Introduction

Remote, romantic villages along the Târnave plateau have the power to plunge you deep into Transylvania’s past. Dotted between Sighişoara and Sibiu, churches flanked by watchtowers and stocky walls rise from tumbledown villages. These imposing constructions hark back to medieval Transylvania, when the threat of attacks from the Turks prompted a frenzy of defence-building.

Though Saxon residents largely drifted away from these villages from WWII onwards, Saxon flavour can be strongly sensed through well-preserved churches and in rarer cases, German-speaking locals. Today the villages are slow-paced places, where horses and carts rattle along gravel roads and flocks of sheep force you to snap off your car engine and wait.

Most visitors are drawn to Biertan and Viscri, though tiny Mălâncrav and Alma Vii have charms worth exploring.