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About Romania Self Drive 4 - Bucharest & Transylvania Highlights
A short fly drive offering a contrast between modern Bucharest & the history in Transylvania. Optional return route along the famous "Trans Fagarasan Highway".
START / FINISH - Bucharest.
Activity code: ROFD04
Duration: 7 Days
This holiday is an introductory tour combining the best bits of the ancient heart of Romania - Transylvania with the resurgent cosmopolitan capital - Bucharest. It is an itinerary full of history and dramatic scenery providing a wonderful opportunity to visit two completely contrasting places within a few days.
Transylvania is home to some of Europe’s best-preserved mediaeval towns, for example Brasov with it beautiful Baroque streets, Mediaeval ramparts and traditional cuisine. Nearby is Prejmer, the largest fortified church in Southeastern Europe. Tiny shops offer antiques and fine hand-made products by local artisans and artists. Visitors to Transylvania will also encounter stunning castles, including the famous one at Bran which was the inspiration for Dracula. Transylvania’s multi-ethnic heritage (including German and Hungarian) is delightfully apparent in the folk costumes, architecture, cuisine, music and festivals. Colourful centuries-old traditions are alive and well in the small villages of Transylvania. People here still make a living at such time-honoured occupations as shepherds, weavers, blacksmiths and carpenters.
Bucharest is the main city of the region of Wallachia and the capital of Romania; first documented in 1459 by Vlad Tepes. Bucharest and its cultural scene is going to surprise you: 37 museums, 22 theatres, 18 art galleries, opera houses and concert halls await your visit. The best way to explore Bucharest is to take a stroll along Calea Victoriei to Piata Revolutiei, site of the Romanian Athenaeum and the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum of Art. The old city centre (near Lispcani) is a must to understand why Bucharest was known as "Little Paris" in the 1920s.
Rediscover's recommended fly-drive itineraries take you right into the heart of this fascinating country. We are sharing our knowledge and the experience of our staff and partners to offer not just important cultural sights, dramatic scenery and historic locations but the opportunity to spend quality time in the villages, often staying in rural communities as guests of local families, where local culture is at its strongest. The guest houses and hotels in this itinerary are generally small, independent or family-run, properties which add significantly to your travel experience in this fascinating country.
This popular route is a tried and trusted itinerary which allows plenty of time to enjoy the countryside as you travel. Whichever route you choose, you will almost certainly traverse the spectacular Carpathian Mountains, take in the mysterious history-filled towns of Transylvania and return following one of the genuine cultural encounters that travelling to Romania with Rediscover affords, leaving you with enduring memories of this truly unique and enchanting country.
If you would like to visit these wonderful places without driving then we can supply a private driver for the duration of the tour. All fly-drives are available with private English-speaking driver / guide services; we can also pre-book many lunches, extra activities and visits in the itinerary to your preference.
Please contact us if you would like a completely tailor made fly drive itinerary. All we would need to know are approximate dates of travel, what standard of accommodation you would prefer, and if there are any particular areas or sights which you would like us to include (or to exclude!) in your itinerary . Your fly drive can be as active or leisurely as you please. Staying one night at each stop allows the maximum amount of sightseeing; two or more nights will allow you to do more side trips, whilst staying in one place will give you the opportunity to relax and explore the local area.
Ask about our fabulous bonus offers when you book this package with us:
On arrival into Bucharest International Airport we will provide a private transfer to your hotel in Bucharest, one of the least known European capitals, yet the sixth largest European city by population. As part of your introduction to the country we will arrange a traditional Romanian dinner at Caru cu Bere restaurant, emblematic of the glittering Bucharest Belle Epoque. Afterwards, private transfer back to your accommodation.
Today we recommend a sightseeing tour of Bucharest, with stops on the way for a better look at the monuments and historical buildings. A visit to the outstanding open air Village Museum, see the Arc de Triomphe, drive along Calea Victoriei, stop in Palace Square, a place full of history, see the iconic Athenaeum, the Revolution Square, the monumental Parliament Palace, the University Square with the University building and the National Theatre opposite. Afterwards, stroll around the narrow streets of the historic quarter, one of the most popular leisure districts.
NB. a visit to the Parliament building is also highly recommended but you will need to join a group tour to gain access; we can pre-book this for you as either part of your city tour or as an extra visit.
After breakfast collect your hire car and drive north from Bucharest heading to Sinaia, the "Pearl of the Carpathians" for a visit of Peles Castle, former summer residence of the Romanian royal family. From here it is a short drive along the beautiful Prahova Valley, passing the small resort town of Busteni to our recommend lunch stop in nearby Azuga at the Rhein Cellars (with optional wine tasting).
Continue over the scenic mountain pass from Predeal to Rasnov (with a visit of the fortress if time allows) and a short driver to Zarnesti.
Today you have a free day to choose your sightseeing schedule:
* Bran Castle, well known as Dracula's Castle.
* Brasov, Saxon mediaeval town - walk around the Council Square, visit the Black Church, the biggest gothic cathedral in south eastern Europe, and Schei District, full of narrow, cobbled streets.
* Poiana Brasov, the largest ski resort in Romania, a short walk in the high Carpathians.
* Morning visit to the Bear Sanctuary, pre-booking advised.
* Prejmer / Harman fortified churches
In the morning, drive west to visit Sibiu. A city tour of the old parts of this superb Transylvanian town would include the Big Square with the Brukenthal Museum (the first Romanian museum), the Stairs Passage, the Small Square, the Ancient Romanian School, the Iron Bridge (also known as the "Liars Bridge"), the Huet Square with the Evangelic Church. A short excursion to Sibiel is recommended to visit the glass icon museum.
After breakfast drive back towards Bucharest, optional route via the "Trans Fagarasan Highway". NB. this route is usually only possible between late June and early October. The alternative route would be south along the Olt Valley which is also scenic for much of its route but takes a much lower altitude route through the Carpathians.
Free time in morning and then drop off car at airport for flight home.
Please contact us for up-to-date prices and special offers.
All prices are per person
"We were a group of 4 and all of us agreed it was a memorable holiday for all the right reasons. Our guides Doina and Arpi were very helpful and informative. If there were any problems they were dealt with quickly and efficiently. Arpi tried to accommodate all our requests and answer all our questions. I would only make a few observations - Count Kalnoky's place - the trips were far too pricey at 70 euros and not worth the money. The rooms were tired looking and the food mediocre. Prince Charles place was a marked contrast with the furnishings and food in the local restaurant. The Inn at Balaban was spectacular and the couple running it excellent, the lady took a real pride in her cuisine and wanted people to enjoy it. I think she and her husband deserve particular praise."
M Ginn, UK, September, 2019
"I wanted to say that the itinerary you put together for us was excellent, thank you. As we said already, as was the local guide who showed us around Sibui. We loved our holiday and are definitely interested in going back to Romania in the future. Doina who hired the minivan for us was lovely and the car hire was perfect! And as a point for the future, we were very glad we had taken our sat nav with us! Thank you for everything. "
V Wall, UK, August 2017