Travel Guides, Albums - Romania

CASTLES & PALACES OF WALLACHIA AND TRANSYLVANIA TOUR (2013/2014)


CULTURE, FICTION AND HISTORY ON A COMPREHENSIVE SIX DAY TOUR

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Itinerary: Bucharest City Tour – Curtea de Arges – Sibiu – Biertan – Sighisoara – Brasov – Bran Castle – Sinaia – Bucharest
Duration: 6 Days

Day 1: Bucharest
Arrival to Coanda International Airport in Bucharest. Upon arrival you’ll be met by your English speaking tour guide. Transfer to your downtown Bucharest hotel. Check in and vicinity walk. Time at leisure until the evening when you will enjoy a typical Romanian Welcome Dinner and Folklore show.
T D Accommodation in Bucharest at Hotel Berthelot **** (centrally located boutique hotel)

Palace of the Parliament

Palace of the Parliament – the second largest building in the world.

Day 2: Bucharest City Tour – Curtea de Arges – Sibiu
Hot buffet breakfast at hotel. Begin you day a panoramic city tour of Bucharest including a walk in the Old Quarter. Visit Manuc’s Inn, an original 1808 caravanserai and the ruins castle1of the Princely Court. Later tour the Palace of the Parliament – the second largest building in the world. After lunch, tour the beautiful Cotroceni Palace, the main Bucharest former royal residence. Leave Bucharest on the way to Transylvania.

Drive on one of the most scenic routes of the country, the Olt River Valley. Stop at Cozia Monastery, get acquainted to the Brancovan architecture and decoration. This monastery features an excellent late 17 century Last Judgment fresco on the western façade. Cross the mountains into Transylvania and enjoy dramatic views of the Olt River and spectacular Middle Carpathians. Reach Sibiu, one of the most important medieval Saxon towns. Orientation tour including the fortifications and guild’s towers.
B Accommodation at Imparatul Romanilor Hotel **** (in the Great Square)
Hotel Imparatul Romanilor, located in the old part of Sibiu near the main square, in a 16th century building built in traditional Transylvanian Renaissance style, a former merchant’s hall transformed into hotel in the 18th century, with many famous guests: Emperor Franz Joseph II, composers Franz Liszt, Johann Strauss as well as Prince Charles and many others.

Sibiu

Sibiu – general view.

Day 3: Sibiu – Biertan – Sighisoara

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Begin your day with a leisurely walking tour of Sibiu, the chief city of the Transylvanian Germans. Visit the old surrounding defense walls and the remaining guild towers. Except for the Great Square with its “sleepy eyes”dormers another of the landmarks of Sibiu is the Bruckenthal Museum assembled by Baron Bruckenthal, governor of Transylvania at the beginning of the 19th century. The Evangelical Cathedral was completed in its actual shape in 1520, but inside, there is an exquisite fresco of the Crucifixion on the north wall of the choir dating from 1445. View the Passage of Stairs linking the Upper town to the Lower town, the 1859 Liar’s Bridge and the Byzantine style Orthodox Cathedral, a replica of St. Sophia in Constantinople. End you tour with a visit to the original Pharmacy Museum. Sibiu is a pleasant towm where residents relax at cafés along streets lined with handsome buildings. Lunch on your own. Before departing Sibiu stroll in the bustling open air market, then drive to the picturesque village of Biertan to visit the 1516 fortified church, the seat of the Lutheran Bishops until 1867. Biertan is part of the World Heritage List. Later in the afternoon, reach Sighisoara. Today a World Heritage Site, Sighisoara is probably one of the best well-preserved medieval towns across Europe. Hotel check in time at leisure. Dinner on your own.
B Accommodation at Sighisoara Hotel *** / House with Antler *** (in the Upper Town)

