This very varied, small-group tour combines some of the most attractive features of Romania culture and landscape: the wine-growing areas of Oltenia and Muntenia in the pretty foothills of the Carpathian mountains, with winetastings included on most days; visits to the areas of ‘Saxon’ settlement in Transylvania, to the fine, historic towns of Sibiu, Sighisoara and Brasov and to wonderful fortified medieval churches, and accommodation in some of the comfortably restored old manor houses.
After our afternoon arrival at Bucharest airport, you transfer by comfortable minibus to the region of Oltenia (about 3 – 4 hours), where you have two nights accommodation at a stylish Manor House. Dinner and breakfast is included at all your stays.
You visit first a local ‘cula’, a fortified mediaeval ‘keep’ transformed in later centuries into a manor house and then the wonderful Orthodox Horezu monastery, where the present church and buildings date chiefly from the 17th century. After a light lunch (not included) you continue to the Avincis winery for your first tasting of a fine selection of both white and red wines. All tastings are included in the cost of your tour.
Visit to the pottery village before leaving Oltenia, driving north through the magnificent gorge of the River Olt into Transylvania. You arrive in the old centre of Sibiu, where you have one night’s accommodation. In the early evening you leave town to visit a traditional local village winery nearby and to have dinner at their property, spectacularly situated in the hills behind.
After a leisurely stroll around the beautifully restored mediaeval and baroque centre of Sibiu, you then drive out to the traditional Saxon village of Richis, where you are made welcome in a local house, taste the proprietor’s local wines and have a specially prepared lunch (included). After this you visit the spectacular fortified Gothic church in the nearby Saxon village of Biertan. Your overnight accommodation – with dinners – for the next 2 nights will be in a Saxon village, in another charming Manor House (4 rooms only).
In the morning you drive the short distance to the remarkable Saxon town of Sighisoara, where you walk up to explore the walled citadel, which still has its mediaeval feel of old houses, cobbled streets and Gothic churches. Lunch (not included) in the citadel before reaching one new, but already famous Transylvanian winery, Villa Vinea. Return to the Manor House for the accommodation.
This morning there is a two-hour drive to Brasov, where you will have the chance to walk round the old city centre and visit the magnificent Gothic ‘Black’ church. After an independent lunch, you continue up into the Carpathians to Peles Castle, the idiosyncratic country palace built in the 19th century by the Romanian royal family.
Your comfortable accommodation – with dinners – for your last two nights will be in a pretty, traditional Manor House, in a famous Red wine area, Dealu Mare.
You are now in Muntenia, in the wine-growing area of Dealu Mare, the ‘Big Hill’. You first drive up into an area with lovely hills and villages to visit the nicely restored ‘Manor House of the Coat of Arms’, where a local lunch is provided. You then return to the Rottenberg or Vinalia winery, or a similar establishment, near your accommodation, for a tasting.
You pay a visit to the nearby Bellu Manor House, which is most attractively situated and maintained. There is time for a leisurely lunch (not included), before your transfer to the airport (1-2 hour) for your return flight.
Cost of the tour:
Included: comfortable accommodation everywhere, with dinners and breakfasts; winetastings, as mentioned above; transport by minibus in Romania, with services of English-speaking guide and driver
Not included: return flights; lunches, except when included with winetastings (see above); drinks, other than at winetastings; entrance fees; tips; insurance.
” Dear Ramona,
A very big ‘thank you’ to you and Dan for all you did to give us such a wonderful week in you lovely country. Your planning of everything – particularly, of course, the accommodation, winetastings. meals and sightseeing – was excellent, and we were able to enjoy a fine variety of places to stay and different wineries and wines to enjoy. You and Dan – you are a great team – managed our week beautifully. I thought that I knew something about Romania, but no! Every day of the tour was a new and delightful experience for me, especially the manor houses and the landscapes of Oltenia and Muntenia, which I hadn’t managed to anticipate, as well as the wines which I had sort of imagined and the Transylvanian places I had already visited. I hope that you will be able to interest other groups in this programme and repeat this lovely, varied, fascinating tour in the future.” John Osborne