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» Tours in Transylvania

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Itinerary: Bucharest - The Black Sea Coast  & Histria -  Danube Delta Cruise - Moldavia - Bucovina Monasteries - Maramures - Transylvanian Highlights - Brasov - Bran Castle - Sinaia Resort - Bucharest

This is an extensive private tour of Romania based on a number of recent research trips in the country, meeting with local artists, using superior hotels and including some new UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as off the beaten track places which are of great cultural and historical value. It is a tour which will take thru all the important historical areas of Romania, pointing out their own identity. The many cultural connections and exclusive visits are meant as a window into the Romanian culture and civilization, with old and new. The tour is further customizable.

Day 1:
Bucharest - Constanta -  Histria - Tulcea
Begin your private tour of Romania with an early morning departure for the Black Sea Coast to Constanta, the largest sea port on the Black Sea. A city of over 350,000 population, Constanta was established in the 4th century BC as a Greek colony. The drive from Bucharest will take approximately three hours, crossing the Danube into the region of Dobrogea and driving along the (in)famous Danube-Black Sea Canal. The city tour of Constanta will take you to the Secession style Casino and the Genoese Lighthouse. Later tour the Archeology Section featuring the fabulous Glykon Serpent and the wonderfully restored the Roman Mosaic - one of the largest in this part of Europe. In the afternoon drive to Mamaia - Romania's largest sea resort, established by King Charles of Romania in the second half of the 19th century and then continue north to the ruins of the ancient town of  Histria (formerly the main Greek Colony on the Coast but silted by the alluvuim of the Delta). In the ealry evening arrive to Tulcea located right at the entrance to the Danube Delta. Hotel check in. Dinner on your own.
Accommodation in Tulcea at Hotel Delta *** (right on the Danube Banks)
Day 2:
Danube Delta Cruise – Brãila - Piatra Neamt
heritage1Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. This morning, you'll explore the youngest territory in the world. (The Danube Delta started to form just 10,000 years ago and is still in the process of formation). On your exclusively charter boat you’ll have the chance to admire its scenic beauty and wildlife - it is known as the birdwatchers paradise, try your hand at fishing, or simply relax while browsing through the narrow channels. The Delta cuisine is certain to provide an interesting dining experience! After breakfast, embark a small ship for a four to five hour private cruise into the Danube Delta. The tour will be led by a specialiSt tour guide and skipper. Start your cruise on the Tulcea Canal then off to Nebunu Lake through narrow canals. A great opportunity for bird watching and to admire nature. Lunch is served on board ship. Return to Tulcea around 1:00 pm. Disembark. Depart to Piatra Neamt crossing the Danube on the ferry at Braila. Arrive to Piatra Neamt; short orientation tour followed by check in. Dinner on own.
B L Accommodation in Piatra Neamt at Hotel Ceahlaul *** 
Day 3:
Piatra Neamt – Bucovina Monasteries
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Continue your Romania private trip with a drive to the splendid region of Bucovina, the land of the exterior painted monasteries, all of the part of the UNESCOheritage2 World Heritage. Bucovina monasteries are gems of medieval Moldavian architecture and artistry. Each of them has a predominant color. Start your day with Voronet Monastery, the most famous out of all, known as the Sistine Chapel of the East. Voronet features one the best Last Judgment fresco in this part of the World. Receive a complete explanation of the fresco. Next is Moldovita Moldovita where the UNESCO Golden Apple Award given to the painted churches back in 1975, is kept. On the south facade of Moldovita is The Siege of Constantinople belonging to the 24 episodes of the Hymn to the Holy Virgin. Enjoy a traditional Bucovina lunch in the picturesque village of Sucevita. Drive to the nearby Sucevita, 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 Humor Monastery, the only one without a tower as it was not built by a ruling prince. Dinner on your own.
B L Accommodation in Gura Humorului at Hotel Best Western Bucovina ****
Day 4:
Bucovina - Maramures Wooden Churches including Ieud
