The 2010 Romanian Rhapsody Tour

The 2010 Romanian Rhapsody Tour
Compass Travel Romania Inc

Hello ! My name is Andrei Nicolau Miclea and I am a licensed tour guide and travel agent based in Bucharest, Romania. I am a full member of the American Society of Travel Agents - ASTA. I specialize in designing and running quality private and small group tours of Romania and the surrounding countries. I have 19 years of proven experience and have collaborated with prestigious travel guide books such as Frommer's and Fodor's.

The 2010 Romanian Rhapsody Tour - especially designed for private and small groups - is probably the most complete itinerary on the market taking you to all areas of Romania: Transylvania, Maramures, Bucovina, Bucharest and offering an extension to the Black Sea and the Danube Delta. It is based on many years of personally touring Romania and it includes unique features such as visiting medieval castles, meeting with local artists, home hosted experiences, music and folklore, informal talks on various subjects as well as superior accommodations in all centrally located hotels.

New and exciting features in 2010:

1. visit a typical 1930 downtown Bucharest apartment: an authentic example of the pre war architecture and city life style

2. a guided visit to Huniady Castle in Hunedoara, Transylvania

3. an exclusively organized folklore show in Maramures

4. sample of produce in a local market

5. a traditional lunch in Bucovina

6. optional home made sausage tasting in Sighisoara, Transylvania

7. an optional extension tour of the Black Sea Coast and a private cruise into the Danube Delta

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Bucharest

Arrival to Coanda International Airport in Bucharest. Meet and greet by your professional English speaking tour guide. Transfer to your downtown Bucharest hotel. Afternoon at leisure. In the evening enjoy a Welcome Dinner and a Folklore Show.

Accommodation at Opera Hotel*** (centrally located boutique hotel). Includes: (D).

Day 2: Bucharest - Cozia - Sibiu

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. This morning take a city tour of Bucharest including the Revolution Square, the Palace of the Parliament - the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon, the Church of the Patriarchy, the Village Museum - one of the world's most interesting open air museums with century old original peasant households from all parts of Romania. Enjoy a lunch with traditional skinless sausages on the grill at the Hunchback's. Before leaving for Sibiu visit a a typical 1930 downtown Bucharest apartment: an authentic example of the prewar architecture and city life style. On route, make a short stop to the 14th century Cozia Monastery built by Prince Mircea the Old. Drive along the Olt River Canyon crossing the mountains into Transylvania. Reach Sibiu. Brief orientation tour on the way to the hotel. Overnight in Sibiu's famous Romans' Emperor Hotel, first built at the end of the 18th century. Dinner on own. Suggested is Crama Sibiul Vechi, best cellar - restaurants in town, serving Transylvanian fares.

Accommodation in Sibiu at Imparatul Romanilor Hotel****. A landmark of Sibiu’s architecture, wonderfully restored. Includes: (B), (L).

Day 3: Sibiu - Huniady (Corvin) Castle - Cluj Napoca

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Start your day with a leisurely walking tour of Sibiu, the chief city of the Transylvanian Germans. View the old surrounding defense walls and the remaining towers each belonging to a certain guild. One of the landmarks of Sibiu is the Bruckenthal Museum assembled by baron Bruckenthal, governor of Transylvania at the beginning of the 19th century and the second museum to ever open in Europe. Next is the Evangelical Cathedral completed in its actual shape in 1520, but inside there is an exquisite fresco of the Crucifixion on the north wall of the choir dating from 1445. The tour ends with the original Pharmacy Museum. Before noon depart for Hunedoara for a visit of Huniady Castle - one of the most well preserved Gothic castles of Transylvania and home to the mighty Huniady royal family. Late afternoon arrival to Cluj Napoca. Hotel check in. Accommodation at Hotel Victoria*** (located close to the Main Square). Includes: (B).

Day 4: Cluj Napoca - Baia Mare - Maramures Region

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. This morning you will have a choice between a stroll in the Botanical Gardens of Cluj or a guided tour of the Ethnographic Museum. Later drive north towards Baia Mare and reach the splendid region of Maramures (northern Transylvania). Due to the relative isolation of their land, the people of Maramures developed a particularly strong community, with a unique personality, traditions, culture, fashion and lifestyle unspoiled for centuries. Stop in the villages of Giulesti for the dowry tradition and Mara for the wonderfully carved wooden gates. Accommodation in a private house in the village of Iza. Dinner (and plum brandy) is included so that people get deeper into the local culture. Our hosts will join for dinner, this being a first hand cultural interchange.

Home stay accommodation (modern villa) or Casa Maramures in Sighet (on request) two nights. Large family home - renovated into a modern villa with all modern facilities. The location is excellent, in a small village, far away from the main street. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 5: Maramures: Iza - Sighetul Marmatiei - Sapinta Village

After breakfast, take an exclusively designed walking tour of the village of Iza including an icon-on-glass workshop, a plum brandy distillery and a typical whirlpool. Enter the new Orthodox church of the village which, in 2009, will be in the process of getting painted in fresco. Then drive to the nearby town of Sighet to mingle with the locals at the colorful fruit and vegetable market where you will have the oportunity to sample various produce. Continue to the Anti Communist Memorial - a political prison in the Communist times. The visit here provides a direct connection to Romania's most recent history. Next is the house of Nobel Prize winner, Elie Wiesel. Continue west along Tisa River (very close to the Ukrainian border) and reach the village of Sapinta world famous for its "Merry Cemetery". Here each wooden cross carries a funny epitaph about the person's life. Late in the afternoon return to Iza for dinner on an exclusively organized Maramures folklore show and accommodation. Home stay accommodation (or hotel on request). Includes: (B), (D).

