DRACULA, MARAMURES, THE MONASTERIES OF BUCOVINA AND THE DANUBE DELTA.
Duration: 15 days / 14 nights.
Cities: Bucharest, Tulcea, Constanta, Sibiu, Alba Iulia, Cluj, Baia Mare, Gura Humorului, Piatra Neamt, Sighisoara, Brasov, Bran, Sinaia, Bucharest.
Palace of the Parliament
Day 1. Airport – Bucharest
Arrival in Bucharest – Otopeni (Henri Coanda Airport). Transfer to the hotel, with a little sightseeing tour of Bucharest, to catch a glimpse of main landmarks such as The Free Press Square, The Arch of Triumph, The Victory Square, The Revolution Square, the Romanian Athenaeum, The Constitution Square, The Union Square, The University Square and the Roman Square. Hotel accommodation at 4* or 5* hotel in Bucharest. Welcome dinner at the famous restaurant “Caru cu Bere”, located in the old city, a bear house built in German Gothic style and the place of gathering of major literary and artistic personalities. After dinner, anyone who wishes may stay for a stroll in the historic center, where there are many inviting bars and terraces to see and try.
Day 2. Bucharest – sightseeing
We begin the day with a breakfast buffet and then we will be dedicating the whole morning discovering the wonders of the city, continuing with a panoramic tour of the Romanian capital city, once known by the name of “The Little Paris”, visiting the Cişmigiu Park, The Romanian Opera House, The Cotroceni Palace and The Military Academy. After that, we will visit the famous Palace of the Parliament, which is a spectacular building, the second largest in the world after the Pentagon in USA, with an area of 315,000 m2, of which over 250,000 m2 are more than 84 meters high and 25 meters deep. The finishes used include wood (walnut tree, cherry tree, oak) and Transylvania marble, curtains embroidered with gold and silver, 5 cm thick floor carpets, 2800 bronze, aluminum and crystal chandeliers etc..
Next, we will go to see the Orthodox Cathedral, founded in 1656 by Prince Constantin Serban. Inside, the cathedral exhibits various paintings, frescoes, iconostasis and the relics of St. Dimitrie Basarabov. At noon, we will have lunch at the famous restaurant “Jaristea”, once visited by famous personalities like Francis Ford Coppola and many Spanish celebrities. In the afternoon you will be free to enjoy strolling through the streets of the beautiful old city of Bucharest. Accommodation at the same hotel / Bucharest.
Day 3. Bucharest – Sibiu
Breakfast. Departure to Sibiu, the European Cultural Capital in 2007, which perfectly preserves its beautiful medieval architecture. We will be crossing the Southern Carpathians, through the Olt River Gorge, visiting the Cozia monastery (XIV century) on the way. Arrival in Sibiu. We will have lunch and then will take a walk through the beautiful medieval city that preserves its beautiful medieval architecture. We will admire the old buildings with their intricate facades, their iron gates telling of old shops with their red oxide stained walls, old wooden doors and colorful windows sills. Virtually everything in Sibiu exudes the essence of the Middle Ages. We will visit the medieval city center, including the Orthodox Cathedral, the Roman Catholic Cathedral and the Evangelist Cathedral (XIV-XV), housing the tomb of Mihnea, the son of Prince Vlad the Impaler, then the Large Square, the Little Square and the Liars’ Bridge. Dinner and accommodation in Ramada 4* hotel or similar / Sibiu.
Orthodox Cathedral in Alba Iulia
Day 4. Sibiu – Alba Iulia – Cluj
Breakfast. We leave for Cluj, passing through Alba Iulia, the old capital city of Dacia, where we will visit the city built in the Vauban style, the biggest and the one of a kind in Romania. We will visit the Orthodox Cathedral and the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Alba Iulia. Lunch. We will continue our journey to Cluj, the second largest city in Romania, where we will get the chance to visit two gorgeous cathedrals: the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic cathedrals. Dinner at a typical Romanian restaurant “La Casa Ardeleană”. Accommodation at Hotel Beyfin 4* or similar / Cluj.