A la carte breakfast at hotel. Drive west towards 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, fashion and lifestyle unspoiled for centuries. It is like a trip back in time. Admire the wonderfully carved wooden gates along Iza Valley including an original 235 year old household in the village of Dragomiresti. Visit the church of Ieud (UNESCO World Heritage Site). As a cultural connection, stop in the village of Rozavlea for a visit to the workshop of a famous master carver. He represented Romania in the 1999 Smithsonian World Festival in Washington, DC. Visit Ieud Wooden Church. Depending on the day of the week visit a local animal market. The tour of Maramures will further include Barsana Monastery, a great example of Maramures wooden church architecture. In the afternoon reach the village of Iza on Iza Valley. This will be our base for the next two days. Accommodation in a private house in the village. A home hosted dinner (and plum brandy) is included so that people get deeper into the local culture. Our hosts will join for dinner so this will turn into a cultural interchange.
B D Home stay accommodation or three/four star hotel on request
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.
Day 5:
Maramures: Iza - Sighetul Marmatiei - Sapinta Village
After breakfast, your private tour of Maramures continues with an exclusively designed walking tour of the village of Iza including an icon-on-glass workshop (and learn about the technique), an ancient tyoe plum brandy distillery still used by the lcoal community to make the doubls distilled plum brandy as well as a typical whirlpool using the Iza River water. Your Romanian private tour guide will drive you to Sighet and, as a cultural connection, mingle with the locals in the town's open air market. Then tour the Anti Communist Memorial - a political prison in the Communist times. This noriceably is one of the main memorial sites of the continent, alongside Auschwitz Museum and the Peace Memorial in Normandy. The visit provides a direct connection to Romania’s most recent history. Optional visit to the house of Nobel Prize winner, Elie Wiesel. View of the famous Tisa bridge is included. Continue west along Tisa River (very close to the Ukrainian border) 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. Late in the afternoon return to Iza for dinner and accommodation.
B D Home stay accommodation or three/star hotel on request
Day 6:  
Maramures – Surdesti - Cluj Napoca – Alba Iulia - Sibiu
Following breakfast, you'll be driven to the magnificent wooden church of Surdesti built in the early 1702 and until recently the tallest wooden church of Europe (UNESCO Site). Continue south to Sibiu via Cluj Napoca – the largest city of Transylvania, a wonderful centuries-old town where you'll visit the Ethnographical Museum. Brief stop at Alba Iulia, famous for its Vauban style citadel. The destination is Sibiu, formerly the chief cities of the Transylvanian Saxons. Its well-preserved old town is dating from the Middle Ages. In 2007, Sibiu was declared the Cultural Capital of Europe and underwent wonderful architectural restoration. The Historic Center is on the World Heritage Pending List. Take an orientation tour on the way to the hotel including the old belts of fortifications and guild towers. Hotel check in and dinner on your own. Suggested is Crama Sibiul Vechi, probably the best restaurant in town serving all traditional Transylvanian fares.
B Accommodation in Sibiu at Hotel Casa Luxemburg ***
Day 7:
Sibiu Walking Tour - Biertan - Gypsy Village & Interaction - Sighisoara
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Continue your Romania private travel with a leisurely walking tour of Sibiu, the chief city of the Transylvanian Germans. The Old Centre is awaiting recognition by UNESCO. View the old surrounding defense walls and the remaining guild towers. One of the landmarks of Sibiu is the Bruckenthal Museum assembled by Baron Bruckenthal, the Governor of Transylvania at the beginning of the 19th century, the second ever art museum to openin Europe. Its core art collection used to belong to the Baron. The Evangelical Cathedral was completed in its actual shape in 1520, but inside, there is an exquisite fresco of the Crucifixion on the north wall of the choir dating from 1445. View the Passage of Stairs linking the Upper town to the Lower town, the 1859 Liar's Bridge and the Byzantine style Orthodox Cathedral, a replica of St. Sophia in Constantinople.  In the afternoon, you'll venture to Biertan Fortress Church, a World Cultural Heritage site that hosts the largest wing altar in Romania and was used for more than 300 years as the official residence of many Transylvanian Lutheran Bishops. Stop in one of the Gypsy villages for a home visit. Upon your arrival in Sighisoara, you'll understand why it is considered to be the best preserved medieval town in all of Europe. Continuously inhabited since the early Middle Ages, Sighisoara is the birth town of Prince Vlad Dracula! Dinner on own.
B  Accommodation in Sighisoara at  The House with Antler***
