Day 1 of 8. Arrival in Romania
Program: transfer and free time (if possible)
Arrival at Bucharest Airport and meeting with Santiago Tour’s guide or driver.
Transfer to the accommodation.
Depending on the arrival hour, free time in the city (without driver or guide). You can stroll around the old town where the capital is recovering its "belle époque" charm: the Central Bank, CEC Palace, or Macca-Vilacrosse Covered Passage, and its medieval identity: the Prince Court of Vlad Tepes "the Impaler", the Old Court Church or Stavropoleos Monastery.
Day 2 of 8. A Byzantine monastery and arrive in Transylvania
Bucharest – Cozia – Sibiu ☾. 280 km
Program: visit Cozia Monastery; tour and free time in Sibiu
Breakfast. We leave Bucharest for Sibiu. En route, we visit Cozia Monastery on the banks of the river Olt, with a splendid old church in Byzantine style. We cross the Southern Carpathians and arrive in Sibiu, the European Capital of Culture in 2007. Time for lunch and check-in at the accommodation. In the afternoon, a walking tour of the city, whose eye-shaped dormers give charm to a beautiful Central European architecture. While strolling, we encounter: the fortifications, the Large Square, the Small Square, the Evangelical Cathedral and the Orthodox Cathedral. Free time in the city.
Day 3 of 8. The medieval “postcard” town
Sibiu – Sighisoara – Targu Mures – Bistrita ☾. 240 km
Program: visit Sighisoara and brief stop in Targu Mures
Breakfast. We leave Sibiu for Sighisoara, the “postcard” town with an unforgettable collection of medieval buildings, declared a World Heritage Site. Walking tour including the Clock Tower (history museum with a panoramic view). Free time and maybe lunch, and continue with the program arriving in Targu-Mures, that stands out for its elegant city center and the original Palace of Culture (Viennese Secession style). Brief stop and then follow the route to Bistrita, an old city in Transylvania famous for its appearance in "Dracula" novel. Overnight accommodation and free time.
Day 4 of 8. Bucovina and the Painted Monasteries
Bistrita – Moldovita – Voronet – Piatra Neamț ☾. 295 km
Program: visit Moldovita and Voronet monasteries, and the Painted Eggs Museum
Breakfast. We leave for Bucovina, a splendid mountainous region dominated by the green of its firs and pastures, famous for the Monasteries painted on the outside - unique jewels of Byzantine religious art. Brief stop on the way, at the “Borgo Pass” and its mysterious "Dracula's Castle" hotel, and then we arrive to visit Moldovita monastery. The convent church stands out for its impressive exterior scenes such as the Tree of Jesse and the Siege of Constantinople, all on a red and ocher color background. We continue with the program and discover the popular art of Bucovina and its character through a visit to the Painted Eggs Museum, understanding the technique and admiring the artist's collection. Time to have lunch en route and arrive at Voronet Monastery. Visit of the church, called "The Sistine Chapel of the East'' for the monumental composition of the “Last Judgment” and the value of its “Voronet blue”, recognized in international art catalogs. Then, in the afternoon, we finish this day’s itinerary in Piatra Neamt, a city with an original historical center in Moldavian style. Overnight accommodation and free time.
Day 5 of 8. Surprising nature and back to Transylvania
Piatra Neamț – Red Lake – Brașov ☾. 245 km
Program: time at Bicaz Gorges and the Red Lake; visit Brasov
Breakfast. We leave for Transylvania, arriving at Bicaz Gorges - a narrow and spectacular pass in the Carpathians - followed by the unusual Red Lake, originated by a natural dam. Free time to enjoy nature and then continue the itinerary. Possible Hungarian lunch in this enclave region that we cross and arrive in the afternoon in Brasov, a charming town located at the foot of high mountains. Walking tour admiring the Council Square and its unique buildings, the Black Church, an imposing Lutheran church, and the beautiful Catherine’s Gate. Overnight accommodation and free time.
Day 6 of 8. Dracula's Castle, a Fortified Church and the Crown Town
Brasov – Prejmer – Bran – Brasov ☾. 90 km
Program: visit Bran Castle and the fortified Church of Prejmer; free time in Brasov
Breakfast. In the morning we go to Prejmer village, where we visit the Fortified Church, the most complete and best preserved in Transylvania, part of the UNESCO heritage. It is a church initiated by the Teutonic Knights themselves and continued by the Cistercian monks and the Saxons colonized during the Middle Ages. The place of worship is surrounded by a beautiful fortification with a very original element on the inside: family rooms occupied by the villagers in case of siege, warehouses, and even a classroom. Then we continue the route to Bran and discover "Dracula's Castle", where the myth of the Count-Vampire enfolds in mystery a great historical fortress. Visit and time to have lunch. In the afternoon, return to Brasov: free time and overnight accommodation.
Day 7 of 8. A royal castle and the capital city
Brasov – Sinaia – Bucharest ☾. 170 km
Program: visit Peles Castle and Bucharest
Breakfast. In the morning we go to Sinaia mountain resort, visiting Peles Castle, the last royal residence in Europe built in neo-Renaissance style. Afterwards, we follow the itinerary to Bucharest. Arrive in the capital and visit the city: the Village Museum, an open air display of the country's rural architecture; Revolution Square with the Romanian Athenaeum - one of the most iconic buildings, the Art Museum - former royal palace, and the balcony of the former Central Committee - where dictator Ceausescu delivered his last speech; Constitution Square, just in front of the Palace of the Parliament (second largest building in the world); Patriarhiei Church and the Palaces of the Romanian Orthodox Patriarch. Time for lunch, during the visit, overnight accommodation and some free time in the afternoon.
Optional: Extra day in Bucharest.
If the return flight (the next day) is early, an extra day in the capital city is recommended. The city tour will take place on this full day and you will enjoy enough free time in Bucharest. Suggestions for spending the free time: The Old Town (Lipscani), the parks of Bucharest, the Treasury (History Museum), the Art Museum, the famous Obor Market or Therme (the thermal baths at the north of the city).
Day 8 of 8. Return
Bucharest - Airport ✈
Program: free time (if possible) and airport transfer
Breakfast. Free time in the city depending on the flight and transfer to the airport. End of Santiago Tour’s services. Thank you!