12 days
Duration
Bucharest, Bucovina, Maramures, Transylvania
Regions
Cultural Tour, Long Tour, Private Tour
Tour Type

DISCOVER THE HEART AND SOUL OF ROMANIA: AN ENCHANTING 12-DAY JOURNEY THROUGH HISTORY, CULTURE, AND NATURE

Embark on an unforgettable 12-day journey with the “Famous and Charming Romania” tour, a perfect blend of cultural exploration, historical discovery, and natural beauty. This private tour, spanning the picturesque regions of Bucovina, Maramures, and Transylvania, offers a deep dive into Romania’s rich heritage and breathtaking landscapes.

Starting from the vibrant capital, Bucharest, you will experience the city’s contrasting blend of history and modernity, including a visit to the colossal Palace of Parliament and the charming Old Town. As you traverse the scenic Olt River Valley, the medieval allure of Sibiu awaits, with its cobbled streets and iconic ‘Sibiu eyes.’ Marvel at the grandeur of Corvin Castle and the historical significance of Alba Iulia’s Vauban-style citadel, and explore the subterranean wonders of the Turda Salt Mine.

In Maramures, immerse yourself in a world where ancient traditions are alive, visiting UNESCO-listed wooden churches and enjoying home-hosted dinners showcasing local hospitality. Bucovina’s vividly painted monasteries, including the famous Voronet Monastery, reveal a tapestry of religious art and history.

Your adventure continues with a visit to Sighisoara’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, and the rustic charm of Saschiz and Viscri. Witness brown bears in their natural habitat at a wilderness bear observatory, adding an exciting wildlife dimension to your journey.

The tour culminates with a visit to the legendary Bran Castle, linked to the Dracula legend, and the architectural masterpiece of Peles Castle, before returning to Bucharest. Along the way, enjoy a mix of luxurious accommodations and authentic local stays, ensuring a comfortable and enriching experience.

Inclusions cover all accommodations, selected meals, transportation in a climate-controlled vehicle, a certified English-speaking guide, and entrance fees to all sites, ensuring a seamless and comprehensive exploration of Romania’s most famous landmarks and hidden gems. Exclusions include airfare, health insurance, and personal expenses.

This tour offers a unique cultural connection to Romania, blending history, tradition, and natural wonders, making it an ideal choice for travelers seeking an in-depth and personalized experience of this enchanting country.

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

Itinerary: Bucharest City Tour – Olt Gorges – Sibiu Walking Tour – Corvin Castle – Turda Salt Mine – Cluj-Napoca Walking Tour – Wooden Churches of Maramures – Maramures Region Highlights & Folklore Show – Sapanta Merry Cemetery – Bucovina Exterior Painted Monasteries – Bicaz Gorges & Red Lake – Exclusive Gypsy Home Visit – Historic Center of Sighisoara – Saxon Villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania – Wildness Bear Observatory – LiBearty Bear Sanctuary – Peles and Bran Castles

DEPARTURE/RETURNDeparture from Bucharest (Henri Coanda International Airport) with the option for pickup from any other city upon request. Return transfer to Bucharest or the preferred city for departure.
TRANSPORTATIONComfortable and fully insured car or minivan equipped with climate control, ensuring a pleasant journey across varied landscapes.
TOURIST GUIDEA certified English-speaking tourist guide, knowledgeable in Romanian culture, history, and folklore, will accompany you throughout the tour. Guides speaking other languages are available upon request
12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 2 on the Tentative ListSurdesti Wooden Church (Maramures Wooden Churches)
Budesti Wooden Church (Maramures Wooden Churches)
Barsana Wooden Church (Maramures Wooden Churches)
Ieud Wooden Church (Maramures Wooden Churches)
Voronet Monastery (Bucovina Exterior Painted Monasteries)
Moldovita Monastery (Bucovina Exterior Painted Monasteries)
Sucevita Monastery (Bucovina Exterior Painted Monasteries)
Humor Monastery (Bucovina Exterior Painted Monasteries)
Historic Center of Sighisoara
Biertan Fortified Church (Villages with Fortified Church in Transylvania)
Saschiz Fortified Church (Villages with Fortified Church in Transylvania)
Viscri Fortified Church (Villages with Fortified Church in Transylvania)
Historic Centre of Sibiu and its Ensemble of Squares (Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage Sites)
Historic Town of Alba Iulia (Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage Sites)

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS AND UNIQUE CULTURAL CONNECTIONS

