Expert-Led Group Tour

Romania group tour - Beyond the Carpathian Mountains

Register your interest for our September 2020 Romania Group Tour

10 days

from £3,495pp
  • Unearth the secrets of one of Europe's most enchanting countries
  • Explore picturesque villages, UNESCO wooden churches and the mesmerising Carpathian Mountains
  • Experience the hospitality and handiwork of the Roma people
  • Visit the magnificent Turda salt mine near Cluj Napoca

Travel in Romania offers an opportunity to discover a country that is often misrepresented in the media and relatively unknown to all but the most curious of travellers. The scenery throughout most of Romania is wonderful with mountains, forests and large areas of rolling farmland forming the backdrop to road journeys.

The route of this small group tour moves away from the country’s more touristed areas in favour of the quieter corners where life moves slowly and, in a way, largely unchanged for hundreds of years. Begin your tour in Buchovina, before travelling to Sucevita, famous for its stunning painted churches. Journey onwards, visiting Breb, rich in tradition, considered one of the most beautiful villages in Romania. From here, travel to Cluj Napoca, one of the most effervescent European cities and known as the ‘Heart of Transylvania’. Continue to Viscri, one of the most beautiful Saxon villages in Transylvania, designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Finally, finishing in Sibiu, situated in central Romania.

Joe, one of our Romania travel experts, recently travelled to Romania, read about his travels in Romania here.

Why should I join this group tour to Romania?

This is a varied tour that takes in Saxon villages and fortified churches, vibrant Roma communities, markets, and traditional villages where horse carts are the preferred method of transport and hay is cut by hand. Compared to much of Europe, Romania receives but a trickle of visitors. We think this is set to change so travel now before the word completely gets out.

What is the accommodation like in Romania?

Often hotels in Romania are not to the same standard as those of other more developed countries within Europe. However, small boutique hotels do exist and are complemented well by friendly family run guesthouses with comfortable beds and home-cooked meals. You can always expect a private en-suite room.

Is this Romania tour suitable for solo travellers?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour Expert.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.

How fit should I be to enjoy this tour?

You do not need to be particularly fit to participate, there are no long walks involved but there will be a certain number of stone steps and uneven surfaces.

What is the food in Romania like?

For the most part, meals are simple and hearty. Breakfasts tend to focus on bread, jam, local honey and eggs. Lunches will vary between hot and cold. Dinners tend to be meat, mashed potato and vegetables. Vegetarians and vegans can be accommodated but away from the main cities, it is probably fair to say that options will be limited.

Romanians always celebrate with food. Be it Christmas, Easter, a wedding, or a burial. Romanians have a specific dish for each. On Easter Sunday, Romanians gather around the family table or go out on a picnic and enjoy traditional Romanian food.

The main meat at the Easter table is lamb. Romanians usually turn it into roast but in some parts of the country soup and stew are also delicious options. Another option is some type of haggis or meatloaf out of lamb liver mixed with condiments. Sweet bread is the traditional Romanian dessert. It is a delicious puffy dough filled with cocoa, raisins and Turkish delight and walnuts. It goes great with boiled eggs, milk or by its own. Pasca is also a type of sweet bread but with sweet cheese and raisins.

What will the weather be like in September?

Clear sunny days but not excessively hot. When travelling in the mountainous areas the weather can vary so best pack a waterproof. The best time to travel to Romania is generally during the months of April, May, June and September, as it is neither too hot nor too cold.

Can I extend my stay in Romania?

Yes, this can easily be arranged at the beginning or end of the tour. Private travel arrangements with a car and driver will be provided and a private guide arranged for sightseeing. Please speak to one of our Romania travel experts for ideas and information.



Departing on:
  • 19th September 2020

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

STARTFINISHPrice Excluding Flights £Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour ExpertStatus 
19th Sep 2020 28th Sep 2020 £ 3,495 £ 300 £ 475 Local Guide Available
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Accommodation as indicated
  • Accompanied by an English speaking local guide throughout
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Entrance fees to all sites as indicated in itinerary
  • Gratuities for the local guides, drivers and accommodation porters
  • Transportation throughout

what is excluded

  • Drinks with meals
  • International Flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Porterage Fees
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Visa (if required)
  • Visa if required

TO ALLOW FLEXIBILITY, OUR GROUP TOURS DO NOT INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS AS STANDARD. WE CAN ARRANGE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS ON YOUR BEHALF AND THE ABOVE IS AN INDICATION OF COST, BASED ON RETURN FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM LONDON. ALL INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Bucovina arrival
Welcome to one of the most tradition-rich regions in Romania, Bucovina. You will spend the next couple of days taking a tour of the 15th and 16th century painted monasteries in the area that made Bucovina famous. This tour can also be considered as a trip through UNESCO World Heritage Sites as most of these monasteries are on this list due to their beautifully painted frescoes.

