Highlights of Romania: Beyond Transylvania

Highlights of Romania: Beyond Transylvania

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15 Days From

$4138

$4008

Highlights of Romania: Beyond Transylvania

15 Days Starting and ending in BUCHAREST

Visiting: Bucharest, Măldărești, Horezu, Transalpina, Sibiu, Cluj County, Turda, Breb, Sighetu Marmației, Sucevița, Ieud, Voroneț, Marginea, Agapia, Târgu Mureș, Piatra Neamț, Văratec, Neamț County, Sighișoara, Lacu Roșu, Viscri, Brașov, Sinaia, Azuga

Tour operator:

Wild Frontiers

Tour code:

ROM

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 12

Physical rating:

Low, Low / Moderate

Age range:

1-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Please contact Wild Frontiers with any specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:

English

Activities:

Sightseeing, Walking

Private Available:

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From: $4138 $4008 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$130

NB: Prices correct on 24-Jul-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

A land of wild forested mountains and timeless medieval landscapes, Romania has lain at the cultural crossroads of Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe for centuries. Hemmed in by the great arc of the Carpathian Mountains, its wealth of well-preserved medieval towns and churches play host to some of the most authentic and atmospheric cultural encounters.Beginning in Bucharest, Romania’s lively capital, we’ll journey deep into the heart of the great ranges of the Carpathian Mountains, crossing the Transalpina as we make our way from the World Heritage setting of Horezu Monastery into the old Saxon heartlands of Transylvania. Here we’ll visit the beautifully preserved town of Sibiu and spend time amongst the untouched rural villages of Maramures, before crossing the Carpathians once more to visit the famed Painted Monasteries of Bucovina.In Moldavia we enjoy traditional Romanian cuisine and discover the blood-soaked legends and vampire myths of Sighisoara and Bran, before taking a horse cart ride around the captivating UNESCO treasures of Viscri. Before returning to Bucharest we then have an opportunity to explore a little of the centre of old Brasov, home to some of the finest medieval monuments anywhere in the country.

Highlights

  • Soak up the vampire myths of Vlad Dracul amongst the streets of Sighisoara and at the imposing Bran Castle of Transylvania

  • Enjoy a traditional pottery class, egg painting demonstration, cooking workshop and sparkling wine tasting

  • Experience the ancient rural traditions of the Maramures region, and visit the unique Merry Cemetery and wooden Monastery of Ieud

  • Discover the captivating cultural highlights of the cities of Sibui, Cluj, Bucharest, Pietra Niemt and Brasov

  • Stay with one of the few remaining German colonists in Viscri in a refurbished Saxon peasant house and explore the village by horse drawn cart

  • See the famous painted monasteries and Byzantine frescoes of the Bucovina district and explore the other-worldly salt mine of Salina Turda

Itinerary

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Day 1 : Tour Starts In Bucharest

Location: Bucharest

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Capitol or similar

Meals Included: Dinner

Our journey begins in Romania’s energetic capital, Bucharest, where we will have a welcome dinner to meet our fellow passengers and tour leader.

Day 2 : Bucharest

Location: Bucharest

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Capitol or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

The centre of Romania’s cultural and artistic development for centuries, Bucharest is home to a rich mix of classical, Art Nouveau and communist era architecture and includes amongst its impressive landmarks the “People’s House”. The world’s largest parliament building, built during the reign of Nicolae Ceausescu, this vast structure houses the country’s Senate and Chamber of Deputies, three museums and, allegedly, the world’s largest international convention centre. We’ll take in this iconic landmark and the city’s medieval heart on a full day tour.

Day 3 : Bucharest - Horezu - Maldaresti

Location: Bucharest, Măldărești, Horezu

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Conacul Maldar or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Departing the city this morning we head north, towards Oltenia and the imposing mountains of the Carpathian ranges. Our first visit of the day will be to the World Heritage setting of Horezu, whose 17th century monastery and traditional ceramics have both been recognised by UNESCO. A tour of the stunning Brancovenesc style monastery and a local pottery workshop will then be followed by a late afternoon visit to the historic village of Maldaresti, before we complete our journey to this evening’s impressive accommodation, a 300-year old manor.

Day 4 : Maldaresti - Transalpina - Sibiu

Location: Transalpina, Măldărești, Sibiu

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Imparatul Romanilor or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Crossing the southern Carpathian Mountains today we journey along the famed King's Road, or as it is better known, the Transalpina (weather and date dependent). Ascending up to 2,000 metres this is the highest tarmac road in the country and offers up some spectacular vistas down into Transylvania. Weather permitting we’ll take a short walk amongst the high valleys of the Parang Mountains today, before descending by road down to the shepherds’ villages of Jina and Poiana Sibiului and then on to our final stop in Sibiu.

