Join us for our first adventure to Romania, in May 2018—and discover a land of magical folklore, of soaring mountains, emerald valleys, and storybook villages where colorful, time-honored traditions remain a way of life.
Your AdventureWomen journey begins in Bucharest, the country’s capital and largest city, founded in 1459. Its name comes from “bucur”—to be happy! Once nicknamed the “Paris of the Balkans,” large sections of the city were torn apart under its 50-year communist rule in the mid-1900s. When the government was toppled in 1989, the country invested much into reviving and restoring the lovely 18th and 19th century architecture. Adding to its transformation are flower-filled parks, a pedestrian-only center filled with cafés and shops, and a thriving cultural scene.
As we head north, we turn our focus to Transylvania, the geographical center— and heart and soul—of the country. We’ll travel along leisurely country roads that wind past sheep-dotted pastures, through primeval forests, and into towns rich in medieval architecture and history. Our journey will take us up hillsides to imposing hilltop citadels—UNESCO World Heritage Sites—for stunning views across this ancient landscape. We’ll hike old wagon trails in the pristine forests of the Carpathian Mountains and ride on horseback through Romania’s emerald meadows and past swift-flowing streams.
In Romania’s fabled regions, time slows to the circadian, sunrise-to-sunset pace of the day. Stop and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Take time to focus your camera on the simple beauty of blossoms draped across a brightly painted wooden gate. Return the ready smile in the eyes of local villagers, whose standards of welcome and hospitality seem long lost in our busy world. Admire the centuries-old, Romanian artisan craftsmanship in embroidered cloth, in woven rugs, pottery, and wood carvings. And break (homemade) bread together at the daily table with local Romanians, where the cuisine and all the dishes reflect a long-standing “garden-to-plate” lifestyle.
Enjoy a memorable stay at the Zabola Castle Park and Estate, which dates back to the 15th century, and showcases Transylvania at its best. Its sprawling property encompasses a large swath of virgin pine forest in the Carpathian Mountains, while the sumptuous accommodations are reminiscent of the refined life of a country manor. As a special experience, you’ll be invited to visit a hand-built, wooden bear viewing hut in a forest thicket at twilight, followed by lovely candlelit dinner in the comforts of the estate dining room.
We continue deeper into Transylvania, through a region famous for its fortified churches, rolling landscapes, and picturesque villages that retain their unique and timeless traditions. We’ll explore imposing fortresses — UNESCO World Heritage Sites—in Viscri, Sighisoara, and Biertan, famous for their stunning views across the ancient landscape. Wander among the rooms of Bran Castle, home to Transylvania’s most famous fictional resident, Count Dracula, and follow the cobblestone lanes through the charming 14th-century town that was the birthplace of the real Vlad the Impaler!
Three cities form the triangular center of Transylvania: Brasov, with this stunning town square crowned by a spired cathedral; charming Sibiu, whose unique houses are distinguished by arched windows that seem to follow you like eyes; and Sighisoara, one of the best-preserved walled medieval towns in all of Europe. We’ll spend time in each, discovering their history and cultural charms, and meet craftsmen like the Spoonman, who continue a rich artistic heritage. You’ll also be welcomed by a famous Romanian photographer who has photographed the landscapes and the craftspeople, and have the chance to learn about his long-studied techniques.
Romania’s culinary roots also run deep, and throughout our journey, you’ll help prepare and taste its bounty. In the village of Sona, join a locally renowned cook for a hands-on journey into the flavors of Romania. Her passion for traditional medicinal plants and herbs comes alive as she walks you through her garden of herbs and wildflowers, and you’ll put these to use in a short cooking class as you enjoy the surroundings of her lovely Saxon home. In another nearby village, meet a beekeeper whose astounding knowledge has resulted in hives that produce a variety of honeys from the surrounding meadows and forests. Sample the liquid gold under a grape arbor canopy.
Your Romania adventure is, ultimately, a feast for all the senses, and a chance to re-calibrate your sense of wonder. With its friendly, hospitable people so proud of their heritage, its urban capital rising to meet the future, and its exquisite unspoiled landscapes, Romania welcomes you.
Join AdventureWomen in the beautiful springtime in Romania and enjoy one of the last, truly authentic European travel experiences!
- Romania Adventure Tour: Itinerary
- What’s Included on Your Romania Womens Trip
- Travel Tips & Information When Traveling to Bucharest, Romania
- What to Pack on Your Romania Adventure Vacation
- Romania Womens Vacation: Detailed Itinerary
- Explore Transylvania’s exquisite countryside, medieval towns, and folkloric villages on hikes, by bicycle, and on horseback
- Discover the rich tradition of handcrafts: weaving, embroidery, woodcarving, and pottery
- Spend a fascinating afternoon with a community of Roma women
- Experience life at an old-world mountain estate—from bear watching in a pine-log hut to a fireside dinner
- Enjoy preparing a garden-to-table lunch; a workshop on medicinal plants; and a unique honey-tasting adventure with a famous local beekeeper
- Join a renowned Romanian photographer in his studio and learn his special techniques and tips.
What You'll See and Do
- Bear Viewing
- Cooking Class
- Cultural Exploration
- Horseback Riding
- Wildlife Viewing
- Wine Tasting