Romania 2011:



photo 2 ( dinu@mendrea)



Sample tour itinerary: Sinaia (1 night) – Brasov (1 night) – Sighisoara (1 night) – Sibiu (2 nights) – Bucharest (2 nights)

8 days- 7 nights
Tour Highlights
Saxon Legacy with Sighisoara medieval citadel
Sparkling Wine Tastings in Azuga (Rhein Cellers), Jidvei Vineyards
Royal Palaces: Peles Castle
Dracula myth: Bran Castle, Sighisoara Citadel
Medieval cities: Brasov, Sighisoara, Sibiu
Medieval Churches: Prejmer



brasov-council




Day 1 – BULGARIA – BUCHAREST – SINAIA

Transfer from Bulgaria, with your Bulgarian guide/driver, to Revolution Square in the center of Bucharest (near the Romanian Atheneum).

Meet your Romanian guide at Revolution Square and departure to SINAIA .

We travel through a chain of villages on the Wallachian plain around Bucharest before the landscape changes as we reach the Carpathians and the Prahova Valley, one of the most picturesque places of this region, with mountain resorts spread across it.

Our day will end in Brasov, where we shall stay at the Hotel New Montana 4 * .

Day 2- BRASOV – SINAIA – AZUGA – BRASOV

After breakfast, we visit the resort town of Sinaia situated at an altitude that varies from 798 to 971 meters, at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains.

Sinaia has documented connections to the construction of its famous monastery in 1695, around which the first settlements appeared. The rapid construction of this area is related to the development of the extractive and oil processing industries in the South Carpathian area; to the opening of the road at the end of the 18th century, to the construction of the railway (1879) and to Peles Castle. Sinaia was declared a town in 1880, making it one of the oldest urban mountain settlements in the country.

Peles Palace is one of the best-preserved royal palaces in Europe and one of the most beautiful castles in all Europe. It was the final resting place for several Romanian monarchs including King Carol I, who died here in 1914.


The building of the castle began in 1873 under the direct order of the Viennese architect Wilhem Doderer and was continued in 1876 by his assistant. During 1877-1879, because of the war, the work was abandoned. The location for the castle was chosen by the German Prince Carol I Hohenzollern, who was to become a king and it draws its name from the neighboring brooks which pass through the courtyard.


The castle was built in wood, stone, bricks and marble and comprises more than 160 rooms. The representative style used is German Renaissance, but one can easily discover elements belonging to the Italian Renaissance, Gothic, German Baroque and French Rococo style.

Peles is surrounded by seven terraces decorated with statues, stone-made-wells, ornamental vases and Carrara marble. The architects used an abundance of wooden decoration, both for the exterior and for the interior of the castle, which confers a very special quality to the building.

Quite outstanding are the Big Armory Room, the Small Armory Room, the Florentine Room, the Reception Room (where paintings and wooden sculptures depicting 16 castles of the Hohenzollerns are exhibited), the Moorish Room, the French Room, the Turkish Room, the Council Room, the Concert Room as well as the Imperial Suite.


Other exquisite attractions such as the statues, the ceramics, the gold and silver plates, the Meissen and Sevres porcelain, the Murano crystal chandeliers, German stained-glass windows, walls covered with Cordoba leather, ebony and ivory sculptures, as well as the extensive weapons collections are worth mentioning. It is also important to know that Peles Castle shelters one of the most important and most valuable painting collections in Europe, almost 2,000 pieces.

Sinaia Monastery – This real cathedral of the Bucegi Mountains goes back to the 17th century, being the first building of Sinaia. Founded by the Sword Bearer Mihail Cantacuzino when he returned to Romania, from Sinai Mountain in Israel, the monastery was named after the mountain, but adapted to the Romanian language it became Sinaia Monastery.


After seeing these precious and unique jewels we shall stop in Azuga, where Medieval Tours invites you to taste sparkling wines and have a welcome lunch in a special place – the Halewood Wine Cellars.

Sparkling wine has been produced in Azuga since 1892, when a German merchant established Rhein & Cie. This location was chosen for its climactic conditions and proximity to the vineyards.


The foaming wines ferment by a special process of sitting on racks deep inside the old Rhein wine cellars, which still exist today as they did when the company was established.


Overnight at Hotel Gott 3 * .

DAY 3 – BRASOV – BRAN CASTLE –PREJMER CITADEL – SIGHISOARA

After breakfast we shall visit the town of Brasov, which, according to documents dating from 1234 was once called Corona. During the second half of the 14th century it was confirmed as the administrative and ecclesiastic center of Barsei Land “the free royal town,” one of the economic and cultural centers of Transylvania.


The old center contains The Council Square, the imposing Black Church, The Council House, Merchant’s House, Brasov’s Fortress, Schei Gate, Ecaterina Gate of 1540, and The Rope Street, the narrowest street in Europe.

These are only a few of the attractions of this town which is always full of life.

We arrive at the famous Bran Castle situated in an old village of the same name.

