Day 1: Departure
Arrival airport transfer to the hotel in Bucharest for dinner and overnight.
Day 2: BUCHAREST – TARGOVISTE – CURTEA DE ARGES - SIBIU
Your journey starts in Bucharest, the 500 year old capital of Romania. Leave for Targoviste, a throne residence of Wallachia, known for the Princely Court (14th -17thcenturies) and for the Chindia Watch Tower, dating from the 15th century, built during the reign of Vlad Tepes. From high atop this brick tower, Vlad the Impaler presided over hundreds of executions in the country yard below. A short drive will take you to Curtea de Arges; a stunning architectural gem is the 14 century old Curtea de Arges Monastery, with its two towers spiraling in opposite directions. Vlad Dracul, Vlad Tepes’ father, built the primacy of Muntenia here between 1437-1439. Find out the legend of Master Manole, who, it is said, entombed his wife in the stone walls of the church. Travelling to Transylvania, across the Carpathian Mountains, through the beautiful Olt River Valley arrive in Sibiu, European Cultural Capital in 2007, just in time for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: SIBIU – SIBIEL - SIBIU
Morning walking tour of the old part of Sibiu, with its narrow streets, pass across Lies Bridge, visit the Evangelic Cathedral and the Catholic Church and discover this citadel built by Saxons, where history, art and folklore blend to tourists’ delight. Further on explore the ASTRA Folk Art Open Air Museum in Dumbrava forest and marvel at the unique old houses with genuine furniture and handmade rugs, clothes wooden craft objects in exquisite colours made by skilled artisans. A short drive will take you to Sibiel village for visiting the museum of icons painted on glass; also here, enjoy the flavours of the traditional Romanian cuisine at lunch. Afternoon return to Sibiu for overnight.
Day 4: SIBIU – ALBA IULIA – TURDA - CLUJ-NAPOCA
An hour morning drive will take you to Alba Iulia, one of the oldest settlements in Romania, the largest commercial center during the Roman occupation and then an impressive Habsburg citadel; have a tour of the newly restored ancient citadel, visit the Catholic Cathedral and the Orthodox Cathedral of Reunification. Continue north to Turda for visiting the amazing and huge salt mine, 209 m underground, situated on the 22nd place of the world’s top spectacular tourist destinations. Now restored as a museum and centre for halo therapy, it has a futuristic feeling being more like a “playground’ with bowling, mini golf, table tennis, basketball hoops, boat rowing facilities. Late afternoon arrival to the hotel in Cluj-Napoca.
Day 5: CLUJ-NAPOCA – SAPANTA – SIGHETU MARMATIEI/ Maramures area
Morning sightseeing tour of Cluj-Napoca including visits to the Orthodox Cathedral and to the St. Michael Catholic Church followed by departure to Maramures area, land of almost one hundred beautiful wooden churches and extremely artful carved porches, where authentic rural culture and life with important touches preserved from the Dacian ancestors may be experienced. Stop over to visit one of the eight Wooden Churches of Maramureş listed by UNESCO. Continue further north to Sapanta village, where the local spirituality, mostly people beliefs are more obvious. Since ancestors considered that death it’s just a new beginning, they had a special way of honouring the deceased in the unique Merry Cemetery. Here, blue wooden crosses feature carved scenes and humorous lyrics that describe the personality, both good and bad sides, of those who passed away. A stop here would not be complete without visiting the Sapanta-Peri Church the tallest wooden church in the world, 78 m high. Overnight in Sighetu Marmatiei.
