Accommodation will be provided downtown, in one of Bucharest’s top hotels, such as Hotel Radisson Blu or similar.
After breakfast, we will visit the Palace of Parliament, the world’s second-largest building (after the Pentagon) and former communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu’s most famous creation.
We will continue with a panoramic tour of Bucharest, Romania’s capital and largest city, discovering some of the most stunning buildings, including the Cantacuzino Palace, the historical Revolution Square, the Military Club, the CEC Headquarters and the National History Museum. We will then follow on with the Romanian Athenaeum (renowned for its outstanding acoustics, Bucharest’s most prestigious concert hall), the Arch of Triumph and the former Royal palace, which houses the National Art Museum.
Finally, we will leave Bucharest and depart to Tulcea, an old city in the historical region of Dobrogea. Tulcea has been an important harbor since ancient times, located where the famous Danube river finally ends its journey through Europe creating the wonderful and famous Danube Delta and flows into the Black Sea.
Upon arrival in Tulcea, we will go to the accommodation, which will be provided in one of Tulcea’s best hotels such as Hotel Delta or similar, just in time for dinner.
After breakfast we will explore the Danube Delta on a cruise. The delta was formed 6500 years ago when a cove in the Black Sea started filling up with soil carried by rivers. It is the 2nd largest wetland in Europe and the largest reed bed in the world. It provides a unique habitat of canals, reed beds, lakes, and ponds and is home to about 320 bird species, including 70% of the world’s white pelican population and 60% of the world’s pygmy cormorants, to a remarkable population of glossy ibis, spoonbill, different species of egrets and herons. Most of the European freshwater fish species (around 70 species) exist in the delta. Lunch will be provided during the cruise.
After the cruise, we will depart to Sinaia city, which is considered the Pearl of the Carpathians mountains.
Upon arrival, we will have dinner and go to the accommodation in Sinaia.
After breakfast, we will start the day off by visiting the Peles Castle, which is one of the most beautiful castles in Europe, built by King Carol I using wood, stone, bricks and marble. The representative style used is German Renaissance, but one can easily discover elements belonging to the Italian Renaissance, Gothic, German Baroque and French Rococo style. Other exquisite attractions to look for there are statues, ceramics, gold and silver plates, the Meissen and Sevres porcelain, Murano crystal chandeliers, German stained-glass windows, walls covered with Cordoba leather, ebony and ivory sculptures.
We will then depart to Bușteni, a resort that distinguishes itself through picturesque surroundings and the possibility of practicing various forms of tourism. We will get the best view of this scenic place by admiring everything from a height, in a cable car. This area features unusual rock formations like Sfinxul and Babele.
We will continue our journey and make our way to Brașov city, one of the most visited places in Romania. Because this place has so much to offer, we will go on a walking tour. Brașov was founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 and is an architecturally splendid mix of the Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance styles which can be admired in sumptuous buildings such as the Town Hall in the Council Square, the Black Church (the largest gothic church East of Vienna,) or the Merchant’s House (now the Cerbul Carpatin restaurant).
We will have dinner at the Cerbul Carpatin (Carpathian Stag) where we will taste Romanian traditional cuisine, in an atmosphere of live traditional folk music.
Finally, we will go to the accommodation in Poiana Brașov.
After breakfast we will start the day with a bit of an adrenalin and visit the LIBEARTY Bear Sanctuary in Zarnesti, which is actually a very safe place for visitors! At present it is the largest bear sanctuary in Europe, and now is the home of over 70 bears which were rescued from a number of troublesome environments.
We will then drive to the famous Bran castle, commonly known as Dracula’s Castle. You are invited to experience the history, the myths, the intrigues and the magic of this wonderful place. We will have lunch at the Wolf restaurant.
After lunch, we will depart to Sighișoara. When we arrive, we will go on a walking tour in the citadel, which is a UNESCO site, along its fortified walls, on the narrow streets enriched with 16th century houses and enchanting cafés. The citadel is the best preserved of its kind in Europe, and was the birthplace of one of our history’s greatest personalities – Vlad Ţepeş (1431-1476) (The Impaler- Dracula).
After breakfast, we will leave for the Red Lake. We will stop for a short time in Corund, which lies in the Székely land and is famous for its pottery and ceramics. Continuing we’ll pass through Praid, which is well known for its salt therapy.
We will stop in Sovata – a health resort, then visit the Bear Lake, which is unique in Europe, its water being heliothermal and salty, with well-known therapeutic effects (for chronic gynecological symptoms, severe rheumatic pains, peripheral nervous system and post-accidental motor diseases).
We will continue our trip towards the Red Lake; it was formed around the 1800s, when, after many storms, a large amount of trees fell from the mountain into the river and blocked it. You can still see stumps coming out of the water. You will be amazed by the wild beauty of the mountain landscape and natural splendor of the lake. We will also have our lunch break here.
After lunch downstream the Red Lake, we will drive through the Bicaz Canyon, which was dug by the Bicaz river waters and serves as a passageway between Transylvania and Moldavia. It is one of the most spectacular drives in the country.
