Endangered birds flutter along reed-fringed channels, legends whisper from medieval walls, wolves, and bears inhabit remote mountain forests. Romania is both wild and traditional, a forgotten realm of Europe that’s become revered for its natural adventures. Concluding with a luxury houseboat cruise on the World Heritage Danube Delta, this handcrafted tour goes in search of Romania’s unique wildlife and culture from Dracula to Dalmatian pelicans, carnivores, and cobbled streets.
Bucharest – Taking it Easy in the Capital City
Bucharest is big and bustling, a capital city that’s not always easy on the eye. Like other major European cities, you have to look beyond the initial impression and seek out the places of tranquility, especially those in the very heart of the city. Pedestrianized lanes start to dominate here, winding between monuments that once gave Bucharest the monicker of Little Paris. Colorful townhouses juxtapose with quiet cafes and flamboyant architectural works, soon every turn brings a little surprise.
It’s hard to judge the energy levels after a long flight, especially if there could be some jet lag, so nothing is planned for this day. You have a boutique hotel in the city, a peaceful haven for sleeping and relaxing after the journey. The guide will meet you at the airport and accompany you to the hotel. An orientation tour is provided, at a time that suits your mood. Rather than visit the sights, it’s a short walk and an introduction to local customs and the streets around the hotel, a chance to feel comfortable with the country you came to explore. The hotel is built and defined by a French neo-classical style and its restaurant is one of the best in Bucharest, an easy choice for evening dining.
Brasov – Little Paris and the Royal Palace; Onwards to a Transylvanian Saxon Town
Brasov – Wolves and Bears on a Day in the Southeastern Carpathians
Brasov – Hiking Trails and Village Life in Rural Transylvania
Buzau – A Legendary Castle, Mud Volcanoes and Down From the Mountains
Danube Delta – Across the Eastern Plains and the Start of the Danube Cruise
Day 7 - 9
Danube Delta – Luxury Houseboat Cruise Through the Surreal World of the Danube Delta Wetlands
Danube Delta to Bucharest – Departure
- Escape into a realm of waterways and rare birds with a four-night luxury houseboat cruise on the Danube Delta
- Journey through medieval centuries in the fortified Saxon city of Brasov
- Safely meet wolves and bears in the Carpathian Mountains, and learn how to track their spoor through the forests
- Discover the extravagant sights of Bucharest and learn why the capital is known as Little Paris
- Interpret the myths as you visit the castle linked to Count Dracula and the place where the Pied Piper emerged with Hamlyn children
- Over 350 bird species fill the Danube Delta during the summer months, from endangered pelicans to all manner of ibis and cormorant species
- Hike through rural Transylvania and visit small villages, where traditions provide lively memories
Romania always surprises visitors. Even when you’re expecting to be surprised you’re not quite expecting what you find. Like bears roaming peacefully through mountain forests, red-footed falcons soaring above peaceful waterways, stories of Count Dracula and the Pied Piper emanating from medieval walls. So much of this country remains wild and untamed, most of the rest sticks true to its old traditions. It’s a haven for birdwatchers, a place of sanctuary, and a chance to connect with culture to take a jump into the lanes of history.
This luxury tour is handcrafted for the curious, the traveler who likes to look beyond the famous European sights and discover something new. It moves at a laid-back pace, one night to get you settled in Bucharest, and then citadel walls in Brasov, and a stop near the Muddy Volcanoes in Buzau. Complete the vacation with the Danube Delta cruise, traveling on a boutique houseboat through a World Heritage landscape. Powerboats take you down narrow channels while evenings are indelibly tranquil as you’re many miles from other human life.
Even in Brasov and Transylvania, the experience is dominated by nature. Spend time in the Carpathian Mountains, hiking and exploring before evenings amid the old-world charm of Brasov. Wolves and bears thrive here, and you safely meet them at the Carpathian Large Carnivore Project. Learn how to track, spoor, and make your own journey across the valleys, with hiking trails leading you towards Transylvania’s very traditional villages. Throughout the first days, you also visit some of Romania’s pre-eminent attractions in Bucharest and Brasov, although the experience is more about the surprises you find along the way.
You hit the road through Transylvania, first stopping at Bran Castle. While its links to Count Dracula are erroneous, there’s no doubting the legend that seeps from this 14th-century fortress. Continue to a landscape from the moon, mud bubbling in volcano-like figurations, sulfur smells, and surreal sights filling your afternoon. You come down from the mountains for a night in Buzau, an endearing little town in the old Muntenia region. The Carpathians now lie behind you with the lowlands flowing to the east.
Complete the vacation on the Danube Delta, where over 350 bird species thrive through the summer months, many of them migratory. This World Heritage Site is amongst the world’s largest river wetlands and it’s not long before you’ve escaped the rest of humanity. Just a floating hotel, a handful of guests, and the ravishing colors of the Delta. Pelicans and cormorants thrive in this aquatic ecosystem, along with falcons, the giants of the bird world. Explore forests and visit World Wildlife Fund (WWF) projects, the program all about enveloping you in nature’s world. Birds provide the morning chorus, the evening lullaby, and a sense of being far away from the manmade world. Just sit back and indulge in the tranquility.
$2,595 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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