Located in the Upper Town.
Day 8:
Sighisoara Walking Tour - Viscri - Brasov & Time at Leisure
Hot buffet breakfast at hotel. Before starting your walking tour of old Sighisoara attend a short informal talk on Vlad the Impaler –Dracula, what is truth and what is fiction (by your Romanian private tour guide). Sighisoara is one of a kind. A World Heritage Site, this is the only still inhabited medieval citadel in Europe. 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. Walking tour includes the two squares of the Citadel (Upper Town), the Scholars’ Staircase, the Ducklings’ Square, the Tinsmiths’ Tower, 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 famous Vlad the Impaler Dracula was born in 1431. Journey south to heritage5 Brasov, with a stop in the Village of Viscri for a tour of another beautiful village where Prince Charles bought two old homes. Once in Brasov, visit to St. Nicolae church, the Museum of the first Romanian school in Transylvania, and the magnificent Black Church - largest Gothic style church in South-Eastern Europe and featuring a collection of over one hundred 17th century Muslim prayer rugs. Hotel check in. Enjoy th pedestrian area of Old Brasov with its many restaurants and outdoor cafes.
B Accommodation in Brasov at Hotel Casa Wagner ***
OR Hotel Bella Muzica ***
Day 9:
Brasov - Tampa Mountain Cable Car Ride - Bran Castle - Sinaia
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Morning cable car ride on top of Tampa Mountain offering a great panoramic view of the city. Continue your tour of Romania with the Weavers' Bastion - one the well preserved medieval guild fortresses. Later, it is time for Bran Castle also known as Dracula Castle and one of the major attractions of the country. The castle was built in 1377 to safeguard the trading route between Transylvania and Wallachia, enlarged and restored a few times since then. A guided visit of the castle is included. Drive through Predeal, Romania's  highest town. Late afternoon arrival to Sinaia mountain resort. Named after St.Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai, Sinaia became the unofficial capital of the Kingdom of Romania towards the end of the 19th century. Orientation tour of the resort including the famous Casino, inspired by the one in Monte Carlo. Once the famous Orient Express train use to regularly call here and it still does once a year on its way from Paris to Constantinople.
B Accommodation in Sinaia at Palace Hotel **** (or similar)
Centrally located in the resort.
Day 10:
Sinaia - Bucharest
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. In the morning, your first stop is the Peles Castle and Gardens, the awesome former summer residence of the Romanian royal family, built in German Renaissance style and known as one of the most beautiful summer residences of Europe. From there, you're off to the Sinaia Monastery, a beautiful example of the Wallachian - Byzantine architectural style and the first building in Sinaia. End your Romania private trip with a drive to the Coanda International Airport in Bucharest for your return flight OR take our BULGARIA EXTENSION.
Additional Nights & Tours: 
Extra Night in Bucharest:      39 to 79 Euro per person with breakfast, VAT and city tax.
Airport Transfer on arrival:    35/55 Euro per ride (includes pick up with name sign).
Bucharest City Tour:             95 Euro per person (includes hotel pick up and drop off).

Your Price Includes:

  • 7 nights at three and four star hotels (best available)
  • 2 nights home stay in Maramures (this can be changed to a hotel if desired)
  • fully insured sedan/minivan with climate control, for the entire distance
  • fuel & parking fees included
  • all sightseeing tours & cultural connections
  • five hour Danube Delta cruise with local Delta licensed skipper
  • three informal talks on: Ceausescu and His Times, The Gypsies and Their Journey, Vlad The Impaler
  • interactive egg painting demonstration in Bucovina
  • 13 meals: 9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
  • a English speaking guide (driving) to accompany you throughout
  • guide's expenses
  • airport transfer on departure
  • porterage (except for customs areas)
  • VAT and local tax
  • detailed map of Romania.

You'll Visit 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • Danube Delta Nature Reserve
  • Bucovina exterior painted monasteries
  • Maramures Wooden Churches
  • Historic Center of Alba Iulia
  • Historic Center of Sighisoara
  • Biertan Fortified Church
  • Villages with Fortified Churches of Transylvania
  • Sibiu Historic Center and its Ensemble of Squares

Not Included:

  • Other meals than stated
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Admission fees at sites and museums
  • Credit card fee of 2.5%
  • Gratuities of any kind.