Bran Castle is considered as the home of Dracula, in so far as Vlad Tepes the original Romanian Prince who inspired the legend, once lived there. Bram Stoker, the author of the book, was also inspired by this castle and the Transylvanian lands and villages surrounding it.


The first document regarding Bran Castle is a paper issued on November 19, 1377 by Ludwig I d’Anjou, by which Brasov inhabitants received the privilege of building the Fortress “at their own work and expense”.

Between 1920-1927 Bran Castle was restored under the leadership of Karel Liman, the Architect of the Royal Court, who transformed it into a beautiful Summer Residence surrounded by a park with promenade alleys, lake, fountains, arbors, and a tea house. In 1938 Queen Maria bequeathed Bran Castle with all its domains, to her daughter, Princess Ileana, who owned it until 1948.


Dracula’s Legend – The famous legend of Dracula is largely due to the book written by Bram Stoker, which, has since inspired countless films and stage productions. Stoker, himself, for inspiration, relied on the historical image of the Romanian prince Vlad Tepes, who ruled between 1456 and 1462. Perhaps more than anything else, the mythological character Dracula is known for his deeply evil nature. His favored weapons were his sharp fangs, and it is no coincidence that impalement, one of the most terrifying manners of dying, was always the torture method the original Prince Dracula preferred; that is where his name, (Vlad Tepes = Vlad the Impaler) emanates.

The cruelty of his punishment for the lack of loyalty and honesty coincides with his name. In Romanian it means “the devil”. In 1431 the Saint Roman Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg granted Dracula’s father, Vlad II, the Dragon order, a chivalrous order, for fights against the Turks. The emblem of the order was a dragon, symbol of the devil. The legend and the true story of Dracula meet and are kept alive by other Romanian tourist destinations; Snagov Monastery close to Bucharest or Bran Castle, close to Brasov.

Prejmer Fortified Church

Sometime, about 800 years ago in Prejmer village – not far away from Brasov, the Saxons built a church, in early Gothic style ( 1241- 1250).

The church in the middle of the fortress is one of the oldest in Transylvania.

We say goodbye to Prejmer Church and we arrive in Sighisoara .


We stay overnight at the Fronius Residence 5* located in the middle of Sighisoara Citadel, right at the foot of the Hill. Long ago, the Fronius family, an old Transylvanian Saxon family built one of the few houses that were to resist the devastating fire in 1676.

Fronius Residence has 7 rooms, each with a different style, dimensions and decorations. In some of them, the gothic ceilings still bear the marks of the great fire. They are furrowed by arches of sculpted stone and, here and there, you can see the restored original picture. The doors locks are the old original ones. The furniture is old, in keeping with the atmosphere of the house, having been purchased piece by piece from different areas of Transylvania. The exquisite bathrooms, made of natural materials, feature a discreet blending of the old style with the new, precisely conceived for the visitor’s complete comfort.


The old cellar has long featured a small bar. The tables in the bar also bear the deep trace of time, with inscriptions from 1822 or 1900. The reception desk bears the trace of time, as well. The high ceilings and the discrete stained glass introduce the visitor to the story of Fronius, making him more and more curious.

Day 4 – SIGHISOARA- JIDVEI- SIBIU

Sighisoara: This is the birthplace of Vlad Tepes – The Impaler, better known as Dracula. The town is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Sighisoara is the most beautiful and well kept fortified town in Transylvania and dates from the 13th century, when it was known as the City of Schassburg.

Sighisoara is the only medieval citadel whose old buildings are still in a functional state and well kept. The town dates from around 1190. From the very beginning, the inhabitants of the town were artisans, organized in guilds (the oldest guild in Sighisoara dates from 1376).


The Sighisoara citadel has a very rich story, written in stone by its celebrated guild towers – the Leather Dresser’s Tower, the Tinker’s Tower, the Goldsmith’s Tower, the Rope Maker’s Tower, the Butcher’s Tower, the Furrier’s Tower, the Tailor’s Tower and the Locksmith’s Tower.

Alongside these are the vast Church on the Hill (from 1345), the Monastery Church (built in 13th century), the Venetian House and the House of the Stag, named after the stag head affixed to the corner of the building, which dates from the 17th century, as a living embodiment of the renaissance, Transylvanian Style. These are only a few of SIGHISOARA’s marvels.

Departure to Jidvei -Located in the Tirnava River Valley

The twinning of different nations (Romanians, Hungarians, Saxons) has led both vine cultivation and wine production to develop techniques and skills with amazing results. Considered to be the second motherland of the Traminer grape, Tarnave Vineyard owes this fact to the massive colonization in the second half of the thirteenth century with Saxons from the Mosel–Rhine Valley who founded Seiden the German name for Jidvei.


The wines of the TARNAVE vineyard provide a perfect blend of acid, alcohol and flavor. They seem to have gathered together the strong fragrance of pine resin, the smell of lime blossom, and the transparency and sweetness of acacia honey. Jidvei Vineyards produces white wine and special sparkling wine.

