Transylvania Castles & Cities
- 10 Days
Transylvania is Romania’s best-known region and arguably its most beautiful. It’s filled with rocky mountaintops, haunting castles and lively historic cities. This classic route is designed for travellers for whom this region is the prime focus. The tour starts in Bucharest, where most international flights arrive.
Hire a car in Bucharest or hop a train northward toward the mountains, stopping in Sinaia for a couple of nights and checking out Peleş Castle. From here, take a cable car into the Bucegi Mountains for a hike.
Head southwest for a night or two in the cultural hub of Sibiu. If you have a car (and it’s summer), drive south along the breathtaking Transfăgărăşan road. South of the pass, stop at the ‘real Dracula's castle’ of Poienari Citadel.
- 2 Weeks
Romania is a deceptively large country, with physical barriers (such as high mountain passes) that make it difficult to get around easily. This tour highlights the most popular province, Transylvania, but conveniently tacks on neighbouring regions, including the capital, Bucharest, to help you make the most of your time.
Spend the first two nights in Bucharest, taking in the Palace of Parliament as well as a couple of museums and restaurants. Take the train or drive north to Braşov, and spend at least a day or two here. Use it as a base for visiting Bran Castle and the Saxon town of Viscri.
From here, backtrack toward Sighişoara or head north through Cluj-Napoca, a big university town with an over-abundance of awesome cafes and clubs.
Push northward to the city of Baia Mare or to Sighetu Marmaţiei, to use as a base for visiting the unspoilt, agrarian region of Maramureş. Don’t miss the Merry Cemetery in Săpânţa or the pretty wooden churches in Budeşti, Surdeşti and Ieud.
Danube Delta & Painted Monasteries
- 1 Week
Eastern Romania receives the fewest number of visitors, yet possesses some of the country’s most important natural and cultural attractions. For the former, look no further than the serene Danube Delta, a sprawling protected wetland that’s perfect for birders. Northwest of here are the cultural wonders of the Bucovina painted monasteries.
The tour starts in Tulcea, the gateway to the Danube Delta, though it could be done in reverse, beginning in Suceava. Stay overnight in Tulcea and enter the delta via boating day trips. If you’ve got more time, skip Tulcea and grab a passenger ferry to deeper, more scenic Sfântu Gheorghe.
After getting your birdwatching and boating on, return to Tulcea and take the bus or drive north to Iaşi, Moldavia’s cultural hub and largest city. Spend a day taking in the sights. Use Iaşi as a base to explore the Agapia, Văratec and Neamţ monasteries.
From here, it’s a short hop to the regional capital of Suceava, which has good hotels and a number of companies offering tours to the nearby painted monasteries. Don’t miss the Arbore, Voroneţ and Suceviţa monasteries.