Romania holiday, the Beauty of Yesterday

“An enriching combination of Romanian culture, architecture and history, everything on this tailor made tour is organised for you, so you can take in all the sights, stress-free.”


Bucharest | Bacau | Piatra Neamt | Vama | Moldovita | Sucevita Monasteries | Voronet Monastery | Visue de Sus | Maramures County | Steam train from Viseu to Paltin Station | Iza Valley | Bistrita | Barsana Monastery | Targu Mures | Viscri | Sighisoara | Brasov | Bran | Sinaia

Description of Romania holiday, the Beauty of Yesterday

Travel back in time to visit traditional craftsmen in their workshops and spend time with local families in rural villages, and you’ll quickly begin to piece together the centuries old traditions and customs that help holidays in Romania resonate with responsible travellers.

This nine day small group Romania tour provides the perfect introduction to the untouched lifestyles and sweeping countryside of northern Romania and Transylvania including some of the country’s best-loved national parks, historic towns and UNESCO world heritage sites.

A minimum of two people are required for the tour to take place as a private experience (for any dates between April and October) with an English-speaking tour guide throughout helping travellers dig a little deeper into the history and the landscapes of this lesser-visited eastern European crown jewel.

Accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, travellers are invited to take Romania holidays to a more immersive level with overnight stays as the guest of a local family certainly adding to the appeal of a genuinely authentic cultural experience.

Romania tours such as this don’t come along every day and you can expect an incredibly scenic route that takes in the drama of both the Carpathian Mountains and the iconic hilltops settings and cobbled town squares of Romania’s most famous region, Transylvania.

From Piatra Neamt in Moldavia, to Peles Castle near Sinaia, via Bucovina, Maramures and a spectacular steam train ride through the Vaser Valley, this holiday in Romania promises a treat for all of the senses with chances to linger a little longer in Bucharest definitely worthwhile if you’ve got time to spare before or after the tour.

