Project Description

Dracula Long Tour


We recommend you an extensive tour that offers a perspective on Romania’s rich history and vibrant culture, offering a mix of dynamic activities, visits to natural parks, mountain experiences, and cave discoveries. Immerse yourself in the legend of Dracula as you explore key locations tied to this captivating story, including Poienari Fortress in Argeș Valley, Bran Castle, Sighișoara City, and the Old Royal Court in Bucharest. Delve into the enchanting world of Transylvania, uncovering the secrets of people’s happiness and their harmonious connection with nature and time, the harmony about which King Charles III speaks with such great passion.

For this long tour, we recommend an 8-day schedule to inspire you to discover authentic Romania. It would be advisable to rent a car so you can easily reach locations and don’t depend on the public transportation.

  • DAY 1

On your first day, begin your tour by exploring the fascinating palaces in Bucharest, often referred to as the “Little Paris.” Visit key attractions such as the Old City Centre, the National Museum of Art of Romania, the Romanian Athenaeum, and The Palace of Parliament. These landmarks stand out for their impressive architecture and rich history. Additionally, take the time to wander through vibrant terraces, providing a glimpse into the lively and Latin spirit of the Romanian people.

IN THE MORNING – After a brief car tour in Bucharest, consider heading to the central area for a meal at the largest green terrace. This unique spot stands out for its traditional elements and provides a peaceful and vibrant oasis to visitors. During autumn, traditional cooking in large pots is a highlight, reminiscent of the practices in Romanian villages of old. The atmosphere is lively and optimistic, making it an ideal starting point for your journey in Romania.

On the next phase of your journey, immerse yourself in Romanian culture and history with a visit to the National Museum of Art of Romania. Housed in an old royal palace, this national gallery provides valuable insights into Romania’s heritage.

For accommodation, we recommend the Cișmigiu Hotel. Along the way, make stops at three significant sites like the Romanian Athenaeum which is a symbol of Bucharest. This building, with its eclectic and neoclassical architecture, was constructed between 1886 and 1888. It is now the headquarters of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic Orchestra and hosts the “George Enescu” Classical Music Festival and Competition every two years. Memorial of Rebirth is another landmark worth visiting. Situated in Revolution Square, this monumental ensemble was built in 2005 to commemorate the victims of the Romanian Revolution in 1989. It includes The Silence Square, The Wall of Memory, The Pyramid of Victory, and The Path of Victory. Next on the list is Kretzulescu Church. Built in the Brancoveanu architectural style between 1720 and 1722, this church features red bricks on the outside.

The Cismigiu Hotel, one of Bucharest’s oldest hotels with a rich history, is a symbol of elegance, gentility, and good taste. Originally built in 1912 and later rebuilt in 2012, it evokes the charm of Little Paris and is intricately connected to key figures and events that have shaped Bucharest’s history.

AT NOON – For lunch, take a stroll to The Old City Centre, where you’ll encounter the famous Lipscani Street, now a vibrant pedestrian area with lively terraces. Along the way, you will pass by notable landmarks such as C.E.C Palace, the headquarters of the National Savings Bank C.E.C. The palace is an old building designed by French architect Paul Gottereau and completed in 1900. It impresses by its glass dome built on metallic structure and by its architectural style, which reminds of that of Paris.

You can also see from the outside the Palace of the National Bank of Romania. The old edifice of the National Bank of Romania was built by Albert Galleron and Cassien Bernard, both former students of Charles Garnier, the famous Garnier Opera House architect. The National Bank of Romania was founded in 1880, before the one of Japan.

Consider having lunch at Crama Domnească, a traditional restaurant situated in Vlad Țepeș’s cellars from Bucharest. After lunch, visit the Old Royal Court, an architectural compound built by Mircea cel Bătrân in the late 14th century and modified by the rulers who had followed his reign, including Vlad Țepeș (Dracula) the one who had made ample changes.

In the afternoon, embark on a car tour of Bucharest, catching glimpses of landmarks like The Palace of Parliament, The Arch of Triumph, George Enescu Memorial House, and Herăstrău Park—the city’s largest park.

