Extraordinary, unspoilt scenery and medieval architecture, the macabre tales of the 'real' Count Dracula and one of Europe’s most fascinating capitals... Transylvania is unforgettable.Since the 1989 revolution that brought an end to brutal, communist-era rule, stunningly beautiful Romania has emerged from its shell, opening its doors to wide-eyed visitors. Prepare to be enchanted by the ancient towns and villages that dot the forested Carpathian mountains, and by the fast-changing vitality and vibrancy of Bucharest. Explore this extraordinary corner of Europe, where the old – filled with wild Gypsy music, and ancient, dark legends – mixes with the new, modern sensibilities of Bucharest’s smart cafés and coffee houses.
A walking tour through the Saxon stronghold of Brasov, gateway to the Carpathian Mountains
Visit ‘Dracula’s Castle’ in ancient Bran
The UNESCO-listed medieval fortress at Sighisoara
Visit a village where the Prince of Wales takes holidays
Explore ancient Sibiu’s churches and painted houses
Visit fairy-tale Peles Castle
The immense Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest
Meet your tour manager in Otopeni International Airport, and transfer north towards the forested Carpathian Mountains and legendary Transylvania. This breathtakingly beautiful region is still home to wild bears, wild boar and wolves, and to a cosmopolitan mix of Magyar, Romanian, German and Gypsy peoples, who live lives rich in folklore traditions against a backdrop largely unchanged in centuries. Check in to your hotel in the Transylvanian city of Brasov, and perhaps head out to enjoy a stroll in the streets of this ancient Saxon gem, before a welcome dinner is served at your hotel.
After breakfast, enjoy a guided introduction to the pastel-painted buildings and elegant main Council Square of Brasov’s Baroque Old Town, lined with red-roofed merchants’ houses and overlooked by the Gothic spires of the striking Black Church. Here, legend has it, the Pied Piper emerged from an underground tunnel with the children of Hamelin – the first of many legends and tall tales you’ll hear during your stay. Your second colourful stop is the Castle at Bran, deep in the Transylvanian forest. Used as the setting for Bram Stoker’s dark tale of Dracula, the castle is in fact a former royal residence set against a stunning mountain backdrop. Take a tour of the turreted 14th-century fortress, and enjot the memorable experience of dining in the castle grounds in the Castle Tea Room, a former royal reception salon, before returning to Brasov.
Another memorable day awaits you, as you journey north to achingly beautiful Sighisoara, a UNESCO-listed medieval city laid out around a colourful main square and surrounded by ancient fortifications. Join a walking tour to see the ornate tiled roof of the city’s landmark Clock Tower, and visit the nearby house said to be the birthplace of Vlad Tepes - the 15th-century tyrant better known as Vlad the Impaler and the inspiration for Count Dracula. Climb up the Scholar’s Stair to the beautiful Church on the Hill, and visit the nine remaining towers of the city’s original Citadel. After a wonderful few hours, return to Brasov, taking in the unspoilt village of Viscri, deep in the forest, where HRH The Prince of Wales has a guesthouse, on the way.
On today’s unforgettable excursion you’ll head to another extraordinary preserved Saxon town - the former European City of Culture, Sibiu. With its delightful old town, interconnected squares, and grand, onion-domed churches, Sibiu could easily pass as Munich, with the backdrop of the Carpathian Mountains standing in for the Bavarian Alps. Wander the beautiful, cobbled streets, perhaps enjoying lunch in one of the city’s many cafés, then return to Brasov to enjoy your last evening in Transylvania.
Bid farewell to Brasov and head south to the Bucegi Mountains and the resort town of Sinaia, a popular skiing and hiking centre watched over by fairy-tale Peles Castle. A royal residence until 1947, the castle was returned to the ownership of Romania’s late, much-loved, exiled King Michael in 2008. Take a tour of some of the Bavarian-style castle’s richly decorated apartments, and enjoy lunch in the resort, before continuing to Bucharest. As you head to your hotel you’ll catch a glimpse of the Romanian capital’s Parisian-style grand boulevards and Arch of Triumph. And, after checking in, you’ll enjoy your first evening in the city. Why not join our optional folklore dinner show excursion for an enjoyable look at local traditions as you start to your short stay in Bucharest?
