The best castles in Transylvania on an 8 days tour.
Uncover the dramatic history of Transylvania, on a guided tour that will allow you to fully experience this “last medieval landscape in Europe” Lonely Planet rated Transylvania as number one destination for 2016 for a good reason. History, legends, and ancient traditions, all wrapped in a fairytale landscape, this is Transylvania. Add on top of the delicious Romanian food and you get the picture of the perfect vacation
Literally hundreds of castles and fortifications are spread all over Romania. The best castles are in Transylvania, where some of them were never abandoned and the daily life continues almost unchanged for centuries. Come with us to explore the castles of Transylvania and their incredible stories.
- Peles Castle
- Bran castle
- Hunyad Castle – Hunedoara
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Bucharest Airport or hotel|
Tour Leader – Emil Matei
Emil’s storytelling, knowledge, and easy charm make him a delight on every expedition. He jumps through flaming hoops to make your trip perfect while always appearing unruffled. Plus his taste in restaurants and hotels is superb.
|Tour type||Sight seeing|
We will pick you up from Bucharest Airport and transfer you to the centrally located hotel in Bucharest.
Explore the historic city center of Bucharest. Emerge yourself in history at the ruins of the Old Court, which is the real palace of Dracula. He had this palace finished in 1459, but didn’t use it for long as he was captured and imprisoned 3 years later by the Hungarian King Mathias Corvin.
Across the street we will check Manuc Inn, is the oldest “hotel” in Bucharest dating back in times when the fastest means of travel were horse drawn carriages, so the hotel has special accommodations for horses at the ground floor.
At dinner you will have the chance to try the tasty Romanian dishes, in the beautiful garden of Hanu Berarilor restaurant.
Overnight in Bucharest at 4**** Berthelot Hotel
Drive over the Carpathian Mountains to Transylvania
Visit Peles Castle in Sinaia.
Peles was the country side retreat for Romanian kings, and is rated one of the most beautiful castles in all Europe, a masterpiece of New-Renaissance architecture.
Conquer the 800 years old Rasnov Fortress.
Built up high on top of a mountain, Rasnov fortress commands a great view. Wander the tiny cobbled alleys between yellow painted houses that once were inhabited by Teutonic Knights. The impressive water well in the fortress is 142 metres deep. That’s the hight of Statue of Liberty one and a half times. It took 17 years to dig it in solid stone, of course all hand labour
Overnight in a beautiful family run pension in Bran (of course en-suite double or single rooms)
First stop today is Prejmer fortress UNESCO World Heritage .
The fortified church is unique concept to medieval Transylvania. As villagers tried to protect their families against the constant invasions they built defence walls around the village church and rushed everyone inside the walls when attackers came. More than 100 fortified churches like this still exist in Transylvania. The fortress in Prejmer is among the best of them preserved of all, and we will freely explore the whole place.
20 minutes north from Prejmer we discover Brasov, the wealthiest town in medieval Transylvania. The fancy architecture reflects Brasov’s glorious past, with well preserved medieval houses, grand churches and impressive defence structures. Wander through the all pedestrian historic centre to discover The Black Church, blackened by fire in 1689 , or the superb central square. Walk down the 4 feet wide Rope street where centuries ago the rope makers used to make their ropes, and up to the Katharine’s gate that looks like pasted from a fairy tale book.
Uncover “Dracula’s castle” Bran Castle was chosen by Bram Stocker to be the castle of his infamous character Count Dracula. Push through narrow secret passages, and steep stairs of the castle and learn the true history of Vlad the Impaler (aka Dracula)
Return to Bran for the night
Enter the impenetrable Fagaras castle. The Turks sieged this castle for 9 months but were unable to take the castle. After 9 months they came up with a trick and announced that they want sign a peace treaty with the transylvanian prince Stefan Mailat. So Turk delegates were allowed to enter the castle, bringing with them a lot of booze, allegedly to congratulate the victorious Transylvanian Prince. The Turks managed to get the prince and his guards drunk and captured them. Prince Mailat died 10 years later in a Turkish prison.
In the afternoon we get to Sibiu – European capital of culture in 2007. Sibiu is one of the 7 cities established by Saxon colonists in the 13 Th century. The medieval walled city is incredibly well preserved, and the beautiful pedestrian streets are more lively than ever. Wander around to uncover the legend of Sibiu, discover centuries old traditions still alive in Sibiu and enjoy a beer or cup of coffee on a terrace in the evening.
Overnight in a beautiful centrally located B&B
One hour drive from Sibiu we will find Calnic, a 14 Th century fortress surrounded by beautiful countryside. The adventurous traveler can climb up to the bell tower to take in the full beauty of the castle. Even though this is a UNESCO site very few visitors venture this far in the countryside and rarely there are other visitors here so the castle is all ours to explore it.
In the afternoon we explore one of the best Gothic castles in Europe – Hunyad Castle. This is the most “Castle Looking” castle, that looks and feels like it’s been broozed in battles, yet is still grand and glorious. Explore the dungeons, climb in the towers, and wander through the Gothic ball rooms of Hunyad castle
Overnight in Hunedoara 4**** Hotel
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel in Hunedoara, we hit the road to Alba Iulia. There are 3 distinct fortifications stacked one on top of the other. The oldest is the Roman city of Apulum dating back almost 2000 years ago. Then the medieval fortress from 1500 was built on top of the Roman ruins. The latest and most impressive set of fortifications dates from the 1700 and it is perfectly preserved. Draw bridges, escape tunnels, moats, and even artillery are in functioning condition.
Lunch in the former gun powder warehouse, an incredible place loaded with history.
Onward we stop at Biertan – UNESCO site that is fabulous not just because of it’s architecture and history, but is also for it’s amazing traditions and stories. 3 sets of defensive enclosures surround the majestic church, each with it’s own gates and towers, making Biertan safest against the invaders. The setting is not too bad either, a tranquil village sits at the bottom of the hill, all surrounded by beautiful green hills, where once the Transylvanian Saxons used to grow wine.
We spend the night inside the medieval town of Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the town where Vlad Dracula was born in 1431. We are all invited for dinner at Dracula’s house, acros the street from our little 3*** hotel Casa Wagner.
Explore the medieval Sighisoara, wander around on tiny cobbled streets, between small colourful houses to discover the 9 towers of the city. Each tower used to be entrusted to a guild like carpenters or shoemakers, and members of that guild were in charge of defending and maintaining their tower. In the clock tower you will find the amazing clock mechanism that not only shows the time but also shows the day of the week, and rings a bell every 15 minutes.
From Sighisoara we drive south for 45 minutes to find one of the most authentic village in Transylvania… Viscri. The time has stood still here, nothing is new or modern here. Original cobbled wide streets with beautiful old old houses, women sawing beautiful hand made things, and deep silence. On top of the hill we get to the stunning Fortified Church, UNESCO site. We can freely climb up the towers and explore the fortress. Usually there are very few or no other tourists here.
Close the circle back to Bran. We are staying in the same cozy little lodge in Bran.
Transfer to Bucharest Airport.
Please allow 2.5 hours transfer from Bran to the airport