Romania and neighboring Bulgaria are perfect for travelers who have already discovered the allure of Prague and Budapest and long for more of Eastern Europe’s ‘Old World’ charm, with ancient civilizations and storybook castles. Both of these scenic, less-visited, and very affordable nations on the Danube offer an opportunity to explore some of the remaining few "frontiers" of Europe. Pristine country sides are dotted with quaint villages, in which cultural traditions and lifestyles have been preserved for centuries.
Romania, one of the largest countries in Eastern Europe, is a land of amazing diversity, with 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites -- as many as China and India. Its numerous monasteries, castles and fortresses, including the stunning and exquisitely decorated Peles Castle in Sinaia, are on par with Europe’s most renowned architectural treasures and illustrate the country's medieval heritage. In compelling contrast are the quaint villages and traditional crafts and lifestyles you’ll find in northern Romania, offering visitors a glimpse at another slice of Eastern Europe’s history.
Every visitor to Romania must spend some time in the northeast to visit the incredible painted monasteries of Bucovina. These treasures, deemed UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are some of the greatest artistic monuments in Europe. The exteriors of the monasteries are lavishly decorated with amazingly well-preserved and vibrant frescoes of the 15th - 16th century, hardly to be found anywhere else in the world and a delight for lovers of architecture and folk art. For nature lovers, there is the Danube Delta, one of the most amazing wetlands in the world. Recognized by UNESCO as a Natural Heritage site, it is the world's third most biologically diverse area after Australia's Great Coral Reef and the Galapagos Islands and is home to more than 300 bird species and some 160 kinds of freshwater and saltwater fish.
Transylvania, the legendary "Land beyond the Forest," evokes the legacy of Count Dracula. It also features nine centuries of cultural and architectural Saxon heritage, as well as some of Europe's best-preserved medieval towns including Sibiu, Biertran, Brasov and Sighisoara, the birthplace of the Vlad Dracula. Here you’ll find the fanciful and imposing Bran Castle, popularly known as Dracula Castle. Train buffs shouldn't miss a journey aboard the deluxe Danube Express, which offers a Transylvanian itinerary from Budapest to Istanbul and includes travel through Romania and Bulgaria. This four-day journey offers a unique approach to exploring some of Eastern Europe's most extraordinary sites from the comfort of a private train. Visits include Transylvania and two of Bulgaria's most scenic and quaint areas - Veliko Turnovo and Kazanlak.
Romania's diversity makes it an excellent destination for a seven to ten day venture and is especially appealing to travelers with a keen interest in history and culture. Please contact our Elegant Journeys team to discuss your own customized trip to Romania, recommended in conjunction with a visit to Bulgaria.