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Transylvania

Transylvania’s forested valleys and Gothic castles are forever embedded in the popular imagination. Even before arriving, most visitors can picture this land of dark fairy-tales, where fog drapes like cobwebs over the Carpathian Mountains.

Explore these stirring landscapes on hikes through Piatra Craiului National Park, or the Bucegi (and tougher Apuseni) Mountains; or see them frozen over at winter sports centres Poiana Braşov and Predeal. Next, indulge your medieval fantasies among the watchtowers and cobbled lanes of Braşov and Sighişoara or venture to Transylvania’s castles: world-famous Bran, ornate Peleş, and Hunedoara’s Gothic apparition.

Deeper in the countryside, rural Transylvania's tapestry of cultures awaits: vibrant, secretive Roma communities, Székely Land hamlets where only Hungarian is spoken, and Saxon villages with crumbling citadels. Here, standstill traffic means horses and carts waiting patiently for herds of goats to scatter.

And yes, Transylvania will satisfy vampire tourists – and enthral all with its jumble of edgy cities and villages that time forgot.

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