Day 1 of 7. Arrival in Romania
Cluj Napoca ☾
Program: transfer and free time (if possible)
Arrival at Cluj Napoca 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 main attractions of Cluj Napoca, the second largest city in the country and the capital of Transylvania, an important bicultural economic and university town (Romanian and Hungarian), which still maintains a certain aristocratic air.
Day 2 of 7. The capital of Transylvania, an underground world and reach Maramures
Cluj Napoca - Turda Salt Mine - Baia Mare ☾. 215 km
Program: visit Cluj-Napoca and Turda Salt Mine; free time in Baia Mare
Breakfast. City tour, discovering: Union Square - around Saint Michael Catholic Church, the tallest gothic building in Romania (80 m); the birthplace of the famous Hungarian king Matías - located in the old town, near Museum Square; the monumental Romanian Orthodox Cathedral and the Theater built by Helmer & Fellner. Afterwards, we start the route arriving at Turda Salt Mine, a former salt exploitation and the most important tourist attraction of its kind, after an investment of € 6 million - European funds. Visit and time to have lunch. In the afternoon, we head north and arrive in Baia Mare, the departure point to explore Maramures the next day and the most important city in this region. Overnight accommodation and free time.
Day 3 of 7. Maramures, a fairytale region
Baia Mare - Surdesti - Sapanta - Barsana - Viseu de Sus ☾. 175 km
Program: visit Surdesti Church, the Merry Cemetery of Sapanta, Barsana Monastery, and Bogdan Voda Church
Breakfast. Full day in Maramures. We begin to explore a region almost isolated by mountains, where the life of some people still continues according to ancestral rhythms. We visit the Merry Cemetery of Sapanta, among the famous of the world for its attitude towards death and its aesthetics. A multitude of modeled crosses with traditional decoration and bright colors on a blue background, followed down by a naive and representative painting of the deceased - his daily activity, circumstances of death, his passion - and a comic epitaph. Time for lunch and we continue along the Iza Valley, discovering slender Wooden Churches in a pure Maramures style, recognized by UNESCO. We visit Barsana, a new orthodox monastic complex that has renewed the tradition of carving wood, and Bogdan Voda Church, old but well preserved, with remarkable mural paintings (or similar: Rozavlea Church or Poienile Izei Church, with a small detour). During this day, we also visit the Museum of the Peasant Woman from Maramures and we get to know better the features of a typical village in this region. Overnight accommodation in the tourist town of Viseu de Sus.
Day 4 of 7. Special excursion by steam train
Viseu de Sus - Bistrita ☾. 95 km
Program: Excursion by “Mocanita” steam train, along the Vaser Valley
Breakfast. Arrive in the morning at Viseu de Sus train station and start a unique excursion in “Mocanita” steam train through an old logging route that reaches areas of wild, unspoiled nature. Lunch included during the stop in a meadow, on the banks of the Vaser River (mixed grill, water / soft drink, pastry and coffee). In the afternoon, follow the route to Bistrita, an old city in Transylvania famous for its appearance in the novel "Dracula". Overnight accommodation and free time.
Day 5 of 7. 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 6 of 8. Return to the Capital crossing Moldavia
Piatra Neamt - Bucharest ☾. 350 km
Program: free time in Bucharest; optional: Therme (the hot springs of Bucharest) or the Wine Route.
Breakfast. We leave Piatra Neamt for Bucharest, crossing the historical region of Moldavia to the south. Short stop in Marasesti, admiring the Mausoleum dedicated to the heroes of the First World War. The end of the conflagration made possible voting in previously occupied Romanian provinces and, subsequently, the formation of Greater Romania in the time of King Ferdinand and Queen Maria. Time for lunch en route and we arrive in the capital in the afternoon. Free time and overnight accommodation. Suggestions for spending the free time: The Old Town (Lipscani), the parks of Bucharest, the Treasury (History Museum), the Art Museum or the famous Obor Market.
Option 1: Therme (the hot springs of Bucharest), north of the city.
Before arriving in Bucharest, a stop is made at Therme. Time to enjoy this modern, extensive and much appreciated wellness center. There is the option of having lunch in one of its restaurants. Recommended time: 3-4 hours, recommended area: The Palm / Elysium, entrance fees can be checked on their website. Later, we continue to the accommodation planned in Bucharest, where the program for this day ends.
or Option 2: The Wine Route
Before arriving in Bucharest, we take a detour along the “wine route” and arrive at one of the special wineries in Dealu Mare (“The Great Hill” wine region). Visit, wine tasting and the option of having a typical lunch. Later, we continue to the planned accommodation in Bucharest, where the program for this day ends.
Day 7 of 7. 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!