Village Life, Vampires and Variety

Romania

Romania has been called “the new Italy” because of its warm and relaxed people, its hospitable attitude, its varied and savory cuisine and wine, its Roman ruins and cultured cities, like the capital Bucharest. Add to that its spooky (and sometimes kitschy) Transylvanian Dracula sites and its rural scenery, and you come up with a country that deserves a hefty slice of your travel time.

Why Travel with MIR to Romania
  • Over two decades of Romania travel experience
  • Travel programs such as Stanford University alumni and the California Agriculture Leadership Program have chosen MIR to guide them to Romania
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • MIR’s Romania travel expertise recommended by Forbes.com
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
Signature Experiences

We regularly garner applause from our travelers for the inspired opportunities we provide to help them get to know the local people, distinctive art, architecture and accomplishments of Romania.  Below is just a sampling of the Romania experiences MIR has designed to take our clients far from the familiar.

  • Explore seven-terraced Peles Castle
    Tour extravagant Peles Castle, one of Romania’s most important museums and the final resting place of several Romanian monarchs....
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    Explore seven-terraced Peles Castle

    Romania

    Sinaia, Romania

    Tour extravagant Peles Castle, one of Romania’s most important museums and the final resting place of several Romanian monarchs.

    Journeys with this Signature Experience

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  • Toast a brandy-making family
    Enjoy a private brandy tasting at the home of a Romanian family who has been involved with brandy making for more than three centuries....
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    Toast a brandy-making family

    Romania

    Sighisoara, Romania

    Enjoy a private brandy tasting at the home of a Romanian family who has been involved with brandy making for more than three centuries.

    Journeys with this Signature Experience

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  • Admire the vivid frescoes of the painted monasteries
    Appreciate the striking beauty of the painted monasteries of Bucovina, whose 13th to 15th century stone exteriors are frescoed with dramatic biblical scenes....
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    Admire the vivid frescoes of the painted monasteries

    Romania

    Bucovina, Romania

    Appreciate the striking beauty of the painted monasteries of Bucovina, whose 13th to 15th century stone exteriors are frescoed with dramatic biblical scenes.

    Journeys with this Signature Experience

    X
  • Interview the vampire
    Discover the Romanian origins of the Dracula story in the medieval towns of Sighisoara and Bran, whose castle embodies the Gothic image of a Transylvanian vampire castle....
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    Interview the vampire

    Romania

    Transylvania, Romania

    Discover the Romanian origins of the Dracula story in the medieval towns of Sighisoara and Bran, whose castle embodies the Gothic image of a Transylvanian vampire castle.

    Journeys with this Signature Experience

    X
Ways to Travel to Romania with MIR

Over the years we’ve traveled up and down Romania, taking in its seven different UNESCO World Heritage Sites and visiting the homes of shepherds, artists and entrepreneurs. We design every one of our trips here to enable you to discover the vast variety of experiences that sets Romania apart from its neighbors.

Take a look at your options, from small group escorted tours to independent trips, from luxury rail journeys to custom and private travel:

Small Group Tours
Bulgaria & Romania:  Frescoes & Fortresses

Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses

Through the Valley of the Roses to the Painted Monasteries

Travels to: Bulgaria, Central and East Europe, Romania

16 Days / Departures in May, August 2017

Small Group land tour from $6,195

See Trip

Rail Journeys by Private Train
Budapest to Venice by Private Train

Budapest to Venice by Private Train

A Balkan Rail Odyssey Aboard the Golden Eagle Danube Express

Travels to: Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Central and East Europe, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia

11 Days / Departures in September 2017

Rail Journey by Private train land tour from $9,195

See Trip

Custom and private travel is our specialty. We’ve been designing unforgettable custom itineraries through the forested mountains, “vampire” castles and traditional villages of Romania for over two decades; a majority of our guests travel on custom itineraries.

For ideas, peruse one of our Regional Travel Planners, a roundup of the must-sees from our savvy staff.

Take a look at our suggested Private Journeys for this region or read more about how to design your own trip.  Also, consider this: You can customize our Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses small group tour to match your preferred dates of travel.

Design Your Own Custom Trip

Traveling privately on a custom program means flexibility:

  • You set the dates, the focus and the level of accommodations.
  • You are met on arrival and seen off at the end of your trip.
  • Your in-country transportation is pre-arranged hassle-free.
  • Your own expert local guides ensure that you get the most out of your visit.
  • And the best part? You travel at your own pace on an itinerary exclusive to you.

Check out just a handful of our Romania signature experiences below and then get in touch with a MIR Private Journey Specialist to craft an itinerary that suits your travel goals, budget and style.  Or get started planning now.

Suggested Itineraries for Private Travel

Whether you’re looking for a compact trip with all the highlights or something a little roomier with some of the extras, MIR’s Private Journeys department can suggest places to see and things to do based on our local knowledge, and design a one-of-a-kind itinerary for you, your family or your group of friends.

Find out more about our custom & private travel expertise or connect with a Private Journey Specialist to get started.


Weather
Our Favorite Places in Romania
Romania

Bucharest

Known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards, glorious Belle Epoque buildings and reputation for the high life, Romania's capital was once known as the "Little Paris."  Bucharest came into its own with Romanian independence in the late 19th century, when French and French-trained architects were called in to transform what had been a large village into an imperial capital. There is even an Arc de Triomphe on the elegant Soseaua Kiseleff, a boulevard longer than Paris' famed Champs-Elysees.

Today Bucharest is experiencing renewed energy after its communist years. The city's older architecture remains one of its main attractions, reflecting the succeeding styles of its various rulers. The heart of the city is Piata Revolutiei, the site of the old Royal Palace.

