Introduction

Székely Land's meadows, spa towns and occasional urban sprawl have one thing in common: their distinctly Hungarian spirit. In many places, conversation is almost entirely in the local Hungarian dialect, while signs list place names bilingually across much of Székely Land (that is, Ţara Secuilor in Romanian, Székelyföld in Hungarian). The shift from Saxon flavour in nearby Braşov and Sighişoara feels instant.

Charismatic cultural centre Târgu Mureş (Marosvásárhely in Hungarian), with a population evenly split between Romanian and Hungarian-speakers, should be your first stop. Further east, ethnic Hungarians comprise the majority in Odorheiu Secuiesc (Székelyudvarhely) and Miercurea Ciuc (Csíkszereda). Quintessential experiences are soaking in mineral-rich waters, perhaps Sovata's 'Red Sea' or a glossy spa in Băile Tuşnad, and dipping into Székely culture at the fine museums in Sfântu Gheorghe and Odorheiu.