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» Tours in Transylvania

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» Tours in Maramures

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Itinerary:  Bucharest City Tour - Sibiu Highlights - Choice Between Huniady Castle & Turda Salt Mines - Maramures Exclusive Program - Local Markets - The Carpathian Mountains - Bucovina Exterior Frescoed Monasteries - Bicaz Gorges - Gypsy Home Visit -Transylvanian Highlights: Sighisoara & Brasov - The Saxon Village Trail - Peles and Bran Castles


  •  enjoy the exceptional knowledge and expertise of Romania's top rated tour guides, exclusively working with Compass Travel Romania;
  •  benefit of the complete flexibility of having the tour tailored to your requirements, in terms of the route, features and duration;
  •  make the most of your tour experience through our exclusively designed tours in Transylvania, Maramures and Bucovina with no less than 9 UNESCO Sites included;
  •  learn first hand about the daily life in the more remote villages of Transylvania, such as Biertan, Viscri or Barsana;
  •  meet local people in traditional markets and in a real home in Maramures;
  •  dine on varied Romanian specialities, from the home cooked dinners in Maramures to the authentic Bucoviina fares;
  •  take the unique chance of meeting Gypsies in their own community in Transylvania and discover their particular culture and traditional skills;
  •  learn first hand about the arts & crafts and meet local artists such as a wood carver, icon designer, potter and egg painter;
  • no less than three locations where you stay two nights in a row
  • FREE STYLE ADD-ONS:  full-day to Republic of Moldova, tours of the Danube Delta & Black Sea Coast, one to three days tour of Bulgaria.


