trad buildings

Highlights of Romania Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Romania
Programmes:
Culture
Trip Code:
AWB
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

10 Days Flight Inclusive
10 Days Land only
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview

This tour starts in the vibrant city of Cluj Napoca in Northern Romania. Head north to the Maramures region where century-old traditions are still part of daily life and wooden churches are scattered throughout the landscape. After exploring the North we start our journey down South discovering the fascinating towns and villages in Transylvania, including the UNESCO towns of Sighisoara, Sibiu, Viscri. The tour ends in Romania's capital city, Bucharest. During this trip, you will be immersed in Romanian life, experience traditional food, and meet local craftsmen. 

At a Glance

  • 4 nights hotel, 5 nights guesthouses
  • 10 days land only/flight inclusive
  • Travel by air-conditioned bus/minibus 

Trip Highlights

  • Experience local life in Romanian villages and visit craftsmen
  • Discover the beautiful landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains
  • Medieval heritage; visit UNESCO sites of Sighisoara, Sibiu, Viscri

Is This Trip for You?

This itinerary includes the main highlights of Romania as well as some well-kept secrets that provide true insight into the local culture. There will be some long drives (maximum 5 hours per day) on winding roads through the varying scenery of Romania. All hotels are equivalent to 2 and 3-star accommodation yet the standard may vary depending on location. In some of the more rural villages, we stay in locally run guesthouses, some of the facilities are basic, but the warm hospitality more than makes up for this. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

Group normally 4 to 16, plus a local leader and driver. The local leader is with you from day 1 until the evening of day 9. 

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Cluj Napoca.

    The trip starts in Cluj Napoca. Those on the group flight will be met at the airport and transferred to the start hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you will have time to explore one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in Romania. During the dualist Austro-Hungarian period Cluj experienced significant urban development, benefiting greatly from western influences. This is visible in the architecture of the city, making it very different from Bucharest.

    Standard hotel

  • Day 2

    Travel north to the Maramures region.

    This morning we leave Cluj behind and make our way towards Maramures. The woodwork in this region is a result of a secular tradition passed down from generation to generation. Today we stop for lunch at a trout-farm at the foot of Gutin Mountains, the “old guardians” of Maramures. In the afternoon we visit centuries‑old, UNESCO-listed wooden churches.

    This evening we stay in the rural village of Botiza at a local guesthouse. Before we dine, we’ll have a weaving demonstration from one of the locals. You may notice a few recurrent symbols, such as the rope of life, the sun, vegetal motifs, and folk dances. All have are deeply symbolic for the villagers, representing daily chores, religion, ancestral beliefs, and even death.

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 3

    Visit the ancient capital of Maramures and Barsana Monastery.

    We continue discovering the Maramures region. We start with “the Memorial of the Communism victims” in the ancient capital of Maramures; Sighetu Marmatiei. We will visit a museum situated in the former political prison, which will give you a sad testimony of the Romanian dark years. This afternoon we visit the incredible Barsana Monastery, a convent set up in the 1990s, it is one of the greatest masterpieces of Maramures crafts. We conclude today by paying a visit to a renowned craftsman, famous for his woodwork.

    Local guesthouse

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Visit the medieval town of Sighisoara.

    Today we leave Maramures to explore new regions in Romania. We head south for Sighisoara. This medieval citadel, one of the best-preserved in Europe, will give you the feeling of travelling back in time, as you walk through the narrow cobbled streets. This fortified town is characterized by the presence of towers that were formerly managed by the congregations of artisans. The Tailor’s tower is a real wonder of the medieval architecture.

    Standard hotel 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Discover Transylvania; overnight in Sibiu.

    Today we drive into the heart of Transylvania with its fortified churches. From the top of the towers, you will have beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and colourful traditional houses. We will drive through Biertan, famous for its double-wall fortification, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lunch will be taken at a local family-owned restaurant. In the evening we will arrive in Sibiu, the most beautiful city in Transylvania. A medieval city outstandingly well preserved and restored, it was elected the European capital of the culture in 2007, due to its unique architectural style and atmosphere.

    Standard hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 6

    Drive to Viscri via Sambata de Sus monastery.

    We continue driving through the highest mountains in Romania, the Fagaras Mountains. On our way we will visit the impressive ruins of a 12th-century Franciscan monastery in Carta, then stop at Sambata de Sus, the only monastery in Transylvania built in a Walachian style. Here, we will have lunch at a traditional guesthouse. This afternoon we will continue to the Valtori complex in the village of Lisa, a wool processing workshop powered by hydraulic energy; a technique passed down for generations. In the evening we arrive in the secluded village of Viscri. Our last activity of the day is visiting the tiny charming fortified church of Viscri, which is definitely one of the Transylvanian "pearls". This church was restored with the help of Prince’s Charles Foundation.

     Local guesthouse

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 7

    Walk through Viscri; Continue to Brasov.

    In the morning, we’ll have a walk through the village, visiting two craftsmen along the way: the brick-maker and the blacksmith. Besides assisting the needs of the villages, they also have contributed to the restoration of the village. Leaving Viscri, we go to Brasov. This city (Kronstadt in German) was founded in the 13th century when the Teutonic Knights were sent here by the order of Andrew II of Hungary to fortify the border. The city has a rich Saxon, Hungarian and Romanian heritage, manifested in a lot of sights worth visiting; The White and the Black Towers, the Black Church, the Council House, St. Nicholas Church, the first Romanian school, narrow streets and colored houses, all very well preserved within the old city walls and towers. This evening we stay in the small village called Vulcan, we will enjoy dinner at the local Saxon church where we will also spend the night.

    Local guesthouse

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 8

    Explore Dracula’s castle; continue to Rasnov.