Special lunch with wine tasting at Castle Bethlen (1570-1580) after which we proceed to Sibiu .

Arrival in Sibiu, overnight at Hotel Ramada 4 * .

Day 5- SIBIU – the whole day

Sibiu: The city of Sibiu is almost 1,000 years old, with its first mention in a written document dating to 1191.


Sibiu is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful and well-preserved historical cities in Romania and Europe, with an architectural patrimony stretching over 80 hectares. The Sibiu medieval fortress remains untouched after two world wars and the Communist regime, and it still preserves the spirit and the atmosphere of the old times.

The Haller House

haller house

The Large Square is the historic center of Sibiu, first mentioned in 1411. In 1538 the documents mention a fountain here, and in the 1550 the infamy pillar was erected, to be removed only in 1783.

The Large Square – Visit inside The Brukenthal Palace & Museum


The Brukenthal Palace is one of the most remarkable monuments in late baroque style in Romania, erected between 1778-1788 as an official residence for Samuel von Brukenthal .

THE SMALL SQUARE

The Small Square is the second largest historic place of Sibiu and one of the most beautiful squares in the town.

This square is connected to the large Square through a series of narrow passages.


The Liar’s Bridge

The first cast iron bridge in Romania was built in 1859 to connect the upper town to the lower town.


THE HUET SQUARE

The Huet Square is surrounded by historic buildings built in Gothic style, the square being dominated by the Evangelic Cathedral

the huet square

Overnight at the Ramada Hotel 4* .

DAY 6- SIBIU – BUCHAREST

By request we can visit the beautiful Cozia Monastery, a jewel of architecture .

Cozia Monastery, erected in 1388, is one of the most valuable monuments of national medieval art and architecture in Romania.

cozia monastery

The wall facets feature decorations with original stone rosettes and frames display early Byzantine influence.

Cozia was painted between 1390 and 1391. Some of the original frescoes (1390) are still well preserved.

Cozia features a museum of exhibiting old art: old manuscripts and prints, embroideries and objects of worship.

Arrival in Bucharest staying overnight at the Centre Ville 4 * .

A free day with time at your disposal. Bucharest by night .

DAY 7 – BUCHAREST

The Civic Center and the Palace of Parliament


In 1971 Ceausescu visited North Korea and returned full of admiration for the grandiose avenues of Kim Il Sung’s capital city. Thirteen years later, inspired by what he had seen in Pyongyang, Ceausescu set out to re-model Bucharest as “the first socialist capital for the new socialist man” and to create a new administrative center which was to be a “symbolic representation of the two decades of enlightenment we have just lived through.” Implementing this megalomaniac vision entailed the demolition of a quarter of Bucharest’s historic centre, containing 9,000 19th century houses, whose 40,000 inhabitants were relocated in new developements on the outskirts of the city.

The PALACE OF PARLIAMENT – we will visit the Palace interior and enjoy an extensive guided tour (45 minutes visit with specialized guide).

Revolution Square: with the former Communist Party Headquarters, a Stalinist monolith, featuring the famous balcony where Ceausescu delivered his last speech .

the revolution square

The Kretzulescu Church – a monument synthesizing in its architecture, the art of the Brancoveanu epoch. It was built in 1720-1722.


The Romanian Atheneum – a magnificent Neoclassical structure, built in 1888, hosting concerts all year round.


Farewell evening with traditional folk program at the Beer Cart, a famous old Romanian restaurant featuring local performances.

The Beer Cart, a true living legend and also one of the oldest beer houses in Bucharest. It was opened for the first time in 1879.


The beer house is a traditional place where each object has its own story. It is one of the few places in Bucharest where it seems that nothing has changed, and the architecture reminds those who enter it why Bucharest was once considered to be the little Paris. The murals paintings, the stained glass and the carved cross-beams are distinctive elements of the beer house. The old time party spirit is still present in these days, the atmosphere reminding of Bucharest’s exuberance from the 20th century beginnings.

DAY 8- END OF THE TOUR
After breakfast our tour ends and our guests are transferred to the Henri Coanda International Airport Bucharest .

The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina
These are not part of the suggested itinerary outlined above, but we include them here because they are too much a wonder of the Romanian landscape to leave out. If you want to read more about them, and the tour opportunities that we give to visit them, you can do so on our Bucovina page.







Tour costs for Romania portion :
2- 3 guests :
4-5 guests :
6-7 guests:
Per person single supplement :
The price includes :
1. accommodation for 7 nights at downtown located 4 * hotels
2. meals : all breakfasts at hotels
3. transfers according to the itinerary
4. English speaking tour guide/ driver
5. entrance fees as per the itinerary
6. tasting sparkling wine and lunch at the Azuga Rhein Cellars
7. tasting wines at the Bethlen Castle and lunch
The price does not include :
1. lunches, dinners, personal expenses, tips, air fares;
2. video & photo taxes