Visit Bran Castle
Perched up tall and ominous, with narrow corridors and hidden staircases, the Bran Castle certainly fits as home to the legend of Dracula. Steeped in history and legend, there is much to take in.
Birthplace Vlad III Dracula, Sighisoara is one of the best preserved medieval saxon towns in Romania. Cobbled streets lined with colourful buildings, it's impossible not to be charmed by this fairytale-like town.
Jeremy Clarkson famously referred to the Transfăgărășan as the "best round in the world" due to endless turns as it winds its way up to the picturesque Balea Lake. The truly incredible engineering feat took 4 years to build.
The fortified citadel of Rasnov is perched up high above what is now the new town. Believed to have been build in the early 13th century by Teutonic knights the fortress was only conquered once in 1612.
Let us transport you deep into the stony heart of the Transylvanian countryside to a remote corner of the Carpathian Mountains. Receive a cold welcome to the legendary Bran Castle, commonly known as Dracula’s Castle, and real life setting of Bram Stoker’s sinister novel where you’ll unravel the secrets of the castle. You’ll also have the opportunity to climb up to the crumbling ruins of Rasnov Fortress and admire some truly spectacular views of the bleak Transylvanian landscape. Discover Transylvania’s medieval towns of Brasov and Sighisoara, where Vlad Tepes was born, and even cross the water over to Snagov Monastery where Vlad the Impaler’s headless body was discovered by monks on the island.
NEED TO KNOW
|GROUP SIZE||16 people|
|FLIGHTS||For more information on flights from the UK please refer to the Trip Details section.|
|VISA||UK, EU & US not required|
Arrival in Bucharest followed by an airport transfer to your boutique accommodation in the heart of the Lipscani district. Spend the rest of the day as you choose, perhaps visiting the ruins of the Old Court of Bucharest where Vlad the Impaler resided while in Bucharest or simply enjoying the wealth of bars, cafes and restaurants dotted around the old town.
Morning transfer to Transylvania via Snagov Monastery, where Vlad the Impaler was assassinated and discovered by monks who recovered his headless body. Cross the bridge over to the island on which the monastery is located and visit the tomb where Dracula was buried. Afterwards, visit the infamous Bran Castle, where Vlad the Impaler was thought to have stayed, and then on to the medieval town of Brasov for an evening of rest and relaxation in Transylvania,
Morning visit to Rasnov Fortress near Brasov to explore the crumbling ruins built by the Teutonic Knights in Transylvania which was once owned by Dracula’s grandfather, Mircea the Old. Afterwards, transfer to the medieval citadel of Sighisoara, the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, where you can climb the old Clock Tower and walk up the Covered Staircase to the ancient Church on the Hill and wander through the cemetery. Spend the night in boutique accommodation just across Sighisoara’s main square where the young Dracula was born.
*Please note that during the cusp season (April-May and November), you will be travelling to Sibiu for the night.
Morning transfer on the ‘best road in the world’, the Transfagarasan, up to Balea Lake for lunch before travelling back to Bucharest for your final night.
*Please note that during the cusp season (April-May and November), the Transfagarasan road is closed, so you will be travelling back on the Olt Valley. The bonus is that you will get to visit Targoviste, Vlad the Impaler's Princely Court.
Transfer to Bucharest airport for return flight.
A selection of our accommodation, which is subject to availability, however alternatives are always of a similar price, grade and location.
With all our hotels located in or near the Old Town of Lipscani, you will be right by amongst the hustle and bustle of the heart to the city.Typical Accommodation: The Rembrandt, Grand Boutique or similar
All our hotels are located a stone's throw from Brasov's Old Town Square so you'll easily be able to explore Brasov's quaint, cobbled streets.
Typical Accommodation: Bella Muzica, Casa Wagner or similar
All our hotels are located in or around the old town, so you will be only a short walk from all sights, restaurants, cafes and bars.
Typical Accommodation: Central Park, Hotel Bulevard or similar
With all our hotels located in Sibiu's majestic old town, you'll be able to visit all the sights, cafes and restaurants on foot.
Typical Accommodation: Casa Luxemburg, The Council or similar
WHERE YOU'RE GOING
Ask most people what comes to mind when they think of Romania and you’re likely to hear something along the lines of Dracula, vampires and gypsies. Yes, the spooky castles pitched on rocky hilltops are certainly vampire-worthy but the only real fangs you’re likely to be exposed to here are those belonging to the wild bears, wolves and lynx that roam the Carpathian Mountains. Once you place the stereotypes aside for a moment, you’ll soon understand how misunderstood, overlooked and vastly underestimated this country is.
"For the car enthusiasts eager to experience the windy turns of the Transfagarasan be sure to travel from late June to early October as it could be closed outside of this period"
Marius M - Untravelled Paths
Try traditional food
Be sure to sample Traditional local food during your visit to Romania and there are few better places to do so than Caru Cu Bere, Bucharest's oldest beer house.
Bucharest Walking Tour
Always one of the best way to orientate yourself, this walking tour is very informative and brings to life the history of this fascinating city. Highly recommended.
Try palinka at least once
For those brave enough, there is nothing better to warm the belly than a good shot of the Romanian firewater. Be careful, though, it's strong stuff. As they would toast in Romania "Noroc!".
Cross the language barrier
Have a go at the local language, it's a romantic language so those who speak any of the other romantic languages will pick up many of the words quickly such as "salut", "merci" and "ciao".
