A week tour which proposes you to discover the Romanian and the Saxon culture in the South- East of Transylvania. You will hike, search for bears in Piatra Craiului Mountains and explore the fortified churches and strongholds. You will find the legacy of the 800 year-old Saxon culture, visit Bran castle, linked with the mythical Count Dracula and also step back in time in the remote traditional villages of Transylvania.
£970 per person
April – September
Day 1: Bucharest – Brasov - Magura
Transfer from Bucharest airport to Brasov, a Saxon fortress, often compared with old towns in Poland and Czeck Republic. We climb a little hill to the White Tower where you can have a stunning panorama of the old stronghold and from here we start our tour in the old center, visiting the Council Square and the famous Black Church. Overnight accommodation and dinner in Magura village, with wonderful views over the mountains. Family run guesthouse. Dinner included.
Day 2: Bran Castle - Magura
We walk today from our accommodation to Bran Castle (about 6 h walking over the hills with stunning views over the mountains). Bran castle is built in 1377. Since 1920 the castle has become the summer residence of Queen Marie of Romania, the grand-daughter of Queen Victoria of England. The castle is strangely linked to the Count Dracula, even if it is doubtful that Vlad the Impaler ever spent the night here. Lunch as picnic. Some overnight accommodation as previous. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 3: Sighisoara - Crit
We walk today from our accommodation at the foothills of the mountains, along pastures, woods and villages. 3 – 4 hours walk. The car will collect and transfer you to the next base, in a Saxon village, south of Sighisoara. Dinner and accommodation in Viscri with village families. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 4: Viscri
Today we start a gently walk from Viscri to Crit, through flowery meadows and following the footsteps of Prince Charles who also did the 15 km walk. (5h) Picnic lunch. Viscri, a remote village with a beautiful 12th century fortified church. Beside the one-room church and the traditional house architecture, we can still find treasures of many Saxon civilization families. Viscri is the headquarter of Mihai Eminescu Trust (English trustee aims to preserve the villages fabric, remedy their loss of income and revive their sense of community. The Trust helps the inhabitants to develop new sources of revenue and the restore their houses with sympathetic use of traditional materials). Same overnight accommodation in Crit. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 5: Sighisoara - Malancrav
In our way to next accommodation we stop to visit Sighisoara, considered to be the most beautiful and complete medieval architectural assemble of Romania and the most beautiful inhabited citadel throughout Europe. Sighisoara is also the birth place of Vlad the Impaler, connected according Bram Stoker’s novel with Count Dracula. The medieval citadel is perched on a hillock and is fortified with a 14th century wall. Lunch independent in Sighisoara. Dinner and overnight accommodation in the remote village of Malancrav. Before evening, we have time for a small walk around the village and its hills. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Day 6: Noul Sasesc – Copsa Mica - Biertan
Visit the church of Malancrav and the stunning interior paintings. By the manor house we start our walk through the apple orchard and hills to head Saxon villages as Noul Sasesc, Copsa Mica to reach Biertan. (5 h). Lunch as picnic. We visit the largest Saxon defensive fortress, with three surrounding walls – Biertan, considered to be among the most fantastic Saxon heritage in Transylvania. The fortified church is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Drive to Sibiu (2 h driving). Accommodation in a 3* central hotel.
Day 7: Sibiu – Olt Valley - Bucharest
Time to spent in Sibiu, to admire the old architecture in the Large Square and the Small Square. The Lutheran church and its crypt is not to be missed! Sibiu is preparing for the big event of 2007, when this city will be the Cultural Capital of Europe, together with Luxembourg. Lunch independent in Sibiu. In the afternoon, we drive south to the picturesque Olt Valley and head to Bucharest, the capital of Romania. The guide will say good bye to you at the hotel. Accommodation in Bucharest in a 3* central hotel. Breakfast.
Day 8: Bucharest departure
Free morning in Bucharest and then transfer to the airport organised by the hotel. Breakfast.
Accommodation as described in the itinerary: family run guesthouses, MET guesthouses, hotels in Sibiu and Bucharest.
Meals as described on the itinerary. Most of the days, picnic lunches.
English speaking guide and interpreter;
Transport, fuel, rent a car and driver;
Transfer to the airport
Other meals than specified in the itinerary
Entrance fees to churches, museums, castles, etc
Alcoholic drinks (but usually the host is offering traditional alcoholic drinks as plum brandy and wine)
Extra costs for experiences that we can add, including bear watching, horse and cart rides
Manor house accommodation, Blacksmith visits, shepherds visits (depending the time of year).