Day 5. Cluj – Baia Mare – Sighetul Marmatiei
Breakfast. We will continue our travel to Maramureş, the oldest and most appealing region in North Transylvania, passing through Baia Mare and visiting the wooden church in Surdesti, a monument belonging to the world heritage. Here, we will be on a land that is renowned for its handicraft, carved wooden gates and its wooden churches, the latter being also included on the world heritage list of monuments. Lunch time. Visit the peculiar Merry Cemetery (Funny Graveyard) in Săpânţa and the wooden church with its 80 meter high tower. Dinner and accommodation at a 4* Guest House / Sighetul Marmaţiei.
Day 6. Maramures
Breakfast. We will continue our tour of UNESCO heritage wooded churches: Rozavlea, Bogdan Vodă and Bârsana. There are a total of 39 wooden churches, but most of them are closed to visitors and can be seen only from the outside. Lunch and then travel back to the same 4* Guest House / Sighetul Marmaţiei for dinner and accommodation.
Day 7. Sighetul Marmatiei (Maramures) – Sucevita (Bucovina)
Breakfast. In the morning we will be heading to Viseul de Sus for a short trip with the old steam train “Mocăniţa”, which will take us on a travel through the mountains like it happened centuries ago. In the afternoon, we leave for Moldova, crossing the Eastern Carpathians, to the land of painted monasteries of Bucovina (XV – XVI), that are also included in UNESCO heritage of world monuments. Dinner and accommodation at the 4* Bucovina Rural Guest House or similar / Bucovina.
Mocanita Old Steam Train
Day 8. Sucevita – Gura Humorului – Piatra Neamt
Breakfast. We will start the day with a visit to Suceviţa Monastery, whose exterior walls exhibit the largest number of painted biblical images. Then, we will move on to the Moldoviţa monastery, built during the times of Petru Rareş (1532) and to Voroneţ Monastery, also known by the name of “the Sistine Chapel of the Eastern Europe”, with its impressive blue paint background of its frescoes, which are shown in famous world art catalogs next to the Veronese green and the Titian red. It was built in three months, three weeks and three days, back in 1488, at the order of the renowned Moldavian military leader, Steven the Great.
Lunch. In the afternoon we will leave from Bucovina to Piatra Neamt, one of the oldest settlements in Romanian, because of its history dating back to prehistoric times, later fortified by the first inhabitants of Romania – the Dacian. In the second century AD, Piatra Neamţ appears mentioned by Ptolemy by the name of Petrodava. At the end of the XIV century, the town was an important trading place, called Piatra lui Crăciun. The most flourishing period of the town was during the reign of the illustrious Moldavian military leader Stephen the Great (1457-1504). Along our way, we will visit the Agapia monastery, painted by famous Romanian painter Nicolae Grigorescu (the house of 400 nuns) and arrive in the town of Piatra Neamt. Dinner and accommodation at Hotel Central Plaza 4* or similar / Piatra Neamt.
Day 9. Piatra Neamt – Sighisoara
Breakfast. Departure for Sighişoara, crossing the Eastern Carpathians, going from Moldova to Transylvania via the magnificent Bicaz River Gorge (Cheile Bicazului) and over the Red Lake, to arrive at Sighişoara. Lunch. We will visit the town of Sighisoara, the only inhabited medieval citadel in Europe and a UNESCO heritage, the birth place of Vlad the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia, who inspired the Dracula character in Bram Stoker’s novel. The visit includes the following tourist attractions: the Clock Tower, the Medieval Armory Hall and the Torture Chamber. You may also visit Dracula House, which is now accommodating a restaurant where you can relish specific Transylvanian dishes. Dinner and accommodation at 4* Cavaler Hotel or similar / Sighişoara.