Located in the north-eastern part of Romania, Bucovina is one of the smallest regions of the country, yet, one of the most beautiful. The region is full of beautiful villages, lovely groves of beech trees and, of course, its uniquely painted monasteries. These masterpieces are inspired by Byzantine art, they tell visual stories about the past, often showing important moments from the history of Christianity, or tales from the Bible. Eight of them are under UNESCO protection.

If you are looking for some peaceful days filled with hospitable locals, good food and time to chill out and reflect, Bucovina is the place to be.


Lunch near Gura Humorului
Since you arrive around midday, head straight to a pretty farm in the middle of the forest, very close to Gura Humorului, where the food is absolutely delicious. All their produce is sourced from their garden and backyard.


Afternoon Monastery visit and continue to Sucevita
After lunch, visit Humor Monastery and Voronet Monastery, located around twenty minutes from Gura Humorului. These are the best preserved medieval religious sites on UNESCO's list.

Afterwards, drive around an hour to Sucevita, a small village with a beautiful monastery, and check into your accomodation.

In the evening, have a traditional dinner made from fresh local produce.


Lunch and dinner included.


You will be staying at Casa cu Cerbi, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Sucevita to Moldovita
Have breakfast at the guesthouse and then depart for Sucevita Monastery, right in the village, built in 1585, by the Movilesti family. The architecture of the church contains both Byzantine and Gothic elements, as well as some typical elements for northern Moldavia.

Continue to Moldovita, where you can visit Moldovita Monastery, a journey of around 40 minutes.


Afternoon visit to Marginea
In the afternoon, drive through to Marginea, a short 15-minute journey, where you will be introduced to a traditional craft of the area: black pottery. The local craftsman Corneliu Magopat will guide you through the magical process of moulding the clay while teaching you more about black ceramics, which are a local speciality.

Drive back to Sucevita.


Breakfast and dinner included.


You will be staying at Casa cu Cerbi, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Cross the mountains into Maramures
Time to say goodbye to Bucovina and head towards another traditional region of Romania, Maramures. On your way, stop in Borsa, at a monastery in the Rodnei Mountains National Park, located around two and a half hours from Marginea.

From the monastery take a short walk around to discover alpine flora or just enjoy the fresh air. The Rodnei Mountains are some of the most spectacular in Romania, home to glacial lakes and typical flowers like the mountain peony. The park is the second largest in the country.

Have a quick lunch before continuing to Breb, a two-hour drive, where you will spend the next two nights.


Breakfast and dinner included.


You will be staying at The Village Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 4

Day trip to Sighetu Marmatiei and Sapanta
Depart Breb and drive around forty minutes to Sighetu Marmatiei, taking in the traditional villages with their wooden churches and the amazing natural landscapes on the way.

Visit the Memorial Museum of Communism, created in the old prisons of the city. The prison was the location for the torture and murder of a large number of intellectuals of communist Romania. It offers a realistic insight into the more harrowing side of Romanian history.

After lunch, visit the Maramures Village Museum, in Sighetu Marmatiei, an ethnological museum representative for the area. Unlike other village museums around the country, this is a smaller one, generally unvisited but it is very charming and well worth exploring.

From Sighetu Marmatiei, continue your drive to Sapanta to visit the one-of-a-kind Merry Cemetery, where the tombstones have quite peculiar and funny epitaphs. Here you can visit local craftsmen; some open their houses to guests to try out traditional costumes and have you taste their home-made palinca (plum brandy is at its best/strongest in Maramures).

Driving back to Breb, make a short detour to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, Barsana Monastery. If time permits, stop by to see more wooden churches, such as the 17th century UNESCO church in Budesti Josani or the 18th-century church in Budesti Susani.


Breakfast and dinner included.


You will be staying at The Village Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 5

Breb to Cluj-Napoca
Head south and out of Maramures. You will be doing one of the epic drives through Tara Lapusului on your way to Cluj-Napoca, taking around three hours. Cluj is a major university city, a blend of Romanian and Hungarian cultures dating back from the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On arrival in the city, your guide will take you for lunch.

After lunch, continue with a stroll around the city centre, where you can see Unirii Square, resplendent with 18th and 19th Century buildings and home to many shops and restaurants, the 15th century St. Michael's Church, one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Romania, and the 18th century Baroque Banffy Palace, housing the weaponry and Romanian art collections of the Art Museum.


Breakfast included.


You will be staying at City Plaza, bed and breakfast

Day 6

Cluj-Napoca to Viscri
Leave the city behind you and head for Viscri, your final destination for the day, with a few stops on the way. The total journey should take around three and a half hours.

Visit the magnificent Turda salt mine on the way, a wonderful underground space dating back from Roman times and the most spectacular salt mine in the country.