    Today we visit Bran Castle, better known as “Dracula’s Castle”. For many years the castle was home to Queen Marie of Romania, Queen Victoria of England’s granddaughter. We will have lunch at a mountain guesthouse which is at the foot of the Carpathians, delicious traditional dishes will be waiting for us. We continue driving to Rasnov, a citadel built in the 13th century in order to protect Transylvania from the Turkish attacks. It is built on the top of a hill and offers an impressive overall view on the surroundings. We’ll end the day with a great dinner and a campfire.

    Optional: Those interested can do bear watching with specialised guides in bear hides. Available upon request at a separate cost.

    Local guesthouse

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 9

    Arrive in Bucharest stopping at Peles Castle en route.

    Today we head to Romania’s capital, Bucharest. On our way, we will stop and visit the exterior of Peles Castle, the former residence of the Romanian Royals, and one of the most beautiful architectural examples.  We then continue our drive to discover the Romanian capital. Sometimes known as “the Eastern Paris” with a mix of 18th and 19th-century buildings, socialist "blocks", and modern buildings. We will have the opportunity to visit the gigantic Palace of Parliament, the second biggest building in the world. This evening we say goodbye to our local guide.

    Standard hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Ends Bucharest.

    After breakfast, the rest of the day is free (depending on your flight time). Those on the group flight will be transferred to the airport.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels and Guesthouses

On this trip we stay in 3-star hotels when staying in the bigger cities. In the rural areas, we will stay at family run guesthouses. In some of the guesthouses, we will sometimes have shared bathrooms (1 bathroom for 2 rooms). In the smaller guesthouses, the rooms might be split over several guesthouses close to one another. 

Please note: the guesthouse on night 2 and 3 does not have wifi. 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Accommodation - Pre trip

If you want to spend more time in Cluj to explore the city, your sales consultant can look into pre-tour accommodation for you. 

At the end of your tour, it is possible for us to organise additional nights in Bucharest. Please ask your sales consultant. 

Single supplement from £210.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 4 light lunches and 5 dinners included.

Romanian cuisine has strong influences from its surrounding countries like Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.

We get to indulge in some fantastic home-cooked meals on this trip as we spend most nights staying with local families and in guesthouses. Breakfasts will consist of homemade bread and cheeses as well as a selection of locally sourced meats, salad and tea or coffee. The light lunches are prepared by guesthouses. Some days we will have traditional vegetable soup for lunch with homemade crème fraiche and bread.

Dinners are usually 2 or 3 courses, centred around pork or beef. Lots of guesthouses will prepare Sarmale cu Mamaliguta which is a traditional Romanian dish made of minced pork wrapped in pickled cabbage leaves and served with polenta and a chilli.

It’s not all about the food though; every household makes their own Tuica (pronounced “tsweeka”) which is a spirit usually made from plums and flavoured with herbs from their garden or the surrounding area. This is usually drunk whilst being welcomed into the house and after dinner.

Transportation

For this trip, we use an air-conditioned private bus, the size of which will depend on the group size, with a local driver. 

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Spring – Cool morning and evenings, warm in the day time. Pack some warm and waterproof clothes if travelling at this time of the year as showers cannot be ruled out and can last all day. Daytime temperatures in spring can vary between 7c – 17c.

Summer – Warm with longer daylight hours; maximum temperatures of 35c and an average of 23c in the lower areas.

Autumn – Normally cool and dry. Temperatures can vary between 20 – 10c though we recommend packing some warm layers for early mornings and evenings if travelling at this time of year as well as waterproofs as showers cannot be ruled out.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 10 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

We normally use the scheduled services of Lufthansa (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 10 days starting in Cluj Napoca and ending in Bucharest 

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Cluj Napoca in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

 

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

In the unlikely event of any of your luggage being misplaced or damaged, a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) must be filed with the appropriate airline if you subsequently wish to make a claim against the airline or on your travel insurance. This must be done at the airport where your baggage arrived, or should have arrived.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it. 

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Private transfers can be arranged through Exodus prior to travel, please book this through your Customer Operations Executive. Alternatively, you can reach the start hotel by bus, local taxi, or Uber.  

Location start:
Cluj Napoca
Location end:
Bucharest

What to Take

Essential Equipment

We recommend you bring the following items: 

Small day bag for water, camera, snacks, and guide book when walking or sightseeing
Reusable water bottle 
Sun hat, sunglasses, and sun cream
A comfortable pair of walking shoes
A warm jacket or fleece for cool evenings
Waterproof jacket

We recommend packing only one piece of checked baggage.

Practical Information

Passport

Romania

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Romania

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Romania

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Romania's Timezone:
Europe/Bucharest EEST (GMT +03:00)

Electricity

Romania's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

Romania's Currency

The national currency of Romania is the Romanian Lei (RON), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (February 2019) of approximately 5.3 to the GBP,  4.1 to the USD, 3.1 to the CAD, 4.7 to the EUR, 2.9 to the AUD and 2.8 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs and banks are available in the larger towns and cities like Bucharest, Cluj, and Sighisoara. You can use credit cards in many shops and restaurants in Bucharest but we recommend taking plenty of cash for shopping in the smaller villages.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Please budget 10Eur per person for lunches and 12-20Eur per person for dinner when not included. 

Drinks: 1 beer ~7 lei (~1.2 €), 1 glass of wine ~10-15 lei (~2-3 €)

Optional bear hide visit: 80 €/pax for min. 2 pax

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. As a guideline, we recommend a contribution of between EUR15 and EUR20 per client per week. It is also customary to leave a tip for any additional local staff who support your holiday – for example, drivers, cooks, and hotel staff. This can be handed to your leader at the end of the week to distribute accordingly. In total for the leader to distribute to all relevant staff, we recommend to budget approx. EUR10-EUR15 per person per week.

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.