this is where our trip ends. The earliest your flight can depart is 12.20pm.



If your flight is departing later in the day then you may choose to return to Bucharest city centre to visit some of the historic buildings or museums. Alternatively, if you fancy a change of pace, there is always the possibility of some shopping. Since the 1990s brand names and high-end stores have been pushing their way into the Romanian market. From high fashion boutiques to art galleries, shopping in Bucharest can fit any taste or budget. Stroll down Boulevard Victoria from Piata Amzei to the National History Museum of Romania for the shops or visit one of the many shopping malls favoured by the local rich and famous. If you wish to be dropped off in the city centre rather than remaining at the airport then please discuss this with your Leader. You can be taken to our hotel in Bucharest where you can store your luggage. To get back to the airport you will need to take a public bus or taxi.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    Standard

  • Meals

    As detailed in the itinerary

  • Fully Guided

    Yes

What's Not Included

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

  • Country Entry Visas

  • International Travel

Videos

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the maximum group size?

    16 people (average group size is 12)

  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?

    Yes

  • Will passengers from another country be participating in the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at https://www.explore.co.uk/about/sustainability/charities-and-partners

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

  • Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

Sarah  

Transylvania Long Weekend

Sarah  

Transylvania Long Weekend

Ivor  

Transylvania Long Weekend

Just to commend Roxy, Bogdan and Steffi for making

Just to commend Roxy, Bogdan and Steffi for making this trip, and all my experiences, simply wonderful

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 70 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of explore! charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 13 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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