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Authentic Romania Tours: Experiencing the Wonders of Transylvania

Authentic Romania Tours: Experiencing the Wonders of Transylvania

ROMANIA

Last month, I had the pleasure of joining a great group of bloggers to #ExperienceBucharest. This was my first time in Romania and I absolutely loved every minute. We were lucky to not only get to know the beautiful city of Bucharest, but to also explore a good amount of Romania as well. A highlight for me was a full day tour outside the city with Authentic Romania.

Me and six other bloggers boarded a comfortable mini-van at 8:00 AM and set off on our Dracula Castle Tour for the day! Private hotel pick-up was included which is very convenient. This is a feature every customer gets to enjoy if you book with Authentic Romania. Our tour guide and owner of the company was Alina; her knowledge and passion for Romania was outstanding. We were in very good hands!

It was a very scenic drive through the Bucegi Mountains and Prahova Valley, one of the most beautiful mountains regions in the country. This region was very loved by the Romanian royal family, which is why they decided to build a summer residence here in Sinaia. This was our first stop on the tour, and before heading to the palace, we stopped to admire the Sinaia Casino and its grounds. This was built in the early 20th century by the orders of King Carol I.

Sinaia Casino

We also visited the Sinaia Monastery which was the first building to be founded in the once forest covered area.  Dating back to 1690, the initial plan was to for the monastery to hold 12 monks, to imitate the Twelve Apostles; and nowadays it’s occupied by 13 Christian Orthodox Monks.  It is very beautiful inside and out, I especially loved the detailed pillars and windows with fascinating carvings.

 Sinaia Monastery

 Sinaia Monastery  Sinaia Monastery

 Sinaia MonasteryPeleș Castle was next on the agenda and it was absolutely marvelous. It was built in the late 1800’s in a Neo-Renaissance and Bavarian style. It is an impressive castle with over 150 rooms which are lavishly decorated. You wi’ll discover some of the greatest examples of European art, stained-glass windows, leather-covered walls, and stunning crystal chandeliers. The castle dates back to the 1800’s but there’s thousands of European and Asian pieces that date back from the 15th to 19th centuries. It has everything from a movie theater to a concert hall! Peleș Castle looks like it jumped out of the pages of a fairytale; it is certainly a place every tourist in Romania should experience.

Peles Castle photo by Carmen's Luxury Travel

Peles Castle photo by Carmen's Luxury Travel

Peles Castle photo by Carmen's Luxury Travel

Afterwards, we stopped for lunch and had an hour to walk around the charming medieval town of Brașov. It lies right at the feet of the mountains which only adds to this picturesque place. The city was built by the Saxons and was remarkably preserved throughout time.

Town of Brașov Gate, Transylvania photo Carmen's Luxury Travel

Town of Brașov, Transylvania photo Carmen's Luxury Travel

Town of Brașov, Transylvania photo Carmen's Luxury Travel

Town of Brașov, Transylvania photo Carmen's Luxury Travel

Town of Brașov, Transylvania photo Carmen's Luxury Travel

When in Brașov, I’d highly recommend visiting The Black Church – Romania’s biggest Gothic church! The church was originally named Saint Mary’s Church. But in 1689, a great fire destroyed the interior and damaged the walls and the roof. After the renovation, the edifice was named the Black Church, mostly because of the exterior walls and roof were blackened from the fire.

The Black Church in the town of Brașov, Transylvania photo Carmen's Luxury Travel

From there we went to Bran Castle which is known throughout the world as Dracula’s Castle! It earned this nickname because it is the only castle in Transylvania that fits author Bram Stoker’s description of Dracula’s Castle in his famous Gothic novel. This ancient castle dates back to the 1200’s and is surrounded by mysteries, legends, and fascinating history which I enjoyed learning all about from our guide Alina.  The Wallachian ruler Vlad Țepeș, otherwise known as Vlad the Impaler, passed through Bran several times in the 1400’s.  He is known as the true, or real-life Dracula since he impaled over 20,000 people in his lifetime.

Bran's Castle (Dracula's Castle) in the town of Brașov, Transylvania photo Carmen's Luxury Travel

Bran's Castle (Dracula's Castle) in the town of Brașov, Transylvania photo Carmen's Luxury Travel

Bran's Castle (Dracula's Castle) in the town of Brașov, Transylvania photo Carmen's Luxury Travel

Bran Castle was completed in 1382, in record time, and its purpose was to defend Transylvania’s border and it continued to defend against the Ottoman Empire in the 1400’s. The last queen consort of Romania, Queen Marie, was very fond of Bran Castle and was gifted it in 1920 by the town of Brasov. Her daughter, Princess Ileana, inherited it soon after but in 1948, it was taken over by the communists and eventually made into a museum.

