7 days
Duration
Bucharest, Transylvania
Regions
Cultural Tour, Private Tour
Tour Type

THE MOST COMPLETE SEVEN-DAY TRANSYLVANIA PRIVATE TOUR INCLUDING CASTLES, SAXON TOWNS, SAXON VILLAGES AND FORTIFIED CHURCHES

Embark on the ultimate seven-day “Transylvanian Time Traveler” tour, a meticulously crafted journey through the rich historical tapestry and enchanting landscapes of Transylvania. From the architectural grandeur of Peles and Bran Castles to the historic charm of Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca, and Sighisoara, this tour offers a profound dive into the region’s medieval heritage.

Discover the legendary Corvin Castle, absorb the spiritual ambiance at Cozia Monastery, and traverse the ancient citadels of Alba Iulia and Targu Mures. Experience the unique cultural heritage of Transylvania’s Saxon villages like Viscri and Saschiz, both boasting UNESCO-listed fortified churches.

Connect with nature at the LiBearty Bear Sanctuary and delve into the local way of life with an exclusive visit to a Gypsy community. Accompanied by expert guides, enjoy a blend of historical tours, cultural interactions, and scenic beauty on this comprehensive private tour, ensuring a memorable exploration of Transylvania’s most iconic and hidden treasures.

The tour can be personalised according to your time and points of interest.

Itinerary: Bucharest Arrival – Olt River Gorges – Sibiu Walking Tour – Corvin Castle – Alba Iulia Citadel – Turda Salt Mine – Cluj-Napoca Walking Tour – Bistrita Walking Tour – Targu Mures Citadel – Medias Walking Tour – Exclusive Gypsy Home Visit – Sighisoara Walking Tour – Saxon Village of Saschiz & Viscri with Fortified Churches – Exclusive Viscri Village Tour & Traditional Lunch – Wildness Bear Observatory – Bear Sanctuary – Bran Castle – Brasov Walking Tour – Peles Castle – Bucharest Departure

DEPARTURE/RETURNThe tour starts and ends in Bucharest, with options to customize the starting and ending points as per your travel preferences, ensuring flexibility and convenience for your journey.
TRANSPORTATIONComfortable and private transportation in a fully insured car or minivan equipped with climate control, ensuring a smooth travel experience across various terrains and regions.
TOURIST GUIDEA certified English-speaking guide will accompany the tour, offering expert knowledge on Romanian culture, history, and folklore. Guides fluent in other languages are available on request.
4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one on the Tentative List

Historic Centre of Sighisoara – Experience the well-preserved wonders of Sighisoara, one of the few still inhabited medieval citadels in Europe and the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler. Its cobbled streets, towering clock tower, and rich history make it a focal point of Romanian heritage.

Biertan Fortified Church (Villages with Fortified Church in Transylvania) – The fortified church of Biertan, with its imposing walls and defensive towers, served as the seat of the Lutheran bishops for over 300 years, playing a crucial role in the cultural and religious life of the Transylvanian Saxons.

Saschiz Fortified Church (Villages with Fortified Church in Transylvania) – Similar in architectural style to the church in Sighisoara, Saschiz exemplifies the specific fortification techniques used by the Saxons of Transylvania, designed to protect their communities during turbulent times.

Viscri Fortified Church (Villages with Fortified Church in Transylvania) – The village of Viscri, known for its fortified church originally built by the Szeklers and expanded by the Saxons, represents the typical rural landscape of southern Transylvania and illustrates the cultural and architectural heritage of the region’s small farming communities.

