Some of the Many Faces of Romania

Grand Tour of Romania

Fifteen days of romantic discovery start with your flight into Constanta, focal point of Romania's Black Sea Riviera. A two night stop gives the time to visit the city, including the Archaeology Museum with its fine Roman statues, and to sample the fish specialities in the restaurants.

On your third day take the express train to Bucharest for sightseeing and the famous Village Museum. From Bucharest (Day 4) drive to view the art and historical treasures at Curtea de Arges, feudal power base of Wallachian princes.

Overnight there or at Pitesti and then on into legendary Transylvania, visiting fortified houses and the 17th century monastery of Horezu, on the way to the medieval city of Sibiu.

On Day 6 see Sibiu's Art Museum, driving on to the glass icons at Sibiel, and the citadel of Alba Iulia, en route to Cluj-Napoca.

Day 7 launches a tour of remote Maramures and its attractive town of Sighetu Marmatiei, where folklore is a living tradition. See the "merry cemetery" of Sapanta. Overnight at Baia Mare. Next day visit the famous wooden churches, Surdesti, Ieud Din Deal, and the "decorated" village of Ciocanesti en route to Tihuta.

Day 9 is devoted to the "Painted Monasteries" of Bucovina; Moldovita, Sucevita, Voronet, Humor and Arbore Church with their 16th century Byzantine-style frescoes. Overnight at Suceava, where you sample Moldavian wines. Then on to Targu Neamt for the monastery and fortress.

Overnight at Piatra Neamt and on Day 11 enjoy the spectacular Bicaz Gorges and Lacu Rosu, finishing an exciting drive at the mountain resort of Poiana Brasov.

During Days 12 and 13 you see the art treasure of medieval Brasov and Peles Castle, before departing for Tulcea, gateway to the Danube Delta.

Your last day could be the most memorable, cruising in the water-wilderness of this 5,640 sq km (2,200 sq mile) reservation of the Biosphere, sanctuary to over 300 species of birds, from pelicans to vultures.

Day 15 returns to Constanta and your flight home.



Dracula Tour

Arrive at the capital, Bucharest, founded in 1459 by Prince Vlad the Impaler, the grisly inspiration for the fictional vampire "Dracula".

Day 2 begins in the vaulted cellar under the ruins of his Palace and continues in the Treasury vaults to see the magnificent gold and gems of Romanian rulers. Lunch at Lake Snagov by the towered Monastery of 1408. On to Sinaia for an overnight stop.

On Day 3 you tour the 19th century royal residence of Peles Castle and traverse the mountains to the forbiding feudal castle of Bran, built in 1377 and associated with Dracula. Overnight in Brasov.

Day 4 takes you deep into Transylvania, Dracula's heartland. Lunch at the house where he is thought to have been born in the marvellously preserved 15th century town of Sighisoara.

Next day sees a wine tasting at Lesinta, Dracula's vineyard, and lunch at the Golden Crown hotel Bistrita, made famous by Bran Stoker's Book. Stay overnight for the high point on Day 6 of sleeping, if you can, at Dracula's remote castle in the Tihuta Pass and visiting a witch's house. Bring your own sedatives!

The Magic Mountain of Ceahlau in Moldavia is the destination of day 7, driving along the Bistrita valley that features in the novel.

Overnight in the mountain resort of Durau before returning to Bucharest for a farewell dinner with the Transylvania Society of Dracula, which devised this itinerary. You might be invited to join the Society (tel. Bucharest 6795742)