Tour 13 Following the tracks of Dracula

4 days Tour Begins & Ends Bucharest: 3nts Brasov

Highlights: Bucharest, Curtea de Arges, Poienari Castle, Cozia Monastery, Olt River Valley, Brasov, Viscri, Sighisoara, Biertan, Bran Castle, Peles Castle, Rasnov Fortress, Snagov Monastery

Tour theme: History & Culture Tours      

 Validity: all year

This escorted tour takes you to some of the Romania’s most exciting locations. After we leave Bucharest you’ll make the first leg of your  journey in Curtea de Arger, the former capital of Valachia. Next up you’ll head to Poienari Castle, the proper castle of Vlad the Impaler,  before making your way to Brasov. With a stay of three nights in Brasov town you’ll get to see many its  museums and grand monuments. We also travel to see the birthplaice of Vlad, Sighisoara Citadel, Bran Castle and Peles Castle, the summer residence of former royal family. Heading back up south to return to Bucharest, you’ll stop off en route to see Snagov Monastery, the place where the legend says that the prince is buried.

Day 1. BUCHAREST – CURTEA DE ARGES – POIENARI CASTLE - COZIA MOANASTERY  – BRASOV.

We leave the Bucharest skyline behind and drive northwest towards Curtea de Arges. Upon arrival in the former capital of Valachia, we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Curtea de Arges Monastery and discover the legend of craftsman Manole who had  trapped his wife inside the walls to be sure that the construction will last. We will see its Princely Church and its frescoed interior which is one of the first examples of Romanian paintings. The Episcopal Church (the monastery) was restored between 1875 – 1885 over  the original built in 1512 -1517 by prince Neagoe Basarab ,one of the wisest rulers of the country.

We continue our journey and we reach the  Poienari Castle that was  build by  using people who survived a massacre ordered by Vlad the Impaler as a revenge for their murdering of his father. Standing on a high cliff, Poienari Castle doesn't allow to be visited until we climb 1480 steps .We can see the tower that was the  Vlad"€™s headquarter and from where his wife had thrown herself out of the window saying she rather preferred to drown and be eaten by the fish in Arges river than  to get into the hands of Turks as a hostage, who were besieging the castle. Vlad himself have escaped after he put the horseshoes backwards on his horse!

The next stop is Cozia Monastery, wich is the most visited monastery in Romania, a masterpiece of architecture. Cozia monastery lives and will endure in the history of the Romanian people both through its artistic and spiritual significance and by its age. End of the day in Brasov. Overnight in Brasov.

Day 2. BRASOV – VISCRI -BIERTAN- SIGHISOARA - BRASOV.

We continue our trip on the road that was once followed by merchants and knights and  we arrive in Sighisoara, one of the few citadels still inhabited in the world. From Hermann Oberth Square we enter into Sighisoara citadel  trough the main gate located under the Clock Tower wich is 64 m height, has for levels and is hosting the History Museum. But the main reason to visit it is the balcony from where you have an amazing 360 panorama. Few steps away is  Medieval Weapons Museum and the  Torture Chamber that we will visit also. Walking around the narrow streets we can admire, under the shadow of the old Clock Tower, the house where an uknown  women gave birth to a child ,Vlad, who will become  famous all over the world as Dracula.

These streets, which also ignores the straight line and the horizontal plane, hide and reveal, at each step in an elaborate, but urban natural scenery, medieval paintings that delight the eye and incites the imagination. Unmistakable charm and personality of the city were built in time by harmonizing the successive deposits of history. Near the  Museum Square is the Church of Dominican Monastery, dated 13 th century, wich still has the original baroc altar toghether with a splendid colection of oriental carpets from 16 th and 17 th centuries, rare sculptures and religios paintings. Inside the Citadel Square, wich was the place of trials and ruthless death sentences and executions,  we enjoy the architecture of the buildings that House with Stag in particular stands out.

Inside the citadel every year in july takes place the Medieval Sighisoara Festival, a good reason for people from all over the world to come and enjoy the party. Walking along the wall that surrounds the Sighisoara citadel we admire the five centuries old houses along with the towers erected by various guilds of the citadel, from wich the Shoemakers, Tailors  and Tinmakers Guilds towers are the most impressive. We visit the Church from the Hill but not before climbing the 175 covered steps wich was built in 1642 in order to make easier access for the schoolchildrens. From this highest point of Sighisoara citadel you have the view of whole citadel , so don't forget your camera!

We visit Viscri and Biertan Fortified Churches.

Hoping you have spent a special day with us, we return to Brasov and drop-off at your locations.

Day 3. BRASOV – PELES CASTLE -BRAN CASTLE - RASNOV FORTRESS - BRASOV.

Bran Castle

After breakfast, we have a short walking tour of  Brasov old center. We have to say that Brasov is one of the most important cities of Romania and the biggest tourism center of the country. This short tour of the center of Brasov  includes "€“ Council Square, Black Church, Schei Gate, White and Black Towers, Weaver"€™s Bastion and Ecaterina"€™s Gate .

The Council Square, Brasov

We hit the road to Sinaia, once an exclusive aristocratic resort, where we  visit Peles Castle, the summer residence of the former romanian royal family. Peles Castle is one of the most beautiful museums in Romania and  was built almost throughout 40 years by King Charles 1and became one of the most important monuments of Europe in the 19 th century. In the tour of Peles Castle you can admire furniture and decorative objects, sculptures, paintings, collection of weapons from 15 th to 19 th Centuries. Our trip continue to Bran where we  visit the famous Bran Castle. Also called Dracula`s Castle, it is situated not far from Brasov  at the entrance in the Bran - Rucar passage.

Sourrounded by an aura of mystery and legend and perched on a 200-foot-high rock, Bran Castle owes its fame  to the myth created around Bram Stocker"€™s Dracula. Built on the site of a Teutonic Knights stronghold dating from 1212, Bran Castle was first documented in an act issued by Louis I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov) the privilege to build the Citadel. Along the history, Bran Castle had a strategic mission being the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. The rooms and corridors are creating a mysterious maze inside Bran Castle and in the courtyard is a fountain that connects the underground hiding places, where you will find the legend of Count Dracula. On 1 december 1920 Bran Castle was given to the royal family by the Romanian government  and became royal summer residence.

Visit Rasnov Fortress wich is one of the best preserved peasant fortress of Transylvania. Back to Brasov. Overnight in Brasov.

Day 4. BRASOV – SINAIA – SNAGOV - BUCHAREST.

Heading back up south to return to Bucharest, we’ll stop to Snagov, a small and pretty village which lie along a beautiful lake in the middle of which is an island.Here , on this island,is Snagov Monastery, the plaice  where  Vlad The Impaler is believed to be buried. To get theire we have to cross the lake by boat (if the time and wheather permits).The main reason for the visitors to come to Snagov Monastery, besides the beauty of the plaice, is  to see the tomb of Dracula sitting in the front of the church altar. It is believed that Vlad was murdered in the forest nearby, his body  being taken by the grateful monks .

Transfer to Bucharest International Airport or in other location from Bucharest.