EXCURSIONS

EXCURSIONS

DRACULA TOUR – The Myth and Legend path ~ 7 Days

Welcome into the area of Vlad the Impaler. You will be witness of this controversial character in a special tour to trace the foot steps of the Real Dracula. Travel with your specialist tour guide to ancient residents of this phenomenon where Vlad use to dwell. Discover the truth and the myth of this unique legend. Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, more commonly known as Vlad the Impaler (in Romanian Vlad Tepes pronounced or simply Dracula (c.1431 – December, 1476), was a Wallachian (present-day southern Romania) ruler. His first reign as crown prince took place at age 17, during the same year of his release from Turkish captivity, in 1448. His main reign took place in 1456 and ended in 1462. His final reign was accomplished with the aid of the Hungarian throne in 1476 and he ruled until his assassination months later within the same year. Vlad the Impaler is known for the exceedingly cruel punishment he imposed as ruler of Wallachia; however, the people of Romania refer to Vlad as a savior to their nation and continue to justify his method of torture as not uncommon for that period in history. In the English - speaking world, Vlad III is perhaps most commonly known for inspiring the name of the vampire in Bram Stocker’s 1897 novel ~ Dracula.

DAY 1 BUCHAREST – SNAGOV – CURTEA DE ARGES
Meet with your guide at Bucharest International Airport. we’ll go to Snagov, a small village 40 km north of Bucharest, with its beautiful sixteen kilometers long lake. In the center of the lake is an island occupied by a monastery, built in 1519. The Snagov monastery is situated on the island of the lake with the same name. We reach the monastery by crossing the lake on the bridge.
Visitors come here to see the tomb of Dracula being in front of the church altar. Vlad's murder is believed to have occurred in the forests nearby, where the monks took his body, since both Vlad and his father had both given money to the monastery. Leave from Snagov and stop will be at Curtea de Arges, the former second capital of Wallachia. Overnight to Curtea de Arges on a 4* hotel.

DAY 2 CURTEA DE ARGES - BRAN - BRASOV

Breakfast. And visit the strongholds of the former Princely Court rebuilt in the 14th century. See its Princely Church and its frescoes interior which is one of the first examples of Romanian paintings. The Episcopal Church (the monastery) which is a recreation of the original built in 1512 -1517 by Prince Neagoe Basarab (rebuilt in 1875 – 1885). Than we’ll continue our route to Poienari Fortress. Standing on a cliff but now in ruins this is known as the real castle of Vlad the Impaler. To get to the top one must climb up its 1400 steps (takes approx. 1 hour). Once you arrive to the top of the Fortress you will find that the former fortress is surprisingly small, one third has collapsed down the mountainside in 1888. Entering through a narrow wooden bridge, you come across the crumbling remains of two towers within; the prism shaped one was Vlad's (Dracula's) residential quarters, from here, according to the legend, the Impaler's wife flung herself out from the window, declaring that better this way than be captured by the Turks, who were besieging the castle. Legend has it that Vlad himself escaped over the mountains on horseback. Our road will continue to the final visit of the day the famous Bran Castle. The first documents about the Bran Castle appeared in 1377. Along the history, the Castle had a strategic mission being the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. First it was under the rule of the King of Hungary Sigismund of Luxembourg, of the Romanian voivode Mircea cel Batran and later on it came under the jurisdiction of the City of Brasov. End the day in Brasov one of the most important cities from Romania and a very powerful medieval citadel during the history. Accommodation on a 3*/4* hotel.

DAY 3 BRASOV – FELDIOARA – SASCHIZ – SIGHISOARA

Breakfast and visit of the medieval center of Brasov (2 hours) – the Council Square, the Black Church, White and Black Towers, the Weaver’s Bastion and Ekaterina’s Gate. Than go on route to Sighisoara that crosses beautiful Saxon villages and hills. One can admire the fortified churches from Rotbav, ruins of Feldioara Fortress, Saschiz church, the fortress from Rupea and fortified church from Saschiz. Arrive to Sighisoara included on UNESCO's Word Heritage List. The Old Town or the Citadel is the only one still inhabited in Europe - a lost world and still so at the present!
- In 1431, the store house at Museum Square 6, within the shadow of the old town's Clock Tower, a women whose name is lost to posterity gave birth to a son called Vlad, who in later life earned the title of The Impaler, abroad better known as Dracula, derived from Dracul or the Devil – referring to his father Vlad Dracul, whom the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Hungary made a knight of the order of The Dragon in 1431. The Clock Tower, the Church on the Hill, the Scholar’s Stairs, The Monastery Church, the towers of the citadel (originally fourteen), The Shoemakers Town, the Tailor’s Tower, the Tinsmiths Tower are only a few of the marvels of this place called Sighisoara. A plum brandy tasting is a must for the visitors of Sighisoara. Accommodation in the citadel on a 3* hotel built in 1531.

