7 independent reviews for Romania vacation, the Beauty of Yesterday

Reviews for Romania vacation, the Beauty of Yesterday

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review 20 Jun 2018

For anyone with an interest in this part of Romania, with its unique history, unusual ecclesiastical architecture, and its customs and traditions, and who may be considering a vacation there, I can recommend this 10 day group tour by mini-bus with almost no reserve. There was so much to see and enjoy. The painted monasteries of Bucovina each different from the last, the journey along the Vaser valley on the forestry railway - slightly touristy but great fun , the splendid scenery on the Prislop Pass, the fortified Saxon churches of Transylvania, the larger towns, the villages with their traditional wood carving, the folk art - an almost inexhaustible list full of interest and intrigue. The tour price included full board and the hotels and guest houses were all of an acceptable standard, varying from almost palatial impersonal hotels in the larger cities to the far more enjoyable and more rural guest houses where we found ourselves almost part of the family. All rooms were en suite with modern showers and spotlessly clean. I doubt if Romania could lay claim to culinary greatness, but the food was consistently good with the accent on soups, grilled meats, fish, with peppers and aubergines in various forms and all usually served with polenta. Lunches were an unexpected delight often taken in intriguing and lovely rural surroundings, old village inns or tiny restaurants in private houses where there was usually no choice of menu but abundant helpings and always accompanied by home made slivovic and wine of varied quality as one might expect. We over ate of course how could one not? The whole trip was undertaken by minibus a modern 8 seater Renault reasonably roomy and very pristine when we boarded on arrival at Bacau airport, where we were greeted by Alexandra who would be our guide and driver for the tour. And she turned out to be an absolute gem. Young , pretty, highly educated and speaking excellent English, there seemed nothing she did not know about her country, past and present not that any of the six of us was in a position to doubt her explanations. She went out of her way to ensure we enjoyed ourselves, often making little detours for odd sites that were not on the itinerary which she thought we might enjoy. Furthermore she drove well and safely on roads where that could not always be taken as normal. And my one reserve? It was all too short! I was a little breathless at the end.

review 12 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

There are many to choose from, but Biertan and Viscri stand out for their beauty and country setting.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for a lot of traveling, but the many things to see along the way make it worthwhile.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

We used local guest houses and brought income to some small villages with their churches. We met and talked to Romanian conservationists and learned about their projects.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

We had a great time. The accommodation was good, the people were friendly and the museum village and Ethnographic museums were wonderful.

review 29 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Painted monasteries, fortified churches, peasant/rural lifestyle all brilliantly presented by our guide Alexandra. Also the steam train.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Staying in guest houses must benefit local people but the character and variation between these guest houses was quite wide.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent with one or two exceptions in the accommodation.

review 21 Jul 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The rich history and culture, the variety of landscapes, the natural beauty and the glorious food.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for some long, but worthwhile, drives. Oh, and if you are a tea drinker, carry your own black tea

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

In some ways, yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

A wonderful vacation full of diversity in terms of sights, activities and experiences. Doina, our super guide/ driver (and sometimes cook), made sure we were well looked after. A trip to Romania is highly recommended.

review 22 Jun 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Hard to say as so many wonderful bits. Maybe visiting the fortified church in the village where Prince Charles has bought a house, and then going by horse and cart to visit the brick maker.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Come with an open mind and enjoy the home produce and home made wines of these very hospitable people. Learn a little of the history of this nation before you come. Visit the village museum in Bucharest. Fly with the national carrier TAROM as we found them very good.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes because we used local hotels, local restaurants, and the tour was run by a Romanian company.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

EXCELLENT, Our guide Alexandra was first class.

review 22 Oct 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

It is difficult to pick out the 'most' memorable as the whole vacation was absolutely wonderful. We were met by the link tour operators who were charming and cheerful. We were able to see many of the sites of Bucharest the following day, and the trip around the other parts of Romania over the subsequent week was brilliantly organised. The historical buildings, both religious and secular were stunning, and the young guide who took us around was knowledgeable, accomodating, and lovely to be with. Marvellous.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If you have any preconceptions of Romania, they are likely to be wrong. It is a clean, bright country with excellent infrastructure, including much better Wifi speeds everywhere than most of the UK.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The guide made it possible to visit small museums and 'cottage industries' such as a rural tile maker, which involved a pony cart ride, none of which would have been possible without her local knowledge.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

A thoroughly memorable and enjoyable experience. Not given 5 starts only because the phrase attached to it seems impossible. Many vacations can be fantastic but cannot be compared.

review 15 May 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

It's difficult to pick one thing. For me the Carpathian Forest Steam Train trip and the visit to Viscri Weisskirch are the two most memorable items.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

1) Get Alexandra Anghel (the daughter of the Romanian Agent Doina Anghel) to be your driver and guide. She is fluent in English, an extremely safe driver, has a great sense of humour, and tries her best at all times to see you have a great vacation. 2) Be prepared to accept different standards of behaviour (e.g. smoking) and accommodation that you might expect in Western Europe. 3) Swat up on your Bible if you are going to be taken round the painted monasteries!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It benefitted local people to some extent, but it did not reduce environmental impacts or supported conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Good. It was a well constructed tour (created by the Romanian Agent) BUT it was let down by the "Tour Guide" who seemed to have limited knowledge about things other than the monasteries and palaces; never made any attempt to find out what we wanted to gain from our vacation; often started to talk about things when only one of us was present; at meal times often took more than her share of food (e.g. butter, bread water) and couldn't leave her mobile phone alone and at times acted as she was the one on vacation. We found this behaviour quite rude and unacceptable.
E-mailed op on 02.07.14 JP

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on this vacation. We are very pleased that the tour itinerary and Alexandra's driving and company were a positive and enjoyable experience. We investigated your guide's conduct and found that her child was ill in hospital and so she was obviously distracted and not up to her usual high standards. She obviously should not have been allocated your tour under he circumstances and we have discussed this thoroughly with our local partner agency to ensure all guides perform to an expected high standard for all visitors and at all times. Regarding the environmental impact of our tours we believe that by using small-scale and locally owned guest houses and hotels we help to keep food miles and waste to a minimum as well as supporting local economies directly and indirectly. The latter because more interaction with local people and tourist service providers engenders greater understanding and respect which almost always leads to larger and more careful spending by visitors. Our guides (and drivers/escorts) will also provide best practice information regarding your environmental impact upon sites and fragile landscapes which is key to respecting and conserving both remote and well-visited places.

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