Rural Romania – Where Time Stands Still

Biertan Fortified Church - © David Stanley
Collecting the milk in Bucovina - © Ramona Cazacu
Maramures Local Dress - © Alan Heywood
Haymaking in Maramures - © Alan Heywood
Lunch at Liliac - © Ramona Cazacu
Merry Cemetery - © Remus Pereni
Moldovita Railway - © Alan Heywood
Train from Sovata to Campu Cetatii - © Alan Heywood

Holiday Highlights

  • Stunning mountain and forest scenery
  • Remote villages with a traditional way of life
  • “Homestay” accommodation, full of character yet with all necessary facilities
  • Sighişoara medieval citadel
  • Painted Monasteries of Bucovina
  • Three narrow gauge steam railways
  • Many meals from locally sourced organic produce
  • 12 days from £2,520pp
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Wednesday 1 September to Sunday 12 September 2021 and Wednesday 6 October to Sunday 17 October 2021

UK’s Leading Specialist Operator to Romania

Relive a bygone age when rural life meant working fields with horses, stacking hay in haystacks and preparing meals from home grown produce. Visit remote Saxon villages with their fortified churches in Transylvania, enjoy village life in Maramureș and the painted monasteries of Bucovina. Stay in family run “homestay” accommodation and ride three steam narrow gauge railways.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Flight to Cluj Napoca

Afternoon flight from London for a late evening arrival in Cluj. Overnight hotel stay.

Day 2 – Mediaş and Veseud

Morning train to Mediaş arriving in time for lunch (included). We stay for 2 nights in homestay accommodation in the village of Veseud. All our homestay accommodation has been specially converted for tourist use and includes en-suite facilities. Dinner at the accommodation.

Day 3 – Saxon Villages

We explore Saxon villages with their fortified churches and have lunch with a village family.

Day 4 – Sighişoara Medieval Fortress

Visit the fortified citadel of Sighişoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and birthplace of Vlad the Impaler (better known as Count Dracula), then continue into Eastern Transylvania, an area settled by Hungarian peoples. Accommodation with dinner for 2 nights at a homestay in Praid.

Day 5 – Sovata Narrow Gauge Steam Railway

Optional visit to the Praid salt mine before driving to Sovata. Here we ride the line to Campu Cetatii and return before exploring the spa town of Sovata.

Day 6 – Maramureş

We drive north, pausing en route at the delightful Liliac rural winery for wine tasting and a picnic lunch. Cross the Carpathians into Maramureş, a remote region where life has remained almost unchanged for centuries. We stay for 2 nights in Hoteni.

Day 7 – Village Life

Exploring some of the local villages, we find old wooden churches, examples of domestic industry, machines powered by water and fields worked by hand or horses. We will also visit the famous Merry Cemetery where the gravestones have been painted by local artists to depict the lives of those who have passed away.

Day 8 – Vişeu de Sus

Visit more remote villages, have lunch with a village family and continue to Vişeu de Sus, centre of the logging industry, for a 1-night stay.

Day 9 – The Last Forestry Railway in Europe

There is no road access to much of the Vaser Valley and so the timber is removed by train. We take a ride along the 20km route behind steam. BBQ lunch provided at the upper terminus. In the afternoon we drive over the Prislop Pass into Bucovina and our next homestay at Moldovita where we stay for 2 nights. Dinner included.

Day 10 – Painted Monasteries

A visit to the Painted Monasteries at Sucevita and Moldovita where we take a trip on another former forestry railway. Lunch included and dinner at our accommodation.

Day 11 – Return to Cluj

Today we visit the Voronet Monastery before having lunch in Gura Humorului and catching the early afternoon train across the mountains to Cluj, arriving mid-evening.

Day 12 – Cluj to London

Transfer to airport for flight to London, arriving early afternoon.

Due to the limited number of rooms in “homestay” accommodation, this tour will be limited to 12 persons.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Grand Hotel Napoca, Cluj Napoca

Veseud 11, Veseud

Pensiunea Stefania, Praid

Popica Guesthouse, Hoteni

Mirage Resort, Vişeu de Sus

Pensiunea Crizantema, Moldovita

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Flights in Economy Class by scheduled airline
  • Rail travel as specified
  • Other travel by private mini-coach
  • Hotel accommodation in Cluj and Vişeu de Sus
  • Other accommodation in good quality guest house or family “homestay” with en-suite facilities
  • All breakfasts, 9 lunches and 8 evening meals
  • Admissions to monasteries, fortified churches and Merry Cemetery
  • Airport and other transfers
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour plus local professional Romanian Guide

Price per person

Escorted holiday:  £2,520
Single room supplement: £325
Deposit for this holiday: £200

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