Romania is a fascinating destination in Europe for American travelers
Old castles, snow capped mountains, towns and villages steeped in history, Romania is a must add for any European vacation. From the capital city Bucharest you can reach the Carpathian Mountains in 2 hours. A string of mountain resorts from Busteni to Sinaia are waiting for you to explore the mountain trails, visit old castles, and perhaps also see the brown bears in their habitat.
Bran Castle And Dracula
Bran Castle, a customs outpost located near the historic city of Brasov, is included in Bram Stoker’s Dracula story. And yes, Vlad Tepes, the inspiration for the famous Count Dracula, was a ‘guest’ in the castle’s dungeons, if only briefly.
History And Archeology
The Black Sea coast is sprinkled with ancient city harbors which were trading outposts of the ancient Greeks and later the Romans. Tomis (today Constanta) is the town where the Roman poet Ovid spent his days in exile. The sparkling white marble at other archeological sites such as Histria and Heraclea provide a hint of the old glory of these cities.
Iasi is the old capital of the Moldavian principality, and is a university town with lasting traditions. Piatra Neamt, with its middle ages fortress of Stefan the Great, is located in the Eastern Carpathians and is considered one of the most picturesque cities in Romania. Suceava is a beautiful small town and a starting point for visiting the Northeast monasteries with their Romanian Sistine frescoes. These orthodox monasteries were built in the XIVth and XVth centuries in a unique architectural style, and painted not only in the interior, but all around on the exterior. The blue of Voronet is said to change its hue with the sun.
Romanian Monasteries and Churches
The Moldovita and Sucevita monasteries complement each other in a unique and fascinating way. The stories depicted on the North facade of one church and faded by the winter winds, are replicated clearly on the South facade of the other church. Dragomirna is the only gothic inspired church in the region. Other churches, many with stone walls as thick as 2-3 ft., served also as fortresses for the parishioners during the many Ottoman and Tatar invasions.
The North East Region
From the town of Bucovina you can cross through the mountain passes in Maramures to the scenic NorthWest.
In Transylvania, picturesque villages will take you back to a more pastoral time. Small homes with delicate wood decorations are sprinkled throughout the surrounding hills. The village churches are small, timber construction stave churches. Eight of them are UNESCO heritage sites (Barsana, Budesti, Lewd, Plopis, Rogoz).
Sapanta Happy Cemetery
A special attraction is the Merry Cemetery in the village of Sapanta. This cemetery is famous for its colorful and poetic tombstones with naive paintings describing, in an original and poetic manner, the life of the departed ones. According to the Dacian god Zalmoxis, death is not something indelibly solemn, but a moment of joy and anticipation of a better life for the immortal soul.
Cluj is the old capital of Transylvania and an important commercial, cultural, and university center.
The region is rich in culture and places of interest. Alba Iulia, an historical site of Romania unification in 1921. Sibiu, together with Sighisoara and Brasov are cities with multiple historical and cultural layers and which were settled by the Saxons (German ethnicity) from the mid XII century until recently..
Return to Bucharest along the Olt valley with a stop at Targu Jiu to see Constantin Brancusi’s monumental installation honoring the the fallen soldiers in the WW 1.
For Nature Lovers And Fishermen
A trip in the Danube Delta is a must. A number of all-inclusive hotels are catering to inquisitive tourists looking to explore the diversity of the fauna & flora (on smaller waterways with quite boats)
A Care Free Vacation On The Beach
A number of beach resorts string along the Black Sea around Constanta, from Mamaia in the north to Mangalia in the south. From rejuvenation treatments in Techirghiol to student parties and nudist beaches in Costinesti, the Romanian seaside has something for everyone.