  • Customized Exploration: Embrace the flexibility to tailor the tour according to your preferences. Whether altering the route, duration, or specific features, the tour is adapted to suit your unique interests and style.
  • Diverse Destinations: Experience a dynamic itinerary with no more than two days in the same location, ensuring a varied and comprehensive exploration of Romania’s rich landscapes and cultural heritage.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Journey through 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites across Transylvania, Maramures, and Bucovina, along with two additional sites on the Tentative List. This includes the medieval citadel of Sighisoara, the wooden churches of Maramures, and the vibrant painted monasteries of Bucovina.
  • Expert Guided Insights: Benefit from the knowledge and expertise of Romania’s top-rated licensed tourist guides, known for their excellent reviews and deep understanding of the country’s history and culture.
  • Cultural Immersion with Local Communities: Engage with diverse communities, including a unique opportunity to meet the Roma people in their own setting in Transylvania. Discover their culture, craftsmanship, and lifestyle.
  • Authentic Culinary Experiences: Indulge in traditional Romanian specialties from three major regions. Enjoy authentic local dining experiences in traditional homes in Maramures and Transylvania, and taste traditional Bucovina lunches, immersing yourself in the regional flavors and culinary traditions.
  • Local Interactions and Daily Life: Experience the daily life and traditions in remote Saxon villages of Transylvania and Maramures. Interact with locals in traditional markets and through home-hosted experiences, providing a genuine insight into Romanian rural life.
  • Artisan Encounters: Meet local artisans, including woodcarvers, icon designers, blacksmiths, potters, and egg painters. Learn about their crafts and the role these arts play in Romanian cultural identity.
  • Accommodations with Character: Stay in centrally located hotels full of local character, as well as enjoy two unique local home stays in Maramures and Transylvania, offering a blend of comfort and authentic experience.
  • Comprehensive Bucharest City Tour: Explore Romania’s capital with a comprehensive city tour, including visits to the imposing Palace of Parliament and the historical residence of the Ceausescu family, delving into the nation’s communist past.
  • Wildlife and Nature: Witness Romania’s wildlife at a bear sanctuary and a thrilling bear observatory, offering unique opportunities to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitats.
  • Scenic Drives and Historical Insights: Travel through scenic routes like the Transfagarasan Highway and explore historical sites such as Bran Castle and Peles Castle, each narrating a different chapter of Romania’s rich history.
DEPARTURE/RETURNDeparture from Bucharest (Henri Coanda International Airport) with the option for pickup from any other city upon request. Return transfer to Bucharest or the preferred city for departure.
TRANSPORTATIONComfortable and fully insured car or minivan equipped with climate control, ensuring a pleasant journey across varied landscapes.
TOURIST GUIDEA certified English-speaking tourist guide, knowledgeable in Romanian culture, history, and folklore, will accompany you throughout the tour. Guides speaking other languages are available upon request.
INCLUDED
9 nights at centrally located hotels2 nights home stay in Maramures (this can be changed to a hotel if desired)
Natural, authentic and local culinary experiencesBreakfast every day
One traditional Transylvanian lunchTwo home hosted dinners in Maramures
One traditional Bucovina lunchExclusive organic smoked bacon tasting with lunch
Entrance fees to museums and sites included as per itineraryPrivate airport transfers on arrival and departure
Fuel, parking fees and local taxes includedBlacksmith demonstration
Exclusive traditional horse carriage tripExclusive Romanian folklore show
Guided tours at all sitesBucharest City Tour
Certified English-Speaker tourist guide specialized in Romanian culture and historyExclusive visit and interaction with a Gypsy family in their own home
Detailed map of RomaniaStill/Sparkling water bottles in the car
Friendly talks with the guide about Vlad the Impaler – Dracula; Ceausescu and His Times 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

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Day 1: Bucharest Arrival – Gateway to Romania's Rich Heritage

Your journey into the heart of Romania’s cultural and historical tapestry begins as you land at Henri Coanda International Airport in Bucharest. Upon arrival, the vibrant energy of the city greets you, hinting at the adventures that await. Your personal driver, a friendly face amidst the hustle of the capital, will be awaiting your arrival. They’ll assist with your luggage, offering the first taste of Romanian hospitality that will define your tour experience.
As you are whisked away from the airport, the landscape transitions from the urban sprawl to the historic heart of Bucharest. The city, often referred to as the ‘Paris of the East’, boasts a blend of architectural styles, reflecting its rich history. Your driver navigates through the bustling streets, pointing out landmarks and providing snippets of stories that make Bucharest a city of contrasts and surprises.
Arriving at your 4-star hotel, located ideally in the city center, you’ll be immersed in comfort and elegance. The hotel, a perfect blend of modern amenities and traditional charm, offers a serene retreat from the lively city. After check-in, you’ll have the rest of the day at your leisure. This is your chance to start exploring Bucharest’s tapestry of wide boulevards, verdant parks, and historic buildings at your own pace.
The evening in Bucharest is yours to savor. Whether you choose to relax in the luxury of your hotel or venture out to explore the nearby streets, lined with cafes, shops, and the hum of city life, the day marks the perfect introduction to your Romanian adventure. As the city lights begin to twinkle, the anticipation for the days ahead grows, promising a journey filled with discovery, enchantment, and memories to last a lifetime.
Welcome to Romania, where every corner has a story to tell, and your story is just beginning.