Day 10. Sighisoara – Brasov
Breakfast. We continue our journey leaving for Braşov, the most coveted tourist resort in Romania, located in the center of the country, at the border point of the three historic regions of Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania. We will take a short walk through the colorful and vivid pedestrian streets of the city, on our way to the Council Square (ro: Piaţa Sfatului) and the Black Church (ro: Biserica Neagră) (XIV-XV).
Bran Castle (Dracula)
Lunch at the famous restaurant “Şura Dacilor” (Dacian’s Barn), where guests will have the opportunity to listen to traditional folk songs, performed on traditional music instruments and eat venison (bear, boar and deer) for dinner. The restaurant is 13 km far from Braşov and is located 1000 meters above sea level, in Poiana Braşov, the largest winter sports resort in Romania. In the afternoon you will be free to walk along the beautiful medieval town pedestrian, with many terraces, bars and shops. Dinner at “The Citadel” restaurant, where we will be greeted with the sound of a horn and the doors will open only if you know the secret words for accessing the citadel. We will listen to classical music played by the local philharmonic orchestra and opera singers from Brasov Opera House. Accommodation at 5* Aro Palace hotel or similar / Braşov.
Day 11. Brasov – Bran – Sinaia – Bucharest
Breakfast. Our travel continues to the town of Bran where we will visit the famous Dracula’s Castle (XIV century). We will then cross the Carpathians to arrive in Sinaia resort, known for its beauty by the name of “The Pearl of the Carpathians”, where we will stop to visit the monastery of Sinaia, built by Prince Mihail Cantacuzino after his visit to the Holy Land and Mount Sinai. The monastery is also known by the name of the Cathedral of the Carpathians, being the oldest building in the area. Its architecture resembles that of the church of Santa Catalina. We will then visit the Peleş Castle, built during the reign of King Charles I (nineteenth century), considered by many as one of the most beautiful castle in Europe, a masterpiece of German Neo-Renaissance architecture. Lunch. After lunch, we will leave for Bucharest. Dinner at a famous restaurant in the capital city and accommodation at 4 * or 5 * hotel / Bucharest.
The Constanta Casino
Day 12. Bucharest – Constanta
Breakfast. Departure to Constanta, the largest seaport of the country, an ancient Greek settlement of the seventh century AD. Sightseeing tour, including the Casino, the Ovidiu Square, the Romanian Mosaic, the Mosque and the Orthodox Cathedral. Lunch in Mamaia, the most famous seaside resort at the Romanian Black Sea. We will then leave for the seven-hill town, Tulcea. Dinner and hotel accommodation at 3* IBIS hotel or similar / Constanta.
Day 13. Constanta – Tulcea (The Danube Delta)
Breakfast. Departure to Tulcea, where we will arrive at the famous Danube River, which, after a travel of 2860 kilometers, of which 1075 km along Romania, discharges into the Black Sea, near Tulcea, creating the famous Danube Delta. The Delta includes a natural reserve of great interest owing to the large number of fish, plants and protected birds. We will begin the day with a beautiful boat trip through the Biosphere Reserve, to admire the exquisite wildlife of this natural environment. Lunch consisting of fresh fish dishes. Return to Tulcea, at the 4* Delta Hotel for dinner and accommodation.
The Danube Delta
Lilies – Danube Delta
Day 14. Tulcea – Bucharest
Breakfast. Departure to Bucharest in the morning. Lunch. In the afternoon, you will be free to visit the old city and other parts of Bucharest. Goodbye dinner at the “Seagull” restaurant on the bank of the Herăstrău Lake, one of the green lungs of the city, here you will enjoy watching the folk dances from every country region. Accommodation at 4* or 5* hotel / Bucharest.
Day 15. Bucharest – Airport
Breakfast. Shuttle transport to Otopeni Airport (Henri Coandă Airport) to fly to another destination or to the home country. End of our tourist services.
The Triumphal Arch