This is a compact tour that we put together especially for those of you who want to get some intricate knowledge on Eastern European culture, but also for those of you who enjoy sightseeing, wonderful natural landscapes, old citadels, palaces, and want to explore a bit of Eastern Europe and its history. This tour will take you from Budapest, Hungary’s capital city and work its way south east to Romania’s capital city, Bucharest. You will spend some time around the Romanian mountainside, in various locations, and finally get to Bucharest and check out its main attractions. In our journey, we will also visit large Romanian cities such as Alba Iulia, which is a beautiful citadel of great historical importance, Sibiu and Brașov, which is famous for its history and connections to the Dracula legend. A very special highlight is consituted by the visit of the distinct ethnographical area of Transylvania, the Calata-Kalotaszeg, where we will discover the szekler Heritage.
After breakfast, our guides will welcome you at the hotel in Budapest. This is a transfer day from Hungary to Romania.
We will cross the Romanian boarder in Ártánd and then cross into the first big Romanian city of Oradea. We will be arriving there around 12:30 and make a short stop in the old town center.
From Oradea our tour of Transylvania will take us to the Bears Cave which got its name from the skeletons of some very old species of bear that were found here. We will then cross the mountains through Vartop Pass and enter Motzilor Land where we will admire the typical villages Albac, Belis and Gilau.
We will then enter a distinct ethnographical area of Transylvania, the Calata-Kalotaszeg, where we will discover the szekler Heritage. The main attraction for both scholarly and tourist visitors of this region unified by geography, history and language is the visual aspect of its ethnography. We will meet the people of this particular area in Calata village and learn about their traditions, habits and beautifully coloured costumes. You will be delighted by a folk performance held by locals with traditional dances, and a presentation of the local folk costumes and local cuisine.
Our first stop will be in the picturesque village of Izvorul Crisului with typical architecture for this area, where you will have some free time to go shopping – the entire village is a big “souvenir” shop; almost each house on the main street has its own little store selling all types of locally produced merchandise. The men of the village are well-known good carpenters, masons and wood-carvers and the women are known for having a long tradition of embroidering.
Finally we will arrive in Cluj Napoca, the cultural center of Transylvania and one of the major cities of the country where we will also have our accommodation.
After breakfast, we will take a short sightseeing tour around the center of the town and we will visit the beautiful neo-gothic St. Michael Church.
Afterwards we will depart for Turda to visit one of the most beautiful and original salt mines in the world – Turda’s Salt Mines.
We will then move on to Alba Iuli,a an important city in both Romanian and Hungarian cultures. The unification of Transylvania with Moldavia and Wallachia was proclaimed here and the beautiful archbishopric cathedral is the final resting place of many Transylvanian rulers. Upon arrival we will visit the castle of Alba Iulia and its most interesting attractions.
Finally, we will arrive in Sibiu, and take a walking tour of the old town. We will also find accommodation there.
After breakfast, we will drive to Brașov, where we will visit the main sights of the Town Hall Square, such as the Black Church.
In the afternoon we will drive to the most famous mountain resort of Romania – Poiana Brașov where the famous movie Cold Mountain was shot.
We will then drive to Bran in order to visit Dracula’s Castle.
Late in the evening we will arrive in Bucharest where we will have accommodation for the night.
After breakfast, we will take a panoramic tour of Romania’s capital including its main highlights. If time permits, we will embark on a more extended tour of Bucharest which includes a visit of the Parliament Palace and a walking tour in the Historical center of Bucharest (The Old Town).