Bran Castle (Romanian: Castelul Bran; German: Törzburg; Hungarian: Törcsvár), situated near Bran and in the immediate vicinity of Braşov, is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, on DN73. Commonly known as “Dracula’s Castle” (although it is one among several locations linked to the Dracula legend, including Poenari Castle and Hunyad Castle), it is often erroneously referred to as the home of the title character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
There is, however, no evidence that Stoker knew anything about this castle, which has only tangential associations with Vlad the Impaler, voivode of Wallachia, the putative inspiration for Dracula. As discovered by the Dutch author Hans Corneel de Roos, the location Bram Stoker actually had in mind for Castle Dracula while writing his novel was an empty mountain top, Mount Izvorul Călimanului, 2,033 meters (6,670 ft) high, located in the Transylvanian Călimani Alps near the former border with Moldavia. Stoker’s description of Dracula’s crumbling fictional castle also bears no resemblance to Bran Castle.
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ROUTING: BUCHAREST – CURTEA DE ARGES – POENARI – SIBIU
Your English-speaking specialist guide will pick you up from Bucharest Airport, in the afternoon a 2-hours guided tour in Bucharest.
Accommodation in Bucharest
Visit Snagov monastery. On a tiny island in a lake just outside of Bucharest stands Snagov Monastery which local tradition states is the burial place of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Visitors come here to seek the tomb of Dracula sitting in the front of the church altar. Vlad’s murder is believed to have occurred in the forests nearby, where the monks took his body since both Vlad and his father had both given money to the monastery.
Lunch with wine tasting.
After we leave the Bucharest region and go to Curtea de Arges, the former second capital of Wallachia. The strongholds rebuilt in the 14th century. See its Princely Church and its frescoed interior which is one of the first examples of Romanian paintings. The Episcopal Church (the monastery) which is a recreation of the original built in 1512 -1517 by prince Neagoe Basarab (rebuilt in 1875 – 1885).
Accommodation in the area
Next is a visit to Poenari Castle. Standing on a cliff but now in ruins – this is known as the real castle of Dracula (Vlad Tepes). To get to the top you must climb up its 1400 steps (takes approx. 1 hour). Once you arrive at the top of the Citadel you will find that the citadel is surprisingly small, one-third has collapsed down the mountainside in 1888. Entering through a narrow wooden bridge, you come across the crumbling remains of two towers within; the prism-shaped one was Vlad’s ( Dracula’s) residential quarters, from here, according to the legend, The Impaler’s wife flung herself out from the window, declaring that better this way than be captured by the Turks, who were besieging the castle. Legend has it that Vlad himself escaped over the mountains on horseback.
Will continue our journey passing Transfagarasan, the world’s most amazing road.
Transfăgărășan Highway bucks the trend. Built as a military route in the 1970s on Ceauşescu’s order, it winds up and over the towering Făgărăș Mountains. The road zigzags up a barren valley to Lake Bâlea and through a 900m-long tunnel, before continuing down through the forests of Wallachia province. Heavy snow means the highway is open only a few months a year, usually from late June until early October. Continue the road to Sibiu
– Overnight in Sibiu
ROUTING: SIBIU –ALBA-IULIA -BISTRIȚA
In the morning, will have 2 hours to visit Sibiu, a very well preserved medieval city.
– Walking tour of the Sibiu’s Old District. Sibiu is one of the most important fortified towns in Transylvania. The city is reminiscent of old European cities such as Nuremberg and it was founded in 1190 and grew to be the chief city of the Transylvanian Saxons. This amazing town, with the “Old Town” (The Big Square, the Small Square, the Ursuline Church, The Franciscan Church, The staircase Tower, the Tanners Tower, the Lier’s Bridge , the House of the Butcher’s Guild and last but not least with the amazing Bruckenthal Museum) is a gorgeous place to see.
From Sibiu will continue our journey to Alba Iulia. Having its origins back in the 2nd century from Roman time, the city of Alba Iulia offers a journey through the history of Transylvania from ancient times to medieval and modern days. We’ll visit the ruins of the Roman town, the medieval fortifications, the modern fortifications made in Vauban style, the Catholic Cathedral – the oldest from Transylvania and the Reunion Cathedral which commemorates the Union of all Romanian provinces in a single country.
– Overnight Alba Iulia
ROUTING: ALBA-IULIA– BISTRIȚA – BORGO PASS (TIHUTA)
– Next, we’ll pass the city of Medias which host the impressive Margareth Cathedral and its Trompet’s Tower, one of the most slided buildings in the world.
Then we’ll go on the route to Bistrita, passing Birgau Valley a very dramatic scenery, with huge hills draped in forests of fir trees and with villages appearing as living monuments to a way of life unchanged for centuries.
The Borgo Pass is the border between Transylvania and Bucovina, with fantastic landscapes. The Hotel situated on an 1116m altitude with a fantastic view of the Carpathian Mountains.