Board the coach for a fascinating guided tour of a city that, 30 years ago, was the backdrop to the bloodiest downfall of a Communist dictator, that of Nicolai Ceausescu, and that still bears some of the scars of the period. A visit to the monumental Palace of the Parliament - the world’s most expensive (and heaviest) administrative building - provides an insight into the city’s Communist past, while the wonderful open-air Village Museum and 17th-century Patriarchal Church provide earlier, alternative perspectives. An afternoon stroll around the colourful, chaotic old town, filled with an ever-increasing number of uber-trendy eateries and coffee-houses, is the best way to get to know the modern city.
Depending on your flight time, you may have a chance for some last-minute shopping or sightseeing before you bid farewell to your Romanian hosts and transfer back to the airport to catch your flight home, at the end of a fascinating few days.
Four nights' bed and continental breakfast accommodation at a four-star hotel in Brasov
Two nights' bed and continental breakfast accommodation at a four-star hotel in Bucharest
An included tour of Bucharest
Return flights to Bucharest
Comfortable coach travel and transfers throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
With more than 35 years’ tour-operating experience, Newmarket Holidays can provide escorted tours, river cruises, cruise holidays and resort-based stays that combine superb value for money and the highest standards of customer care. Having won Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company six years running at the British Travels Awards, the company has become one of the largest and most respected independently owned tour operators in the UK.
Newmarket Holidays offers a huge array of escorted tours, short breaks, long explorations and holiday experiences for just about every interest and activity level, with transfers, excursions, carefully chosen accommodation and many entrances included in the price. All holidays also include a friendly and knowledgeable tour manager to help you make the most of your trip and to ensure your holiday operates as smoothly as possible. And although much of your escorted tour is prearranged, you’ll still have plenty of free time to relax and the flexibility to do your own thing.
With Newmarket Holidays, there’s a whole world to explore, from the historic railways of the Isle of Man and the canals of Amsterdam to the exciting city of New York and the magical sight of the Taj Mahal in India. Alternatively, relax and unwind beside the blue waters of Lake Garda, enjoy a guided tour of Poland’s former royal capital or spend a few nights in the heart of Moscow in Russia. Newmarket Holidays has something special for all couples, groups, families and solo travellers, including romantic breaks in Paris, safari adventures in Kenya, Santa experience days in Lapland and rail journeys through the Italian countryside.
There’s also a choice of holiday types and themes, such as small group tours, rail holidays, UK and Ireland short breaks, Christmas markets and cultural experiences, as well as concerts and events. As a company that now focuses on UK, European and Worldwide air holidays, ocean cruises and river cruises, you can even choose how to travel to your chosen destinations. Not forgetting that Newmarket Holidays specialises in included and optional excursions to ensure your escorted tours are memorable from beginning to end.
When you choose an air holiday, you can either tour as many attractions and cultures as you can fit in or base yourself at a quiet resort and take your pick from a collection of excursions and day trips. This means that your holiday can be as adventurous or as relaxing as you wish. If a cruise is your ideal group tour, Newmarket Holidays has departures from nearly every major port in the UK and can take you to places in and around Europe, the Canary Islands, the Baltic Cities, Greenland, the Far East, Australia and Africa. You can also choose from a wide range of European and worldwide river cruises or select a Christmas and New Year river cruise along the Danube, the Rhine or the Seine River.
From the moment you book an escorted tour, resort-based stay or cruise holiday, you can have peace of mind that your money is safe because Newmarket Holidays is a member of ABTA and is licensed by ATOL. Also, the company has a 4.5 out of 5 customer rating, which is a testament to the quality of the escorted tours and the outstanding customer care provided by the team. But that’s not all. As Newmarket Holidays is all about offering the best value for money holidays, this competitive tour operator promises to price match any like-for-like escorted tour found cheaper elsewhere.
Please note: After many years of operation, Newmarket Holidays has decided to discontinue the UK and European coach breaks and tours departing from local pick-ups in the UK (as of 2019) to concentrate on its range of UK, European and Worldwide air holidays, ocean cruises and river cruises.