Tour of Romania’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Discover the exceptionally high diversity of Romania during a 12 day guided tour. You will find these incredible valuable sites protected by UNESCO in every region Romania’s. In Oltenia you will visit the Horezu monastery, in Transylvania the Historic Centre of Sighisoara, the ruins of the ancient Sarmisegetuza Regia and the idyllic villages with medieval Fortified Churches. In the Maramures region you will see outstanding wooden churches and in Bucovina the medieval painted orthodox monasteries. A boat tour will you to the heart of the wild Danube Delta. Experience culture at the highest level, Romanian gastronomy, and unforgettable hospitality!
*Please note that The Peles Castle is always closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Let us know in advance your date of travel in order for us to check the schedules. Thank you for understanding.
Welcome to Romania! Your throughout guide and driver greets you at the Bucharest Airport upon your arrival. From here you travel to your centrally located hotel, admiring the sixth largest European Capital city along the way. You will see the House of the Free Press, the Arch of Triumph, the Victory Avenue, the Revolution Square and the Palace of the Parliament, the largest administrative building in the World. After your check-in and free time at the hotel, enjoy a welcome dinner at a historic restaurant in the Old Town. Overnight in Bucharest.
In the morning drive towards your first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Horezu Monastery, a masterpiece of “Brâncovenesc style”, known for its architectural purity and balance, the richness of its sculpted detail, its treatment of religious compositions, its votive portraits, and its painted decorative works. Time at leisure for lunch. Continue your journey towards Sibiu, the 2007 European Cultural Capital. Upon arrival you take a tour of the Old Town, divided into the Large Square and the Small Square. Discover here the Catholic Church, the Council Tower, the Bruckenthal Palace, the Liar’s Bridge and the Lutheran Church. Check-in at the hotel. Overnight in Sibiu.
You leave Sibiu after breakfast and travel towards your second UNESCO site – the Sarmisegetuza Regia Archaeological site. One of the six fortresses that formed the defensive system of Decebalus, Sarmisegetuza Regia was created between the 1st centuries BC and AD as protection against Roman conquest and played an important role during the Roman-Dacian wars. Free time for lunch and depart towards Turda, where you will find one of the world’s oldest salt mines, dating back to the Middle Ages. Now a defunct salt mine, the area has been transformed into an amazing underground theme park with a ferris wheel, mini golf course, bowling lane, boating on the underground lake and a sports arena. Arrive in Cluj Napoca in the afternoon, the largest city in Transylvania, and check-in at your hotel.
After breakfast take a stroll at the Unification Square together with your guide and discover the Catholic Church St. Michael and the equestrian statue of the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus. The tour continues to the historic region of Maramures, home to the famous wooden churches registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites. They are high timber constructions with characteristic tall, slim bell towers at the western end of the building. They are a particular vernacular expression of the cultural landscape of this mountainous area of northern Romania. Visit the Desesti wooden church and continue North towards the unique Merry Cemetery of Sapanta, where the tombstones are colorfully painted to depict the life of the deceased. Your journey takes you to a second wooden church in the area, in the village of Ieud. Finish the day in Viseul de Sus, where you check-in at the hotel.
After breakfast experience an adventurous ride with the narrow-gauge steam train in the Vaser Valley. (”Vaser” comes from the local German word for water, from the time when the region was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire). It is said that CFF Viseu (“CFF” being the Romanian abbreviation for Forestry railways) is the last remaining forestry railway in Europe. The rail built in the “unit track gauge” of 760 mm (standard narrow-gauge lines within the Austro-Hungarian Empire) leads you through lots of curves, bridges, and tunnels, along the river, in a fascinating wilderness area. You ride with the forestry train about 40 km round trip enjoying a wild, scenic forest landscape, without villages or streets, but where bears and wolves are native. Enjoy a barbecue lunch at your stop. In the afternoon you travel to Gura Humorului, where you check-in at your hotel.