Day 1: 
Bucharest, Romania
Afternoon arrival to Coanda International Airport in Bucharest. Meet and greet by your professional English speaking tour guide, to wait with a name sign reading Compass Travel, visible right after you exit Customs. Transfer to Bucharest hotel with a short orientation tour en-route to your downtown hotel.
Transfer,    Accommodation in Bucharest at Hotel Berthelot **** (centrally located boutique hotel)
Day 2:
Bucharest City Tour - Olt River Valley & Gorge - Cozia - Sibiu (Trasnylvania)
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Begin with a city tour of Bucharest including the Revolution Square, the Palace of the Parliament - the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon, Cotroceni Quarter for its representative architecture and the iconic Village Museum - one of the world's most interesting open-air museums with century old, original peasant households from all parts of Romania.
BASED ON AVAILABILITY AND DAY OF THE WEEK:  exclusive visit to the private home of the Ceausescus (pay on own, if going).
En-route north, make a short stop at the 14th century Cozia Monastery built by Prince Mircea the Elder in 1388. Continue along the scenic Olt River Canyon crossing the mountains into Transylvania. Reach Sibiu with a brief orientation tour on the way to the hotel. Dinner on own. Suggested is Crama Sibiul Vechi, the best cellar - restaurants in town, serving Transylvanian fares and excellent local wines.
Breakfast,  Accommodation in the Old Town of Sibiu at Hotel MyContinental ***  Or The Council *** (or similar)
Day 3:
Sibiu Walking Tour - Huniady Castle OR Turda Salt Mines - Cluj Napoca
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Start your day with a leisurely walking tour of Sibiu (Hermannstadt), formerly the chief city of the Transylvanian Germans. The Great and Lesser Squares are the landmarks of the Old Town with the many merchant houses featuring ""the sleepy eye" dormers. View the old surrounding defense walls and the remrhapsody2aining towers belonging to the merchant guilds. One of the  landmarks of Sibiu is the Bruckenthal Palace, assembled by Baron Bruckenthal, the Governor of Transylvania at the beginning of the 19th century and a gem of Baroque architecture. Next is the Evangelical Cathedral completed in its actual shape in 1520 and featuring an exquisite fresco of the Crucifixion on the north wall of the choir dating from 1445. Visit Sibiu open air farmers' fresh fruit and vegetable market.
Leaving Sibiu, you have a choice between a drive to Hunedoara for a guided tour of the Gothic Huniady Castle or, a guided tour of the Turda Salt Mines, recently re-opened to all modern facilities. Late afternoon arrival to Cluj Napoca, the former capital of Transylvania and today an important university center. Take a panoramic city tour followed by hotel check in.
The evening is at leisure in town.
Breakfast Accommodation in Cluj  Napoca at Hotel Pami ***+ (or similar) 
Day 4: 
Cluj Napoca Tour - Maramures: Chioar Valley Villages - Surdesti Wooden Church (UNESCO) - Iza Valley Villages
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. This morning take a panoramic tour of Cluj Napoca with the main landmarks such as the Fellner & Helmer Opera House, the Gothic St. Michael's, the City Hall and the Banffy Palace.  
Drive north toward Baia Mare and reach the splendid region of Maramures (northern Transylvania). Due to the relative isolation of their land, the people of Maramures developed a particularly strong community with a unique personality, traditions, culture and lifestyle unspoiled for centuries. The villages along the Chioar Valley are particularly stunning. Make a first stop to the early 1720s wooden Church of Surdesti, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and until recently the tallest wooden structure in Europe. This is a good opportunity to learn about the Uniate Church (Greek Catholic). Then stop in the villages of Iza Valley to learn about the local dowry tradition and to admire wonderfully carved wooden gates. Accommodation in a private house (not a B& B) in the village of Iza.
A hearty home-hosted dinner (and plum brandy) is included so that people get deeper into the local culture. Our hosts will join, this being a first hand cultural interchange.
Breakfast and Dinner,  D Home stay accommodation (modern villa) or Casa Maramures *** in Sighet (on request) two nights
Family home, with one section renovated into a modern villa with all modern facilities. The location is excellent, in a small village, quiet neighborhood, far away from the main street. The terraces offer a beautiful view on the village. Excellent home cooking.
Day 5:
Maramures Tour: Iza Village Walking Tour - Sighetul Marmatiei & Market - Sapinta Village and The Merry Cemetery - Dinner
After a hearty breakfast, take an exclusively designed walking tour of the village of Iza including an icon-on-glass workshop (learn about the technique), the local ancient type plum brandy distillery and a typical rhapsody3whirlpool still used by the local women to wash heavy woolen blankets. Then drive to the nearby town of Sighetul Marmatiei to mingle with the locals at the colorful fruit and vegetable market where you will have the opportunity to sample various produce from cheeses to sausage.
Continue to one of the most important sites:  the Anti Communist Memorial - a political prison in the Communist times. This is one of the main memorial sites of the continent, alongside Auschwitz Museum and the Peace Memorial in Normandy. The visit here provides a direct connection to Romania's most recent history. 
Head west along Tisa River and reach the village of Sapinta world famous for its "Merry Cemetery". Here each wooden cross carries a funny epitaph about the person's life.  Before returning to Iza, take a view of what is the tallest wooden structure in the world: Sapinta Peri. Late in the afternoon return  to the village. Time at lesiure. Enjoy a home hosted dinner.
Breakfast and Dinner
Home stay accommodation (or hotel on request)
Day 6:
Maramures: Iza Valley, Barsana & Bogdan Voda - the Prislop Pass - Gura Humorului (Bucovina)
rhapsody4Following breakfast continue exploring Maramures along the picturesque Iza River Valley – an excellent oportunity to witness the daily life in this corner of Europe and also meet locals. Stop in the village of Rozavlea for a visit to the 1722 wooden church (UNESCO) followed by a famous master carver in his own workshop. He represented Romania at the 1999 Smithsonian World Folk Festival in Washington, DC.