IN THE EVENING – For dinner, we recommend Carul cu Bere Restaurant (Beer Wagon Restaurant) located in the Old City Centre. In the evening, this historic area comes alive with people seeking entertainment. During the summer, the terraces are bustling every night with cheerful and lively people. Carul cu Bere exudes a vibrant atmosphere, featuring an orchestra playing traditional music. The architecture of the place dates back to the bohemian Bucharest of the interwar period, reminiscent of the enchanting Little Paris.

  •  DAY 2

The first day away from Bucharest promises to be one of the most beautiful on this journey. Explore Peleș Castle, take in the breathtaking views of the Bucegi plateau, and have your first encounter with the renowned Dracula’s Castle (Bran Castle). The day will be a perfect blend of mountain landscapes, nature, and cultural landmarks that will surely leave a lasting impression.

MORNING – Have breakfast at Cismigiu Hotel.

After breakfast, the journey takes you to Sinaia, passing through Ploiești. The landscape is breathtaking, offering clear views of the Carpathian Mountains to the north, forming a massive wall.

Your first stop is The Hunting Museum Posada, located in Posada Castle. The museum covers the theme of hunting from its prehistoric beginnings to the present day, featuring an impressive collection of 2400 trophies.

Next on the itinerary is Peles Castle, the summer residence of Romanian kings. A symbol of Romania’s monarchic past, it was commissioned by King Carol I and designed by architects Johannes Schultz, Carol Benesch, and Karel Liman. Decorated by renowned artists such as J. D. Heymann, August Bembé, and Bernhard Ludwig, Peles Castle is a unique and historically significant monument from the second half of the 19th century in Europe.

Adjacent to Peles Castle, visit Pelisor Castle, a smaller palace built in the Prahova Valley. Constructed between 1899 and 1902 by Czech architect Karel Liman and adorned by Viennese artist Bernhard Ludwig, Pelișor Castle served as the summer residence for Romania’s heir princes since 1903.

AT NOON – Have lunch in Sinaia.

After lunch, take a cable car to reach the Bucegi plateau. The cable car journey starts from Busteni City and takes you to Babele Chalet, located at an altitude of 2000 meters. Here, you can witness the remarkable limestone formations known as The Sphinx and Babele. Depending on the weather conditions, there is an alternative option to ascend by cable car from Sinaia to Cota 2000 without visiting The Sphinx and Babele. Both areas provide breathtaking views of the Prahova Valley and the valleys within the Bucegi Mountains.

IN THE EVENING – begin your evening with a visit to the surroundings of Bran Castle. Take in the local atmosphere, and we recommend planning your visit to the castle for the next day.

For accommodation, we suggest Măgura Village, located in the foothills of Piatra Craiului, in the Rucăr-Bran Corridor. The village provides stunning views of the Bucegi Mountains and the Rucăr-Bran Corridor. Notably, this area harbors old traditional households where time seems to have stood still.

  • DAY 3

A visit to Bran Castle and Râșnov (Rasnov)  Medieval Fortress will remind you on this third day of your journey in Romania of the medieval past days. The natural areas, the villages below Piatra Craiului, the bear reservation and the cave from Râșnov (Rasnov) will highlight the ancestral connection between nature and local people. This day will end most richly with an evening spent in Brasov, a city remarkable for its atmosphere.

IN THE MORNING – After breakfast in the mountain’s enchanting landscape, your journey continues to Zarnesti.

In Zarnesti, explore the bear reservation at Libearty Sanctuary. Spanning 69 hectares in a specially arranged natural area, this sanctuary is home to 70 bears. Visitors can observe brown bears that come from various zoos or other captivity environments. The unique aspect of this place is its proximity, allowing you to witness bears living in their habitat.

Following that, visit Bran Castle, the castle associated with Vlad Tepes and the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s iconic character, Dracula. You can read more about this visit here.

AT NOON – Indulge in a traditional lunch in the fairy-tale land of Dracula, offering you the chance to savor authentic dishes and drinks.

