2018 The Romanian Waltz Tour
Day 1: Bucharest – Sinaia – Brasov
Arrival in Bucharest International Airport. Meet and greet by your guide. Departure north, towards Transylvania. Your final stop of the day will be at Sinaia. You will drive north towards the impressive Bucegi mountain range, the second highest of Romania. On route to Transylvania, you first stop will be in the heart of the Prahova Valley. Here the high mountains (third highest peak of Romania) make for great skiing, but also for amazing views. Nicknamed the Alps of Romania, they are the only mountains which rise from 800 meters to 2500 meters in one vertical cliff. Before arriving at Peles, drive along the famous oil fields of Ploiesti, where Operation Tidal Wave in 1943 signaled the beginning of the end of World War II. Morning arrival in the town of Sinaia. In this 400 year old town is Peles Castle.
The palace is our first visit. Erected between 1873 and 1914, has been the summer residence of the Romanian Royal family and it is the most visited museum in Romania. Many say that this alone is worth a visit in Romania. Start you afternoon with a walking tour of Brasov. Enjoy the cobblestone streets on a specially designed tour that will take you back to the time of the Arab merchants who visited Brasov. See the St. Catherine’s Gate (the oldest in the city). Make your way in front of the Synagogue, the narrowest street in Europe and stop at the Black Church. Visit the church, the biggest one of Eastern Europe, with its 4000 pipe organ. It also holds the largest collection of oriental rugs in the country, and the room hosting the old gravestones is impressive. Finish the tour in the Council Square, with it’s lively atmosphere.
After Sinaia you will enter Transylvania, right at the pass through which the Ottomans invaded for so many hundreds of years.
Overnight accommodation in the Brasov, at 3 or 4* .
Day 2: Brasov – Bran – Sibiu
Breakfast in the hotel. Morning departure for the attraction of the day, the well known, Bran Castle, also known as Dracula Castle. The castle was built in 1377 as a border point on the trading route between Transylvania and Wallachia. Although enlarged and renovated many times, it still shows the original lookout post from the gothic days. Inside, your guide will offer you’re the full insight into the legend of Vlad Dracula. Drive along the Fagaras Mountains, the highest mountain chain of Romania. Reach Sibiu, one of the gateways into Transylvania. . The day will start with a walking tour of Sibiu, an 800 year old city and the most beautiful of the German fortified cities of Transylvania. The our will show the visitors of Sibiu the landmarks of the city : the old surrounding defense walls and the remaining guild towers. One of the landmarks of Sibiu is the Brukenthal Museum assembled by Baron Brukenthal, governor of Transylvania at the beginning of the 19th century. 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. Visit the Passage of Stairs linking the Upper Town to the Lower town and the 1859 Liar”s Bridge. Do not miss the original Pharmacy Museum.
Overnight in Sibiu, at a centrally located hotel. Dinner on own. Suggested is Crama Sibiul Vechi, best cellar – restaurants in town, serving transylvanian fares.
Overnight accommodation in Sibiu at 3 or 4 *, centrally located hotel.
Day 3: Sibiu – Biertan – Sighisoara
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Depart north, towards the heart of Transylvania. On the way to Sighisoara stop at Biertan fortified church and a UNESCO World Heritage. It was the former Seat of the Lutheran Bishops between 1516 and 1867 and is also one of the best preserved medieval fortifications of our country. Afternoon arrival to Sighisoara – World Heritage Site and the only still inhabited medieval citadel in Europe. The Upper Citadel offers great hotels, right in the heart of the 800 year old city. Optional dinner at the birthplace of Vlad Dracula (Vlad the Impaler). In the afternoon enjoy a walking tour of the upper city, including the Tower With Clock, the Scholars Stairs and the Church on the Hill. Return to the city through the amazing saxon cemetery.
*If the time allows it, one can also choose to visit the amazing ancient oak tree reservation in the area, with huge century old trees. In the middle, the shepherd Arpad and his dog Iancu will kindly let you take some photos of the animals.
Overnight accommodation in Sighisoara at one of the 3 or 4* hotels in the Upper Town, with immediate access to the city center. Included wine and schnapps tasting in the local cellar, right in the old medieval area of the town.
Day 4: Sighisoara – Bistrita – Sighetu Marmatiei
Breakfast in the hotel (depending on the chosen hotel breakfast can be buffet or a la carte). Depart in the morning towards the medieval town of Bistrita. Visit the famous evangelical Cathedral of Bistrita and the nearby beautifully preserved merchants building, on the most charming street of the city. We recommend lunch in Bistrita. Afternoon arrival in the small town of Sighetu Marmatiei. Next to the town you will enjoy an overnight stay at one of the local farmers. Our hosts will offer great home made meals and house made plum brandy. In this splendid region of Maramures (northern Transylvania), due to its relative isolation, 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. This is the rustic part of your adventure and we will try to recreate this in the accommodation. Although a local farmers house, the villa still has all the modern utilities.
Overnight accommodation at our friendly farmer”s house.
