The Living Heart of Transylvania
Discover the charm of rural Transylvania, lose yourself in medieval citadels and discover cherished traditions in a land that is more fairytale that horror story.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
Arrival in Sibius
Meet your guide and venture into Sibius. It is like being transported to another time. This typically Saxon city is a staple of Transylvanian architecture and just a taste of the many treasures you will later find in the countryside. Explore the squares and cross the bridges, there is something out of a fairy tale hiding behind every corner. It’s time to continue your journey through time: drive to Copsa Mare, a delightful village nestled in the green, rolling hills of the stunning countryside. En route, stop to witness how artisans are reviving the once lost art of Transylvanian ceramics.
Horsemanship is making a comeback in Transylvania. Drive to Apos and jump on a horse. No matter your proficiency on the saddle, enjoy one of the last few places in the world where you can ride a horse from town to town, through well-kept beech-forests and past sturdy stone medieval walls. With echoes out of an Arthurian novel, it is not a surprise that British Royals have found Transylvania simply irresistible. Ride by Biertan fortified church and make your way back to Copsa Mare. Read more
At Home in a Medieval Citadel
Start the day at Sighisoara, one of the few medieval citadels still inhabited. Sighisoara is a place to let your imagination wander and your feet take the lead. Lose yourself amidst the colourful facades and winding stairs. Let yourself be transported to a time where all those tales of wonder sprung forth. Unlike other “well-preserved places”, you will soon discover that Transylvania has not petrified, that there is nothing pastiche about it.
Travel to the countryside once again and meet a couple that specialises in medicinal plants and herbs, keeping centuries’ old knowledge alive. Share a brew with them before heading to Viscri, another charming Saxon village where you’ll settle in a charming local house that has received patronage from the British Royal Family. In the evening, head out and meet Janos, the local blacksmith. Take a horse cart to the sheepfold and taste fresh local cheeses, an ideal aperitif before dinner and a glass of brandy.
Treasure of Nature
This morning you have three choices, each with its own charm. You can hike in the woods and soak in the gorgeous Transylvanian forests that seem endless. You can ride a bike and travel faster, enjoying some well-tended mountain-bike trails. Finally, you can ride a horse and bask in the pleasure of a light canter between forests.
Afterwards, meet Cornel, the local truffle-hunter. Return to his house and taste your bounty of black truffles. In the afternoon, meet the local beekeeper, Emil. He provides honey to the British Royal Family and he has taken his craft to the heights that only dutiful, heartfelt passion can attain. Return to Viscri and have dinner with Gerda. She serves her customers in a stone courtyard. You will soon find a delicious and charming experience in this rough-around-the-edges night out.
Into the Carpathians
Start your day in Prejmer, home to 7 fortified churches. Then board a plane and fly over the mountains into Zabola. There’s a sauna waiting for you in the forest. As the night sky begins to display its bejewelled cloak of starstuff, join Cosmin, the local astronomer and stargazer.
Hike in the Oriental Carpathians, where bear, wolf and chamois still roam free. In the afternoon, take a 4x4 to a bear hide. It is not uncommon to see half-a-dozen brown bears in the course of a session. The Carpathians are home to the largest concentration of brown bear in Europe. Return to town where a dinner by a bonfire awaits. A gypsy band might just drop by!
Discover the impressive architecture of Brasov. The Black Church is the largest Gothic monument in the region. Then visit Sinaia, where Peles Castle guards the mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. End the day with a private after-hours visit to Bran Castle. The castle is often —though imprecisely— associated with Dracula’s legend. It is a gorgeous site nevertheless, and houses a large show of art collected by Queen Marie, the last Queen of Romania.
Transfer back to Sibius to catch your flight back home. Rather than leaving a place, it seems that you are exiting a world that, apart from Transylvania, only exists in faerie.