Day 1 of 8. Arrival in Romania
Bucharest - Sinaia Airport ☾. 110 km
Program: transfer to Sinaia, free time (if possible)
Arrival at Bucharest Airport and meeting with Santiago Tour’s guide or driver.
Transfer to Sinaia (approx. 1 hour and a half), a mountain resort considered the pearl of the
Carpathians. Accommodation check-in and free time depending on the arrival hour. Possible activities: stroll through the center and its beautiful park, walk the steep streets dotted with chalets, or relax in the hotel's spa.
Day 2 of 8. The Pearl of the Carpathians
Sinaia ☾. 5-10 km
Program: visit Peles Castle and Sinaia Monastery; free time
Breakfast. In the morning we visit Peles Castle, the last royal residence in Europe built in neo-Renaissance style. Time for the standard tour: approx. 1 hour, visiting the most impressive and monumental rooms on the ground floor, or the complete one: approx. 2 hours, also including the first floor, with the concert hall, the living room and the exquisite royal apartments (the complete tour is optional and available except Monday or Tuesday).
There is also the option of adding a visit to Pelisor Castle, a smaller romantic residence marked by very original decoration elements, chosen by Queen Maria herself.
Time to recharge your batteries, perhaps enjoying a coffee and a cake on the terrace with beautiful views over the castle and its surroundings. We then continue with the visit of the Sinaia Monastery and its two jewels of religious art: the old and the new Church, learning about the interesting history of this special convent.
Time for lunch and possible trekking in the afternoon, 2-3 hours up to a point with panoramic views over the entire valley. Overnight accommodation.
Day 3 of 8. "The Carpathian garden"
Sinaia - Busteni - Sinaia ☾ 25 km
Program: hiking to “Urlatoarea” Waterfall and / or time at Cantacuzino Castle; optional: the plateau of "Babele"
Breakfast. We leave for Busteni mountain resort to start a hiking route. We recommend a hike with low difficulty to “Urlatoarea” Waterfall (round trip approx. 2 hours and a half). Later, we continue by car to Cantacuzino Castle, a beautiful neo-Romanian-style building with a splendid garden and terrace, and unparalleled views towards the Bucegi Mountains. Time to have lunch and return to Sinaia in the afternoon.
Alternatively, you can go on a hike with medium-high difficulty to Babele Cabin (approx. 4 hours each way). Once you are there, admire the natural monuments of “Babele” (the grandmothers) and the Sphinx, rock formations with/of original shapes, modeled in time by the weather conditions.
This plateau is also served by cable car, but we recommend using it exclusively in low season, to avoid waiting times of up to 5 hours. Another way to get to the area would be to hire a 4x4 car transport from Sinaia, and go up on Transbucegi road.
It is worth mentioning that from "Babele" you can continue on foot to the Caraiman Cross, the highest in the world of its kind, or to the Ialomicioarei Cave (Ialomitei), visiting this mystical place. Both hikes take approx. 1 hour each way.
Day 4 of 8. A fortified Church and reach Transylvania
Sinaia - Azuga - Prejmer - Brasov ☾ 85 km
Program: visit Prejmer Fortified Church and free time in Brasov; optional: bike or trekking route and / or sparkling wine tasting
Breakfast. Optional route by bike or on foot in the first part of the day, from Sinaia. We then leave for the Azuga mountain resort. You may go on a hike for several hours, to the Azuga gondola, and go down by gondola or on foot. Then, an optional visit to the royal champagne cellars called “Rhein”, with tasting and possibly lunch. Later, we leave for Transylvania and reach Prejmer village, where we visit the Fortified Church - the most complete and best preserved in Transylvania (UNESCO). It is a church initiated by the Teutonic Knights themselves and continued by the Cistercian monks and the Saxons colonized during the Middle Ages.
In the afternoon we arrive in Brasov, a charming town located at the foot of high mountains. Overnight accommodation and free time. Without the options of the first part of the day, you gain more time in Brasov.
Day 5 of 8. A city in the heart of the country
Program: city tour and free time in Brasov
Breakfast. Full day to explore Brasov. Walking tour admiring: the Black Church, an imposing Lutheran church housing a collection of Oriental rugs, the Council Square and its unique buildings, the beautiful Catherine’s Gate, the Synagogue in Neo-Gothic style with moorish elements, and Rope Street, one of the narrowest in the world. Time to have lunch. In the afternoon, free time to take the cable car up to Mount Tampa and enjoy the panorama over the elegant downtown, a concentration of rooftops between hills and mountains. The hours of the cable car end around 4:30 p.m. (closed on Mondays) but you can also get there on foot (medium difficulty).
Other options: visit the unconventional Church of the Trinity, in Council Square; walk to Union Square, the historical center of the Romanian community in Schei neighborhood, and visit a unique church dedicated to Saint Nicholas and the Museum of the First Romanian School; climb the White Tower, a watchtower that used to be part of the defensive system. Overnight accommodation in Brasov.
Day 6 of 8. Dracula's Castle and medieval Transylvania
Brasov - Bran - Rasnov - Poiana Brasov - Brasov ☾. 70 km
Program: visit Rasnov Citadel and Bran Castle; free time in Poiana Brasov and Brasov
Breakfast. We leave for Rasnov (Update 2021: temporarily closed) where we visit the old medieval Citadel, with a deep water well, interesting legends and panoramic views. Go up by shuttle transport, funicular (extra cost) or on foot (walking for about 10 minutes each way, with medium-low difficulty). We then continue the route to Bran and discover "Dracula's Castle". The myth of the Count-Vampire enfolds in mystery the Castle of Bran, a great historical fortress and a romantic residence.
Time to enjoy the view from the castle’s official tea house, check the souvenir shops, and have lunch. In the afternoon, we return to Brasov making a stop in Poiana Brasov, the ski resort located 12 km from the city. Time to walk, breathe the mountain air and perhaps have a coffee at the luxurious “Grand Teleferic hotel”. Overnight accommodation in Brasov and enjoy the lively pedestrian downtown, its many shoe shops and the large number of restaurants, cafes and bars.
Day 7 of 8. The capital
Brasov - Bucharest ☾. 170 km
Program: city tour and free time in Bucharest
Breakfast. We leave Brasov heading south and arrive after a few hours in Bucharest. City tour: 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 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!