Wander Across ROMANIA
For three years Romania was my ‘home base’ and there’s a reason why…no matter what your interests may be, no matter what you like to gain from your travels, this country has it all. Exciting cities, untouched villages, medieval history, strong culture, excellent food, beautiful nature and welcoming people.
And that’s just a tiny selection of what Romania provides for those who visit.
On this Romania tour, we’re going to cover the country from south to north and then back down again via a different route, taking in a wide variety of destinations that each offers its own unique and rewarding travel experience.
Come see why this country is considered to be one of Europe’s last remaining hidden gems!
Guide for this tour: Earl (read more about Earl here)
Day 1: Bucharest
The tour begins by exploring the highly underrated city of Bucharest. Luckily, I know exactly where to take you and apart from the Old City Center and the impressive Palace of Parliament, we’ll head over to a couple of other neighborhoods in order to fully taste what life is like in this city that I called home for several months. From cafes to parks to wonderful local food, we’ll have a complete Bucharest experience.
Day 2: Sinaia / Brasov
A couple of hours ride will take us to the town of Sinaia, home of the bizarre Peles Castle. Going inside the castle will be optional as some people will want to wander around the grounds instead, but either way, the outside of this place is quite a sight. After Peles, we’ll jump back in the van for the journey through the Prahova Valley to Brasov.
Day 3 - 4: Brasov
First, we’ll have a full day in Brasov, located right in the heart of Transylvania. We’ll visit the beautiful historic center, do some light hiking in the nearby mountains during the afternoon and enjoy a most pleasant evening out in one of Romania’s most atmospheric towns. On the second day, we’ll start off with a morning visit to Bran Castle, which is commonly associated with Vlad the Impaler, considered to be the inspiration behind the Dracula character. And while it turns out that Bran Castle really had little to do with Vlad, it’s still a must-see destination. The afternoon/evening will involve free time back in Brasov. Some might just want to grab a coffee and take a seat on a bench in the Old Town Square for some of the best people-watching opportunities in the country.
Day 5: Sighisoara
Now it’s time to visit one of the best preserved medieval towns in all of Europe (it’s over 1000 years old), which also happens to be the actual birthplace of Mr. Impaler. Sighisoara is an absolutely stunning place to explore and at night, while walking within the walls of the fortified hilltop village, under the shadow of the massive clock tower above, you are bound to feel as if you have just been transported far back in time.
Day 6 - 7: Cluj-Napoca
The capital of Transylvania, where we’ll have a day and a half to wander around the historic main square, taste some local cuisine (kurtoskalacs, anyone?) and enjoy the nightlife of this vibrant college town.
Day 8: Turda/Bulzesti
We’ll head off in the morning to Turda, an old salt mine converted into a beautiful attraction unlike anything you’ve seen before. We’ll go straight to the bottom of the mine where we shall…well, I won’t tell you now but we’ll have a good time for sure! After a few hours in Turda, we’ll hit the road again for the drive to remote village of Bulzesti, where we’ll enjoy a very special experience.
Day 9 - 10: Bulzesti
For two days we’ll stay in a traditional village, located high above the valley, in a beautiful, yet remote, part of the country that almost no tourists visit. We’ll eat traditional food cooked on the open fire, go for a hike along the mountain ridge, meet the local villagers and just enjoy the peace and quiet of the true Romanian countryside.
Day 11: Hunedoara / Sibiu
Leaving the remote countryside, we’ll pay a visit to the ultra-impressive Corvin’s Castle in the town of Hunedoara, a castle that few visitors reach despite it being the most impressive in all of Romania. After our visit, we’ll continue on to the town of Sibiu.
Day 12: Sibiu
Dating back to the 12th century, this destination offers a grand setting, complete with defense towers, narrow cobblestone lanes, dominating historical buildings, imposing city walls and an impressive main square…and since the Old City is as pedestrian-friendly as it gets, we’ll spend the morning taking in some of the most important sights while having the afternoon to explore on your own. A night out on the town? This is an ideal place for one of those as well!
Day 13: Transfagarasan / Bucharest
There are several ways to get back to Bucharest but of course, we’ll be taking the most spectacular. The Transfagarasan is a surreal road that winds itself way up the Fagaras mountains and back down the other side, with local vendors selling homemade cheese and wine along the way, shining mountain lakes near and far and just some of the finest scenery in the entire country. We’ll have lunch at the top of the mountains (there might be snow!) and on the way down, we’ll also stop along the way as we wind through the valleys. We’ll then roll back into Bucharest later in the evening for our farewell dinner.
Day 14: Bucharest - departure day
Guide: Earl (read more about Earl here)
Physical Level: While the tour itself is not strenuous, travel in general can be tiring. As a result, it is recommended that tour participants are able to handle somewhat long days, a good amount of walking, being in the sun in warm temperatures and other similarly challenging scenarios that might arise during this trip.
Accommodation: Prices are based on the sharing of rooms and single members of the group will typically be put together. We will be using budget guesthouses/hotels that offer clean and comfortable, but sometimes simple, facilities. Sometimes rooms might be without air-conditioning, but the temperature should be ideal throughout the trip. Also, keep in mind that the places we stay will have plenty of character and will certainly be a memorable part of the tour! (If you wish to have a private room to yourself, the single supplement cost is $450.)
*For 3 nights on the tour, while in the village of Bulzesti, we will be staying in a few rooms scattered among two houses, as well as using some tents. There may be more than two people per room in this one location but it will be well worth it as you’ll see!
Subject to Change: The above itinerary and activities are subject to change. Travel almost always involves unexpected situations so things might need to be re-arranged at times. However, it is important to remember that travel is all about the journey, and so even the unexpected situations we may face should be treated as part of the overall experience 🙂
Arrival/Departure Details: I do recommend arriving at least one day prior to the start of the tour so that we can all start the tour together on that day. If you do arrive early, I can arrange accommodation for you and I will also be able to organize a personal pickup from the airport for a nominal fee.
INCLUDED in the tour cost:
– Accommodation – 10 nights at quality budget guesthouses and hotels (plus 3 nights camping/shared rooms in a village)
– Meals – 8 meals throughout the trip (mix of lunches & dinners)
– Transportation – all transportation within Romania (vans, taxis, etc.)
– All included activities and associated entrance fees
Not included in the tour cost:
– Flights or other transportation to/from Romania
– Meals and activities not mentioned
– Travel/health insurance
– Passport/visa fees (most people don’t need a visa for Romania)
– Tips and gratuities
“Wandering Through Romania was an incredible trip in every way: great sights, great people, and everything was very well-organized. Earl did a great job of planning an excellent trip in which we got to visit many beautiful places (both well-known and off the beaten path) all while in the company of a small, cohesive group of like-minded travelers. I’ve traveled to 40+ countries and this trip still stands out in my mind as one of the best I’ve been on. I would highly recommend Wandering Earl tours!” – Nadia A. (USA)
“I thought you did a fantastic job. I haven’t been on a organised tour before, but I’d definitely do something like that again! Your knowledge of the place and the involvement of locals (walking guides, drivers and Codrin) was awesome – learnt a lot about the place!” – Shaun C. (New Zealand)
“I had always been hesitant to go on an organized tour; I hated the idea of being herded from one place to another without time to really see or enjoy anything. This was certainly not the case with our tour! I felt that the pace was perfect, with enough activities planned to keep our days full, but with enough free time to relax and do our own thing. Although we had a schedule to keep I never felt rushed, we always had plenty of time to explore. Earl took the time to get to know us, and went out of his way to make sure we were having a great time. I absolutely would not hesitate to go on another of Earl’s tours, and would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a wonderful travel experience.” – Patty P. (USA)