Historic Centre of Sibiu and its Ensemble of Squares (Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage Sites) – Celebrated for its blend of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture reflecting its past as a cultural and trade powerhouse.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS AND UNIQUE CULTURAL CONNECTIONS

  • Historic Castles Tour: Explore iconic Transylvanian castles, including Bran, Peles, and Corvin, each steeped in history and myths.
  • Saxon Heritage Exploration: Walk through charming Saxon towns such as Sibiu, Medias, and Bistrita, admiring their well-preserved medieval architectures and cobbled streets.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Visit several UNESCO-listed sites, including the fortified churches of Biertan, Viscri, and Saschiz, integral to Transylvania’s cultural landscape.
  • Natural Wonders: Discover the stunning landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains, including the unique ecological environments of the Turda Salt Mine.
  • Gypsy Community Interaction: Gain insight into the Gypsy culture with an exclusive home visit, learning about their traditions and way of life.
  • Local Culinary Experiences: Enjoy authentic Transylvanian and Bucovinian meals, showcasing the region’s culinary diversity.
  • Craft Demonstrations: Participate in a blacksmith demonstration in Viscri, connecting with ancient crafts still practiced today.
  • Wildlife Observation: Visit the LiBearty Bear Sanctuary to learn about bear conservation in Romania.
  • Personalized Journey: Customize the tour to suit personal interests, whether focusing on historical sites, natural landscapes, or cultural experiences.
  • Expert Guided Tours: Benefit from the knowledge of certified English-speaking guides, specialized in Romanian history and culture, enhancing the travel experience with rich narratives and insights.
DEPARTURE/RETURNThe tour starts and ends in Bucharest, with options to customize the starting and ending points as per your travel preferences, ensuring flexibility and convenience for your journey.
TRANSPORTATIONComfortable and private transportation in a fully insured car or minivan equipped with climate control, ensuring a smooth travel experience across various terrains and regions.
TOURIST GUIDEA certified English-speaking guide will accompany the tour, offering expert knowledge on Romanian culture, history, and folklore. Guides fluent in other languages are available on request.
INCLUDED
6 nights at centrally located hotelsNatural, authentic and local culinary experiences
Breakfast every dayOne traditional Transylvanian lunch
Exclusive organic smoked bacon tasting with lunchEntrance fees to museums and sites included as per itinerary
Fuel, parking fees, and local taxesPrivate airport transfers on arrival and departure
Blacksmith demonstrationExclusive traditional horse carriage trip
Certified English-Speaker tourist guide specialized in Romanian culture and historyGuided tours at all sites
Exclusive interaction with a Gypsy familyWildness Bear Observatory Experience
Detailed map of RomaniaBottled water provided in the car
Friendly talks with the guide about Vlad the Impaler – Dracula; Transylvanian History Overview and the Gypsies and Their Journey
NOT INCLUDED
Airplane tickets and health insuranceSouvenirs
Alcoholic beveragesHotel extras (telephone, mini bar, etc)
Meals, other than those included in the itineraryGratuities of any kind
Photo/video fees at sites and museums

1

Day 1: Bucharest Arrival – Olt River Gorges – Cozia Monastery – Sibiu Walking Tour

Embark on your Romanian adventure as soon as you land at Henri Coandă International Airport in Bucharest, where your dedicated guide will greet you warmly. Kick off your journey with a scenic drive towards Transylvania, but not before making a culturally enriching stop at the 14th-century Cozia Monastery en route. Nestled on the banks of the Olt River, this historical gem offers a perfect introduction to Romania’s rich monastic traditions. Admire the well-preserved frescoes, especially the stunning Last Judgment scene, which is a testament to the artistic prowess of medieval Romania.
After exploring Cozia Monastery, continue your drive through the picturesque Olt River Valley, a gateway to the Carpathian Mountains’ dramatic landscapes. This route offers panoramic views and a hint of the breathtaking scenery you’ll encounter throughout your tour.
Arriving in Sibiu in the late afternoon, dive into the heart of this historic city with a leisurely walking tour. Sibiu, formerly the largest and wealthiest of the seven walled citadels built in the 12th century by German settlers known as Transylvanian Saxons, is rich in history and charm. Wander through its grand squares—The Great and Lesser Squares—admire the Brukenthal Palace, and walk past the Council Tower, known for its stunning city views. Marvel at the Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary and the famous “Bridge of Lies.”
After your tour, check into your centrally located 4-star hotel, where you can relax and freshen up. For dinner, explore local culinary delights on your own. Consider dining at Crama Sibiul Vechi, known for its authentic Transylvanian dishes served in a traditional cellar setting, or La Taifas, which offers a cozy ambiance and a menu filled with regional specialties. This first day sets the tone for a week of exploration, blending historical insights with the captivating beauty of Transylvania.