Day 5 : Sibiu - Turda - Cluj

Location: Cluj County, Turda, Sibiu

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Lol et Lola or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Straddling the banks of the Cibin River, Sibiu provides one of the highlights of our journey. One of the country’s most important cultural centres, it is home to some of the best preserved historical sites anywhere in Romania and in 2007 was designated as European City of Culture. A walking tour this morning will take in some of its highlights, before we then depart for the spectacular salt mines of Turda and the wine cellars of “La Salina”. We will arrive in Cluj for a free evening.

Day 6 : Cluj - Breb

Location: Breb, Cluj County

Accommodation: Pensinuea Marioara or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a morning walking tour of Cluj, the unofficial Transylvanian capital, we then continue by road north towards Maramures. Renowned for its beautiful UNESCO wooden churches and colourful traditional attire, this is Romania at its most traditional and captivating. Stopping in Breb, considered one of the most authentic of Maramures’s fairytale villages, we’ll enter a world steeped in the customs and folklore of its medieval past, a world which writer William Blacker once described as ‘a country frozen in time’. We will have time in the late afternoon to explore the village on foot and enjoy dinner prepared by our guesthouse hosts in their traditional house.

Day 7 : Breb: Merry Cemetery & Sighetu Marmatiei

Location: Breb, Sighetu Marmației

Accommodation: Pensinuea Marioara or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The colourful tombstones and jolly artwork of the extraordinary ‘Merry Cemetery’ of Ion Stan Patras is one of Romania’s most unique attractions. Based in the village of Sapan?a it can date its colourful origins back to the 1930s, when a local artist began sculpting its first decorative tombstone crosses. Continuing to Sighetu Marmatiei we then visit the ‘Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance’, a former prison that today houses one of the most remarkable museums on this theme in Europe.

Day 8 : Breb - Ieud - Sucevita

Location: Sucevița, Ieud, Breb

Accommodation: Casa Cu Cerbi or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Departing Breb this morning we drive first to the Orthodox village of Ieud, where we visit the oldest wooden church in Romania. Then we cross the Carpathian Mountains via the Prislop Mountain Pass, heading into the neighbouring province of Bucovina with its UNESCO listed painted monasteries. This afternoon we visit the 17th century Gothic and Byzantine splendours of the Sucevita Monastery, one of the last of its kind to be painted in the famous Moldavian style of exterior painting. We spend another night in a traditional homestay, sampling local cuisine and taking in the wonderful rural setting.

Day 9 : Sucevita: Moldovita, Voronet & Marginea

Location: Sucevița, Voroneț, Marginea

Accommodation: Casa Cu Cerbi or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Moldovita Monastery is our first port of call this morning. Built in 1532, its exquisite gold and deep blue frescoes are considered amongst the best preserved of the region’s spectacular painted churches. A visit to the workshop of Glicheria Hretiuc then provides a chance to enjoy the elaborate art of egg painting, before we continue on to visit the Voronet Monastery, the ‘Sistine Chapel of the East’. Return to Sucevita by way of the black ceramic workshop in Marginea Village to see the craftsmen at work.

Day 10 : Sucevita - Targu-Neamt - Agapia - Varatec - Piatra-Neamt

Location: Agapia, Sucevița, Târgu Mureș, Piatra Neamț, Văratec, Neamț County

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Central Plaza or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Leaving Bucovina behind today we drive deeper into the historical landscapes of Moldavia, heading first for the town of Targu-Neamt, where a local cookery workshop will introduce us to the savoury delights of traditional sausage-making. After sampling our efforts and trying some local cheeses, we then drive to Agapia Monastery, where we’ll see the impressive frescoes by the Romanian master, Nicolae Grigorescu. Continuing west through the Moldavian villages of Varatec, Valae Arini and Valea Seaca, we end the day in the city of Piatra-Neamt, surrounded by the peaks of the Eastern Carpathians.

Day 11 : Piatra-Neamt - Lacu Rosu - Sighisoara

Location: Sighișoara, Lacu Roșu, Piatra Neamț

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Sighisoara or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

The drive into Transylvania today takes us through the impressive limestone cliffs of the Bicaz Gorges, whose towering walls reach some 350 metres in height. At Lacu Rosu (Red Lake) we enjoy lunch and a gentle walk around the area before continuing to Sighisoara. Arriving later this afternoon we then visit Sighisoara’s UNESCO citadel and wander its narrow cobbled streets, soaking up the character and charm of a town that is steeped in the legend of Vlad Tepes, the bloodthirsty Wallachian prince who gave birth to the vampire legend.

Day 12 : Sighisoara - Viscri

Location: Sighișoara, Viscri

Accommodation: Homestay

Accommodation Name: Traditional Saxon House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

With a Saxon heritage that is a direct result of colonisation by German settlers in the 13th century, the Transylvanian village of Viscri is one of the most famous in Romania. Inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, its fortified church and timeless cobbled streets sit amongst a rural landscape that takes you back to a Romania that existed pre 1900. We enjoy a horse cart ride through the surrounding pastures and forests of the Transylvanian Hills, before taking some time to explore the church and the village. Tonight, we will stay in one of the traditional Saxon houses to delve deeper into this well-preserved way of life.