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Day 2: Bucharest City Tour – A Journey through Time and Culture

Bucharest City Tour with Parliament Palace and Ceausescu Residence
Your second day unfolds as a captivating exploration of Bucharest, a city where history and modernity intertwine gracefully. After a delightful breakfast at your hotel, you’ll be greeted by your certified English-speaking tourist guide, a knowledgeable companion who will escort you through the day’s adventures.
The morning air is crisp and fresh as you set off to the Village Museum, one of Europe’s most remarkable open-air museums. This cultural treasure, nestled in the lush greenery of Herastrau Park, offers a window into Romania’s rural past. Here, you’ll wander among century-old peasant households, each building meticulously relocated from various parts of Romania. It’s a living tapestry of the nation’s rural architecture and lifestyle, allowing you to step back in time and experience the authentic spirit of Romanian villages.
Next, your journey takes you to the awe-inspiring Palace of Parliament, a colossal testament to communist ambition and one of the world’s largest administrative buildings. Its grandeur and scale are overwhelming, reflecting the complex layers of Romania’s political history. Walking through its lavish corridors, you’ll feel the weight of history and the echoes of past regimes.
The day continues with a panoramic tour of Bucharest, weaving through the city’s heart. You’ll pass by iconic landmarks like Victory Square and the Royal Palace, each with its own story to tell. A highlight of this tour is a stop at the Romanian Athenaeum, an architectural gem and a symbol of Romania’s cultural heritage. The elegant, circular building, adorned with intricate frescoes and columns, is a shrine to the arts, resonating with the melodies of classical masterpieces.
As the afternoon unfolds, you’ll delve into the intriguing world of Nicolae Ceausescu, Romania’s last communist leader. Visiting his former residence, you’ll gain insights into the opulent and secretive life of the dictator, an experience that adds depth to your understanding of Romania’s recent history.
The day’s exploration culminates in the vibrant and historic Bucharest Old Town. Strolling through its cobblestone streets, you’ll uncover the legacy of the legendary Vlad the Impaler, known as Dracula, at the ruins of the Old Princely Court. The Old Town, a lively blend of architecture, cafes, and street food, showcases why Bucharest is affectionately known as “The Little Paris.” It’s a perfect spot to immerse yourself in the city’s bustling atmosphere and enjoy the local culinary delights.
As evening descends, the city’s lights begin to shimmer, inviting you to continue exploring or relax back at your hotel. The day in Bucharest has been a journey not just through places, but through the times and tales that shape Romania’s captivating capital.

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Day 3: From the Capital to the Heart of Transylvania - A Scenic Journey to Sibiu

Bucharest – Olt Gorges – Cozia Monastery – Sibiu Walking Tour
Today begins with an enchanting drive from the bustling streets of Bucharest to the serene landscapes of Transylvania. As you leave the capital behind, your journey unfolds through Romania’s diverse and captivating scenery.
Your first destination is the historic Cozia Monastery, a 14th-century architectural marvel nestled on the banks of the Olt River. Built by King Mircea the Elder, the monastery is a testament to Romania’s rich religious and cultural heritage. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the magnificent Last Judgment fresco, a late 17th-century masterpiece that captures the essence of Byzantine artistry.
As the journey continues, you’ll be captivated by the picturesque Olt River Valley. The route winds through the mountains, offering breathtaking views and a sense of peacefulness that only nature can provide. Your destination is Sibiu, a gem in the heart of Transylvania.
Upon arrival in Sibiu, a city renowned for its well-preserved medieval charm, you’ll embark on a leisurely walking tour of the Old Town. The tour highlights include the Great and Lesser Squares, framed by beautifully preserved merchant houses adorned with the iconic ‘Sibiu eyes’ – attic windows resembling watchful gazes. A visit to the Evangelical Cathedral, a stunning Gothic structure completed in 1520, enriches your understanding of Sibiu’s historical and architectural significance.
After exploring Sibiu’s cobbled streets and hidden corners, you’ll check into a centrally located 4-star hotel, offering comfort and convenience for your stay in this enchanting city.
As evening falls, the culinary delights of Sibiu await. While dinner is at your discretion, we highly recommend experiencing local flavors at Crama Sibiul Vechi, the city’s best cellar-restaurant, or La Taifas, known for its authentic Romanian cuisine.
For those seeking a more immersive experience, an optional dinner in a nearby village can be arranged. This unique opportunity allows you to savor homemade dishes in a traditional setting, providing a deeper connection to Romanian culture and hospitality.
***An optional dinner in a nearby village can be arranged.
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.
A stop at the Poenari Citadel, the real stronghold of Vlad the Impaler, adds a historical dimension to your journey. Perched high on a cliff, the citadel’s ruins offer not only a glimpse into the past but also panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
This day is a symphony of history, nature, and culture, seamlessly blending the past with the present and providing a comprehensive experience of Romania’s diverse beauty.

