Classic Tour of Romania
Classic Tour of Romania 2018

Most visited sites in Transylvania, Maramures and Bucovina

14 Days

For two full weeks you will explore Bucharest, Transylvania, Bucovina and Maramures, regions rich in centuries-old traditions and fascinating and diverse heritage.

The highlights of this 2018 tour of Romania are the medieval castles, painted monasteries, wooden churches, brown bears, quaint villages and hospitable locals who carry on centuries’ old traditions.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1  Arrival day

Day 2  Discover Bucharest

Day 3  Explore the medieval town of Sibiu

Day 4  Visit Corvin Castle and Alba-Iulia fortress

Day 5  Go down in a salt mine, explore Cluj Napoca

Day 6  Visit a traditional village, Sighet’s memorial museum, Desesti wooden church and Sapanta Merry Cemetery

Day 7  Discover the wooden churches from Barsana, the village of Ciocanesti and enjoy a walk in the nature

Day 8  Visit Moldovita, Sucevita and Voronet Monastery and learn about the traditional egg painting craft

Day 9  Cross the Bicaz gorge and Sighisoara medieval town

Day 10  See History Museum, Biertan and Viscri fortified churches

Day 11  Prejmer fortified church and Brasov medieval town

Day 12  Visit Rasnov fortress and Bran castle and see bears in the wild

Day 13  Explore Liberty Sanctuary, Peles and Pelisor castles and have a last relaxing evening in Bucharest

Day 14  Departure day

Why travel with us

Day 1

Upon arrival you will be greeted at the airport by the guide and you will be transferred to the hotel in the heart of Bucharest. In the remaining time of the day you can have dinner and relax, or start exploring the center of Bucharest.

Overnight in Bucharest.

Day 2

In the first part of the day you will a have a guided walking tour through the older part of the city, a vibrant place with plenty of historical sights, interesting architecture and museums. You will walk through the narrow streets with French-style buildings from the late 19th century and early 20th century, a period also called Belle Epoque.

Then you will visit the massive Palace of Parliament. Built by former dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, it is the world’s second-largest administrative building. You will walk through the luxurious rooms and enjoy a display of crystal chandeliers, marble, wood essences, mosaics and stained-glass windows, the work of the best Romanian artisans. Visiting the palace it will be a good opportunity to learn about the last decade of the communist regime in Romania.

Palace of Parliament Bucharest

In the last part of the day you will head to Transylvania, traveling to Sibiu.

Overnight in Sibiu.

Drive time: 4h

Day 3

Elected Europe’s Cultural Capital in 2007, Sibiu is a charming medieval town located in the heart of the country. You will have a guided walking tour through the center, visit the Art Gallery of Bruckenthal Museum which provides over 1000 works of Romanian and European art and sculptures and the History Museum, former Sibiu’s Town Hall.

To gain a wider perspective of Transylvania’s and Romania’s cultural heritage you will also visit the open air Village Museum, a place where you will discover the traditional rural architecture and traditional occupations which are still practiced in many places.

Overnight in Sibiu.

Day 4

The most imposing Gothic castle in the whole Transylvania, Corvin Castle, was built in the 15th century and is a picture-perfect castle, complete with an encircling river, huge entrance bridge, tall observation and defensive towers. It has a knights’ hall, a torture room and quite a few legends to tell.

Having a Vauban-style star shape, Alba Iulia fortress has a special historical importance for Romanians, as it was here in 1918 that Transylvania was united with the rest of Romania to form the current territory. Here you will visit the Union Hall and Unification Cathedral, along with one of the oldest Catholic churches in Romania, and some majestic baroque entrance gates.

Overnight in Coltesti (near Alba-Iulia).

Drive time: 4h

Day 5

In the morning you will pass by Rimetea, a charming place set at the base of a mountain, a village where there is an effort to preserve the authentic rural heritage of the Hungarians living in Transylvania.

It’s time for an impressive, alien-looking place: Turda salt mine. The place is so huge that inside there is a lake where you can row a boat, an amphitheater and even a Ferris wheel. While you breathe the healthy salt air you can enjoy playing soft sports such as mini golf, table tennis or bowling.

The next stop is Cluj-Napoca, a city filled with history, art and culture. You will walk through the old center, visit Unirii Square and King Matthias Corvinus birth house.

Overnight in Vadu Izei.

Drive time: 4h

Day 6

In the morning you will visit a traditional village where you will have a walk through the village to get a feel for the place, to see how locals live and how they carry on their day to day activities. You will also get to meet locals who practice centuries old occupations such as blacksmithing, wood carving, making wicker baskets.

You will also visit Desesti wooden church which has a very well-preserved interior painting.

Then you will travel to Sighetu Marmatiei and visit the Memorial of the Victims of Communism located in a former prison where communists detained their political opponents. Here you will learn how those 40 years of Communism were like and how they impacted the country and its culture.