***Summer Variation: The Transfagarasan Highway Adventure
During the summer months (July to November), your journey to Sibiu takes an adventurous turn with a drive on the spectacular Transfagarasan Highway. Hailed as “the best road in the world” by Top Gear, this route offers an unforgettable experience with its stunning mountain vistas and serpentine paths. As you ascend to Balea Lake, situated at 2,034 meters, the breathtaking landscapes of Romania unfold before you.

2

Day 2: Corvin Castle – Alba Iulia Citadel – Turda Salt Mine – Cluj Napoca

After breakfast at your hotel in Sibiu, set off for the majestic Corvin Castle, also known as Hunyadi Castle, located in Hunedoara. This stunning Gothic-Renaissance fortress is one of the largest castles in Europe and stands as a bold symbol of nobility and power. With its fairy-tale towers, drawbridges, and imposing battlements, Corvin Castle is a treasure trove of medieval art and architecture. Explore its grand halls, the Knights’ Hall, the Diet Hall, and the circular stairways, while learning about the legend of John Hunyadi and the castle’s role in defending against Ottoman invasions.
Next, your journey continues to Alba Iulia, a city of great historical significance for Romanians. Here, you’ll visit the Alba Carolina Citadel, a star-shaped fortress considered one of the best-preserved fortifications in Romania. Enjoy a guided tour of the citadel, which played a key role during the Great Union of Romania in 1918. The beautifully restored gates, ramparts, and museums within the citadel offer a deep dive into Romanian military architecture and history.
In the afternoon, head towards the spectacular Turda Salt Mine, a unique underground wonder dating back to the Middle Ages. Descend into the vast chambers and marvel at the mine’s subterranean lake, amphitheater, and modern recreational facilities, including a Ferris wheel and mini-golf course, all nestled deep underground. The echo of the chambers and the dramatic lighting create an otherworldly atmosphere, making this one of the most incredible places to visit in Transylvania.
Conclude the day with a short drive to Cluj-Napoca, where you will check into your hotel. Known as the unofficial capital of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca combines its Baroque architecture with a vibrant cultural scene. Spend the evening at leisure, perhaps exploring the city center’s cafes and restaurants or relaxing at your hotel after a day full of exploration and discovery.
3

Day 3: Cluj Napoca Walking Tour – Organic Smoked Bacon Tasting with Home-made Lunch – Bistrita Walking Tour

Awake in Cluj-Napoca, the cultural heart of Transylvania, and start your day with a nourishing breakfast before embarking on an insightful walking tour of this dynamic city. Cluj-Napoca, with its vibrant streets lined with medieval and baroque architecture, is an amalgamation of historical layers that tell the stories of various empires and communities that have flourished here. Wander through the main square, where the striking St. Michael’s Church stands as a testament to the city’s rich Gothic heritage, and visit the Mirror Street for a quick quirky photo opportunity that is as amusing as it is picturesque.
Mid-morning, the tour departs from the urban charm of Cluj to the serene settings of rural Transylvania for an authentic experience at a local village. Here, indulge in a unique culinary encounter as you participate in an exclusive organic smoked bacon tasting session. Enjoy a hearty lunch prepared with home-grown ingredients, offering flavors that capture the essence of traditional Transylvanian cuisine.
Post lunch, journey onward to Bistrita, a quintessential Transylvanian town with deep Saxon roots. On your guided walking tour, discover the architectural gems of Bistrita, including the Lutheran Church with its soaring tower and the beautiful market square that frames the historical heart of the town. Bistrita’s tranquil charm is a stark contrast to the bustling Cluj, providing a peaceful backdrop to your afternoon explorations.
As twilight approaches, find yourself amidst the Gothic and Baroque environs of the town, perhaps choosing to dine at a local restaurant that serves specialties such as “ciorba de burta” (tripe soup) or the sweet “papanasi” dessert, making for a delightful end to a culturally rich day.
4