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Journeys that travel to Bucharest

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Romania

Maramures

This beautiful region is located in northwest Romania, bordering Ukraine along the Tisa River. It is the most isolated and undeveloped land in Romania and is also the only region never occupied by the Romans. Its inhabitants are farmers living in small villages throughout the valley, still following the same traditions as their ancestors. The region is famous for its wooden churches and elaborately carved cemetery gates, its colorful costumes of red, white and black, and hand-dyed and woven rugs.

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Journeys that travel to Maramures

Contact a MIR Private Journeys Specialist at privatejourneys@mircorp.com or 800-424-7289 to plan a custom & private trip to Maramures.

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Romania

Transylvania

With its green rolling hills, historic fortified churches, a thriving Roma (gypsy) culture and its medieval towns still intact, Transylvania is considered the heart and soul of Romania. Sibiu, an early Saxon walled town, has a charming array of old houses and cobbled squares connected by dozens of tunnels, stairways and hidden passages. In the western section of Romania is Tirgu Mures, home to an ethnic Hungarian people called Szekely (pronounced say kay) who first came to the area around the 5th century. Repressed during communist times, the Szekely have traditionally scorned the Romanian language, and speak a dialect of Hungarian. Tirgu Mures is also home to a significant Roma population, and there are villages just outside Tirgu Mures that are entirely Roma.

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Journeys that travel to Transylvania

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Romania

Sighisoara

A charming medieval town in the heart of Transylvania, Sighisoara was built by German Saxons in the 13th century, and is considered the most beautiful and complete medieval architectural ensemble in Romania. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sighisoara’s Old Town is a hill citadel that has preserved much of its 15th century wall, enclosing almost 200 stone houses and public buildings. The town’s 14th century clock tower formerly controlled the main gate of the 2,500-foot defensive wall. Seven different slow-moving figurines carved from linden wood replace each other every midnight all week, and at the top of the spire is a meteorological clock that forecasts the weather.

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Romania

Painted Monasteries of Bucovina

Explore the heritage of Bucovina, a remote province of northeastern Romania. This was once the heartland of the Ashkenazi Jews and today is famous for the beauty of its deep Carpathian forest and its lovely Orthodox monasteries. The painted monasteries of Bucovina – Moldovita, Sucevita, Voronet and Humor – are small structures originally constructed within thick fortress walls. Their 13th to 15th century stone exteriors are frescoed with biblical scenes that served as “painted Bibles” for illiterate peasants seeking sanctuary from the frequent battles that swept the area.

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Journeys that travel to Painted Monasteries of Bucovina

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Romania

Dracula Country

Brasov is an old Transylvanian town set at the foot of a mountain and filled with medieval architecture, cobbled streets, small houses and the legendary Black Church. Saxons from Brasov built the tur­reted Bran Castle in a mountain pass between the Bucegi and the Piatra Crailui Mountains in the 14th century. Its original purpose was to protect Brasov from the Ottoman Turks, but it also became a strategic trade center.

Its con­nection with Prince Vlad Tepes, aka Vlad the Impaler, is tentative, but its placement on a cliff looming 60 meters above the town, its Gothic stone walls, towers and secret passageways came to embody the popular image of a Transylvanian vampire castle. And so it has become “Dracula’s Castle” and a popular destination.

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Romania

Sinaia

The town of Sinaia in the Prahova Valley is Romania’s most popular ski resort and a gateway to the beautiful Bugeci Mountains. Winter sports, including a 5,000-foot bobsledding run, and excellent summer hiking and climbing make Sinaia a year-round destination. In 1870, King Carol I built his summer residence, Peles Castle, here, guaranteeing the town fame and fortune.

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Journeys that travel to Sinaia

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Romania

Danube Delta

UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Program recognized the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve in 1992. The delta is Europe’s largest wetlands, making it Europe’s largest natural water purification system. The 2,200-square-mile region contains a series of lakes and channels around a network of islands forming an internationally significant site for migratory and nest­ing birds.

Over 300 species of birds have been recorded here, including some globally threatened species, like the Pygmy Cormorant. Sustainably harvested water reeds from this area are shipped to England for thatching cottage roofs. A luxury five star eco-resort recently opened on the banks of the Delta’s Lake Somova, offering cozy private villas and fine cuisine along with boating and birding.

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Journeys that travel to Danube Delta

Contact a MIR Private Journeys Specialist at privatejourneys@mircorp.com or 800-424-7289 to plan a custom & private trip to the Danube Delta.

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When to Travel to Romania

The Traditional Crafts Fair, Bucharest (June)

Traditional Romanian costumesEvery spring, artisans from all over the country gather at the Village Museum in Bucharest to demonstrate their crafts, including embroidery, rug and textile weaving, glass blowing, ceramics shaping and decorating, and traditional woodcarving.

Maidens’ Fair (Targul de Fete),
Gaina Mountain, Transylvania
(July)

The Maidens’ Fair began long ago as an opportunity for families to arrange matches between their young men and women.  Hundreds of people in traditional dress gathered on the 5,000-foot plateau of Gaina Mountain to show off their daughters’ dowries and their dancing skills.  The festival would be announced with a fanfare from the mountain alpenhorn, or tulnicărese.  Today, people from all Romania’s regions come to enjoy music, traditional dancing and celebrations.

Dance at Prislop (Hora de Prislop), Prislop Pass  (August)

High on 4,600-foot Prislop Pass between Maramures and Bucovina, dance groups in traditional Romanian costumes, and enthusiastic onlookers gather in a natural amphitheater to celebrate the songs and dances of Romania.  Participants parade up the pass to the festival area, where the crowds enjoy feasting, celebrating, music and dance under the sky.