Your next stop will be at Rasnov Fortress, an impressive structure located in the town of the same name. Built during the medieval period, Rasnov Citadel stands as one of the best-preserved fortified ensembles in Transylvania. Some of the oldest structures, preserved to this day, date back to the 14th century and are likely situated on the original wooden fortification erected by the Teutonic Knights in the early 13th century. The citadel, with its vast walls, commands a dominating presence over the valley, and within those walls, you’ll find well-preserved buildings. Numerous events and legends are intertwined with the history of this medieval fortress.

Next, venture into the underground and explore Valea Cetatii Cave, located on the road connecting Rasnov and Poiana Brasov. The cave’s “Great Hall” is a spectacle, with a height exceeding 20 meters and a surface area of about 2500 square meters. Numerous secondary galleries of various sizes branch off from this impressive hall, while the cave’s walls are adorned with calcite formations.

Your journey then proceeds to Brasov. From there, ascend to Poiana Brasov, one of Romania’s most popular ski resorts, to reach a vantage point above Brasov. The road linking the resort to the city provides a breathtaking view of the picturesque urban landscape.

IN THE EVENING – Head to Brasov, a city that exudes glamour, especially in the summer. The old center is bustling with cheerful individuals enjoying the numerous terraces. The surrounding mountains provide a watchful presence over the city, creating a mountain town atmosphere that prevails in every season.

Before dinner, allocate some time to explore key attractions, including the Black Church and its surroundings, the Council Square, and Rope Street – acknowledged as the narrowest street in Central Europe. These sites offer a glimpse into Brasov’s rich history and vibrant ambiance.

  • DAY 4

A day filled with fortresses and fortified churches in Transylvania, bearing witness to the challenges faced during medieval times. Visit in this order: Rupea, Hoghiz, Viscri, and Sighisoara. Each destination presents unique approaches to construction, showcasing the common imperative to safeguard community wealth during tumultuous periods.

IN THE MORNING – head towards Sighisoara. Despite the short distance, the trip is punctuated with numerous stops, allowing you to savor the richness of Transylvania.

The first stop brings you to Rupea. Archaeological findings indicate that Rupea Fortress is among the oldest vestiges in the Romanian territory, with human settlements dating back to the Palaeolithic and early Neolithic periods (5,500 – 3,500 BC). Documented since 1324, the fortress served both as a fortification and refuge for those residing in the nearby hills and valleys. Its strategic location at the junction of roads connecting Transylvania, Moldavia, and Wallachia through south-eastern passages underscores its historical significance. As you explore the fortress, you can sense the medieval spirit and relive the times when towns and villages faced the threat of enemy armies.

Continue your journey through the hidden roads of Transylvania, weaving through fields and hills until you reach Viscri. Nestled among the hills, Viscri is a picturesque Saxon village with vibrantly colored houses, seemingly untouched by time. Explore the Viscri Fortified Church, a testament to the village’s rich history.

Constructed in the 13th century on the ruins of an ancient Roman basilica, the Viscri Fortified Evangelical Church has been part of UNESCO World Heritage since 1999. Originally built by the Székelys and later adopted by the Saxons, the church underwent fortification in the 15th century, acquiring towers, bastions, and two defensive walls. The well-preserved church offers a captivating experience—climb its tower for panoramic views of the village and the peasants’ lands.

The scent of ancient walls, the dust on the citadel’s structures, the creaking wood underfoot, and the church gracefully weathered by time transport you to a bygone era. Viscri isn’t merely a Saxon peasant fortress housing a Romanesque hall church from the 13th century; it is a living testament to a traditional world, brimming with charm and mystery.

AT NOON – consider having lunch in another charming Saxon village, savoring traditional dishes while immersing yourself in the magical tales woven into Transylvania’s landscapes.

Continue your exploration through the picturesque countryside, meandering among tall willows and rolling hills until you reach Saschiz. This ancient village, once a contender with Sighisoara, reveals a treasure trove of beautifully preserved Saxon houses. The fortified church in Saschiz captivates visitors with its imposing structure and towering clock tower. Perched on a hill overlooking the village, the ruins of the Saschiz Peasant Fortress tell tales of times long past.

IN THE EVENING – As the day draws to a close, you will find yourself in Sighisoara, often referred to as Transylvania’s fairytale and carnival city. Your accommodation for the night might be in Sighisoara, allowing you to immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of this historic city for the remainder of the evening.