Day 4: Targu Mures Citadel – Medias Walking Tour – Exclusive Gypsy Home Visit – Saxon Village of Biertan with the Fortified Church – Sighisoara

This morning, your adventure begins with the enchanting surroundings of Târgu Mureș, a city known for its unique blend of Romanian and Hungarian cultures. Embark on a guided exploration of the impressive Târgu Mureș Citadel, a fortification with deep historical roots and beautifully restored structures. Wander through the citadel’s courtyards and along its defensive walls, taking in views of the city and learning about the complex history of ethnic coexistence in the region.
From Târgu Mureș, the tour takes a scenic route to the town of Mediaș. Upon arrival, join a walking tour that highlights Mediaș’ role in the medieval trade networks of Transylvania. Visit the striking St. Margaret Church, renowned for its slender clock tower that once served as a lookout for approaching invaders. Stroll along cobbled lanes lined with colorful Saxon houses, stopping to admire the intricate details of the old town, which is rich in Gothic and Renaissance architecture.
In the afternoon, immerse yourself in a unique cultural exchange with a visit to a local Gypsy community. This exclusive experience offers a rare insight into the lifestyle, traditions, and artistry of the Gypsies, often misunderstood and overlooked in European narratives. Engage with community members, witness their craftsmanship, and hear stories that offer a deeper understanding of their enduring heritage.
Concluding today’s journey, travel to the Saxon village of Biertan. Here, visit the formidable fortified church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which stands as a monument to the region’s Saxon heritage. Explore the church’s architectural features, including its massive defensive walls and the iconic locking mechanism of its sacristy, which is reputed to be one of the most sophisticated of its kind from medieval times.
After a day filled with historical exploration and cultural encounters, retire to your accommodation in Sighișoara. As night falls, enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of this medieval town, perhaps with a relaxing evening walk through its historic center, or savor a meal at one of the local restaurants, trying dishes that blend Romanian and Saxon culinary traditions.
For those interested, an optional Transylvanian palinka tasting in a 500-year old cellar in Sighisoara is available.
***Optional: Transylvanian palinka tasting in a 500-year old cellar in Sighisoara
5

Day 5: Sighisoara Walking Tour – Saxon Village of Saschiz & Viscri with the Fortified Churches – Exclusive Viscri Village Tour & Traditional Lunch – Wildness Bear Observatory

Begin your day with a leisurely breakfast before setting out to explore the cobbled streets and historic towers of this captivating citadel. Your walking tour includes stops at notable landmarks such as the Clock Tower, which houses the town’s history museum, and the house where Vlad the Impaler, reputedly the inspiration for Dracula, was born. Climb the covered Scholars’ Stairs to the Church on the Hill for a panoramic view of the town and the beautiful landscape that surrounds it.
From Sighișoara, your journey continues to the quaint village of Saschiz. Famous for its fortified church and rural charm, Saschiz offers a glimpse into the traditional Saxon lifestyle that has persisted through the centuries. Enjoy an exclusive tasting of organic Transylvanian jams, made from locally sourced fruits and prepared using age-old recipes. The flavors will provide a delightful insight into the region’s culinary heritage.
Next, the tour takes you to the charming village of Viscri, another UNESCO-listed site renowned for its fortified church and strong preservation efforts championed by the Prince of Wales. In Viscri, experience a unique carriage ride through the village, providing a picturesque and relaxing way to explore the area. You’ll also visit a local blacksmith to see traditional craftsmanship in action, further connecting you with the ancient trades that have supported these communities for generations.
Lunch will be a traditional affair in Viscri, prepared by local hosts who use fresh ingredients to create dishes that are as simple as they are delicious. This meal not only satiates your appetite but also offers a taste of authentic rural hospitality.
In the evening, head to the Wildness Bear Observatory. This remarkable facility provides a safe and ethical way to observe Carpathian brown bears in their natural habitat. The observatory is strategically positioned to maximize the chances of seeing these magnificent animals without intruding on their space. Witness the bears’ natural behaviors as they roam, forage, and interact in the forest, an unforgettable highlight for nature enthusiasts.
After a day filled with historical insights, cultural encounters, and wildlife observation, return to your accommodation in the region. The evening offers a perfect opportunity to reflect on the day’s adventures, perhaps over a glass of local wine, as you prepare for another day of exploration in Transylvania.
6