Day 5: Maramures Excursion
Home cooked breakfast at our hosts. Enjoy a morning walking tour in the village, to the nearby whirlpool. This a century old tradition, a place where all the village comes to wash the laundry. In the town of Sighet the Anti Communist Memorial, a political prison in Communist times and along with Auschwitz and the Normandy Memorial, one of the three main sites of this type on the continent. Also in the town of Sighet is the Memorial House of Elie Wiesel. Tour the famous Merry Cemetery in the village of Sapinta. Next you will depart on the Iza Valley.
Home stay accommodation.
Day 6: Maramures – Wooden Churches – Bucovina
Home cooked breakfast. Next you will depart on the Iza Valley. The first visit is in the village of Dragomiresti at this 235 year old original complete household. The visit the wooden church of Ieud (UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in 1364) and the oldest in the area. Later, make a quick stop to the exquisite Barsana Monastery, a great example of Maramures wooden church architecture. Stop for shopping at the workshop of the local woodcarver in the village of Barsana. His family has been carving gates in the area for centuries. Afterwards you will leave Maramures and drive through the scenic Oriental Carpathian mountains. The pass goes up to 1500 meters. At the top you can admire the great view of the two regions. Evening arrival in Bucovina, also known as The Land of Monasteries.
Overnight accommodation in Campulung Moldovenesc at 3 or 4* hotel.
Day 7: Bucovina Painted Monasteries
Breakfast at the hotel (a la carte or buffet). The Monasteries of Bucovina are most famous and beautiful region of our country, showing the strong religious movement in Medieval Moldavia. Begin your day with Voronet Monastery, the most famous out of all, known as the Sistine Chapel of the East. The eastern wall features the best preserved Last Judgment fresco in this part of the World. Also do not miss the Tree of Jesse. Next is Moldovita Monastery where the UNESCO Golden Apple Award given to the painted churches in 1975, is kept. The interior garden of the fortifications offers a visit back in time. Later continue to the nearby Sucevita Monastery, situated right over a beautiful mountain pass, offering a great view of the Moldavian countryside. This monastery 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 Monastery, rarely present in medieval Romanian art. Visit the small museum of this monastery displaying some of the most valuable old Bibles in the country. The village of Marginea offers the black pottery workshop – they use a technique called “oxygen reduction.” It is a must see, as this technique can be found also in Mexico only! End your day with the Monastery of Humor, the only one without a belfry tower. Return to the hotel.
* As an optional to any of the main attractions above, one can choose to visit a typical moldavian sheep farm, where the local shepherd can organize a cheese making session, all in a great setting and with house made local foods.
Overnight accommodation in 3 or 4 * hotel, in Gura Humorului or any of the neighboring villages.
Day 8: Bucovina – Bucharest
Breakfast in the hotel. Early morning departure back to the capital city. This will be a transfer day, so you will spend some time in the car. But the drive through the Vineyards of Vrancea will make it very enjoyable. Afternoon arrival in Bucharest . Brief orientation tour of city and transfer to your centrally located hotel. Evening at leisure. We recommend a walk around the Revolution Square, close to your hotel, as a good way to relax after a long day. Revolution Square is the most beautiful of the city, and the nearby restaurants offer cuisine from all over the world.
Overnight accommodation in Bucharest 3 or 4 * hotel.
Day 9: Bucharest Tour – Snagov – Mogosoaia
Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. The morning will start with a tour of Bucharest. The best perspective of Bucharest (also known as The Little Paris of the East), the capital of Romania, will be shown to you by this tour, with a view of the Palace of the Parliament, the Revolution Square, Cotroceni Quarter, a view of Nicolae Ceausescu”s private residence and a visit of the Romanian Village Museum. Lunch will be on your own, but our guides will gladly recommend and transfer you to the best restaurants of the capital city. In the afternoon you will depart for the surroundings of the city, where you will visit the two beautiful sights of Snagov Monastery and Mogosoaia Palace. Snagov Monastery is the legendary burial place of Vlad the Impaler, although his grave is empty to this day. The monastery is on an island of a lake, in the middle of one of the biggest forests around Bucharest. The walk there will show you great wildlife and flora. It was first built by Vlad the Impaler during his rule.Today, it still shows the original paintings and fortification tower. Mogosoaia Palace shows how the Wallachian aristocracy lived in the 17th century. The palace is the best example of the national architectural style, Brancovenesc style. Return to the city in the evening. Dinner on own, or at a restaurant of your choice.
*At your request, we can organize a dinner at one of the best restaurants in town, Pescarus, offering also a traditional romanian folk show. The view of the nearby Herastrau Lake will make your last night in Romania unforgettable.
Overnight accommodation in Bucharest 3 or 4 * hotel.
Day 10: Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Henri Coanda International Airport. (Henri Coanda)
End of service.
* air conditioned car for the above mentioned route, fuel price and parking fees;
* guided tours and entrance fees for the sights included in the itinerary;
* professional private English speaking guide/driver, at your disposal throughout the trip;
* all meals mentioned in the program and all breakfasts;
* all overnight stays at 3 or 4 * hotels
* one traditional village accommodation, with dinner and breakfast included
* meals other than the ones included in the program;
* individual travel insurance;
* photo and video fees;