The Ancient Transylvania Halloween Tour
Day 1: Wednesday, October 24th
- Arrive in Budapest and check-in at City Hotel Matyas*** situated in the heart of downtown close to the pedestrian zone and Elisabeth Bridge.
- In the afternoon (5.00 PM) join the rest of the group and start a panoramic tour of the city by bus. The highlights are: Heroes’ Square, Vajda Hunyad Castle, Andrassy Boulevard, Opera House, House of Parliament, panorama view from Gellert Hill, Castle Quarter, Matthias Church etc.
- Optional dinner at the end of the tour
- Overnight in Budapest
ACCOMMODATION: City Hotel Matyas***
Day 2: Thursday, October 25th
- Breakfast and leave early in the morning from the hotel.
- Get familiar with the history of the region where you’ll travel and find more about the most important history characters as the Hungarian kings Bela IV and Matthias Corvinus or as the famous Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Dracula). And the best place to start your lessons is the first stop: Visegrad Citadel.
- The Visegrád double castle system is one of the castles built by Béla IV recognizing the consequences of the Mongol invasion. The fortress preserved its significance until the Turkish invasions. The most interesting part of the Lower Castle is the so called Solomon Tower. The Tower was named after a false story, stating that Solomon was guarded in this Tower after loosing in the battle for the throne against King Saint Laszlo and Geza.
- The Citadel had a multifunctional role: it was protecting the valley of the Danube, it was controlling the main commerical route between Buda and Esztergom, and also served as a custom’s house. The fortress consisted of two parts. It was also the prison of Vlad’ Dracula during the time when he was the hoastage of the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus.
- After the visit we’ll continue our route. We’ll cross the Romanian Border close to the city of Satu Mare and crossing the Carpathians Mountains we’ll arrive in one of the most beautiful regions of Romania – Maramures.
- Overnight in Sighet
ACCOMMODATION: Casa Iurca Hotel**** or similar
Day 3: Friday, October 26th
ROUTING: SIGHET– SAPANTA – BARSANA - IEUD – GURA HUMORULUI
- Start to explore the Maramures County, the land of traditions and wooden churches.
- First stop at Sapanta and visit the famous Merry Cemetery, truly one of the most unique sites in Europe. It is famous for its colourful tombstones with native paintings describing, in an original and poetic manner, the persons that are buried there as well as scenes from their lives. The Merry Cemetery became an open-air museum and a national tourist attraction.
- Next we go to The Birsana church, built in 1720, listed on UNESCO Heritage List, with the florid paintings, the best in Maramures and the Barsana Monastery (UNESCO) a large monastic complex comprising of several wooden buildings, all constructed in the local style, including the wooden church. The Gate Tower is the higher wooden building from Europe.
- At Ieud we can visit the oldest wodden church made in to the 14-een century (UNESCO). Don’t miss the The Maramures’s Woman Museum from Dragomiresti, where you can learn about maramuresean traditions and way of live.
- We’ll cross the mountains to another famous region of Romania – Bucovina.
- End the day in Gura Humorului
- Overnight in Gura Humorului
ACCOMMODATION: Hilde’s Residence**** or similar
Day 4: Saturday, October 27th
ROUTING: GURA HUMORULUI- VORONET – MOLDOVITA – SUCEVITA – BORGO PASS
- Today we’ll visit some of the World famous Painted Monasteries
- Voronet Monastery (UNESCO) : founded in 1488 by Stephen the Great . It is the most accomplished sample of artistic achievement in Moldavian architecture and painting. The doors of the porch have a Renaissance framing, whereas the stone carvings of the broken arches at the doors and windows belong to the Gothic style. Voronet Monastery had been dubbed the oriental Sistine Chapel , whereas Voronet Blue , a color obtained from lapis lazuli, entered in the lexicon of art alongside Titian red and Veronese green, and to this day has yet to be reproduced by natural means.