Day 6: Maramures: Iza Valley - Campulung - Gura Humor (Bucovina)

Following breakfast continue exploring Maramures. Stop in the village of Rozavlea for a visit to the workshop of a famous master carver in his workshop. He represented Romania at the 1999 Smithsonian World Festival in Washington, DC. Next is the exquisite Barsana Monastery, a great example of Maramures wooden church architecture. Cross the Carpathian Mountains into the northern part of Moldavia called Bucovina. In Campulung enjoy an exclusively organized interactive egg-painting demonstration by a local artist, this being on of the local traditions of the area. You will also have the chance to admire painted eggs from all over the world. After arriving in Gura Humorului, check into the hotel. Evening at leisure. Accommodation in Gura Humorului at Hotel Passiflora**** (two nights). Includes: (B).

Day 7: Bucovina Painted Monasteries (UNESCO World Heritage Sites)

A la carte breakfast at hotel. Bucovina monasteries are gems of medieval Moldavian architecture and artistry. Begin your day with Voronet, the most famous out of all, known as the Sistine Chapel of the East and featuring one the best Last Judgment fresco in this part of the World. Next is Moldovita Monastery where the UNESCO Golden Apple Award given to the painted churches in 1975, is kept. As a cultural connection, enjoy a traditional gourmet Bucovina lunch in the picturesque village of Sucevita. Later continue to the nearby Sucevita Monastery, which is the largest of all, looking more like a mighty fortress than a monastery. The Ladder of John of Sinai is considered one of the best of the frescoes of Sucevita, rarely present in medieval Romanian art. In the village of Marginea visit the black pottery workshop - they use a technique called "oxygen reduction", there is the same technique in Mexico only! End your day with Humor Convent unique for its architecture.

Accommodation in Gura Humorului at Hotel Passiflora****. Includes: (B), (L).

Day 8: Gura Humorului - Piatra Neamt - Bicaz Gorges - Red Lake - Sighisoara

A la carte breakfast at hotel. Begin your day with a picturesque drive south to Piatra Neamt for a tour of the only wooden synagogue in Romania (dating back from the 17th century) and built half underground. Later reach Bicaz Gorges where the surroundings are dramatic. Stop over in the Gorges. Optional lunch in the resort of Lacu Rosu (restaurants here specialize in naturally grown trout). Once passing the Red Lake you are back to Transylvania. Afternoon arrival to Sighisoara - World Heritage Site and the only still inhabited medieval citadel in Europe. Accommodation in either one of the three hotels in the Upper Town. Optional dinner at the Birthplace of Vlad Dracula.

Accommodation at Hotel Sighisoara*** or Casa Wagner*** (two nights). Includes: (B).

Day 9: Sighisoara

Before starting your walking tour of old Sighisoara attend an exclusive talk on Vlad the Impaler - Dracula, what is truth and what fiction. Sighisoara is one of a kind. It was developed by the German settlers as of late 12 C. It stands on a network of tunnels and catacombs and, according to one version of the myth; this is where the Pied Piper brought the children of Hamelin after their ungrateful parents refused to pay him his due. Walking tour includes the two squares of the Citadel (Upper Town), the Scholars' Staircase, the House with Antler, the Tower with Clock (climb up for a great view), the Torture Chamber and the Weapon Museum. Sighisoara is the place where the Vlad the Impaler Dracula was born in 1431. The Birthplace is one of the main tourist attractions. The rest of the day is at leisure or drive to the fortified church of Biertan, a World Heritage Site for a visit of the former Seat of the Lutheran Bishops. Optional plum brandy and sausage tasting (22 US Dollars per person). Accommodation in Sighisoara. Includes (B).

Day 10: Sighisoara - Brasov - Dracula's Castle - Sinaia

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Leave Sighisoara in the morning. Journey south through the picturesque Transylvanian Plateau to Brasov to admire the 14C Black Church with its 4,000 pipe organ and over a hundred Anatolian prayer rugs. The attraction of the day is Bran Castle also known as Dracula Castle. The castle was built in 1377 to safeguard the trading route between Transylvania and Wallachia, enlarged and restored a few times. Late afternoon arrival to Sinaia mountain resort. Named after St. Catherine Monastery on Mount Sinai, Sinaia became the unofficial capital of the Kingdom of Romania towards the end of the 19th century. Orientation tour of the resort including a view of the famous Casino, inspired by the one in Monte Carlo. Evening at leisure.

Accommodation in Sinaia at Palace Hotel****. Includes: (B).

Day 11: Sinaia - Bucharest

Hot and cold buffet breakfast at hotel. In the morning take a guided tour of the Peles Castle and Gardens in Sinaia, the royal residence of King Charles I of Romania and known as one of the most beautiful summer royal residences in Europe. After the visit drive to Bucharest Coanda Airport for your return flight. Or take our "The Black Sea and Danube Delta extension".

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

The Price Includes:

- 8 nights at three and four star hotels

- 2 nights home stay in Maramures

- Fully insured sedan/minivan with climate control, for the entire distance

- Fuel & parking fees

- All sightseeing tours & cultural connections

- Three independent informal talks on: Vlad the Impaler - Dracula, Ceausescu and His Times, The Gypsies

- 15 meals: 10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners

- A professional English speaking tour guide (driving) to accompany you throughout

- An exclusively organized folklore show in Maramures

- An interactive egg painting demonstration in Bucovina

- Bucharest city tour, including a tour of the Palace of the Parliament

- All transfers.

The Price Excludes:

- Other meals than stated

- Alcoholic beverages

- Photo/video fees at sites and museum

- Gratuities.

Service details

  • 1349 Euro per Trip
  • Available Anytime
  • Duration: 11 Day(s)
  • From 2 to 12 people
  • Starts at Bucharest, Bucharest

Travel pro profile

  • Speaks English, French, Italian, Romanian
  • Licensed Guide