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Day 4: Medieval Majesty and Underground Wonders - Corvin Castle, Alba Iulia Citadel, Turda Salt Mine, and Cluj-Napoca

Corvin Castle – Alba Iulia Citadel – Turda Salt Mine – Cluj-Napoca
Your fourth day on the “Famous and Charming Romania” tour is a journey through time and nature, showcasing Romania’s rich history and extraordinary landscapes.
The day begins with the breakfast at your hotel before departing for Hunedoara, home to the majestic Corvin Castle. This imposing Gothic-Renaissance fortress, one of Europe’s largest and best-preserved medieval castles, stands as a testament to the legacy of the Corvin/Hunyadi royal family. As you wander through its grand halls and courtyards, you’ll be transported back to a time of knights and legends, with the castle’s dramatic architecture providing a backdrop for tales of historical intrigue.
From the medieval splendor of Corvin Castle, your journey takes you to Alba Iulia. Here, you’ll explore the remarkable Vauban-style citadel, a bastion of Romanian history. Alba Iulia holds a special place in the hearts of Romanians, as it was here, in the Union Hall, that the unification of Transylvania with the Kingdom of Romania was declared on December 1st, 1918. The citadel’s well-preserved walls and historical monuments offer a vivid narrative of Romania’s journey through time, from ancient days to modern independence.
Next, you’ll delve into the depths of the Earth at the Turda Salt Mine, a hidden gem of Romania. This ancient mine, dating back to the 13th century, is one of the oldest salt mines in the world. Beyond its historical significance, the mine’s modern transformation into a unique underground attraction is equally fascinating. With its eerie, otherworldly beauty, the mine has even caught the eye of Hollywood, nearly becoming the Batcave in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises”. The visit to Turda Salt Mine is not just a tour, but an immersive experience into a subterranean world of salt galleries and underground lakes.
As the day draws to a close, you’ll arrive in Cluj-Napoca, the historical capital of Transylvania.
Your day concludes with check-in at a carefully selected hotel in Cluj-Napoca, where you can relax and reflect on a day filled with medieval castles, historical revelations, and the wonders of nature’s underground artistry. The evening is yours to explore the city’s thriving culinary scene, with an array of restaurants and cafes offering both traditional Romanian dishes and international cuisine.

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Day 5: Cultural Immersion in Cluj-Napoca and the Heart of Maramures

Cluj Napoca Walking Tour – Organic Smoked Bacon Tasting with Home-made Lunch – Surdesti & Budesti Wooden Churches – Home Hosted Dinner in Maramures
The day begins with a hearty breakfast at your hotel in Cluj-Napoca, a city where history and modernity coalesce. Your guide, an expert in Romanian culture, will lead you on a walking tour through the city’s streets, where architectural marvels tell the story of its past. You’ll visit the Hellmer & Felner Opera House and the Gothic St. Michael’s Church, marveling at their beauty and historical significance. A stroll through the city center reveals the City Hall and the birth house of the renowned Mathias Corvin, offering insights into the rich tapestry of Cluj-Napoca’s history.
Leaving the city behind, your journey takes a rustic turn as you head north to a traditional 20th-century village nestled in the heart of Romania. Here, you’ll be treated to a feast for the senses with a tasting of home-made smoked bacon and cheese, a cornerstone of Romanian culinary tradition. Witness firsthand the age-old methods of bacon preparation, followed by a delightful home-made lunch, offering a genuine taste of local life.
The adventure continues as you delve into the enchanting region of Maramures, known as the ‘Land of Wood.’ This area, untouched by the passage of time, is a living museum of traditions and wooden architecture. You’ll visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Church of Surdesti and Budesti Wooden Church. The Church of Surdesti, dating back to 1766, stands as Europe’s tallest oldest wooden structure, offering a unique glimpse into the region’s religious heritage. The Budesti Wooden Church, completed in 1643, showcases a Gothic-style tower, distinct in Maramures architecture.
Your immersion into Maramures’s culture deepens as you explore the village, understanding the dowry traditions and admiring the intricately carved wooden gates, a symbol of the region’s woodworking mastery.
Your day concludes with a stay in a private house in a Maramures village, offering an unparalleled opportunity to experience authentic Romanian hospitality. The evening is enriched with a home-hosted dinner, featuring traditional dishes and home-made plum brandy, fostering a deeper connection with the local culture and customs.
This day is not just a journey through places but a heartfelt experience of Romanian culture, traditions, and the warmth of its people, making it an essential part of your Romanian adventure.

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Day 6: A Journey Through History and Humor in Maramures

