A FOUR DAY TRANSYLVANIAN HIGHLIGHTS TOUR
Itinerary: Bucharest – Sinaia & Peles Castle – Bran Castle – Brasov – Harman – Sighisoara – Sibiel Home Hosted Lunch – Sibiu – Olt River Gorge – Cozia Monastery – Bucharest Panoramic Tour
Duration: 4 Days
Day 1 (Daily departures. If a Monday, the tour will be operated in reverse):
Bucharest – Sinaia & Peles Castle – Bran Castle – Brasov City Tour & Evening at Leisure
Pick up by your tour guide at your hotel or residence. Leave Bucharest for Sinaia – one of the famous Carpathian Mountains resorts. 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. The Orient Express use to regularly call here and it still does once a year on its way from Paris to Constantinople. Take an orientation tour of including a view of the Casino inspired by the one in Monte Carlo and a visit to Sinaia Orthodox Monastery. Next is one of the most important tourist attractions of the country: Peles Castle and Gardens , the former royal residence of King Charles I of Romania and known as one of the most beautiful summer royal residences in Europe. Then cross the mountains into Transylvania to the village of Bran. The attraction is the medieval Bran Castle also known as Dracula Castle. The castle was built in 1377 to safeguard the trading route between Transylvania and Wallachia to later be turned into a royal residence under Queen Marie of Romania. The connections between this place and Vlad the Impaler Dracula is still under debate, but the castle is definitely worth a visit. Enjoy cheese tasting on the premises. Continue to the nearby town of Brasov, in time to see the Black Church with its valuable collection of Anatolian prayer rugs. Brasov has one of the best preserved medieval quarter and fortifications. The tour will include the Council Square, Schei Quarter and the the First School in Romanian language, the Rope Street and Cathetine’s Gate. Hotel check in. The rest of the day is at leisure. Enjoy Brasov’s lovely pedestrian area with its many shops and outdoor cafes.
B Accommodation at Casa Wagner Hotel *** in Brasov (located in the Council Square)
Day 2: Brasov – Harman Fortified Church – Sighisoara – Gypsy Village Tour
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Leave Brasov in the morning for an exclusive visit to one of the typical Transylvanian fortified churches: Harman. Its uniqueness consists in the fact that it is the only structure with dwellings attached to the church. Later drive through the picturesque Transylvanian Plateau with its quaint villages and Saxon fortifications. Arrive to Sighisoara, a World Heritage Site and the only still inhabited medieval citadel in Europe. It was developed by the German settlers as of late 12th century. 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. The walking tour includes the two squares of the Citadel (Upper Town), the Scholars’ Staircase, the Ducklings’ Square, the Tinsmiths’ Tower, the House with Antler and the Venetian House, 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. Hotel check in. The remainder of the day is at leisure OR opt for a three hour excursion to a Gypsy village where you will have the chance to meet a Gypsy family in their own home and learn about this rather unknown ethnic group.
B Accommodation in Sighisoara at The House with Antler ***
The hotel is located in the Upper Town in a historical building. Previously used by Prince Charles on his stay in Sighisoara.
Day 3/strong>: Sighisoara – Biertan – Sibiel Home Hosted Lunch – Sibiu
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Depart Sighisoara on the way to the impressive Biertan fortified church and a UNESCO World Heritage. As the former Seat of the Lutheran Bishops transylvania2between 1516 and 1867, this place is proof of the important Heritage of the Transylvanian Saxons. Take a guided tour. Your next stop is Sibiel, a typical Romanian village in the heart of Transylvania. Visit the local icon-on-glass museum (formerly a private collection) and learn about the technique. Then enjoy a home hosted lunch with a local family in their own home: an authentic cultural interchange. In the afternoon enjoy a leisurely walking tour of the Old Town Sibiu with the Great and Lesser Squares and the surrounding defense walls and guild towers. The late Gothic 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 and the 1859 Liar’s Bridge. End your tour with the original Pharmacy Museum. Hotel check in. Dinner on own,. Suggested is Crama Sibiul Vechi, one of the best traditional cellar restaurants in town with live folklore music in the evening.
B Accommodation in Sibiu at Imparatul Romanilor Hotel ****
Hotel Imparatul Romanilor is located in the old town Sibiu near the Great Square, in a 16th century building built in traditional Transylvanian Renaissance style, a former merchant’s hall transformed into hotel in the 18th century. Famous guests: Emperor Franz Joseph II, composers Franz Liszt and Johann Strauss as well as Prince Charles & many others.
Day 4: Sibiu – Olt River Gorge – Cozia – Bucharest
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. One of the landmarks of Sibiu is the Bruckenthal Museum assembled by Baron Bruckenthal, the are loving Governor of Transylvania at the beginning of the 19th century and the second museum to ever open in Europe after the National Gallery in London. Before departing Sibiu visit a local fruit and vegetable market. Leaving Transylvania, you’ll drive on the scenic Olt River Valley and Gorge, one of the most beautiful in Romania. Brief stop at Cozia Monastery featuring on the best late 17th century Last Judgment fresco on its Western façade. Arrive to Bucharest in time for a panoramic city tour. With a population of approximately 2.2 million, Bucharest is the largest city between Berlin and Athens. Known as “Little Paris” this city has an incredibly mixed architecture. Your tour will be including the Arch of Triumph, the great avenues, the Revolution Square, a view of the former private residence of the Ceausescus and a view to the Palace of Parliament – the second largest building in the world. Hotel check in with the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Transfer to your hotel. (On request, the route from Sibiu to Bucharest can be taken via TransFagarasan Road , if open).
Optional: Enjoy a Romanian Dinner with a Folklore Show on the shore of Herastrau Lake in Bucharest.
Your Price Includes:
- 3 nights at three and four star hotels (all centrally located)
- fully insured sedan or minivan with climate control, for the entire distance
- fuel & parking fees included
- all sightseeing tours & cultural connections
- informal talks on: Vlad the Impaler – Dracula, The Gypsies and Their Journey, Transylvanian History Overview (all by the tour guide)
- 4 meals: 3 breakfasts, 1 home hosted lunch
- cheese tasting session in the village of Bran
- a Tours Of Romania® professional English speaking guide (driving) to accompany you throughout
- guide’s expenses
- admissions to museums, sites, churches as per itinerary
- porterage at hotels
- VAT and local tax
- detailed map of Romania.
You’ll visit 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
- Historic Center of Sighisoara
- Historic Center of Sibiu
- Biertan Fortified Church
- Other meals than stated
- Alcoholic beverages
- Photo/video fees at sites and museums.
Margery Cohen, New York, NY
Dr. and Mrs. Luis G. Murillo, San Diego, California
Janel Barberito and Jim Jurczyk
Rachelle Babij and Her Group of 42, Canada
Helmuth and Johanna Ehrlich, Vienna, Austria
Maria Helms, Australia
Rick Oncescu & Group, Canada