Bucharest & Beyond:

Painted Monasteries & Fortress Towns

Our comprehensive tour takes you to some of the most important UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Romania.  Explore Transylvania’s medieval fortress cities of Brasov, Sighisoara and Sibiu and tour  historic Castle Bran and Peles Castle.   Drive through breathtaking scenery to Bucovina, a remote region dotted with charming villages still unaffected by the rush of modern life, and marvel at the historic painted monasteries of Voronet, Humor, Sucevita and Moldovita. Tour the major highlights of Bucharest, affectionately called “Little Paris.

Our Tour Features

  • 10 nights at deluxe, superior and moderate first-class hotels
  • Porterage of 1 suitcase per person at hotels.
  • Buffet breakfasts daily
  • 8 Dinners with beverages at traditional local restaurants
  • Welcome dinner at a top restaurant
  • Farewell dinner with sophisticated entertainment at a top Bucharest restaurant
  • 2 Special lunches with beverages as indicated
  • All entrance fees
  • English-speaking Professional Guide throughout the tour
  • Transportation by air-conditioned car, 7-seater or 14-seater minivan or other appropriate vehicle
  • Individual arrival and departure transfers

Dates 2015

June 19-29 *  Jul 17-27  *  Aug 14-24   *   Sep 18-28

Price per Person in Twin $2,780
Single Room Supplement $545

Day 1 Fri – Arrival Bucharest
Individual arrivals at Bucharest Otopeni airport.  Meeting and transfer to Hotel Intercontinental, in the city center. Welcome Dinner.

Day 2 Sat – Bucharest’s Treasures and Traditions
Our city tour takes us past the Opera House, the Triumphal Arch and to Revolution Square which played an important part in recent history. We visit the Palace of Parliament, world’s second largest building after the Pentagon (!) and the open-air Village Museum, with wonderful examples of Romanian architectural styles.  We tour the award-winning Peasant Museum, with its collections of colorful costumes, textiles and ceramics, and view the dazzling National Treasury at the History Museum.  (B, D)

Day 3 SunOld Bucharest * Cotroceni Palace
We tour some of the former medieval Old Princely Court area and visit 18th century Stravropoleos Church, stopping to admire Manuc’s Inn, one of the most beautiful examples of Wallachian architecture. In the afternoon, we tour Cotroceni Palace, once home of Romania’s Royal Family, with lavish furnishings, art and many personal effects of the former royals. (B, D)

Day 4  Mon – Bucharest * Piatra Neamt
We leave Bucharest and drive to the region of Bucovina, a charming area of northern Moldova, and a region of beech forests, whitewashed villages, horse-drawn carts, vineyards and the world-renowned painted monasteries.  We stop at the famous vineyards at Panciu for a wine tasting and lunch. We continue to Piatra Neamt arriving in the late afternoon. We check in for two nights at the Hotel Central Plaza. (B, L, D)

Day 5 TueThe Painted Monasteries  
We visit the spectacular monasteries of  Bucovina: Voronet Monastery, called the “Sistine Chapel” of Eastern Europe, famous for the blue color used by the artist as background for its frescoes; Humor Monastery with the best preserved interior frescoes; Sucevita Monastery, the best preserved of all, with imposing walls and defensive towers and the award-winning Moldovita Monastery. We will stop at quaint villages and enjoy lunch on our own in one of them. We return to Piatra Neamt. (B, D)

Day 6 Wed – Piatra Neamt *  Brasov
We leave enchanting Bucovina and drive south, through the impressive Bicaz Gorges, and along the scenic Red Lake, into the heart of legendary Transylvania,“the land beyond the forests”, to Brasov, fairy-tale town founded in the 12th century by the Saxon settlers. We enjoy a walking tour of the historic center with a medieval atmosphere preserved by its multitude of ancient buildings. We spend two nights at the Aro Palace Hotel(B, D)

Day 7 ThuBrasov* Prejmer * Castle Bran * Brasov  
We tour the highlights of Brasov: its Gothic Black Church, largest of its kind in Southeastern Europe, with a name that belies a stark white interior housing a colorful collection of Turkish carpets and a 4000-pipe organ; St. Nicolae Church and the First Romanian School Museum with a special guided tour and talk. We continue to Prejmer to visit its Saxon Fortress Church before continuing to Bran for a comprehensive tour of 14th century Bran Castle, built to protect the old border between Transylvania and Wallachia.  We return to Brasov.  (B, D)

Day 8 Fri – Brasov * Biertan * Sighisoara * Sibiu
We drive Biertan to visit its remarkable Fortress before reaching Sighisoara, one of the largest, best preserved medieval towns in Europe.  We enjoy a walk through the cobbled streets, with visits of the Clock Tower’s Armor and Torture Rooms.  We view the impressive Church on the Hill, reached by the covered wooden Students’ Passage and stop at the plaque that marks the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, more commonly known as Count Dracula.  We continue to Sibiu for two nights at the Ramada Hotel. (B, D)

Day 9 Sat – Sibiu * Sibiel * Sibiu
We drive to the village of Sibiel for a carriage ride and visit its famous Icons Painted on Glass Museum and the village church.  After savoring a traditional lunch at a local working farm, we return to Sibiu for a walking tour and visits of the Bruckenthal Museum, Romania’s oldest art museum, and its Gothic Evangelical Cathedral.  (B, L, D)

Day 10 SunSibiu * Sinaia * Bucharest
We drive to Sinaia, favorite ski resort of the Romanian Royals, for a tour of Peles Castle, with a Bavarian chalet-like façade.  We tour the best of its more than 160 rooms and admire the lavish interiors and precious art of all kinds. We stop at 17th century Sinaia Monastery to view some of its fine frescoes, before driving through the scenic Prahova Valley to Bucharest.  We check in at Hotel Intercontinental.  This evening we enjoy our Farewell Dinner at a top restaurant. (B, D)

Day 11 Mon – Departure
After breakfast, individual transfers will be provided for departure flights.  (B)