THE MINI WINTER HISTORIC CAFES ROUTE EXPERIENCE

WHY IT'S DIFFERENT?

Travel along the Historic Cafes Route which will take you back in time to Transylvania's colourful medieval towns and rural villages.

Romania
Mar - Apr
4 nights

From $783.19pp

BOOK TODAY $274.12 DEPOSIT PER PERSON

Based on two people sharing, not including flights learn more

AVAILABILITY

March 2024
April 2024

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Hotel of Ice

Hotel of Ice

Immerse yourself in a winter wonderland at Romania's Hotel of Ice. This extraordinary hotel, crafted entirely from ice and snow, offers a truly unforgettable experience with its icy rooms, ice sculptures, and ice bar.

Salina Mine

Salina Mine

Romania's hidden gem is a captivating underground salt mine turned amusement park. With its breathtaking salt formations and unique attractions like boating and mini-golf, it's a must-visit destination.

Sibiu Old Town

Sibiu Old Town

Discover the enchanting city of Sibiu in Romania, where history comes alive in its medieval architecture and cobblestone streets. Explore charming squares, vibrant festivals and a rich cultural heritage.

Cluj Old Town

Cluj Old Town

Immerse yourself in the vibrant city of Cluj, Romania. Explore its lively streets, buzzing nightlife, and thriving arts scene. With its mix of historical charm and modern energy, Cluj is a destination not to be missed.

Pardon Cafe

Pardon Cafe

This old cafe offers a cosy and inviting atmosphere, serving delicious coffee and mouthwatering pastries. Its central location makes it the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a warm beverage while exploring the charming streets of Sibiu.

Chios Social Lounge

Chios Social Lounge

Located in Cluj, this refurbished cafe is now a trendy and vibrant hangout spot with a relaxed atmosphere which is popular with locals. It serves an array of cocktails and tasty bites making for the perfect place to unwind and socialise.

"The Historic Cafes Route offers travellers the opportunity to embark upon an enchanting thematic itinerary. Step back in time to enjoy the luxury of the cafes of the golden age, and to become acquainted with the important role they have played in the past and continue to play in the present, in shaping Europe’s cultural history. Diversity in Unity."

TRIP OVERVIEW

YOUR EXPERIENCE

Embark on a journey through time with the Historic Cafes Route in Romania as you plot your way through some of Transylvania's most charming towns and lush, picturesque landscapes. Discover enchanting cafes that have been serving locals and travellers for centuries, each with its own unique atmosphere and rich cultural heritage. A coffee lover's dream come true and one of the best ways to learn and experience the region. 

First, you'll arrive in Cluj where you'll have the opportunity to explore the beautiful square and cathedral and enjoy a  bite to eat and a coffee. You'll then travel south towards the Avrig which is a quaint town a short drive from Sibiu. There you will be stay in the elegant Brukenthal Palace which was the summer residence from 1777 for Baron Samuel von Brukenthal who was from Austria and the governor of Transylvania. The Palace's gardens were famed for their beauty, often referred to as the Eden of Transylvania and this beauty is still very much present today. The following morning you'll travel up to the start of the Transfagarasan, known as one of the most spectacular roads in the world, until you reach the cable car. Then you'll take a 10 minute ride in the cable car, enjoying the stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountain peaks covered in snow. You'll have time for activities and to explore the lake before having a magical once-in-a-lifetime dinner and drinks in the Hotel of Ice. Then keep yourself warm having a bit of a dance in the Ice Bar and once you've drunk up enough courage you'll be ready for your unforgettable night sleeping in your Ice Room. The following morning you'll be taken to Sibiu for lunch and tour of the old town including some of its oldest cafes before returning to Brukenthal Palace. Another early start with a quick coffee stop in Sibiu before travelling to Salina Mine in Turda. The mine is one the countries fastest growing attractions and one of the most spectular in the world complete with it's own amusement park - you have to see it to believe it! After that you'll be taken to Cluj for lunch and a tour including the most historic of Cluj's many cafes! Then you'll have you final meal to reflect on all you've done. The following day you'll be taken to the airport for your departure.

YOUR EXPERTS

James

James

The Brains Behind the Operation - Meet James

Marius M

Marius M

The Team Player - Meet Marius M

NEED TO KNOW

DESTINATION Romania
DURATION 4 nights
GROUP SIZE 16 people
ASSISTANCE Hands on
AIRPORT(S) Cluj
FLIGHTS For details of flights from the UK please see the Trip Details section.
VISA No visa requirements
VACCINATIONS None

TRIP ITINERARY

Day 1 Arrive in Cluj

First, you'll arrive in Cluj where you'll have the opportunity to explore the beautiful square and cathedral and enjoy a  bite to eat and a coffee. You'll then travel south towards the Avrig, a quaint town a short drive from Sibiu. There you will stay in the elegant Brukenthal Palace, the summer residence from 1777 for Baron Samuel von Brukenthal who was from Austria and the governor of Transylvania. The Palace's gardens were famed for their beauty, often referred to as the Eden of Transylvania and this beauty is still very much present today. 