The accommodation that we use on this Romania tour has been hand-picked to represent the hospitable nature of the local people as well as the charm and character of life in rural areas with family-run guesthouses and small, independently-owned, hotels adding to an experience that’s as unique as enchanting.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Arrive at Bacau airport (direct flights from London available) or Bucharest airport (transfer to Bacua by train). Meet your English speaking guide and transfer to the Ambiance guesthouse in Piatra Neamt for your first evening meal.
Day 2:Today you'll make the trip to the UNESCO monasteries of Bucovina by way of Romania's largest convent, Agapia Monastery, and the monastic heritage museum to be found within the relatively modern Varatec Monastery. Today's journey continues to Târpesti where you'll be invited to take a traditional Romanian lunch and explore the artistic heritage of Nicolae Popa before heading to this evening's accommodation within the four star Casa Calin pension in the village of Vama.
Day 3:Today's religious heritage odyssey incorporates the UNESCO protected monastery of Moldovita as well as the fortified towers of Sucevita Monastery both of which feature fine examples of ecclesiastical artwork as well as imposing solid walls, towers and buttresses. After taking a traditional lunch in Sucevita you'll head to the UNESCO listed Voronet Monastery which is considered to be as highly revered for its paintings as the Vatican's Sistine Chapel. This afternoon's horse drawn carriage ride is a real step back in time with an optional sightseeing tour of Vama providing the perfect finale prior to your evening meal at Casa Calin.
Day 4:Today you'll leave Varma behind and travel to Viseu de Sus in Maramures County, a journey distance of close to 120kms. Through the route travellers will be able to see the wonderful wooden churches and traditional rural lifestyles that the region is renowned for with a rest at the family-run Perla Maramuresului offering a chance to taste Romanian wine and interact with local people or just relax and watch the animals in the yard. In the afternoon you'll arrive at the three star Gabriela Hotel where dinner and overnight accommodation await.
Day 5:Taking a steam train through the Vaser Valley is a real treat for cultural travellers with the route from Viseu to Paltin offering an ever-changing scenic backdrop of quickly flowing rivers, sheer canyons and animals peeping out from dense forest glades. A picnic lunch just outside of Paltin Station signals the end of the train ride with an afternoon drive back to the Gabriela Hotel allowing you to see more of the countryside before relaxing and preparing for this evening's meal.
Day 6:Head into the historically significant region of the Iza Valley today and discover the cultural and religious heritage of the Marmures who are renowned for their wooden churches that can be found across the valley. Today you'll visit several wooden churches as well as taking lunch at the Barsana Monastery or close by in a traditional guesthouse. If time allows you'll pay your respects at the colourful Merry Cemetery before heading to the three star Coroana de Aur Hotel in the town of Bistrita for your evening meal and overnight stay.
Day 7:After a short sightseeing tour of Bistrita's cultural landmarks, including the Coopers' Tower, the main square and several churches and examples of medieval architecture, you'll drive to the City of Roses, aka: Targu Mures, for a restaurant lunch and to find out more about the city's dual Romanian and Hungarian cultural identity. The afternoon is yours to explore Targu Mures with the stunning stained glass hall contained within the Culture Palace definitely a worthwhile highlight. After shopping, sightseeing and generally enjoying the laid back pace of life it's time to head to your overnight accommodation and evening meal at the four star Concordia Hotel in Targu Mures.
Day 8:After breakfast you'll wave farewell to Targu Mures as you make the drive to the UNESCO protected village of Viscri in Transylvania. Not only is Viscri renowned for its cultural heritage and natural beauty it has also caught the eye of Prince Charles who owns one of the 18th century Saxon cottages in the village. Further investigation of Viscri reveals an ancient fortified church and an array of pastel shaded houses that add to the artisan and scenic ambience of rural Transylvania. Further agricultural scenes come in the form of a horse drawn carriage ride before an organic lunch which you're invited to take at a family house within the village. After your healthy lunch it's off to the UNESCO listed site of Sighisoara which is considered one of Europe's best preserved and finest examples of a medieval town. Numerous towers, cobbled streets and ornately carved churches bedeck Sighisoara in a wonderful cornicopia of cultural speldour with an equally colourful history that includes Vlad the Impaler, a torture chamber and a famous clock tower as well as an imposing Gothic church overlooking the city from on high. An evening meal at Dracula's Resturant always makes for a conversation starter with overnight accommodation at the three star Casa Cu Cerb hotel in Sighisoara guaranteeing a sound night's sleep all round.
Day 9:After breakfast in Sighisoara you'll make the drive to Brasov in the heart of Romania which boasts one of Europe's most secure defences consisting of over 30 towers and four fortified city gates. A tour of Brasov unveils the huge Gothic Black Church, the Council Square and several red roofed merchant buildings alongside the city's impressive black and white towers and the gates of Ekaternina and Schei. After shimmying through Rope Street you'll be invited to take lunch within Brasov city centre before continuing the sightseeing tour in the afternoon with a visit to Bran Castle, steeped in Dracula's presence, rounding things off rather nicely as you head to your evening meal and overnight stay at the Villa Arinul guesthouse.
Day 10:After breakfast there will be enough time to explore the beautiful Peles Castle which was once the summer home of the king of Romania. Lunch within the Rhein, champagne-filled, cellars provides one final glimpse at the royal life in Romania before you transfer to Bucharest airport to meet your scheduled flight or opt to stay another couple of nights in Romania's capital city.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Check dates, prices & availability

11 Sep 2017
£ 1075
excluding flights
6 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 11 Sep 2017 departure
25 Jun 2018
£ 1095
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 25 Jun 2018 departure
Our top tip:
Remember your mozzy spray in summer.
Trip type:
Tailor made to your budget and preferences.
Activity level:
9 nights 3*-4* hotel.
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available for a surcharge.
Full board - all meals provided.
Accommodation, transfers, transport, English-speaking guide, entry fee, listed activities.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Romania holiday, the Beauty of Yesterday


We have chosen to include places to stay where there is much more opportunity for you to interact more fully with the locals, to practice your language and to minimise your carbon footprint somewhat. The village guesthouses and local homes that we stay in use predominantly local produce in the preparation of meals, reducing the foodmiles, waste and carbon footprint associated with larger hotels. Our guides (and drivers/escorts) will also provide best practice information regarding your environmental impact upon sites and fragile landscapes which is key to respecting and conserving both remote and well-visited places.

By including the opportunity to visit the National Parks and UNESCO sites on this holiday you choose to contribute to the excellent record of conservation in recent years through the entrance fees. We ask all our customers to respect the environment. Litter, in particular, is damaging to the landscape and can injure animals so we encourage people to act responsibly.

As a company we employ responsible policies such as recycling paper, ink cartridges, glass and cardboard; we minimize the use of electricity and conducting the vast majority of our correspondence and promotion via the internet and email, minimizing the amount of paper used for our activities. We also compost waste in our company garden.