Memorial of the Victims of Communism

Near Sighet there is also the Sapanta Merry Cemetery which is one of the most interesting cemeteries you have ever seen. The crosses are lively decorated with paintings and poem telling about the life of the deceased.

Overnight in Vadu Izei.

Drive time: 4h

Day 7

At the wooden monastic complex in Barsana you will have spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and see stunning wooden architecture.

Then you will travel to Bucovina region where you will have a walk through Ciocanesti village where you can admire the beautiful houses painted in a unique way. The locals keep their tradition of decorating the exterior of the houses with traditional elements and symbols, which makes of Ciocanesti a vividly colored village with a unique architecture style.

In the evening you will have a walk in the nature so you enjoy the beautiful landscape of Bucovina region.

Overnight in Vama.

Drive time: 4h

Day 8

Bucovina is known as “the land of painted monasteries” so you will visit some of its most interesting ones. The first stop on today’s list is Moldovita Monastery, one of the tallest churches in the region. It has predominantly gold and deep blue paintings on the exterior while the frescoes feature strikingly bright colors and show saint figures and Biblical scenes.

In Moldovita you will also visit the Lucia Condrea Egg Museum where you will learn about the most loved part of Romanian Easter celebration, the egg painting tradition. The museum features over 5000 eggs painted in beautiful styles using different techniques.

egg painting

Then you will visit Sucevita Monastery which has the largest number of wall paintings from all painted monasteries from Bucovina. Built between 1584 and 1586, Sucevita Monastery also has the best preserved frescoes to this day and a rich collection of religious artifacts and icons.

The most famous and stunning of the painted monasteries and widely known as “the Sistine Chapel of the East” due to its interior and exterior wall paintings, Voronet monastery offers an abundance of frescoes featuring an intense shade of blue commonly known as ‘Voronet blue.’  The composition of the paint continues to remain a mystery even now, more than 500 years after the church was built.

Overnight in Vama.

Drive time: 2h 30′

Day 9

You will return to Transylvania region passing through Bicaz gorge and heading to Sighisoara. The gorge was cut through the limestone hills of the region by the action of the Bicaz River and the route it created now zig zags sharply downhill for over three miles.

In the afternoon you will have a guided walking tour through Sighisoara which is one of the most beautiful and best-preserved medieval towns in Europe and a charming place laid on a hilltop, with narrow cobbled streets and beautiful historic buildings.

Overnight in Sighisoara.

Drive time: 5h 30′

Day 10

In the morning you will visit the History Museum from Sighisoara and then travel to Biertan village where you will visit a superb fortified church set in a wonderful location.

Then you will explore Viscri, one of the most beautiful Saxon villages in Transylvania. You will visit a very old fortified church with a little museum inside it where you can admire pottery, handmade agricultural tools, as well as traditional textiles and clothing.

Viscri village - Quaint countryside

Overnight in Viscri.

Drive time: 2h

Day 11

In the morning you will travel to Prejmer village which is home to the largest fortified church in Transylvania. You will visit the massive building that has in its surrounding walls more than 200 rooms where locals could live during long periods of assault.

The next stop is Brasov, having a privileged location between mountains, along with a historic center, defensive walls and towers, the famous Black Church and the Romanian and German Saxon quarters. You will have a guided walking tour through the old town. If you are up for a hike you can go up on the nearby Tampa Mountain for a great panorama of the town and surrounding area. Alternatively you can go by cable car.

Overnight in Brasov.

Drive time: 2h

Day 12

Built by villagers in the 15th century, Rasnov fortress was used to escape attacks from invaders and in recent years has been the setting for many films, including Cold Mountain.

Bran Castle

Usually associated with Dracula, Bran Castle is actually a beautiful medieval castle in Transylvania, tastefully decorated by our queen in the 1920s. Among the many rooms of the castle, you will encounter a room named after “Bram Stoker” where you can find out the story of Vlad the Impaler, the man behind Dracula’s legend.

Then you will travel to a bear observatory where you will see brown bears in the wild. You will be able to observe them when they come to eat from certain places located in the middle of the forest.

Overnight in Brasov.

Drive time: 2h

Day 13

Today you will travel to Zarnesti village where you will visit the bear sanctuary Libearty. Previously being captive in small cages and living in improper conditions, more than 80 bears are now enjoying a natural and safe habitat at the Libearty sanctuary.

Peleș and Pelișor are two picturesque castles set in wonderful natural settings, surrounded by forests and mountains. They impress with their intricate outdoor and interior decorations and give a sense of how a royal family used to live.

Then you will head to Bucharest where you can have a leisure time or explore a little bit more of the city.

Overnight in Bucharest.

Drive time: 3h

Day 14

You will be transferred from the hotel to the airport from where you will pick up the flight back home.

The drive time is calculated without stops but there will be opportunities to stop along the way and visit touristic sights or have a break.