Next stop to Dracula’s Hotel, the 3* hotel built on the ruins of the Royal Castle of Dracula. This wild and mysterious place was used for the setting of the movie “Dracula” by Coppola. In the film based on the novel by Bram Stoker, Vlad the Impeller died here. Despite his death, his spirit never found its peace.
One of the main characters in the novel, the lawyer Jonathan Harker, was also a guest of the hotel and he felt here as comfortable as at home. Here the tourists can enjoy a blood taste – a unique drink: blood-red liquor, an exclusive beverage of the Golden Crown Restaurant.
ACCOMMODATION: HOTEL CASTEL DRACULA*** or similar
ROUTING: BORGO PASS – BIERTAN – SIGHIȘOARA
– Depart for Sighișoara
– On the way stop at Biertan Fortified Church, dating from XVI century and a former evangelical bishop headquarter.
– Visit Sighisoara the medieval city and fortress including the famous Clock Tower, the History Museum, and the Torture Room. In 1431, the storey house at Museum Square 6, within the shadow of the old town’s Clock Tower, a women whose name is lost to posterity gave birth to a son called Vlad, who in later life earned the title of The Impaler , abroad better known as Dracula, derived from Dracul or the Devil referring to his father Vlad Dracul, whom the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Hungary made a knight of the order of The Dargon in 1431. The Clock Tower, the Church on the Hill, the Scholars Stairs, The Monastery Church, the towers of the citadel (originally fourteen), The Shoemakers Town, the Tailors Tower, the Tinsmiths Tower are only a few of the marvels of this place called Sighisoara.
Overnight in Sighisoara
ROUTING: SIGHIȘOARA – BRAN – BRAȘOV
– We’ll leave Sighișoara on the route to Brasov area. The road will pass through beautiful german villages and one can admire their architecture and also couple citadels or churches which can be seen from the road.
– Continue our route to Bran and visit the famous Bran Castle. Also, called Dracula`s Castle, it is situated not far from Brasov (25 kilometers) at the entrance in the Bran – Rucar passage. The castle got its name from Dracula`s legend written in 1897 by Bram Stoker and later on made into a film by Francis Ford Coppola. The first documents about the Bran Castle appeared in 1377. Along the history, the Castle had a strategic mission being the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. First, it was under the rule of the King of Hungary Sigismund of Luxemburg, of the Romanian voivodes Mircea cel Batran and Vlad Tepes and later it came under the jurisdiction of the City of Brasov. In the XX century, the castle was donated to the royal family and became a royal residence. The museum preserves the furniture and objects from that period.
– End the day in Brasov. A short tour of the magic medieval centre of Brasov (2 hours). The city of Brasov is one of the oldest in Europe, dating from 1235. During the Middle Ages, Brasov was known as a powerful fortress surrounded by high stone walls and defended by bulwarks, towers, and other small fortresses. The buildings and the streets in the historical centre still preserve a medieval note. Concil Square, Black Church, White and Black Towers, Weaver’s Bastion and Ecaterina’s Gate are the tour highlights.
– Overnight in Brasov
ROUTING: BRAȘOV – SINAIA – SNAGOV – BUCHAREST
– We’ll go to Sinaia and visit the Peles Castle, former summer residence of the kings of Romania, the Peles Castle is 44 kilometers from Brasov, in Sinaia, a well-known mountain resort as well. Nowadays the Castle is one of the most important museums in Transylvania where one can admire furniture and ornamental objects, carpets, tapestry, sculptures, paintings, collections of weapons from the 15th up to the19th centuries.
After will continue our route to Bucharest.
Accommodation in Bucharest.
Day in Bucharest.
In the morning to Palace of the Parliament, the second biggest building in the world (after Pentagon, US).
In the afternoon visit to Village museum an open-air ethnographic museum showing traditional Romanian village life.
In the evening, can enjoy the bars or clubs from the colorful old city. The main street that crosses the area, is so much filled with bars, pubs, and restaurants, that sometimes it’s nearly impossible to choose.
Romanian traditional dinner
Return home, depending of flights, free time for shopping in Bucharest.
– Included services and features:
– 9 nights’ accommodation with breakfast
– one traditional Romanian dinner
– the tour can be booked as self-driving tour( rent a car included), group min 6 people’s tour with a private, licensed English speaking guide/driver, available throughout the tour
– rent a car or transport
- Maps, information about things to do
- Day by day diary
- Reservation hotels as per itinerary
– Airfare to and from Romania
– Meals or beverages, other than those included
– Photo fees (some sights require the payment of a fee for allowing you to take pictures – they are inexpensive, around £ 2 or 3 sight)
– travel insurance
– Entrance fees as per the itinerary
Single room supplement – £150
Any other services on request as food, beverages, activities, a private, licensed English speaking guide/driver, available throughout the tour.