Detailed tour description
We arrive at the airport “Transylvania” (Cluj-Napoca), where the transylvanian 4 days story begins with a walk through the city of Cluj-Napoca. You will be impressed here by the mixture of architectural styles from the late Gothic and transylvanian Baroque to neoclassical and modern, all coexisting in harmony with the tumultuously contemporary streets. The National Art Museum – Banffy Palace is the most beautiful example of transylvanian baroque architectural style, The Music School, the former dominican monastery, the National Museum of Transylvanian History, the National Theatre, the Library – Teleki Palace – and many other monumental buildings will be all opportunities to take the most beautiful photos in the core of Cluj city. The universitary area hosts the Babes-Bolyai University, where the students learn in the three languages traditionally spoken in Transylvania: romanian, hungarian and german.
We’ll continue our journey through Alba Iulia – an over 2,000 years old city. The place was developed after the year 101 by the Romans, receiving the name Apulum, then it became a garrison town in the Middle Ages. The fortifications are in very good condition, raised in the shape of a star with four gates, with two triumphal arches inside. We’ll see the National Museum, the Cathedral of St. Michael, the Bishop’s Palace, the Princely Palace, the Cathedral of the Nation ‘s Reunification and Batthyány Library.
The old fortress Alba Carolina is the place that link both the first union of the three Romanian countries, in 1599, under the reign of Michael the Brave, and the Great Union of 1918. From Alba Iulia we’ll go through Sibiu, from where we will arrive very soon to Avrig. Brukenthal Palace Avrig is located in the heart of a magnificent baroque park, the former summer residence of the Governor of Transylvania, Baron Samuel von Brukenthal. Here you will receive the schedule for the following days and informations about accommodation, before your first dinner in Transylvania.
If you’ve ever wondered where you could find the already famous character Dracula, you will find out that you have just arrived in the heart of Transylvania! The route that you will follow in the second day of the trip will reveal you a wild beauty, full of light and color. Every season has its own charm here, but the snow turns the whole land in a fairyland!
We’ll climb to the heights of the most fascinating massive in the Carpathians – Fagaras Mountains -, and on the way we will stop first at the Memorial House of Badea Cartan, at Cârţişoara, a settlement where it seems like the time has stopped, for no one knows how many centuries, so that everything here can reveal to the visitors of Transylvania today a place looking exactly as it is described in the ancient stories.
Badea Cartan’s story became legend when the people of Rome had found “a real dacian man” sleeping next to the famous Traian’s Column – at least they believed so… He was a shepherd, a fighter for human rights, freedom and culture who went away from his village, reaching Rome and Vienna, Paris and other european capitals, becoming a cultural ambassador in the context of romanian’s emancipation.
Here you’ll see how romanian peasants lived two centuries ago in Transylvania, because there are still his clothes and sandals, even traditional bride and groom outfits and many other household items.
Then we’ll continue our trip on Transfagarasan road which „straps” across the Carpathians through a tunnel at 2,000 m altitude, then goes the other side of the mountain, following the contour of the high terraces of the two peaks. It is considered an engineering masterpiece that drew attention to Top Gear team which classified it in the top of the masterpieces of its kind in the world.
We will stop at Bâlea Waterfall, because in this season we cannot run on Transfăgărăşan, the snow being very heavy. We’ll climb up in 10 minutes by the cable car, from 1,234 meters to Cabana Bâlea Lake, located at an altitude of 2,034 meters. The cottage is located on a small peninsula, surrounded by a glacial lake which covers an area of over 4 hectares, completely frozen in winter. The mountanmen believe that this is the most emblematic winter landscape in the Carpathian Mountains.
Here you will install in the Ice Hotel for the night. After lunch, you will have the opportunity to take a walk on the terraces under the high ridges loaded by a white crown and a robe of snow. You can visit the Ice Church, with its bas-reliefs and statues made totally by cold and white ice, you’ll see the igloos and you can spend your time in the Winter Park which is available with its facilities for recreation.
On the third day we’ll descend from Bâlea Lake and go to Brukenthal Palace Avrig, the former summer residence of Baron Samuel von Brukenthal famous two centuries ago for its magnificent gardens designed in the Baroque style of the era. The style had been preserved intact until today. From here we’ll go to the city of Sibiu, Transylvania’s old borough founded by the german settlers in 1191. The original name of the city was Hermannstadt, developing on the site of the old Roman settlement Cedonia.
The walk through history and culture will start here with the main street. We’ll enter into the central park area, where you can admire the old walls for defense which are housing the Sibiu Philharmonic Orhestra and attract thousands of visitors. Here we go under the old arches, in the Market Square, where you’ll see the majestic Tower Hall. Then you can admire the Catholic Cathedral, and the imposing building of the current municipalities and of course, the famous Brukenthal Palace, which houses one of the most important museums in South-East Europe, holding unique art collections.
Then we get in the Small Square, where we’ll go downstairs to the „Lower City”. You can admire there the splendid architecture of the Liars’Bridge and the Evangelical Church, which housed the old town hall. You can take the best photos in this area.
The nature lovers and the admirers of the traditional folklore will have the opportunity to visit the largest and the most important open-air museum in the Eastern Europe: Astra Museum. On an area of 96 hectares, in the woods, lying on the banks of two lakes are exposed hundreds of copies of the authentic traditional houses, households and technical installations old of centuries, transported and preserved here from the entire Romanian territory, forming a magnificent heritage village.
After you enjoy the most successful photographs taken in the monumental city of Sibiu, you can choose a dinner in the old center of the town, choosing one of the dozens of restaurants that daily receive hundreds of visitors from all over the world, or we can go back for dinner next to the fireplace, at Brukenthal Palace Avrig.
After your breakfast at Brukenthal Palace Avrig, we’ll go to Sighisoara, one of the best preserved medieval cities of Europe. We will visit the old citadel, surrounded by defensive walls, which is located on a hill that dominates the whole region, on top of which was built, in the thirteenth century, the Evangelical Church.
Walking up and down the old cobbled streets, we’ll visit the Clock Tower and the City Square, which is located on the outskirts of the house where was born, in 1431, the famous Romanian prince Vlad the Impaler, around which many legends have been woven by the medieval saxon inhabitants of Transylvania, as he inspired then the writer Bram Stoker to create the famous character Dracula.
You will have enough time to enjoy the walking through the old medieval fortress, as we’ll spend the night in Sighisoara before leaving for the airport Cluj-Napoca. In the evening we’ll choose for dinner at one of the medieval restaurants within the city.
After breakfast, we’ll go to Cluj. If your flight departure time permits, we can make a stop in Targu Mures, to visit the town. Then we’ll continue the road to Cluj, for check-in and boarding. Have a good flight!