Transylvania – Land of Citadels
A 2000 year history lesson
7 nights/8 days
A fascinating adventure into ancient and medieval times , wandering through ruins, fortresses, and still inhabited old citadels, everything mixed with marvellous landscapes, colourful folk art and exquisite traditional Romanian cuisine.
Arrival transfer from airport to the hotel in Bucharest. Welcome dinner and overnight. (D)
Begin your journey into Romania’ s impressive history with a half day sightseeing tour of Bucharest, the five-century-old capital of this authentique wonderland. Pass by the Romanian Athenaeum, the former Royal Palace, the Town Hall, the Opera House, Cotroceni Palace, the Military Academy, the Palace of Parliament – the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon in Washington. Short stop for a visit to the Old Princely Court. Drive by the University Square and the Arch of Triumph, then stop to visit the Village and Folk Art Museum – the largest in Europe.
Early afternoon, leave for the beautiful Sibiu city, Europe’ s Cultural Capital in 2007. En route, stop over in Targoviste, former throne residence of Wallachia, for visiting the Chindia Watch Tower, built in the 15th century, during the reign of Vlad Tepes – “The Impaler” and the Princely Court (14th – 17th centuries). Late afternoon arrival in Sibiu, just in time for a lavish dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
Walking tour of the old part of the city, with its narrow streets, pass across Liars Bridge, visit the Evangelic Cathedral and the Catholic Church and find out that this is an old citadel built by Saxons,
where history, art and folklore blend to the tourists’ delight. Further on explore the ASTRA Folk Art
Open Air Museum in Dumbrava forest and marvel at the unique old houses with genuine furniture and
handmade rugs, clothes, wooden craft objects in exquisite colours made by skilled artisans. Afternoon departure to Sibiel village, to see the renowned collection of handmade glass icons, and enjoy a late tasty traditional lunch in a peasant house.
Afternoon return to Sibiu for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
Leave Sibiu and head West, to an area rich in old citadels, almost all UNESCO heritage sites.
First, visit the imposing Huniazi Castle, dating back to the 14th Century, a beautiful gothic construction, well kept, the place where Vlad Tepes was imprisoned for 7 years. Light lunch en route.
Another impressive citadel is Ulpia Traiana Sarmisegetusa, capital of the Roman Dacia, founded by the
Romans, some 1990 years ago. The ruins of Ulpia Traiana Sarmisegetusa are the image of a Roman city, with the Forum in the center, palaces, the thermae, the amphitheatre, the public and private institutions surrounding it. The museum opened in 1982 houses objects in silver and bronze, ceramics, statues of Roman gods, coins, funeral stones, medallions, mosaics.
A short drive will take you to Deva area for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)
Morning departure to Alba Iulia, known in ancient time as Apulum, one of the oldest settlements in Romania; Alba Iulia was the largest commercial center during the Roman occupation and became an impressive Habsburg citadel. Nowadays, Alba Iulia is worth visiting not only for the restored ancient
citadel, but also for the Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Batthyaneum Library, the Orthodox Cathedral
of the Reunification, the National Museum of Unification, the Union Hall, the Apor Palace, the Princely Palace, and the University of Alba Iulia.
Early afternoon, head on to Targu Mures. The Medieval Citadel, dating back to the 15th century, is placed close to the town center and is made up of a fortified inner area, supported by 7 bastions, where the Protestant Church and the Bakery Building are located. The whole complex bears the mark of late Renaissance style. Lunch en route.
An hour drive will bring you to Sighisoara, the most beautiful and best preserved still inhabited medieval citadel of Europe. Dinner and overnight in Sighisoara.(B, L, D)
Start with a tour of the 10 century old citadel of Sighisoara; pay a visit to the Clock Tower Museum, climb the covered wooden steps to the hill, take a peek to Vlad Dracula’s House, where Prince Vlad Tepes (“the Impaler”), nicknamed Dracula, was born. The house has been turned into a restaurant and a museum that preserves the old atmosphere. Passing through the town’s narrow streets with original architecture, cobbled alleys, steep stairways, secluded squares and towers is like stepping back in time.
Departure to Brasov, passing through beautiful old Saxon villages, with a short detour to Prejmer fortified church, the biggest fortified church in Southeastern Europe, built in the 14th century. The main attraction here is the honeycomb like inner wall.
Late afternoon arrival in Brasov, a mediaeval trading center, the second largest city in Romania. Stroll on your own in the main square and the nearby streets with attractive Saxon architecture, boutiques and small restaurants. Return to the hotel to get ready for a special dinner. Enjoy the flavours of the Romanian cuisine, the folk music and the atmosphere of local traditional decorations. Overnight in Brasov area. (B, L, D)
Morning sightseeing tour of Brasov, considered the chief tourist area of Romania; visit the Black Church, with its imposing Gothic architecture, St.Nicolas of Schei Church, built between 1518-1598, sheltering 16th century books and documents of great value, as well as the first printing machines.
Continue on to Bran castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, built at the beginning of the 13th century by Knight Dietrich of the Teutonic Order. Mainly used as a fortress, to protect the commercial route to Transylvania, then used by the Royal Family, it was turned into a museum and opened to visitors.
Driving southwards, stop in Sinaia mountain resort, to admire a masterpiece of German New-Renaissance style – the Peles Castle. Former summer residence of the Royal Family, it is now one of Romania’s most beautiful museums, displaying priceless collections of weaponry, hand woven silk rugs and furniture, ceramics and sculptures.
Early evening has you back in Bucharest just in time for a farewell dinner. Overnight in Bucharest. (B, L, D)
Departure transfer to the airport. (B)
Rate/person, sharing a double (for groups of minimum 30 persons): from € 580