10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS

In the Apuseni Mountains there are not less than 4000 caves, extraordinary flora, an indigenous and unique natural world, old traditions, fine buildings and old fairy tale villages.

After seeing them for the first time one would want to see them again and one ends up falling in love with them for ever!

The local people called “moti” know how to give a sense to their life. They amaze the visitor with their houses built entirely from wood, and without any iron nails. They further amaze with their skill in using water with different kind of watermills (”mori”, “valtori”), their handmade tools made in the winter and sold in the springtime in the plains, their famous Match Making Market (Tirgul de Fete) on the Gaina Mountain organized every year. This is The Country of Moti – Tara Motilor.

This area is hardly explored by mainstream tours and you won’t regret if you chose to tour it yourself. You will leave with unforgettable images which will accompany you all the way to your home, compelling you to leaf through your photo album every now and again.

It is definitely worth choosing this destination!

HIGHLIGHTS
The Apuseni Mountains
Traditional villages
The woman playing alpenhorn
The Hategului Land
Baile Herculane spa
Timisoara city
Oradea city
Sibiu city

Day 1
Arrival at the International Airport Henri Coanda
Departure , the same day, following the itinerary :
BUCHAREST- ALEXANDRIA- CRAIOVA- TURNU SEVERIN – BAILE HERCULANE

The road will guide us through the south of the country, through Oltenia, and at some point it will follow the river Danube in order to arrive in the afternoon at Baile Herculane.

Domogled – Valea Cernei National Park– The Richest Natural Reservation in Europe.

Baile Herculane, the Herculane Baths, is one of the oldest spa resorts in the world, mentioned for the first time in a document in 153 A.D.

There are numerous remains from the Roman times: aqueducts, baths, statues, coins and votive tabulas raised for the Gods as a sign of gratitude for healing diseases.

The thermal and mineral waters of the Herculane Baths were first discovered and exploited by the soldiers of the Roman legions that conquest the old Dacia. The Romans called this area “Ad acquas Herculi Sacras”, due to the healing properties of the waters and this is were the actual name comes from.

The Roman patricians used to come to the resort, and the waters from here became known all over the Roman Empire. Even Emperor Marcus Aurelius himself came here for treatment! Throughout the years, numerous celebrities stopped at Băile Herculane, including Goethe, Andersen, Emperor Franz Josef and his wife, the Empress Sissi.

Accomodation : Hotel Ferdinand 4 *

Day 2
BAILE HERCULANE- CARANSEBES- LUGOJ – TIMISOARA

Timisoara is situated in the South-Western part of Romania, very close to the border with the former Yugoslavia. Timisoara is the city with the most western and cosmopolitan look of the whole country, and the place where, in 1989, the first bursts of revolution led to the removal of the national Communist regime.

The Castle of the Huniazi

The Castle of the Huniazi, the oldest monument of Timisoara, was built between 1443-1447 by Iancu of Hunedoara, one of the greatest leaders in the battle against the Otomans in the 15th century. Today, the castle houses the History Section and the Natural Sciences Section of the Banat Museum.

In front of the castle, there is the symbol of a street lamp, reminding passers-by that Timisoara was the first city in Europe to benefit from electric street illumination.

The Old City Hall

Situated on the North side of Victory Square, the Old City Hall edifice built in Baroque style between 1731-1734 is the oldest in Timisoara.

The Orthodox Cathedral

Situated in Victory Square, The Orthodox Cathedral is one of the most monumental edifices in Timisoara. It was built in Byzantine style, with various elements typical to Moldavian architecture. In the galleries of the basement, there is a museum with orthodox religious cult exhibits – iconostasis, glass and wood icons, and valuable religious books dating since the 16th century.

Accomodation Timisoara , Hotel Reghina Blue 4 *

Day 3
TIMISOARA – ARAD – ORADEA

Morning city tour Timisoara and departure to Oradea,with a short break in Arad.

We make a short stop in Arad, where we visit a few of the most important points of attraction of the city. The city was mentioned for the first time in an official document in 1081. Arad was again mentioned in 1331 in “The Vienna Painted Chronicle” (”Cronicon Pictum Vindobonense”), an inestimable miniature manuscript.

The Serbian church “Saint Pieter and Pavel”, built between 1698 – 1702, in the Early Baroque style.