Day 2 Travel to the Hotel of Ice

After breakfast, you'll travel up to the start of the Transfagarasan, known as one of the most spectacular roads in the world, until you reach the cable car. Then you'll take a 10-minute ride in the cable car, enjoying the stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountain peaks covered in snow. You'll have time for activities and to explore the lake before having a magical once-in-a-lifetime dinner and drinks in the Hotel of Ice. Then keep yourself warm by having a bit of a dance in the Ice Bar and once you've drunk up enough courage you'll be ready for your unforgettable night sleeping in your Ice Room. 

Day 3 Visit to Sibiu Old Town

After one last marvel at the scenery, you'll be taken to Sibiu for lunch and a tour of the old town including some of its oldest cafes before returning to Brukenthal Palace.

Day 4 Travel to Salina Mine and then explore Cluj

It's an early start with a quick coffee stop in Sibiu before travelling to Salina Mine in Turda. The mine is one the country's fastest growing attractions and one of the most spectacular in the world complete with its own amusement park - you have to see it to believe it! After that, you'll be taken to Cluj for lunch and a tour including the most historic of Cluj's many cafes! Then you'll have your final meal to reflect on all you've done.

Day 5 Transfer to the Airport for your departure

Transfer to the airport for your departure.

TRIP ACCOMMODATION

A selection of our accommodation, which is subject to availability, however alternatives are always of a similar price, grade and location.

Hotel Transilvania

Hotel Transilvania
Cluj

Hotel Transilvania in Cluj offers an enchanting experience with its elegant decor, friendly staff, and convenient location. The rooms are comfortable, and the amenities are top-notch. A perfect choice for the vibrant city of Cluj!

Brukenthal Palace

Brukenthal Palace
Avrig

Conveniently located in the foothills of the mountains between Sibiu and the Balea Lake cable car Brukenthal Palace provides the unique opportunity to stay in a Baroque Palace, a miniature of the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna.

Balea Lake Chalet

Balea Lake Chalet
Balea Lake

For those who don't like the cold, you can always get a room in the chalet. A room is made available for guests to leave their luggage and freshen up in but for an extra fee, you can have your own room for more privacy.

Hotel of Ice

Hotel of Ice
Balea Lake

Set in arguably the most spectacular of all the Ice Hotels in the world, at over 2000m and surrounded by peaks. Enjoy the Ice Bar, Ice Restaurant and of course your Ice Room for a simply unforgettable experience.

TRIP LOCATION

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.

DID YOU KNOW
  • Romania comes from the Latin ‘Romanus’ meaning ‘citizen of the Roman Empire’
  • The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest is the second-largest building in the world
  • The Carpathian Mountains are home to 60% of Europe’s Brown Bear population
  • Transylvania translates to ‘the land beyond the forest’

FAST FACTS

CAPITAL
POPULATION
CURRENCY
TIME DIFFERENCE

“Excellent, fabulous, stunning views, are all words that can be used to describe this experience but do not do it justice, we loved every second”

T. Jones - Guest

TRIP TIPS

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Keep Warm in the Ice Hotel

Thermals, a fleece, warm hat, scarf to cover your nose and thick socks will keep you nice and warm overnight. And remember you can always warm up in the chalet if necessary.

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Be Careful on Ice

Sensible footwear with good grip is essential as unsurprisingly there is a lot of ice around! You'll need to be careful where you step and watch out for hanging icicles.

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Book Flexible Flights

If you book early/late season dates then we recommend booking flexible flights to avoid disappointment as you can transfer your trip free of charge. What if the Hotel of Ice is not available?

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Extend your Trip

If you have the time available then we highly recommend you consider joining our 7-night Transylvanian Triangle Experience which includes the Historic Coffee Route, Dracula's Castle, Brasov and the born place of Vlad Tepes, Sighisoara,

TRIP DETAILS

WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • ALL TRANSFERS
  • ALL ACCOMMODATION
    • 1 night at the Hotel of Ice (or Cabana)
    • 2 nights at Brukenthal Palace
    • 1 night at Hotel Transilvania
  • MEALS
    • All breakfasts
    • All Lunches
    • All Dinners
  • ACTIVITIES
    • Visit to Salina Mine
    • Tour of Sibiu
    • Tour of Cluj
  • THE SERVICES OF A BI-LINGUAL GUIDE
  • UNTRAVELLED PATHS EXPERIENCE EBOOKLET
GETTING THERE

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.

