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Highlights of Romania - Private Tour

Romania - Trip code PTROM Discovery
Days 8
Deposit From £150
Price from £1499
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

Romania is a country still steeped in tradition. Even on the streets of the capital, Bucharest, new cars travel beside horse and carts. On this highlights trip get back to nature in Apuseni National Park, explore medieval towns and discover fairytale castles.

  • Apuseni - Take lakeside walks, explore by bike or just relax and enjoy the mountain scenery
  • Medieval architecture - Wander through the cobbled lanes of Sighisoara, discover the Alba Iulia Citadel and explore the old town of Cluj-Napoca
  • Transylvania - Delve beneath the Dracula myths at Castle Bran and marvel at the exquisite Peles Castle
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 7

    Dinner: 1

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader / Driver

  • Transport

    Car

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    Accommodation

    1 nights comfortable guesthouse

    6 nights comfortable hotel

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    Trip pace:

    Moderate

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Trip begins in Cluj-Napoca

This trip begins in Romania's second largest city, Cluj-Napoca. You will be met on arrival at Avram Iancu Cluj Interational Airport (CLJ) by a local guide, and driven to your centrally located hotel, around 10km away. There are no planned activities today so you are free to arrive in Cluj at any time. For those booking their own flights, you will just need to let us know your flight details no later than three weeks prior to departure, in order to be met on arrival.

Your guide will be with you throughout the trip, so you have the opportunity today to ask any questions you wish about the itinerary. The luxury of having the same guide throughout is that you can make this itinerary flexible if you want to - if you want more time at a particular site, for example, or conversely if you want to skip a city tour and do some solo exploration that's fine too.

This evening, go out for dinner in Cluj and have your first taste of hearty Romanian food.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Explore the old town of Cluj-Napoca. Drive to Apuseni National Park

This morning, explore the city on a guided walking tour. Blending a rich cultural infusion of Saxon, Hungarian and Roma influences, stroll through the Baroque city centre stopping to view landmarks like Taylor's Bastion, the Banffy Palace and the Gothic Cathedral of Saint Michael, which has changed its religious denomination a total of five times since its initial construction and still dominates the downtown market area.

There will be plenty of time to explore on your own and have lunch before leaving the city and travel to Apuseni National Park. Stop en route to visit the Bride's Veil waterfalls, named because the water fans out as it cascades over the edge, giving the impression of a bridal veil!

The accommodation for the next two nights is a small guesthouse set in the heart of the Apuseni Natural Park. It's the ideal place to relax and get away from it all, with a outdoor terrace ideal for soaking up the backdrop of the western Carpathians.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 3 - Take a morning walk alongside the Warm Somes River. Free time to relax or hire a bike and explore more

After breakfast, take a gentle walk along the side of the Warm Somes River. The gravel path is undulating, and hilly in places but we take our time and enjoy the surrounding as we walk. The route ends a small village where there is time to relax for a while before returning to the guesthouse for lunch.

This afternoon is free to relax as you choose. There are plenty of easy walking routes and bikes are available to hire with routes following quiet gravel roads. The guide will be on hand to give advice on the options. There are tennis courts close to the guesthouse if you are feeling active, or for a chilled out afternoon there is a lovely terrace and a jacuzzi to really relax.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 4 - Drive to Sighisoara and explore this charming medieval town

Visit Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which feels like you are stepping back in time. Walk through the town with the guide and discover its winding alleys and pretty pastel buildings, as well as the old town fortifications and the Church on the Hill. Vlad the Impaler was born in Sighisoara and you'll pass the house he grew up in.

This afternoon is left free to explore this pretty town further.

Tonight is a chance to sample the regions tasty cuisine such as beef goulash with dumplings, tarragon chicken or warming spicy soups washed down with craft beer. For dessert you could try one of the delicious cakes, which the town is known for.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 5 - Explore the traditional towns of Viscri and Brasov. Discover the myths of Bran Castle

The day begins with a visit to Viscri, one of the many Saxon villages found in Transylvania. This well preserved village and fortified church is UNESCO-listed. Take a walk through the village or take the option of a horse and cart ride to visit the church, the local baker, and the blacksmith that still ply their trade as they have for generations.