Next is the exquisite Barsana Nunnery, an example of Maramures wooden church architecture at its best. Visit Bogdan Voda wooden church (UNESCO Site).  In the village of Dragomiresti tour the unique local museum located in a 235-year old home. Continue your tour by crossing the scenic Carpathian Mountains through the picturesque  Prislop Pass into the northern part of Moldavia called Bucovina. Enjoy an egg-painting technique demonstration by a local artist in her own home, this being one of the local traditions of the area. You will also have the chance to admire painted eggs from all over the world. After arriving in Gura Humorului, check into the hotel. Evening at leisure. 
Breakfast,  Accommodation in Gura Humorului at Hotel Best Western Bucovina ****  
OR Hotel Carpati **** (two nights) 
Day 7:
Bucovina Painted Monasteries Excursion (UNESCO World Heritage Sites) & Traditional Lunch
A la carte breakfast at hotel. The Bucovina Monasteries Tour will reveal outstanding gems of medieval Moldavian architecture and artistry. Begin your day with Voronet, the most famous out of all, known rhapsody5as the Sistine Chapel of the East and featuring one the best Last Judgment fresco in this part of the World. The newly open Customs and Traditions Museum of Gura Humorului is a must.
Next is Moldovita Monastery where the UNESCO Golden Apple Award given to the painted churches in 1975, is kept. As a cultural connection, enjoy a traditional Bucovina lunch in the picturesque village of Sucevita. Later continue to the nearby Sucevita Monastery, which is the largest of all, looking more like a mighty fortress than a monastery. The Ladder of John of Sinai is considered one of the best of the frescoes of Sucevita, rarely present in medieval Romanian art. In the village of Marginea visit the black pottery workshop - they use a technique called "oxygen reduction", there is the same technique in Mexico only! End your day with the Monastery of Humor, the only one without a belfry tower. Return to the hotel.
Breakfast and Lunch, 
Accommodation in Gura Humorului at Hotel Best Western Bucovina ****
OR Hotel Carpati ****
Day 8:
Gura Humorului - Piatra Neamt - Bicaz Gorges & Red Lake - Gypsy Village & Home Visit - Sighisoara
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Begin your day with a drive south to Piatra Neamt. 
Take a tour of the Neamt Citadel, a medieval fortress initially built in the 12the century.
Later reach Bicaz Gorges where the surroundings are dramatic. Opportunity for a short hike. Next is the spectacular Red Lake, formed by an accidental mountain drift in 1838. Optional lunch in the resort (restaurants here specialize in naturally grown trout). Once passing the Red Lake you are back to Transylvania passing through an area inhabited mostly by the Hungarian Szeklers community, which actively maintains its peculiar culture and even script. 
Exclusive visit to a Gypsy village followed by a Gypsy home visit: this is an unique opportunity to learn about this less known yet controversial ethnic group, about its culture, identity and lifestyle. Afternoon arrival to Sighisoara - a World Heritage Site and the only still inhabited medieval citadel in Europe. Accommodation in the Upper Town. Suggestion for dinner: the Birthplace of Vlad Dracula.
Breakfast,  Accommodation in Sighisoara at The House with Antler *** (two nights)
Previously used by King Charles III during his early travels to Transylvania.
Day 9:
Sighisoara Walking Tour - Biertan Fortification & Village Tour 
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Sighisoara is one of a kind. 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 House with Antler, the Tower with Clock (climb up for a great view), the Torture Chamber and the Weapon Museum. Sighisoara is the place where the Vlad the Impaler Dracula was born in 1431. The Birthplace is one of the main tourist attractions. 
Then drive to the fortified church of Biertan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a visit of the former Seat of the Lutheran Bishops. After the visit you may opt for a walking tour of the Saxon village of Biertan where time seems to have stood still. Return to Sighisoara in the afternoon to further explore on own. 
Breakfast, Accommodation in Sighisoara
Day 10:
Sighisoara - The Saxon Trail - Dracula's Castle in Bran - Cheese Sampling - Brasov Tour
rhapsody6Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Leave Sighisoara in the morning. Continue  through the picturesque Transylvanian Plateau with a brief stop at Saschiz (UNESCO Site). Next, as a cultural connection, enjoy an exclusively organized tasting of old Saxon home-mad recipes. 
Later tour of the Gothic Bran Castle also known as Dracula Castle. This medieval structure was built in 1377 to safeguard the trading route between Transylvania and Wallachia, and has been enlarged and restored a few times to become a royal residence in the 1920s under Queen Marie of Romania. After the visit enjoy cheese sampling in Bran.
Spend the remainder of the day with a private tour of Brasov, another of  the important Saxon town with a rich heritage.  The tour of Brasov will reveal the Old Town with the late Gothic Black Church featuring a collection of precious Anatolian rugs, the Council Square, Catherine’s Gate, the Guild Towers, Schei Quarter, the narrow Rope Street as well as a view of the impressive 1901 synagogue. Hotel check in with the remainder of the Day in the lovely pedestrian area of the Old Town with its many restaurants and outdoor cafes.
Breakfast,  Accommodation in the Old Town of Brasov at Hotel Bella Muzica *** (or similar)
Day 11: 
Brasov - Sinaia: Peles Castle - Bucharest Airport
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel.  Morning scenic drive to Sinaia mountain town. Named after St. Catherine Monastery on Mount Sinai, Sinaia became the unofficial capital of the Kingdom of Romania toward the end of the 19th century. The orientation tour of the resort includes a view of the famous Casino building, with its architecture inspired by the one in Monte Carlo. Then take a guided tour of the Peles Castle and Gardens in Sinaia, the royal residence of King Charles I of Romania and known as one of the most beautiful summer royal residences in Europe.
End your Romania tour with a drive to Bucharest Coanda International Airport, drop-off for your afternoon return flight or take our BULGARIA EXTENSION OR THE BLACK SEA & DANUBE DELTA EXTENSION
The tour is further customizable on requestIf your flight is in the early morning, the tour program will be adjusted accordingly.

     Included Features:

  • 8 nights at three and four star hotels, all centrally located and full of character
  • 2 nights home stay in Maramures (or three/four star hotel on request, surcharge applies)
  • fully insured sedan / minivan with climate control, for the entire distance
  • fuel & parking fees
  • all sightseeing tours & cultural connections
  • informal talks on: Vlad the Impaler - Dracula, Ceausescu and His Times, The Gypsies and Their Journey (all by the tour guide)
  • 13 meals:     10 breakfasts, 1 Bucovina lunch,  2 home hosted dinners
  • cheese tasting in Bran 
  • a professional English speaking tour guide (driving) to accompany you throughout
  • an egg painting demonstration in Bucovina
  • exclusive Gypsy home visit & interaction
  • Bucharest city tour, including a guided tour of the Palace of the Parliament
  • airport transfer on arrival and drop-off for departure
  • porterage (except for Customs Areas)
  • map of Romania.


      Freestyle Add - Ons:

  • full day trip to the Republic of Moldova including a city tour of the capital city of Chisinau (requires extra day)
  • Transylvanian wine tasting in a 500-year old cellar
  • full day trip to Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi, Bulgaria (from Bucharest, requires extra day)
  • two day Black Sea & Danube Delta Extension with private delta cruise accompanied by certified skipper (from Bucharest, requires two extra days)
  • three day Bulgaria Highlights Tour Extension (from Bucharest, requires an extra three days; flight out of Sofia, Bulgaria)

      You'll Visit 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

Sibiu's Historic Center & ensemble of Squares, Maramures Wooden Churches, Bucovina Exterior Frescoed Monasteries, Historic Center of Sighisoara, Fortified Churches of Southern Transylvania.

      Not Included:

  • other meals than stated
  • alcoholic beverages
  • admission fees at sites and museums
  • credit card fee of 2.5%
  • gratuities of any kind.