Day 6: SIGHETU MARMATIEI/Maramures area – TIHUTA PASS - BUCOVINA
This morning continue your journey through remote villages of the Maramures area with a couple of stops for visiting representative art expressions of the local craftsmen, including the impressive Barsana Monastery Complex, an important cultural and religious centre. Early afternoon cross an invisible threshold to Bukovina, land of the outdoor painted monasteries mostly included in the UNESCO World Heritage, a realm where religious beliefs, tradition and old history are mostly expressed. Stop over for lunch in Tihuta pass, the actual area of Bram Stoker’s Borgo pass, the place of Count’s Dracula presumed Castle. Continue on to the heart of Bucovina for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: BUCOVINA
Today enjoy the gentle hills, the luxurious nature wrapped in a warm light of this blessed territory. Bucovina presents itself like an art album, with time and space dimensions discovered by getting acquainted with the exquisite frescoes painted on the monasteries, with the impressive walls of the citadels, with the vivid colours from the enchanting popular costumes. Monasteries Moldovita which received the Order “Pomme d’Or”, Sucevita, “a Poem in Green and Light”, Voronet, surnamed “the jewel of Bucovina”, Humor, one of the best preserved monuments of its kind, are a must on your visiting list. While touring the monasteries you may want to stop in Marginea village famous for its black pottery, unique in the world, being a ceramic centre since the 16th century. The tasty Moldavian cuisine will be experience during your meals in the area. Late afternoon return to your yesterday’s accommodation place for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: BUCOVINA – TG. NEAMT – BICAZ GORGES - SIGHISOARA
Morning head south. Stop over for visiting the picturesque Neamt Citadel dating back the 14th century and Agapia Monastery painted by our greatest painter Nicolae Grigorescu. Continue on to Sighisoara, crossing the Eastern Carpathians through the impressive Bicaz Gorges. Short stop in Lacu Rosu (Red Lake) to admire the landscape and find out the story of the crimson waters. Continue on to Sighisoara, Europe’s best preserved still inhabited medieval citadel.
Day 9: SIGHISOARA - BRASOV
Morning walking sightseeing tour of Sighisoara. One of its most famous attractions is the Clock Tower. Strolling through the old citadel, part of the UNESCO World Heritage, you will pass by the Guild Tower, the Venetian House, the Antler House, the Wood Covered Staircase, the Hill Church, and, of course, the most sought place here, Dracula’s House where Prince Vlad Tepes, the Impaler, was born. The house has been turned into a restaurant, museum like, that preserves the Middle Age atmosphere.A couple of hours drive,travelling through Transylvania, will bring you to Brasov, a medieval trading center, nestled in the Central Carpathians.Wander through the old part of the city, with attractive Saxon architecture, boutiques and cozy restaurants and feel the special romantic medieval atmosphere. Visit the Black Church, an impressive Gothic style cathedral, the symbol of the city and St. Nicolas Church. Traditional dinner and overnight in Brasov area.
Day 10: BRASOV – BRAN – AZUGA – SINAIA - BUCHAREST
Morning departure to Bran Castle, widely known as Dracula’s Castle, built at the beginning of the 13th century by Knight Dietrich of the Teutonic Order. The Castle had a strategic mission being at the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. In the XX century, the Castle became a royal residence. Now it is open for visitors eager to broaden their history knowledge and thirsty of fabulous legends. Romania being a renowned vineyard country, a wine tasting before lunch awaits you at the famous Azuga Rhein Cellars, designated as the “Supplier of His Majesty King Michael the First”. Continue your scenic drive through the Prahova Valley to the Peles Royal Castle; situated in Sinaia mountain resort city, known as “the Pearl of the Carpathians”, it is a masterpiece of German New-Renaissance architecture. Former summer residence of the Royal Family, situated in the midst of a wonderful landscape, sculpted gardens and fountains, it is now one of Europe’s most beautiful museums, displaying priceless collections of weaponry, hand woven silk rugs and furniture, ceramics and sculptures. Atwo hour drive crossing the Meridional Carpathian Mountains and the Romanian plain will bring you back to Bucharest. Farewell dinner and overnight in Bucharest.
Day 11: BUCHAREST
Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Bucharest,the over five-century-old capital of Romania. Drive by the Romanian Athenaeum, the former Royal Palace, the Town Hall, the Opera House, the Cotroceni Palace, the Military Academy. Visit the Palace of Parliament – the second largest edifice in the world after the Pentagon in Washington. Short stops at the Metropolitan Church and in the Revolution Square and the Constitution Square.Following Kiseleff Avenue and passing by the Arch of Triumph which gave the city the surname of „Little Paris” experience the real Romanian traditional life visiting the open-air Village and Folk Art Museum with houses brought here from all over the country, one of the largest of its kind in Europe. After early dinner, departure airport transfer.