Tour 9: UNESCO Tour

8 days/7nts Tour Begins & Ends Bucharest: 2nts Brasov, 1nt Sibiel, 1nt Sighisoara, 2nts Botiza, 1nt Voronet

See the best of romanian sights which are included in the UNESCO heritages list in one tour, crossing from the south to the north. Start in Bucharest and then head to Peles Castle and Bran Castle, Brasov, Alba Iulia and Sibiu. We visit Sighisoara Citadel "€“ named also the Pearl of Transylvania, one of the very few medi eval citadels still enhabited and which is also included in UNESCO World Heritages, before dipping in Transylvania to explore the Maramures County, a northern region of Romania, the land of famous wooden churches and maramuresean gates. It is also a place where traditions are still very well preserved. Don"€™t hesitate to try local cuisine and to enjoy the hospitality of the local people. From the attraction we can specify, Merry Cemetery from Sapanta "€“ famous for its colourful tombstones with native paintings describing, and the fantastic wooden churches of Maramures( Ieud, Barsana, Botiza, Desesti).Then we"€™ll cross Carpathians Mountains through a beautiful road and we"€™ll adimre the beauty of the scenary. We"€™ll arrive in another famous region "€“ Bucovina "€“ the land of outdoor painted monasteries: Moldovita, Sucevita, Voronet, Humor. On the way to Brasov  you"€™ll see Neamt Citadel. Visit Prejmer fortified church and then discover Brasov old town including, of course, world-famous Black Church.

Day 1. ARRIVAL IN BUCHAREST- SINAIA(PELES CASTLE) - BRASOV.

Arrive Bucharest International Airport, meet our guide and depart to Brasov. You"€™ll explore today the pearl of mountain resorts in Romania, Sinaia. The main point of attraction is the royal Peles Castle. The edifice was built between 1875 and 1914 and is an architectural mixture of the German School and neo-renaissance style. The castle has 160 rooms, all of them opulently decorated in leather and wood from the most valuable tree species and it is one of the best preserved and the most beautiful royal residences in Europe. We go to Brasov for a delicious folk show dinner in one of Brasov"€™s top restaurants. Overnight Brasov.

Day 2. BRASOV - BRAN CASTLE - SIBIU-SIBIEL.

After breakfast we make a short walking  tour of the magic old center of Brasov. 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, Rope Street (the narrowest street in Central and Easthern Europe), Weaver"€™s Bastion and Ecaterina"€™s Gate are the tour highlights.

We continue the trip in Transylvania with the visit of Bran Castle, the place where Vlad the Impaler, also known as Dracula, was arrested and imprisoned. Bran Castle owes its fame to its unique charm, its history and to the myth Bram Stoker created around Dracula. Not far from here is the Horror Castle, a special treat dedicated for the strong-hearted!

For a walk on the famous Bridge of Liars you"€™ll travel to Sibiu, a city with a wonderful medieval charm, excellent views of the surrounding landscape and great food. Sibiu is one of the most important fortified villages in Transylvania, it has never been conquered. Sibiu is one of the most visited towns by tourists in Romania. It is set in a valley amongst the mountains with a beautiful setting. The historic centre itself was declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site in 2004. It is reminiscent of medieval towns in Germany such as Nuremburg. It is scheduled to be announced as the European Capital of Culture in 2007. Your private guide will take you on a walk through the historic quarter. Including the upper and lower portions of the town. The picturesque streets have kept the same appearance for the past 500 years. The stairs passage connecting the 2 levels are straight out of the middle ages. The large square is the centre of the town; see such monuments as the Council Tower (the gate to the town), Brukenthal Palace, Catholic Church, Goldsmiths Square, and other architectural monuments with well preserved medieval styles.  Overnight in Sibiel.

Day 3. SIBIU- ALBA IULIA-BIERTAN (UNESCO)-SIGHISOARA (UNESCO).