Brasov

Brasov is one of the most important destinations in Romania

Day 4: Sighisoara & Brasov

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Before starting your walking tour of old Sighisoara attend a lecture on Vlad the Impaler – Dracula, what is truth and what fiction. Sighisoara is one of a kind. A World Heritage Site, this is the only still inhabited medieval citadel in Europe. It was developed by the German settlers as of late 12 C. It stands on a network of tunnels and catacombs and, according to one version of the myth; this is where the Pied Piper brought the children of Hamelin after their ungrateful parents refused to pay him his due. Walking tour includes the two squares of the Citadel (Upper Town), the Scholars’ Staircase, the Ducklings’ Square, the Tinsmiths’ Tower, the House with Antler, the Tower with Clock (climb up for a great view), the Torture Chamber and the Weapon Museum. Sighisoara is the place where the famous Vlad the Impaler Dracula was born in 1431. The Birthplace is today a restaurant and one of the main tourist attractions. In the afternnon drive thru the scenic Transylvanian Plateau with its quaint villages, fortified churches and old fortresses such as Saschiz. Arrive to Brasov, take an orientation tour. Then check into your centrally located hotel and enjoy the lovely pedestrian area of Old Brasov around the Council Square.
B Accommodation in Brasov at casa Wagner ***

Day 5: Brasov – Bran Castle – Sinaia

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. The day begins with a panoramic city tour takes you to the best sites: the Gothic Black Church with its 4000 pipe organ and its amazing collection of the 16th and the 17th centuries Anatolian prayer rugs; then the Weaver’s Bastion and St. Nicholas Orthodox Church and the First School in Romanian. Lunch on your own. In the afternoon drive to 14th century Bran Castle, known as Dracula’s Castle, one of the best preserved medieval castles of Transylvania, originally built by the Teutonic Knights. Time for souvenir shopping. Late afternoon arrival to Sinaia mountain resort. Named after St. Catherine Monastery on Mount Sinai, Sinaia became the unofficial capital of the Kingdom of Romania towards the end of the 19th century. Orientation tour of the resort including a view of the famous Casino, inspired by the one in Monte Carlo. Once the famous Orient Express train use to regularly call here and it still does once a year on its way from Paris to Constantinople.
B Accommodation in Sinaia at Palace Hotel ****

Peles Castle

Peles Castle, the most famous royal residence in Romania.

Day 6: Sinaia – Bucharest

Hotand cold buffet breakfast. In the morning take an extended guided tour of one of the most important and most visited tourist attractions of the country: Peles Castle and Gardens in Sinaia, the royal residence of King Charles I of Romania and known as one of the most beautiful summer royal residences across Europe. With a mixture of interior decoration styles from Florentine to Moorish, this wonderful castle may be worth your entire trip to Romania. Time permitting stop at Sinaia Monastery built in the 1690s in the Brancovan style. After the visits drive to Bucharest Coanda International Airport for your flight back home. The ride takes approximately 1:30 hours OR take our
BULGARIA EXTENSION OR THE BLACK SEA & DANUBE DELTA EXTENSION (CLICK HERE)

Tour Price & Discounts: PLEASE CLICK HERE

Photo Album - Romania

Your price includes:

  • 5 nights at three and four star hotels (best available and centrally located)
  • fully insured sedan/minivan with climate control, for the entire distance
  • fuel & parking fees included
  • all sightseeing tours & cultural connections
  • exclusive “Vlad the Impaler – Dracula” lecture in Sighisoara
  • 6 meals: 5 breakfasts, 1 dinner
  • a Tours Of Romania professional English speaking guide (driving) to accompany you throughout
  • guide’s expenses
  • all transfers
  • admissions to museums, sites, churches as per itinerary
  • porterage (except for customs areas)
  • VAT and local tax
  • detailed map of Romania.

You’ll visit 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • Biertan Fortified Church
  • Historic Center of Sighisoara
  • Historic Center of Sibiu

Not included:

  • Other meals than stated
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Photo/video fees at sites and museums.

