Holiday Details

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  • Traditional villages and crafts in Romania

    Destinations

    Romania

    8 Nights - 9 Days

    Day 1

    Arrival in Bucharest on Henri Coanda airport.  Meet your guide and transfer to the hotel, in the city centre.

    The city of Bucharest gathers people from all around the country, being the most important economic and cultural city of Romania, housing the Government, the Parliament and the Presidency institutions.  The biggest city in the country, Bucharest is full of contrasts, noticeable especially in its architecture, which is the most important witness of its development from a small settlement to its glory days from the beginning of the 20th century and especially between the two World Wars, going through 45 years of communism and undergoing nowadays an important restoration process, mixed with the construction of modern buildings.  City tour.

    Accommodation in a hotel in the city centre.

    Day 2

    In the morning we transfer towards Transylvania region, to Sibiu, which was in 2007 the European capital of culture. The city is known to exist from the 12th century, rising in prominence to become an important trading town. It was inhabited by Saxon merchants who formed themselves into guilds, fortifying the town to protect its wealth. Sibiu is packed full of fascinating sites to explore, from its ramparts and towers to its passageways linking the two parts of the town together.  City tour.

    We continue to Sibiel village (meaning Little Sibiu) – part of Marginimea Sibiului ethnographic area, where the Romanian shepherds had created and are still supporting a strong, original culture.

    We spend the night in peasant guesthouses and we have a traditional dinner accompanied by local brandy and wine.

    Day 3

    We take a walk through the village and we visit the museum of icons on glass, which holds the largest existing exhibition of icons on glass in Transylvania, an example of artistic creativity and religious inspiration born of the riches of the Orthodox Christian tradition and the imagination of Romanian peasant painters. We will be explained the process of painting on glass.

    Then we make a short transfer by car to Saliste, where we visit a traditional sheepfold, and where we can see how the shepherds are living, preserving hundreds of year old traditions.  We can see how the different types of cheese are produced and we can taste several types of cheese with traditional “mamaliga” (a type of polenta).

    We continue to Viscri village (Deutschweisskirch).  This is a Saxon village included in the UNESCO heritage list, one of the villages in Romania where the Price of Wales owns a traditional house. His Royal Highness has a long-standing interest in Romania and has visited the country regularly since his first visit in 1998.   

    We “check-in” in several authentic Saxon peasant houses which will accommodate us with their traditional conditions.

    Traditional dinner prepared by the locals, accompanied by homemade brandy and wine.

    Accommodation in peasant houses carefully restored to accommodate tourists. (common bath for two rooms)

    Day 4

    In the morning, we take a ride around Viscri village in horse pulled carriages (traditional transportation method that is still used nowadays), seeing some local craftsmen at work.  We also visit the village’s fortified church.

    We have another traditional meal for lunch and then depart to Sighisoara, the city housing a medieval citadel included in the UNESCO heritage list, inhabited continuously ever since its settlement by the German colonists in the 13th century

    Tour of the citadel.

    Accommodation in a hotel inside the citadel.

    Day 5

    In the morning we leave Sighisoara and Transylvania region, crossing the Carpathians towards Bucovina region.  We travel through a very beautiful area, passing via Bistrita – another Saxon city – and then the Tihuta mountain pass – which appears also in Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel as Borgo Pass – the pass between Transylvania and Bucovina.

    We arrive in Bucovina region (the land of beech trees), an oasis of Romanian spirituality, housing the famous exterior painted monasteries (Voronet, Moldovita, Sucevita, Arbore and Humor) included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

    We stop in Sucevita village, where we spend the night in a guesthouse.

    Day 6

    In the morning, we visit Sucevita monastery, painted in dominant green and red. We then have a short 20 minutes transfer to Moldovita monastery. We visit this wonderful masterpiece of Moldavian Gothic adorned with exterior lively painted frescoes dating back to the beginning of the 16th century. Then we visit an egg painting workshop where we are demonstrated the special technique required in this extremely delicate operation, and see an exhibition of these local treasures.   

    In the afternoon we return to Sucevita, but we make a stop on the way in Marginea village, home of Marginea Black Ceramics.  We visit the black pottery centre and see the craftsmen at work.

    We return in the evening to our hosts in Sucevita, who are waiting for us with a lovely dinner.

     

    Day 7

    Today we cross again the Carpathian Mountains, back into Transylvania, but we make one more stop before that, this time in Moldova region, in Tarpesti village, by the house of the peasant artist Nicolae Popa, a self-taught archeologist, ethnographer and collector. Mr. Popa passed away in autumn of 2010 in his 92nd year of life. He was also a talented craftsman, who was creating in his workshop ceremonial masks for the celebration of the New Year. We visit the Popa Museum.

    We then travel via Bicaz Gorges – the most spectacular gorges in Romania, with rock walls as high as 300 m and we pass through Lacu Rosu – the Red Lake resort – situated at about 900 m altitude, home of a natural dam lake formed in the 19th century. From here we continue through a very beautiful area that has largely escaped the scars of industrial pollution, inhabited by the Szekler minority in Romania. Szeklers are Hungarian-speaking people, who settled here in the ninth century, when they were given land in exchange for protecting Hungary’s frontiers against invading forces. We can discover the specific architecture and traditions in a place where nature seems to exist in harmony with farming methods, some having more in common with those used in the 18th century rather than with the modern ones.

    In the evening we reach Brasov, one of Transylvania’s major cities.

    Accommodation in a hotel in the city centre.

     

    Day 8

    In the morning we transfer to Bran village, where we visit the Bran Castle (also known as Dracula’s Castle). This is a beautiful 14th century castle, restored in the 20th century to its former glory, by the royal family of Romania. We visit this imposing structure guarding the passing point between the two Romanian provinces: Walachia to the south and Transylvania to the north.

    We return then to Brasov.  Also known as Kronstadt due to the presence of German colonists as early as the 12th century, fringed by the peaks of the Southern Carpathian Mountains and resplendent with Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture, as well as a wealth of historical attractions, Brasov is one of the most visited places in Romania. As one of the medieval Saxon’s seven walled citadels built in the 12th century – and its location at the intersection of the trade routes linking the Ottoman Empire and the Western Europe – Brasov has been a popular destination throughout the ages. City tour.

    Same accommodation as for the previous night.

    Day 9

    After breakfast we leave for Bucharest.  Depending on the time of the flight, we can have some more free time in Bucharest before heading for the airport.