Our first tourist attraction today is the Alba Iulia fortress. 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 medi eval and modern days. In Biertan village we visit the Saxon fortified church listed on UNESCO Heritage List, the church dates from 1492 and is one of the pearl's of the Saxon monuments in Transylvania.
Drive to Sighisoara, the best preserved and still inhabited medieval citadel in Europe and a UNESCO heritage site, but probably most important for you it is Vlad Dracula's birth place! TIP: For your lunch we recommend "€˜Vlad Dracul"€™s House"€™, the very place where Dracula was born, turned today into an exquisite restaurant wherein you can find frescoes dating back to the 14th century. Overnight in Sighisoara.

Day 4. SIGHISOARA "€“ TARGU MURES "€“ DRAGOMIRESTI "€“ IEUD - BOTIZA

 After breakfast we"€™ll leave on the way to Maramures, the northern region of Romania, the land of wooden churches and well preserved traditions.

Today we"€™ll visit the wooden church from Ieud, the oldest wooden building from Europe, built in 14-een century. At Dragomiresti we"€™ll visit the Maramures Woman Museum, where you can learn about maramuresean traditions and way of live.

Dinner and accommodation in a local guesthouse from Botiza area.

Day 5. BOTIZA - BARSANA "€“ SAPANTA "€“ DESESTI - BOTIZA

Breakfast. First stop at 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. Then go to Sapanta and visit the famous Merry Cemetery, truly one of the most unique sites in Europe, and discover how a cemetery can be merry in the picturesque and traditional area of Maramures. 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 stop at the  wodden church from Desesti which is included in the UNESCO heritages.  We"€™ll return to Botiza through the area of Calinesti "€“ an area with isolated traditional villages where traditional costumes and way of life is still very well preserved. Dinner and accommodation in a local guesthouse from Botiza area.

Day 6. BOTIZA "€“ MOLDOVITA "€“ SUCEVITA- VORONE - HUMOR-GURA HUMORULUI.

After breakfast we"€™ll leave the area of Maramures and will cross the Carpatian Mountains to explore the Bucovina region "€“ the land of World famous Painted Monasteries.

Start your day with the most beautiful monastery of Bucovina, Voronet, probably the most accomplished example of Moldavian architecture and painting, known as the "€˜Sistine Chapel"€™ of the East, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fame of Vorone? is due especially to its exterior painting realized on an inimitable blue background, and known throughout the world as the "€˜blue of Voronet.
Visit Moldovita (UNESCO): dates back from 1532 and is due to the ruling prince Petru Rares
It has the aspect of a fortress, with imposing towers and high, thick walls.  You can see here the best preserved frescoes, with fresh and vivid colors.The most spectacular fresco of Moldovita is considered The Fall of Constantinople.

Visit 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,)
- Visit Humor Monastery (UNESCO) which dates from 1530. The monastery was among the first churches to be painted , the frescoes were painted in 1535. Humor is painted in reddish brown ( from oriental madder pigment), colors are brilliant and truthful to the nature.
Overnight in Gura Humorului.

Day 7. VORONET - NEAMT CITADEL - BRASOV.

After breakfast, we are going to Neamt Citadel, one of the oldest and most important medieval fortresses from Romania. The citadel was built in 14th century on a high cliff assuring a perfect defensive location. Recently restored the Neamt Citadel present to its visitors the old defensive system and an interesting medieval collection. We continue the route and depart to Brasov, an important and impressive Saxon centre, where we have dinner with wine tasting and an excellent folk show in Carpathian Stag restaurant. Overnigth in Brasov.

Day 8. BRASOV "€“ PREJMER - BUCHAREST AIRPORT.

After breakfast we"€™ll go to Prejmer fortified church, the biggest fortress of its kind from East Europe. The biggest fortified church in the Southeastern Europe built in the 14th century. The fortress has double walls and dungeons. Inside its walls there is a church, but the interesting thing here is the honeycomb like inner wall. Every family from the village had one small room for sheltering in case the village was attacked. Transfer to Bucharest airport.