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Client Testimonials

 

Tara Sonja Jones

Together with my mother we’ve visited Romania in the summer of ’09. We always enjoyed private tours as opposed to bus tours. We had a fantastic journey through Transylvania, Maramures and Bucovina and were able to understand Romania in depth: the traditions and people. We loved all the special features included in our trip and especially meeting local artists and the home hosted dinners. We think the special lectures are a bonus to the entire experience. Excellent quality. Thank you for making it possible for us. Sincerely,
 

 

Dr. and Mrs. Luis G. Murillo, San Diego, California

Our journey through your wonderful country was most enjoyable and rewarding. We thank you very much for the help you extended to us especially in customizing our tour. Our guide was a very intelligent, knowledgeable and amiable young man who contributed greatly to our sense of comfort and security. His interest and skills in photography were an additional and unexpected help. He certainly can be considered a very valuable professional. Best Regards!
 

 

Janel Barberito and Jim Jurczyk

My husband and I visited Romania after we e-mailed about 7 tour operators with the same request (dates, itinerary, etc). We made our decision based on the timely replies, the tour that was presented by each operator, the costs and the manner in which it was presented. There was something different about their responses and we felt good about our decision….we were not disappointed. The accommodations were superb, better than what we would have chosen. We compared the costs with the other operators and agreed that was the best deal.
 

 

Rachelle Babij and Her Group of 42, Canada

Once again, I wish to say Thank You for making our trip to Romania (home) so wonderful – everyone was very pleased with the tour and all had a great time.  There were many sad tears when we said good bye to each other – no one wanted the tour to end.   I am very happy to have contacted you to do this family tour for us – it was EXCELLENT!!!!!
 

 

Margery Cohen, New York, NY

We cannot recommend Andrei Nicolau highly enough. He is a wonderful guide and also very intelligent. We had always traveled on our own but felt in Romania we would need a guide and was not sure how it would be for 15 days. Well, it was truly an outstanding experience. Andrei’s goal is to make his clients happy and to love Romania. He is extremely proud of his country and his knowledge of its history and also European history is extensive. My husband is a history buff and he and Andrei had wonderful discussions. He will alter your itinerary to meet your needs or if something interesting is happening to include that also. He is there to serve you. Andrei’s English is excellent. He is a truly unique person and we know you will love your trip to Romania.
 

 

Martin West and Jimmy T. Nelson, USA

After watching you on the Travel Channel we decided to visit Romania. We finally made the trip 14 months later and would like to again thank you for a wonderful experience. It truly was a great trip and we would like to return some day. We kept talking about it for weeks and sent pictures to all our friends and family. We felt fortunate to have you as our tour designer and tour guide and realized as we moved, how good you are at it. Thank you for everything.
 

 

The Samsons in Delaware

Took a while before we got back to our normal lifes at home. Just wanted to touch base and thank you for the best tour ever. Romania is a beautiful country and we were happy to get to know people. The cooking lesson in Bucavinia was the best. Where do you find these people. We had a great time all along. Thank you.
 

 

Rick Oncescu & Group, Canada

Thank you very much for the most memorable trip you put together for us. We all enjoyed the experience of finding one of our relatives as well a seeing all of the sites and places within Romania you coordinated for our trip. Cristian was everything we could ask for in a guide/driver, he most definitely made our time in Romania interesting and entertaining, he fit right in and became one of the family. Romania is a wonderful inviting country with so much to offer, I know some if not all of us will return.
Thanks again.
 

 

Andrew and Mira from USA

Thank you for this follow-up. Thank you for customizing our tour so well. I just wish we had more time. Our guide, Andrei Pintea, was truly excellent. We not only had respect for his ability to guide but enjoyed and appreciated his broad cultural and historical insight as well. He is truly a credit to your Company and we left Romania feeling that we left behind a good friend. We enjoyed all of the accommodaotions and especially the one in Sighisoara even though there is no elevator. It was very comfortable and the staff there was friendly and accommodating. Finally, we enjoyed your wonderful country and will certainly return.
 