The monastery “Saint Simion Stapalnicul”, built in 1762 in the Baroque style.

Arad was one of the Transylvanian fortresses built in the Vauban style in the second half of the XVIIIth century, a late period of the star-shaped fortresses in Europe.

Acommodation in Oradea Hotel Elite 4 *

Day 4
ORADEA – APUSENI MOUNTAINS : Margau village, Rachitele village, Frasinet village, Scrind village, RIMETEA.

You are treated to a whole day dedicated to recollecting one’s thoughts in this Paradise, where you can choose between walks, trips or visiting wooden watermills of more than 100 years old.

“Rachitele”, the largest village in the area, serves as a gate to the Natural Reservation of the Apuseni Mountains.

The Orthodox church of Margau, dates back to 1340.

THE FORTRESSES OF PONOR
The Fortresses of Ponor are considered to be the most grandious Karstic phenomenon in Romania, represent the main attraction in the Apuseni Mountains and are protected by law.

The Rimetea village is situated 500 m above sea level, in a depression, surrounded by 1200 m tall peaks. The vegetation is almost absent and the lunar-like landscape is dominated by a limestone rock.

Here we can admire painted furniture, household tools, unique traditional costumes, beautiful seam-work and embroidery and products from lace made by the members of the Hungarian community.

Only 20% of the village population is Romanian, the rest of the population is Hungarian. The old local houses are a real delight for the visitor. Here we can visit the village watermill, which is over 200 years old. In 1999 the village got the much worked for international prize “Europa Nostra”.

Accomodation in The GuestHouse“ Dr.Demeter Béla” Rimetea

The Apuseni Mountain Horn “Tulnic” was used to rally people for the fight, to warn of a fire or to announce different community activities. Through the years, the “tulnic” horn disappeared along with other household objects. If you are in Romania at the end of July, you can hear and admire the unique song of the horn women players of Avram Iancu village, who open the Match Making Market on the Gaina Mountain.

Day 5
RIMETEA – CLUJ

On dream like day for relaxation we cross the Apuseni Mountains from Rimetea to Cluj, following the Aries Valley flow.
We stay at the Agape Hotel 4 * in Cluj, situated in downtown and we make a tour of the city of Cluj, capital of Transilvania.

St. Michael’s Church

This church is one of the most beautiful gothic monuments in Transylvania. The building was erected between 1350 and 1487.

St. Jacob’s Chapel formerly stood on the current location of the church.

The altar is the oldest part of the church, as it was built around the year 1390. Repeated restorations revealed mural paintings from the first part of the 15th century. The latest restoration process of the church took place between 1957 and 1960.

MATEI CORVIN’S HOUSE

The house was built in gothic style in the 15th century; it is the last standing building of those times. It is assumed that Matei Corvin was born in this house on February 23, 1440. In fact, the house was erected some time earlier than 1440 and it underwent many changes along the years, so that only the main façade preserves characteristics of the Renaissance.

THE TAILORS BASTION

The bastion represents the South-East corner of the medieval fortress built in the XVth century. It took the current form when it was rebuilt between 1627-1629. It is built from stone and the were the massive walls which are preserved very well, with the arrow slits still intact. It takes its name from the tailors’ guild of Cluj and it is the only bastion that was preserved entire.

The Botanic Garden of Cluj was founded in 1920 and contains over 10 000 of species of plant from all over the world. Among the main attractions are the Japanese garden, with a small river and a little house in Japanese style, and a Roman garden, featuring archeological vestiges from the old Roman colony in Napoca.

Day 6
CLUJ- TURDA-ALBA IULIA- SEBES – ORASTIE- SIMERIA -HATEGULUI LAND

The Country of Hateg is situated in the heart of Ardeal and is surrounded by an imposing brown of mountains. The area has preserved the purity of its landscape and the rustic atmosphere despite attacks from industrialization, communism and capitalism.

Where else in the worlds can one find on a restricted area of only 1000 meters and yet with a higher density of places of such conspicuous cultural and historical significance which stretch over a duration of two millennia, including dinosaur sites unique in the world and the charming landscapes of the forested mountains?

The individual geography of the area has generated folk traditions and traditional crafts, a distinct folk costume and very well preserved traditions and customs. All these aspect make the Country of Hateg into a distinct and unique ethnographic area of Romania.