Exclusive Walking Tour – Sighetu Marmatiei – Communism Memorial – Sapanta Merry Cemetery – Dinner with Folklore Show
Your sixth day takes you deeper into the heart of Maramures, offering a profound understanding of its history, traditions, and the indomitable spirit of its people.
The day begins with an organic breakfast at your village accommodation, setting you up for a day filled with discovery and cultural immersion. Your first activity is an exclusive walking tour of a local village, a window into the soul of Maramures. You’ll visit an icon-glass workshop, where delicate artistry meets spiritual devotion, and a traditional plum brandy distillery, where the centuries-old craft of spirit-making comes to life. A highlight of this tour is the natural whirlpool, still in use by local women for washing carpets and blankets – a testament to the enduring traditions of the region.
The morning continues with a visit to Sighetu Marmatiei, where you’ll explore the colorful fruit and vegetable market, a vibrant display of local life and produce. The Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance awaits you next. This former political prison now stands as a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Nearby, the house of Nobel Prize Winner Elie Wiesel offers a poignant reminder of the region’s complex history.
In the afternoon, you will travel to the village of Sapanta, home to the world-renowned Merry Cemetery. Here, you’ll discover a unique approach to life and death, where wooden crosses are adorned with witty epitaphs and colorful paintings, reflecting the humor and outlook of the local community. This visit provides not only an insight into the local culture but also a different perspective on life itself.
Your visit to Sapanta also includes the stunning Sapanta Peri Monastery, known for its towering wooden structure, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
As dusk falls, you’ll return to your village accommodation for a special treat – a home-hosted dinner accompanied by an exclusively organized Maramures folklore show. This experience not only tantalizes your taste buds with authentic local cuisine but also enchants you with traditional music and dance, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Maramures.

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Day 7: Exploring the Spiritual Heart and Artistic Soul of Northern Romania

Barsana & Ieud Wooden Churches – Woman Museum– Egg Painting Workshop – Bucovina
Today, your journey takes you through the picturesque landscapes of Northern Romania, where spirituality and artistry intertwine in the serene settings of Maramures and Bucovina.
The day starts with a nourishing breakfast, fueling you for an excursion filled with cultural depth and visual splendor. Your first destination is the enchanting Iza River Valley, a region that’s home to some of the most remarkable examples of wooden church architecture, recognized by UNESCO for their historical significance and architectural beauty.
You’ll visit the Barsana Monastery, an embodiment of the spiritual life and architectural skill of the Maramures region. The intricate wooden carvings and the serene atmosphere of the monastery offer a glimpse into a world where faith and art coalesce. Continuing the spiritual journey, you’ll explore the Ieud Wooden Church, another architectural gem that stands as a testament to the region’s rich cultural heritage.
As the journey takes you further into the heart of traditions, you’ll stop at the Woman Museum in Dragomiresti. Housed in a 300-year-old home, the museum presents a vivid tableau of local customs and lifestyles, offering insights into the roles and contributions of women in Romanian village life.
Your adventure then leads you across the majestic Carpathian Mountains via the Prislop Pass, unfolding into the culturally rich region of Bucovina. Here, in the heart of Moldavia, you’ll discover the delicate and colorful art of egg painting. A visit to a local workshop allows you to witness this ancient tradition firsthand, where skilled artisans transform simple eggs into intricate masterpieces, each telling its own story.
The day culminates in the charming town of Gura Humorului, where you’ll check into a 4-star hotel. The evening is yours to relax and reflect on the day’s experiences, with the option to explore the town at your leisure, indulge in local cuisine, or simply unwind in the comfort of your hotel.

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Day 8: A Tapestry of Colors and Traditions in the Heart of Bucovina

Bucovina Painted Monasteries (UNESCO World Heritage Sites) & Traditional Lunch – Black Pottery Workshop
The eighth day invites you to delve deeper into the heart of Bucovina, a region renowned for its vividly painted monasteries and rich cultural tapestry. As the sun rises, the day begins with an exploration of the region’s spiritual and artistic heritage.
Your first encounter is with the Folk Traditions Museum of Bucovina, a treasure trove of regional culture. Here, you’ll walk through history, observing traditional costumes and household setups, each telling a story of the customs and lifestyle unique to Bucovina. This visit sets the tone for a day filled with historical insights and cultural connections.
As the journey unfolds, you’re transported to the realm of the famous Painted Monasteries, dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries and honored as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Your visit to the Voronet Painted Monastery, often referred to as the “Sistine Chapel of the Orient,” unveils the stunning “Voronet Blue,” a color so unique that it has become a defining characteristic of this sacred place.
The tour progresses to the Moldovita Painted Monastery, where the fusion of architectural grandeur and artistic finesse is evident in its imposing towers and the powerful gate tower. The serene and spiritual atmosphere of these monasteries offers a glimpse into a bygone era, where art and faith were interwoven seamlessly.
In the picturesque village of Sucevita, you’ll pause for a traditional Bucovina lunch, savoring flavors that have been passed down through generations. The culinary experience is not just about taste but about understanding the region’s soul through its food.
Next, you’ll visit the nearby Sucevita Painted Monastery, the largest of them all, resembling a fortress more than a house of worship. The monastery houses the “Ladder of Virtue” fresco, a masterpiece representing the essence of Bucovina’s religious art.
Your cultural immersion continues with a visit to a local black pottery workshop, where you’ll discover a craft dating back to the 1500s. Here, the unique “oxygen reduction” technique comes to life, a method shared by only a few places worldwide, including Mexico. This experience highlights the global connections of local traditions.
The day concludes with a visit to the Humor Painted Monastery, distinguished by its lack of a belfry tower yet rich in history and art.
As the evening draws near, you return to the comfort of your hotel, reflecting on a day filled with vibrant colors, profound spirituality, and deep cultural connections, all woven into the rich tapestry of Bucovina.