Stop for lunch and a stroll on the narrow streets of Sighisoara, home of Vlad the Impaler for a little while.

The second largest city in Romania, Cluj Napoca is also considered the capital of Transylvania. A buzzing, bohemian city, Cluj Napoca offers festivals, quaint cafés and stunning baroque architecture by the bucket load and is the perfect place to stop off during any trip to Romania.


Breakfast and dinner included.


You will be staying at Verde De Viscri, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Exploring Viscri
Enjoy a walk in the village, including a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage fortified church, as well as visits to the local craftsmen, to learn how they work with clay or iron. Of course, you could also quickly peek into Prince Charles' house in the village.

If the weather allows, have lunch in the yard of a Saxon lady from the village who will cook for you traditional dishes with fresh ingredients picked directly from her garden.

In the afternoon, there will be time at leisure to relax or wander around Viscri at your leisure.

Viscri lies to the south-east of Cluj Napoca, and is one of five villages making up the Brunesti Commune. The village now has UNESCO heritage status, thanks to the efforts of Caroline Fernolend and the Mihai Eminescu Trust, whose President is the Prince of Wales. The village boasts a 12th-century fortified church and well-preserved architecture and traditions.


Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.


You will be staying at Verde De Viscri, bed and breakfast

Day 8

Viscri to Sibiu
Leave Viscri in the morning and take a longer road towards Sibiu, taking just under four hours, stopping on the way to visit some of the nearby Saxon villages, like Malancrav, where you can visit Maria Nistor, the weaver, and also see the stunning fortified church.

Explore Biertan and its UNESCO World Heritage medieval Saxon fortifications. Considered to have the most beautiful fortified church in Transylvania. Biertan also has a house where, in ancient times, couples who planned to divorce were locked for two weeks to share only one bed and one set of cutlery. It is said that in 400 years, only one couple decided to break up after staying there.

Arrive in Sibiu.


Breakfast included.


You will be staying at Maison Elysee, bed and breakfast

Day 9

Exploring Sibiu
In the morning go for a tour of the city with a local guide. The city offers many interesting sights not least its medieval fortifications that used to protect the city.
Take a stroll under the Footway Ramp, built in the 14th century to connect the upper and lower part of the city, cross the Bridge of Lies, the oldest cast-iron bridge in Romania and visit both the Evangelical Cathedral (just from the outside as it’s undergoing renovations) and the Orthodox Cathedral, for a glimpse of different architectural styles of the city.
In the afternoon, drive outside the city to the area known for its sheepfolds and shepherds.

There will be a final farewell dinner with the group, talking through the amazing highlights of this beautiful country.

Once the largest and wealthiest of the citadels, Sibiu is a lively medieval town with picturesque squares and colourful architecture.


Breakfast and dinner included.


You will be staying at Maison Elysee, bed and breakfast

Day 10

Breakfast included.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Romania

Joe Parkes, Travel Expert

"It was extremely helpful to work in conjunction with Joe and his much more up to date knowledge of India and arrive at an itinerary which we were happy with. We enjoyed the whole trip and probably what made it special for us was the fact that all the arrangements worked so well and we really didn’t have to worry about anything at all. Even when we decided to make a small change it was dealt with efficiently and promptly. We can't think of anything that would have made our trip more enjoyable."

"The service from start to finish has been excellent. Joe was very quick to respond to any queries and put together an excellent itinerary at short notice."

"A pleasure to deal with Joe. Efficient, helpful, knowledgeable and fun!"

Read More

Thomas Frost, Travel Expert

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Local Guide

Local Guide

Our Romania group tour will be accompanied by an English speaking guide throughout the duration of the tour.

They will meet you on arrival and travel with you throughout your time in Romania. Tipping for the local guide is included as part of this group tour.
Enquire about this holiday:

Group Size:

Min 5 / Max 15

Tour Expert:

Local Guide

Departure Date (S):

  • 19th September 2020

Holiday Ideas in Romania

You are unique, so we believe your holiday should be too.

We listen to what you want and create a personalised itinerary tailored around you.

Your holiday. Your experience. Your way.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Call our Travel Experts on +01285 880 980
Start Your Journey
 

Expertise

  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides

PRICING

  • We negotiate the best rates with hotels and expert guides
  • Be protected from fluctuations in exchange rates

RESPONSIBLE STEPPES

  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

Fully Protected

  • Your monies are financially protected
  • 24/7 Emergency UK contact whilst abroad
 

Featured in the Press

Financial Times
The Telegraph
Sunday Times logo
CNT
Wanderlust

Our Partners

African Parks
Galapagos Conservation Trsut
OF_Primary_Logo_Tan
Restless Development
Save The Rhino
Tusk Trust
World Land Trsut
Gorilla Doctors
 

© Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom