Winter in Eastern Europe can be a wonderful time to visit the most beautiful Christmas markets of Transylvania. If you are looking for unique winter experiences, Christmas presents or the lovely sound of Christmas carols, join us on this exclusive Christmas holidays tour.
Day 1 Bucharest arrival – sightseeing tour of Bucharest
Bucharest Christmas Fair is open from December 1 until December 27 and is located at Constitution Square (Piata Constitutiei).
Depending on your arrival in Bucharest, we can take a full day tour or just a panoramic tour of Bucharest, once dubbed “Little Paris” or “Paris of East”. In the front Parliament House, we will discover one of the largest Christmas Fair of Eastern Europe. We can spend a few hours here, having a cup of mold wine, tasting some local products and listening traditional Romanian music. Bucharest tour continue with this charming outdoor, Village Museum, one of the best of its kind in Europe. With 300 traditional houses representing the traditional architecture of Romania`s rural side. See Bucharest`s Arch of Triumph, built to honor the Romanian soldiers who fought in the First World War.
Before Christmas time there are many local small markets located throughout the city. In the evening we can drive along the large boulevards of Bucharest to admire the sparkling strings of lights.
Overnight in Bucharest: Hotel Capitol 3***
Day 2 Bucharest – Peles Castle – Brasov
Leaving Bucharest in the morning, we drive north towards Transylvania, sheltered by the Carpathian Mountains with ancient forests and abundant wildlife. Arriving in Sinaia Mountain Resort, you will visit the fairy-tale Peles Castle, strongly connected with the flourishing period of Romania royalty.
Peles Castle is one of the best-preserved royal residences in Eastern Europe. This modern castle of 19th Century is the symbol of Romanian Monarchy and it served as a summer retreat of King Charles and Queen Elisabeth. Outside as well and inside the palace is decorated with rich ornaments and features elaborate wood sculptures and paintings representing different allegorical scenes and monarchy symbols.
Passing through the fabulous mountain scenery, we reach Brasov City, a symbol town for medieval Transylvania.
Brasov history starts in 13th century, when the South East of Transylvania was colonized by the German Saxons inhabitants. Short after their arrival, this Germans contributed to the developing of the whole region, building fortifications and castle, and trade routes linking Transylvania with Western Europe.
In the evening you can spend some nice time in the local Christmas market tasting some local products or just strolling around interacting with the local craftsmen and vendors.
The Christmas market of Brasov is open from 1st December until January 14 2018.
Overnight in Brasov in Casa Wagner Hotel 3***
Day 3 Brasov- Bran Castle – Sighisoara Citadel
Driving one hour from Brasov, we reach the famous Bran Castle – aka Dracula`s Castle. And indeed Bran Castle is Transylvanian Castle described in the famous Dracula Novel. But the castle is more than that. It used to be an important stronghold and
Some historical sources say that the real historical character Vlad III the Impaler was captured for two months by his cousin Hungarian king Matei Corvin in 1462, and then transferred to the Visegrad Fortress, far away from Wallachia Kingdom.
So probably Bran Castle is the place where Vlad Draculea spent two months languishing in its dungeons because he dear to start a huge military campaign against the feared sultan Mehmet the Conqueror.
Leaving Bran Castle we go further deep into the heart of Transylvania.
Crossing roads lined with trees we reach the charming medieval citadel of Sighisoara; a fairy–tale place of Transylvania. Find out about the legends of myths of the medieval knights but also the way the people lived a few centuries ago.
Overnight in Sighisoara Citadel in a 3-star hotel/pension located in the heart of the citadel; you’ll be enchanted by the medieval charm of the place.
Overnight in Sighisoara Hotel 3***
Day 4 Sighisoara- Biertan Fortified Church-Sibiu
In the morning we explore the Old Town of Sighisoara with cobbled streets, colorful houses and ornate churches. You will visit the most important attractions of Sighisoara: The Clock Tower, Church on the Hill and Dracula`s house where Vlad Tepes was born in 1431. The houses inside the Citadel of Sighisoara show the main features of a craftsmen`s town. There are some houses which belonged to the former town elite, like the Venetian House, Rosenthal House, House on the Rock, Fronius House or House with Antlers.
After this interesting tour, we leave Sighisoara, and stop in this charming remote village to visit Biertan Fortified Church, listed as UNESCO site in Romania, and one of the first German settlements in Transylvania. The fortified church of Biertan still preserve three rows of fortified walls and it was built by the German colonists, being used for nearly 300 years as the residence of the Transylvanian Archbishop. A small room in the citadel was used for a long time as a reconciliation place for couples seeking a divorce (hear the full story on spot). The name “Biertan” was first attested in 1283 and once it had a township status.
We continue this winter tour of Transylvania towards Sibiu. Sibiu it was one of the seven most important fortified towns in Transylvania along Brasov and Sighisoara. The city is a reminiscent of old German cities such as Nurnberg being founded in 12 Century. It rapidly flourished to be the chief city of the Transylvanian Saxons. After we take a tour of the most important attractions of Sibiu, the day will end at the Christmas market.
During the walking tour of Sibiu you will find the legends and stories of the Big Square, and the Small Square, Evangelical Church, Thick Tower and Liar’s Bridge, and the House of the Butcher’s Guild.
Overnight in Sibiu at Continental Forum hotel 3***.
Day 5 Sibiu – Balea Lake and Ice Hotel –Sibiu
Today we will go to the mountain side. Depending on the weather we can reach Balea Lake, 2030m high and the upper Valley of Transfagarasan Scenic Road.
Leaving Sibiu in the morning we will drive for about one hour to the cable car station. Here we will leave the car and take the cable car that will take us along one of the most spectacular Valley of Carpathians.
The best scenic road is closed in the winter time and the only way to reach the Ice Hotel, is by cable car. After 20 minutes of cable car ride you reach will reach the snow realm of the Carpathians. We can always warm up with a hot tea or a good cup of hot coffee at Balea Chatlet.
In the evening we will return to Sibiu
Overnight in Sibiu at Continental Forum Hotel 3***.
Day 6 Sibiu- Poienari Fortress – Curtea de Arges – Bucharest
In the morning we will set off for Bucharest. Leaving Sibiu, we cross again the mountains on the Olt River Valley, another spectacular valleys crossing the Southern Carpathians towards Bucharest.
First important stop of the day will be the Monastery Curtea de Arges, an exceptional architectural jewel. This unique monastery dating from 16th Century, it was a continuous source of inspiration for many other Orthodox churches throughout Romania`s territory.
The main church of Curtea de Arges resembles a very large and elaborate mausoleum, and was built in the Byzantine architectural style, with Moorish arabesques influences.
The legends and stories of Curtea de Argeș have inspired many Romanian poets to write fairy tales.
Leaving Curtea de Arges we continue toward Bucharest, where this fabulous journey ends.
Overnight in Bucharest: at Capitol Hotel 3***.
GENERAL INFORMATION & TERMS:
We kindly request our guests to be ready 10 minutes before departure
We grant 30% discount for children below the age of 7.
All tours are escorted by English speaking licensed guides.
For guided tours in other languages (Spanish, Italian, French) a booking should be made at least 72h before departure.
In search of Dracula Tour takes you to the historical sites connected with the legendary character Vlad the Impaler aka Dracula.
During Wine tasting and salt mine tour we will visit one of Romania´s best wineries, learn about wine production and visit the impressive Slanic Prahova salt mine.
Ski package in Romania is available from 10 Jan till 01 March 2015 depending on the snow fallings.