- Moldovita (UNESCO): dates back from 1532 and it’s due to the ruling prince Petru Rares It has the aspect of a fortress, with imposing towers and high, thick walls. The church has a three-cusped plan, as well as an open porch. It Is decorated with scenes from the 16th c Moldavian life. You can see here the best preserved frescoes, with fresh and vivid colors
- Sucevita : the last and the most magnificent monastic achievement among the painted monasteries in Bucovina , looks as a real fortress, with towers, buttresses and watch roads. Built in 1581, by one bishop, it was dedicated to the Assumption in 1584. Paintings of the Sucevita monastery were best preserved both on the outside and on the inside( Ladder of Virtue, the last Judgment, the tree of Jesse,)
- We’ll end the day in Borgo Pass – the very famous place described in the Bram Stoker’s Book Dracula. You are already in Transylvania so it’s time to find more about Dracula’s Legend – the true and myth. - Overnight at Piatra Fantanele (Borgo Pass)
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Castle Dracula ***
Day 5: Sunday, October 28th
ROUTING: BORGO PASS– SIGHISOARA
- After breakfast we’ll say goodbye to Dracula’s Castle and we’ll go on the route to Sighisoara. - On the way stop at the Biertan Fortified Church, dating from XVI century and a former evangelical bishops headquarter.
- In the afternoon visit the medieval citadel of Sighisoara. Also called “The Pearl of Transylvania” the old medieval city is included on UNESCO's Word Heritage. The Old Town or the Citadel is the only one still inhabited in Europe - a lost world and still so at the present!
- In 1431, the storey house at Museum Square 6, within the shadow of the old town's Clock Tower, a women whose name is lost to posterity gave birth to a son called Vlad, who in later life earned the title of The Impaler , abroad better known as Dracula, derived from Dracul or the Devil – referring to his father Vlad Dracul, whom the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Hungary made a knight of the order of The Dargon in 1431.
- The Clock Tower, the Church on the Hill, the Scholar’s Stairs, The Monastery Church, the towers of the citadel (originally fourteen), The Shoemakers Town, the Tailor’s Tower, the Tinsmiths Tower are only a few of the marvels of this place called Sighisoara.
- Overnight in Sighisoara
ACCOMMODATION: Sighisoara Hotel *** or similar
Day 6: Monday, October 29th
ROUTING: SIGHISOARA– PREJMER – BRAN – BRASOV
- After breakfast we’ll leave Sighisoara on the route to Brasov area. The road will pass through beautiful German villages and one can admire their architecture and also couple citadels or churches which can be seen from the road as Rupea, Saschiz, Rotbav
- First stop will be at Prejmer Fortified Church, one of the best preserved of its kind in Eastern Europe. The church is modeled after churches of Jerusalem, as well as built in the style of Early Gothic churches from the Rhineland. The concept of a fortified church as it is presented in Prejmer is unique in Europe and can be seen only in Transylvania.
- Continue our route to Bran and visit the famous Bran Castle. Also called Dracula`s Castle, it is situated not far from Brasov (25 kilometres) at the entrance in the Bran - Rucar passage.
- The castle got its fame from Dracula`s legend written in 1897 by Bram Stoker and later on made into a film by Francis Ford Coppola.. The first documents about the Bran Castle appeared in 1377. Along the history, the Castle had a strategic mission being the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. First it was under the rule of the King of Hungary Sigismund of Luxemburg, of the Romanian voievodes Mircea cel Batran and Vlad Tepes and later on it came under the jurisdiction of the City of Brasov. In the XX century the castle was donated to the royal family and becamed a royal residence. The museum preserve the furniture and objects from that period.
- End the day in Brasov with a short tour of the magic medieval center of Brasov (2 hours). The city of Brasov is one of the oldest in Europe, dating from 1235. During the Middle Ages, Brasov was known as a powerful fortress surrounded by high stone walls and defended by bulwarks, towers and other small fortresses. The buildings and the streets in the historical centre still preserve a medieval note. Concil Square, Black Church, White and Black Towers, Weaver’s Bastion and Ecaterina’s Gate are the tour highlights.