Day 6: Bear Sanctuary – Bran Castle – Brasov Walking Tour

Today, you’ll first visit the LiBearty Bear Sanctuary, a haven for rescued brown bears located near the town of Zărnești. This sanctuary provides a secure and natural environment for bears that have been freed from captivity. During your visit, learn about the conservation efforts that have saved over 100 bears, and watch these magnificent creatures enjoy their newfound freedom, roaming through large forested enclosures that mimic their natural habitats.
Following this heartwarming experience, continue to the iconic Bran Castle, famously linked to the Dracula legend. Perched dramatically on a high rock, Bran Castle offers a fascinating journey through the corridors of history with its imposing towers and turrets that rise into the sky. Explore the castle’s many rooms and secret passageways while uncovering the truth behind its connection to Bram Stoker’s fictional count and the real-life Vlad the Impaler.
In the afternoon, make your way to Brașov, one of the most visited cities in Transylvania. Embark on a walking tour of Brașov’s historic center, where you will be greeted by the Black Church, the largest Gothic church in Romania, known for its impressive collection of Oriental rugs and a towering bell tower that dominates the cityscape. Stroll around the Council Square, surrounded by colorful baroque buildings and bustling with cafés and shops. Wander down the narrowest street in Europe, Strada Sforii, and admire the medieval fortifications that once protected this merchant town from invasions.
As the evening sets in, take some free time to explore more of Brașov’s charming streets at your leisure. The city’s vibrant atmosphere, rich history, and culinary offerings provide a perfect backdrop to enjoy your last evening in Transylvania. Whether you choose to dine in one of the traditional Romanian restaurants or simply enjoy a relaxed walk under the stars, Brașov offers a memorable conclusion to a day full of exploration and discovery.
***An optional dinner in a nearby village can be arranged.
7

Day 7: Peles Castle – Bucharest

Today, your splendid journey through Transylvania draws to a close, but not before one last visit to a site of royal elegance. After breakfast in Brasov, depart for the town of Sinaia to explore the majestic Peles Castle, a masterpiece of German New-Renaissance architecture that was once the summer residence of the Romanian royal family. Nestled in the Carpathian Mountains, Peles Castle is renowned for its stunningly detailed stonework, elaborate wood carvings, and the grandeur of its decoration, making it one of the most beautiful castles in Europe. Tour the lavish halls and opulent rooms, each telling its own story of royal heritage and artistic achievement, and admire the extensive collection of arms and armor.
After soaking in the rich history and luxurious ambiance of Peles Castle, you’ll begin your journey back to Bucharest. Reflect on the experiences of the past week during the drive; the medieval towns, the Gothic fortresses, the serene landscapes, and the warm encounters with local culture. Each memory contributes to a deeper understanding of Transylvania’s unique charm and historical significance.
Upon arrival in Bucharest, you’ll be transferred to your hotel or directly to the airport, depending on your schedule. Whether you’re catching a flight back home or extending your stay in Romania’s vibrant capital, the impressions and insights gained from your travels will linger long after your departure. The “Transylvanian Time Traveler” tour offers not just a visit to a place, but a voyage through time and a deep dive into the heart of Romanian culture and history.
***Optional: You can choose a Bucharest City Tour (requires one extra day)
NOTE: The tour is further customizable.