DAY 4 SIGHISOARA – TARGU`MURES – REGHIN – BISTRITA – Borgo Pass

After the breakfast the visit of the beautiful medieval old town of Sighisoara will bring the complete image of this unique place. From here we’ll depart to Targu Mures first documented in 1332 in the papal registry under the name Novum Forum Siculorum. In 1405 the King of Hungary Sigismund of Luxembourg granted the city of Szekelyvasarhely (now named Targu Mures), the right to organize fairs; in 1482 King Matei Corvin (Matthias Corvinus) declared the city a royal settlement and in 1616 it became a municipality. But the city received a major boost to its social and economic life when it became Home to Supreme Court of Justice of the Principality of Transylvania in 1754. Continuing our oute we’ll pass through The City of Violins – Reghin. The city was first mentioned in 1228 in a document of Hungarian King Andrew II as Regun – however, evidence of its strategic location and defense system suggests that the town might have been considerably older, possibly founded during by Ladislaus I. after the Mongol Invasion (1241) and during the Tartar and Cuman incursions (1285) the town developed rapidly: already in the 2nd half of the 13th century the city was the residence and power center of the families Tomaj and Kacsik, to whom the nearby lands were awarded by the Hungarian Crown. Reaching Bistrita, one of the oldest Saxon cities and the place where the traces lead Jonathan Harker towards Dracula’s Castle, we’ll have a short visit of the old town. The name Bistritz mentioned in 1241 got the first attestation into a document in 1264. There were times of economical development, broken by troubles and wars. So that, during 1241-1242, in their migration to the Central Europe, the Tartars devastated town and neighborhood. From the beginning of 1353, the town got the right keeping a yearly 15 days fair and its own seal: a crowned ostrich head with a golden lucky horseshoe in the beak, showing moreover the flourishing trades and arts. Accommodation at Piatra Fantanele on a 3 * hotel, in the style of a medieval mansion in order to bring alive an authentic Dracula atmosphere..

DAY 5 Borgo Pass – DEJ – GHERLA – Cluj NAPOCA

The Borgo Pass is the border between Transylvania and Bucovina, with fantastic landscapes at 1116 m altitude towards the Carpathian mountains.
After the breakfast the road will lead us through the city of Dej an old salt mining town built on a hilly ground attested since 1061 and 1214. Massive salt reserves were found here in Roman times. The Dej fortress was built sometime between 1214 and 1235 and gained the privilege of a free royal town. The old mines were exhausted by 1717; the new mines are still in operation today (some of the galleries of the salt mine are believed to be more than 15 kilometers long). From here we are passing Gherla first recorded in 1291, as a village named Gherlahida (probably derived from the Slavic word grle = ford).The second name was Armenian – Hayakaghak, meaning “Armenian city”; the city was known also as Armenopolis. Later the name of Szamosujvar was used in official Hungarian records, meaning “the new town on the Somes”. The Habsburgs built a fortress here and starting with 1785 it was transformed into a prison which, during the communist regime, was used for political detainees. Today is one of the high security prisons in Romania. And so, we reach to Cluj Napoca city for a visit. The first written mention of its name was in 1213 under the Latin name Castrum Clus. Visit the city of Cluj Napoca to enjoy the city tour revealing beautiful medieval buildings such as Saint Michael Cathedral, Banffy Palace, the Opera house and many more. Accommodation and overnight in Cluj on a 4* hotel.


DAY 6 Cluj NAPOCA - TURDA – ALBA IULIA – SEBES – SIBIU

Breakfast and morning drive from Cluj to Turda for a visit to the heart of one of the biggest saline in Romania - the Salt Mines of Turda, with impressive halls named after kings and queens. After this we’ll drive to Alba Iulia the city of the UNION in 1918, when, on 1st of December Transylvania become part of Romania. Stop for visit Alba Iulia to discover the former Roman strongholds traces, the Citadel built in Vauban style in 18th century, the Orthodox Cathedral where King Ferdinand I was crowned and The Evangelical Church one of the most beautiful churches in Transylvania and last but not least the famous Gates of Alba Iulia. From here drive towards Sibiu passing through Sebes and Marginimea Sibiului – awarded with the Golden Apple – for keeping of true traditions. Afternoon we’ll reach Sibiu, the former European Cultural Capital in 2007. The fortified town has been the center of Romania's German minority since medieval times and it is one of Romania’s most beautiful cities. The city contains the largest concentrations of tourist attractions in Romania. Accommodate on a 4* hotel and enjoy a traditional Saxon dinner in one of the best restaurants in Sibiu.

DAY 7 SIBIU – FAGARAS – SINAIA

Enjoy the morning after the breakfast to admire Fagaras Mountains the unique scenery on the way to Cistercian Abbey from Carta. After the visit we’ll enjoy the scenery offered by the mountains at Albota a small trout farm. Late afternoon arrive to Sinaia. Accommodation on a 4* hotel and enjoy a special dinner.

DAY 8 SINAIA – PLOIESTI – BUCHAREST(Airport)

According with your departure we can visit Peles Castle; former summer residence of the kings of Romania, the Peles Castle is 44 kilometers far from Brasov, in Sinaia, a well-known mountain resort as well. Nowadays the Castle is one of the most important museums in Romania where one can admire furniture and ornamental objects, carpets, tapestry, sculptures, paintings, collections of weapons from the 15th up to the 19th centuries. Late afternoon arrival in Bucharest / Airport . (Should you wish to, we can complete your staying with an add-on program in Bucharest)
End of tour services


For 8 days and 7 nights
> 1159 euros/pers on 4*
> 1087 euros/pers on 3*

For 7 days and 6 nights
> 1005 euros/pers on 4*
> 961 euros/pers on 3*

* NOTE: Booking necessary at least 7 days (low season) 30 days (peak season) ahead


INCLUDED:
• 7 / 6 night accommodation in double rooms
• Daily breakfast – except the day of arrival
• Transportation
• Local guide / driver – English language.
• Entrance tickets at the monuments mentioned in the itinerary.
• Local taxes


NOT INCLUDED:
- Medical insurance
- Air tickets
- Other services not specified on the itinerary
- Photo or video fees at monuments
- Banking or e-payment fees
~ Gratuities



NOTE:
• The price is in euros per person based on DOUBLE occupancy
• SINGLE occupancy on request
• The tour can be customized on your request

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