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Day 9: A Journey Through Time and Nature – From Neamt Citadel to Sighisoara

Neamt Citadel – Bicaz Gorges & Red Lake – Exclusive Gypsy Home Visit – Sighisoara
This day is an enchanting blend of historical intrigue and natural splendor, leading you from the ancient walls of Neamt Citadel to the cobblestone streets of Sighisoara.
Your day begins with a visit to the formidable Neamt Citadel, a medieval Moldavian fortress steeped in history. Dating back to the 12th century, this citadel stands as a testament to Romania’s rich past, offering panoramic views and a deep dive into the country’s feudal history. The walls of Neamt Citadel have witnessed centuries of battles and triumphs, and as you explore its grounds, you’ll feel transported back in time.
Leaving the citadel behind, the tour takes you to the awe-inspiring Bicaz Gorges. Carved through the mountains, these gorges form a natural gateway between the historical regions of Moldavia and Transylvania. Here, you can choose to embark on a short hike, immersing yourself in the raw beauty of the landscape, or simply enjoy the breathtaking views that unfold around every bend.
Next, you’ll encounter the mystical Red Lake, known locally as Lacu Rosu. Created by a natural landslide in 1838, the lake is famous for its reddish hue and the hauntingly beautiful tree trunks that rise from its waters, offering a perfect setting for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers.
A unique cultural experience awaits as you visit a Gypsy home, providing an exclusive opportunity to learn about the lifestyle, culture, and identity of this often misunderstood community. This visit offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of the Gypsy people, breaking down stereotypes and fostering understanding.
As the day wanes, you arrive in Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only continuously inhabited medieval citadel in Europe. With its well-preserved towers, churches, and cobbled streets, Sighisoara is a living museum of medieval life. Your accommodation in the Upper Town allows you to explore this enchanting citadel at your leisure, discovering hidden corners and vibrant local life.
For those seeking to enhance their experience, an optional wine tasting in a 500-year-old cellar in Sighisoara is available. This is a chance to sample some of Transylvania’s finest wines in an atmospheric setting, adding another layer to your Romanian adventure.
Your day ends in the heart of medieval Romania, in a town that has captured the imagination of travelers for centuries. As you retire for the night, the timeless charm of Sighisoara envelops you, promising more discoveries and enchanting moments in the days to come.
***Optional: Transylvanian wine tasting in a 500-year old cellar in Sighisoara

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Day 10: Enchanting Sighisoara, Rustic Saschiz and Viscri, and a Thrilling Bear Observatory Experience

Sighisoara Walking Tour – Saxon Village of Saschiz & Viscri with the Fortified Churches – Exclusive Viscri Village Tour & Traditional Lunch – Wildness Bear Observatory – Brasov
Your tenth day is a delightful fusion of medieval exploration, rural charm, and exciting wildlife encounters. From the historic streets of Sighisoara to an unforgettable bear-watching experience, this day is filled with unique adventures.
The day starts in Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the medieval world seems untouched by time. Here, you will explore the enchanting Citadel, walking through its squares and past historic landmarks like the Scholars’ Staircase, the Tinsmiths’ Tower, the House with Antler, and the iconic Clock Tower. The birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, Sighisoara is not just a beautifully preserved town but a gateway into the rich history of Transylvania.
Next, the journey takes you to the Saxon village of Saschiz. Known for its UNESCO-listed Late-Gothic fortified church and imposing clock tower, Saschiz is also a place of delightful culinary discovery. Here, you’ll enjoy an exclusive tasting of organic Transylvanian jams, a sweet insight into the local artisanal craftsmanship.
Your exploration continues to Viscri, one of Transylvania’s oldest villages, where time seems to have stood still. In Viscri, you’ll indulge in a traditional lunch prepared with locally sourced ingredients in a charming Saxon house. The village, a favorite of Prince Charles for its preservation efforts, offers an exclusive tour that includes a visit to the Fortified Church. Adding to the rural charm is an encounter with a traditional blacksmith in his workshop and a delightful horse cart ride, providing a true taste of the village’s timeless lifestyle.
As the afternoon unfolds, you’re in for a thrilling experience at a Wildness Bear Observatory. This is a rare opportunity to see brown bears in their natural habitat. With a high chance of sightings, you may observe everything from majestic solitary males to playful bear cubs. The observatory, nestled in the lush forest, is also a haven for other wildlife, including boar, deer, and various bird species. This immersive experience offers a unique perspective on Romania’s wildlife and the importance of conservation.
The day concludes in Brasov, a gem of a city in the heart of Transylvania. After checking into your hotel in the old town’s pedestrian area, you’re free to explore the numerous restaurants and cafes. Brasov’s blend of medieval architecture, lively squares, and modern amenities make it an ideal place to relax and reflect on the day’s adventures.