- Overnight in Brasov
ACCOMMODATION: Casa Wagner Hotel*** or similar
Day 7: Tuesday, October 30th
ROUTING: BRASOV– SINAIA – SIBIU
- First stop at Sinaia and visit the Peles Castle, former summer residence of the kings of Romania, the Peles Castle is 44 kilometres far from Brasov, in Sinaia, a well-known mountain resort as well. Nowadays the Castle is one of the most important museums in Transylvania where one can admire furniture and ornamental objects, carpets, tapestry, sculptures, paintings, collections of weapons from the 15th up to the19th centuries.
- Continue your journey to Sibiu.
- Overnight in Sibiu
ACCOMMODATION: Ramada Hotel**** or similar.
Day 8: Wednesday, October 31st
ROUTING: SIBIU– ALBA IULIA - HUNEDOARA
- Start in the morning with a visit of the Old District. Sibiu is one of the most important fortified towns in Transylvania. The city is reminiscent of old European cities such as Nuremburg and it was founded in 1190 and grew to be the chief city of the Transylvanian Saxons. This amazing town, with the "Old Town" (The Big Square, the Small Square, the Ursuline Church, The Franciscan Church, The staircase Tower, the Tanners Tower, the Lier’s Bridge , the House of the Butcher’s Guild and last but not least with the amazing Bruckenthal Museum) is a gorgeous place to see.
- Then on to Alba Iulia. Having its origins back in 2nd century from Roman time, the city of Alba Iulia offers a journey through the history of Transylvania from ancient times to medieval and modern days. We’ll visit the ruins of the Roman town, the medieval fortifications, the modern fortifications made in Vauban style, the Cathoilc Cathedral – the oldest from Transylvania and the Reunion Cathedral which commemorates the Union of all Romanian provinces in a single country.
- In the afternoon arrive at Hunedoara.
- Check in the hotel and get ready for the amazing party at Hunyad’s Castle, the residence of the brave Transylvanian Governor – John Hunyad (Iancu de Hunedoara). The castle built in XV century is the biggest medieval castle from Romania and it’s also considered one of the most haunted places from Europe. Rumor has it the famous Vlad Tepes spent time here as a prisoner in the Castle
- Are you ready to spend Halloween night in a very old medieval castle? Get ready to fit in the medieval atmosphere full of mystical legends. The 15th century castle is ready to host you this night and reveal to you its history and hidden secrets.
- As soon as you’ll pass the entrance gate you’ll be in a medieval world and get ready to experience it. Remember that medieval means old customs, old music, old legends and mysticism.
- During the dinner enjoy Romanian cuisine, an outdoor barbeque as well as live medieval and Romanian folk music and dancers. The special shows of medieval knights, lights and sounds will complete the evening.
- At midnight Count Dracula will invite you to his wedding - To decline is not an option. Participate in this special show and then party all night.
- But remember, it is Halloween night and Hunyad’s Castle is one of the most haunted places from Europe, a place where nobody dare to spend the night alone. So the ghosts and spirits may join us during the night. Don’t get lost in the castle! Don’t go behind the locked doors! Don’t disturb the spirits! Otherwise…….
ACCOMMODATION: Hotel Rusca ***
Day 9: Thursday, November 1st
ROUTING: HUNEDOARA- BUDAPEST
- For those of you who survive - Breakfast in Hotel
- For those of you who do not - well.....Happy Haunting! (And please give Dracula our regards ...P.S:..No refunds! )
- Leave Hunedoara and Romania going on the route to Budapest.
- Arrive in the evening and drop-off at the hotel
-Overnight in Budapest
ACCOMMODATION: City Hotel Matyas***
Optional: 3 day tour to Serbia – Belgrade and Novi Sad cities
- Check out from the hotel.