Explore Bucovina today, a region which is famous especially due to its wonderful monasteries, which are painted not only, as usual, inside, but also outside. Part of these monasteries are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Today visit first the Moldovita Monastery, another beautiful monastery, dating back to the 16-th century, where you can see, beside the impressive frescos, icons and church chairs, also the award „Golden Apple” (1975) conferred by the Federation of the Tourism Journalists. Your next visit will be at the Voronet Monastery, also known as the „Sistine Chapel of the East” due to its magnificent fresco „The Last Judgement” on the west front of the church. The monastery was built at the end of the 15-th century in less than 4 months. Visit also the Humor Monastery, before departing to Piatra Neamt. Check-in upon arrival.
After breakfast, your tour continues towards Transylvania, passing through the beautiful Bicaz Gorges on your way. Your target is the medieval citadel of Sighisoara, a small town founded by the Transylvanian Saxons in the 12th century. The medieval fortress with nine towers, cobbled streets, colorful houses is still inhabited and was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The walking tour starts with a visit at the Clock Tower, which is the landmark of Sighisoara. Then you can see the birthplace of count Dracula and the Church on the Hill. After the city tour check-in at the hotel. In the evening you may enjoy dinner at the House of Dracula Restaurant. Overnight in Sighisoara.
This morning you travel South through the Transylvanian countryside and visit two villages with fortified churches included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. There are seven such villages (six Saxon and one Székely) founded by the Transylvanian Saxons. They are dominated by fortified churches and characterized by a specific settlement pattern that has been preserved since the late Middle Ages. You will visit Saschiz and Viscri, the latter being a village where Prince Charles owns a couple of traditional households. In the afternoon you arrive in the town of Brasov. Arrive and check-in at the hotel.
After breakfast you visit the UNESCO fortified church Prejmer, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to Brasov and begin the tour of the city also known as the „Crown of Transylvania.” The walking tour in Brasov starts at the Council Square, built by the Saxons and called Markplatz. One of the main highlights of the city is The Black Church, Romania’s leading gothic church, and the largest one between Vienna and Istanbul, that got its name after the Great Fire in 1689. On your tour you will see also the narrowest street in Europe: the Rope Street. Free time for lunch in the Old Town. In the afternoon proceed to Bran, where you will discover the Dracula Castle. Hidden in the hilly forest of Bran and surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend, the castle was built by the German Saxons in the 14th century and served as customs for many centuries between Transylvania and Wallachia. In 1920 the castle became Royal Residence, offered as a gift by the people of Brasov to Queen Maria of Romania. Now world widely known for being the place where Bram Stoker’s fictional creation, Count Dracula is set, the castle is the most visited place in Transylvania. In the evening you may enjoy dinner at the Bran Castle Tea House, built by Queen Maria in 1920 as a reception for her guests. Return to Brasov in the evening and overnight.
This morning you will travel to the mountain resort of Sinaia, where you will visit the Peles Castle. Considered by many one of the most stunning castles in Europe, The Peles Castle is a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture. Commissioned by King Carol I in 1873, the castle served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947. Free time for lunch before the departure by coach towards Tulcea, also known as the „Gate of the Delta”. Check-in at the hotel. Overnight in Tulcea.
Embark this morning on the excursion ship which will take you in the heart of Europe’s best preserved natural habitat. The Danube Delta is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 1990, being one of the wildest areas of Europe. It is the sanctuary for more than 300 species of birds, being the major migration hub for thousands of birds heading from and to Mongolia, Siberia, India, Africa and China. Learn more about the formation of the Danube Delta and about the many bird and fish species living here. Enjoy the nature and observe the cormorants, the egrets, swans or pelicans around your ship. The lunch will be served at a local restaurant. Transfer to Bucharest. Dinner at the hotel.
Your adventure in Romania ends today, as you travel to the Bucharest Airport for your departure. Have a safe flight!