We will drive 40 km along the Lake Izvorul Muntelui, also known as Lake Bicaz, It is the largest artificial lake in Romania, and enjoy the magnificent view of Mount Ceahlău on the west shore. We will see the dam built on the Bistriţa River between 1950 and 1960, used to generate hydroelectricity at the Bicaz-Stejaru hydro-plant. It has a height of 127 meters and a length of 435 meters.
Finally, we will arrive in Vatra Dornei – Arini, where dinner and accommodation will be provided
After breakfast, we will leave towards Sighetu – Marmatiei. You will surely love the breathtaking natural landscapes of the mountains and of the river valleys: mild meadows, hills and mountains covered by forests, you will be in the middle of unspoiled nature and idyllic surroundings. Your thirst for culture and architecture will not go unquenched either – we will travel along traditional architecture monuments, perfectly preserved up to the present times. Lovely houses, marvelous wooden gates, famous all over the world, beautiful wooden churches, with sky-touching towers, built centuries ago with painted frescoes on the inside. The uniqueness and the great value of these churches was recognized by one of the most important world authority, UNESCO, who has included eight of them on the World Heritage List.
We will visit the Barsana Monastery, an impressive wooden church. Continuing to Sighetu Marmatiei we’ll visit The Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance, building which was a political prison in communist times. Many of the country’s intellectual elite were jailed and exterminated here. The next landmark on our list is the house of Nobel Prize Winner, Ellie Wiesel who was born in this town.
Another highlight of Maramures, very close to the Ukrainian border is the Săpânța’s famous Merry Cemetery. Here, each brightly colored wooden cross carries a funny epitaph about the person’s life. It is said that this joyful attitude towards death is a legacy of our ancestors, the Dacians, who believed in the immortality of the soul and that death was only a passage to a better life, a chance to meet with the supreme god, Zalmoxis.
After Săpânța, we will depart towards Baia Mare or Cluj, where we will have dinner and go to our accommodation.
After breakfast, we will leave Baia Mare and depart to Turda where we will visit its salt mine. The exploitation of the salt deposit started during the Roman occupation in Dacia, and was from the very beginning one of the most important deposits in Transylvania. Today it is a genuine history museum of salt exploitation and at the same time it is equipped with a very modern spa treatment room with natural aerosols.
Continuing our program we will stop in Alba Iulia, mentioned for the first time as being the capital of the Dacia Apulensis district during the reign of Marcus Aurelius; after 1641, it became for a short time the capital of the independent Principality of Transylvania. It also of very high historical significance; in 1918 the Union Act of the Romanian Principalities was signed here. We will visit the citadel built between 1714 -1739, which is considered to be the most representative Vauban bastion fortification in Transylvania. With its 12 kilometers long walls and covering almost 100 hectare, the fortress is made out of a central fort and seven bastions with Baroque gates.
We will also visit the Roman Catholic Cathedral where you will find the tomb of Iancu de Hunedoara (voivode of Transylvania and regent of Hungary in the mid 1400s). Afterwards, we will go to the Orthodox Cathedral called the Coronation Cathedral where King Ferdinand and Queen Maria were crowned in 1914.
Other landmarks are the Princely Palace of Alba Iulia, the Batthyaneum library which has an important part in the cultural heritage of the town, and shelters over 55 000 books, 19 000 documents, 1230 manuscripts and over 600 incunabulua. The first modern astronomic observatory in Romania (1779) is also found here.
We will then depart to Sibiu. On our way to Sibiu we will stop in Sibiel, the location of the Museum of icons on glass, which holds the largest existing exposition of icons on glass in Transylvania, a miracle of artistic creativity and religious inspiration born of the Orthodox Christian tradition and the imagination of Romanian peasant painters.
We will have dinner in a farm house in Sibiel. Everything you will be served is produced right there on the farm. We will start with a shot of homemade brandy, followed by an appetizer tray with tomatoes, cucumbers, hard boiled eggs and sausages and an eggplant spread to accompany the bread, and follow with a bowl of soup with dumplings, and a plate of sarmale – a Romanian dish consisting of spiced meat wrapped in cabbage. We will end with a dessert consisting of different pastries. Throughout the meal you will be served a delicious homemade wine.
We will continue our journey and get to the accommodation in Sibiu.
After breakfast we will take a walking tour in historical Sibiu (Hermannstadt in German), which was the largest and wealthiest citadel built in the 12th century by German settlers in Transylvania. The historical center includes the Great Square, Huet Square, the beautiful Passage of Steps connecting the upper town to the lower town, the well-known Bridge of Lies and the Small Square. We will visit the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral built between 1902–1906 on the site of a former Greek church which it shares a similar style with Saint Sofia Cathedral in Istanbul, Turkey.
We will then start our departure back to Bucharest. We will make a short stop in Cozia to visit the monastery built in 1388 by prince Mircea The Old in a Byzantine style.
Accommodation will be provided in Bucharest again, and for our last night, we will enjoy a special dinner at the Moulin Rouge cabaret.
After breakfast we will go to the airport, and this concludes the end of Viadora’s tour.