As a tour operator we are not able to offer inclusive flights as part of our experiences however we are more than happy to help you find the most appropriate incoming and outgoing flights for you. All the listed airports fly directly in and out of Bucharest with multiple different airlines to choose from. We highly recommend using Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.
In order to be fully covered on your trip should anything happen, we suggest getting an insurance before you travel. We recommend True Traveller, designed especially for adventure travel, who will be able to tailor an insurance package based on your needs. You can find out more here.
Our prices are based on people sharing, for solo travellers who would prefer a private room the price per person will include a solo occupancy fee.
If you wish we can also organise extra nights at either end of your trip for you.
Book your trip in a few easy steps.
Once you’ve chosen the dates you’d like to travel on using our availability calendar all you need to do is head over to the booking page and fill in the enquiry form.
BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS
We will get back to you answering any questions you might have and confirming availability. If all is good, we can hold the places for you for 48 hours while you book your flights. Please note that this stage does not represent a guarantee of the booking.
Once you have made your necessary arrangements, we will send you a booking form you will need to fill in with your details and any other relevant information.
PAY FOR YOUR TRIP
As you fill in the booking form, you will also be asked to make the payment through a secure link; if you are travelling in less than 8 weeks, the payment will be paid in full, otherwise only a 35% deposit will be taken.
Shortly after you pay, you will receive a confirmation invoice, followed by a personalised itinerary and digital booklet. All you need to do now is write the dates in your diary, prepare your packing list and look forward to your next adventure!
Please note deposit is non-refundable. The balance will only be refundable if you cancel with more than 8 weeks in advance. More information about the cancellation policy can be found in our Terms & Conditions. We highly suggest getting insurance before you travel to avoid any problems. Our personal recommendation is using True Traveller.
Although Romania is a member of the European Union, it does not use the euro (€) but has its own currency - the RON / Leu. The official currency is most commonly referred to as the plural ‘lei’ although some banks and exchange offices list it as the RON. One leu divides into 100 bani with banknotes coming in various denominations normally 1 leu, 5 lei, 10 lei, 50 lei and 100 lei and less commonly, 200 and 500 lei notes. Coins come in 50 bani and 10 bani pieces, which can be useful for small tips or donations.
The easiest option is to head to a cash machine once you’ve checked into your hotel in Bucharest to withdraw funds. There are plenty of ATMs around so it’s quick and convenient to get hold of your holiday cash.
If you want to come prepared beforehand, the Bureau de Change in M&S is, strangely, one of the only places that dispenses the local currency. You can also purchase currency online and collect it from your local post office or even have it delivered straight to your door. Ordering currency online with the Post Office is commission-free and available for next day delivery. Obviously the more you buy the better rate you’ll receive.
However you choose to get hold of your spending money, just make sure you either spend or convert your RON before you leave.
Most major credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted throughout Romania’s main towns and cities. While you should have no problem using your card to pay for drinks or dinner in major towns and cities using your card, some establishments accept cash only so it’s worth checking before you get settled in. It is also a good idea to carry some cash with you for smaller purchases and activities and while you're traveling in remote locations. It is always advisable to inform your bank that you’re travelling abroad in order to avoid the frustration of having your card blocked.
As a general rule, you’ll be able to have a good lunch for around £10 a head and will pay around £15 a head for a nice evening meal. Naturally, the type of establishment you choose to eat in and what you order will dictate the cost of your meals. Be aware that ordering imported wines can cause your bill to sky-rocket so drinking local wines is advisable. We reckon around £70 for lunch, dinner and drinks for two people is plenty per day. Please note that these are rough estimates and you can always choose to spend more or less depending on your budget and preferences.
Tipping is not obligatory in Romania although rounding up taxi fares and adding 10% in restaurants is polite and common practice. If the service has been poor please don’t feel obligated to leave a tip.
Spring: The wonderful advantage of visiting Transylvania during the spring is the presence of wildflowers and butterflies that fill the Carpathian Mountains. The weather is very pleasant although there is also a slightly higher risk of rainfall during this time.
Summer: June, July and August affords long hot sunny days and blue skies with little chance of rain. While temperatures can soar to around 40 degrees in Bucharest, the Transylvanian countryside tends to be a little cooler so you can enjoy the great outdoors.
Autumn: September and October bring with it slightly fresher temperatures but days are mostly sunny, warm and dry with an increased chance of showers.
You can always contact the UTP team on +44 207 101 4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Before you travel, you will also receive a personalised itinerary with the contact details of the local manager in Romania should there be any problems. Your guide will be on hand throughout the trip as well, so you're in safe hands.
Our digital booklet, which you will receive before travel, contains all the information you need about optional activities. Simply drop us an email letting us know what you'd like to do during your trip, and we'll take care of the rest. Please note that the payment for the optional activities will be taken locally in cash.
You will be traveling by car between each location, and you will be able to explore the towns and sights at your own pace. Please note that sights like Rasnov Fortress and Bran Castle also have uphill portions and stairs.
Transfagarasan, aka "the best road in the world" according to Top Gear, is only open a limited amount of time during the year. As such, to ensure you will see it, we recommend traveling between the end of June and beginning of October. During the cusp months (April-May and November), you will get to visit Sibiu and Targoviste (Vlad the Impaler's Princely Court) instead, and travel back to Bucharest via Olt Valley.