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Day 11: Unveiling the Mysteries of Transylvania – From the Bear Sanctuary to Bran Castle and Brasov's Heritage

Bear Sanctuary – Bran Castle – Brasov Walking Tour
Today is a journey into the heart of Transylvania’s natural beauty and medieval legends. This day promises a blend of wildlife encounters, historical exploration, and cultural immersion in the captivating city of Brasov.
Your day begins with a visit to the Bear Sanctuary, a refuge for over 100 rescued bears. Nestled in the picturesque setting of the Carpathian Mountains, the sanctuary is a testament to conservation efforts, providing a natural habitat for these majestic creatures. As you walk through the sanctuary, you’ll witness bears climbing trees, swimming in pools, and engaging in playful activities, all while learning about their unique stories and the efforts to protect them. The panoramic views of the Bucegi Mountains and the King’s Stone Mountains serve as a stunning backdrop to this heartwarming experience.
From the tranquility of the sanctuary, the tour transitions to the mysterious and iconic Bran Castle. Often associated with the legend of Dracula, this 14th-century fortress is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. As you explore the castle’s royal chambers and secret passages, you’ll delve into its rich history and the myths that have captivated the imagination of visitors from around the world. Outside the castle, local artisans offer a variety of souvenirs and handcrafted items, allowing you to take a piece of Transylvanian history with you.
The journey continues to Brasov, one of Europe’s oldest and most significant Saxon cities. Here, you’ll embark on a walking tour of the Old Town, immersing yourself in its rich architectural heritage. The tour includes visits to the imposing Black Church, the bustling Council Square, the medieval Catherine’s Gate, the distinctive Guild Towers, and the narrowest street in Europe, Rope Street. Each landmark tells a story, weaving a tapestry of Brasov’s historical and cultural significance.
As the day comes to a close, you’ll have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the evening at your leisure. The pedestrian area of Brasov’s Old Town, where your hotel is located, is brimming with charming restaurants and cafes, offering a plethora of dining options. To further enrich your experience, an optional dinner in a nearby village can be arranged, providing a chance to savor traditional Romanian cuisine and engage with the local community.
***An optional dinner in a nearby village can be arranged.

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Day 12: A Regal Farewell – Peles Castle and the Return to Bucharest

Peles Castle – Bucharest Departure
On the twelfth and final day of your “Famous and Charming Romania” tour, you will bid adieu to the enchanting landscapes of Transylvania and return to the vibrant city of Bucharest. But before that, the day offers a royal treat with a visit to the magnificent Peles Castle, an architectural gem nestled in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains.
Your morning begins with a journey to Peles Castle, the former summer residence of the Romanian royal family. As you step into the castle, you are transported to a world of elegance and grandeur. Peles Castle is not just a castle but a testament to exquisite craftsmanship and artistry. The interiors are adorned with lavish furnishings, intricate wood carvings, and an impressive collection of art, each room telling its own story of royal life and cultural heritage. The castle’s exterior, with its ornate design and perfectly manicured gardens, stands as a proud reminder of Romania’s rich history.
After exploring the castle, enjoy a leisurely orientation tour of Sinaia, the quintessential mountain resort town. Here, the famous Casino building and panoramic views of the town against the backdrop of the majestic mountains add to the charm of your final day in Romania.
As the day progresses, you will journey back to Bucharest. Upon arrival, your guide will ensure a seamless transfer to your hotel or the airport, marking the end of your memorable journey through Romania. Whether you choose to extend your stay in the capital or depart for your next destination, the experiences of the past twelve days – from medieval towns and UNESCO World Heritage sites to encounters with rich traditions and natural wonders – will linger in your heart.
As you reflect on the journey, the castles, monasteries, villages, and the warmth of the Romanian people, you will realize that Romania has indeed left an indelible mark on your soul.
NOTE: The tour is further customizable.

Famous and Charming Romania Tour Map

Traditional Romanian welcome dinner with Folklore Show

In the evening, you can opt to serve a traditional dinner at a local restaurant with an idyllic view, situated on the lakeshore in Bucharest’s most famous park, the Herastrau or Michael I Park. Here, you will enjoy a three-course meal dinner with wine included, and you will get a chance to discover the traditional Romanian folklore costumes while enjoying the dances of the local performers. The entire show displays authentic Romanian traditions and customs, from the sewn details on the white outfits of the dancers to the delighting music played by the local artists.

Three-hour trip in Ukraine, to Solotvina and Nyzhnya Apsha

After Sapanta Peri Monastery visit, you can choose to visit the Ukrainian Maramures with a visit to Solotvina, which is the Ukrainian part of the Romanian town. And you will have the chance to visit Nyzhnya Apsha village. This region was in Transylvania until 1920.

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

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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. A city that 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 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, you 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 arrive at Tulcea located right at the entrance to the Danube Delta. Hotel check-in. Dinner on your own.
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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’s scenic beauty and wildlife – it is known as the birdwatcher’s 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.

