Myths, Mountains & Monasteries of Romania

Romania is a country that has everything – fortified medieval towns, gorgeous mountain landscapes, castles complete with vampire legends, fascinating ethnographic museums, and hospitable people – and travelers are just beginning to discover it. From the vibrant capital, Bucharest, roam the green, forested hills and meadows of this little-known country, visiting folktale villages that seem to have stepped out of the Middle Ages, and walking in the footsteps of Bram Stoker’s legendary literary creation, Dracula.

10 Day Trip

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Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Why end mights on this Tour
  • Admire the vivid frescoes of the painted monasteries
    Appreciate the striking beauty of the painted monasteries of Bucovina, whose 13th to 15th century stone exteriors are frescoed with dramatic biblical scenes....
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  • Stroll the cobbled streets of Sighisoara
    Take a stroll in this UNESCO-listed medieval town, built by German Saxons in the heart of Transylvania....
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  • Interview the vampire
    Discover the Romanian origins of the Dracula story in the medieval towns of Sighisoara and Bran, whose castle embodies the Gothic image of a Transylvanian vampire castle....
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  • Explore seven-terraced Peles Castle
    Tour extravagant Peles Castle, one of Romania’s most important museums and the final resting place of several Romanian monarchs....
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over two decades of Romania travel experience
  • Travel programs such as the Stanford University alumni and the California Agriculture Leadership Program have chosen MIR to guide them to Romania
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • MIR’s Romania travel expertise recommended by
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-2: Bucharest

Known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards, glorious belle époque buildings, and reputation for the high life, Romania’s capital was once known as the “Little Paris.” Take an introductory tour of the major sights in this dynamic city, including the colossal 1,100-room Palace of the Parliament. One of the grandiose schemes of Nicolae Ceaușescu, the nation's deposed and executed former president, the monumental palace is one of the largest buildings in the world — only the Pentagon has more floor space. Get a feel for the Romanian countryside with a visit to the Museum of the Romanian Peasant, which displays over 100,000 objects representative of traditional peasant life.

Highlights

  • Romania's capital, Bucharest, once known as the “Little Paris”
  • Ceausescu’s last folly, the 1,100-room Palace of the Parliament
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Days 3-5: Transylvanian villages (Curtea de Arges, Sibiu, Alba Iulia, Cluj Napoca, Bistrita)

Set out north to Transylvania, a land of mixed Hungarian, Romanian, and Saxon heritage. En route, stop in one of Romania’s oldest cities, Curtea de Arges, to admire its beautifully sculpted 16th century monastery. Spend a morning strolling the medieval Old Town Square of Saxon Sibiu, then admire the star-shaped citadel in Alba Iulia, an important early Dacian and Roman stronghold. Explore the huge caverns of the Turda Salt Mine before continuing to bohemian Cluj Napoca, the “capital” of Transylvania since the Middle Ages. Tour its medieval city center, including the 14th century Gothic Church of St. Michael.

Highlights

  • Curtea de Arges, ancient capital on the Arges River
  • Sibiu, an early Saxon walled town with a charming array of old houses and cobbled squares connected by tunnels, stairways, and hidden passages

Days 6-7: Gura Humorului, painted monasteries

In the Moldavia region of northern Romania, discover Bucovina's masterful UNESCO-listed collection of painted monasteries with their Byzantine-style frescoes. Created from the 13th to 15th centuries, they served as “painted Bibles” for the largely illiterate communities of the region. Meet with the local proprietor of the Vama Egg Museum to learn about the history and techniques of traditional Romanian egg painting, an Orthodox Easter tradition. Enjoy the spectacular scenery of Bicaz Canyon and Red Lake en route to Agapia Monastery, built in the 17th century and today home to more than 110 nuns.

Highlights

  • Painted monasteries of Bucovina, their thick fortress walls frescoed with vivid 14th-15th century biblical scenes
  • Vama Egg Museum, celebrating the traditional Romanian craft of egg-painting

Days 8-10: Sighisoara, Saschiz, Brasov, Sinaia, Bucharest

Learn about some of the legends surrounding Dracula in the handsome medieval citadel of Sighisoara, the birthplace of Dracula’s father, Vlad Dracul. In Saschiz, view the town’s fortified churches and glass icons, and meet with some of the villagers to learn about their way of life and their locally produced specialties. Explore Brasov, an old Transylvanian town with a history dating back to the 13th century, and visit Bran Castle, which served as Bram Stoker’s model for Dracula’s ancestral home. Stop in Sinaia to tour Peles Castle, one of the most important museums in the country and the final resting place of several Romanian monarchs. Stroll the 17th century Sinaia Monastery and its monks’ library, which houses the earliest Romanian translation of the Bible. Pay a visit to a cellar where winemakers produce sparkling wines using traditional methods, then return to Bucharest with a free evening to explore, shop, and prepare for departure.

Highlights

  • UNESCO-listed Sighisoara, considered to be the most beautiful and complete medieval architectural ensemble in Romania
  • UNESCO-listed fortified Saxon churches of Saschiz
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

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Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 10 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • 2 Traveler Minimum $3,895
  • Single Supplement $695

2019 Dates

Your Choice of Dates
Start any day of the week

Recommended months of travel:

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  • FROM
  • $3,895
  • Min 2 Travelers

Group Size

Pricing is based on a minimum of 2 travelers on this trip. Call for solo trip pricing.

Private trip prices vary by season and are subject to hotel availability for your travel dates. Hotel upgrades, additional nights and solo traveler prices are available on request.

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in well-located superior tourist class (three star) hotels throughout the itinerary.
  • Breakfast daily, beginning with Day 2, per the itinerary. Lunches and dinners are left independent so you may enjoy a chance to dine on your own.
  • Restaurant tips for included meals.
  • Services of experienced, English-speaking local guides, drivers and other staff.
  • One arrival and one departure transfer. (Additional arrival and departure transfers are available at additional cost.) MIR arranges for travelers to be met on arrival and seen off on departure whether we make your airfare arrangements or not.
  • Ground transportation throughout itinerary by private vehicle (type of vehicle depends on the size of your party).
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in the itinerary.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Customized visa application instruction kit (please note, visa fees are not included in the tour price).
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
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Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

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Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

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Visas

Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

MIR can arrange for an extended program in the neighboring country of Bulgaria, or in Eastern EuropeWestern Russia, or the Balkans. All of MIR’s destinations are open to you, and all can be attached to this program. Please contact MIR for more details about exciting options for extended travel.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

While the accommodations are as comfortable as possible, it is important to keep in mind that parts of Romania are not up to the standards North American travelers expect. A full list of details about the rigors of this tour can be found in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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