  • DAY 5

 Trips in Transylvania. This day will also be full of trips to Transylvania’s wonders. In the first part of the day visit Sighisoara and after lunch, go to Biertan (a Saxon village where time has patience and where you are going to visit another fortified church). The day will end in Sibiu, the European Capital of Culture in 2007.

IN THE MORNING – begin the fifth day with a visit to Sighisoara, a truly unique settlement that stands as one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe. This ancient city’s roots trace back to a time long before the Romans, with archaeological evidence suggesting its existence over 2000 years ago.

While in Sighisoara, visit Vlad Dracul’s House. This historical building, dating back to the 14th-15th centuries, was the residence of Vlad Tepes (Dracula)’s father, Vlad Dracul. Covered Staircase, constructed in 1662, this covered staircase was designed to facilitate access for scholars to the School on the Hill. The Clock Tower is another landmark in Sighisoara to visit. Serving as a focal point, the Clock Tower is a significant attraction in the city. Built for citadel defense, it stands at 64 meters with five levels and is open to visitors, offering a unique panoramic view of the citadel, new townhouses, and surrounding hills.

Additionally, explore the Tin Coaters Tower, the School on the Hill, and the Church on the Hill during your visit.

AT NOON – enjoy lunch at one of the citadel’s restaurants to soak in the charm of the place.

After lunch, head to Biertan, an ancient Saxon settlement featuring a fortified church and traditional Saxon houses. The village, characterized by sizable Saxon houses painted in vibrant colors, is arranged around the fortified church. Biertan is among the earliest Saxon settlements in Transylvania.

Initially mentioned in 1283, along with Medias and Mosna, Biertan competed fiercely for the title of the administrative center of the region. By 1397, it was certified as a town. Reflecting the German urban style, the town’s layout includes rows of houses surrounding a central square, dominated by the impressive fortress church. Blending Gothic and Renaissance styles, the church is defended by three enclosure walls with medieval towers and bastions. The original church, St. Mary, was likely raised in the 12th century, while the current church was built between 1486 and 1524 in a late Gothic style.

The road continues towards Sibiu on the narrow streets which cross the unknown Transylvania.

IN THE EVENING – spend the evening in Sibiu, a city full of charm. The German atmosphere, influenced architecture, local customs, and distinctive accents in language create a unique and special experience, making you feel like you are in an entirely different place.

  • DAY 6

On this day you will explore Sibiu and Fagaras Region, both guarded from a distance by Fagaras Massif which stretches towering to the south. A tour organized late in the spring, in the summer, or early in the autumn will take you on Transfăgărășan beyond Fagaras Mountains. This road reaches a height of 2000 meters at Balea Lake. During winter, the road is closed due to massive amounts of snow, so to reach Curtea de Arges, you have to take Olt Valley. The day ends in the town of Curtea de Argeș, the first capital of Wallachia.

IN THE MORNING – after breakfast, begin your exploration of Sibiu with a tour to see the city’s main attractions: The Evangelical Church, The Stairs Passage, Liars Bridge, The Council Tower, and The Big Square.

Sibiu, also known as Hermannstadt in German, serves as the county capital and the largest city in Sibiu County. With a population of around 150,000 inhabitants, Sibiu is a significant cultural and economic center in southern Transylvania. The city’s charm is characterized by its German influences evident in the architecture, residents, and the scenic backdrop of the Fagaras Mountains to the south.

While in Sibiu, make sure to visit the Astra Museum, offering a glimpse into Romanian village life from the last century. Preserved old houses and households provide insight into the village lifestyle, accompanied by information about rural life. The museum also features an ethnographic collection showcasing the most representative elements of Romanian culture, differentiating it from other nations and highlighting the unique aspects of this heritage.

It is time to set off to the Fagaras Mountains.

AT NOON – enjoy a traditional lunch featuring dishes specific to the region. The journey continues to Balea Lake, passing through Balea Waterfall, a small resort situated at the base of the slope. This resort serves as the starting point for the cable car that ascends to Balea Lake. The road to Balea Lake traverses steep areas with numerous switchbacks, offering stunning views of a mountain landscape sculpted by glacier cycles.