The history of the Country of Hateg merges with the Romanin people’s history. Nowhere in Romania is the flowing of the history is marked by so many lasting signs as here.

From the Roman period are preserved at Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana the vestiges of a gladiator amphitheater, of the Forum and Basilica, along with those of many other temples – the Temple of Liber Pater, Augustalies, Silvanus, Esculap and Hygia.

On the foundations of the pre-Christian edifices were built the churches of Densus, a pearl of the medieval architecture from the South of Transylvania that features the oldest church in Romania.

The churches from Santamaria Orlea, Ostrov, built between XII-XVth century are unique monuments.

The Colt fortress dates back from the same period and was built on the bluffs of the Retezat Mountains, a place that inspired Jules Verne in his description of the Castle of Carpati.

The Colt Church was conceived in the late Romanic style and features buttresses, stone arches and a pyramidal roof tower that contains a chimney. It was built in 1310 and served as an Orthodox church right from its beginnings.

The National Park Retezat is the first national park from Romania and was created in 1935 for the conservation of the beautiful landscapes and flora. It stretches across altitudes between 794 – 2509 m above the sea.

The Retezat Mountains have some of the most beautiful views in South East Europe. They were declared a national park because more then one third of the Romanian flora can be found here.

Accomodation in the GuestHouse “ Anita “ 3 * , in the heart of the Retezat Mountains

Day 7
TARA HATEGULUI – HUNEDOARA – ORASTIE – – SEBES – SIBIU

We leave the Country of Hateg and we go to one of our most spectacular cities – Sibiu, the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2007.

Before we get to Sibiu we stop at the Corvin Castle in Hunedoara.

The first stone fortress of Hunedoara dates back to the XIVth century. After 1440 John of Hunedoara initiated on the place of this stone fortress ample building works which aimed at the transformation of the fortress into a castle. Corvin Castle was declared a historical monument back in 1880.

It is the most majestic, the finest, and greatest gothic castle of Romania, comparable to French or German gothic palaces.

Sibiu: The city of Sibiu is almost 1000 old and was first mentioned in a written document goes back 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. Sibiu medieval fortress has remained untouched after the two world wars and the communist regime, and it still preserves the spirit and the atmosphere of the old times.

The historical center of Sibiu is part of the national patrimony. Some of the places we will visit are Piata Mare, Piata Mica and Piata Huet.

The fortress of Sibiu, composed of stone walls, fortifications and tours, used to be as large as the fortress of Vienna and today it is the largest medieval site in Romania.

The city of Sibiu is proud to host some of the most important museums in the country, such as The National Museum Bruckenthal, the Astra Museum and three ethnographical museums.

Sibiu hosts 15 churches of historical importance, of which we will visit the Catholic Cathedal, the Evanghelic Church, Ursulines Church and the Orthodox Cathedral.

Accomodation Hotel Bulevard 4 *

Day 8
SIBIU – OLTULUI VALLEY – BUCHAREST

The Olt River Valley was one of the most important Roman roads of Dacia and it held a double purpose – military and commercial. It connected Transilvania with the Danube.

In this valley is the Cozia Monastery, opened in 1338, that has an interior painting dating back to 1390 – 1391. From the architectural ensamble of Cozia, the church, which preserves the original interior frescos, was built at the beginning of the XVIth century

Arrival in Bucharest and accommodation in Le Boutique Hotel Moxa 4 *

Day 9
City tour Bucharest
and good bye dinner


PRICE: 2,750 EURO
This is a private tour, for one family
1,375 euro /1 person / in double occupancy
Price for single room occupancy: supplied on request

The price includes:
Transfer from / to the airport
9 nights accomodation in double room occupancy , breakfast included, in 3***, 4**** hotels and rural guesthouses, according to the scheduled
All vehicle expenses included (transport, driver, fuel)


Guide-driver’s accomodation and meals included
Guide and translation services included
All entrance fees included, where applicable
A traditional dinner in the Apuseni Mountains
A good bye dinner in Bucharest , folklore show

Price does not include:
Lunch and dinner, except where mentioned
Fees for video camera in all museums and locations
Flight tickets
Other services
* Upon request, this tour may be considered for more than two persons
* Individual tour may be chosen upon request