Three day Republic of Moldavia Extension with Tiraspol Tour

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Extra Day 1: Bucovina – Iasi City Tour – Soroca

We will begin the three-day extension with the tour of Iasi city, the unofficial capital of the Moldavian region of Romania, where we will explore the Palace of Culture, the once gold-plated Church of the Three Hierarchs, Golia Monastery and the Neoclassical National Theatre. After this incursion, we will cross the Prut River in the Republic of Moldavia, outside of the European Union. On the route enjoy the countryside to Soroca, the town that hosts the greatest and most impressive fortress in the Republic of Moldavia. Before reaching the hotel we will visit a different part of Soroca town, named the Gypsy Hill, where the Gypsy community built a neighbourhood of palaces. After this hotel check in and have dinner on your own.
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Extra Day 2: Soroca Fortress – Old Orhei with Traditional Lunch – Cricova Wine Cellars – Chisinau City Tour

After the breakfast, we will start the day with a visit to one of the best well-preserved fortresses of Europe, established by the Moldavian Prince Stephen the Great in 1499.
Next, we travel south, stopping at the outstanding cave monastery of Old Orhei, which organically combines the natural landscape and vestiges of ancient civilizations. A homemade lunch will be served in the village with the same name.
In the afternoon, you head to Cricova, where you will visit the largest wine cellar in the world and where you will enjoy some of the best Moldavian wines. The winery Cricova was founded in 1952 and it is one of the few wineries which produce sparkling wine using the Champagne Method. Before reaching the hotel, we will visit the capital city of the Republic of Moldavia, which is one of the greenest city in Europe. The tour will reveal the Arch of Triumph, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Chisinau with the Belfry Tower and the Parliament of Moldavia. To have a sweet evening we will have a short stop at the famous “Bucuria” shop, which is the greatest enterprise specialising in the production of candies. The rest of the evening is at your leisure.

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Extra Day 3: Bender Fortress – Tiraspol Tour – Bucovina

The last day in the Republic of Moldavia will be an incursion in the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (Transnistria). It officially belongs to Moldova and is its second-largest city.
First, we will visit Bender Fortress, which was built in one of the most powerful of the medieval cities of Moldavia – Tighina, which was an important trade outpost. Later we will cross Dnister in Transnistria, where you will understand why this is the world’s last Soviet republic in fact.
In Tiraspol, we will visit Suvorov Plaza & Monument, Memorial of the WW2 and Afghanistan war, Lenin statue and more.
After the walking tour in Tiraspol, we will go back to Bucovina, crossing back Prut River in Romania.
Famous and Charming Romania by Holiday to Romania
Natural Whirlpool in Maramures by Holiday to Romania
Red Lake by Holiday to Romania
Mathias Corvin in Cluj by Holiday to Romania
Corvin Castle by Holiday to Romania
Barsana Wooden Church by Holiday to Romania
Maramures Folklore Show by Holiday to Romania
Sapanta Merry Cemetery by Holiday to Romania
Saxon Traditional Village by Holiday to Romania
Brasov Council Hall by Holiday to Romania
Biertan Fortified Church Altar by Holiday to Romania
Ceausescu Residence by Holiday to Romania
Biertan Fortified Church by Holiday to Romania

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 4 reviews
Kate R.
October 16, 2017

Holiday to Romania was awesome! I learned so much from our guide, Daniel and I would highly recommend him as your guide if you travel to Romania. If I had arranged the visit to Transylvania on my own without a travel guide, I would have regretted it. Daniel was informative and very welcoming. Request him — he is great and this company is fantastic! I will look them up if I plan to return to Romania in the future!

Alex W.
April 15, 2018

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

Debra U.
June 19, 2018

Holiday to Romania organized our trip to Romania. They provided a wonderful tour guide named Alex and a very spacious van for our 11 day tour. During our trip we visited beautiful Gothic Fortified Churches, Medieval Castles, Traditional Villages, The People Parliament, museums, the countryside, and much more. Everyday we visited at least three sights. Every sight had something interesting or beautiful to see. Holiday to Romania’s program to travel the country is perfect. You are able to experience the country because you see so much. Yet, at the end you are left with the feeling of wanting to see more. My husband who booked the tour was in continuous contact with Dan. He was always very accessible and keen to making sure that we were happy. His choice of accommodations were great because we were able to stay in very nice hotels, and with Romanian run lodging homes. In these homes we were able to interact with the family and eat homemade Romanian meals. Both Dan and our guide speak English perfectly. Alex’s personality is great. He never said, no. I have 2,000 pictures in Romania almost all taken by Alex. Plus, another 1,000 he took on my husbands Iphone. A very safe driver. Just an around nice person. I am glad Dan chose Alex as our guide because he made us feel like family.
If you are looking for quality service, a comprehensive and diverse tour, and a beautiful country with history, architecture, art, mountains, a beautiful countryside, great food and another secret – great wine…you must visit Romania and put Holiday to Romania to organize it. Thank you Holiday to Romania for an unforgettable vacation!

Lisa G.
September 24, 2023

Every detail was taken care of for our custom tour of western Romania. We can’t recommend Holiday to Romania enough! Our itinerary was well organized and curated to our specific interests. We requested a very authentic tour to experience how real Romanians live. We could not be happier.

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