Bucharest – Sibiu – Curtea de Arges – Monastery – Turda – Cluj – Sapanta Merry Cemetery – Sucevita – Red Lake – The Fortified Church in Prejmer – Brasov – Bran Castle – Peles Castle – Sinaia – Bucharest
Arrival in Bucharest – the capital of Romania. Pick-up from the airport and transfer to your hotel.
We start the tour in the morning heading towards Sibiu city.
On the way we will have visit the Curtea de Arges Monastery and Horezu Pottery.
The Episcopal Church, known as the Curtea de Arges Monastery Church, was built by the Romanian ruler of Wallachia Neagoe Basarab between 1512-1517. A great legend is connected to this church. It is said Master Manole entombed his wife alive in the walls of the church so that they would never crumble. And the secret of the monastery’s construction would be preserved forever, Manole himself had to be sacrificed. Left without a ladder on the roof of the church, at the command of the prince, Manole made himself wings from wooden laths and tried to descend: he crashed and a spring welled from his body. This is the legend of Manole’s Well. In 1875, the beautiful trefoil church was demolished and rebuilt by French architect Andre Lecomte du Nouy. The Episcopal Church of Curtea de Arges houses the tomb of its founder, Neagoe Basarab, and of other members of the royal family (Kings Carol I and Ferdinand, Queens Elisabet and Mary and the late King Michael).
In the afternoon we will drive along the picturesque Olt Valley to visit Cozia Monastery.
Mircea the Elder, ruler of Walachia and grandfather of Vlad the Impaler (Dracula), built Cozia Monastery in the 14th century. Here you’ll have a first contact with the painted frescoes. On the entrance wall of the church you’ll see an impressive “Last Judgment” fresco.
We will arrive in SIbiu in the evening.
Considered to be one of the most beautiful Romanian towns, due to its unique architectural style and to the impressive complex of museums, Sibiu was awarded the official title of 2007 European Capital of Culture. Sibiu has a vast number of museums organized around the two great cultural and historical centers: The Brukenthal Museum and the Astra Museum. The town’s touristic attractions are: The Evangelical Church, The Orthodox Cathedral, The Roman-Catholic Church, The Stairs Tower, The Council Tower.
Overnight in Sibiu In Hotel Ibis 3* or similar. Dinner is included, with traditional homemade food and drinks: typical wine and traditional drink named tuica or palinca, a kind of plum brandy.
After breakfast, we will head towards Alba Iulia where we will visit the Carolina Citadel.
Known in ancient time as Apulum, Alba Iulia served as the largest military and economic center during the Roman occupation. Alba means white and comes from the time when the Slavics called the settlement Belgrade(“White Castle”). Iulia comes from the name of Romanian Prince Gelu (Iulius in Latin) who ruled during the 10th century. The Habsburgs tried to impose the name Alba Carolina (Karlsburg) in honor of the emperor Charles VI. In 1918 the town became once again Alba Iulia.
Then we will visit the Turda Salt mine, the largest and modern of the kind in Romania. It is not only a veritable museum of salt mining, but also an impressive theme park. It has got a ferris wheel, a gift shop selling salt products for health and decorative purposes, a boating lake with rowing boats, a table tennis area and an amphitheater.
The Salt Mine is certainly the most famous destination for tourists visiting the town of Turda. This mine dating from the 17th century had a decisive factor in the development of this prosperous town from Roman times until today.
Arrival in Cluj in the afternoon/evening and a city tour to discover the most important sites.
Overnight in Cluj Napoca at Hotel 3* or similar, dinner included..
Leaving Cluj, we will visit Baia Mare, the gate to Maramures county, a region where you’ll feel like you’re back in time.
You’ll discover old traditions and houses, wooden churches, wooden gates and special people.
We will visit Sapanta Merry Cemetery, a place unique in Europe.
The Merry Cemetery has gained originality and value due to the chopped, carved and painted crosses on which the artisans have chiseled out versified epitaphs. Most of them are full of a remarkable sense of humor, particular to the area and to all the Romanians.
Overnight in Sighetul Marmatiei Hotel Casa Iurca 4* or similar, dinner included.
After breakfast we will discover the wonderful wooden churches.
Barsana Monastery is one of the most beautiful.
Perched on the hills of Maramures, overlooking the Iza Valley, the Barsana Convent is one of the most impressive monastic places of Romania despite being recently rebuilt. The slender and tall silhouette of the wooden church, the carvings of each building and the amazing garden represent a perfect synthesis between the strong faith of the locals, their skills and nature.
Passing the Carphathians from Maramures to Bucovina, we will arrive in Vatra Dornei in the evening.
Overnight at Hotel Belvedere 3* Vatra Dornei or similar, dinner included.
After breakfast, we will head towards the most important Moldavian monasteries.
Perhaps Voronet is the most famous and stunning of the painted monasteries. It was founded in 1487 by Stephen the Great to celebrate a victory over the Turks. Widely known throughout Europe as “the Sistine Chapel of the East” due to its interior and exterior wall paintings, this monastery has frescoes of an intense shade of blue commonly known as ‘Voronet blue.’ The composition of the paint continues to remain a mystery even now, more than 500 years after the church was built.
Then we will visit Sucevita Monastery and afterwards we will arrive in Piatra Neamt.
Sucevita was a princely residence as well as a fortified monastery. Sucevita was the last of the 22 painted churches of Bucovina and has the largest number of painted images.
The western exterior wall of the church is not painted. Legend has it that work stopped after one of the painters fell from the scaffolding and died. Sucevita boasts a magnificent depiction of the Ladder to Paradise.
Overnight at Pensiunea Lido 3* or similar, dinner included.
Breakfast buffet at the hotel. We head towards Brasov. We will travel via Bicaz Gorges, on the Bicaz river, making the connection between Transylvania and Moldavia.
We will pass by Lacu Rosu / Red Lake where we will have a short stop to admire the landscape, to take some lovely pictures and find out the legend of this wonderful place.
We will visit The Fortified Church in Prejmer – the biggest fortified church in the South-Eastern Europe built in the 14th century.
Arrival in Brasov in the evening and overnight at Hotel Bella Musica 3* or similar, Dinner included.
After Breakfast, we will discover Brasov in a walking tour. We will go to Bran village where we will visit a place known all over the world, Dracula’s Castle, made famous by Bram Stocker in his novel.
The Bran Castle was a safeguard castle for the trade route that connected Transylvania and Wallachia. It was built by the people of Brasov between 1377 – 1378.
On our way to Bucharest we will stop in Sinaia to visit the most beautiful castle in Romania – Peles Castle, which once was the summer residence of Romanian Kings.
The Peles Castle, built in two stages between 1875 and 1914, was the summer residence of King Carol I and his wife, queen Elisabeth. The museum complex in Sinaia includes both Peles Castle and Pelisor Castle and the Foisor Royal Residence.
In the evening we will arrive in Bucharest.