Cultural tours to Transylvania, Romania
Description of Cultural tours to Transylvania, Romania
This holiday to Northern Transylvania explores some of Romania’s finest scenery and folklore. It’s carefully tailored to focus on real, rural Transylvania, via bear watching trips, monastery visits and Bucharest – the grand bookend of the trip.
The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina are a highlight, including Voronet Monastery (AKA the Sistine Chapel of the East). Then there’s the Merry Cemetery, where the grave markers have turned into folk art, meticulously decorated with details of the deceased’s life and death. A steam train journey on the Vaser Valley feels like a trip back in time, and you’ll get the chance to see bears outside Brasov, a castle city with a Saxon heart.
However, the real highlight is the people your guide will put you in touch with, from the skilled wood craftsman Grigore Tulean to the nuns who run a country inn on the Iza River.
1 Reviews of Cultural tours to Transylvania, Romania
Reviewed on 19 Oct 2011 by Shellie May
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
All of it!! Romania is an amazing and beautiful country.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Make sure you have a great camera with lots of spare batteries. Also, be prepared to just go with the flow- Romania isn’t a rich country but the people are wonderful and so anxious to share with you- appreciate that they are doing the best with what they have and be open to new experiences. Also- be prepared for the driving- Romanian drivers are crazy!!!!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
I made sure to spend my money with local merchants and sellers- my guide was very good helping me to identify the genuine Romanian made goods and the Romanian sellers and he made sure I was looked after. I like to think that my money went to the local people, I also hope that by telling everyone how amazing the holiday was, I might encourage others to go and see this incredible part of the world!
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Absolutely amazing. The company who ran the tour were incredible- friendly, helpful, they bent over backwards to make sure I had everything I needed. My guide had incredible knowledge and was so friendly and helpful- as a single woman travelling alone, I always felt safe and cared for. I could not recommend this more highly! Thank you!
Planet and peopleThese Transylvania tours offers you a well rounded Transylvanian experience, introducing you to Transylvania’s finest scenery and folklore and providing you with the possibility of getting in contact with the genuine peasant culture by exploring rural areas, the work shops of famous artists and craftsmen, visiting museums or landscapes made famous in the Romanian literature. Besides the economic aspect – we’re using only local suppliers; your visit is of great importance for the artist, craftsmen, museums, castles or the small rural communities you’ll visit as it provides them with the a motivation, a reason to carry on the traditions. You’ll be able to purchase locally goods starting with food and ending with souvenirs, handicrafts.
Being small group tour, these trips not only minimise the negative impact on the environment but also allow you to interact more easily with the locals, giving you the possibility to learn about culture, traditions straight from the source. Our trips take you to the workshop of a skilled wood crafts, Grogore Tulean, from Maramures, to the workshop of a skilled artist, unique in the world, the only one using spider web for his paintings, and to the windswept “Dogarilor Tower” in Bistriata Citadel to meet the honourable Misiuga, the 83 years old Baron of Dracula who will present his puppet exposition, made entirely from disposed materials and objects (everything from an old button to a broken lighter will be turned into good account and become a puppet!)
To give you a full taste of the local culture you’ll delight yourself with a monastic lunch in Barsana, home to one of the highest wood monasteries in Romania, enjoy a traditional Saxon home cooked dinner in a guest house in Transylvania or a “motzesc” picnic lunch in a breathtaking natural scenery, at the mouth of Poarta lui Ionele Cave. The Romanian guide will also advise you on local customs as well as help you to break down language barriers.
To make sure the money stays where needed we’re only using local suppliers and where the itinerary allows us we’re also using small family run business, for example in Ieud, a beautiful traditional village located in the magical Maramures, and in Lazarea, a typical Szekler village, and in Sibiel, a beautiful traditional Saxon village located in Transylvania, where you’ll accommodate in guest houses or even under the same roof with your hosts. Further more you’ll enjoy a home cooked traditional dinner. This is actually an ideal opportunity to spend more time with the locals but also ensure that the financial benefits of your visit reach the people of the area and not some large companies based outside the region.
The entry fees will help maintain and even restore the precious tourist attractions visited through out the tour. We’re also making financial contributions for every persons who books one of our tours, in the amount of £1 per person to support Saint Daniel’s Foundation programme entitled 'A grand father for a nephew – A nephew for a grandfather', helping elderly and orphans, people most in need.
We encourage our guests do a little reading before coming to find out more about their host communities and the environment so that they would connect better with the locals. We provide suggestion on how best to support the local economies and communities, as well as the surrounding environment. Guests will receive a pre-trip information pack via e-mail, to minimise the use of paper, which will inform them about issues relating to the place they will travel, some language tips and general advice. Furthermore, our tour guides are well-educated multilingual people who can offer guests their skills as an interpreter and offer insights on current national and regional issues.