 

Nancy Ewing and family, US

We were very pleased with our tour of Romania. The “Romania Tours” program was very well planned, and we were very glad that we could be flexible and make changes at any time. We did make adjustments so that we could add other things, or spend more time somewhere, or visit a relative or two as we went along. Dan was an excellent guide and driver for us. All three of us had the highest opinion of his work -no negatives at all. He is good natured and very flexible. He did a great job of balancing the interests and abilities of all of us. We enjoyed his sense of humor and patience. September was a great time to visit Romania. We liked seeing all of the harvest work and the weather was comfortable. The people in the countryside were extremely friendly and we enjoyed the food. We took tons of photos and will have lots of good memories of our visit. Thank you.
 

 

Nancy Allen & sister

Hi – You’re quite right about how much we really enjoyed our trip. In terms of our guide, he was fantastic. Very, very accommodating and knowledgeable. He knew when to get us to certain places so that we didn’t miss seeing things. At the same time he certainly gave me a plenty of time to take pictures without being rushed. In fact, he was able to give me some good suggestions in terms of places, etc. All in all, I’d highly recommend him to anyone else wanting a guide in Romania. Thank you for the wonderful adventure you planned for us. “We started in Romania and spent 6 days traveling around the country. We arrived in Bucharest early evening, stayed one night at the Hilton and got a good night’s sleep. That did the trick as we were ready to go early the next morning. We arranged for a driver guide to take us throughout the country as we didn’t want to hassle with trying to drive ourselves. Based on the advice from several Fodorites, we worked with Andrei Nicolau Miclea in Bucharest and he was fantastic – easy to work with, very responsive and very reasonable. Before heading out of town, our guide took us on a city tour of Bucharest. We were surprised by the amazing architecture, especially in the older sections of the city. We went on a tour of Ceausescu’s Palace which was not finished before his death. It is a huge building that is now the Senate and Administrative building. We then headed out of town to get to Sinaia before late afternoon so that we could tour Peles Palace. The landscape was beautiful as was the Palace. There was a new hotel, International Hotel, where we stayed and it was quite nice. On our way back to our hotel we stopped at Orthodox Monastery that was very interesting. It was the first Orthodox Monastery we visited. The next day we visited several places in Transylvania. Our first stop was the Bran (Dracula’s) Castle. It was fun and interesting actually seeing and touring a structure that has so much lore attached to it. Our guide gave us an official “lecture” on the folklore associated with Dracula along with the truths. We saw many horse carts through the country, but especially in this area. Next stop was Brasov where we saw the old town that had houses in the German style and the Black Church that has a large collection of Persian rugs. We ended the day in Sighisoara, which is a world heritage site due to the upper town medieval citadel.
We spent two nights in the upper town and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was enjoyable to just sit around the square and enjoy the sights around us. The area was very manageable to walk around. This was one of our favorite spots. One evening, we ate dinner at Dracula’s birth place. And, of course, we felt that it was only fitting to have a glass of “Vampire” wine while in Transylvania! The next day we toured the area and stopped to photograph a gypsy market where they were selling/trading pigs and horses. It was fascinating. Most were in horse carts with wagons for the pigs, etc., but one of the most interesting sites was a Mercedes pulling a cart filled with pigs. We also visited some interesting churches and towns in the area. I really enjoyed just driving through the country away from the main roads to see farmers using horses and wooden plows to till the soil. The next day we headed to the northeastern part of the country to an area where they have painted Monasteries. I’d never seen anything like this. There are as many frescoes painted on the outside of the churches as the inside. It was amazing. We stayed at a new Best Western Hotel in this area which was quite nice and comfortable.
On our final day of touring we headed back to Bucharest for a farewell dinner and cultural performance. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Romania and were surprised at the many sites that we were not expecting. We covered a lot of ground in 6 days and were grateful that we didn’t have to do any of the driving. I’m not a very adventurous eater, but I was always able to find something I liked. The salads were amazing. The lettuce/tomatoes tasted like it has just been picked in the garden. There were times when we just wanted a quick sandwich for lunch. We found that there were many gas stations that had “fast food” restaurants which served pre-made sandwiches which really hit the spot. We much preferred this to sitting in a restaurant for an hour or more. We flew to Krakow the next morning.
 

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