Discover the ancient, medieval and contemporary history, monumental artworks, fascinating traditions and unspoiled natural beauty in a 7 day trip to Transylvania and the Western part of Romania!
During this tour we will also enjoy 2 of the most scenic roads in Romania: Transfagarasan (world's best road according to Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson and one of Romania's top attractions, that reaches the maximum altitude of 2,042 metres close to the Glacial Balea Lake) and Transalpina (the highest road in Romania, with a maximum altitude of 2,145 metres, with numerous winding curves and spectacular mountain views).
We will start the tour heading North from Bucharest to Sibiu, passing through the Carpathian Mountains via the famous Transfagarasan Road* into Transylvania. So, prepare your cameras for an incredible scenery! On our way we have short stop to visit Curtea de Arges Cathedral, and then at the Vidraru Dam, located on the bank of Arges River, along Transfagarasan Road, considered by specialists a real jewelry of engineering, especially as it was built with many human sacrifices.
Once we reach Sibiu/Hermannstadt, European Capital of Culture in 2007 and European Region of Gastronomy in 2019, we will explore the city in a walking tour, including: the Big Square and Little Square, Huet Square, Iron Bridge, the Council Tower, the Evangelical Church and the Orthodox Church.
The accommodation in Sibiel in a local guesthouse, with a delicious traditional homemade dinner prepared specially for you with pure organic food and alcoholic drinks are included.
*Between 1st of July and 15th October, the Transfagarasan Road is usually open and we can visit Curtea de Arges Monastery; when the weather conditions do not permit it or the road is closed, we will change our route and visit Cozia Monastery, located on the beautiful Olt River Valley.
Breakfast in the morning, then we continue our trip in Transylvania, getting insights of two beautiful medieval landmarks from the SW of this magnificent territory: Corvin Castle (also known as Hunyadi Castle) and Alba Iulia Citadel (the largest citadel in Romania).
Before reaching Corvin Castle, we can have an optional stop at Calnic Fortress, a beautiful XIII Century citadel included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Once arrived in the city of Hunedoara, we will visit the beautiful Gothic-Renaissance Corvin/Hunyadi Castle, that many refer to as "one of the 7 wonders of Romania"! The castle is one of the largest castles in Europe and the largest one in Transylvania, being an important piece of history for Romania. Hunyadi Castle, alongside with Poienari Citadel, Bran/Dracula's Castle and Sighisoara citadel, is sometimes mentioned as a great source of inspiration for Bram Stoker's famous novel, Dracula.
After that, we will almost literally walk through history once we arrive in the city of Alba Iulia, a place of monumental historical significance, associated to the Great Union of 1918 and the coronation of the kings Ferdinand I and Mary, the first monarchs of Greater Romania. Its ancient medieval center, the Alba Carolina fortress, encloses between its walls several centuries old attractions laden with history, including Saint Michael’s Cathedral.
Accommodation in Alba Iulia, in a 4* hotel.
After breakfast, we continue our today visits and head to our first stop: Turda Salt Mine, a must-see underground tourist attraction in Romania! You will be surprised to discover a subterranean history museum of salt exploitation and also an incredible underground theme park, nestled inside one of the world's oldest salt mines, dating back to the Middle Ages! Once inside, you'll find an amphitheater, a bowling alley, an underground lake with paddle and row boats, a mini golf course, ping pong courts and even a Ferris wheel.
In the afternoon, we reach Cluj Napoca - the heart of Transylvania and the second largest city in Romania. We will discover the history and most important sights of this dynamic city with a very youthful vibe - no surprise that it was named European Youth Capital in 2015!
Walking city tour downtown the main square will include some of the best landmarks of the city: St. Michael’s Cathedral, Matthias Corvinus statue, Banffy Palace, then Opera House and the Franciscan Monastery.
Accommodation in Cluj Napoca, in a 4* hotel.
Breakfast in the morning, then we head West, crossing the Western Carpathian Mountains to Oradea - Romania's suprising Art Nouveau capital, our first sight for today. Oradea has been a member of the Art Nouveau cities network since 2012, alongside other European cities with a rich Art Nouveau heritage such as Helsinki, Barcelona, Glasgow and Budapest. We will explore Oradea's landmarks in a sightseeing tour including the Black Eagle Palace, the Moon Church, the Episcopal Palace, the Moskovits Buildings.
Afternoon at Recas Winery and Vineyards (Banat region) - one of the largest wineries in Romania, where we will enjoy a visit of the cellars and winetasting of local wines.
We leave the winery and head to our final stop, Timisoara - Romania’s third largest city, designated to be European Capital of Culture in 2021! In 1884, the city was the first mainland European city and just second in the world (after New York) to have electric public street lighting. It is also ‘The First Free City’ where the sparks of the Revolution against Ceauşescu’s communist regime were ignited in 1989.
Afternoon walking tour, including the city main squares (Liberty, Union and Victory).
Accommodation in Timisoara, in a 4* hotel.
After breakfast, short visit to the 1989 Revolution Memorial in the morning and then, for history enthusiasts, we drive inside the mountains, very close to the wild Retezat National Park, where we will find the ruins of Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, the capital of the Roman Dacia.
We continue driving across the Carpathians during the afternoon. The end of today will be in Targu Jiu (known as "The City of Brancusi"). We will admire the open-air monumental sculptures of Constantin Brancusi, one of the most famous European sculptors who was born here. The main attractions in this city: The Endless Column, The Gate of the Kiss, The Chairs Alley and The Table of Silence.
Accommodation in a 3*hotel in Targu Jiu.
Breakfast, then we return back to Bucharest through a beautiful hill scenery, including a short uphill ride to the spectacular Transalpina** Mountain Road. The highest road in Romania (reaching a maximum altitude of 2,145 meters), Transalpina competes with the stunning and most famous Transfagarasan Road for the most beautiful road in the country. Whichever is more impressive is hard to say, but during this tour you will have the opportunity to experience them both and decide!
Another landmark for today consists in a visit of Horezu Monastery (Valcea County) considered to be the most representative construction in the Brancovenesc style, a real masterpiece. After the monastery visit, we will be able to discover Horezu area as a famous and representative place in Romania in terms of ceramics/pottery, traditional crafts and folklore. Since 2012, the Horezu Ceramics are included on the UNESCO Cultural Patrimony.
In the evening, return to Bucharest, drop off at the hotel.
Accommodation in a 4* hotel, centrally located.
**Some restrictions may exist during Winter time. When the road is closed or the weather conditions do not permit it, we will change our route.
After breakfast, we will meet again for our last day visits in Bucharest capital.
Known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards, glorious Belle Époque buildings and a reputation for the high life (which in the 1900s earned its nickname of "Little Paris"), Bucharest - Romania's largest city and capital, is today a bustling metropolis.
Morning panoramic and walking tour, downtown Bucharest. The tour includes: the Arch of Triumph (inspired by the one in Paris), the Press Square (where a copy of the Moscow University can be seen), the former Royal Palace (nowadays the Art Museum), the Athenaeum (Romania’s most famous concert hall), the Revolution Square (where the 1989 anti-communism revolt went nationwide), ride along Victoria Avenue, the University, the National Theatre, the Opera House, Manuc’s Inn, the Old Town, and visits of the Palace of Parliament Building (the 2nd largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon) and the Village Museum.
After the city tour, free time to spend as you wish (maybe some shopping or walking and enjoying the city), then transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
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