Transylvania is best known as the mysterious land of bloodthirsty vampires and howling wolves. Some may think it’s fictional, but this central Romanian region is a real place. And it’s pretty special, too.
Bordered to the east by the Carpathian Mountains, ‘the land beyond the forest’ still feels undiscovered. So, pack your garlic – here’s the lowdown on one of Eastern Europe’s most captivating regions.
The famous Bran Castle near Braşov is Transylvania’s top tourist attraction © Cristian Balate / Shutterstock
Dracula is real (sort of)
Bram Stoker’s 1897 vampire novel was inspired by centuries-old superstition and the real-life exploits of Vlad Dracula. Known by his murderous moniker, Vlad Ţepeş (the Impaler), the 15th-century Wallachian nobleman was said to have skewered up to 80,000 enemies on long spikes.