Upon reaching Balea Lake, you’ll be captivated by the sight of the glacial lake, surrounded by chalets and bordered to the south by towering slopes. The mountain ambiance, hikers clad in outdoor gear, crisp cold air, rustic wooden chalets, and the rocky terrain all contribute to the vibrant atmosphere of this scenic location.

After passing through a 1 km long tunnel, you enter the southern region of Fagaras Mountains, unveiling a breathtaking landscape. Steep slopes, sharp ridges, and a road winding through a glacial circus will leave a lasting impression. The journey proceeds to a chalet at an altitude of 1000 meters, where you can spend the evening. Enjoy a campfire, soak in the mountain atmosphere with songs, and relish a cheerful mood.

*** In case the Transfagarasan road is closed (typically in winter, early spring, and late autumn due to avalanche risk), an alternative route via Sibiu – Ramnicu Valcea – Curtea de Arges should be chosen. While Balea Lake and Balea Waterfall resorts may not be accessible, you can explore Cozia Monastery and the town of Calimanesti along this route.

IN THE EVENING – Stay overnight in a high-altitude mountain chalet to immerse yourself in the full mountain experience, complete with a campfire and traditional music.

  • DAY 7

 Down Arges River – During this day see Vidraru Lake and Dam, climb to Dracula’s Fortress and finally, reach Curtea de Arges, the first capital town of Wallachia.

IN THE MORNING – After breakfast, head towards Vidraru Lake. The road will guide you through dense fir tree forests until you reach the end of the lake and Vidraru Dam. The landscape is truly unique, with towering snow-covered mountains to the north. Vidraru Lake commands attention, stretching for 10 km and reaching a depth of 150 meters near the dam. The magnificent Vidraru Dam was constructed over five and a half years, beginning in 1960. The ambitious project involved the excavation of 42 km of tunnel, the removal of 1,768,000 cubic meters of rock (with about 1 million done underground), the casting of 930,000 cubic meters of concrete (with 400,000 in the underground), and the installation of 6,300 tons of electromechanical equipment.

The journey continues to Dracula’s Castle. After ascending approximately 1,500 steps from the main road, you will reach the renowned fortress perched on the highest cliff overlooking Arges Valley. Vlad Tepes constructed this fortress on a mountain peak, serving as a refuge or observation point at an elevation of around 400 meters above the valley. From this vantage point, you can enjoy breathtaking views of Arges Valley. According to legend, Vlad Tepes, pursued by the Turks, sought refuge in this fortress after having his horses shod with horseshoes placed backward, confusing his pursuers.

Continue your journey to Curtea de Arges where you can have lunch.

AT NOON – After lunch, visit the town of Curtea de Arges. Here you will see Curtea de Arges Monastery, The Royal Court with the Royal Church and Norocea House.

Curtea de Arges Monastery, constructed by Neagoe Basarab between 1512 and 1521, stands as a masterpiece of ecclesiastical art and architecture in the region and holds significant importance in Romania. This landmark is linked to the Myth of Creation, with a legend suggesting that Master Manole, the builder of this legendary church, sacrificed his wife by bricking her alive in the church’s walls to complete his masterpiece.

The Royal Church in Curtea de Arges, founded by Basarab I (1310-1352) and completed in 1352 within the 13th-century royal residence, is a Greek cross-shaped monument of a complex type. It stands as one of the most representative monuments of medieval Romanian architecture, also being the oldest princely foundation in Wallachia.

Norocea House, a distinctive residence in Curtea de Argeș, was built between 1922 and 1923 by Dumitru Norocea, a painter and restorer of the Royal Church’s frescoes. Today, the building houses the Ethnography section of the City Museum, featuring an exhibition on the upper floor with paintings and objects that once belonged to him.

IN THE EVENING – In the evening, return to Bucharest and check in again at Cismigiu Hotel. Enjoy dinner at one of the terraces in the bustling city.

  • DAY 8

On this day, organize your schedule based on your departure time. You can opt for a shopping session or visit sights such as the People’s House (The Palace of Parliament).