UNITED KINGDOM TO CLUJ
  • Wizz Air (London Luton)
  • Wizz Air (Leeds & Bradford)
  • Wizz Air (Birmingham)
IRELAND TO CLUJ
  • Ryan Air (Dublin)
  • Hi Sky (Dublin)
FRANCE TO CLUJ
  • Ryan Air (Paris)
  • Wizz Air (Paris)
  • Wizz Air (Lyon)
GERMANY TO CLUJ
  • Wizz Air (Nuremberg)
  • Wizz Air (Memingen)
  • Wizz Air (Dortmund)
  • Wizz Air (Berlin)
  • Wizz Air (Frankfurt)
  • Lufthansa (Frankfurt)
  • Lufthansa (Munich)
  • Air Dolomiti (Munich
ITALY TO CLUJ
  • Wizz Air (Milan)
  • Ryan Air (Milan)
  • Airline (Bologna)
  • Wizz Air (Rome)
  • (Venice)
SPAIN TO CLUJ
  • Wizz Air (Alicante)
  • Wizz Air (Barcelona)
  • Wizz Air (Valencia)
  • Wizz Air (Zaragoza)
  • Wizz Air (Malaga)
  • Wizz Air (Madrid)
FURTHER INFORMATION

INSURANCE

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.

SOLO TRAVELLERS

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.

EXTRA NIGHTS

If you wish we can also organise extra nights at either end of your trip for you.

HOW IT WORKS

Book your trip in a few easy steps.

1

ENQUIRE ONLINE

Let us know the dates you are interested in travelling and we will let you know if they are available, if not then we will offer you alternative dates.

2

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.

3

BOOKING FORM

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.

4

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.

5

FINAL CONFIRMATION

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!

6

NOTES

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.

FAQs

What is the currency?

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.

Where can I get a hold of the currency?

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. 

Can I pay by debit/credit card?

Most major credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted throughout Romania’s main towns and cities. You’ll have no problem using your card to pay for drinks or dinner in Bucharest or Brasov using your card however you may like to carry some cash on you for smaller purchases and any activities taking place away. Ensure you have plenty of cash on you for the night at the Ice Hotel for activities and other expenses. It is always advisable to inform your bank that you’re travelling abroad in order to avoid the frustration of having your card blocked.

What sort of budget would I need?

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. 

Do I need to tip?

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. 

What is the weather like at the Hotel of Ice?

The average temperature during the winter hovers around -3 degrees although temperatures in rural areas and up in the mountains can drop well below -15 degrees so it’s best to prepare for the worst. That said, it’s not unusual to find yourself enjoying a coffee outside in a Transylvanian town’s café with the sun beating down with surprising strength onto both your face and the snow-covered streets. So wrap up warm but don’t forget sun cream!

Who should I contact in case of an emergency?

You can always contact the UTP team on +44 207 101 4061 or info@untravelledpaths.com. 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.

How do I go about booking extra activities?

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.

What should I pack?

Balea Lake and the Ice Hotel are not generally as cold as people might imagine but we do believe that it’s safer to prepare for very cold temperatures, as it is not uncommon for the temperatures outside the Ice Hotel to hit -20 degrees. We would recommend bringing some good waterproof shoes, a warm hat and some gloves to keep yourself warm. Some clients prefer to wear waterproof trousers or a ski suit to protect them from the snow and ice; however aside from technical wear, layering your clothes is just as effective.

What happens to my luggage at the Ice Hotel?

Alongside standard luggage, we recommend clients bring a smaller bag and transfer essential items into it for the overnight stay at the Ice Hotel, as it can be awkward lugging bulky suitcases around on the mountain. The big suitcases will remain locked in the car overnight, so ensure you take any valuables with you up the mountain.

How cold is it in the Ice Hotel?

The temperature inside the Ice Hotel isn’t actually as cold as you might think. It usually wavers between -2 and +2 degrees although the temperature outside can sink well below freezing. The Balea Lake Chalet is super warm and toasty though so you can always make your way over there to defrost between courses or before bed.

What if I am too cold?

Before you tuck in for the night, your guide will give you pointers and tips on how to keep warm. Most of our guests feel quite toasty in the sleeping bag they receive before going to bed. However, there is always the option to book an additional room in the warm chalet in case you fear you won't make it through the night.

What are the toilet facilities at the Ice Hotel?

While there are no toilet facilities inside the Ice Hotel, the guests can use those in the cable car building just behind the Ice Hotel. We do recommend using them before going to sleep to avoid having to get out of your cosy sleeping bag overnight. In the morning, showers will also be available in the chalet.