A visit to the bakers means is the perfect opportunity to sample delicious freshly made bread, along with a coffee, before leaving the village and making our way to Brasov.

Brasov is a treasure trove of centuries-old buildings and churches, cobbled streets, all clustered within medieval city walls and overlooked by a magnificent 15th century Gothic cathedral. Stroll through the City Square and down the extremely narrow Rope Street before visiting the Black Church. Take some time for solo exploring here, and then in the later afternoon, continue to Bran Castle, the apparent haunt of Count Dracula. Perched on a crag in a valley between two high mountain ranges, it dominates the surrounding scenery. Learn the truth behind 'Dracula's castle' - which in fact is even more fascinating than the myths. It was the home of the remarkable British born Queen Marie of Romania, grand daughter of Queen Victoria, whereas Vlad the Impaler, the heroic 15th century ruler of Wallachia who Dracula is based on, never lived here. In fact, the author of the much-loved Dracula novel, Bram Stoker never even came to Transylvania.

This evening, stay in a quaint local guesthouse in the Transylvanian village of Moieciu, and have a delicious home cooked meal this evening. Romanian cuisine is hearty and usually served with locally produced red wine. A typical meal is rich beef stew, freshly baked bread, pearl barley, cabbage and roasted root vegetables all served with sour cream. Before a meal the locals tend to sip the aperitif, tzuica, a strong plum brandy.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Guesthouse

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 6 - Visit the fairytale castle at Peles. Travel to Bucharest

Leaving Moieciu, take a short drive to Sinaia, which was once used as a summer resort for the country's royal family. Head straight for the beautiful Peles castle. Built in the 17th century for a for the reigning monarch, it resembles a Bavarian chateau and is richly decorated with stained glass, Persian carpets, Renaissance weapons, ebony and mother of pearl.

Leaving the fairytale castle behind us, there is some time in Sinaia town to explore and have lunch before travelling to Bucharest. The city has gone through a period of urban renewal and modernisation, and it is now the centre of Romanian culture, art and media.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 7 - Discover the highlights of Bucharest. Free time to explore the city's lakes and gardens

Bucharest is situated on the Danube Plain and set amid a series of lakes and spacious gardens, which showcase a remarkable blend of turn of the century elegance and communist excess. With a guided tour, discover the architecture that earned it the reputation as the 'Paris of Eastern Europe', including the beautiful columned facade of the Romanian Atheneum concert hall and the Royal Palace of Bucharest. Make a visit to the fascinating Village Museum where you can see a collection of old wooden churches, windmills and peasant dwellings from different regions of the country.

This afternoon is free for you to relax and explore the city at your own pace. There's plenty to discover in the city's Old Town or there's a multitude of museums available to choose from including the National Museum of Romanian History, the Military Museum and the Folk Art Museum.

Alternatively visit the Palace of Parliament, which is an incredible construction, the second largest building in the world and one of Bucharest's most photographed sights. Inside you'll find marble columns, grand halls and glittering crystal chandeliers. Many homes were destroyed to make way for this massive structure and it took 13 years to build at an alleged cost of over three billion Euros, so it's of little surprise that it was and still is a very controversial building.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 8 - Trip ends in Bucharest

Your trip ends today, and you will be taken to the airport to meet your international flight. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Bucharest's Henir Coanda International Airport (OTP), approximately a 30 minute drive from the city centre, at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Climate and country information

Romania

Climate

Romania's climate is continental, temperatures being strongly influenced by the physical features of the Carpathians. Temperatures will fall from highs of 18°C (by day) to lows of 6°C (at night) in October; by January they will hover around freezing during the day and go down to -10°C at night.They will then rise to reach October temperatures again by April. Temperatures will generally be lower in the mountains than in Bucharest. Snowfall may occur at any time.

Time difference to GMT

+2

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Eastern Orthodox

Language

Romanian

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


Many of the castles charge a photography fee. You should allow approximately £15.00 for this.