Accommodation on this holiday is in, primarily, family run, small hotels. The food in the hotels is primarily sourced locally and a large number of dishes on the menus are home made. We only employ local guides as their expertise and local knowledge will enhance your experience and understanding of the historical context and the environmental impact of your visit. In Bucharest in particular you will see the evidence for and read about the impact of the Ceauasescu period; the cost of rebuilding and repairing the historic centre has been enormous and every contribution made by visitors will help. Similarly the countryside was devastated in this time as whole villages were destroyed and communities forceibly removed to the cities - because of this experience rural Romania and its traditional way of life is so precious and through our tours we aim to assist the local economies to thrive with the help of tourism whilst not losing the integrity of the community structures.

As well as supporting the local community and economy directly our holidays also encourage support indirectly. The latter because more interaction with local people and local tourist service providers engenders greater understanding and respect which almost always leads to larger and more careful spending by visitors.

3 Reviews of Romania holiday, the Beauty of Yesterday

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 22 Jun 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Hard to say as so many wonderful bits. Maybe visiting the fortified church in the village where Prince Charles has bought a house, and then going by horse and cart to visit the brick maker.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Come with an open mind and enjoy the home produce and home made wines of these very hospitable people. Learn a little of the history of this nation before you come. Visit the village museum in Bucharest. Fly with the national carrier TAROM as we found them very good.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes because we used local hotels, local restaurants, and the tour was run by a Romanian company.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

EXCELLENT, Our guide Alexandra was first class.

Reviewed on 22 Oct 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

It is difficult to pick out the 'most' memorable as the whole holiday was absolutely wonderful. We were met by the link tour operators who were charming and cheerful. We were able to see many of the sites of Bucharest the following day, and the trip around the other parts of Romania over the subsequent week was brilliantly organised. The historical buildings, both religious and secular were stunning, and the young guide who took us around was knowledgeable, accomodating, and lovely to be with.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you have any preconceptions of Romania, they are likely to be wrong. It is a clean, bright country with excellent infrastructure, including much better Wifi speeds everywhere than most of the UK.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The guide made it possible to visit small museums and 'cottage industries' such as a rural tile maker, which involved a pony cart ride, none of which would have been possible without her local knowledge.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A thoroughly memorable and enjoyable experience. Not given 5 starts only because the phrase attached to it seems impossible.
Many holidays can be fantastic but cannot be compared.

Reviewed on 15 May 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

It's difficult to pick one thing. For me the Carpathian Forest Steam Train trip and the visit to Viscri Weisskirch are the two most memorable items.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

1) Get Alexandra Anghel (the daughter of the Romanian Agent Doina Anghel) to be your driver and guide. She is fluent in English, an extremely safe driver, has a great sense of humour, and tries her best at all times to see you have a great holiday.
2) Be prepared to accept different standards of behaviour (e.g. smoking) and accommodation that you might expect in Western Europe.
3) Swat up on your Bible if you are going to be taken round the painted monasteries!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It benefitted local people to some extent, but it did not reduce environmental impacts or supported conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was a well constructed tour (created by the Romanian Agent) BUT it was let down by the "Tour Guide" who seemed to have limited knowledge about things other than the monasteries and palaces; never made any attempt to find out what we wanted to gain from our holiday; often started to talk about things when only one of us was present; at meal times often took more than her share of food (e.g. butter, bread water) and couldn't leave her mobile phone alone and at times acted as she was the one on holiday. We found this behaviour quite rude and unacceptable.
E-mailed op on 02.07.14 JP

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on this holiday. We are very pleased that the tour itinerary and Alexandra's driving and company were a positive and enjoyable experience.

We investigated your guide's conduct and found that her child was ill in hospital and so she was obviously distracted and not up to her usual high standards. She obviously should not have been allocated your tour under he circumstances and we have discussed this thoroughly with our local partner agency to ensure all guides perform to an expected high standard for all visitors and at all times.

Regarding the environmental impact of our tours we believe that by using small-scale and locally owned guest houses and hotels we help to keep food miles and waste to a minimum as well as supporting local economies directly and indirectly. The latter because more interaction with local people and tourist service providers engenders greater understanding and respect which almost always leads to larger and more careful spending by visitors. Our guides (and drivers/escorts) will also provide best practice information regarding your environmental impact upon sites and fragile landscapes which is key to respecting and conserving both remote and well-visited places.

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