Medieval Cities & Monasteries

Day 1: Bucharest

Arrival in Bucharest. Departure for Curtea de Arges, here we will visit Curtea de Arges Monastery, one of the most famous buildings in Romania. It is dedicated to St. Nicholas and it resembles a very large and elaborate mausoleum, built in Byzantine style, with Moorish arabesques. Next stop Vidraru Lake, an artificial lake bordering Fagaras Mountains, the highest mountains of the Southern Carpathians in Romania. Cruise on the lake completed with the story of the village that lies submerged at the bottom of this lake. Dinner & overnight at Posada Vidraru Hotel 3*, Transfagarasan.

Day 2: Sibiu

Departure to Sibiu along Olt River Valley, a panoramic route with views of the longest river flowing exclusively through Romania. We will stop along the way to visit the beautiful Cozia Monastery before arriving in Sibiu. The former capital of the Principality of Transylvania, is one of the most important cultural centers of Romania and it was designated a European Capital of Culture for the year 2007 and ranked by Forbes as Europe's 8th most idyllic place to live in. Sibiu and its surrounding area have many significant museums, with 12 institutions housing art collections, paintings, and exhibits in decorative arts, archeology, anthropology, history and natural sciences. Sibiu walking tour, including Brukenthal Museum. Dinner & overnight at Continetal hotel 4*, Sibiu.

Day 3: Sighisoara

Departure for medieval Sighisoara, one of Europe's few fortified towns which are still inhabited. The town as it is known today was founded by German colonists around 1191. We will visit the Citadel, the Clock Tower and Count Dracula's birth house. Landmark of Sighisoara, the Clock Tower is both impressive and picturesque, its role was to be the main gate into the citadel and to house the town's council. It was built in the second half of the 14th century and expanded in the 16th century. We continue our route eith panoramic tours of Targu Mures and Bistrita, interesting Romanian cities with a history dating back to the 13th Century. We will cross Tihuta Pass, which was made famous by Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. In the novel it was termed as "the Borgo Pass" and it was the gateway to the realm of Count Dracula. Dinner with surprises & overnight at Castel Dracula Hotel 3*, Piatra Fantanele.

Day 4: Suceava

Departure for Suceava, the city capital of the Moldavian state and main residence of the Moldavian princes between 1388 and 1565, and Piatra Neamt a city with such an architectural and natural beauty that it earned the nickname "Moldavian Pearl". Today we are spending our time in the realm of the Painted Monasteries, unique houses of worship and UNESCO World heritage sites. We will visit the famous Voronet monastery, often known as the "Sistine Chapel of the East". The frescoes at Voronet feature an intense shade of blue known in Romania as "Voronet blue". The exterior walls - including a representation of the Last Judgment on the west wall - were painted in 1547 with a background of vivid cerulean blue. This blue is so vibrant that art historians refer to Voronet blue the same way they do Titian red. Humor monastery, one of the first of Bucovina's painted monasteries to be frescoed and, along with Vorone?, is probably the best preserved. Agapia, a painted monastery dedicated to the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, is a museum with an important colection of objects having great historical and artistical value. There are old icons from XVI-XVIII centuries, some of them signed by the great Romanian painter Nicolae Grigorescu, textures and embroideries, crosses, old manuscripts and other religious objects.Our last stop is the Fortress of Neamt, a medieval fortress with a key role in defense of Moldavia between XIV- XVI centuries. Dinner and overnight at Central Plaza hotel 4*, Piatra Neamt.

Day 5: Bicaz Lake

Departure for Bicaz Lake, the largest artificial lake on the interior waters of Romania. We will travel along the picturesque Bistrita River Valey and the famous Bicaz Canyon.The canyon was dug by the waters of Bicaz River and it serves as a passageway between the Romanian provinces of Moldova and Transylvania. The road along the 8 kilometers of ravines, often in serpentines with rock on one side and a sheer drop on the other is one of the most spectacular drives in the country. Next stop: Brasov, the largest Romanian city in a mountain resorts area. Brasov provides a mix of wonderful mountain scenery in the nearby Poiana Brasov and medieval history with German influences in the old town. Sightseeing tour of Brasov, including Black Church. Special dinner and overnight at Acasa la Dracula (House of Dracula) 4*, Poiana Brasov.

Day 6: Poiana Brasov

Departure from Poiana Brasov. Today we will visit Rasnov Fortress, Count Dracula's Bran Castle and Sinaia resort. Rasnov Citadel was built around the year 1215 by the Teutonic Knights and was conquered only once in its history, around the year 1600 by Gabriel Bathory. The position of the fortress offers to the visitor spectacular views of the surrounding area.
Bran Castle,the fortress built at the border between Wallachia and Transylvania, was home of Romanian Royalty but also of the titular character in Bram Stocker's novel, Dracula. It is a place of intrigue, myth and centuries of history. Sinaia resort is a popular destination for hiking and winter sports, especially downhill skiing. Among the tourist landmarks, the most important are Peles Castle, Pelisor Castle, Sinaia Monastery, Sinaia Casino, Sinaia train station, and the Franz Joseph and Saint Anne Cliffs. Overnight at Arca lui Noe (Noah's Ark) 4*, Sinaia.

Day 7: Peles Castle

Extended visit of Peles Castle and its gardens. Peles Castle, the former summer residence of Romanian Royalty, hosts one of the finest collections of art in East and Central Europe, consisting of statues, paintings, furniture, arms and armor, gold, silver, stained glass, ivory, fine china, tapestries and rugs; the collection of arms and armor has over 4000 pieces, divided between Eastern and Western war, ceremonial or hunting spreading over four centuries in history.

Day 8: Bucharest

Breakfast and transfer to the airport. End of the program.