Bran Castle sits perfectly on a cliff that’s about 2,500 feet high! It is surrounded by gorgeous valleys and hills. The views both of the castle and from the castle left me awestruck and made me realize how many beautiful gems there are to explore in Romania. Some of the best souvenir shopping can be done right outside of the castle where you’ll find several local vendors.

The Dracula Castle Tour is the perfect day trip if you’re staying in Bucharest. Big thanks to #ExperienceBucharest and Authentic Romania for being our wonderful hosts and guides. I encourage everyone to visit Romania and see all of the amazing sights it has to offer!

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen’s Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

26 Comments

  1. Victoria
    June 17, 2017 at 9:58 pm
    Reply

    Holy moly! I’ve heard about dracula’s Castle but never the other ones! I love visiting Lesser known places when traveling. I would love to go to Romania.

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 18, 2017 at 3:52 am

      I do too, Victoria! I hope you get the chance to visit Romania.

  2. anna
    June 17, 2017 at 10:22 pm
    Reply

    I’ve always imagined Romania to be dark, gloomy, and mystical due to literature. Your photos completely changed my perspective on it. Definitely have to make a trip out there soon!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 18, 2017 at 3:52 am

      It definitely isn’t, especially since it’s not a communist country anymore. Glad I changed your perspective 🙂

  3. Michelle
    June 18, 2017 at 12:11 am
    Reply

    I’m in love with all the castles! Your photos are so pretty–thanks for sharing such a unique destination!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 18, 2017 at 3:53 am

      You’re very welcome, Michelle! Bran Castle is such a beautiful one to explore.

  4. Jean
    June 18, 2017 at 5:37 pm
    Reply

    What a magical tour. Those buildings oh my. They look like they are straight out of a fairy tale.

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 19, 2017 at 5:24 am

      They are all so impressive! I was blown away.

  5. Jen Joslin
    June 20, 2017 at 7:32 pm
    Reply

    Wow, those castles and spires against the dramatic bright blue skies are stunning! This sounds like a fabulous tour. Romania honestly hadn’t been on my radar, but now I want to go!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 21, 2017 at 11:35 am

      I’m so glad to hear that, Jen!

  6. Divyakshi Gupta
    June 21, 2017 at 12:40 am
    Reply

    Romania is so on my list and your post just instigated it further. Those castles are sheer love. Straight out of a fairy tale! A blast from the past really and what gorgeous architecture! in love with your pictures.

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 21, 2017 at 11:35 am

      That’s so kind of you to say, thank you!

  7. Nisha Jha
    June 21, 2017 at 10:56 am
    Reply

    It is indeed a lovely place. Unfortunately , though we will be at countries close to Romania , we will be giving it a miss since there is not much time to get a visa. I am saving this article for future use. Thanks.

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 21, 2017 at 11:39 am

      I certainly hope you get to visit in the future, Nisha!

  8. Tami
    June 21, 2017 at 11:09 am
    Reply

    I love castles anyway, but this is rich with history and intrigue! All of your photos are so beautiful and your tour sounds wonderful. I’ll definitely keep this tour in mind when I make it to Romania!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 21, 2017 at 11:39 am

      I hope you do, Tami! Bran Castle was incredible.

  9. Barb
    June 21, 2017 at 12:57 pm
    Reply

    Transylvania is certainly the nicest part of Romania. I visited Brasov a few times when I was a kid and it was very beautiful. It seems like it is still very beautiful. I m glad you had a nice time.

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 23, 2017 at 10:11 am

      It definitely still is beautiful! You must return 🙂

  10. Cindy Ladage
    June 22, 2017 at 7:36 am
    Reply

    What history. I love the stories and your photos.

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 23, 2017 at 10:12 am

      Thanks, Cindy! It was a wonderful experience.

  11. Anita Hendrieka
    June 23, 2017 at 6:47 am
    Reply

    This place looks magical! Hopefully I can make it to Transylvania this year, it’s always been on my list!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 23, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Magical is the perfect word to describe it!

  12. Agness of eTramping
    June 28, 2017 at 3:25 pm
    Reply

    This must have been a fabulous experience! A truly authentic experience!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 30, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      It was definitely authentic! Great time had by all.

  13. Natasha
    June 30, 2017 at 7:00 am
    Reply

    Brasov looks like a beautiful place to walk around. All of your pictures are stunning. Now I really want to go!

    • Carmen Edelson
      June 30, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Thank you, Natasha! It’s hard to take a bad photo there 😉

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