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Duration: 2 Days
Location: Bucharest – Curtea de Arges – Arefu – Balea Lake – Sibiu – Sighisoara - Bran - Brasov - Bucharest
Price: 750 €
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 4×4 Adventure (2 days tour)

Transfagarasan adventure

 
Price per person
1 person 2 persons 3 persons
€ 750 €  400 € 300

Experience a day 4×4 wonderful adventure in the Carpathian Mountains, visit unique sites like Curtea de Arges Monastery, the real Dracula’s fortress, known as Poienari Fortress in Arefu, natural lake in Bucegi Mountains – Balea, Sibiu city center, The Sighisoara Citadel,  The Bran Castle, Brasov city centre and The black Church.

Schedule:  

1st DAY:  08:00: departure from the hotel on the route Bucharest – Curtea de Arges – Arefu – Balea Lake – Sibiu – Sighisoara

10:00-11:00 :  Visist The Curtea de Arges Monastery

11:00 :  Departure to Poienari Fortress

11:30 :  Stopping for about 30’ for taking pictures and admire the Poienari Fortress

12:00 :   Departer to Balea Lake

13:00-14:30 :   Stopping for taking pictures and optional lunch at Balea Lake

14:30 :   Departure to Sibiu

16:30 :   Arrival to Sibiu and 1 ½ hour for leisure

18:00 :   Departure to Sighisoara

20:00 :   Check-in the hotel for one night in Sighisoara

20:30 :   Dinner at the hotel (optional)     

2nd DAY: 09:00-10:00 :  leisure in Sighisoara (visit The Sighisoara Citadel)

10:00 :  departure to Bran

12:00-13:00 :  Visist The Bran Castle

13:00 :   Departure to Brasov

                      13:30-15:30 :   Visit the old city center of Brasov and The Black Church and lunch (optional)

15:30 :   Departer to Bucharest

20:00 :   Arrival to Bucharest 

* For groups of more than 3 persons you have to make 2 bookings. In one car there is comfortable space for maximum 3 persons.

 Included Services:  accommodation 1 night with breakfast in a 3 star hotel, fuel and transportation certified natonal guide, entrance fees to The Curtea de Arges Monastery, Bran Castle and Black Church.

Please note that   If time will allowed and the group will desire, optional it can be visited also the Peles Castle in Sinaia. Peles Castle is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and the visit schedule is closed at 16.00 hours.

Meals  are not included !  Lunch/dinner reservations upon request at balea Lake, Sighisoara and  Brasov.

The legend of Master Manole, builder of Curtea de Arges Monastery

Folklore sources say  Prince Neagoe Basarab hired the greatest masons in Wallachia to build a place of worship. For unknown reasons, all they built during the day, completely collapsed during the night. One night, master Manole had a dream: the construction he supervised would resist only if they would sacrifice the first wife who would bring food to her husband the next day.

And it so happened that Manole’s wife showed up to bring her husband’s lunch; true to the vow he made, Manole immured his own wife alive in the church walls. The place of this immolation can still be seen between two walls of the Southern front side.

When the monastery was completed, Prince Neagoe asked the masons if they could build another church, even more beautiful than this. The masters, honestly, said they could. Therefore, Prince Basarab, who would not accept the existence of a more beautiful  construction than his own, he ordered the scaffoldings  removed. In a moment of despair, Manole decided to manufacture a pair of wings from shingles, to fly down, but he crushed to the ground. The legend says  a spring gushed to the surface, exactly on the spot where Master Manole hit the ground. Nowadays, a fountain nearby the monastery reminds the travelers of this legend.

Curtea de Arges Monastery is also related  to another legend, about a 12 year old girl. It is said that the girl used to carry  food to the workers hired by her father. One day she decided to give the food to the poor people she met on her way, a gentle act she paid with her own life as she was murdered by her furious father. Oddly, her body couldn’t be lifted from the ground. Only after someone mentioned the name of Curtea de Arges Monastery she could be lifted. Therefore, the priests decided to take the body to the monastery’s chapel.  Nowadays, visitors can worship the relics of the little girl, known as Saint Filofteea.

Dracula’s real Fortress

The ruins of the Poienari Fortress overlook the Arges River from a high cliff, at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Built at the beginning of the 13th century, by the first Wallachian rulers, the castle changed its name and residents several times over the years. After all, it was abandoned and left in ruins.

After taking over the throne of Wallachia, Prince Vlad Tepes (or Count Dracula as he is know in Western Europe) saw the potential of Poienari Fortress and commanded that the structure be repaired and consolidated in order to turn it in one of his main fortresses. In 1462, when the Ottomans attacked and captured the castle, Vlad Tepes escaped through a secret passage leading north, through the mountains.

Although the castle was used for many years after Tepes’ death in 1476, eventually it was abandoned in the first half of 16th century  and it turned into ruins. In 1888 a part of the castle crashed into the river far below, as consequence of a major landslide. Nowadays, visitors can admire the remains of its walls and towers.

Highlights of Bran Castle

Surrounded by an aura of mystery and perched high on a 200-feet rock, Bran Castle became famous due to its imposing towers and turrets, as well as to the myth created by the English novelist Bram Stoker and his Count Dracula character.

The castle was first mentioned in an official document issued by King Louis I of Hungary in 1377, who gave the Saxons from Kronstadt (Brasov in German) the privilege to build the citadel  on the site of a Teutonic Knights stronghold dating from 1212. During the first decades of the 20th century, the castle served as a royal residence for the Romanian Royal Dynasty, a gift of the people of Brasov to Queen Mary of Romania, wife of King Ferdinand I.

Narrow winding stairways lead through 60 timbered rooms, many connected by hidden passages, housing collections of  furniture, weapons and armor  from the 14th to the 19th  century. The castle guards over the picturesque village of Bran, which can be described as an open-air ethnographic museum, consisting of old local-style village houses, complete with furniture, household objects and costumes. Nowadays, the castle is a museum, displaying arts and furniture objects collected by Queen Mary.

Although Bram Stoker never travelled to Transylvania, he relied on research and his vivid imagination to create the dark story of Count Dracula, leading to the persistent myth that Bran Castle was once the home of Vlad Tepes, the ruler of Wallachia. While the historic association with Vlad Tepes, as well as the fictional one with Count Dracula are sketchy at best, the castle continues to hold a strong attraction among all fans of the Count.