Transylvania cultural vacation, Romania

“ A tailor made, weeklong cultural vacation in Transylvania, Romania, staying in different guesthouses and accompanied by a tour guide throughout. ”

Highlights

Sibiu | Hunedoara Castle | Alba Iulia | Visits to traditional craftsmen and artisans | Transfagarasan Road | Brasov | Zarnesti Bear Sanctuary | Peles Castle in Sinaia | Bran Castle | Viscri UNESCO World Heritage Site | Sighisoara | Biertan

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Transylvania cultural vacation, Romania

Environment

This tour takes in consideration important environmental aspects:
- The car used for traveling between locations has low CO2 emissions and uses little fuel. Also the itinerary is optimized so the number of kilometers driven is reduced.
- We encourage traveling in small groups such as in this case so we donít want to create demand for large accommodation facilities, especially in rural and natural areas where they would contrast with the traditional architecture.
- You will visit the bear sanctuary where previously captive bears are offered a decent habitat and by going there and purchasing tickets you contribute to the well-being of those bears. You will also learn about the bears and their interaction with people.
- Most of the ingredients for the meals are locally sourced, usually produced through traditional agriculture and some of them are organic encouraging chemical-free agriculture and at the same time sustaining local jobs.

Community

- All suppliers are local so the income is directed to them and jobs are enabled. You will stay in family owned rural guesthouses; some of the meals will be arranged there as well so the income will stay locally.
- By staying at rural guesthouses you encourage the consumption of more of the locally produced goods rather than staying at a big hotel; this can include traditional pottery instead of modern dishes, local textiles used for decoration, wood sourced locally for furniture, floors or heating.
- You will visit crafts workshops and through your presence you encourage those craftsmen to continue their work and the guide will compensate their time spent with us during the visit by giving them money or buying products from them
- The first night is spent in a wonderful fortress from the 14th century where 2 rooms where turned into guestrooms so the administrators can get additional money, besides entrance tickets, and use this money for the preservation of the site.

2 Reviews of Transylvania cultural vacation, Romania

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 17 Oct 2017 by

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


Plenty to choose from, but the following really stood out: Staying in the village if Viscri, which is largely untouched by time; and traveling from there by horse and cart into the hills to visit shepherds making cheese. Visiting the 19th Century royal castle/palace of Peles, which is a monument to splendid extravagance!

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


- expect reasonable comfort and friendliness rather than luxury.
- take fairly sturdy shoes/boots because there are lovely walks in the hills and the towns have cobbles.
-expect the food to be heavy on meat (especially pork) and light on vegetables.
-perhaps avoid mondays when quite a lot of sites are closed.

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


very much:
- the guest houses and small hotels were all owned by local people-and so was the medieval castle where we spent our last night.
- the food was all or very nearly all produced locally, sometimes by the owner of the establishment.
-by visiting the bear sanctuary we supported their important work.
- by visiting numerous churches, castles and other sites, all owned and run by Romanians, we supported their conservation.

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


It was an exceptionally interesting and rewarding vacation. This is partly because Transylvania is fascinating and beautiful; and partly because your local partner, gave us a most imaginative programme which mixed important historic sites with experiences of rural life. Its owner (our guide), Daniel, was known to many of the people running places we stayed in /visited and we were welcomed as friends. He was well informed on the history and was excellent company. We did some unusual things (eg visiting an a bustling and colourful livestock market) and enjoyed the whole experience enormously.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you very much for your review Francis & Jane. I am very happy that you enjoyed Transylvania so much, it was a pleasure to show you around. Keep in touch! Daniel & Lora :)

Reviewed on 15 May 2017 by

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


We loved staying in a local guesthouse, with the freshest food we could imagine! The owner, wife, and his mother were all lovely people, and incredibly welcoming.

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


Romanians are incredibly friendly, don't be afraid to reach out and make a new friend!

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


In some ways, yes, and other ways, no. We loved the guesthouse, and visiting smaller towns. However, there didn't seem to be much of a focus on sustainability or conservation on this tour.

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


It was average, with some nice highlights.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Jennifer,
We really welcome feedback and appreciate your opinion.

The tour had a focus on the cultural aspect and particularly on benefiting the local community and keep income local. So the accommodation used was owned by local people, guide was local, car used was provided by a local car rental company (and made in Romania), there were visits included to locals which benefited them this way. So there was less of a focus on environment and conservation (a visit to a bear sanctuary was included). If we look at the
responsible travel aspects listed in the tour description I believe they have been presented accurately and should have created the right expectation.

The only things listed there and not included in the tour itself was staying at the 14th century fortress but that was because we had to start the tour from Bucharest so the first night had to be there.

Thank you once again for your feedback.

Daniel

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