Transylvanian Time Traveler Map

Extra full day Bucharest City Tour

After the breakfast, we will start the visit of the capital city of Romania. The day starts with a visit to the Village Museum, one of the most impressive open-air museums in Europe with century old original peasant households from all parts of Romania.
After, we will visit the world’s largest, heaviest and most expensive administrative building, the Palace of Parliament. Between the two communist landmarks, we will have a panoramic tour of the city with Victory Square and Avenue, Royal Palace and Revolution Square and a short stop and visit of the Romanian Athenaeum. Next, we will attend a visit to the former residence of Ceausescu family, the last communist leader of the Socialist Republic of Romania. In contradistinction with the Ceausescu former residence we will have an incursion back in time, in the communist time, where you will have the opportunity to experience life in the 80’s with the help of authentic decor and furniture, working appliances and household accessories, local drinks and homemade snacks and historical and archive footage.
Before arriving in the old city center we will stop in the Cotroceni Neighborhood where we will visit the Presidential Palace and a typical 1930s Bucharest Residence.
In the late afternoon, we will reach Bucharest’s Old Town, with the ruins of the Old Princely Court, known as Dracula’s residence, where the legend says that Vlad the Impaler was keeping his prisoners. We will take a sightseeing tour of this part of the city, filled with lively cafes and street food to see why the nickname of Bucharest is “The Little Paris”. The rest of the evening is on your own.

Two day Black Sea & Danube Delta Extension with Danube Delta Private Cruise accompanied by certified skipper

1

Extra Day 1: Bucharest – Constanta Walking Tour – Histria Fortress – Tulcea

Begin your extension tour of the Black Sea and Danube Delta with an early morning departure to the Black Sea Coast, to Constanta – the largest seaport on the Black Sea, 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 famous Danube-Black Sea Canal. The city tour of Constanta will take you to the Secession style Casino and the Genoese Lighthouse. In the National Museum of Archaeology, we will see the fabulous Glykon Serpent and the wonderfully restored 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 Carol I of Romania in the second half of the 19th century and then continue north to the ruins of the ancient town of Histria. In the early evening we will arrive to Tulcea located right at the entrance in the Danube Delta. Hotel check in. Dinner on your own.
2

Extra Day 2: Danube Delta Private Cruise with Lunch – Bucharest Airport

After the early breakfast, you will explore, in your private boat 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 cruise you will have the chance to admire the Danube scenic beauty and wildlife – it is known as the birdwatchers paradise, so simply relax while browsing through the narrow channels. A fauna specialist tour guide and skipper, who knows all the channels, will lead your tour. A great opportunity for you to watch birds and to admire nature. The Delta cuisine is certain to provide an interesting lunch experience, the lunch will be served on the ship.
After the tour we will drive back to Henri Coanda International Airport for your afternoon return flight.
Saxon Village with Fortified Church by Holiday to Romania
Corvin Castle by Holiday to Romania
Ceausescu Residence by Holiday to Romania
Sibiu Sleeping Eyes and Evangelical Church by Holiday to Romania
Traditional Haystack by Holiday to Romania
Bran Castle by Holiday to Romania
Clock Tower and Main Sqare Sighisoara by Holiday to Romania
Viscri by Holiday to Romania
Biertan Fortified Church Clock Tower by Holiday to Romania
Sighisoara Streets by Holiday to Romania
Biertan Fortified Church Altar by Holiday to Romania
Traditional Loom by Holiday to Romania
Brasov Council Hall by Holiday to Romania

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 3 reviews
Marry S.
September 22, 2017

In seven days we were treated to a 900 mile tour of Transylvania. Our guide, Dan was very professional; he took very good care of us. His English, which he used to impart a wealth of knowledge, was excellent and even my husband who has trouble with accents, could understand him. We got off road into small villages and saw beautiful baroque and neoclassical buildings in cities. We learned about religion and politics and the life of the people. We stayed in comfortable hotels and ate in restaurants where residents ate. All in all we were very satisfied.

John D.
May 6, 2018

We had a wonderful visit to Romania. Alex was a very knowledgeable and entertaining guided. I would recommend anyone traveling to Romania in general to get in touch with Holiday to Romania.

Kay H.
June 23, 2024

Having decided to visit Transylvania in Romania, we then had to find a company to arrange this for us! We couldn’t have chosen better.
Vlad put together an itinerary encompassing what we wanted to see, together with recommendations by him. He couldn’t have been more accommodating in amending our itinerary to our wishes. Our guide, Irena, had fantastic English, was very knowledgeable and nothing was too much trouble.
The whole trip was very well organised and we had no hitches.
Can’t recommend this company too highly.

Leave a Review

Rating

twenty − 15 =