Discover Romania from Transylvania to Bucharest, exploring a castle-dotted landscape whose well-preserved, Old-World character transports you back to the era of bygone, macabre figures both mythical (Count Dracula) and actual (Vlad the Impaler). Your home base will be the historic resort town of Brasov, where remnants of the Middle Ages still greet the eye, and stunning mountains just add to the drama. Bookend your Brasov night with a pair of single-night stays in Bucharest, whose elegant boulevards reflect its genteel 19th-century heyday.
- It's Included:
- Airfare from Moldova to Bucharest
- Accommodations for 2 nights in Brasov, and 2 nights in Bucharest
- 9 meals—4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 3 dinners
- 3 small group activities
- Services of an expert local guide who speaks English and the native language
- All transfers
Today, we fly to Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, where an OAT representative will meet us at the airport and assist us to our hotel.
After a Welcome Drink, we’ll enjoy an orientation walk in the vicinity of our hotel. Tonight, we enjoy our first taste of Romanian culture when we dine together in a local restaurant.
We travel overland north from Bucharest into Transylvania, where we will spend the next two nights, pausing en route at one of the most memorable locales in all of Eastern Europe: Bran Castle, often referred to as Dracula's Castle. Prince Vlad Tepes, the son of Vlad Dracul and the person who inspired Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula, used this castle as headquarters for his incursions into Transylvania. This 15th-century ruler became known as "Vlad the Impaler" for his practice of impaling enemies of the kingdom, which was greatly threatened by the Ottoman Turks at the time. Stoker's work of fiction drew inspiration from this bloody practice, the family name, and the castle-dotted mountain landscape of Transylvania.
We’ll see the interior and exterior of Bran Castle, which was built in 1377 to protect nearby Brasov from invaders and also served as a customs station. In 1920, the people of Brasov, who owned the castle, offered it as a gift to Queen Maria of Romania, and the castle soon became her favorite residence.
After an included lunch in Bran, we continue on to the fascinating city of Brasov. Continuously settled since the Bronze Age, the region that is now Brasov has been enriched by people of many heritages—Romans, Saxons, and Hungarians among them—as well as by traders from all over Europe and beyond who arrived in this long-thriving economic center.
We dine together at a local restaurant this evening.
On our included walking tour of Brasov this morning, we’ll see some outstanding medieval architecture, which is not far from the geographic center of Romania and is the largest city in the Transylvania region. Among the sites we’ll witness is the Black Church, the largest gothic church between Vienna and Istanbul. Seeing this famed and ancient church, built between 1384 and 1477, you might feel as if you've stepped back into the Middle Ages.
After lunch on your own, we’ll have time on our own to discover Brasov. Or join us for an Optional Tour of Piatra Craiului National Park. With its saw-like peaks – one of which rises more than 7,000 feet – the Piatra Craiului (“rocks of the king”) are considered among Romania’s most dramatic vistas. We’ll hike through the park as the Romanians do, and then enjoy an early Home-Hosted Dinner in a nearby mountain village, for a firsthand glimpse of local life.
We bid farewell to Brasov this morning and travel overland to Bucharest, arriving in time for lunch together.
We'll begin a city tour this afternoon. This is an old city that has served as the capital of Wallachia and later Romania since 1659. Today, it is noted for its broad, tree-lined boulevards, well-kept parks, and mix of architectural styles that combine Neo-Classical structures with monumental 20th-century edifices (many of which were built to satisfy the late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu).
You’ll view the Arc de Triomphe commemorating the exploits of World War I soldiers, and drive along Victory Avenue to Revolution Square, where recent events in history are inscribed. After the tour, you’ll transfer to your hotel with some time to settle in and relax before dinner.
Share memories of all our travels tonight as we enjoy a Farewell Dinner in a local restaurant.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for our return flight home.