Exciting tours from Bucharest for first timers in Romania
So you're in Bucharest and want to see a little bit of Romania...Check out these exciting tours!
First time in Romania and not sure how to plan your trip? Feeling confused about all those holiday offers that you received? Are you overwhelmed by the number of touristic spots in our country and cannot decide which one to visit? No worries, we’ve got you covered! We know that planning is crucial for a top notch trip, so we thought about 5 exciting tours for all types of travelers from Bucharest to some of the most amazing locations. Be ready to immerse yourself in the wonderful Romanian culture.
1. At the top of our list is the Danube Delta Tour which is a trip to one of the biggest deltas in Europe. You should depart early in the morning and in about 4 hours you’ll arrive in Tulcea. From there, you have 3 trip options: the first one is to visit Mila 23 and the lakes that surround it, another option is to explore Mila 23 and the Caraorman forest, while the third trip would be to Letea forest. You won’t have time to do all these 3 trips in one day, you have to choose one of them.
Water lillies in Danube Delta, credits: LeventeGyori/Bigstock.com
You can take an open boat to Mila 23 which is a famous fisherman village with friendly locals who cook traditional dishes, like the Delta fish broth. It’s a perfect occasion for cultural exchange and food tasting.
Feeling like you want to relax and see the beautiful scenery that Mila 23 has to offer? Then head on a short trip to see the lakes Bogdaproste, Trei Iezere or Radacions Lake.
Not far from Mila 23 is Caraorman forest which stands on sand dunes and is populated by old oaks and climbing plants. Prepare to meet the oldest and biggest oak (400 years old and has a circumference of 4 metres) in the Danube Delta, named the Kneeling Oak because of its long branches lying on the ground.
North of Mila 23 is Letea forest, a must see subtropical forest with oak trees, climbing plants, high and small dunes. Here you can find old oaks and a lot of wild horses. In Letea village, you can explore the rural culture and taste delicious traditional meals.
On the way back to Tulcea, you can take a different route that crosses one of Delta’s biggest lakes. You’ll have the opportunity to see a variety of plants, birds and animals. If it rains, you can choose to take a covered boat ride, but the open boats are also equipped with raincoats just in case you need them. If it’s sunny, it is safe to use sunscreen, wear hats, sunglasses and light-colored clothes.
2. On the second place on our list is the Transfagarasan which is also the 2nd highest road in Romania and the most famous one. It was described by Top Gear as world’s “greatest driving road”.
It has 90 km in length, connecting two big regions, Transylvania and Muntenia. Nevertheless, the road is closed from October until June because of the snow and weather conditions, but you should check in advance before going there.
After leaving Bucharest, the first point of interest on this tour is Curtea de Arges Monastery, built in the early 16th century, a major religious and pilgrimage edifice, but also a touristic attraction due to the legend surrounding it, "the legend of master Manole".
If you still have time left, another interesting spot is Poenari Fortress, which is the former second residence of Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes known as Dracula). This will be quite a challenge for visitors, as there are around 1480 stairs to climb in order to reach the Fortress, but it’s totally worth it, given that the panoramic view and the Citadel are so impressive.
After this stop, you can go to Vidraru Dam and Lake which are not very far away, it takes only about 5 minutes by car to get there.
The last place to see is Balea Lake which is located at 2,034 m of altitude, the highest point on the Transfagarasan road.
3. Peles-Bran-Brasov Tour. This tour includes 2 of the most notorious castles in Romania, Peles and Bran castles. On top of that, you’ll get to see Brasov, a medieval town surrounded by mountains.
The first stop is in Sinaia, at Peles, a castle with a unique design and architecture which was the home of many Romanian kings. The place has welcomed several important people throughout history, such as kings, queens and artists.
You can then go to the notorious Bran Castle, located 30 km away from Brasov. It’s a legendary place and everyone has heard of it, due to its connection with Dracula who is said to have lived there. Reigning on top of a steep cliff, the castle has become a national landmark and receives thousands of tourists every year.
If you reached Bran, then you definitely need to see Brasov, especially the old town with the Black Church, the small romantic streets, the fortifications and Mount Tampa protecting the city.
4. Our suggestion for the next short tour comprises the Bear Sanctuary in Zarnesti and the Rasnov Fortress.
The Bear Sanctuary will be your first destination. This place was created in order to save more than 70 bears that were either used for money or captive in cages. The Sanctuary is not a zoo, but an area with a lot of trees, vegetation, hibernation dense and fresh water pools where bears relax and play around. It can be visited by whoever wants to find out more information about animal protection and bears’ welfare. It is the perfect place for children and families, but also for anyone who is interested in wildlife.
From the Sanctuary, you depart to Rasnov Fortress which is located close to Brasov, on the top of the hill in Rasnov. It is a medieval citadel that was built in the 13th century and used as a defense against the Tatars and as a place of refuge. The Fortress attracts numerous tourists from other countries, because it is still very well preserved.
5. For more adventures, we suggest a tour to The Mud Volcanoes and the Slanic Mine.
Tourist at Muddy Volcanoes, credits: roibu/Bigstock.com
The Mud Volcanoes can be found in Scortoasa commune, Buzau county. This geoogical reservation received its name due to small structures in the shape of volcanoes where mud and natural gases erupt. The phenomenon is unique in Romania. There’s little or no vegetation there, which makes the place really interesting because it looks like a scenery from the Moon. Quite impressive to explore!
If you were overwhelmed by The Mud Volcanoes, prepare for another exquisite visit, this time to a magical mine. The Slanic Mine, in Prahova county, is the biggest salt mine in Europe. It attracts many tourists with its pure air that is said to be healing and its chambers specially equipped with playgrounds for leisure activities. The mine has two levels called Unirea and Mihai. There’s also a salt museum with statues of famous historical figures. Many people who suffer from respiratory diseases come to the Slanic Mine to find cure in the therapy with aerosols. The Slanic Mine is part of a big resort that offers a wide range of balneary services, such as therapy with warm mud, baths with mineral water, programmes for treatment and prevention of various diseases.
What’s next? Ready for new adventures? Be inspired by one or more of these tours and plan your trip to wonderful and mysterious Romania!