Beyond myths and legends, Dracula and blood sucking vampires, Transylvania is without doubt one of Europe’s best hidden secrets. We invite you to embark on a journey into a fairy tale world filled with medieval cities and castles, friendly people and unspoiled nature, where wolves and bears still rule over the forests of the Carpathian Mountains.
After the arrival in Cluj, you are going to be transferred to Braşov.
After breakfast we will depart to Zărneşti, to one of Europe’s most interesting wild life conservation programs. On a huge surface, of over 250.000 acres, a Romanian-British foundation has built a sanctuary for large carnivores that have either lived in captivity or in circuses all over the country. The almost one hundred Carpathian brown bears live here in similar conditions as they would have in the wild and give visitors a chance to observe these imposing animals in their own habitat.
Departing from Zărneşti we will continue our journey to Bran. It was originally built by the Teutonic Knights and served, for several centuries, as a border castle between Transylvania and Wallachia. Only long after Bram Stocker, the Irish writer’s famous novel „Dracula“ appeared, the castle became famous as the residence of the blood-sucking vampire. Therefore, it is now the most visited castle in Romania.
In the afternoon, we will return to Braşov. The city used to be the most important trade center in Transylvania and was built by German colonists in the 14th century. They came to Transylvania as free people and managed to build over 200 villages and cities, having a great impact on the history and culture of this province. During our city tour, we will get the chance to discover the old market place, the guild and craftsmen houses and the medieval city hall. If you are in the mood for a walk, we highly recommend a tour of the city’s fortifications, which have been built just outside the marketplace, on the hills surrounding it. One of the city’s main attractions is the Black Church, the largest Gothic building in south-eastern Europe, with an unusual collection of oriental carpets and many other secrets which are waiting to be discovered.
In the evening we will get the chance to discover Braşov’s nightlife and fine restaurants.
After breakfast we will depart from Braşov and drive to Viscri. The village has become well known due to the involvement of several charitable foundations in the preservation of the local culture and historical heritage of the area. One of these foundations, the Mihai Eminescu Trust is under the patronage of HRH Prince Charles. The highlight of the village is for sure the fortified church, dating back to the 12th century, which was later fortified with big walls and towers to protect the villagers from the enemies. Nowadays, the old towers have been turned into an interesting museum of the village. Not only the church, but also the village itself is are under UNESCO patronage. Almost all of the houses were built in the 15th and 16th century, so bible quotations, proverbs and family coat of arms can be seen on the facades. All restoration works were carried out with local labor and materials. We invite you to take a walk through the most beautiful village ensemble in Transylvania, to visit the fortified church and take a journey into an almost forgotten world…
Driving alongside the picturesque Transylvanian countryside, we will reach the small city of Sighişoara. It is considered to be the most beautiful medieval sites in Romania and the Historical Center of Sighisoara has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since many years now. The two gothic churches, the narrow streets and old craftsmen houses preserve an old, medieval atmosphere. It is said that Count Dracula was born in one of these houses – how much of it is true, we can only find out by visiting this lovely little city.
In the evening we will return to Cluj.