Day 13 : Viscri - Brasov

Location: Brașov, Viscri

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Casa Wagner or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

We will have some free time in Viscri before turning south this morning to the city of Brasov, whose colourful medieval centre is one of the best-preserved in Romania. Surrounded by the Southern Carpathians, the city is home to the celebrated Gothic edifice of the Black Church, at one time the largest of its kind anywhere between Vienna and Constantinople. We will go on a city tour before enjoying a free evening.

Day 14 : Brasov: Bran Castle

Location: Brașov

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Casa Wagner or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we transfer to the nearby village of Bran, the location of the impressively imposing citadel of Bran Castle. Built in the 14th century and renovated during the 19th century by the Romanian royal family, the castle has long been associated with Bram Stoker’s famous creation, Count Dracula. Returning to Brasov this afternoon there will be time to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure before enjoying a final dinner together at a local restaurant.

Day 15 : Brasov - Azuga – Sinaia - Bucharest

Location: Sinaia, Brașov, Bucharest, Azuga

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

After some free time this morning we transfer back towards Bucharest, following the spectacular Prahova Valley through the craggy mountains. A short stop in Azuga provides an opportunity to visit the cellars of the official supplier of sparkling wines to the royal household, with lunch and wine tasting included. Following lunch we’ll then wander to a viewpoint overlooking Peles Castle in Sinaia, the former summer residence of the Romanian royal family, before heading straight to Otopeni airport in Bucharest where the tour ends.

What's Included

  • MEALS

    14 x Breakfasts, 14 x Lunches, 8 x Dinners

  • TRANSPORT

    On this tour we will use minibuses.

  • GROUP SIZE

    Maximum: 12

  • CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

    Contributions to carbon offset & tree planting projects for all bookings

  • ACCOMMODATION

    14 nights x Superior

  • EXPERT TEAM

    The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

  • ENTRANCE FEES

    All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

  • FITNESS RATING

    Low / Moderate

What's Not Included

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour
ationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatoryTips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documentsInternational .Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UKAirport .Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights.Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently do not require a visa for Romania.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

If travelling to/from the start/finish of the tour from another European country you might also want to consider reducing your carbon footprint by travelling there by train.  We are unfortunately not (yet) in a position to help you with the actual booking of the train tickets but lots of good information can be found here - www.seat61.com

Key Aspects to Consider

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour. Romanian food is generally excellent but please be advised that although vegetarians can certainly be catered for the selection and variety may be limited at times.

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the maximum group size?

    12

  • Do you require a visa for this holiday?

    For this tour UK passport holders currently do not require a visa for Romania.

    Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    We have a complete Covid-19 hub here: https://www.wildfrontierstravel.com/en_GB/covid-hub

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

    Over 70% of passengers on our group tours are solo adventurers. Unlike many tour operators, we don’t believe in charging solo travellers a premium, so if you are happy to share a room with a fellow traveller of the same sex, you will pay exactly the same as a couple..Occasionally you may even end up with your own room. You can travel as a single traveller on any of our holidays, from our escorte

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

    Yes

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 2002

  • Do I need to be double-vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel with you?

    In most cases, yes. Not only are many destinations making double-vaccination a requirement of entry to the country and/or access to restaurants, museums etc., but additionally on all our group tours for the foreseeable future, for everyone’s peace of mind, we are asking that all clients be double vaccinated.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

Catherine Wilkinson  

Catherine Wilkinson

My first Wild Frontiers trip blew my expectations

My first Wild Frontiers trip blew my expectations away - I'm not sure I'll be able to cope travelling with other companies now!

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    We will only consider a trip Covid Viable*** if pre-departure it meets all of the following criteria:

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    ** If you were originally booked to travel before 30 April 2020 and transferred to a later date, or if you have a tailor-made booking, there may be some irrecoverable costs which we cannot refund. Please speak to us and we will be able to advise you if this is the case for your booking.
    ***Since our HQ is in London, Covid Viable status for our Group Tours will be assessed on UK-based travellers. However we are fully aware that many of our clients live in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. As such, when we deem a trip to now be Covid Viable, everyone booked will have a chance to review their own personal situation before deciding whether or not to remain booked on the trip. Anyone wishing to, will have the option to transfer without fees to another trip at this time. For tailor made bookings, we may also able to consider additional countries’ travel advice when deciding if a trip is Viable. Please discuss this with us at the time of booking.
    **** This relates to bookings from UK clients only. We may operate trips to destinations which the British FCDO advise against travel for Covid reasons. If this is the case, anyone wishing to will have the option to cancel with a refund or transfer to another trip. In some cases we may choose to offer a tour to a Red destination but these will be at both clients’ and Wild Frontiers’ discretion and will be subject to alternative conditions to be discussed on an ad hoc basis.
    *****If a destination, that we have deemed to be Covid Viable, subsequently fails any aspect of the criteria for two consecutive weeks, you will have the right under our Covid Promise to transfer without any fees.

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