Bucharest:
The Palace of Parliament entrance is 40-45 RON (Romanian Leu). Please note you must take your passport with you to be permitted entry. It is still an active government building so it might not always be open to visitors and maybe closed at short notice.

Viscri:
It is possible to take a horse and cart ride around the village visiting the local baker, blacksmith and fortified church approximately 50 RON.

Apuseni Natural Park:
There are a variety of different options available:
Hiking - self guided route information provided locally.
Rowing - (available in June to September) easy grade on a lake. Self guided route information and equipment provided locally. Hire rates for a 1 person for 4 hours is 70 RON or 1 hour is 30 RON or a 2 person for 4 hours is 100 RON or 1 hour is 40 RON.
Horse and cart ride - for 30 minutes for 1-2 people is 50 RON or 3-4 people is 70 RON.
Football or volleyball courts - to hire a court during the day per hour is 100 RON or in the evening it's 150 RON per hour.
Tennis court - to hire the court is 50 RON per hour and racket hire is an additional 10 RON per hour.

Clothing

July and August are the hottest months and lightweight cotton clothing is best. During spring and autumn temperatures are lower or drop during the evenings, and there is also a stronger possibility of rain, although light rainwear may be needed at any time of year. Layered clothing and a warm fleece are recommended for cooler evenings and in the mountains along with a windproof/waterproof jacket.

Footwear

We recommend taking comfortable walking shoes for exploring and trainers or sandals for relaxing.

Luggage

20Kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a day pack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.

Equipment

We advise taking a water bottle as well as sun glasses, sunscreen and a sun hat. In case of emergency we also recommend that you carry a torch and a first aid kit. For the time spent in the countryside you may find mosquito repellent handy.

Tipping

Explore leader
On this private tour, you will be accompanied by a driver-guide throughout, who fills very much the same role as the Explore Tour Leader on our group tours. Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our guides receive a fair wage. You may however, want to recognise a guide that has done a great job or really added to your trip, by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It is a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we would recommend £30 to £35 per person per week as a guideline.
Local crew
Although voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly, you should allow approximately £20 of local currency for tipping.

In order to make things easier for you, your driver-guide may organise a tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.

Romania

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£8
Dinner price
£10
Beer price
£1
Water price
£0.7
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Romanian Leu.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Sterling Pounds, US Dollars and Euros cash can all be exchanged for local currency. Old style £10 and £20 notes are not accepted.
Where To Exchange
Please note that the exchange rates at the airport on arrival are particularly low.
ATM Availability
In most towns, your tour leader will advise you.
Credit Card Acceptance
Major stores and restaurants only.
Travellers Cheques
It is not possible to exchange Travellers Cheques on the tour.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Car

Accommodation notes

The rural areas of Romania are blessed with a large number of beautiful guesthouses - the Carpathians have a distinctly Alpine look to them, and guesthouses are often built in a chalet-style in rural areas.

Some of the hotels and guesthouses used on this trip have bedrooms on multiple floors with narrow staircases and no lifts, so we recommend packing light, as you will need to carry your bags up and down the stairs.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Visas are not required by UK, EU, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Romania

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, although we recommend vaccination against tetanus, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. Tick-borne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of Eastern Europe, at specific times of the year. The Foreign Office currently recommend considerations of vaccination against rabies if travelling in rural areas of Romania. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Additional Information

Tour Staff

Your trip will be led by one of our experienced driver-guides who is passionate about Romania and bursting with first-hand local knowledge which they love to share. All the planning and organisation throughout your journey will be taken care of by your guide, and their dynamic approach will make this trip fun and inspiring, bringing the destination to life whether you're travelling alone or with others.

Why book this trip

In just one week see all of Romania's most famous sights as well as spending time in the countryside and sampling delicious food and wine. Romania is a very affordable destination, it's easy to get to and it has so much to offer. It's a country full of mystery and folklore that captures the imagination.

Dates, prices and booking

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
Fri 1 Jan 2021 - Fri 31 Dec 2021 Your trip can depart anytime between the above dates. A solo traveller supplement applies, contact us for prices.
PTROM_2021
£1499
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SINGLE ROOM OPTION
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+£200
PTROM_2021

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 

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