Suggested Itinerary Viewed On Map

Suggested Accommodation

Bella Muzica 3* – Brasov

Located in the Old Town of Brasov, the building which hosts the hotel dates back to  the XVIth century and has elegant interior decorations that help conserve the charm of old times. The hotel features 34 rooms, beautifully furnished, each one of them having a private bathroom. Guests can also enjoy spending time outside in a little, peaceful courtyard or eating at the hotel’s restaurant, which offers traditional and international dishes.

Casa Georgius Krauss 4* – Sighisoara

A UNESCO certified building dating from 1600, Casa Georgius Krauss is a superb building that perfectly combines modern facilities with original elements of the old times, when it was the residence of Georgius Krauss, an important columnist and historian. Each of the 9 rooms has a unique décor and medieval or solid wood furniture completed with modern bathroom and hand-carved decorations; some of the rooms have centuries old frescoes on their inner walls. You can also enjoy delicious traditional or international meals in the spacious.

Bucovina Lodge 4* – Vama

Located in a beautiful location, on a hill, near the forest and overlooking the Vama village, Bucovina Lodge is a 10-room charming hotel. It is very well positioned for visiting the famous painted churches of Bucovina, the mountains and traditional villages from this part of the country. The coziness of the rooms, the quality of the service and the warmth of the host will make you feel just like home.

Ardelean Rural Guesthouse 3* – Vadu Izei

Located in a quiet area and offering scenic views, the pension was built by skilled craftsmen, using traditional techniques and decoration elements: a high entrance gate, pots of flowers dangling from the windows and tapestries hanging on the walls. The 5 spacious, comfortable rooms and the warmth of the host which offers delicious home cooked meals will make your stay memorable.

Conacul Secuiesc 4* – Coltesti

Located at the foot of Piatra Secuiului hill, in a wonderful landscape, surrounded by greenery, Conacul Secuiesc is a modern hotel built in a Hungarian traditional style specific to Coltesti and Rimetea villages in Transylvania. The 23 rooms are comfortable, decorated with beautiful hand-painted furniture and traditional rural decorations. The rural experience will be completed by enjoying local home-cooked meals in the restaurant accompanied by local wines and the local palinca (strong fruit brandy).

Casa Luxemburg 3* – Sibiu

Casa Luxemburg is one of the oldest buildings in Sibiu, with a rich history and beautiful 13th century architecture. Its privileged location, in the heart of the old town of Sibiu makes it a perfect choice if you are eager to explore the town just as you step out of the hotel door. Each of the 8 rooms has its own design and unique view, from your window you may see some of the most important attractions such as the Liar’s Bridge or the Council Tower. The quality of the accommodation together with the diversity of dishes will complete your stay in this unique boutique hotel.

Viscri 125 – Viscri

The 11 rooms of this rural guesthouse are located in traditional German Saxon buildings specific to this area and older than 100 years. The rooms are charming, comfortable and lack TV and internet access so you are encouraged to disconnect from the outside world. They offer set menus cooked from local ingredients and mostly by following traditional recipes. Walking out through the front gate you’ll feel like stepping back in time while exploring the village. Through the back door you will get to the hammocks area where you can relax or walk through the wildflower fields in the summer months.

Hotel Capitol 3* – Bucharest

Located in the heart of Bucharest and keeping the same appearance that had in the early 1900s, Hotel Capitol is known for its excellent services and comfort and for its long history in the capital. The 79 rooms are spacious and elegant and the perfect location will allow you to easily get to the main attractions of Bucharest. The hotel has also a restaurant providing different specialties of food from traditional Romanian dishes to classic international meals.

Included Services

  • Certified English speaking tour guide (accommodation, relocation and meals are included)
  • Accommodation for 13 Nights in double rooms with breakfast (B) included
  • Private transfer on the above itinerary by sedan car for up to 4 people (Ford Mondeo or similar), minivan for 5-8 people (Renault Trafic, VW Caravelle or similar; fuel, taxes and parking fees are included) and minibus for more than 9 people (Mercedes Sprinter, VW Crafter or similar)
  • 5 dinners (D): 2 in Vadu Izei, 2 in Vama and 1 in Viscri
  • Visit to the bear observatory on the 12th day

SERVICES which are not included in the tour package price:

  • Entrance tickets to tourist sites. Per person you are likely to spend up to 50-70 USD
  • Meals (except those included above). On average you can pay for a meal 10-15 USD, in some places it will be less, in others more
Peles Castle Romania

Prices

Group Size

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Price per person – USD

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4

2

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Traveler’s Reviews

Matt from Canada
“They diligently ensured that the itinerary matched our interests in an authentic experience of Romanian culture. The tour was well-organized, accommodations well-chosen and interactions with the guide so educational and enjoyable. With his connections to local people, he gave us an unforgettable experience of monasteries, castles, farmers, artisans, natural places, and a culture that is unique in all the world. In short, their tours are authentic and exceptional. We would wholeheartedly recommend their services to anyone travelling in Romania. ”